6 Patriarchou Ioakeim Str.
10674, Athens, Greece
Ilias Anagnostopoulos is a go-to lawyer in Greece when it comes to business crime defence, asset recovery and investigations issues.
Ilias has represented corporates and individuals across multiple jurisdictions over the past 30 years. He focuses on complex matters involving financial crimes, corrupt and anticompetitive practices, tax and money laundering offences, extradition, and mutual assistance requests. He is chair of the Hellenic Criminal Bar Association (2013–) and former chair of the CCBE criminal law committee (2006–2013). He is a professor of criminal law and procedure at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and a member of the Ministry of Justice experts committee and the High-Legal Council with the Bank of Greece.
What qualities do clients appreciate most in a white-collar defence lawyer?
Clients appreciate practical and cost-effective solutions to the multiple challenges they face in a risk-inflated environment. Competent advice and carefully designed strategies help them to tackle business risks and strengthen corporate compliance mechanisms.
You are well versed in a plethora of technical sectors. How did you develop such broad expertise across different industries?
I started focusing on business crime at a time when the practice area was not mainstream for criminal practitioners. I was attracted by the complex nature and cross-border aspects of these cases, which call for a multifaceted and sophisticated defence. I always thought that acting across multiple industries enables practitioners to broaden their perspective and deepen their knowledge and makes them more creative and efficient.
As an author and professor of criminal law, is there a specific mindset or approach you try to instil in your audience?
The core values of our liberal societies are at the heart of my teachings and writings. Criminal law must remain an ultima ratio as a means to protect individual or public goods; defending due process is of the utmost importance to strike the right balance between state power and individual freedom.
As chair of the Hellenic Criminal Bar Association, what are your goals for the Association over the next few years, and what do you enjoy most about this role?
The Hellenic Criminal Bar Association is a leading nationwide association of criminal practitioners that was founded in 1962 by prominent defence lawyers. I am honoured to chair the Association since 2013 and contribute my part to its strong presence in all areas relevant to criminal defence. Our members are at the forefront of the fight to achieve fairness in all criminal proceedings, to protect vulnerable individuals and promote justice in and out of courts.
How often do ethical concerns arise during criminal proceedings and what is the proper way for practitioners to respond?
Ethical concerns are not unusual during criminal proceedings. The best way to address them is to comply at all times with the ethics of our profession. Professional integrity is of paramount importance in criminal defence and serves the ideals of liberty and justice.
What excites you most about the future of business crime defence practice?
The most exciting feature of business crime defence practice is its continuous evolution and change. Stronger regulation of business areas and increasing criminalisation of aggressive practices creates new challenges and calls for swift and expert action in different interconnected areas. Practitioners who combine high skills with versatility and imaginative solutions will be in high demand.
Are there inherent advantages to hiring a boutique firm for white-collar defence?
Hiring a boutique white-collar defence firm offers clear advantages. Instead of seeking the relevant department and hoping to find the competent lawyers in a “one-shop stop” law firm, clients of a boutique law firm receive direct and sophisticated advice from a coherent team of experienced practitioners who are able to offer “hand-made” solutions and timely responses to their clients’ needs. And when it comes to litigation, a boutique firm’s highly skilled litigators command respect in the courtroom and ensure vigorous representation with no concessions to budget constraints or marketing priorities.
Your firm has come a long way since its founding in 1986. What were the milestones you reached along the way, and what would you like the firm to achieve in the near future?
Our firm focused early on white-collar crime and business crime defence. Over the years we have built a multilingual pool of versatile lawyers with a strong academic background who are able to offer high-value services to corporates and individuals through multiple jurisdictions. We support teamwork, critical thinking and creative advocacy.