Industrial & Intellectual Property

Sarantitis Law Firm provides advice on a wide range of IP matters, offering expertise and experience in copyright and neighbouring rights, trademarks, patents, computer software and database protection & utility models, domain names, industrial designs, know-how agreements, franchise, drafting of license agreements and IP litigation.

Three of the firm's lawyers work mainly in IP, specializing on both transactional and contentious basis, and serving a client base that includes important Greek and foreign companies active in Greece. The firm also has considerable experience in litigation concerning trademarks as well as other IP issues.

In the media sector, Sarantitis Law Firm is also advising several TV and radio stations on IP rights.

The firm also serves as an agent for the registration of Greek, international and European trademarks, patents and local (.gr) domain names on behalf of foreign companies in Greece, following the most cost effective, fast and user-friendly procedures.

Insurance

Given that the firm has dealt with consulting and contentious services in the area of marine and mainstream insurance, since its establishment in 1965, it is highly regarded for its experience and professionalism.

The scope of our insurance practice ranges from traditional claims' management to helping our clients develop existing and new insurance and re-insurance products and plan their strategy and operation. Claims pertinent to employers' liability, personal injury, defective products, loss of cargo, as well as motor claims constitute our day-to-day practice and are, in most cases, handled in co-operation with our experienced litigation group.

Marine insurance has played a major role in the rapid growth of the firm's reputation over the years. Our experience in this field dates back more than 35 years. The firm has been involved in marine insurance hearings both in Greece and abroad and has handled major cargo claim cases on behalf of insurers / P&I Clubs as well as ship and cargo owners.

Labour & Employment

Sarantitis Law Firm has always been actively involved in labour law, which forms a crucial part of a company's activity. The range of our services includes the following:

  • Offering legal advice and drafting legal opinions on various issues of labour legislation;
  • drafting, preparing and reviewing terms of individual employment contracts of limited or unlimited time period;
  • providing legal advice and opinions on various issues related to collective employment contracts;
  • preparing and bringing actions before Greek and European Courts regarding labour-related disputes. Our firm has successfully represented clients and has won most of such disputes; and
  • supporting clients before Greek and European Courts in actions resulting of labour-related accidents.

The Firm equally takes care of all immigration procedures for both corporate and individual clients completing, among others, in the most simple and prompt way possible the complex procedures for obtaining work and residence permits.

Stock Exchange and Capital Market regulatory compliance

Sarantitis' clientele includes a number of companies listed on the ASE as well as on foreign Stock Exchanges.

Consequently, Sarantitis' corporate lawyers have acquired over the years, excellent knowledge of listed companies' obligations, under Greek law, advising companies and their shareholders on the required procedures, announcements and notifications connected to various types of transactions.

Sarantitis also undertakes to make all necessary contacts with the supervising authorities, in order to achieve in each case the best possible outcome.

Competition

The evolution of business life has led many enterprises to seek ways of co-operation and expansion in order to consolidate, survive and flourish in today's highly competitive environment.

In light of the above, an apparent need to control such transactions has emerged, which has eventually resulted to the enactment of competition and antitrust legislation, into the Greek as well as the international business reality. Greek competition law and administrative practice undergo continuously a natural harmonisation with the competition provisions under EC law.

Within such a constantly evolving field of law, our firm can offer valuable experience gained through dealing with a substantial number of cases involving agreements between undertakings of various sizes and nationalities, of the private as well as of the public sector in Greece and abroad.

The services provided by our firm cover all stages of the relevant procedures anticipated by law encompassing restrictive agreements, merger control, State aid and other trade restrictions. The firm's competition group has in many cases worked closely with our litigation group in commercial disputes involving concentration and market dominance implications.

Moreover, we are closely cooperating with other law firms around the world in order to deal efficiently with cases involving international transactions or regulatory control and facilitate multi-national strategic planning. Pre-emptive action through antitrust audits also forms part of such compliance strategy.

 

Corporate & Commercial

Sarantitis Law Firm has a diverse corporate and commercial practice representing a wide range of Greek and foreign public and private corporate clients.

We bring experience, technical capabilities and creativity to each client project. These qualities enhance our reputation as lawyers who assist clients to define and successfully pursue their commercial tasks.

The firm's services include the setting up of corporations / corporate structures and advising on investment in Greece and the Balkans, through the appropriate in each case tax pattern. In addition, companies' mergers and acquisitions, restructuring and insolvency do also constitute a major part of our work and are faced not as mere typical procedures but mainly as cost effective / profit making strategies discussed and decided by taking into consideration each client's specific needs and business plans.

Overall, it is the firm's principle to take into serious consideration every single tax, employment, competition and regulatory implication involved in each commercial project, having always in mind how each commercial task could be promoted in the best possible way.

Finally, a great number of agreements' forms, for various types of business activities, such as agency, distribution and outsourcing have not only been prepared by the Firm, but also tested in the day-to-day business practice of our clients, enabling them to enjoy long-lasting business relations established on solid and sufficiently detailed agreements that offer both security and flexibility.

Public Procurement and State aid

Public procurement rules within the EU single market are included in a series of EU Directives, subsequently implemented by each EU Member State into its national legal order. The effect of this EU and national legislation is that contracts for works, supplies and services over a certain value provided by the public sector as well as utilities in water, telecoms, energy and transport offering a fundamental service to the public, must be advertised on an EU-wide basis. During the awarding procedure, public procurement law must be fully respected, in particular as far as discriminatory technical standards and objective and transparent criteria are concerned. The aim of public procurement legislation is to ensure that competition between bidders is fair and transparent and results in comparing tenders following identical terms. Thus, all potential bidders stand equal chances of success and public money is spent on a non-discriminatory fashion that could lead to serious market distortions and favouritism.

Sarantitis Law Firm has a specialist procurement department that has over the last years dealt with several multi-million Euro projects, including major public works of European dimension . We represent a diverse clientele including foreign and local companies participating in public bids related to both civil and military procurement.

Our services range from advising bidders at the stage of drafting their offers to challenging the outcome of tendering procedures. We have represented clients in many cases before the Greek Conseil d'Etat and the European Commission.

The firm has also been asked several times to act on behalf of the Greek Government and its various awarding authorities in assessing the compliance of tenders with Greek and EC public procurement law.

Involvement of State aid

Public procurement is often inter-related with State aid measures, which are prohibited under EU law. Some of our lawyers have advised several private parties and Governments on the application of State aid rules within the EU as well as on the compliance of subsidies with the WTO regime. Our advice ranges from identifying State aid measures incompatible with the EU common market, the application of the so-called "market economy investor principle" which could lift State aid concerns, assessing whether a measure or business project where the State is involved falls in the scope of State aid block exemption regulations or lawful regional development schemes, to assisting Governments and national authorities concerning their notification obligations to the European Commission.

Obviously, State aid may exist in all areas of business activity, whenever State resources are involved or passed-on to private parties. We, therefore, constantly keep an open eye for the existence of illegal State aid in all business sectors where our lawyers provide advice, such as in property, construction, regeneration and public procurement.

Not many businesses understand that in case they receive illegal State aid the EU Member State that provides it may be sanctioned by the European Commission (and the European Courts). This may result in the recovery of the aid illegally granted and the reversal of all economics related to a deal. This has often led recipients to financial distress. Especially in the field of private-public partnerships for major projects, the involvement of the State must be carefully scrutinised in order to avert the danger of illegal State aid.

EU Law and practice

The law emanating from the European Union ("EU") has gained an increasingly important place in today's business activity within the EU and internationally. It is now common ground that Brussels regulates the common market, has direct powers in competition law and other matters and sanctions decisively infringements of EC law by Member States. It also contributes financially to building infrastructure, assisting businesses and research and in promoting a multitude of other activities, including aid to developing countries and to the accession Member States.

Member States are obliged to both respect EU law in its entirety as well as to ensure that it is applied fully by their authorities and courts. This is not always an easy process and frequently results in disputes or in a poor application of EU law at national level, generating an exposure to sanctions by Brussels. It is, therefore, critical that both businesses and regulators are alert in safeguarding full compliance with EU law provisions, notably in the areas of free movement of goods, persons, services and capital, competition, public procurement, social rights and harmonised technical standards. Clients knowing their rights and obligations under EU law, certainly gain an advantage over competition and render their business practice protected from infringement allegations bearing heavy consequences.

For example, participating in a price-fixing cartel may result in fines of up to 10% of a corporation's turnover and other significant commercial restrictions. In the area of public procurement, tender procedures may be annulled; and illegal State aid granted may be recovered from the beneficiary with interest. To make things worse, national authorities have no discretion over applying or not EU law, as the latter is a superseding legal order by reference to national law.

In particular, the unprecedented enlargement of the EU in 2004 to 25 Member States, has created the need for restructuring several areas of EU law, notably in the field of competition and in the way the EC institutions function.

Knowing your rights and obligations under EU law will also result in more successful national remedies before courts and other contentious bodies. It may also help you in lobbying effectively the European institutions and the Greek Government in the context of their legislative activity.

Our EU law specialist team of lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the mechanics of EU law and the remedies available. Some of our lawyers have spent many years practicing EU law in Brussels, both within the European institutions and with major law firms. Our experience includes the following:

  • Regulatory advice;
  • representation of major corporate entities, sovereign Governments and professional associations in contentious procedures before the European Commission and the European courts in Luxembourg;
  • lobbying the European institutions on behalf of businesses and associations; and
  • assisting private parties in obtaining EU funds.