Firm Showcase: Elias Neocleous & Co

The firm

Elias Neocleous & Co is the largest law firm in Cyprus by a considerable margin, and is generally recognised as the leading firm in south-east Europe and the eastern Mediterranean region. It has more than 140 fee-earners operating out of three offices in Cyprus, and a network of offices overseas.

The firm is internationally recognised as the leader in its field. It is the only Cypriot firm to achieve a top-tier rating in every practice area from The Legal 500, and it is also the only Cypriot law firm awarded a top-tier ranking by IFLR1000, another major independent legal rating agency. It is the only Cypriot firm selected for the Legal Business ‘Euro Elite’, a list of the top 100 European law firms.

Elias Neocleous & Co aims to build on this success and develop into a new breed of firm, with an ever-stronger focus on innovation, quality and client service.

The firm covers every area of Cypriot and EU law, and has specialist teams focusing on each category of work. The firm’s strategy of specialisation, supported by investment in technology, knowledge infrastructure and an international network, enables its staff to keep abreast of developments in their respective fields and to develop a depth of expertise that is not possible for a general practitioner, given the complexity of modern business. Elias Neocleous’s people are experts in their field, and get things right first time.

The firm is committed to recruiting and developing the best people in order to provide the highest quality service to clients, with a focus on nurturing home-grown talent. It attracts candidates with the best academic records from the highest-ranked universities, and selects trainees not only on the basis of academic achievement, but for their personal qualities of determination and potential for growth. The firm looks for people with resilience, stamina, integrity and a ‘can-do’ attitude, and offers them unlimited opportunities with the firm. Successful candidates benefit from an intense training programme, in which they develop not only their legal skills but also their interpersonal and organisational skills.

The firm’s guiding philosophy is to understand clients’ aims and objectives, and to work with each client to achieve those objectives, by providing the best, business-oriented advice and assistance, concentrating on practical solutions to the business issues clients face. Recognising that time is precious in today’s fast-paced business environment, everyone in the firm has a focus on responsiveness. The firm aims to find solutions and to help its clients achieve their objectives, not to put obstacles in the way of progress. Every lawyer in the firm is familiar with the latest developments in their field, and does not have to spend time getting up to speed at the client’s expense. This not only avoids delays; it also keeps fees competitive.

In today’s fast-paced business world, professional firms need to keep up to date with the latest developments in order to advise their clients effectively, and need agility and flexibility to respond immediately to clients’ needs. Elias Neocleous is not reliant on the talents of a few senior partners, but has a solid progression of younger partners and rising associates who are competent to handle assignments, are encouraged to do so, and are given the necessary support. This allows them to deal effectively with urgent assignments which crop up at short notice, without neglecting other clients’ business. It also enables the firm to handle assignments in a cost-efficient way, by using an appropriate mix of staff and, in particular, by not using partners to do work that less expensive staff can handle, which keeps fees very competitive.

More than half the firm’s clients in number (and a much greater proportion in value terms) are based overseas. All staff speak English and the firm has staff speaking almost every European language, as well as Arabic, Bengali, Hebrew, Hindi and Urdu.

Intellectual property work

Elias Neocleous provides a comprehensive service in intellectual property (IP) law, from basic patent applications to strategic, high-level advice on maximising the benefits of IP in the context of Cyprus’s business-friendly tax regime. The firm deals with basic patent applications on a streamlined basis, producing fast, low-cost results for clients. In addition, it undertakes international registration of trade marks and filing of international applications for patents under the Patent Co-operation Treaty.

The firm also advises international pharmaceutical and foodstuffs companies on regulatory matters. This is a highly complex area of the law at the nexus of IP and regulation. It involves understanding the client’s business objectives and strategy, and the interplay of numerous factors, whether legal, economic, or ethical. The firm carries out similar work for international foodstuffs suppliers.

Elias Neocleous also advises international businesses on franchising and licensing their IP, and protecting it in Cyprus.

A distinguishing aspect of the firm’s work is high-level advice for corporations and individuals on using Cyprus as a jurisdiction in which to hold IP rights in order to optimise their cross-border exploitation using Cyprus’s business-friendly, low-tax regime and its network of double tax agreements. Cyprus’s ‘intellectual property box’ scheme, which is fully compliant with the OECD’s modified nexus approach, grants substantial incentives and tax exemptions in relation to IP and income derived from it, resulting in an effective tax rate of 2.5% on income from IP and tax exemption of any gain.

The firm takes a holistic approach, combining robust IP protection with optimum tax and financial structuring. This work involves close co-operation between the IP and international tax teams and the firm’s innovative techniques have proved particularly valuable in managing image rights for sportsmen and entertainers.

Finally, Elias Neocleous has a long record of success in acting for international companies wishing to put a stop to infringement of their IP rights. The court process in Cyprus is very slow and final resolution of disputes through the courts and IP registrars can take several years. Much better and faster results for clients can be achieved by negotiation combined with tactical interim applications.

At a glance: Elias Neocleous & Co
Neocleous House, 195 Makarios III Avenue,
PO Box 50613, 3608 Limassol
Tel: +357 25 110 110


Number of lawyers: 143

At Limassol office:  80


Arabic, Bengali, Czech, English, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Ukranian, Urdu.

Other offices

Brussels, Budapest, Kiev, Moscow, Nicosia, Paphos, Prague