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Know Your Lawyer: Mika Lalaouni of Drakopoulos

Know Your Lawyer: Mika Lalaouni of Drakopoulos

Issue 10.6
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An in-depth look at Mika Lalaouni of Drakopoulos covering her career path, education, and top projects as a lawyer as well as a few insights about her as a manager at work and as a person outside the office.

Career:

  • Drakopoulos, Partner, 2022-Present
  • Intrakat S.A., General Counsel, Compliance Officer, 2017-2022
  • Pireaus Bank, Head of Legal Department of Piraeus Real Estate, 2008-2017
  • Intracom Constructions S.A., Legal Counsel, 2005-2008
  • Empedos S.A., Legal Counsel, 2001-2005

Education:

  • ALBA Graduate Business School, M.Sc. Business Studies for Law Practitioners, 2001
  • University of Essex, LL.M., 1995
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; LL.B., 1994

Favorites:

  • Our of Office Acivity: Theatre, reading, traveling
  • Quote: “The best is yet to come”
  • Book: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo
  • Movie: Parasite (2019)

Top 5 Projects:

  • Advising on the concession agreement between Picar and the Army Pension Fund for the refurbishment and exploitation of the Army Pension Fund Building – the only historically preserved building utilized as a shopping and lifestyle destination;
  • Advising on the Early Contractor Involvement and Early Works contracts for the construction of Riviera Tower at Hellinikon Metropolitan Pole. The contractor is a joint venture between Bouygues Batiment International and Intrakat S.A.;
  • Advising on the merger through absorption by Intrakat S.A. of Gaia Anemos S.A., engaged in the renewable energy business, having a portfolio of 1.1 gigawatts of electricity generation licenses from RES;
  • Advising on the construction contract between Intrakat S.A. and Fraport S.A. for the concession from the Greek state to Fraport S.A. of the exclusive right of maintenance, management, and operation of 17 Greek regional airports;
  • Advising on the acquisition by Ricardo PLC – specializing in the transport and energy sectors – of 93% of shares in E3-Modelling S.A. – engaged in research in the fields of energy, economy, and environment.

What would you say was the most challenging project you ever worked on and why?

Lalaouni: Advising the shareholders of Orphee Beinoglou S.A. – Greece’s largest logistics group with subsidiaries throughout the Balkans – on the sale of their majority stake in Orphee Beinoglou S.A. to H.I.G. Capital – a leading global alternative asset investment firm.

This EUR 90 million acquisition has been reported in the Greek market as a landmark cross-border (Greece, Luxembourg, Romania, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Cyprus, Lebanon, Serbia, Kosovo) transaction in the logistics sector, demonstrating the team’s in-depth understanding and expertise in highly demanding cases and innovative transaction structures which incorporate all the legal and financial traits of the new generation of post-crisis deals. 

And what was your main takeaway from it?    

Lalaouni: Building a strong relationship of confidence with the clients and keeping a strong team spirit not only within our firm but also with the team of the counterparty, made the closing of this highly complexity project a unique experience. 

Name one mentor who played a big role in your career and how they impacted you.

Lalaouni: Everyone needs a mentor in their career if not several. And mentors can be valuable in just about any stage you’re in. Even though one would most probably think that a mentor for a legal counsel would be someone from the legal profession, I dare admit that my mentor and strong influencer has been former Intrakat S.A. CEO Petros Souretis. His high spirit and strong persistency in any aspect played a consistent role in my work life, providing me with insights beyond the boundaries of my legal profession, thus being constantly motivated to conceive a solution to any problem and be as focused on closing a deal as possible (or required).

Name one mentee, you are particularly proud of.

Lalaouni: During my 25+ years as a legal professional, I had the chance to meet and work with many wonderful people and feel extremely lucky for this. If I must choose someone, then this person is former Intrakat S.A. Senior Legal Associate Zoi Nikolaidi, with whom I enjoyed working under very demanding and stressful circumstances. Even though she was valuable at that time, I am proud to have urged her to fly away and try her hand at a position of great responsibility in a governmental post and she never proved me wrong.

What is one thing clients likely don’t know about you?

Lalaouni: One thing my clients most probably cannot imagine is my cooking skills.

What is the one piece of advice you’d give yourself fresh out of law school?

Lalaouni: You have just stepped on your career’s ladder’s first step. Keep on climbing with team spirit, persistence, and patience.

This article was originally published in Issue 10.6 of the CEE Legal Matters Magazine. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the magazine, you can subscribe here