Posted on: 18 July 2022
Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has appointed Yianni Cheilas (pictured), co-head of asset finance for Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA), to head up its Greek offices, with effect from August 1, 2022.
Yianni will replace Dimitri Sofianopoulos, who has been with the firm for nearly 30 years. Dimitri will take on a role at Costamare group, but will continue with Norton Rose Fulbright as a senior consultant of the firm.
A banking, finance and restructuring partner, based in Athens and London, Yianni has significant experience of advising across a broad range of finance and commercial transactions. He represents a variety of lenders, funds and companies in financings, acquisitions, combinations, restructurings, work-out arrangements and monitoring ‘problem’ loans.
Yianni has strong, specialist knowledge of the global shipping market and also advises clients across sectors including asset-based lending; property finance; energy finance; hospitality; corporate lending; infrastructure; restructuring and insolvency; and financial institutions.
Peter Scott, managing partner for EMEA at Norton Rose Fulbright, said: “Dimitri has played a huge role in the success and growth of our Greek offices, and our global shipping practice. Although we are sorry to see him leave the partnership, we are excited to see him take on this new challenge. We wish him all the best for the future and his new role, and we will continue to enjoy our collaboration with him.
“I am delighted that Yianni will be heading up our Greek offices. Yianni is co-head of our EMEA asset finance practice and, having worked in our Athens office for over two decades, has an incredible breadth and depth of experience. He is ideally suited to support our clients and colleagues alike, and to continue the development of our practice in the region.”
Yianni said: “It has been a great pleasure working very closely with Dimitri over the past 25 years, when we joined forces to forge a prime finance and shipping practice in the region. Dimitri is a Norton Rose Fulbright lifer, an incredible practitioner, a loyal friend to his colleagues and a devotee of the firm. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy and very big shoes to fill indeed. I want to wish Dimitri the very best in his new role and look forward to working with him in his new capacity.
“I also greatly look forward to working with our brilliant and talented colleagues in the region – and globally – in this new role to further strengthen our practice and offering to our clients.”
Norton Rose Fulbright has been established in Greece since 1990 and is one of the leading legal practices in banking and finance, including shipping finance, project finance and structured finance, as well as financial restructuring and insolvency, corporate, M&A and securities, financial regulation, energy, and litigation and disputes. The award-winning team comprises Greek and English-qualified lawyers based in Athens and Piraeus, who advise on Greek, English, European and international law.
The office’s clients include Greek and multinational corporations, particularly in the financial institutions, insurance, shipping, renewable energy and real estate sectors, as well as governmental organisations and the Hellenic Republic. The firm’s lawyers have worked on some of Greece’s most prominent transactions and have a strong record of advising Greek companies raising funds externally, and multinational corporations investing into Greece.