Offshore firms and Greek law

Offshore companies that are effectively managed from their Greek offices should be regarded as Greek firms subject to the laws of Greece, and not of the country in which they are registered, a senior judge has argued in a proposal made public yesterday. Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis was speaking during a discussion on a Monrovia-registered petrol company that had filed for bankruptcy. The company, which was formed according to Liberian legislation, received permission in 1997 to install itself in Greece, where its management and seat of operations now are. But when it came to filing for bankruptcy, while a court of first instance ruled that the firm could declare bankruptcy an appeals court overturned that decision, reasoning that the firm was not set up legally under Greek law. The case reached the Supreme Court, where Kroustallakis argued that companies are subject to the law of the country where their seat of operations is. He said only shipping firms are excluded from this rule.

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