Michael Strauss General Counsel at EBRD Michael Strauss General Counsel at EBRD
Michael Strauss was appointed General Counsel at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) effective January 2020. In that role, Mr Strauss serves on the Executive Committee and various other committees of the Bank.
Mr Strauss joined EBRD from private practice as a Partner at the Washington-based law firm Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. Prior to this, he represented the United States on the Board of the Asian Development Bank and served as a Senior Advisor covering international finance at the US Treasury. He has worked as a legal counsel in both the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, primarily focused on sovereign debt, institutional governance, and development in Francophone Africa. He began his legal career in capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, and privatizations in the London and Paris offices of the law firm Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton LLP. Mr Strauss is a US national. He has a JD from Stanford Law School, a Master’s from the Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy (where he has also taught law as an adjunct professor), and a BA from Williams College. He is admitted to the Bar in New York and Washington, DC. Michel Nussbaumer Director of EBRD Legal Transition Programme Michel Nussbaumer Director of EBRD Legal Transition Programme
Before becoming Director of the Legal Transition Programme, which is the EBRD’s initiative to help its countries of operations upgrade their legal framework for business, Michel worked for almost three years as counsel in the banking operations section. There he was responsible for legal aspects of various investments of the Bank, with a particular focus on SME financing.
Michel has practiced as a commercial lawyer in Geneva, Moscow and London. While in private practice, Michel acted as Swiss correspondent for various legal publications and has also published a number of articles on Swiss and Russian legal matters. Michel, who is a Swiss national, received his Masters Degree in Law from the University of California at Berkeley and also was a visiting scholar at Moscow State University. Remy Cottage-Stone Director, Chief Counsel at EBRD Remy Cottage-Stone Director, Chief Counsel at EBRD
Remy has been working in the Banking Group of the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) of the EBRD for almost 20 years. This part of OGC focuses on the legal work required in connection with the EBRD’s lending and investment operations and provides legal support to the banking team, from the inception of each project until final repayment/exit. His work consists of supporting and supervising the team, assisting senior management on projects, policies, processes and various other administrative matters, as well as working on my own deals, which cut across sectors, geographies and instruments.
Veronica Bradautanu Principal Counsel at EBRD Veronica Bradautanu Principal Counsel at EBRD
Veronica Baradautanu, is a Principal Counsel, in the Legal Transition Team, in the legal department of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and is based in London. Veronica leads the Dispute Resolution and Enforcement area within the team, delivering technical assistance projects on court reform, trainings for judges, mediation reform and bailiff service reform. Her projects cover various jurisdictions, including Armenia, Moldova, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Serbia, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and other countries of EBRD operations. Veronica is a qualified New York Attorney and has an LLM from the University of Connecticut School of Law, USA. Before joining the EBRD she worked in the policy department of the Moldovan National Commission for Financial Markets and practiced as a lawyer within a leading Moldovan law firm. Veronica also worked as an International Expert on World Bank, EBRD and IFC technical assistance projects in the areas of insolvency, secured transactions, judiciary, enforcement regimes, company law and corporate governance of banks. Catherine Bridge Zoller Senior Counsel at EBRD Catherine Bridge Zoller Senior Counsel at EBRD
Catherine Bridge Zoller is a Senior Counsel for restructuring and insolvency in the EBRD's Legal Transition Team, which aims to promote an investor-friendly, transparent and predictable legal environment in the EBRD countries of operations. Since joining the Bank in 2012, Catherine has led a number of EBRD projects spanning from insolvency law reform to institutional and regulatory capacity building. She has also helped develop strategies for non-performing loan resolution in Central, Eastern and South-Eastern Europe (CESEE) both as part of the Vienna Initiative 2 platform and outside the CEE in countries such as Mongolia, Turkey and Ukraine.
Prior to joining the Bank, Catherine was a senior associate in the Restructuring and Insolvency department of Clifford Chance LLP and worked in the firm's London, Milan and Munich offices and was seconded to Dubai, where she contributed to reform of the United Arab Emirates Bankruptcy Law. A UK and Canadian national, Catherine is a qualified solicitor in England & Wales and a graduate of Oxford University. She is fluent in French, German and Italian. Gian Piero Cigna Acting Director, Chief Counsel at EBRD Gian Piero Cigna Acting Director, Chief Counsel at EBRD
Gian Piero, who is an Italian qualified attorney, is Acting Director, Chief Counsel, in the EBRD’s Financial Law Unit, leading activities on corporate governance, access to finance, FinTech, insolvency and restructuring.
Prior to joining the EBRD, he practiced law in Italy, the Netherlands, Albania and Romania and worked on company law, corporate governance and capital markets related issues at the European Commission and at the Italian Ministry of Economy. In Albania, he was advisor of the World Bank and Albanian Ministry of Economy for the privatization of state owned enterprises in strategic sectors. In the Czech Republic, he worked as “Pre Accession Advisor” at the Ministry of Justice and at the Securities Commission for the approximation of the Czech legislation with the Acquis Communautaire. Since 2004, he is responsible for corporate governance legal reform projects at the EBRD on company law reform, state owned enterprises restructuring, banking supervision and corporate governance code development and implementation as well as a number of research and standard-setting projects. He also leads the corporate governance due diligence work over EBRD investee companies. Since 2019, he is leading the Financial Law Unit, within the EBRD’s Office of the General Counsel. Gian Piero is Visiting Lecturer at the School of Law, Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary University of London and occasionally lecturing corporate governance in transition countries at ESCP Europe Business School and King’s College in London. Publications include several essays on corporate governance, capital markets and banking law with a focus on Eastern Europe and central Asia. He graduated in law in Italy and attended postgraduate studies in the Netherlands and US focusing on European and International business law. Paul Moffatt Senior Counsel at EBRD Paul Moffatt Senior Counsel at EBRD
Paul has more than 30 years of experience across the telecom, digital infrastructure and natural resources sectors, and has been with EBRD since 2001.
Paul is responsible for EBRD’s policy dialogue engagements and technical assistance programmes in both the telecoms/digital infrastructure and the natural resource (mining, oil & gas) sectors. In this role, Paul works externally with governments, regulatory authorities and investors, and internally with the Telecom Media and Technology and Natural Resources teams to support the Bank’s activities throughout its countries of operation. This work centres upon helping national level policymaking and regulatory authorities to design national policies and strategies; adopt legal frameworks; strengthen regulatory governance; and, building implementation capacity based on transparent, responsible and investor-friendly approaches, drawn from proven international practices. Paul also supports the Bank’s work on commercialisation and privatisation of state assets. Prior to joining the EBRD, Paul served as legal and policy advisor to Ireland’s independent communications and broadcast regulator. Paul is a barrister by profession and, prior to his time in regulation, spent a number of years practising law in commercial, technology and regulatory matters. Vesselina Haralampieva Senior Counsel at EBRD Vesselina Haralampieva Senior Counsel at EBRD
Vesselina Haralampieva is Associate Director, Senior Counsel at the EBRD’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC) in London, UK. She is a senior legal specialist in the Legal Transition Team where she is in charge of developing and implementing programmes and projects to advance policy, legal and regulatory reforms in the power and energy sector, environment and climate change areas. She has led projects in many EBRD countries of operations, including in Southeast Europe, Caucasus, Central Asia and North Africa. Vesselina is also leading a number of corporate climate governance initiatives at EBRD. These aim at enhancing client companies’ climate governance, disclosure and management of climate-related risks and opportunities. Vesselina has over 11 years of experience at the EBRD and prior experience at international and not-for-profit organisations, Harvard University affiliated research centre, and law firms (Sofia and Washington DC). Vesselina is admitted to practise as solicitor in England & Wales and as lawyer in Bulgaria, and holds law degrees from Harvard Law School (Master of Laws) and Sofia University (Master of Laws, summa cum laude). Milot Ahma Acting Counsel at EBRD Milot Ahma Acting Counsel at EBRD
Milot Ahma is an Acting Counsel in the EBRD’s Legal Transition Team (Financial Law Unit) primarily focused on the areas of Corporate Governance and Fintech. On corporate governance, Milot supports both the EBRD investee companies to enhance their corporate governance practices as well as country authorities and regulators with wider-corporate governance legal reform. On Fintech, Milot supports regulators in introducing and supervising innovative financial instruments and institutions and setting up the necessary infrastructure to facilitate the uptake of new technology in the financial and public sector.
Prior to joining the EBRD in early 2016, Milot was a Senior Associate at Pallaska&Associates, a top-tier law firm in Kosovo where he was focused in commercial, corporate and banking law. Milot graduated at the top of his class in the University of Prishtina, Faculty of Law. In 2014 he was awarded a full scholarship, which enabled him to complete his LL.M. degree at Duke University, School of Law. Before this, in 2011 he was the recipient of another scholarship, which facilitated his one semester of studying international commercial law at the University of Groningen, Faculty of Law in Netherlands.