Mr Athanassios Lambrou

Athanassios Lambrou

Lawyer biography

Athanassios (“Thanassis”) N. Lambrou is a founding partner of Zemberis, Markezinis, Lambrou & Associates Law Firm and its Managing Partner.

He was born in Athens in 1962. He studied law in Athens [LLM (Hons), University of Athens, Faculty of Law (1980-1984)] and Paris [D.E.A. on International Business Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution and International Private Law, Université de Paris I - Panthéon – Sorbonne I (1987)].

He has been practicing law in Athens with emphasis in Insurance Law, Concessions of Large Infrastructure Projects and all types of Public Private Partnerships, as well as commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution (arbitration). He has successfully supported numerous cases on State liability. He is heading the insurance law team of the Firm and is assisted by one partner and three resident associates.

He is acting as a legal advisor to the major local and international insurance companies, as well as international insurance brokers and has repeatedly provided legal advice to international re-insurers. He has drafted policy wordings for many underwriters active in the Greek market and is very often requested to provide expert legal opinions in major losses/claims. He has actively participated in a large number of arbitrations and mediations, as well as in national courts’ litigations that gave landmark decisions.

The Firm’s insurance industry client list, for which he is responsible, includes almost every large international player active in the Greek and Balkan markets. Projects/cases he has handled for these clients with the Firm’s insurance team include:
  • Insurance claims handling and reporting, including TPL (incl. public liability, product liability, D&O, professional liability for various professions, employer’s liability, pollution, environmental liability), marine, property and BI, B.B.B., C.A.R./E.A.R. (incl. WELCAR, WINDCAR, and Wet-works construction), credit insurance lines, travel and roadside assistance, aviation etc. He and the Firm’s insurance team possess a vast experience in medical malpractice litigation.
  • Litigation and arbitration between insurers and insureds, insurers and third parties, co-insurers, insurers and re-insurers. Very large number of technical expertise arbitral procedures on the quantum of insurance claims.
  • Entity establishment, liquidation and M&A’s in the insurance and insurance intermediation sectors, advisory services on legal and fiscal representation of foreign insurance companies and insurance intermediaries in Greece.
  • Drafting of policy wordings including General Conditions (marine and non marine), Special Conditions for D&O liability, public liability, clinical trials, product liability, medical malpractice, designer’s liability, lawyer’s liability, C.A.R., WELCAR, property, PDBI, special clauses, product guarantee, roadside assistance, custom policies for specific projects/companies, international programs, special insurance products (f.i. PPP all risk policies etc.), and others
  • Drafting of expert opinions in practically every aspect of the insurance industry activity, including most of the major losses which have occurred in Greece in the last twenty years, reinsurance contracts (life and non-life), establishment and/or operation of foreign underwriters and insurance intermediaries in Greece, State supervision of the insurance sector, etc.

Furthermore, he has handled alone or as a head or member of the handling team the legal aspects of the following projects:

  • Risk Management for the Athens Olympic Games 2004
  • Athens New International Airport / Insurance (Operation period)
  • Athens Metro / Insurance (Design – Construction period) - ongoing
  • All of Greece’s New Motorways / Insurance & Claims (Design – Construction and Operation period) - ongoing

Besides his native Greek language, he speaks fluently English and French and can communicate in Spanish and German.


Healthcare & Life Sciences

Off-label use of medicine and medical malpractice: court finds ophthalmologist liable for vision loss
Greece | 21 June 2017

The First-Instance Court of Athens recently found an ophthalmologist liable for injury suffered by his patient when the latter lost vision from one eye following the intraocular administration of the medicine Avastin, which had no regulatory approval for intraocular use. This case is special because the off-label use of Avastin is based on financial considerations, a parameter which is not perceived as acceptable by medical or regulatory guidelines in most countries.


Multiple damages caused by one contractor to another's works are not 'sudden and unforeseen' or a 'series of events'
Greece | 30 March 2021

The overlapping of construction activities is a project management technique which helps a project to be completed as quickly as possible. However, it inherently leads to increased risk and can jeopardise the insurance cover in place. In a recent case, the Greek courts found that the multiple damages which one constructor had caused to another's works were not sudden and unforeseen and did not qualify as one event.

Implementing non-damage business interruption cover in the time of COVID-19
Greece | 14 July 2020

Few industries have been as fiercely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as travel and hospitality. Even when hotels are allowed to operate, mass cancellations have, until now, shattered hoteliers' hopes for recovery. Greece boasts a large hospitality infrastructure. Although only 28% of hotels seem to have adequate property insurance, an increasing number of resorts and properties owned or operated by risk-aware companies are purchasing select cover designed specifically for the sector.

Court of appeal finds EAR policy's defect exclusion clause unambiguous and straightforward
Greece | 25 February 2020

Contract works policies contain exclusion clauses relating to the cost of rectifying defects in design, materials and workmanship, which offer rich grounds for disputes between underwriters and insureds. In a recent case, the Athenian civil courts had to decide whether the plaintiff was entitled to recover from its insurer part of the costs that it had incurred as a result of defective material being used in an underground communication construction project.

Denial of coverage could constitute hidden discrimination based on sexual orientation
Greece | 07 August 2018

By a majority two-to-one vote, the Athens Court of Appeal has found that an insurer's refusal to provide health insurance to a homosexual and histrionic man did not amount to illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation or infringe the plaintiff's personality rights. The dissenting opinion, which provided a detailed analysis of the non-discrimination principle, makes a statement about the universal principal of equality between individuals which, despite its age, appears to be more acute than ever.

Court dismisses claim against PI underwriter on basis of pre-contractual communications
Greece | 21 February 2017

The Athens First Instance Court recently heard a case involving a law firm which sought to be indemnified from its professional indemnity underwriter. The policy covered a lawyer's professional liability while providing services within Greece and under Greek law. The insured claimed that he was entitled to indemnity not because the policy provided such cover, but rather because, among other things, he had requested such cover and the insurer had failed to include it in the policy.

Takeaways from the 18th Hydra Insurance and Reinsurance Meeting
Greece | 01 November 2016

The Hellenic Association of Insurance Companies recently hosted the 18th Hydra Insurance and Reinsurance Meeting. At the meeting, insurers and reinsurers from 24 countries around the world discussed specific concerns and issues that directly affect the industry, including how technological advancements have affected motor and health insurance and may do so in the future and how the vast majority of the population is unprotected against financial losses from catastrophic risks.

Supreme Court affirms validity of 'claims-made' and 'loss discovered' clauses in professional risk cover
Greece | 05 July 2016

The Supreme Court for civil matters, sitting in plenary session, has issued a judgment on the validity of 'claims-made' policy clauses. Ending a long period of judicial uncertainty, the Supreme Court ruled that, insofar as insurance contracts covering professional risks are concerned, the claims-made principle is fully valid and enforceable. The insurance market has thus breathed a sigh of relief.