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.
BGI Legal is ‘exceptional' in M&A, financing and real estate, and is especially prominent in the energy sector. Lasha Gogiberidze, whom clients regard as ‘the top lawyer in Georgia for banking, finance and capital markets transactions', and Sandro Bibilashvili handled a number of innovative regional energy projects and joint ventures, such as the Adjaristsqali hydropower project.
Legal director Unana Gogokhia focuses on financial transactions, and stands out for her experience of capital markets and derivatives. Clients appreciate her ability to "look at the issue very scrupulously and bring up points in the transaction that none of the other parties spotted." Sandro Bibilashvili is increasingly recognised in the market. He is involved in some of the firm's biggest project finance mandates and has recently been active working on energy projects. Counsel Tamara Tevdoradze enters the rankings on the back of positive praise. "She is very reliable, accurate and punctual, thinks in a very logical way and has very strong arguments," a client says
Excellent team known for acting on high-profile and significant mandates. Clients commend the team's expertise, saying: "They are all very solid, have excellent knowledge, are hard-working and give great practical advice." They further praised the service adding that the lawyers are "client-oriented, quite patient and understand the client's internal procedures."