Employment in Estonia


Magnusson's offices across Scandinavia, Russia and the Baltics makes it a strong choice for international companies, handling overseas hires and the movement of workers. The team has particular expertise in the manufacturing, automotive and heavy industry sectors. Corporate law specialist Jaanus Mägi leads the practice jointly with expert litigator Denis Piskunov. Senior associate Sille Eerik specialises in privacy and data protection, with experience in multi-jurisdictional hiring and in termination disputes. The practice also has a growing number of mandates stemming from Covid-related cuts and layoffs.

Practice head(s):

Jaanus Mägi; Denis Piskunov

Other key lawyers:

Sille Eerik

Key clients



Inter Cars Estonia



FlixBus Estonia

Kiilto Estonia

Estonian Furniture Industry Association



Toikako Kaubandus

Work highlights

  • Advised the Estonian subsidiary of Inter Cars S.A., an importer and distributor of spare parts, on its employment matters in Estonia.
  • Advised KIKA EE, a pet supply shop, on all employment matters.
  • Represented Antsla-Inno, a group of furniture companies, in employment litigation regarding the extraordinary cancellation of an employee contract due to the Covid-19 crisis.


The team at Sorainen handles a wide range of employment law matters, including collective bargaining, employee terminations, restructuring, management incentives, immigration and privacy. It is particularly recommended for international corporates looking to set up business in Estonia. Sector strengths include retail, IT and life sciences. Karin Madisson heads the practice, and has significant expertise in employment disputes and in corporate law.

Practice head(s):

Karin Madisson

Other key lawyers:

Piret Jesse; Pirkko-Liis Harkmaa

Key clients

PKC Eesti

Bolt (formerly Taxify)



Vienna Insurance Group

AGA, the Estonian entity of Linde Group


Work highlights

  • Advised Vienna Insurance Group on consolidating its subsidiaries’ businesses in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
  • Advised Zeroturnaround, a software developer, on updating its model employment contract.
  • Advised PKC Eesti, an electrical systems supplier, on posting an employee abroad.


Cobalt provides a full range of compliance, advisory and litigation services. With offices across the Baltics, the team is recommended for international clients looking to enter the Estonian market.  The practice has a close rapport with the dispute resolution, M&A and tax groups, and has extensive benefits and pensions experience. Group chair Karina Paatsi brings significant expertise in employment disputes. Senior associate Heili Haabu is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Karina Paatsi

Other key lawyers:

Heili Haabu


‘In depth knowledge of employment law, pragmatic advice which can be implemented for a small start-up, user-friendly, prompt and great at managing timescales and expectations.’

‘We work closely with Karina Paatsi. She gives pragmatic advice on compliance with local employment law for start-ups. Great at timescale and client management.’

‘The team showed excellent HR knowledge and experience in the local legal matters that we consulted Cobalt for. ’

‘Excellent knowledge and experience, proactivity and prompt handling due to tight time schedule.’

‘Awesome, practical and always there to help’

‘Karina Paatsi is amazing. Client-oriented, truly practical and always on point. She has an ability to understand the needs of her clients to a very deep level in which you feel always being served with the best possible commitment level of service. She is my go-to-person in Estonia, definitely.’

Key clients


Goodyear Dunlop



Hugo Boss

Forum Cinemas




The employment practice at Ellex spans day-to-day employment advisory matters, as well as more complex contentious and non-contentious work, including the employment aspects of restructuring and defending clients against compensation claims. Senior associate Hanna Pahk, who joined from Sorainen, is noted for her expertise in occupational health and safety matters. Martin Käerdi heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Martin Käerdi

Other key lawyers:

Hanna Pahk


Key clients

Valmos OÜ

Baltic Group International OÜ

Skeleton Technologies

ISS Eesti AS


Nordecon AS

Eesti Energia AS

Proact IT Group AB

Orkla ASA

Saint Gobain

Tere AS, a

Work highlights

  • Assisting Skeleton Technologies OÜ with various employment law-related matters.
  • Advised Tere on a wide range of services from the preparation of new management agreements, the adoption of the client’s standard employment documents and the planning of potential redundancies, to taking charge of all employment disputes and day-to-day consultations on various work organisation issues.
  • Assisted a retail company with conducting an extensive internal investigation and preparing a report regarding suspicious transactions conducted by high-level employees of an Estonian entity.

Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co

The employment team at Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co has recently been active in COVID-19 crisis management, including disputes over terminations and forced temporary leaves. The practice has particular experience advising healthcare sector clients on difficult terminations, and regularly handles trade union negotiations and collective bargaining issues. It also deals with investigations of sexual and other workplace harassment and with criminal proceedings. Tambet Toomela, who has extensive experience representing clients in occupational health and safety-related proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Tambet Toomela

Key clients

Aktsiaselts ESTKO

Turkish Airlines Estonian Branch

iConsulting Data OÜ

Manpower OÜ

Concise Systems OÜ





FieldCore Services Solutions (part of the General Electric group)

Work highlights

  • Advised FieldCore Service Solutions on the termination of an employee for serious misconduct.
  • Advised the Estonian branch of Turkish Airlines relation to COVID-19 and resulting HR issues.
  • Advised Oniar OÜi n litigation initiated by the former employee of the client, regarding the non-payment of an additional fee for the fulfilment of a non-compete obligation.


TARK's employment practice offers sector expertise in technology, manufacturing, banking and finance, retail,  transport and logistics. Key areas of work include privacy and data protection, contract drafting, employee benefits programmes and matters arising from corporate reorganisation. Hannes Küün leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Hannes Küün

Other key lawyers:

Tauno Tark

Key clients

Rakuten Group

Outfunnel OÜ


Schmolz + Bickenbach Baltic OÜ

Pixster OÜ

Olympic Entertainment Group

MyFitness AS

BloomEst OÜ

Embassy of the United States

SDA Akademia OÜ

Ideal OÜ / Avis

Da Vinci Food OÜ

Megafort OÜ

Bellus Furniture OÜ

Estonian Hotel and Restaurant Association

Riigi Kinnisvara AS

Mindworks Industries

Work highlights

  • Advised Rakuten Estonia on collective redundancies and on a new incentive programme.
  • Advised Klaus, an IT company, on developing a full options programme for its founders and key employees.
  • Assisted Mindworks Industries with drafting a new set of employment agreement and service agreement templates.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic deals with a wide variety of employment issues, including restructuring, re-organisations and director's personal liability. The group handles a growing number of privacy and data protection matters. Senior associate Anu Kirss leads the practice; she has particular experience in the retail, pharmaceutical and hospitality sectors.

Practice head(s):

Anu Kirss


‘The TGS Baltic team is a highly devoted team of professionals. They have the resources to cover all areas of business law and cover the needs of clients in a timely and efficient way. ‘

‘The TGS Baltic employment team has always shown a high level of knowledge and experience and offered practical solutions to our questions. They have supported us with fast and well sophisticated solutions in everyday matters and also during the difficult times caused by the COVID-19 crisis.’


Key clients

Tartu Ülikool




Philip Morris


Work highlights

  • Represented Tartu Ülikool, a university, in a high profile labour dispute arising from the dismissal of the director of the university library due to the allegations of sexual harassment and misbehaviour.
  • Advised Baltika, a fashion brand, on salary reductions and on applying for the temporary salary subsidy paid through the Unemployment Insurance Fund in the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Advised Philip Morris, a leading international tobacco company, on occupational health and safety issues in connection with safe return to the workplace after Covid-19 related lockdown.

WALLESS (former Derling Primus)

WALLESS (former Derling Primus) handles a full range of employment work, including collective bargaining, mass lay-offs and labour litigation. The firm is particularly recommended for clients in the technology and pharmaceuticals sectors. The practice has an extensive roster of multi-national clients, and often advises on cross-border work. Practice head Toomas Taube has immigration law experience, and regularly advises on health and safety compliance.

Practice head(s):

Toomas Taube

Key clients


Kunda Nordic Tsement

Estonian subsidiary of Michelin Group

LMT, Latvian Mobile Telephone

Estonian subsidiary of Essilor Group

Estonian subsidiary of Ėolane Group

AS Liviko

Estonian subsidiary of Hireright

HAVI Logistics

Fort Aero AS


Work highlights

  • Advised Kunda Nordic Tsement on the collective lay-off of 78 employees.
  • Advised SadkoNewLife, a sporting goods retailer, on preparations and measures related to the Covid-19 crisis, and represented the client in two labour disputes.


FORT focuses on advising clients on day-to-day employment matters, and on issues arising from M&A and corporate restructuring. Other areas of work include the drafting of employment agreements and internal documentation. Experienced litigator Andreas Veeret heads the team, and is key to the practice's handling of employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Veeret


‘ Fort delivers due to great teamwork. Quick and to the point advice, no abstract memos with disclaimers.’

Key clients

Phoenix Group Estonian companies




Nordea Bank Abp Estonian branch

ERGO Insurance

AS Kapitel

East Capital Real Estate


Work highlights

  • Advise Nordea Bank Abp Estonian branch on drafting of internal employment regulations.
  • Advised AS LHV Pank on employment-related matters in the context of acquiring the unit involved with private loans of Danske Bank’s Estonian branch.
  • Advised URETEK Baltic on drafting internal employment regulations and agreements.

KPMG Law in Estonia

The employment practice at KPMG Law in Estonia handles a variety of day-to-day advice, and assists with contracts and benefit schemes, and is able to draw on a joined-up financial and tax advisory network across the Baltics. Karin Kaup, who has extensive experience of M&A and corporate law, heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Karin Kaup


‘Very responsive, accessible and solutions-orientated team.’

Key clients

Stockmann AS

Mööbliekspert Paigaldus OÜ

Limestone Platform AS

SOL Baltics OÜ

Juustukuningad OÜ

Alandia Engineering Services OÜ

Etra Balti AS

XL Parts Baltic SIA Eesti filial

Stora Enso Eesti AS


Swiss Nahin OÜ

Work highlights

  • Advised Stora Enso on the conclusion of a high-executive agreement and work structure as well as on different employment law questions relating to Covid-19.
  • Advised Stockmann on employment law questions arising from the emergency situation declared by the government due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advised Alandia Engineering Services on employment terminations and reorganisations, as well as matters related to the Covid-19 outbreak and related emergency situation.

NJORD Law Firm

NJORD Law Firm advises clients on day-to-day employment matters, contracting and matters resulting from reorganisations, acquisitions and sales, and also handles data protection issues. Practice head Katrin Sarap is an experienced litigator with expertise in telecommuting and flexible working. Disputes specialist Triinu Hiob is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Katrin Sarap

Other key lawyers:

Triinu Hiob

Key clients


EBS Campus OÜ

Eesti Koolitus- ja Konverentsikeskus OÜ

Imepilt AS

Goworkabit OÜ

Work highlights

  • Advised EBS Campus in a dispute over an alleged occupational accident.
  • Held a seminar for companies in Viljandi regarding employer’s rights and obligations during the Covid-19 crisis and after the crisis.
  • Held an employment  seminar covering different types of contracts for employment relations for a foundation for companies in Harjumaa.