The ‘very professional‘ team at Cobalt is known for covering the entirety of banking and finance matters, including advising banks on capital markets transactions and high-profile AML-related projects. Its longstanding clients include listed companies, equity houses, and investors in Estonian industry often based in London, the Nordics, Baltics, and Western Europe more broadly. Niche experience includes advising on the establishment of electronic money institutions and aircraft financing. Practice co-chair Marina Kotkas advises on both capital market transactions and cross-border financing, refinancing, and public offerings, while co-chair Kristel Raidla-Talur focuses on venture capital and fund formation. Of note, Monika Koolmeister, who specialises in financial services regulation concerning capital markets and fintech, was promoted to partner in September 2021, while senior associate and regulatory expert Kaarel Eller joined from Eversheds Asianajotoimisto Oy / Eversheds Attorneys Ltd (a member of Eversheds Sutherland) in May 2021. Senior associate Greete-Kristiine Kuru is also noted.
Banking, finance and capital markets in Estonia
Marina Kotkas; Kristel Raidla-Talur
Other key lawyers:
Monika Koolmeister; Kaarel Eller; Greete-Kristiine Kuru
‘By far the most knowledgeable and competent team on the market. Very specialised team members in each area of BF, quite unique for Estonia. Our go-to firm, in particular for banking and finance work.’
‘All partners are very strong in their respective areas.’
‘Very professional legal advice.’
‘Marina Kotkas is one of the best banking and finance lawyers in Estonia whose extensive experience allows her to expertly handle even the most difficult cases.’
‘Very commercial and responsive. Work dealt with at the most efficient fee level for maximum efficiency on fees. Excellent communications: all questions answered succinctly, and great anticipation of likely areas of concern for us as UK-based investors.’
European Investment Bank
European Investment Fund
Nordic Aviation Group
- Advised IFC on investing €20m in the global mobility platform Bolt to help expand access to mobility and delivery services in underserved urban areas in Africa and Eastern Europe—including in South Africa, Nigeria, and Ukraine.
- Advised the Estonian energy group Alexela on obtaining of €37m in financing from the Sihtasutus KredEx, a financing institution established by the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
- Advised Swedbank Investment Banking as lead arranger in connection with a public offering by Aktsiaselts Tallink Grupp of the new shares in Estonia and Finland (in Finland in the form of the Finnish depositary receipts, FDRs) with the purpose of raising of up to €34.6m capital.
Ellex has developed a reputation for its expertise in capital markets and regulatory advice in the financial sector, with experience ranging from IPOs to restructuring and cross-border acquisitions. In particular, it has developed a strong relationship with local, Scandinavian and key EU banks. Practice head Raino Paron is noted for his extensive work in M&A transactions and regulatory advice, while Ermo Kosk is an ‘incredible negotiator‘ and deals with complex financing matters for both traditional corporations and fintech companies. Additionally, Marko Kairjak has niche expertise advising fintech clients on alternative financing; newly appointed head of the competition practice Martin Mäesalu also focuses on banking and finance; and associate Helen Ratso specialises in asset management and investment funds.
Other key lawyers:
Ermo Kosk; Gerli Kilusk; Marko Kairjak; Martin Mäesalu; Helen Ratso
‘The very best in Estonia.’
‘Ermo Kosk is an incredible negotiator and has a practical solution for every case. When Ermo is handling your case you are sure to get an excellent result every time.’
Coop Pank AS
Nasdaq OMX Tallinn
Julianus Inkasso OÜ
Admiral Markets AS
- Advised AS LHV Group in carrying out a secondary public offering of its shares in Estonia. The offering was structured as a rights issue.
- Advised Danske Bank on its sale of it corporate and public sector credit portfolio to LHV.
- Advised Coop Pank AS on the public offering of its unsecured subordinated bonds.
With a strong presence across all Baltic states, Sorainen advises international clients on capital markets, transactions, and M&A and venture capital financing. Niche expertise includes collaboration with the dispute resolution team to represent clients in market manipulation and complex corporate disputes, and advising on both secured and unsecured bond issues. Banking and financing specialist Kätlin Krisak took over as practice leader from real estate transaction expert Paul Künnap. Associate Mirjam Metsik joined from Estate Guru in March 2021 and has extensive experience with EU crowdfunding regulations, while movie financing expert Jane Eespõld was promoted to counsel in April 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Mirjam Metsik; Jane Eesepõld; Paul Künnap
‘Always looking for innovative ways to improve the work.’
‘Kätlin Krisak has a strong ability to adjust and provide speedy input.’
Northern Horizon Capital
OP Corporate Bank
- Advised Saunum on the IPO and subsequent admission to trading on First North alternative market operated by Nasdaq Tallinn with a combined value of €1.8m.
- Advised Ignitis Group in preparation for the largest initial public offering in the Baltics, raising €450m and admission to trading on the Vilnius and London stock exchanges.
- Advised Clementer in obtaining a creditor’s licence.
TGS Baltic advises investment firms, banks, and consumer lenders on capital markets transactions and anti-money laundering-related obligations, but it is specifically known for its expertise assisting with fintech-related banking and finance matters, as well as acting for crowdfunding platforms on expansion into new markets. Practice group head Kirsti Pent leads on portfolio acquisitions and regulatory projects for traditional financial institutions and novel P2P lending companies. Senior associate Elina Varendi has niche expertise in both alternative financing and start-up financing.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team has immense in-depth financing knowledge.’
‘Great industry knowledge in banking, finance and capital markets.’
‘Elina Varendi has been essential in securing the success of all our regulatory practices. Kirsti Pent has excellent industry knowledge and is a great business-minded attorney.’
‘TGS has a very strong team on the market. I especially value the regulatory know-how of the team led by partner Kirsti Pent. There’s nobody else I would turn to in financial regulatory matters.’
‘Partner Kirsti Pent is a passionate legal adviser whose experience especially in financial regulatory field in Estonia is excellent.’
‘Kirsti Pent has excellent understanding of fintech sector, in particular that in relation to crowdfunding and platforms that offer investments in products that are dependent on loans.’
ERGO Insurance SE
Tallinna Kaubamaja group
Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, UBS Europe SE, Swedbank AB (in cooperation with Kepler Cheuvreux S.A.), BofA Securities Europe SA
- Advised Crowdestate AS on obtaining a payment institution licence to be able to expand in the European Union and prepare for fulfilling the requirements of the EU Regulation on European crowdfunding service providers for business.
- Advised joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, UBS Europe SE, Swedbank AB (in cooperation with Kepler Cheuvreux S.A.), and BofA Securities Europe SA. in connection with the initial public offering of securities by AB “Ignitis grupė”, a leading Baltic energy company on the Nasdaq Vilnius and London stock exchanges.
- Assisted Income Company with analysing its business model in the framework of financial regulatory requirements and, thereafter, to prepare all standard documents for the P2P platform.
WALLESS (former Derling Primus)
WALLESS focuses on cross-border Nordic-Estonian financing in the energy trading sector, acquisition finance, and project finance. Additional strengths lie in providing regulatory advice to financial institutions and acting as local counsel for international corporations regarding Estonian banking and finance matters. Head of the banking and finance team Andres Siigur ‘has excellent knowledge and long-term experience‘ dealing in debt and equity financing, acquisition and project finance, and capital market transactions. Hannes Vallikivi‘s expertise extends to regulatory matters, structured finance and project finance.
Andres Siigur; Hannes Vallikivi
Other key lawyers:
‘The WALLESS team has a great understanding of the client’s needs and objectives.’
‘They provided a precise overview of the requirements for obtaining an activity licence which gave a very clear framework for the cooperation right from the start. They helped us to prepare our internal rules of procedure to meet the requirements of the law remarkably quickly and skilfully.’
‘WALLESS is distinguished from other companies by their ability to adopt a start-up mentality that requires rapid adaptation to change. As there are many variables in developing new business models, what is initially planned often needs to be redesigned. They are flexible and innovative – willing to think of solutions instead of seeing obstacles and open-minded towards new business models.’
‘WALLESS has remarkable responsiveness and good online connectivity.’
‘WALLESS partner Andres Siigur has excellent knowledge and long-term experience in the field of financial law. Based on his experience, he provides valuable information on key aspects of the licensing process and the approach of the local regulator.’
‘I would like to emphasise Andres Siigur’s ability to give clear and comprehensive advice and to think about practical aspects. This includes not only approaching the business model from a legal point of view, but also understanding how things work in practice.
‘WALLESS associate Kaisa Saarmann has a good ability to keep projects running and good knowledge of the requirements of the law for internal procedures.’
‘Walless has an unique knowledge/experience base and standout work ethics makes them number one legal partners in any venture! The Banking & Finance team is outstanding and we consider it as an asset! Strong key players in finance and capital markets!’
INVL Asset Management
Trigon Asset Management
- Assisted Creditinfo Eesti in obtaining a payment service provider license from the Estonian FSA and passporting the service to certain other member states of the EU.
- Represented the institutional minority shareholders of Olympic Entertainment Group AS (OEG) in disputes relating to the squeeze-out of shares of OEG by Novalpina Capital Partners I GP S.à r.l.
- Represented Swedbank Estonia in connection with a dispute relating to its portfolio management services.
The ‘very professional and experienced team‘ at Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co utilises its global connections with other teams to advise international clients on complex cross-jurisdictional banking and finance matters in the Baltic region. Its experience ranges from fund structuring and management, licensing and bond issues to fintech regulations. The team is also highly experienced advising international tech and cryptocurrency start-ups seeking to establish a foothold in Estonia. Practice leader Risto Rüütel is noted for his expertise in regulatory and compliance matters, as well as blockchain.
Other key lawyers:
Maivi Ots; Tarmo Repp
‘Very professional and experienced team. I have myself 25-years experience in the industry, so I can confirm that they secure the quality.’
‘They are known for their professionalism and good communication.’
‘The Eversheds, Ots and Co entire team is very engaged, always with rapid response and open to advice beyond the request. They are specifically good on taking the business thinking and advising according to this, not just from a juridical point of view. We enjoy working with Maivi Ots and her team a lot.’
‘Maivi Ots is one of the most outstanding lawyers in Estonia and this is reflected to her entire team very clearly. The communication is simple, clear and to the point, helping us to get on quickly and efficiently whatever matters are on table.’
‘I have had almost a decade long relationship with Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co and I value most that they offer innovative solutions, are good to point out and describe risks and connect dots between different business interests and regulatory requirements.’
‘Maivi Ots is one of the sharpest partners I have ever met, undersigning concepts on the fly, going in depth and offering solutions from her vast experience.’
‘Their team had deep knowledge of regulations in all aspects of operations and provided valuable advice on internal procedures and setup. We were able to were able to launch activities according to plan.’
‘Our requests and questions have always been dealt promptly, on time and with great professionalism. Their legal opinions on specifics of the law are through and sufficiently cover any potential risks.’
IPF Digital AS
- Advised a lender in establishing a collateral structure for a commodity financing arrangement in relation to a cross-border deal of up to $100m.
- Advised a consumer credit service provider on several substantial cross-border regulatory matters, including acquisition of money institution license from EFSA and change of ownership structure of Lithuanian entity.
- Prepared a legal opinion concerning the nature of the client’s token and the compliance of its activities with any requirements under Estonian law, which was required by a new payment service provider that it wished to engage.
FORT specialises in both complex regulatory and financing matters for novel financial services start-ups, Estonian financial institutions, and new market entrants. It is particularly strong advising fintech clients on P2P lending and crowdfunding. Practice head Merit Lind focuses on financing and regulatory matters, as well as anti-money laundering compliance; counsel Kristin Kamilla Kirss is noted for her experience in blockchain and compliance-related matters.
Other key lawyers:
Minni-Triin Park; Kristin Kamilla Kirss
‘Fort Legal Tallinn office proved to be a responsive, professional, and experienced team.’
‘Ease of communication, professional qualities, ethical standards, and willingness to tackle the most challenging legal issues makes them the go-to firm when dealing with business in Estonia.’
‘It’s a dynamic team that provides quick and high quality services. They are easy to deal with and their cost/service balance is in place.‘
‘The Fort team is unique, small enough to allow them to be very flexible and can provide personal approach to the customers. At the same time, they are very professional and strong in their field. What makes a good firm are the team members.’
‘A goal-oriented team. Whatever is needed, they get it done effectively.’
‘Merit Lind – Her energy level is always high, she takes control over the case and carries it where we had agreed.‘
Catapult Labs OÜ
ERGO Insurance Group
LHV Pank AS
Nordea Bank Abp Estonian branch
AS Mintos Marketplace
Verifone Baltic SIA Estonian branch
- Advised on the acquisition of Danske Bank’s loan portfolios of both private and business customers.
- Provided daily corporate advice to Nordea Bank AB Estonian branch in all legal aspects related to its daily operations.
- Advised Crowdestate OÜ, the online crowdfunding platform provider, on day-to-day operations as well as representation in disputes.
KPMG Law in Estonia
The multi-disciplinary team at KPMG Law in Estonia is experienced in collaborating with tax and finance experts and departments based across the Baltic region to advise on complex cross-border M&A transactions and crypto assets. It also provides day-to-day advice concerning financial accounting, due diligence, auditing, project management, and financial modelling. Its clients include Swedish, Finnish, and Lithuanian corporates, as well as data centres, manufacturers, logistics companies and investment companies. Practice leader Hetti Lump focuses on banking and finance, while Karin Kaup is noted for her work in capital raising. Associate Sandra Metsamärt joined from Sorainen in early 2021 and is an expert in cross-border M&A.
Other key lawyers:
Karin Kaup; Sandra Metsamärt
‘What makes the team unique is that they have recruited people with previous regulatory and supervisory experience, which gives them unique angle to approach and if needed communicate with the regulator. KPMG Law has experience working on number of innovative fintech cases leveraging their regulatory experience to suggest working solutions.’
‘Hetti Lump has been providing exceptional service in managing and driving compliance related projects and taking proactive approach to push projects over the finish line.’
‘The KPMG Banking & Finance law team has flexibility, extensive and long experience and the quality you can rely on in all situations.‘
‘Hetti Lump definitely is one of the best and most experienced experts of financial law in Estonian legal market.’
Hetti Lump is my first choice in all financial law matters, no matter whether this regards establishments of investment funds, all financial institutions, cryptocurrency, tokenisation or other “modern” fields, Financial Inspectorate licensing, AML matters or any other banking/finance law matters. Without too much administrative burden and questions she gets the picture of the situation and directs you to the right way.’
BuyPlan Estonia OÜ
Limestone Platform AS
Fairown Finance OÜ
Sims Asset Management OÜ
- Advised BuyPlan Estonia OÜ on setting up and authorisation of a consumer credit provider in Estonia, including preparing the authorisation application and all supporting materials and representing the client in the authorisation proceedings with the EFSRA.
- Advised Fairown Finance OÜ on the applicability and requirements set forth in the Second Payment Directive, the Estonia Payment Institutions and E-Money Institutions Act and the Estonian Creditors and Credit Intermediaries Act.
- Advised Sims Asset Management OÜ in relation to the establishment and registration of a small-scale fund manager (assets under management up to €100m) with the EFSRA, obtaining a financial institution authorization from the EFIU.
Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ is noted for advising foreign investors moving into the Baltic market on multidisciplinary, multi-jurisdictional banking and finance matters, including regulatory advice, licensing, and general advisory work. Clients often operate in various fintech sectors, including in crypto and blockchain. Head of banking and finance group Viljar Kähari covers areas including regulatory compliance, transactions, risk management, and restructuring and debt collection, while Priit Lätt focuses on the fintech sector. Additionally, new head of financial transactions and capital markets Kirill Ležeiko re-joined the team from supply chain finance group SupplierPlus in August 2021.
Viljar Kähari; Priit Lätt
Other key lawyers:
Karl Paadam; Kirill Ležeiko
‘We appreciate the PWC Legal team for its creativeness and for thinking outside the box. They are determined to find the best solutions for their clients and always keep their promises.’
‘We are grateful for the advice provided, as it has been proven in practice to contribute monetary value to our company. Having extraordinary good overview of the market and its participants, it has been a profitable co-operation.’
‘Due to our business case being very unique, we need the legal firm not only to understand the legal practice, local securities Act, etc., but also able to map our business processes and product processes into the regulation landscape. The PwC legal team led under Viljar Kähari provides such services meeting our requirements.‘
‘PwC Legal is experienced in the financial sector regulatory and compliance and has a services integration with financial, tax, business and other advisory services.‘
PlusPlus Capital AS
Krimelte France Sarl
inHouse Pay AS
Crowd Credit Inc
Dynamics Holdings Ltd
LHV Bank AS
Amir Exchange AS
- Conducted a comprehensive market study for Enterprise Estonia to find out and propose legislative and practical solutions on how non-residents, including foreign investors, can open a bank account in Estonia.
- Acted as a collateral agent and holds PlusPlus Capital AS’ claims against debtors in the amount of more than €45m as collateral.
- Conducted a comprehensive legal analysis for F-TKO of the factoring agreement and related insurance agreement from one of the major banks in Estonia.
RASK acts for Estonian and international M&A houses, venture capital investors, banks, and private investors on regulation and permitting matters, including the establishment of funds, fund management vehicles, and acquiring creditor activity licenses. Timo Kullerkupp and Karl Erik Esko are the practice co-heads. They are experienced in negotiating syndicated loans and implementing securitisation structures, as well as M&A transactions and developing financing structures, respectively.
Timo Kullerkupp; Karl Erik Esko
Procedo Capital OÜ
TF Bank AB (Estonian Branch)
Zenith Family Office OÜ
Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol SA
La Muu AS
Punch Drinks OÜ
Maardu Tervisemaja OÜ
Digital Sputnik Lighting OÜ
- Advised the Estonian Branch of TF Bank AB (trading on Stockholm Stock Exchange) on all legal matters, including but not limited to regulatory matters, consumer protection, advertising, competition and debt collection.
- Represented Procedo Capital OÜ, an SPV used by international investors through Zenith Family Office, in purchasing 100% of the shares in Pharma Plaza OÜ, an SPV for the development of a major private medical centre in the heart of Tallinn, valued at approximately €24m.
- Assisted with putting together a structure of a holding and operating entity for Maardu Tervisemaja OÜ, as well as helping negotiate and draft shareholder level regulations, investment structure, and financing arrangements for the acquisition of the land plot and construction works.
NJORD Law Firm has established itself as a strong resource for Scandinavian and Japanese corporates seeking investment and extension of their operations into Estonia. The team also frequently engages in regulatory and compliance work, alternative investment fund management, and non-traditional banking and financing for crypto investment funds. Senior associate Virgi Nael leads on complex transactions on the lender side and risk management for non-traditional clients and Veikko Toomere handles banking and finance, capital markets, and fintech. The team was also bolstered by the arrival of senior associate Jaanus Sildam from Luminor Bank AS in April 2021 to advise on compliance, fintech, and cryptocurrency; new head of tax Medeia Japaridze joined from Cobalt in February 2021 and also lends her expertise in capital markets and drafting and negotiating option agreements.
Virgi Nael; Veikko Toomere
Other key lawyers:
Jaanus Sildam; Medeia Japaridze
‘Njord is a client-oriented partner. Every move they make, clients needs always seem to come first. They are flexible with billing and all about collaboration.’
‘Virgi Nael was our legal lead when we looked to list our company on Nasdaq alternative market. There wasn’t a problem she could not solve, there was not a time she was not available. A remarkable person and a remarkable lawyer.’
MBK Co., Ltd (Japan)
Manticore Labs OÜ (previously CoinField Ventures OÜ)
Estonian Japan Trading Company AS (Estonia)
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Nexo Capital Inc
Mellius Ventures Ltd.
BCB Digital Limited
Alesco Ventures OÜ
Invescore Japan Co., Ltd
Jubiter Technology OÜ
StakeWise Labs OÜ
Yolo Investments OÜ
Eskaro Group AB (Sweden)
MAP S.Platis Group (Cyprus)
360 Degrees Markets Ltd
- Assisted the Tokyo stock exchange-listed Japanese corporation MBK Co., Ltd and its Estonian subsidiary Estonian Japan Trading Company AS in a structural establishment and IPO to Nasdaq First North.
- Assisted IMEPILT AS with corporate restructuring and all the preparations prior to the IPO at Nasdaq Baltic’s First North Growth Market, together with LHV Bank.
- Assisted Eskaro Group AB in the transaction where Flügger group A/S, a company listed at Copenhagen stock exchange is investing, acquired 70% of the shares in Eskaro Group AB.
TARK is particularly strong in acting as local regulatory counsel for international banks and start-up companies on cross-border acquisition and project financing in Estonia and the pan-Baltic region more generally. Clients often operate in the fintech, cryptocurrency, and non-banking loan sectors. Allar Aru advises banks on banking and finance law, such as credit and collateral arrangements and Tanel Küün is noted for his experience in financial institution and fund liquidation, as well as cross-border financing regulations. Tauno Tark is also noted.
Allar Aru; Tanel Küün; Tanel Tark
‘I think they walk that extra mile. I have received some updates from them what is happening in local market even during the times they are not having any assignments from us.’
‘Available to help on any legal topics, always willing to figure out ways to to solve any questions.’
‘Hannes Küün works fast and super efficiently; he is easy to talk to and get along with; he has a good sense understanding the most important things to focus on and great problem solving skills.’
FDRA Technologies OÜ
OÜ Delta Credit
Capital Well OÜ
- Advised FDRA Technologies OÜ in drafting of all the legal documentation and agreements needed for its services.
- Advised Single.Earth on obtaining cryptocurrency license from Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), including developing and drafting the necessary internal documents for the license and on restructuring of the company in order to comply with requirements set by the FIU.
- Acted for Bank Pekao in various legal proceedings regarding the Estonian jurisdiction in regard of different loan and securities issues in connection with the refinancing matters performed by Bank Pekao.
Triniti advises on financing agreements, permitting, ICO and cryptocurrency-related legal issues, fund formation, debt collection, and bond issues. Clients include banks, insurance and investment funds and e-money institutions; the group also has sector-specific expertise in transport, infrastructure, and aviation. Head of the transactions team Ergo Blumfeldt focuses on M&A and private equity. Head of the banking and finance team Katri Tomson specialises in dispute resolution in banking and finance, as well as AML.
Other key lawyers:
‘We have very good co-operation with Triniti already for years. Employees are pro-active with information sharing in ongoing cases, always ready to provide their professional advice.’
City of Tallinn and Utilias
Nordic Aviation Group AS
EstateGuru OÜ and EstateGuru tagatisagent OÜ
- Advised City of Tallinn and Utilitas on hte €100m acquisition of controlling stake in AS Tallinna Vesi from United Utilities group and in subsequent mandatory takeover offer.
- Advised KredEx on state aid rules related to the implementation of the Temporary Framework related to COVID-19.
- Advised on the re-capitalisation (Financial Restructuring) of the Estonian national airline Nordic Aviation Group AS (Nordica).