The Legal 500

Estonia

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Editorial

Legal market overview 

In 2015, Estonian Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas was elected to lead a three-party coalition, comprised of his own Reform Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Pro Patria and Res Publica Union. The win emphasised the former Soviet state’s pro-NATO policies, eschewing an alliance with the pro-Russian Centre Party and making security against Russia a top priority, in light of the annexation of Crimea.

The proximity between the countries and political strain have contributed to increased Russian investment, with Estonia’s commercial property market in particular offering a viable alternative to domestic opportunities. Sanctions against Russia have, however, severely affected the agricultural sector, with milk and meat prices being particularly hard hit.

Estonia remains a technology entrepreneurial hub, and its start-up industry shows no signs of depression. The country was the first to offer e-residency, from 2015, and it is hoped that this will discourage domestic business talent from fleeing to larger jurisdictions, spur foreign citizens to open online businesses using an Estonian domain, and link the country’s tax office to others around the world.

The legal market has seen significant changes, most notably the pan-Baltic merger of COBALT and Borenius, which took effect in October 2015. Elsewhere, Jesse & Kalaus Attorneys was established by Piret Jesse and Tanel Kalaus, formerly of Tark Grunte Sutkiene and Raidla Lejins & Norcous; and LINKLaw launched in 2015 (with Toomas Tamme at the helm) following a demerger from Glikman Alvin & Partners.

Former Sorainen partner Kaido Loor opened Vilgerts Loor in 2015, following Advokaadibüroo Antsmäe Loor’s split into this new firm and Antsmäe & Partners. Siim Roode left Njord Law Firm to establish MOB-CS Advokaadibüroo. Other changes include Supremia Attorneys at Law entering the market and Rask opening a Tartu office. Red Attorneys at Law rebranded as Primus, Attorneys at Law.Kaarma & Kaldvee Law Firm is a newly founded entrant.

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