The Legal 500

Latvia

Editorial

Legal market overview

The Latvian economy has been one of the fastest recovering in Europe since the downturn, but economic growth slowed in 2013, and the country saw a significant increase in business restructurings, bankruptcy and litigation. The real estate market also remains sluggish, despite increasing interest from foreign investors.

That said, Latvia’s entry into the eurozone in January 2014 is beginning to fuel significant interest from abroad which may generate legal work. Furthermore, the government has ushered in changes to corporate income tax law, which will see an attractive holding company regime come into effect in 2014, allowing tax-free repatriation of dividends, interest and royalties to non-residents; and implement a participation exemption for capital gains from sale of shares.

Lawin, Raidla Lejins & Norcous and Sorainen remain market leaders, and cornered the majority of the market’s upper-end deals in 2013. Attorneys at Law Borenius, Kronbergs & Cukste and Glimstedt & Partners are also prominent across a broad spectrum of practice areas.

Following Magnusson’s takeover of Law Firm Varul in 2012, the two firms split again in 2013 and, shortly thereafter, local Riga firm Attorneys at Law BDO Zelmenis & Liberte merged into the latter.

In another development, Latvian firm Adversus joined forces with Nordeus in Estonia and The Attorneys of Pavlov & Mamontovas in Lithuania to form new firm Fort.

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