KI Legal co-founders Andreas Koutsoudakis and Michael Iakovou in the firm's conference room at their new offices at 40 Wall Street. Photo by Eleni Sakellis
NEW YORK – KI Legal celebrated the opening of their new offices on the entire 49th floor of 40 Wall Street in Manhattan on March 30 with about 250 guests in attendance to show support for the success of the firm and especially the co-founders Andreas Koutsoudakis and Michael Iakovou.
Over the last three years, KI Legal has grown from just two to over 30 people now working for the firm, an impressive achievement considering that most of that growth happened during the pandemic. The business law firm focuses heavily on real estate and hospitality within three practice areas; general counsel, litigation, and transactions. Prior to the arrival of the guests, Fr. John Lardas, presiding priest of the Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church of Port Washington, blessed the space for the firm. The event began with a tour of the offices for the invited guests followed by the reception downstairs in The Vaults with food catered by Marathi NYC which is owned by Koutsoudakis. Music was provided by DJ Evans.
Koutsoudakis and Iakovou spoke to the media about the firm and about their respective backgrounds. Iakovou noted that the firm has been working hard and is bringing something new to the Greek-American community, and bringing it to a new level, not only in New York, but in Miami, and soon to Europe, as well.
Koutsoudakis added that the hard work came at a difficult time in the past two years, highlighting the fact that their parents, families, the entire Greek community, many of whom arrived in the U.S. 40 years ago with little or nothing, have now built great things, and while things were simpler back then, and they could get by with an accountant and a lawyer, now, there’s a need to protect what they built.
Iakovou pointed out that KI Legal was established in 2018, and as co-founding partners, he and Koutsoudakis “had a vision to bring all-encompassing representation for business owners that was typically reserved for the larger corporations and for the much bigger law firms… we thought that was lacking in the market and that was the whole genesis of what we’re trying to do here. We strive to represent business owners and principals on transactional matters and litigation matters, so they don’t really need to have a lawyer for this and a lawyer for that, it’s one team here and we know all of our clients across the board.”
Koutsoudakis said that others might discount the construction company owner in Astoria, who has been there for 40 years, but that person is their perfect client, someone they would never discount, “that’s someone that we love and welcome because that’s where our roots are from, the things that our parents came with nothing and they built over 40 years, now they have built something that’s worthy of protection, if there’s going to be anything to pass down to their kids. We look at this next generation of Greek-Americans that grew up with more than their parents did and they know that they need more and so instead of limiting their options to the thousand person firms, why can’t that be more a small knit group that has a very boutique feel and also does all the things that they need.”
When asked about their family backgrounds, Iakovou said that his family “immigrated from the Dodecanese, Kos and Kalymnos, my father Christos Iakovou is a well-known physician in the Astoria community and from a young age, that hard work ethic was instilled in me, working long hours, but for a reason, providing a service because you cared about your patients, your clients… I look to instill those values in my family and children as well.”
Koutsoudakis said that he “grew up in the restaurant business, both my parents are from Chania, Crete, my father, God rest his soul, passed away two years ago, he came here with nothing at 14 and in 10 years, at 24, he opened a diner in TriBeCa and everyone thought he was crazy, but he did it… that’s how much confidence they had in what they were doing and that’s how much support they had at home, and it was fearlessness. And now you give people everything and they still have a hard time doing what people with nothing did, and that’s a shame, because that’s what he came here for, like many other Greeks, the American dream, and that requires protection, that requires a little leveling, and that’s what KI is trying to do. Those people who have that drive… who will do everything for their family… and put themselves at the bottom of the list of the last, those are the people we want to represent. We know those are the winners, through thick or thin, those people with the right professionals around them will always win. It’s about values.”
Among those present for the celebration were New York City Hospitality Alliance Executive Director Andrew Rigie, Zoe Koutsoupakis of Signature Bank, Jack ‘Jus Jack’ Trantides – DJ/Music Producer, Chef Christos Bisiotis and Laura Neroulias Bisiotis.
NEW YORK – His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, after being asked by Parade Chairman Philip Christopher for the Archdiocese to cover the costs of the Evzones again this year, formally requested from the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the presence of the Presidential Guard for the 2023 New York City Greek Independence Parade.
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