Specialized legal services for the energy sector

Kelemenis & Co. is a Greek law firm providing quality legal services in key corporate and commercial areas. The firm advises a varied clientele that includes corporations, governments, large institutions and high-net-worth individuals, while it often acts on behalf of international clients in cross border transactions and regulatory matters.

During the last few years, Kelemenis & Co. has distinguished itself for providing services in complex cross border transactions and large trade disputes for corporate clients and funding institutions. The company’s specialization extends to multiple business sectors, among which energy, infrastructure, tourism, transport, health and health tech products, real estate, retail and technology.

According to Legal 500 2019: “Kelemenis & Co.” has acquired an excellent reputation when it comes to advising large companies in renewables, power and hydrocarbons. John Kelemenis has a serious and respected presence in the energy market”.

Internal and external collaborations

Even though its primary space of operations is Greece, Kelemenis & Co. also operates in the wider SE Europe and Middle East region, where it provides legal support both to international bodies as part of their cross border investments and to governments as part of including their law systems in the European acquis.

More specifically, when it comes to the energy market, the company has already gained significant fame both in Greece and in the wider region of SE Europe, where it actively participates in market liberalization and regulation. Its experience concerns both trade transactions and matters of regulatory law. IPTO, LAGIE, General Electric, DEPA, Chevron, Endesa and Statkraft are some of the most significant clients that the company provides services to on a steady basis. When it comes to regulation in the market, Kelemenis & Co. has a great history of collaborations with regulatory bodies and organizations, such as the Secretariat of the Energy Community, the regulatory authorities of Greece (RAE), North Macedonia (ERC) and Egypt (EgyptERA), as well as the governments of Romania, Moldova, North Macedonia and Albania. In 2011, Kelemenis & Co. was selected by the Greek government for composing the bill (law 4001/2011) for integrating the 3rd Energy Package in Greece.

Challenges in the energy market

In a comprehensive interview for “EnergyWorld”, Kelemenis & Co.’s CEO, John Kelemenis, analyzes all crucial issues of the Greek energy market.

“In light of our country’s environmental obligations, there is the challenge of a deeper renewables penetration and much more, the combination of this public goal with the transition of the operation and remuneration of renewables under a market regime. Furthermore, another great challenge is the liberalization of the gas market and the planned operation of a transactions hub (together with upgraded infrastructure, such as new pipelines, Revythousa’s upgrade, the construction of a FSRU in Alexandroupoli, LNG and CNG commercial utilization etc). It is clear that former inefficiencies of the power market must not be manifested here, for example the lack of boldness in creating clear, strict and fully fair terms for all participants. Potentially self-canceling, occasional and politically expedient measures will lead to a lack of long term planning and regulatory instability”, he said about legal and regulatory challenges in the Greek energy market.

Describing the peculiarities of the energy sector where his law firm is specialized, he added that “in order for someone to be useful from a legal perspective, he must have legal adequacy in specific fields (for example, competition or administrative law or law preparatory work), as well as understand the technical aspect of energy. That is not easy. It takes time and commitment that is not shared by all. In other words, the lawyer must exit what the English call his comfort zone”.

He gives special attention to the role of renewables in the decarbonization process, saying that “in this framework it is clear that the transitional fuel is natural gas, which however must be understood that it is an imported commodity. Renewable technologies are going to play a great part”. As for long renewable licensing processes, he adds: “The basic issue is the instability of the renewables regulatory framework and even more the ineffectiveness of bodies created to fast track strategic projects”.

According to Mr. Kelemenis, the energy exchange in Greece will contribute to managing the participants’ risk and realizing a pricing policy with regard to offers in favor of the consumers.

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