17-23 February, 2012. Newspaper "GEORGIA TODAY" publishes interviews with Victor Kipiani, Partner MKD and Rati Bregadze, Counsel, Head of German Desk by Nino Edilashvili
Continuing the strategy to expand its activity in several other geographic areas, Mgaloblishvili Kipiani Dzidziguri (MKD) law firm has established a German Desk.
For Victor Kipiani, a partner at MKD, the launching of the desk means offering to clients legal services pursuant to the concept of "domestic plus" which means advising not only on Georgian law matters, but also providing support on matters of non-Georgian legal issues.
"Our three-member team will provide German-speaking countries with services in the German language, which will add more comfort to the overall process of communication," Kipiani told Georgia Today.
He explained that
this would represent an additional tool for the firm in addition to providing its services in other languages, thus enhancing the firm's profile coupled with the quality legal services it already offers.
The presentation of the German Desk was held in Tbilisi on February 15 and in partnership with the German Business Association. "Our law firm will provide all the necessary support, starting from setting up a business, as well as a wide range of support services an investor may need in Georgia," Kipiani said.
He thinks that German investment is very important for Georgia, as Germany is the economic powerhouse of the EU; having close German ties is of major importance with regard to creating a solid bridge with European businesses. "We will work in two directions. First, we will offer legal services to the German companies that may be interested in doing business in Georgia. We will also assist local Georgian business to set up in Germany, Austria or Switzerland providing to them reliable support" Kipiani added. The MKD German Desk will be headed by Rati Bregadze who has recently returned to Georgia from Germany where he received his PHD at Hamburg University.
"We will be a three-member team and will provide all services, including practical tips on investing safely in Georgia, local and international law protections for foreign investors, the challenges of contracting with state entities in Georgia and the advantages of structuring in-bound investments through corporate vehicles in countries which have signed bilateral and multilateral investment treaties with Georgia, providing wide-ranging international law protections to foreign investors," Bre- gadze said. What is also very important pursuant to Bregadze, is that the Desk will be strongly supported by the former Chair of the Supreme Court of Georgia and a very well-known scholar both in Georgia and in Germany, Dr. Lado Chanturia.
According to Bregadze, his team is currently working with a major Austrian law firm; they are contemplating the possibility of setting up an Austrian-Georgian law group uniting both practitioners and scholars.
"Gradually, German-Georgian economic relations are becoming stronger. So the creation of such a specialized legal service unit is the first of its kind on the market and it will simplify business ties among Georgian and German, as well as German-speaking entrepreneurs" Bregadze emphasized. The goal of the Desk, he added, is also to help facilitate investment from German language countries.
Asked how he feels about doing business in Georgia for foreign businessmen, Kipiani said that there are some "vital things" that foreign entrepreneurs should know before entering the country. These include the cultural aspects of Georgia and being knowledgeable on Georgia's business regulations.
The MKD law firm was set up 15 years ago in Tbilisi and currently is one of the major law firms in Georgia that provides quality legal services for businesses operating in the country. In 2011, the firm was ranked as the top firm for Georgia in General Business Law in the edition of Chambers and Partners Europe.
Last year, MKD organized a seminar in the United Kingdom on How to Protect Your Investments in Georgia, where the MKD team, both local and UK staff, made a presentation on the country's business environment, as well as provided information and recommendations to interested business circles on how to avoid or mitigate investment risks in Georgia. MKD has made a similar presentation in the Ukraine and Germany and plans to organize another event in Italy this May.