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ELC: Major arbitration successful outcome

It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that we received the final ruling of an arbitration Court that has granted a very substantial amount to our client a major construction company that had claims from a public State owned enterprise. The Arbitration process has lasted long -almost a year- and after many lengthy sessions and several hundred pages of supporting documents the Court has come into a very well founded conclusion that was granting right to our client. 

This success confirms our committment to the process of arbitration justice especially into international lcorporate and industrial disputes. Our Law firm in conjunction with its international network that specalizes into such solutions has a remarkable experience on dispute resolution process at the ICC Paris (International chamber of commerce) that has successfully handled in the past. In addition we are also familiar with the process and rules of the London Arbitration and of the recently unified Swiss Chambers of Commerce.  

U.S. top trial attorney Robert Lieff inducted today at the Elite lawyers Hall of Fame

NEW YORK: The National Law Journal announced late last month the induction of five prominent plaintiffs attorneys to its Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame. The publisher awards are being  presented to each inductee at the 2015 Elite Trial Lawyers Awards today on December 8 at the Plaza Hotel in New York.
This year’s inductees are: Thomas Girardi of Girardi Keese; David Sanford of Sanford Heisler Kimpel; Robert Lieff of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; Brian Panish of Panish Shea & Boyle; and Russ Herman of Herman Herman & Katz.
“We are excited to recognize these outstanding plaintiff advocates,” said Kenneth Gary, vice president and group publisher. “Each of these attorneys have achieved great heights in the practice of law and in generating outstanding results for their clients. This year’s Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame is a strong class for sure.”

Robert Lieff and Lieff Cabraiser Heimann and Bernstein -a law firm ranked in 2015 as the number one law firm in the United States on its field-  are our selected U.S. partners for well over a decade within the Global Justice Network the international law organisation where we are a founding member and Rober Lieff is our Hon. Chairman. We are very proud of Robert Lieff and we wholeheartedly congratulate him for his induction at the Elite Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.   

VOLKSWAGEN: CONSUMER CLASS ACTION & SHAREHOLDER CASE

The recall of a large number of Volkswagen diesel autos (2009 and newer) is already resulting into a great deal of claims raised throughout the U.S. but also in Europe.  Our law firm is exploring the possibility  with its international associates for filing in the U.S.  a consumer class action on behalf of Volkswagen owners who have the appropriate year autos. We are already coordinating with our American partners, Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein LLP and  Keller Rohrback LLP -some of them ranked last year as top U.S. Law firms- for the consumer class action but also for a shareholders case on behalf of the stockholders  who have seen the value of their shares dropping by almost 40% in two days. Most of the publicly owned stock is traded in Germany but most stockholders are spread throughout Europe. Switzerland as several other European countries should be affected by those events both in terms of consumers/owners but also to a greater extend in terms of stockholders of the giant German automaker. Next month two of our associates are flying to San Francisco so as to coordinate on the matter with our American counterparts. We invite those interested to explore their participation into such class actions (or grouped actions in jurisdictions where law does not permit class actions) to get in touch with us as soon as possible without any obligation from their part. 

ELC wins Supreme Court case in favor of its client SWISS INTERNATIONAL AIRLINES

It is with great pleasure and a sense of pride that we received the important positive ruling of the Hellenic Supreme Court regarding a case which we argued representing our client Swiss International Airlines. The Supreme Court accepted our arguments and sided with our client, and essentially upheld a lower level court decision to reject compensation to a disgruntled passenger who demanded compensation as result of a flight delay due to technical reasons. Our office argued and the Supreme Court with its 824/2015 order, accepted that our client acted properly and in full compliance to the spirit and the letter of the directive 261/2004, item 5 paragraph 3 of  E.U.regulation. This important ruling will also serve as a guideline on an array of ongoing and future similar cases where the Directive 261/04 calls for interpretation.

Our Law firm specializes among other things in matters of air transportation law, with a long and distinguished tack record in this practice and a leading role in the liberalization and  modernization of air transportation law. Our senior partner Constantine  Kokkinos is the legal counsel of  the Board of Airline Representatives in Greece – “B.A.R.”;  the board represents more 250 airlines worldwide and has local presence in most countries all over  the world.

GREECE, CAPITAL CONTROLS AND REFERENDUM

Dear clients, affiliates and friends,

Following the deadlock on its negotiations with the creditors and the expiration of the fiscal consolidation program, Greece has abruptly decided to call for a referendum and impose stringent capital controls-including banks closure and suspension of regulated markets until July 13th or further notice.

European Legal Consultancy (ELC) expresses its deep concern about the current situation of Greece, which it carefully monitors and evaluates so as to continue providing a comprehensive legal advice under these critical circumstances.

ELC, whose Swiss managing partner is a member of the Geneva Bar, has affiliatesin Zurich, Zug, Lausanne and Bern. This solid Swiss footing combined with a far reaching international presence- founding member of the Global Justice Network with partners in more than 25 jurisdictions- allowed us to adequately prepare in such times of crisis so as to maintain a proper legal support to all of our clients doing business in or with Greece. Our comprehensive structure and a prime financial and world banking practice allow us to continue providing our clients affected by events in Greece a complete service tailored to their needs.

We wish to thank you for your continuous trust, support and confidence and we hope that the present crisis will come to an end soon and that both Greece and Europe will come out of it stronger.

 

SWISS FRANC LOANS: SUGGESTED LEGAL ACTS

Following the rapid developments, that continue to afflict thousands of Swiss franc borrowers around Europe, our office, in collaboration with specialised lawyers both in Greece and abroad, continues to closely follow the developments, to sollicit borrowers and to file lawsuits on behalf of our clients, demanding the maintenance of the monthly instalments in the currency valid during the period of conclusion of the relevant loan agreements.

Moreover, we intend to file lawsuits challenging the constant variation of the cost of loan due, based in the variation of the currency, fact that, as mentioned in the past and as realised by the parties involved, turns these loans into forever claimable. Among the arguments examined is also the fact that, practically, for all loans in Swiss franc, no Swiss francs were ever outlayed by the banks, since the borrowers never received Swiss francs, but money in euro.

We remain at the disposal of any interested party for information and sollicitation.

SWISS FRANC: POLITICAL AND LEGAL SOLUTIONS IN GREECE AND OTHER COUNTRIES

POLAND: During the last days, thousands of Polish citizens – holders of swiss franc loans have realised demonstrations, in order to express their objection to the new situation formed, following the decision of the Swiss Central Bank to release the currency rate between swiss franc and the national polish zloty. 

Today, on March 3, seven out of 22 polish banks, which gave loans in swiss franc, announced that they are willing to apply a negative interest rate under certain conditions. 

Ninty holders of loans in swiss franc -and two hundred more, who are expected to follow- have filed a lawsuit against Getin Noble Bank before the comptetent court in Warsaw. The hearing took place at the end of February and the decision is expected to be particularly interesting. 

CROATIA: The Ministry of Finance is waiting for the evaluation of the National Bank, in order to suggest a long-term solution in the issue, which is expected by the end of the week.

MONTENEGRO: The national parliament will discuss a draft law, in order to settle 3000 loans, the monthly instalment for many of which has raised up to 80%, in many cases.

HUNGARY: Last year, the Hungarian Minister of Finance forced the banks to convert the loans thay had given in swiss franc to euro, avoiding, this year, the 'tragedy' created to the other countries by the release of the currency. 

Our law firm, member of the Global Justice Network, closely cooperates with law firms both in Poland and in Croatia, examining possible legal options and synchronizing our actions. 

Furthermore, in Greece, we have already started filing a series of preventive measures as well as lawsuits for our clients, in order to regulate the instalments due in the initial currency.    

SWISS FRANC LOANS: THE DAY AFTER THE CURRENCY RATE RELEASE

Recently, the decision of the Central Bank of Switzerland to release the currency rate between euro and Swiss franc, fixed since October 2011 at 1,20CHF shocked 65.000 Greek borrowers, who found themselves in the desperate position to be obliged to pay off a, practically, never ending loan!

Following this decision and the stir it created, the banks now invite the borrowers in debt settlements, suggesting either the prolongation of their loans or the maintenance of the currency rate of 1,20CHF.

What needs to be made clear is that this action, on behalf of the banks, leads to acknowledgment of debt by the borrowers! Given that this fact, apart from immoral, can also be legally challenged as illegal, we invite all borrowers to be extremely careful, when invited by their banks, and not to hesitate to legally claim their rights as consumers, as hundreds of them have already done, either by themselves or through consumers' associations around Greece. The relevant lawsuits are expected to be examined during the next few months and the outcome is awaited with suspense, as the luck of loans for thousands of our co-citizens depends on it.   

“NORMAN ATLANTIC” TRAGEDY: PASSENGERS’ RIGHTS

The whole world watches the tragedy of the vessel “Norman Atlantic”, which still contin in Adriatic sea for the last five days. 

The vessel owned by the Italian company Grimaldi and rent by the Cretan ANEK Lines, departed from the port of Patras on Saturday evening the 27th of December 2014 with final destination the Italian port of Ancona via Igoumenitsa – another Greek port. 

At 4 am of the 28th of December, a fire burst in one of the garages of the ship, while the latter was sailing 32 nautical miles Northwest of Othoni (small Greek island NW of Corfu). The captain, according to published information, initially estimated that the crew was capable of extinguishing the fire. Thus for, he did not immediately send a Mayday signal, resulting in loss of precious time. It was only before 9 am did the rescue operations begin. Greek and Italian fireboats, as well as nearby sailing ships, approached the spot, which was then in the Italian sea, in order to provide their help. Nevertheless, the extremely bad weather conditions in the area, where the wind was reaching 9 Beauforts and the constant heavy rainfall, turned the rescue operation dramatically difficult. The first passengers succeeded in boarding a rescue boat and were collected by the mearby sailing boats after several hours, whereas, according to survivors, panic prevailed.      

The unclear and confusing information concerning the number and identity of the passengers, survivors, drown and missing persons are indicative of the panic and the poor organization of the salvage operation.

Today, five days after the tragedy, the Italian and Greek authorities continue blaming each other for “false passengers’ list”, “erroneous survivors’ records”, “misinformation on the identity of the survivors”. At the same time, survivors protest the lack of information and the bad organization of rescue operations by the Authorities. Meanwhile, the official records speak about eleven drown persons, two of which are Greek, whereas more bodies are to be identified, since relatives of missing persons from Greece are arriving  in Italy today, 2nd of January noon. 

The number of passengers, according to information published so far, varies from 428 to 499 persons. The Greek authorities received a list of 477 survivors by the Italian coast guard. Nine bodies have been recovered. Two, although spotted, were unable to be recovered due to bad weather conditions, whereas the estimated number of missing persons is ten.

After several efforts to tug the ship, the last effort begun yesterday evening, trying to tug Norman Atlantic from the Albanian coast to the Italian port of Brindizi. The ferry towed in a tugboat is now sailing with 3 nautical miles towards the port.   

The judicial  prosecutor of Bari ordered the confiscation and further research of the vessel, in order not only to clarify the causes of the fire but also to examine if there are any other bodies in the garage and lower decks as, according to survivors, many drivers were to spend the nights in their trucks, whereas it is further speculated that illegal migrants were on board. 

Recently published information claim that, although the vessel was only five years old, following inspection of the port authorities of Patras on the 19th of December, several omissions were observed, concerning her waterproofing system, her rescue means as well as the emergency lights. The owner company was given a 15 days notice to fix these problems. 

The passengers, apart form the loss of their vehicles and their personal belongings and the relatives of the tragic victims have, in any case, a whole range of rights and can revert to justice against all liable parties for damages, not only physical but also moral. 

An in depth evaluation is necessary, in order to clearly determine the passenger's  rights and to evaluate the claims published so far in the Press concerning omissions on the boat, erroneous handling of the parties participating in the rescue operations, according to provisions of special laws and international conventions on rights of passengers carried by sea. 

Our office as member of the GLOBAL JUSTICE NETWORK one of the most experienced and prominent organizations in the world specializing  in Maritime accidents  (www.globaljusticenetwork.com) is already in contact with survivors of the ΝΟRMAN ATLANTIC plans and provides them legal support and advice on defending and protecting their legal rights in this complex situation where claims for losses and moral damages arise.

In this effort the Global Justice Network with its expertise in the handling of maritime accidents and the appropriate representation of victims, among which -indicatively - are:  the complex maritime accident AL SALAM BOCCACIO in the Red Sea, the EXPRESS SAMINA sinking in the Aegean, the sinking of the cruise-ship SEA DIAMOND, the sinking of the cruise-ship COSTA CONCORDIA, the major maritime tragedy of the DONA PAZ, also by fire, the multi-deaths tragedy onboard the AEGEAN WIND, also by fire, the collision between mv BALTIC ACE and mv CORVUS J. off Rotterdam, the collision of mv ATLANTIC COMET with a fishing vessel, the collision of mv KARAM I with mv ALEXANDER DP in Bulgaria, the sinking of mv KELPHI in the Mediterranean, the collision of ferry SAMAINA with the military submarine KOSTAKOS in Greece, the sinking of the fishing trawler LYBERIOS in Greece.

The Global Justice Network as the ideal international platform of size to offer proper and full support to the victims of this tragedy remains at the disposal  of those in need who claim losses both in human lives and in material  damages as well as moral damages from the Norman Atlantic tragedy for a free initial consultation and advise. Please use our contact form and one of the Global Justice Network specialists will get in touch with you without any delay. The Global Justice Network has specialized attorneys who are actively looking into this matter from Greece, Italy, Albania, Switzerland,France Turkey,Canada,U.K. Germany Austria and the Netherlands so as to secure the most appropriate representation in this complex case.

THE "NORMAN ATLANTIC" MARITIME TRAGEDY

There are still many unanswered questions regarding the sea worthiness of the vessel “Norman Atlantic", the way her maritime tragedy was handled in every level planning, operating and rescuing. One thing is certain; this has resulted to great losses for those who are perished and their families but also for the survivors both materially and psychologically.  

Prompted by the troubling developments of this terrible accident, we offer our assistance and free legal consultation to those affected -individually or their families. We are member of the Global Justice Network that specializes in maritime accidents and has built a huge experience worldwide in supporting victims in similar cases such as the Al - Salam Boccaccio (2006) counting more than 1,000 victims, the Costa Concordia, the Express Samina etc.

At this stage, however, we advise all victims and families of victims involved, to maintain their calm and not to rush into any settlement attempt before they can consult with their attorneys who can carefully evaluate the case and guide them to most appropriate actions.

You can communicate with us by email using our contact form without any other obligation on your part.