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Latest news

Introductory claim already filed at Europeran Court of Human Rights by our law firm on behalf of Greek bondhoders victims of the collective action clause

Our Law firm, instructed by a number of holders of Sovereign Greek debt bonds in cooperation with our Italian counterparts, has submitted on the 11th of April 2012 an introductory claim at the EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS in Strasbourg under rule 47§5 of the Rules of Court.

This action should be the first of its kind in the world and is expected with great interest as it requests the Court to initiate a Pilot Judgment procedure pursuant to rule 61 of the Rules of Court, alleging a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and its Protocols to which Greece is a party.

URGENT: Greek bond private holders!

Unfortunately our worst fears are being confirmed: The Eurogroup and the Greek government announced that all private holders of Greek State bonds by virtue of the so called “collective action clause” (CAC) will be forced to participate to the bonds swap although they did not consent to it.

We consider this as unconventional and totally unlawful falling short to the requirements of the art. 1 protocol No 1 of the European Convention of Human rights as it has been signed by the Republic of Greece. We also feel it violates the disposals of the Hellenic Constitution and other national texts challenging the existence of such collective action clauses.

Italian cruise ship accident: Legal assistance for passengers

Several people died and others were missing after the Costa Concordia cruise ship with more than 4.000 people on board ran aground and keeled over off an Italian island, sparking chaos as passengers scrambled to get off. Our office in close collaboration with a top specialist consortium from Italy England, France Spain and the USA is offering legal support and assistance to victims and their families of this terrible accident.

Greece: Revoked license of T-Bank (former ASPIS Bank)

The Greek authority supervising banks and financial institutions with its decision 25/1/17.12.2011 has revoked the operating license of T-BANK (former Aspis bank). The bank was placed under special liquidation procedure.

Amended double taxation agreement between Greece and Switzerland

The Swiss Federal Department of Finance (FDF) has announced that the Protocol of Amendment of November 4, 2010 (see our article below from Nov, 4, 2010) to the double taxation agreement (DTA) between Switzerland and Greece entered into force on January, 1, 2012.

According to the FDF, the protocol contains an OECD administrative assistance clause and will contribute to the further positive development of bilateral economic relations.

U.S. News and Best Lawyers honor our US partner law office Lieff Cabraser as the U.S.A. national "Law Firm of the Year"

Best lawyers

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers have selected Lieff Cabraser as their national "Law Firm of the Year" for 2011-2012 in the category of Mass Torts Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs.

U.S. News and Best Lawyers rank firms nationally in 75 different practice areas. The rankings are the result of extensive client feedback and incorporate 3.9 million evaluations from nearly 42.000 lawyers. For the first time, one law firm in each of the practice areas ranked nationally received the prestigious "Law Firm of the Year" recognition.

Introduction of capital gains tax as of 1st January 2012

After postponing the introduction of a Greek capital gains tax several times, this tax will now apply satrting from January, 1, 2012. Investors liable for income tax in Greece will be subject to the capital gain tax.

With regard to old positions, the sales tax of 0.2% continues to apply on all securities purchased prior to 1 January 2012. Securities purchased after December, 31, 2011 will not be taxable for foreign investors any longer. Greek investors, on the other hand, will have to pay capital gains tax on securities acquisitions taking place after December, 31, 2011.

Switzerland and Germany sign tax agreement

On September, 21, 2011 in Berlin, a tax agreement was signed by Germany's Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, and Switzerland's Finance Minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf. The agreement will resolve the outstanding issues that have existed for decades between Germany and Switzerland concerning the taxation of German investors' investment income in Switzerland. The negotiations led to a fair outcome that ensures a balanced reconciliation of interests between the two countries, particularly from a tax equity viewpoint.

Switzerland and Germany initial tax agreement

Today in Bern, German and Swiss negotiators concluded the negotiations on outstanding tax issues and initialled a tax agreement. Under this agreement, persons resident in Germany can retrospectively tax their existing banking relationships in Switzerland either by making a one-off tax payment or by disclosing their accounts. Future investment income and capital gains of German bank clients in Switzerland will be subject to a final withholding tax, and the proceeds of this will be transferred to the German authorities by Switzerland. In addition, mutual market access for financial services will be improved. The agreement should be signed by both governments in the next few weeks and could enter into force at the start of 2013.

Further insurance companies' licenses revoked in Greek

On the 2nd of May 2011 the supervising regulating authority (Commission on Credit and Insurance issues of the Bank of Greece) has revoked the license of the “Eurostar Insurance Company” mainly active on vehicle insurances as this company could not satisfy the capital requirements set forth by the law. This comes only a month after the revocation of another insurance company (Europaiki Pronia) whose license has been suspended for the same reasons on March 31,2011.