EU and competition in Estonia

Cobalt

The competition practice at Cobalt deals with a wide variety of work, inducing merger control, horizontal practices and cartels, and vertical agreements. Other key areas of expertise include compliance programs, audits and agreement reviews. Practice head Elo Tamm has extensive experience in the energy, waste and healthcare sectors and in public procurement.

Practice head(s):

Elo Tamm

Other key lawyers:

Mart Blöndal

Key clients

Ragn-Sells AS

Alexela Group

European Commission

AS Eesti Teed

Dava Agravis Machinery Holding

Apax Funds

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Ellex

Ellex’s dedicated competition law team advises a range of domestic and EU clients. The practice is known for its experience in complex or contested merger proceedings and for its competition compliance advice. Other key areas of work include state aid and anti-competitive agreements. Practice head Raino Paron is noted for his regulatory expertise, particularly in the financial sector. Up-and-coming partner Martin Mäesalu acts for clients in supervisory and criminal proceedings, and appears in private enforcement cases.

Practice head(s):

Raino Paron

Other key lawyers:

Martin Mäesalu

Testimonials

‘Very hands-on and proactive approach.’

‘Martin Maesalu is an extremely smart, hard-working and talented competition  lawyer. I would recommend him in a heartbeat.’

‘Raino Paron is a very good lawyer with a wealth of experience.’

Key clients

Eesti Energia AS

Telia

Tallink Grupp AS

Henkel

Coca Cola

Danske Bank

Sonepar

BaltCap

Sportland International Group

Nestlé

ABC Group

Work highlights

  • Acted for Enefit Green AS and Nelja Energia AS in an administrative case where the Competition Authority’s authorisation for the client’s merger was challenged.
  • Defended Piletilevi in a matter regarding allegations of abuse of dominant position, comprising both supervisory and misdemeanour proceedings.
  • Advised Eesti Gaas, a large energy company, on the initiation of a joint production of biomethane with another energy company, Alexela.

Sorainen

The practice at Sorainen has unique experience of infrastructure-related competition disputes, including in rail, gas, renewable energy, trade issues and port fees and water tariffs. Senior associate Piibe Lehtsaar is noted for her expertise in dawn raids and resulting proceedings conducted by the European Commission. Technology and telecoms expert Mihkel Miidla jointly heads the team with litigator Kaupo Lepasepp. The latter is an acknowledged expert in the energy and utilities sector and specialises in tariff regulation. He also handles abuse of dominance issues and misdemeanour proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Kaupo Lepasepp; Mihkel Miidla

Other key lawyers:

Piibe Lehtsaar

Key clients

Tallinna Vesi

Bolt

Toyota Baltic

Livonia Partners

Tallinn Airport

Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority

TREV-2, the Estonian subsidiary of Eurovia

Sunly

RB Rail AS

Knauf

Work highlights

  • Conducted extensive analysis of EU law for RB Rail on the operation and construction management of the Rail Baltica cross-border railway infrastructure.
  • Obtained merger clearance for Baltic private equity investment fund Livonia Partners on the acquisition of Klaasimeister.
  • Acted for Estonian Cell, the operator of a pulp factory, in a legislative process aimed at amending the existing renewable energy subsidy scheme.

Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co

Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co is well-equipped to handle cross-border matters, and has experience advising on international distribution networks across the Baltics. Other areas of work include merger control matters, criminal cartel cases and complex competition investigations. Practice head Risto Rüütel is an expert in state aid, vertical restraints and dominant position issues.

Practice head(s):

Risto Rüütel

Other key lawyers:

Toomas Pikamäe

Key clients

Eesti Keskkonnateenused AS

Pharma Group OÜ

ASSI OÜ

Samsung

MM Grupp OÜ group companies

G4S

Estonian Association of Private Health Institutions

Citadele banka

LHV

Klavis

Oniar

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Association of Healthcare Providers in Estonia in front of European Commission in an ongoing illegal state aid case.
  • Advised UP Invest OÜ on acquiring merger clearances from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, related to the of acquisition of the dominant service provider in these countries.
  • Representing a technology sector client in front of the Estonian Competition Authority in regards to alleged abuse of dominant position by imposing excessive prices.

FORT

The competition practice at FORT distinguishes itself through its cross-border, pan-Baltic spread, its experience in regulated sectors such as media, telecoms and energy, and its handling of merger control matters. Practice head Rene Frolov is an expert in dominance and cartel investigations and in complex merger control proceedings. Senior associate Liina Käis focuses on state aid mandates in regulated industries.

Practice head(s):

Rene Frolov

Other key lawyers:

Liina Käis

Key clients

ELISA

Neste

LHV Bank

Hansabuss

Tallinna Kaubamaja Grupp AS

Work highlights

  • Handled merger control in the acquisition by LHV Pank of Danske Bank’s Estonian portfolio of corporate and public sector loans.
  • Obtained merger clearance in AS Selver’s acquisition of ABC Supermarkets AS.
  • Obtained merger approval for the acquisition of the head office of SEB Bank by East Capital Real Estate.

NOVE

Mari Matjus leads the competition law team at NOVE; she has extensive experience in merger control, dominant undertakings and in supply, sales and cooperation agreements. The team also handles vertical restraints, and complex merger proceedings involving the Estonian Competition Authority.

Practice head(s):

Mari Matjus

Testimonials

‘Mari Matjus has provided us with practical and business-minded advice on a running basis. She is sharp, knows the rules for supplier and distributor agreements by heart and can come up with practical advice fast.’

Key clients

Danpower Estonia (Danpower Eesti AS)

Estonian Gas (AS Eesti Gaas) and group companies

Tartu University

Tallinn Dental Clinic (SA Tallinna Hambapolikliinik)

Medicum (AS Medicum Tervishoiuteenused) and its group companies

OÜ ADM Interactive

Armin Karu / HansaAssets OÜ

Europark Estonia OÜ

Largo AS

EG Ehitus AS

Solaris Centre (AS Solaris Keskus)

Estonian Chamber of Notaries

Work highlights

  • Advised ADM Interactive, a software developer, on the competition law aspects of its cooperation agreements.
  • Advised EG Ehitus, a manufacturer of gas pipes, district heating pipes and water and sewerage pipes, on competition law issues.
  • Advised Medicum Group on competition law-related matters.

TARK

TARK is especially known for defending firms in cartel investigations before the Estonian Competition Authority or the courts. Other key areas of work include compliance audits and advice and state-aid work. The practice is also known for work stemming from aviation regulation, PPP projects and public procurement. Tanel Tark heads the group and has extensive experience in complex merger control cases.

Practice head(s):

Tanel Tark

Key clients

Rudus (CRH)

Enlabs

Haljala municipality

Ideal Baltic (Avis, Budget, Payless)

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Vienna Insurance Group

Tallinna Lennujaam (Tallinn Airport)

Eesti Raudtee (Estonian Railways)

Bauhof

Baltic Logistic Solutions

BM Trada Eesti

Uur

Ober-Haus

Kesko Senukai

Adven

Lietuvos Energija

Autospirit

Optiwin

My Fitness

Via 3L

Pipedrive

Work highlights

  • Handled merger clearance proceedings in Enlabs’ public takeover of Global Gaming 555.
  • Advised Adven, a heating and gas company, on competition issues related to the conclusion of several energy agreements.
  • Represented Avis, Budget and Payless in lobbying for state aid to be released to the car rental sector.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic handles high-profile merger cases and complex state aid matters. Senior associate Triinu Järviste heads the team and has experience defending clients in state aid complaints. She is also recommended for her experience advising clients in the transport and energy sectors. Katri Paas-Mohando is an expert on EU and state aid law.

Practice head(s):

Triinu Järviste

Other key lawyers:

Katri-Paas Mohando

Testimonials

‘Katri Paas-Mohando stands out for her excellent academic knowledge in the competition law field which she can translate into working business solutions.’

‘Very good skills and communication.’

‘They have great knowledge in this field and we depend on their support to survive in the competition situation.’

‘Their willingness to listen to the client and be proactive distinguishes them significantly from other companies with which we have cooperated.’

Key clients

Tartu Agro

FZE Procyone

Lemiro Eesti

CircleK Eesti

Eesti Post

Operail

Ministry of Finance

Work highlights

  • Represented agriculture company Tartu Agro in disputing the European Commission decision finding that illegal state aid had been given to the company.
  • Advised Circle K, a fuel retailer, on the potentially unlawful reception of state aid.
  • Handled merger clearance in FZE Procyone’s acquisition of SIA Smart Aviation Holdings, the sole shareholder of SIA-s SmartLynx Airlines.

RASK Attorneys-at-Law

Key areas of expertise at RASK Attorneys-at-Law include state aid, competition law analysis of investment projects, public procurement and advice on regulated markets. Practice head Tarmo Peterson is particularly known for his reputation in contentious cases, including complex market dominance and cartel disputes. The group has been heavily involved with the Estonian Government Pharmacy Reform, enforced in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Tarmo Peterson

Key clients

Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol SA

Cleveron AS

Eesti Suusaliit (Estonian Ski Association)

Non-profitable organisations MTÜ Kalatex and MTÜ Rannakalad

Kihnu Veeteed AS

TF Bank AB (Estonian branch)

Replace OÜ

Lumi Capital OÜ

Work highlights

  • Represented Rannakalad MTÜ in a dispute with the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (ARIB) in a dispute over the use of an ARIB subsidy.
  • Advised Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol SA, a science park and technology hub, on state aid rules relating to payments from subsidiaries.
  • Advised the Estonian Ski Association on contractual negotiations over the sale of media rights to skiing competitions, disputing the validity of anti-competitive clauses.

Triniti Estonia

Triniti Estonia handles a broad variety of competition law matters, with work including merger control and competition litigation. Other areas of advice are dominant market position abuse, state aid, regulated markets and and advertising issues. Tanel Kalaus, who has experience in the pharmaceuticals and energy sectors, heads the team.