The Legal 500

ADMIRAL HOUSE, AHTRI 6A, 10151 TALLINN, ESTONIA
Tel:
Work +372 626 4300
Fax:
Fax +372 626 4306
Email:
Web:
www.varul.com
Tallinn, Tartu

Estonia

Banking, finance and capital markets
Banking, finance and capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, such as the departures of former banking and finance practice head Andres Siigur and former managing partner Hannes Vallikivi, and the arrivals of Marko Kairjak, the new practice head, and Ants Mailend. The group excels in cross-border finance transactions and regulatory matters, such as derivatives and licensing work, and also handles investment fund and private equity work. Highlights included advising the EBRD on a loan of €35m to Viru Keemia Grupp and a related intercreditor agreement; and representing Swedbank in bankruptcy proceedings against Alberta Trade and related litigation to recover $19.5m. ING, ABN Amro, and Société Générale are also clients.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, such as the departures of Toomas Taube and Rolan Jankelevitsh and the arrivals of Ants Mailend, senior associate Sander Kärson, who is‘solution-oriented’, and the highly regarded Martin Tamme. Other notable exits were former practice head Risto Vahimets, who joined Ellex (Estonia), Piret Jesse, who left to launch Jesse & Kalaus Attorneys, and senior associate Imbi Jürgen, who is now with Glimstedt. The team is ‘significantly networked in the Estonian business community’. Highlights included advising Kevelt on concluding contracts with US and German counterparties, in order to transfer a clinical trial to new service providers.

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 2

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, such as the departures of Erki Kergandberg and Elmer Muna, and the arrivals of Paul Varul, the new head of the disputes practice, Ants Mailend, Helmut Pikmets, Marko Kairjak, Martti Peetsalu and recommended senior associate Kristina Laarmaa. The firm represented Rimi Eesti Food in Supreme Court proceedings against a former employee related to alleged corrupt practices.

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 1

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, such as the departures of ‘perfect litigator’ Erki Kergandberg and the arrival of senior associate Triinu Järviste, who is singled out for praise. Another notable departure was that of former practice head Rene Frolov, who joined FORT. The firm ‘knows how to handle criminal court cases’, and ‘always thinks several steps ahead’. Senior associate Tanel Tark is a name to note. The team continued to defend Omniva (formerly Eesti Post) against abuse of dominant position allegations.

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IP, IT and telecoms
IP, IT and telecoms - ranked: tier 2

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, such as the departure of 'strong litigator' Toomas Taube who takes with him his ‘sound knowledge of local litigation’, and the arrival of Ants Mailend. Lawyers from the team represented Estonian composer Veljo Tormis in a plagiarism dispute against BBC Worldwide, See-Saw Films and composer Mark Bradshaw, concerning the use of a song in the Top of the Lake soundtrack. Mailend also advised Cybernetica, which is working with the Republic of Estonia on developing software for public e-services.

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable comings and goings, including the arrivals of real estate practice head Martin Tamme and senior associate Kristina Laarmaa, who is ‘a real pleasure to work with’. Outgoings on the real estate side include Piret Jesse, who left to launch Jesse & Kalaus Attorneys, and Risto Vahimets, who joined Ellex (Estonia). The firm ‘ranks among the best firms’, and covers large-scale development projects, property acquisitions and litigation, among other areas. Tamme advised Timo Houses on its entry into the Swedish and Norwegian markets, while Laarmaa represented Pärnu City in public procurement proceedings against bidders regarding the construction of Pärnu Stadium. Leonid Tolstov is the main contact in the Tartu office. Other names to note are senior associates Hannes Küün and Allar Aru.

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Shipping and transport
Shipping and transport - ranked: tier 1

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, including the arrivals of Martin Tamme and Martti Peetsalu and the departures of Toomas Taube and Elmer Muna. Separately, Piret Jesse left to launch Jesse & Kalaus Attorneys. Tamme advised on the shipping elements of Tallink’s Supreme Court dispute with Aldar Eesti, which centred on excise duty on packaging and potentially unlawful state aid relating to this.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

Since publication, some major changes have occurred in the Estonian legal market, resulting in the creation of Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul. The former lawyers of the old Tark Grunte Sutkiene joined Derling – managed by Hannes Vallikivi – and Law Firm Tark, headed by Aare Tark. These developments have entailed various notable ins and outs, including the arrival of new practice head Helmut Pikmets (‘very experienced’) and the departures of former practice head Rolan Jankelevitsh and Erki Kergandberg. Separately, Aidi Kallavus joined Sulvanius & Partners. Pikmets represented Amalfi in an income tax dispute against the tax authority, and acted for the Estonian branch of Nordea Bank Finland in a dispute over the taxation of transactions between the branch and its parent company.

Leading individuals

Helmut Pikmets - Tark Grunte Sutkiene / Varul

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