Lasha Gogiberidze is a founding partner of BGI Advisory Services Georgia and BGI Legal. Prior to foundation of the BGI in the aftermath of Ernst & Young’s global decision to exit law, Lasha served as a director of corporate practice within Ernst & Young’s Georgian office, as well as was a leading attorney within Georgian Consulting Group. Prior to private practice, Lasha was associated with the office of American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative office in Tbilisi and clerked for the Chairman of the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Lasha has considerable transactional, corporate, capital markets, M&A, project finance, banking, oil & gas, energy, legislative drafting and labor law experience. Together with his colleagues at BGI, Lasha has been involved in nearly every major transaction in Georgia over the past two decades. A brief selection of his most recent representations includes:
- Represented underwriters / joint lead managers on listing of two local companies on London Stock Exchange premium listing segment;
- Representing a European banking institution in one of the largest financing transaction and ensuing litigation in Georgia;
- Represented a wide array of underwriters on several bond placements on London, Dublin and Hong Kong exchanges;
- Represented a number of IFI-s on financing of a construction of one of the largest HPP-s in Georgia;
- Represented sponsors on negotiation, implementation, financing and construction of Nenskra Hydro Power Plant;
- Represented a number of largest telecom companies on one of the largest M&A deals in the country;
- Represented of a number of IFI-s and a number of EU funds on project financing and lending transactions in Georgia, including regulatory capital deals;
- Represented a private European based fund in a structured acquisition of a systemic commercial bank in Georgia;
- Represented joint lead managers on issuance of USD 250 million bonds by Georgian National Oil Company;
- Represented a record number of the issuers and underwriters in several capital markets deals during 2011-2012 period;
- Represented large Russian based mining conglomerate and its subsidiaries in Georgia on USD 250 million financing project and operational matters in Georgia;
- Represented a number of international financial houses on derivative transactions involving Georgian counterparties;
- Represented the largest mining company in Georgia on operational and corporate restructuring matters;
- Represented one of the largest utility companies in Georgia on a potential corporate restructuring exercise;
- Represented joint lead managers on refinancing of USD 500 million outstanding sovereign bonds;
- Represented a number international financial institution in financing of a housing projects in Georgia;
- Represented private investors on a number of projects involving developments of hydro-power plants in Georgia;
- Acted for the adviser to the government of Georgia on development of concession framework for large scale hydro projects;
- Represented an IFI on investment into a Belarusian commercial bank owned by a Georgian banking institution;
- Represented a number of IFI-s in a corporate restructuring of the largest commercial bank in Georgia;
- Represented joint lead managers in the first ever US$ 500 million inaugural placement of sovereign debt securities by the Government of Georgia;
- Represents two largest private equity funds in Georgia on a number of transactions, including complex shareholders arrangements, as well as a real estate transaction with the government of the United States;
- Represented a number of international financial houses on capital market transactions involving Georgian assets, including first ever Euro bond issuance by a Georgian commercial bank;
- Represented local issuers on establishment of GDR programs on NASDAQ stock exchange;
- Represented leading European banks on a number of lending arrangements vis-à-vis commercial banks in Georgia;
- Represented the Government of Georgia through USAID funded technical assistance program in the largest privatization program for sale of energy generation and distribution assets with the total transaction value in excess of USD 300 million;
- Advised Millennium Challenge Georgia Fund (MCG), the US Government-funded USD 300 million project concerning mainly infrastructure and tourism development (won based on a competitive tender);
- Represented a major East European banking group on the acquisition and creation of the largest industrial enterprise in Georgia;
- Represented a major Russian based investment group in consolidated acquisition of the largest gold/copper mining enterprise from the state and private owners;
- Represented Georgian side in USD 70 million construction project of Tbilisi International Airport through BOT arrangement;
- Represented US communications company on various negotiations and privatization projects vis-à-vis the government of Georgia;
- Represented a major consortium of oil companies in the negotiation and drafting of the host government agreements, and in the drafting of a US$2.6 billion cross-border secured lending facility, including drafting loan and security agreements and preparing negotiation positions;
- Advised the IFC, EBRD, BSTDB and other international financial institutions on credit line agreements and derivative transactions, including the work out and drafting of assignment and security agreements with local banks and a Russia-based television broadcaster as participants.
Lasha graduated from Tbilisi State University, Department of International Law, earning a Law Degree with High Honors, and has a LL.M. from the University of Illinois.
Lasha is admitted to practice law in the state of New York, USA, and is a member of Georgian bar.
Lasha is a board member of the American Chamber of Commerce; he co-chairs Commercial and Tax Law Committee within AmCham. He also served on the board of Muskie Alumni Association of Georgia. He is a board member of the EU-Georgian Business Council (EUGBC).
In addition to his native Georgian, Lasha speaks fluent English and Russian, and has a fair command of Spanish.
Zaza Bibilashvili is able to suggest winning strategies and is active across a range of contentious and non-contentious work, including real estate and intellectual property matters. Previous comments include: BGI Legal fields ‘a team of true professionals with good knowledge of law and a proper understanding of business needs`. It provides full-service support to leading multinational and Georgian clients, handling general legal matters alongside more complex financing, M&A, dispute resolution and capital markets mandates.
Zaza Bibilashvili is a well-known and highly regarded figure in the Georgian legal market. One of the founding partners of the firm, he oversees projects and is a key contact for clients. Lasha Gogiberidze has been called "one of the leading lawyers in Georgia" and "a central person not just in capital markets, but in the legal market in general." Considered an expert in capital markets and project finance work, particularly in the energy sphere, he is highly respected by his peers, who say: "He`s among the top lawyers who shaped the legal market."
Solid team with vast experience of handling a wide spectrum of corporate and commercial as well as financial matters. Particularly well versed in project finance and boasts an impressive track record in some of the country's biggest energy and infrastructure projects. Popular choice for prominent international and local clients, including financial institutions and corporates from an array of industry sectors. Clients are impressed with the team's approach, saying: "The best thing is their coming up with proactive advice and suggesting a structure. They are able to work under pressure and respond immediately." Another client adds: "As soon as we give them a project we don't need to double-check anything." Other typical comments are: "They are a top-tier firm on the market with highly skilled, efficient and solution-oriented lawyers."