Michael Foundethakis

Baker & McKenzie A.A.R.P.I.


Michael Foundethakis acted as the global chair of Baker McKenzie’s Banking & Finance Practice Group from May 2017 to July 2020. He currently heads Banking & Finance in Paris and continues to act as global head of Project and Trade & Export Finance for the firm. Mr. Foundethakis is highly recommended as a leading banking and finance lawyer by Chambers Global, Legal 500, JUVE and IFLR. Additionally, he was the exclusive winner of the ILO Client Choice Award 2011 in Banking for Germany and again winner of the same award in 2017 in Banking for France. A team led by Michael Foundethakis was awarded Banking, Finance & Restructuring Team of the Year at The African Legal Awards 2015.

Practice Focus

Mr. Foundethakis has broad experience acting for both lenders and borrowers in a wide range of international finance transactions. He is primarily involved in cross- border project finance (including vendor financing), structured trade finance (including ECA-backed export finance), acquisition finance, FI Lending, financial restructurings and the trading of distressed loans in the secondary debt market. Much of this work entails dealing with export credit agencies, multi-lateral development banks and other governmental institutions. His main focus is on emerging markets, particularly Central and Eastern Europe, the CIS and Africa.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Acting for Société Générale, BNP Paribas and Black Sea Trade and Development Bank in relation to a SERV covered facility agreement and to related loans amounting to circa. €318,000,000 to the Istanbul Metropolitan Authority to support a waste to energy project (awarded as a "Deal of the Year” in Global Trade Review's Awards 2020 and "Environmental Enhancement ECA-Backed Deal of the Year" at the TXF awards 2020).
  • Acting for Crédit Agricole, Standard Chartered Bank, MUFG Bank Limited and UKEF (the ECA of the United Kingdom) with respect to three facilities amounting to an aggregate amount of circa $655,000,000 financing to the Ministry of Finance of Oman in order to finance the export of equipment required to construct three hospitals in Oman (awarded as a "Deal of the Year” in Global Trade Review's Awards 2020)
  • Acting for BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Industriel et Commercial and ING in relation to a circa. $470,000,000 SACE covered loan facility agreement to The Egyptian Electricity Holding Company to support the import of equipment from General Electric and Orascom to complete the conversion two power stations (Assuit and West Damietta) guaranteed by the Ministry of Finance of Egypt (awarded "Deal of the Year – EMEA Export Finance: Power” in Euromoney's Trade Finance Awards 2017).
  • Acting  for  a  syndicate  of  34  lenders  led  by  Commerzbank  AG  in  relation  to  a dual-currency,  dual-tranche  EUR406.5  million  and  USD458  million  term  loan facility  agreement  to  African  Export-Import  Bank  (For  their  role  as  legal counsel  on  this  matter,  Baker  McKenzie  were  awarded "Banking,  Finance  & Restructuring  Team  of  the  Year"  at The  African  Legal  Awards 2015).
  • Acting  as  lead  counsel  to  the  creditors'  Steering  Committee  (including commercial  lenders,  trade  finance  banks,  Export  Credit  Agencies  and bondholders)  of  BTA  Bank  in  Kazakhstan  in  relation  to  the  USD16.7  billion restructuring  of  its  financial  indebtedness  –  the  largest  ever  financial restructuring  in  the  CIS  (Euromoney  2010, "Central  and  Eastern  European  Deal of  the  Year").
  • Acting  for  One  Equity  Partners  in  relation  to  the  sale  of  the  Vacuumschmelze Group  (VAC)  for  approximately  USD1  billion  to  the  OM  Group  -  the  largest private  equity  deal  in  Germany  in  2011.
  • Acting  for  a  syndicate  of  lenders  led  by  Commerzbank  in  relation  to  a  USD1 billion  dual-tranche  term  loan  facility  agreement  to  Investec  Bank  Ltd.  in  the Republic  of  South  Africa.
  • Acting  for  Allianz  Capital  Partners  (ACP)  and  Deutsche  Seerederei  (DSR)  in connection  with  the  financing  of  the  EUR1.56  billion  leveraged  buyout  of Scandlines  AG.
  • Acting as lead counsel to the international creditors' Steering Committee of First Ukrainian International Bank in relation to the restructuring of its financial indebtedness; the first ever successful restructuring of the international debt of a Ukrainian bank.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of England & Wales - Member
  • Paris Bar Association - Member
  • International Chamber of Commerce - Member


  • Paris~France (2019)
  • Republic of Ireland (2019)
  • England & Wales~United Kingdom (1995)


  • College of Law at Guildford (L.S.F.) (1993)
  • College of Law at Guildford (C.P.E.) (1992)
  • American School of Classical Studies (Athens) (R.M.) (1991)
  • University of Pennsylvania (B.A.) (1990)
  • University of Pennsylvania (M.A.) (1990)


  • English
  • French
  • German
  • Greek

Previous Offices

  • Munich
  • London