Magnusson covers complex cross-border employment assignments for international clients, often with cross-jurisdictional elements impacting Baltic countries, as well as Finland. It saw an increased number of mandates due to Covid, often related to day-to-day employment advice, immigration-related employment matters, and employment-related litigation. Jaanus Mägi focuses on corporate and commercial law, as well as employment. Denis Piskunov specialises in employee-related dispute resolution, while senior associate Sille Eerik handles data protection and employment matters.
Employment in Estonia
Jaanus Mägi; Denis Piskunov
Other key lawyers:
Sille Eerik; Nele Laas; Ketlin Peterson
‘The team is extremely knowledgeable and has great experience in all sorts of employment matters. Not only do they know what they’re doing, they’re always available for my additional questions or follow ups. The whole process from my initial contact to billing has been smooth and easy to deal with. Absolute top quality standards in experience, skills, and communication.’
‘Denis Piskunov – he has been available and always happy to explain things further for me, a non-legal person. His work is exceptional and we’ve had a mutual understanding since the very beginning.’
‘It’s clear that they work well as a team and strive to deliver the highest quality for their clients.’
Inter Cars Estonia
SIA DEPO DIY
Illingworth Research Group
Pro Farm Technologies Oy
Velma Mööbel OÜ
- Advised KIKA on various employment matters.
- Regularly advising the Estonian subsidiary of Inter Cars S.A. on its employment issues in Estonia.
- Advising SIA DEPO DIY on employment matters in Estonia.
Sorainen supports clients with day-to-day cross-border employment advice, compliance, and employment-related dispute resolution. The team is also experienced in employee data protection, trade unions and collective agreements, business secret protections, employee mobility and immigration, and non-compete clauses. Practice co-leaders Karin Madisson and counsel Pirkko-Liis Harkmaa represent clients in employment-related disputes and negotiations, as well as advising on reorganisations. Piret Jesse focuses on corporate governance and employment law pertaining to management and executive contracts.
Other key lawyers:
Piret Jesse; Pirkko-Liis Harkmaa
‘The Sorainen Employment Law team consists of professional, calm, clever and client supporting legal experts. They understand what the client is talking about and try to offer real-life scenarios to solve problems.’
‘They have clockwork cooperation with a high professional approach, listening, reflecting back how they understand customers problems, suggesting potential solutions, pointing out what could be the best result, and also cost effective, always substituted by colleagues if a certain lawyer is not available. Plus they are friendly, easy to talk to and discuss issues.’
‘The company offers quality legal assistance in many areas.‘
‘The team is very responsive and provides pragmatic advice.’
‘Karin Maddison is very responsive and commercial.’
‘Pirkko-Liis Harkmaa is a very good partner.’
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Vista Equity Partners
- Advised Vista Equity Partners on its majority investment in Pipedrive, supporting the client in all transactional employment law matters, as well as employee stock options.
- Represented seven natural persons previously employed by the GuardTime group Estonian entity in an employment dispute with their former employer.
- Advised Splunk on all employment matters, including employee data privacy and employee IP matters in Splunk’s acquisition of Plumbr.
With offices in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Cobalt is known for providing full-service employment legal advice for major international brands in the Baltic region, with particular focus on counselling, employment litigation, and regulatory compliance. Head of the corporate and employment team Karina Paatsi focuses on transaction advisory work and collaborates with the litigation team regarding employment law disputes. Senior associate Heili Haabu is an expert in immigration matters for foreign employees, temporary agency staff, employment contracts and trade union relations.
Other key lawyers:
‘Cobalt has been a great partner for us in Employment-related questions. They are always fast to react and respond, help us to find the best solutions for the company and are explaining even the most complicated legal nuances in a simple manner. This is why we have chosen them as our partners.’
‘I think the biggest difference is how approachable they are. Doesn’t matter with whom I speak from the team, the service I get is always on a very good level. You can really see that everyone in the team are customer-oriented, which I really like.’
‘Karina Paatsi is always available to us, has a quick turn around and offers pragmatic advice.’
‘Cobalt offers a service that has people at its center. People at Cobalt are easily approachable and they communicate in a way that is easily understandable. In addition they are fast in delivering offers and answers, which is crucial for my daily work.’
‘The people I work with at Cobalt are simply put very nice persons who are easily approachable, who understand what I/we need fast, who give fast and clear answers/guidance.’
Nordic Aviation Group
- Advised AbbVie in the context of AbbVie’s transformative acquisition of Allergan.
- Representing a former employee of Peaceful Tech OÜ whose employment contract was terminated based on an alleged written complaint asserting that the client had sexually harassed one of his female colleagues at a non-work-related event.
Ellex acts for Estonian corporations and international clients in the retail, pharmaceutical, energy, and construction sectors in contentious and non-contentious employee-related matters. Its expertise extends to administrative regulations, the relocation of employees and day-to-day EU and Estonian employment advisory matters. The team also covers restructuring and terminations, as well as complex internal investigations. Practice leader Martin Käerdi leads on internal audits for high-profile corporations, as well as representing clients before international trade unions. Senior associate Hanna Pahk is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
Proact IT Group AB
Eesti Energia AS
Hennes & Mauritz AB
Baltic Group International OÜ
United Finance AS
- Advised the Estonian entity of Dun & Bradstreet in connection with the acquisition of Bisnode, among others regarding severance and termination considerations, summary of shareholders, directors and officers, implementation of HR system, transfer of employee personal data, annual reports, co-determination and information obligations, serving of employment termination notice, collective redundancy process, enforcement of code of conduct policy, parental leave entitlements, remote work overview, retention bonus agreements, redundancy requirements, board changes, settlement agreements, etc.
- Advised the Estonian branch of Pfizer on everyday employment matters, among others regarding temporary agency work agreement, global annual bonus policies, reorganisation and transfer of employees, change of branch director and bank access, remote work, employer’s and employees’ obligations in connection with colleague vaccination programmes, parental leave, etc.
- Advised Kuressaare Gümnaasium on certain labour law issues concerning the establishment of a new school by the state and recruitment of teachers from the local school to the new state school, including whether, by whom and on what basis the employment relationship could be terminated and whether redundancy could also be considered.
Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co is noted for advising on occupational safety, trade union relations and collective agreements, and investigations into workplace sexual harassment and bullying. Additionally, it has niche expertise representing whistleblowers in high-profile employment-related litigation. Practice leader Tambet Toomela is an expert in labour law disputes, collective bargaining matters, and has represented clients in criminal proceedings related to the misuse of official positions.
‘People are really good in what they are doing. Fast and good replies to my requests and questions.’
‘The first observation is that unlike other companies with a similar profile, Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co offers solutions. Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co, trains and organizes seminars to increase the competence of their partners.’
‘Tambet Toomela was my single point of contact, but his support team was also effective (quick administrative work). Tambet Toomela is thorough, straight to the point. Understood expectations, asked relevant questions. Immediately provided possible solutions and highlighted potential risks.’
‘Amazing individual approach to problems. People-first.’
‘Tambet Toomela was exceptional in our convoluted and long-lasting case, always ready to help ,extremely forthcoming and able to adapt. Passionate where needed and cautious where necessary. He truly became the protector of our team and a person we all admire.’
Former dev team of Limestone Games
Coca Cola HBC
- Represented former employees of the Estonian Health Board whose employment agreements were terminated by the Estonian Health Board shortly after the former employees criticised the state’s coronavirus vaccination plan and the state’s readiness for vaccination in general.
- Provided TOFTAN with assistance in regard to conducting a complicated internal investigation, drafting applicable documentation and leading communication with the authorities.
- Represented 15 former employees (developers) of Limestone Games OÜ, a gaming development company, in a dispute with their former employers.
TGS Baltic focuses on advising multinational corporates on complex restructuring, workforce reduction and redundancies, employee transfers, and employment-related litigation and disputes in the Baltics. It is also experienced in director’s personal liability as well as advising on hiring and terminations. Clients frequently operate in sectors including real estate, construction, hospitality, healthcare and consumer goods. Practice head and senior associate Anu Kirss advises multinationals active in the retail, fashion, and hospitality industries. Associate partner Triin Kaurov is noted for her work in immigration and health and safety disputes. Senior associate and migration law expert Siret Saks is also noted.
Anu Kirss; Triin Kaurov
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is solution and customer-oriented, describing different alternative solutions, prompt with its answers. Team covers quite a wide range of areas of expertise.’
‘Good balance, strong at analysing, and plusses and minuses are clearly brought out.’
‘Good knowledge about the required laws. Easy communication and quick solutions.’
‘TGS Baltic team is exceptional – well-experienced professionals working with passion and always taking care of our needs. They are effective, business-minded and focused on rational solutions.’
‘With regard to innovation, TGS Baltic team has great availability and readiness to assist, whether it is because of excellent organisation of work or specialisation or ICT.’
‘Triin Kaurov is our reliable contact for employment matters. She has remarkable experience. She can give quick and at the same time rational and well-considered solutions. Her strength is the ability to take an objective view on strengths and weaknesses of various possible courses of action, and she can see the wide picture for the organization. She is advising us also in public procurement matters. we can trust her and her team.’
‘I highly appreciate the TGS Baltic team, who are trustworthy professionals with good attention to detail, have great communication skills and always give quick replies.’
‘Triin Kaurov is a highly motivated, confident and experienced lawyer with a positive “we got this” attitude. Very easy to talk to and understands her client’s needs.’
Schlössle Hotel Group
Rimi Eesti Food
Merck Sharp & Dohme
Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikum
- Advised Imatra Elekter on agreeing a post-closing transition and protection period for its management team and (key) employees in connection with the share purchase agreement regarding 100% of the shares of Imatra Elekter to Eesti Energia AS’s fully owned subsidiary Elektrilevi OÜ.
- Advised Philip Morris on transition to remote work.
- Represented Tartu Ülikool, a university, in a high-profile labour dispute arising from the dismissal of the director of the university library due to allegations of sexual harassment and misbehaviour.
WALLESS (former Derling Primus)
WALLESS is highlighted for its experience in labour disputes before the Labour Dispute Commission and courts, as well as assisting with employment contracts, employee privacy rights and data protection issues, and cross-border immigration advice. It is particularly strong advising clients in the information technology and pharmaceutical sectors. Practice head Toomas Taube covers areas such as disciplinary procedures, occupational health compliance, employee transfers, and employee-related litigation and dispute resolution.
‘The employment team of Walless is very professional and easy to work with. They are responsive and can meet also the short deadlines. We have always received clear answers and useful advice in our matters.’
‘Toomas Taube has more than 20 years of practice, and you can feel that he has thorough theoretical and practical knowledge in that area. He is always very hands-on, and provides quick and clear advice. If I have some quick question regarding employment law, I can just call Toomas and always get the quick answer.’
Kunda Nordic Tsement
Estonian subsidiary of Michelin Group
LMT, Latvian Mobile Telephone
Estonian subsidiary of Essilor Group
Estonian subsidiary of Ėolane Group
Estonian subsidiary of Schenker Group
Ampler Bikes OÜ
Fort Aero AS
- Advised Kunda Nordic Tsement on matters related to employment contracts and executive agreements, as well as in the matter of working out and implementing the health & safety bonus scheme (in order to reduce lost time injuries).
- Advised SadkoNewLife OÜ on measures related to COVID-19 crisis and representing the client in two labour disputes.
- Advising IDnow on employee recruitment process in Estonia, including matters related to cross-border employment relationships.
KPMG Law in Estonia
Working within a strong network covering the Nordics and Baltics, KPMG Law in Estonia‘s employment team advises international clients on cross-border employment-related matters, including legal due diligence, tax advisory work, and restructurings. Karin Kaup is an expert in employment and immigration matters and Kaia Kuusler focuses on employment disputes, HR policies, and employee privacy and data protection.
Karin Kaup; Kaia Kuusler
‘The employment team at KPMG Law in Estonia has hands on approach in solving clients’ issues, and always bears in mind the clients perspective when assessing the legal position. The team is very experienced.’
‘Kaia Kuusler has always been very responsive, experienced with attention to detail, so important for matters related to employment. One can trust to get the most appropriate legal advice from her in a timely manner.’
Polybius Tech OÜ
Esvika Elekter AS
Alandia Engineering OÜ
Mööbliekspert Paigaldus OÜ
Nordisk Film A/S
Humanlink Estonia OÜ
Leonhard Weiss OÜ
Stora Enso Eesti AS
VL Holding OÜ
Intercheese Estonia OÜ
- Advised Havator Kraana OÜ on the redundancy process and termination of business activities in Estonia.
- Advised Stora Enso Eesti AS on daily employment matters, including the role of the high-executive employees.
- Advised VL Holding OÜ on the group’s sale process and related employment law questions.
NJORD Law Firm advises on general employment law, drafting complex contracts, reorganisations, and is experienced representing clients in employment-related dispute resolution, including work in accident and occupational disease-related disputes. The team also covers employee data protection and privacy matters and is particularly strong in cross-border employment law. Practice head Katrin Sarap is known for her work handling employment disputes. She also covers areas such as telecommuting and the hiring of foreign employees. Employment litigator Triinu Hiob focuses on terminations and employment relations, as well as work accident cases.
Other key lawyers:
‘NJORD Law Firm is extremely professional, has a deep knowledge and variety of examples etc. Easy to communicate with and understands well our needs.’
‘Katrin Sarap is extremely professional, good at communication, and easy to get in contact.’
‘Njord is is a client-oriented practice. Every move they make, clients’ needs always seem to come first. They are flexible with billing and all about collaboration. For a start-up company I can appreciate it dearly.’
‘For years I have worked with Katrin Sarap on anything employment related. She is so reliable and available for anything we have that she almost feels like our company’s family member. Also she has the softest way to take care of the hardest problems. A remarkable lawyer and human being.’
Estonian Business School SA
EBS Campus OÜ
Kim Johansen Transport OÜ
Royal Embassy of Sweden in Estonia
Inchcape Motors Estonia OÜ
Nevotex Narva OÜ
Danish Estonian Chamber of Commerce
- Advised IMEPILT AS on various employment related matters including drafting employment contracts for internationally well-known actors that are voicing animated characters.
- Advised Inchcape Motors Estonia OÜ in relation to employment law, including disputes.
- Advised Imepilt AS on various employment related matters including drafting employment contracts for actors voicing animated characters.