The Legal 500

Law Firm VARUL

Work +372 626 4300
Fax +372 626 4306
Vilnius, Tartu, Tallinn, Riga


Top-tier recommendations



Within Banking and finance, Varul Law Firm is a second tier firm,

Varul Law Firm boosted its finance and regulatory practice when it hired Anti Kodar from SEB in January 2013. The firm acts for banks and fund managers as well as, increasingly, for renewable energy companies. It advised creditors on reorganising the assets of hedge fund Gild Arbitrage after an aborted bond issuance and handled the subsequent bankruptcy proceedings for the fund manager. ‘Dedicated lawyer’ Martin Tamme is renowned for handling ‘complex negotiations with multiple parties’, and senior associate Marko Kairjak has ‘in-depth knowledge of financial affairs’. Ants Mailend heads the team.

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Within Corporate and M&A, Varul Law Firm is a second tier firm,

Varul Law Firm advises start-ups and established pan-Baltic clients on corporate matters. Ants Mailend assisted Lithuanian online retailer Pigu with its acquisition of a majority stake in DLB Trading, and advised Baltic Mobility’s shareholders on the sale of Europcar. Leonid Tolstov heads the team, which includes recommended senior associates Anu Sander and Sander Kärson.

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Within Dispute resolution, Varul Law Firm is a second tier firm,

Varul Law Firm has public procurement and tax expertise, a respectable arbitration practice and acts for private and public sector clients. Team head Paul Varul and Martin Tamme obtained a favourable Supreme Court ruling for the city of Pärnu against a real estate developer regarding a sale and purchase agreement. Helmut Pikmets is renowned for his excellent work in tax disputes, as is Marko Kairjak for his criminal law expertise. Other clients include the Ministry of Defence and Estonian Maritime Museum.

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Within EU and competition, Varul Law Firm is a second tier firm,

Varul Law Firm’s Marko Kairjak recently represented Bauhof Group in criminal proceedings before the ECA. Elsewhere, the team is representing Tallink Grupp before the EC regarding alleged unlawful state aid in the packaging sector. Ants Mailend is acting team head while Vaido Põldoja is seconded to the European Commission. Associate Triinu Kinkar is ‘promising and proactive’.

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Within IP, IT and telecoms, Varul Law Firm is a second tier firm,

Trade mark lawyer Ants Mailend heads Varul Law Firm’s growing practice, which handles copyright and other IP disputes, as well as advising on gambling regulations and licensing issues. The firm is active in the booming IT sector and acted for numerous start-ups such as CX Cloud Services and Project Systems OÜ. Senior associates Kristina Laarmaa and Dmitri Teplõhh are recommended.

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Within Real estate and construction, Varul Law Firm is a second tier firm,

Varul Law Firm advises real estate developers and construction companies including Famar-Desi Grupp on transactional and contentious matters, and increasingly acts for public sector clients such as the Ministry of Defence. ‘Experienced and competent’ team head Martin Tamme successfully assisted Port of Tallinn during an audit questioning the lawfulness of its Muuga container terminal project.

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Within Shipping and transport, Varul Law Firm is a first tier firm,

Varul Law Firm represented Tarbus in a Supreme Court case regarding public procurement proceedings and acted for Edelaraudtee in a high-profile railway infrastructure usage fee dispute with Estonian Railways. It also advised oil company Orlen Estonia on sales and transportation standard contracts. Martin Tamme heads the team.

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Within Tax, Varul Law Firm is a first tier firm,

Varul Law Firm mainly represents clients in high-profile disputes and legislative processes but also provides non-contentious advice. Team head Helmut Pikmets represented bankrupt K&H and its board of directors in a criminal case concerning VAT liabilities. Nordea Bank and Tallink Group are also recent clients. Pikmets and Sergei Jegorov ‘are thorough and professional’. Associate Vitali Šipilov joined in January 2013.

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Legal Developments in Estonia

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Estonia allows claiming punitive damages

    On 31st December 2010 amendments to the Law Obligations Act (hereinafter LOA) came into force in Estonia, introducing the regulation allowing claiming punitive and preventive damages. Though the new regulation allows exemplary damages to be awarded only in the event of non-proprietary damages, it nevertheless constitutes a general paradigm shift, allowing for a much broader protection of personal rights.
  • Review of reorganisation proceedings in Estonia

    Until the adoption of Reorganisation Act Estonian legislation did not provide efficient regulation for companies which were in temporary financial difficulties, but could be “rescued” via certain turn-around proceedings to overcome the economically difficult period.  
  • New Estonian Advertising Act

    New Advertising Act has entered into force from 1st of November 2008. The main reason for drafting the new Act was the current situation in the advertising market – the legal regulation of the Advertising Act passed in 1997 needed to be modernized. Requirements for advertising goods and services, which are likely to cause controversy in the society, have been specified. Additional restrictions have been provided for advertising of alcohol products and financial services, while exemptions have been added to the advertising regulation of tobacco products and gambling. The efficiency of surveillance has been improved and additional measures have been taken. Consistency with the EU law is important in order to avoid discrimination of foreign manufacturers and service providers. Drafting a new act was expedient, whereas extensive amendments were to be made to the current legal regulation of advertising.
  • Division of the company as the joint property between the spouses

    The Civil Chamber of the Estonian Supreme Court has thoroughly handled the topics of division of joint property, repeated some earlier principles and given the clear instruction in the proceeding of division of the joint property of spouses in the question of assessment of the value of the company.
  • Estonian Supreme Court on the tax avoidance rules in share transfers

    The Estonian Supreme Court handled the taxation of the earnings of the physical persons through the application of the rule of economic interpretation (Taxation Act § 84) in its decision of 6 November 2008. In this case the Supreme Court gave the instructions which circumstances are important for establishing the existence of the objective of tax evasion. This is a significant decision in the cases of transfer of securities, where the tax authority has found that the substance and form of the transaction are not in compliance and in no doubt will have its impact to assessing the tax consequences of corporate restructurings.