Prof. Dellis envisaged the shaping of a young team of professionals, experts in EU and domestic public law and regulation. Our expertise therefore covers all aspects of domestic and European public law; this includes a broad area of law and a wide spectrum of special services relating to any form of interaction between legal and economic entities and any form of public institution in Greece and the EU.
State intervention in all forms – including licensing, sanctions, taxation- is not limited only to Government; it also includes a wide series of independent authorities and regional government institutions. Modern public law covers a wide area of sections and, accordingly, public agencies such as the Hellenic Food Authority (EFET), the General Chemical State Laboratory (GXK), the Regulatory Authority for Ports (RAPORTS), the Independent Authority for Public Procurement Review (AEPP) and the Railways Regulator (RAS). Regional government institutions include Municipalities, Regions and Regional Governments, all vested with considerable powers for a range of matters affecting everyday business.
Our team is constantly engaged with all sort of issues arising from such agencies and institutions, both at a counselling and litigation context. Even though some of the cases intersect with other, special areas of law -such as energy or public tender- our firm holds also a robust perception and experience in general public law helping us to have a rather integrated approach.
Our services include the delivery of legal opinions on constitutional issues regarding the protection of civil and political rights and ECHR rights, as well as counselling and litigation arising from any form of government intervention in economic affairs of private individuals and entities, such as licensing and administrative sanctions. At the same time, we undertake EU law counselling and CJEU litigation, strongly helped by Prof. Dellis’s former experience as a legal assistant at the CJEU and the academic background of all members of our team. A useful insight is also achieved by our offering services to EU institutions (e.g. the European Commission, EIB or other agencies).
While holding a solid background in administrative law, our team has constantly had a focus in all forms of dispute resolution in its fields of expertise. Our strong experience in dispute resolution is a necessary tool in order to achieve a more thorough insight in all our cases; assessing all arguments and prospects of litigation is essential to form an integrated approach and reach a proper course of action.
Our team covers a wide range of representation skills, before administrative authorities or bodies, as well as before all administrative courts and the Greek Council of State. At the same time, when issues of EU law arise, we represent our clients also before EU courts and institutions, as well as the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Prof. Dellis has also on various occasions participated in arbitration proceedings, either as counsel or independent expert, submitting academic opinions on every aspect of administrative law.
Environmental law and practice has a strong constitutional and case law background even prior to EU accession. However, under the influence of European environmental law principles and legislation, this area of legal practice has flourished over the past decades. A wide variety of tools has been introduced, beyond classical command and control instruments; air, water, noise, waste are no longer regulated only with direct legislation. Procedures were established, including Environmental Impact Assessment -both at a project, and strategic level- Water Management Plans, Waste Reporting and tracking mechanisms, Greenhouse emission schemes etc.
This field of law is facing the same problems with other areas of public law in Greece: legislation is constantly introduced and amended but not codified and its application hinges on case law by the Greek Council of State.
Our Law Firm has a vast experience on the field, being also the key academic focus for decades for Professor Dellis. Counselling and litigation before all national and European authorities and Courts has been our key experience over the past years, for a wide variety of projects.
Land remains a heavily regulated sector in Greece: various sets of provisions bear significant costs in any land development project. Biodiversity, cultural heritage, forestry, seashore are merely some examples of Government intervention that should not be neglected. Such regulation may at times become even more complicated due to the intercourse between EU and domestic law. At the same time, this is a field of extensive intervention also by domestic courts and especially the Greek Council of State. We have developed a unique experience and in-depth knowledge in the field, both at a counselling and litigation context. Our aim is to safeguard that land regulations are applied safely and in a transparent manner so as to ensure investments and economic development in general.
In Greece, the annual output of public tender relates approximately to 1/3 of the annual GDP. EU and domestic law govern all stages of public contracts, including their conclusion and enforcement. This legal scheme is constantly evolving and includes new forms of public contracts, such as concessions, PPPs and privatizations. It also includes a wide spectrum of processes such as competitive dialogue, e-auctions etc. Throughout his career, Prof. Dellis has had a strong focus on this particular field and is today one of the most specialized academics. Our firm has therefore established a strong expertise in all sorts of public procurement, both in counselling and litigation, for State authorities as well as for individuals. We are also the national expert on the field reporting to the World Bank. Our services are integrated, with a strong emphasis on strategy making, also including assistance throughout the tender process, raising objections before the competent authorities and litigation before courts, also at the stage of enforcement.
Competition law has been at the core of European and, subsequently, Greek law, having a remarkable impact on all business and markets, particularly over the last decade. Our team had the opportunity to work with a vast number of major cases before the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) and Greek administrative courts, including cartels, distribution agreements and abuse of dominance. Some of the pivotal HCC decisions and Administrative Court rulings were issued upon our active involvement.
Consulting business in Greece in a precautionary way is also a key aspect of our legal services. We have developed a particular emphasis in establishing and operating antitrust-compliance mechanisms for major clients who wish to avoid or remedy competition law breaches.
Our expertise also covers the area of mergers and state aid control, including handling before the EU institutions and Greek and European courts and authorities. Counselling in this regard also includes academic opinions in key matters in the context of major transactions.
Over the past two decades, developments in the Greek energy sector have been “revolutionary” in all aspects; a constant introduction of new regulation in the fields of gas, oil and electricity –including Renewables- has promulgated into a new integrated scheme for energy investments in general. Our firm has offered its services in various important projects also with a strong European law perspective. In this context we have had considerable experience in standing before the Greek Regulatory Authority of Energy (RAE), the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC) in energy cases, Greek and European courts and authorities. Our firm was strongly active in breakthrough cases before the HCC and RAE that led to the opening of both the gas wholesale and electricity markets. Our key role in recent developments includes the drafting of the domestic legislation on energy and consulting institutionally all independent electricity producers.
Telecoms constitute the first -and to a certain extent successful- example of market liberalization in Greece. Starting from the incumbent and moving on to the current market field, we had the opportunity to consult business and represent clients in a litigation context. At a first phase (2001-2008), prof. Dellis helped the incumbent to adapt in the liberalized scheme. Since 2011, the firm offers its services to other market players. In this context, we offer day-to-day services and participate in major developments in the field (most recently, bundled TV and telecom services). Our experience includes representation before the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT), also in matters related to antitrust. Through this experience from the first days of sector liberalization to date, we have contributed in shaping the established case law in telecoms law, both before the Athens Administrative Court of Appeals and the Council of State.
In general, public law in Greece has seen an unprecedented boom since EU integration; a wide spectrum of markets and industries fall within the scope of Government regulation in various aspects. Pharmaceuticals, tobacco, bank and insurance services, gambling, phytosanitary, food, transport, port concessions, railways regulation are some of the recent examples where the State exercises a certain degree of control, also by applying EU legislation. This gives rise to numerous administrative law related issues, either in the form of counselling or in a litigation context. Our specialization also covers a wide variety of such cases, often intersecting with other special areas of law, such as antitrust, energy, telecoms, environmental protection or tax. As an example, in the field of gambling services, we participated at the trial before the Court of Justice of the EU regarding the compatibility of the domestic model for betting and we actually provide counseling to the exclusive rights holder.
Over the past twenty years, a distinct body of law has shaped every day public law practice in the EU and Greece in particular: data protection law has flourished and following the adoption and entry into force of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, 2016/679) a new “boom” is currently on the way; a new toolkit is introduced and once applied raises considerable and to a great extent complicated obligations and rights to all business and various stakeholders. Even under the GDPR regime, data protection law is applied by an independent regulator -the Data Protection Authority (DPA)- and any dispute is referred to administrative courts. It therefore remains to date a classical example of a special body of administrative law.
Our Law Firm has a long tradition in the field, practicing data protection law long before the introduction of GDPR. Our services include counselling on a precautionary basis, primarily, on the basis of the GDPR toolkit, but also extend to litigation before the DPA and national courts. Particular emphasis and expertise lies on GDPR compliance programs, including Internal Codes, Rules of Procedure and Impact Assessments.
The Greek Constitution enables the State to introduce a strong interference with media insofar as licensing and proper operation are concerned. This has given rise to various attempts by the Administration to regulate licensing of media business and put limits in their operation particularly in the form of sanctioning. A most notable recent example was centered on the Government’s initiative to introduce a new tender procedure for a limited number of TV licenses. Dellis and Partners Law firm under the guidance of Professor Dellis has developed a strong presence in all related matters, offering counselling services and standing before Courts and the national regulator, namely the National Council for Radio and Television (NCRTV). During the last 15 years, Prof. Dellis and his team dealt with a great many of cases in that field, including the most notorious ones such as: a) State restrictions on shareholding for media and participants in public tenders and b) auctions for granting TV licenses.
The financial sector in Greece endured a long period of crisis that led to its full reshape over the past few years. New institutions were introduced, also at a supervisory level, with a profound European background; new regulations and sector changes lead unavoidably to a wide variety of issues and disputes as to the exact extent and true meaning of State regulations on banking and finance, as well as on the insurance sector. An increasing need for public law expertise also in the financial sector has therefore emerged.
Our Law Firm had the opportunity to offer services also prior to the years of crisis and witness the changes that took place. We are often asked to advise on the regulatory framework for the banking, finance and insurance sector and on how this framework interacts with business and major transactions in the field. Besides, the financial sector also faces challenges from other areas of law, such as data protection, consumer protection and antitrust. Our counselling and litigation experience covers a wide spectrum of aspects, including sanctioning, licensing and conduct of everyday business.
Historically, human rights protection has been at the heart of the Rule of Law. Human rights protection is a dynamically evolving field of law, with its roots on several levels, domestic, European and international. Today, civil rights protection remains crucial also for business, often affected by measures undertaken by any public authority.
Our team holds a strong academic background in human rights law, thus being in a position to offer a wide spectrum of services for any legal aspect, related directly or indirectly to human rights. Services include opinions or general counselling. Furthermore, our judicial practice remains rather strong before national courts and, in particular, the Greek Council of State. Our litigation experience also includes disputes before the European Court of Human Rights.
The Greek debt crisis led to a remodeling of the domestic tax system, transforming tax legislation, procedures before fiscal authorities and relevant litigation. Although the problem still remains within the endless number of laws and regulations on tax matters that seem to be constantly amended, our team has maintained a strong litigation experience, having handled a variety of tax cases before the Independent Tax Revenue Authority, administrative courts and the Council of State acting as Greek Supreme Administrative Court. Our experience also covers tax litigation regarding municipal taxation, often a source of maladministration in Greece.
Given that education in Greece at all its levels (schools, universities, technical studies) is primarily provided by the State or state legal entities, a distinct body of regulations is in place, though with many deficiencies; a plethora of provisions seem to create interpretational dilemmas and a wide range of individuals are affected. Our firm has over the years developed a steady task force in disputes regarding education, focused but not limited to public educational institutions. At the same time, research is also to a great degree promoted or funded by State Authorities, including the prestigious Academy of Athens. Over the years, we have offered our services also to various research projects and institutions, encountered with administrative law problems.