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Michael Vorkas
Advocate – Legal Consultant, Managing Partner

Michael Vorkas specialises in commercial litigation and is the Managing Partner of the firm currently leading the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution services.

Michael has almost 30 years of experience as Litigator for large civil and major business cases with proven track record of applying appropriate, practical and effective methods that meet business needs while minimizing risks.

He has a particular emphasis on contract claims, negligence claims and shareholder and partnership disputes. He also has experience in obtaining and defending injunctions, including worldwide freezing orders, disclosure and receivership orders as well as ship arrest warrants. His work also involves recognizing and enforcing foreign judgments and arbitral awards in Cyprus while obtaining and defending preliminary commercial injunctions.

Michael has handled many complex disputes before the District Courts and the Supreme Court of Cyprus in its Admiralty and Appellate Jurisdiction, a great number of which were involving foreign parties and multiple jurisdictions. Other areas of experience include libel, insolvency, property and construction disputes. He successfully represents Clients at all levels in District Courts, Special Jurisdiction Courts and the Court of Appeal, frequently in cases of significant value.

He is a motivated achiever with demonstrable ability to recommend key legal structures to international entrepreneurs with cross-border business activities to one-man companies and as a result he acts for a broad range of clients, from high net worth individuals and owner managed businesses.

Previously, Michael spent 10 years at the law firm Polakis Sarris + Co LLC, where he was the senior lawyer leading the Litigation Department.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Laws from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and a Master of Laws in Shipping Law from Queen Mary University of London.

Michael qualified as an Advocate in 1992.

• Successfully represented the claimants and achieved the highest amount of damages ever awarded in a negligence case in the history of the Cyprus legal system;

• Successfully represented a Cypriot company whose deposits underwent a haircut and obtained the first ever freezing order against one of the biggest Greek investment companies which partially owned a Cyprus bank that collapsed in 2013;

• Successfully obtained the very first interim injunction on behalf of a major hotel group for the stay of the auction of its immovable property by the Bank’s appointed Receiver under the amended legislation on foreclosures;

• Acted in one of the most complex banking appeals involving credit agreements, export bills, mortgages and assignment of rights and establishing precedent;

• Acting for a UK based agency firm in proceedings involving claims for procuring breach of contract against a UK based investment company with a focus on renewable energy project finance across Europe;

• Acting for foreign entities affiliated to a leading aluminium producer based in Russia in a multimillion-euro unlawful means conspiracy and fraud claim against a Cypriot based contracting party and former employee;

• Acting for a Russian HNWI and former politician in proceedings for recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment and to regain control of a complex corporate structure acquired by him using nominee shareholders and directors in Cyprus who had threatened to dispose of his interest without his knowledge or consent;

• Acting for a Serbian individual in relation to a dispute as to beneficial ownership of a Cypriot company, which owns valuable property assets in Belgrade;

• Acting for a shareholder in a high-profile corporate litigation with his partner following the breakdown of their business relationship concerning the provision of corporate services to former CIS clients;

• Acting for a businessman in a high-profile corporate litigation against one of the biggest commercial banks in Cyprus in respect to a valuable commercial building in Nicosia in a multimillion-euro claim accusing the Bank of systematically acting at whim and taking advantage of the pressure it could exert because of its economic power position;

• Acting for a Ukrainian high net worth individual in proceedings arising from breaches of a joint venture agreement and related financing arrangements;

• Acting for the Russian beneficial owner of a Cypriot company in insolvency proceedings arising from complex financing structures to facilitate commercial activities in Russia;

• Acting on behalf of a Ukrainian high net worth individual to regain control of a complex corporate structure in Cyprus with subsidiaries in Ukraine which was disposed after instructions from his Ukrainian authorised representatives without his knowledge or consent;

• Acting for a Greek company as Claimant in arbitration proceedings in Zurich in relation to a substantial claim arising from the breach of an agreement for the supply of steel to a major Turkish based entity;

• Represented successfully a well-established sesame and wheat manufacturer in a court procedure brought from the creditor Bank against the latter. The manufacturer’s side proved that the loan agreement was illegal and in consequence void;

• Represented successfully a prominent individual against a listed company in the Cyprus Stock-Exchange in an action for annulment of purchase of shares of the said company due to contract’s illegalities;

• Represented successfully the family of a deceased wife and mother against the Republic. The Supreme Court, issuing an unprecedented judgment, determined that the Republic’s negligence and omission to maintain a safe road and infrastructure had caused the fatal traffic accident of the deceased and ordered the compensation of the family members.

• Represented successfully a Cyprus Company, asset of the estate of a deceased wealthy individual in an interim application for freezing injunctions to prevent alienation, brought by one of the heirs. The Court decided that only the Administrator of the Estate could bring such proceedings.

• Represented successfully in several actions against the Republic, officers of the National Guard who suffered from injuries due to the former’s vicarious liability regarding parachute falls during their service.

• Acting as co-counsel for BVI company of Russian interests as Claimant in LCIA arbitration proceedings against a Cypriot company involving claims for breach of contract which was governed by Cyprus law.

• Acting for a Lebanese businessman in a dispute with his Lebanese partner about Cyprus-based tobacco distributor company following the breakdown of their business relationship;

• Successfully represented a debtor before the Supreme Court related to the debtor’s objection against Bank of Cyprus’ omission to inform him of the 10% interest on the loan.

• Handing a Certiorari application before the Supreme Court on behalf of major hotel group which is the very first judgment issued by the Supreme Court of this nature under the amended legislation on foreclosures;

• Handling an appeal against a British Bank before the Supreme Court which decided on the issue of foreclosures and more specifically when the rights to such foreclosure have been assigned to a foreign entity;

• Handling before the Supreme Court of Cyprus the matter of bankruptcy deadlines and the interpretation of the bankruptcy laws and regulations;

• Acting for the Russian beneficial owner of a Russian subsidiary company of a Cyprus holding company, involved insolvency proceedings arising from complex financing structures by a leading private Russian bank to facilitate commercial activities in Russia;

• Acting a bauxite production company from Guyana in Norwich Pharmacal proceedings against a Cypriot bank in respect of a tracing action of assets misappropriated by the Claimant’s former general director;

• Acting for a leading Cypriot newspaper in defamation case and overturning the first instance decision concerning an article about the involvement and activities of a politician in a listed company on the Cyprus Stock Exchange;

• Acting for a leading Cypriot newspaper in defamation case and overturning the first instance decision concerning an article about the statements of a lawyer during proceedings for contempt of court which resulted in the conviction and imprisonment of a Cypriot lawyer;

• Acting for a leading Cypriot newspaper in defamation case and overturning the first instance decision concerning an article about the arrest of a musician for sexual assault on minors;

• Acting for a leading Cypriot newspaper in defamation case and overturning the first instance decision concerning a satire of a politician who was being presented as resembling to Benito Musolini;

• Acting for a leading Cypriot newspaper in defamation case and overturning the first instance decision concerning an article about the suspicious activities of a former Cypriot ambassador in Egypt;

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