Victoria-Zoi Papagiannis is a Partner in the dispute resolution department of the firm. She has considerable experience in commercial and corporate litigation and arbitration, primarily with an international aspect, and specialises in the issuance of injunctive relief in support of both domestic and foreign, court and arbitral proceedings, including freezing, disclosure, search and anti-suit injunctions relating to multi-jurisdictional high-value disputes.
She regularly advises on issues pertaining to the recognition and enforcement of foreign court judgments and arbitral awards, as well as, on cases relating to professional and product liability (especially medical negligence and faulty medical equipment).
She was part of the legal team which launched actions against the European Union institutions before the General Court of the European Union, in Luxembourg, in relation to the 2013 “bail-in” measures imposed on the depositors, shareholders and bondholders of two Cypriot banks and has also represented clients before the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg.
Victoria has represented a large number of high-value individuals and legal persons in the context of complex and multi-jurisdictional corporate and commercial type disputes involving fraud, misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, and negligence.
She has successfully acted for the Russian company Uralkali (the world’s leading potash fertilizer producer and exporter) in a 1 billion EUR claim, as well as EN+ Group Ltd (one of the world’s largest aluminium and power producer) in a 150 million EUR claim, inter alia securing world-wide freezing injunctions in their favour. In recent months, she managed to cancel the issued interim orders awarded in the context of high-value proceedings brought by the company Lafarge Cement OAO against our firm’ s clients, following a hearing on the merits of the relevant interlocutory application, whereas in September 2017 she was successful in issuing freezing, as well as, ‘Norwich Pharmacal’ disclosure orders in the context of one of the largest class actions ever brought in the Republic of Cyprus on behalf of 498 individuals – beneficiaries of insurance/investment programs – for the losses which they suffered as a result of fraud.
Victoria has advised and successfully represented International Air Transport Association (IATA) in the context of three separate legal proceedings brought by or against it in the Republic of Cyprus, whereas in December 2017, she successfully defended the Provident Fund of British Airways Cyprus Employees in the context of four applications brought before the Industrial Relations Court of Nicosia against it by ex-contributors of the Fund, who claimed compensation for the losses suffered as a result of the “bail-in” measures imposed in March 2013 on the Republic of Cyprus.
She has represented Universal Music France and has acted for Bausch & Lomb and Medtronic Public Company Limited in the context of two important product liability cases.
She has been also involved in a series of high-calibre arbitrations brought before the LCIA, the ICC and the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
Victoria is also a CEDR-accredited mediator since 2011, as well as, the co-author of the Cyprus Chapter on the EU Mediation Law Handbook published by Wolters Kluwer in 2017.
Victoria regularly advises on matters pertaining to a wide range of corporate and commercial law matters, including the drafting, conclusion, interpretation, breach and termination of complex and multi-party agreements, including shareholders’, agency, distribution and real estate agreements. She also advises on the voluntary and involuntary winding-up of companies, fraudulent preference, complex shareholders’ disputes, derivative actions etc.
Victoria was involved in the two legal proceedings brought by the firm before the General Court of the European Union against the decisions and acts of the European Central Bank, the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the Eurogroup, and the European Union as a whole, in connection with the ‘bail-in’ measures which were imposed on the Republic of Cyprus in March 2013. In the context of these cases, the firm represents 100 Applicants seeking compensation for the loss they suffered as a result of the ‘haircut’ imposed on their deposits, as well as, the depreciation (in both value and number) or elimination of their shares and/or bonds in the two main Cypriot Banks, which have given rise to grievous violations, inter alia, of their rights to property and of the principles of non-discrimination, protection of legitimate expectations and the principle of proportionality, as prescribed by EU law.
She has also advised on preliminary ruling references before the CJEU, including in relation to challenges pertaining to the interpretation or validity of EU and national legislative provisions (transposing EU measures) in the Republic of Cyprus.
Victoria regularly advises on the legal interpretation of financing and security documents, letters of guarantee and bankers’ drafts. She has also advised on writing-down and conversion powers pursuant to the applicable national legislation implementing the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive and the EC Regulation No. 806/2014.
She has acted for Barclays Bank PLC and Société Générale Bank – Cyprus Ltd on a number of court cases before the District Courts of Cyprus, whereas in 2016, she secured a final judgment in favour of International Air Transport Association (IATA) in the context of a complex case brought against the National Bank of Greece (Cyprus) Ltd in connection with the legal interpretation and honouring of a letter of guarantee.
In 2017, Victoria acted as mediator in mediation proceedings commenced between the Bank of Cyprus Public Company Limited and a client (depositor) of the Bank, under the auspices of the Financial Ombudsman of the Republic of Cyprus.
Victoria has represented the families of two missing persons following Cyprus’s invasion by Turkey in 1974, in the context of recourses filed against Turkey for violations of human rights before the European Court of Human Rights, in Strasbourg.
Victoria has been involved in the issuance of injunctive relief for the prevention of the dissipation of marital assets in the context of multi-jurisdictional high-value divorces.
She was also one of the authors of the national report commissioned by the European Commission for the purposes of mapping the provisions of national legislation on matrimonial matters, parental responsibility and the implementation and application of the Brussels IIa Regulation (No. 2201/2013).
Victoria regularly advises on issues pertaining to the recognition and enforcement in the Republic of Cyprus of foreign commercial and civil court judgments issued within the EU or in third countries, pursuant to international or bilateral treaties or on the basis of common law or mutuality and reciprocity principles. She has also acted for a number of foreign entities seeking to enforce foreign arbitral awards in Cyprus.