Real estate and construction in Estonia

Cobalt

Cobalt is a key name for real estate transactions, including commercial and industrial property purchases and development projects. The group has a good deal of experience acting for real estate investors and funds, an area of particular specialism for practice head Aivar Taro, who has experience in advising clients over the whole course of a project. Liina Linsi is key to the group’s real estate litigation work, and is also an expert on planning and zoning matters.

Practice head(s):

Aivar Taro

Other key lawyers:

Liina Linsi

Key clients

Porto Franco

Nordic Real Estate Partners (NREP)

Corum

Danske Bank

Baltic Horizon Fund

Northern Horizon Capital/Gene Investments

Riigi Kinnisvara AS

OMA Ehitaja

BPT Real Estate

Consolis/E-Betoonelement

Satnam/Capfield

Pirita Tee Development

Graanul Invest

Lords LB

Nord Stream

Tallinna Kaubamaja

Baltek Arendus OÜ

Booking.com

Workland

Pro Kapital Grupp AS

Van Oord Offshore Wind B.V.

GMP Grupp

MCF Group Estonia

Work highlights

  • Advised Laurus on the sale of SEB’s head office in Tallinn to East Capital Real Estate IV.
  • Advised Capfield on the €85m refinancing of its retail portfolio.
  • Advised Laurus S.a.r.l. on the sale of the Valge Maja office building in Tallinn to LHV pension funds.

Ellex

Ellex's real estate team handles large real estate transactions, with experience in financing, restructuring, lease agreements and project development advisory. Martin Triipan, who has extensive experience of environmental law and liability litigation, heads the practice. Risto Vahimets is noted for his real estate transactions practice, concentrated in shopping malls and retail. Up-and-coming partner Martin Käerdi is an expert in property and contract law. Jaanus Ikla is key to the infrastructure side of the practice, having handled power plant and port terminal projects. Counsel Triin Frosch specialises in infrastructure and has advised on international energy transactions.

Practice head(s):

Martin Triipan

Other key lawyers:

Risto Vahimets; Martin Käerdi; Jaanus Ikla; Triin Frosch

Testimonials

‘In-depth knowledge of local construction market and practices.’

‘Honest and direct approach. Clear messages and straight talk.’

Key clients

Eesti Energia

AS Infortar

Elering AS

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Nordecon AS

ABC Grupp

Eften

East Capital

Adven Eesti AS

Enefit Green

European Investment Bank

AarealBank AG

Oiltanking GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising Enefit Energiatootmine on the construction of a 300MW oil-shale and biomass fired power plant.
  • Assisted Elering with the construction of Balticconnector gas connection between Finland and Estonia.
  • Advising European Investment Bank on financing the North Estonian Medical Centre.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic is known for its record advising on infrastructure and construction, with experience acting for clients in the renewable energy and transportation and logistics sectors. Peeter Viirsalu is key to this work, and also has extensive experience of distressed assets. He jointly heads the team with Martin Tamme, who is an expert on planning and development project financing.

Practice head(s):

Peeter Viirsalu; Martin Tamme

Testimonials

‘Martin Tamme – excellent negotiation skills, always choosing the shortest and most beneficial possible route to the client, even if the process might be quite challenging.’

‘We mostly work with Peeter Viirsalu from TGS. He is our first contact in all legal questions that we may have. This is because of his exceptionally good response time and his ability to give his first view on the problem very quickly. We also value that he is very honest with us, he has never misled us or given us false hope in difficult situations. In our sector we value quick and straight to the point advice and the fact Peeter is always available and well in touch with all our cases even if he has delegated the work.’

‘Perhaps the greatest value to me has been the ability of TGS Baltic to act promptly, pull together the necessary team and act as a project management company, i.e. being pro-active and leading the process in a M&A transaction or a dispute the client’s needs for legal advice differ vastly from in-house knowledge.’

‘I feel Mr Martin Tamme respects me as a person and the manager of my organization, understands my high moral standards and work ethics and ultimately follows these values while proposing solutions to outstanding problems. He is determined and respects agreed deadlines by involving as much resources from his office as necessary.

‘Very knowledgeable of our sector. Very good reputation in the sector. Very accessible and responsive. Straight to the point, no time wasted on typical lawyering. They have always delivered what was agreed and on time – for us in the construction business this is the true proof of quality. ’

‘Teamwork would be the keyword and answer – meaning, that if during the cases our team members (from TGS) weren’t 100% confident with some issues, they analysed and discussed with other colleagues, so we always had a satisfying result. I can say that to us seems that the teams and teamwork is very strong in TGS. And I do like the idea.’

‘Martin Tamme – our main contact in TGS and we have a very long client relationship. Martin is very strong in various fields, very adequate to assess the potential of cases and the reality of solutions, as well as very adequate in assembling teams.’

‘In our experience and in comparison to other firms that we have worked with the TGS team is of the highest professional standard.’

‘From the construction practice we are closely working together with partners Peeter Viirsalu and Martin Tamme. Martin and Peeter form an exceptional team whose insight and knowledge of our business is exceptional. Martin Tamme has a vast knowledge of the regulations applicable to our business in different markets, combined with his keen business sense we trust him even in most complex questions. Peeter Viirsalu has proven himself as ultra responsive. In Peeter’s case our team values especially his ability to understand and explain difficult legal problems in an understandable way and propose solutions fitting our needs.’

Key clients

Estiko Energia

City of Tallinn

Port of Tallinn

Invego

Reterra Estate

1 Partner

Work highlights

  • Advising Estiko Energia on corporate law and law of obligations matters in relation to restructuring and preparation of existing operations for the construction of a new solar power plant, involvement of investors, among other things.
  • Acting for Port of Tallinn in one of the biggest interdisciplinary bankruptcy cases over the recent years where one of the contract partners of Port of Tallinn Coal Terminal AS went bankrupt.
  • Advising the development of the largest housing developments in Estonia. The development is complex solely for its sheer size which is quite unprecedented in the housing development sector.

WALLESS (former Derling Primus)

The real estate and construction team at WALLESS (former Derling Primus) is particularly recommended for contentious matters, with a strong track record handling infrastructure development disputes. In addition to representing private companies, the team regularly advises the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs. Piret Blankin, who is a recognised litigator with experience in construction and environmental law, heads the practice. The team is highly active in the transport, water, waste and energy sectors. Other key areas of work include construction contracting, providing compliance advice to investors and advising on project transactions. Associate Angela Kase is noted for her project development-focused practice.

Practice head(s):

Piret Blankin

Other key lawyers:

Margo Lemetti; Angela Kase

Testimonials

‘Strong international and flexible team with global and local knowledge.’

‘Solution-minded’

‘What makes Derling Primus staff stand out is their dedication to their clients combined with their skill level.’

Key clients

MTÜ ARB

Saare Wind Energy

OÜ Adepte / AS Raisner

Tartu Hoiu-Laenuühistu

Dataring

AS Emajõe Veevärk

AS Allecto

AS Lemeks

Kuusiku Energia

Ampler Bikes

Work highlights

  • Advised several NGOs on the planning of the proposed Rail Baltic project.
  • Advised Saare Wind Energy OÜ on a wind farm development initially blocked by the Estonian government.
  • Advised financial cooperative Tartu Hoiu-Laenuühistu on utilities management for a housing development in southern Estonia.

Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co

Eversheds Sutherland Ots & Co handles a broad variety of real estate matters, including commercial and residential property transactions, construction mandates and contentious matters. Other key areas of work include planning and zoning and construction-related public procurement. Managing partner Maivi Ots heads the team, and advises on the real estate aspects of large transactions.

Practice head(s):

Maivi Ots

Key clients

1PARTNER Ehitus OÜ

Lumi Capital OÜ

City of Tallinn through Tallinn Municipal Engineering Services Department

LHV Pensionifondid

Work highlights

  • Advised LHV Pensionifondid on the acquisition of a leasehold in respect of the building forming part of the campus of a university where the main tenant is a tech company.
  • Assisted the City of Tallinn with drafting templates for agreements which can be used in the public procurement process initiated for any road construction work.
  • Advising Eesti Keskkonnateenused on the erection of a hazardous waste incineration plant.

FORT

FORT focuses on large cross-border matters, notably large property portfolio acquisitions and high-end transactions, planning, zoning and environmental matters and project development. Other areas of strength include commercial real estate transactions and investment. Minni-Triin Park is head of the practice group; she advises investors and asset managers and has a strong securities practice. Associate Margus Kõiva is noted for his experience in environmental law, the energy sector and administrative proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Minni-Triin Park

Key clients

LHV Group

EfTEN Capital

Utilitas Tallinn AS

LEGEND HOTELS

Capital Mill

Kapitel

LNK Group

Viru Keskus AS

East Capital

Work highlights

  • Buy-side legal advisor to East Capital Real Estate on the €45.75m acquisition of the SEB Bank head office in Tallinn.
  • Advising LHV on two acquisitions of total of approx. €750m worth of credit portfolios from Danske Bank (exiting the market), including transfer of all collaterals (mortgages) and leasing assets.
  • Advised Selver on the acquisition of a 100% shareholding in competing retailer ABC Supermarkets AS, a chain comprising of 19 stores, the transaction being heavily focused on lease-relations and other property law matters.

Loor

Boutique real estate firm Loor is led by managing partner Kaido Loor. He has considerable experience of real estate tax law and asset and share deals, and the firm is particularly noted for investment structuring and advice. Other pillars of strength of the team include the sales of undeveloped land and commercial real estate, financing, property and facilities management, portfolio transactions and property disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kaido Loor

Key clients

Hepsor

Mitt & Perlebach

Arsenal Center

Handling

Vicus

Põhja-Eesti Taastusravikeskus

Palmgrupp

Work highlights

  • Advised Hepsor on the part-financing and sale of a €10m housing development.
  • Advised Põhja-Eesti Taastusravi, a construction company, on the leasing of a brown-field hospital development.
  • Advised Palmgrupp in negotiations for a Hotel Management Agreement with a hotel chain for a location in Tallinn.

NJORD Law Firm

NJORD Law Firm handles a good deal of international work across the Baltics and the Nordics. Key areas of work include restitution of nationalised property, development projects and complex planning. Veikko Toomere is known for acting for real estate and construction companies on debt restructuring procedures. He jointly leads the practice with senior associate Jelizaveta Rastorgujeva, who has experience in retail real estate. The team regularly advises food, consumer goods and retail clients.

Practice head(s):

Veikko Toomere; Jelizaveta Rastorgujeva

Testimonials

‘Very personal and adaptable to clients needs’

‘This is the only firm I know in Estonia, and find them very professional, flexible to the changing needs of the client, and very comprehensive advise, giving the extra mile advise always.’

Key clients

GVP Invest Estonia OÜ

Sveafastigheter Fersen AB

TOP General Ltd (Ghana)

Stoneridge Electronics AS

Alesco Ventures OÜ

Eskaro Group AB

Satnam Group (UK)

Kirkcong Property OÜ

BitofProperty OÜ

Mellius Ventures Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising GVP Invest Estonia OÜ on planning and building another (second) Hilton-hotel in Tallinn.
  • Advised Sveafastigheter Fersen, a real estate fund, on a refinance transaction with volume of SEK 215,400,000 and €44,146,620 (+ SEK 100,000,000 as CAPEX loan).
  • Advising BitofProperty, a real-estate crowdfunding company with its mother company in Singapore, on establishing its business in Estonia, with an aim of international exposure.

Sorainen

Sorainen particularly stands out for its record in retail sector real estate transactions. Other key areas of work include planning, leasing and construction. The practice assists an impressive roster of pan-Baltic investors and developers. Paul Künnap, who advises on real estate transactions, heads the team jointly with Piret Jesse, who is noted for her experience as a mediator in construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Künnap; Piret Jesse

Key clients

FinEst Bay Area Development Oy

AS HKScan Estonia

Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS

1Tower Group OÜ

Harjumaa Omavalitsuste Liit

TARK

TARK is particularly recommended for construction work, with strengths in planning, leasing and development. Key sectors for the team include dairy and crop farming, consumer retail, wholesale and shopping centres. Allar Aru jointly heads the practice with Hannes Küün.

Practice head(s):

Allar Aru; Hannes Küün

Key clients

Riigi Kinnisvara

Bauhof Group

Ramiren

CRH Group (Rudus AS)

VAKLAK

Pro Kapital Grupp

Wood & Hill AB

OÜ Delta Credit

Tallinn Song Festival Grounds

Perasaar OÜ

Bauroc AS

Ühinenud Farmid AS

Work highlights

  • Advised Riigi Kinnisvara AS (state-owned operator) on the development, operation and leasing of public real estate.
  • Advised Vaklak on its daily operations involving acquisition of mixed agriculture land portfolios.
  • Advised OÜ Delta Credit on the setup and financing of a start-up mortgage loan provider.

LEADELL Pilv

LEADELL Pilv is particularly recommended for contentious matters, handling construction and commercial disputes. Litigator Merilin Ojasaar jointly heads the group with Pirkka-Marja Poldvere, who is active in both real estate disputes and in sales and lease contracting. Other areas of work include day-to-day advice, rental agreements and obtaining building permits.

Practice head(s):

Merilin Ojasaar; Pirkka-Marja Põldvere

Testimonials

‘Professionalism.’

‘Professionalism, communication style that is objective and that facilitates cooperation.’

Key clients

Mustamäe SPA OÜ

Estkompexim Toitlustus OÜ

Otepää Vallavalitsus

Mr Taivo Luik

OÜ Maksiprojekt

BREM Kinnisvarahooldus OÜ

MTÜ Ida-Viru Jahimeeste Selts

Mrs Heli Tuulik

Kadrikese Haldus OÜ

Adair OÜ

Work highlights

  • Representing Otepää Vallavalitsus in disputes regarding the public procurement for building a new school and also in a dispute concerning a contract for services (planning and building the new school).
  • Representing Adair against the lessor in regard to the termination of the beauty salon lease agreement and exercising the right of security. The dispute is pending in county court.
  • Represented OÜ Maksiprojekt in a dispute with Kohila County Government regarding the acquisition of an immovable utility network in the public interests and the case.

Magnusson

The real estate practice at Magnusson handles a range of transactional and development work with an infrastructure concentration. Sector strengths include energy, retail and manufacturing. Kaidar Sultson has extensive experience of real estate and construction financing and civil proceedings, particularly in restructuring and insolvency. He jointly heads the practice with Toomas Mälberg, who specialises in infrastructure transactions.

Practice head(s):

Kaidar Sultson; Toomas Mälberg

Key clients

DEPO DIY SIA

Tsevat

DB2 Management

Saint-Gobain Ehitustooted

Linnapiiri

Maakri 36 KÜ

Kinnisvaramees

Standard

Spot of Tallinn (MTÜ Elamusspordikeskus Ühing)

Silen

Kalla Mööbel

Kükita Arenduse

AS KEK Invest

Empower

Baltania

KIKA EE

Meediagrupi

Work highlights

  • Advising Saint-Gobain Ehitustooted on leasing a new warehouse in Estonia.
  • Advising DEPO on the construction of its first store in Estonia.
  • Advising bio energy producer Baltania on the construction of its bio-coal production facility in Estonia.

NOVE

Kristjan Tamm heads the construction-focused group at NOVE, which has a strong offering for clients in the energy and infrastructure sectors, with key areas of expertise including water, sewage, heat and gas works. The team also handles real estate transactions, agreements and disputes, and is recommended for land acquisition matters.

Practice head(s):

Kristjan Tamm

Testimonials

‘Nove has a thorough knowledge in construction and development law. Their strength is to have two different kinds of lawyers under same roof and working as a team: from one hand the top specialists in legal theory who understand the legal framework and notice the shortcomings therein and on the other hand attorneys having personal practical experience in construction. I believe Nove is the strongest Estonian law firm in construction matters.’

‘Kristjan Tamm has personal experience in construction, meaning that he can relate to the client’s problems and speaks the same language. He promotes the thorough comprehension of the client’s activities within the Nove law firm, for example by sending associates to construction sites to observe and practice for some weeks.’

‘In my experience, the attorneys of NOVE have excellent competence and experience in real estate transactions. NOVE lawyers respond fast, they keep to the deadlines and provide a high level of professional help to us.’

‘Kristjan Tamm has vast experience in advising us in all planning and constructions matters. As Kristjan has also a degree in construction, he understands technical aspects of construction well. He knows how to explain technical construction matters in court in a simple way.’

Key clients

ELERING AS

Danpower Eesti AS

Borg OÜ

AS Infragate Eesti

Palmatin OÜ

Merko Ehitus

Porto Franco OÜ

Port Artur OÜ

Messiehitus OÜ

RESTOR AS

RASK Attorneys-at-Law

RASK Attorneys-at-Law regularly advises investment funds on the real estate sector, with experience in residential developments, hotels, retail, industrial property, embassy buildings and heritage sites. Ramon Rask heads the team and handles a wide variety of transactions, planning and real estate disputes.

Practice head(s):

Ramon Rask

Testimonials

‘One of my favourite aspects about RASK is that I know I can rely on them. I can count on fast reaction, high quality, constructive solutions and all-in-all, a good service with the right attitude from the get-go. My main contact at RASK, who I most rely on, is partner Ramon Rask. But if for whatever reason another of his colleague takes over, I know they are well-briefed.’

Key clients

Eston Ehitus AS

Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol SA

Riigi Kinnisvara AS

Lumi Retail Partners OÜ

Nordlin Ehitus OÜ

Procedo Capital OÜ

Zenith Family Office OÜ

Trustee of AS Süda Maja (bankrupt)

Linda Kaks OÜ

Kapitalimeister OÜ

Triple Net Capital

Elle Capital OÜ

Willenbrock Baltic OÜ

Johnny AS

Capital Mill OÜ

Mave Varahalduse OÜ

ALTERNA

Siret Siilbek, who is noted for her expertise in real estate litigation, heads the team at ALTERNA. The practice focuses on real estate planning, including construction and security contracting, public procurement and dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Siret Siilbek

Testimonials

‘ALTERNA is easy to approach. They are informative and thorough. Response times are great. Their main strength is that they cover different areas and always offer full solutions.’

‘Siret Siilbek is highly qualified, committed and precise. She has drafted many construction contracts and real estate contracts we use in our everyday work. Provides a trustworthy and high quality service.’

‘ALTERNA gathers a team of hard-working and dedicated specialists. They are trustworthy and offer high quality service. One of their main strengths is having a strong real estate team which is led by Siret Siilbek.’

‘A noteworthy expert of real estate and construction field is attorney-at-law Siret Siilbek. Her comprehensive knowledge about legislation and court practice is clear from the first sight. She has long-term experience and she provides only high quality service. She is a strategic thinker, who always stays two steps ahead of the process.’

Key clients

Paikre OÜ

Stokker Finance OÜ

Eventus Ehitus OÜ

Narva city

E-Government Academy

CityHaldus OÜ

Tallinn, Kirsi tn 6, Kirsi tn 8 korteriühistu (apartment association)

Uuesalu Arendus OÜ

KRM Advisor OÜ

AR Agentuuri AS

Eesti Kinnisvara Korrashoiu Liit MTÜ (Estonian Association for Property Management)

RF Invest OÜ

Hõbekeskus OÜ

Deco House OÜ

DK Konsultatsioonid OÜ

Eerik Kirs

Work highlights

  • Acted for Eventus Ehitus OÜ in a dispute regarding deficiencies in the building works of Pärnu beach stadium, performed by Eventus Ehitus OÜ’s subcontractors.
  • Represented Narva City in a court dispute with AS Vant regarding construction works.
  • Represented Narva City in a dispute with Kirde Ehitus OÜ, claiming pay, interest and compensation for damages from Narva city regarding construction works at Punamütsike kindergarten.

Cuesta Law Office

Cuesta Law Office predominantly handles development projects and construction, particularly in the energy sector. Others key areas of work include advising real estate funds and handling commercial rental agreements. Practice head Britta Oltjer assists with industrial development projects.

Practice head(s):

Britta Oltjer

Key clients

AS Chemi-Pharm

EE Estate Berlin Invest OÜ

Lindenline OÜ

Eviko Ehitus OÜ

Ferrotek OÜ

ETRE OÜ

Windoor AS

Mikk Mägi

Hanrogen OÜ

Work highlights

  • Advised Chemi-Pharm AS on the financing and construction of a factory.
  • Advised EE Estate Berlin Invest OÜ on the acquisition of an office building in Tallinn which previously belonged to the Snoras Bank.

Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ

Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ advises public sector clients and large property developers. Karin Marosov, whose practice focuses on commercial real estate transactions, heads the team. Other key specialisms include planning, construction and environmental issues.

Practice head(s):

Karin Marosov

Testimonials

‘Very wide knowledge of the field. Lawyers have specific first-hand experience in different situations in a variety of fields that can beneficially be used for the good of the customer.’

‘Karin Marosov – always ready to engage in brainstorming, Jana Tudelep – exceptional negotiating skills. Able to resolve even the most difficult situation in a way that a true win-win outcome is achieved. Able to keep calm and focus on the solution even with the most difficult counterpart.’

‘PwC Legal’s core uniqueness lies in their ability to create a team of legal, tax and financial advisors so seamlessly that in practice I feel that I am communicating with one advisor having the knowledge of all mentioned fields. In the field of business there are no matters that are purely of legal essence, most cases are more complex and I know I can count on them if I need a lawyer to handle a litigation matter or drafting a contract with deep understanding of my business needs.’

‘I have worked with Karin Marosov for many years and she is one of a kind as firstly she has a deep understanding and capability to always analyse the matter from the client’s perspective. Secondly, she has very good project management skills to engage respective colleagues to handle the matter seamlessly and provide enough constant feedback throughout the project. Third and foremost – she is very easy to talk to and handles negotiations as well as litigation processes with always having the end goal in mind,’