Legal Market Overview
The Estonian legal market has seen a continued rise after the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, prompting growth in teams operating in numerous practice areas to address increased demand. While 2020 saw a relatively dramatic increase in contentious corporate disputes, restructuring, and refinancing, especially for the historically stable Estonian market, these cases have begun to slowly taper off to pre-Covid levels.
Due to the strategic geographic location of Estonia, many legal teams provide advice concerning cross-border matters across the Baltics, Nordics, and Russia, often including bilingual or trilingual or dual-qualified partners or associates to provide additional legal advice in different jurisdictions. The growth in Estonia’s technology and M&A transactions sectors merits special attention, with increased inbound and outbound investments and developing work in cryptocurrency and blockchain, as well as continued European investment into Estonian wind and other green energy farms and projects.
Additionally, Estonian transportation infrastructure has continued to develop across all areas, including major rail, road, and port construction projects. These include early steps in the planning of the Tallinn-Helsinki undersea tunnel, which upon expected completion in the 2030s will be the longest undersea tunnel. It will be connected to the ongoing greenfield railway infrastructure project Rail Baltic, which will link Estonia to Finland and other Baltic states.
When describing the structure of the Estonian legal market, it can be roughly divided into four distinct types: regional powerhouses such as Ellex, Cobalt and Sorainen, who serve as full-service practices for both regional and international clients; relatively recently-formed Estonian firms and spinoffs exhibiting notable Baltic legal talent and up-and-coming associates, including FORT, TGS Baltic, WALLESS and LEADELL Pilv; smaller, but still highly-regarded boutique practices such as HansaLaw OÜ or Hedman Partners that specialise in two or three key areas of law; and international firms with an established reputation providing global coverage to international clients, including Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co, KPMG Law in Estonia and Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ.