Shipping and transport in Estonia

Ellex

The shipping and transport team at Ellex has notable strength acting for clients in the aviation, shipping, and rail industries on a broad range of matters in the Baltic region. Its expertise extends to cross-border contracts, regulatory compliance, financing, and competition law. Additionally, it is noted for assisting ship, aircraft, and train purchasers with major transactions, as well as general corporate structuring in the shipping industry and assisting port owners on the construction of port terminals. Practice head Toomas Vaher specialises in arbitration and litigation, especially in the transport and shipping industries.

Practice head(s):

Toomas Vaher

Testimonials

We have had excellent collaboration with the team drawing in required expert colleague where needed.’

Key clients

Baltic Group International OÜ

Oiltanking Europe B.V

Auto-Bon Oy

Operail AS

Daimler

Magnetic MRO

The Port of Sillamäe

Silberauto AS, Mercedes-Benz, Maserati and Mitsubishi Motors and Fuso authorised dealerships, part of Veho group

Elke Grupi AS, Toyota and Lexus car dealership group in the Baltics

AS Tallink Grupp

BLRT Grupp AS

E.R.S. AS

Work highlights

  • Advised the Government of the Republic of Estonia on matters pertaining to the Rail Baltic project–an international rail connection that will connect Estonia with Central and Western Europe and its neighbours.
  • Advised Tallink and its main shareholder on development of new passenger port with conference center, concert hall and commercial and shopping area in central Tallinn.
  • Advised Operail on starting business operations in Finland with Finnish-Russian transit.

Sorainen

The transportation practice at Sorainen provides the full range of legal advice and representation to international clients operating in the Estonian transportation and shipping industries, including general corporate, EU law, regulatory, and dispute resolution work. The team is particularly strong in interdisciplinary work involving the transport sector, such as telecoms, IT, and data protection, as well as port authorities and smart vehicles. Practice head and transportation expert Kaupo Lepasepp is especially strong in competition law regarding rail and port operations. Senior associate Cathriin Torop specialises in transportation-related commercial agreements and regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Kaupo Lepasepp

Other key lawyers:

Cathriin Torop

Key clients

Bolt (Taxify)

Tallinna Lennujaam

Rail Baltic

Finest Bay Area Development

Auto 100

Toyota Baltic

Eurovia

Novatours

Inchcape Motors

Lux Express

The Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority

SEBE

Tallinna Linnatransport

Petromaks Spediitori

Škoda Transportation

Eckerö Line

Work highlights

  • Advised RB Rail on all legal matters regarding the development of the Rail Baltic railway.
  • Advised Škoda on a public procurement conducted by state-owned Eesti Liinirongid (brand name Elron) for purchasing six trains with an additional option to buy ten more trains in the coming years.
  • Advised Bolt on various legal matters including corporate, regulatory and trademark matters among others.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic covers a wide range of cross-border transportation-related matters, ranging from industrial fishing and rail to aviation and passenger transport. Notably, it is particularly strong in novel areas of law in Estonia, including ship finance, as well as transport-related dispute resolution and litigation. It is also experienced in advising Estonian ports on competition and state aid, as well as acting for clients in the automotive sector. Head of the transport industry group Martti Peetsalu is known for representing clients in high-profile litigation before the Estonian Supreme Court regarding transport law.

Practice head(s):

Martti Peetsalu

Other key lawyers:

Triin Kaurov

Testimonials

‘The TGS Baltic team is always able to provide high quality legal assistance and we appreciate their quick rational solutions to our questions. TGS Baltic is excellent in shipping and transport matters, but the law firm is also well specialised in other fields. In addition, we appreciate that they have also good contacts abroad and if we urgently need legal advice abroad, we are sure that in cooperation with TGS Baltic we are safe.’

‘Triin Kaurov – committed, responsive, solution-orientated and trustworthy. She has remarkable experience in a wide range of practice areas (she understands our business shipping and transport, but also dispute resolution, public law, regulatory matters and employment matters). It helps her to see a general picture and at the same time is very detailed when going through different aspects. Her advice keeps in mind our business considerations and has always been clear and to the point. We appreciate her also because she always finds time for us.’

‘Martti Peetsalu is specialized in shipping and transport matters – such a specialization is unique in Estonia, but exactly fits with our activity fields. Martti has remarkable experience in dispute resolution and is very competent in complicated matters with international elements. We appreciate his considerable experience, responsiveness and rational and well-considered solutions.’

Key clients

Port of Tallinn

Operail

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

Kevelt

TS Laevad and TS Shipping

Swedbank (Estonia)

DenizBank A.Ş.

Jetoil

ATKO Group

Taxmal Limited (Malta)

Ingeniería y Control Ferroviario SA

Work highlights

  • Advised TS Laevad OÜ on a ship-finance transaction in Estonia, which is an international competition for the construction of a new, environmentally friendly hybrid diesel-electric passenger ferry to operate between the Estonian mainland and biggest islands.
  • Achieved an important and precedent-setting victory for the Estonian pharmaceutical company AS KEVELT in the Supreme Court. In its judgment, the Supreme Court issued important instructions to carriers of temperature-sensitive goods, such as medicines or vaccines.
  • Represented SOE Operail in several high-profile cases over the legality of rail infrastructure fees with SOE Estonian Railways.

Magnusson

With cross-jurisdictional coverage across the Nordics and the Baltics, Magnusson specialises in representing international transportation clients in shipping and transport disputes. Its clients range from European bus transport groups to aerospace servicing companies. Practice head Denis Piskunov covers corporate insolvency and international transport-related arbitration proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Denis Piskunov

Other key lawyers:

Marek Keiman

Testimonials

‘Magnusson stands out in the market for their unique regional coverage compared to competition – they are strongly present both in the Nordics and Baltics. The team has strong litigators, and they stand out with shipping and transport sector specific knowledge. The lawyers are commercially oriented, strong strategic thinkers and talented tacticians. Our long term go to firm for high value matters.’

‘Denis Piskunov is an outstanding lawyer with significant experience in the shipping and transport sector. We would characterize him as highly professional, quick, and efficient. You can trust him to deliver.’

‘Associate Marek Keiman is very thorough with excellent attention to detail and simply great to work with as he also possesses good communication skills.’

‘The firm has been very successful in representing our company and has provided us with advice on complex matters, with the added difficulty of an international element. The firm is reputable for dealing with multi-jurisdictional cases and they demonstrate considerable professionalism. Our matters have been handled in an efficient and timely manner, with positive results.’

‘We can say that we highly commend Denis Piskunov’s work. He was consistent with his efforts and provided great contact with professional and fast feedback.’

‘The team of Magnusson is a friendly, high skilled unit.’

‘Denis Piskunov showed himself as a responsible, highly skilled person.’

Key clients

Keystone Group

Ferroline Group

Sprint logistics

Flixbus

Avia Solutions Group

R.E.D. Trailer Rental

Pilver Transport

Work highlights

  • Assisted German intercity bus transport group Flixbus in entering the Estonian market.
  • Represented Polish freight forwarding and transportation company Sprint Logistics in a dispute over unpaid fees.
  • Represented Ferroline Group in several disputes over carriage fee and compensation for damages with customers, carriers and carriers’ insurers.

RASK Attorneys-at-Law

RASK is particularly strong in advising clients in the aviation and shipping industries, as well as consulting on complex transactions and transport-related litigation. It also covers niche areas including legislative impact assessments, dry and wet shipping claims, and aircraft acquisition and leasing. Of note, it is a popular choice to assist airlines active in the Baltic region, as well as private jet chartering companies and private aircraft owners. Timo Kullerkupp  leads the team and advises on the purchase and lease of aircraft and infrastructure issues. The pandemic saw an increase in instructions to represent clients in complex disputes in the aviation sector.

Practice head(s):

Timo Kullerkupp

Testimonials

‘True professional team with great customer service. Always quick and professional response to service orders. They use their expertise for comprehensive strategy of each case at hand. Individuals are subject matter experts in their field and have a very good attitude towards customer service.’

‘We enjoy working with Timo Kullerkupp. He has outstanding knowledge in the aviation industry and he is always available with very short notice.’

‘RASK helped us with an overview of Estonian and Lithuanian law. They provided us with a sensible cost figure and were very effective in terms of communicating our agreement from the beginning. We had nothing but impressions of professionalism when working with them, and they were great collaborators. They are quick with responses and more approachable than employees in other law firms, and these are strengths we have valued very much when collaborating with them.’

Key clients

Kihnu Veeteed AS

Air Baltic Corporation AS

SmartLynx Estonia OÜ

Magnetic MRO AS

Pärnu Sadam AS

Ridango AS

Estonian Autosport Events MTÜ

Diamond Sky OÜ

Work highlights

  • Represented Air Baltic Corporation AS in settlement negotiations in court as well as out of court.
  • Representing SmartLynx Estonia in consumer-related disputes under European Regulation EC261 in the Republic of Estonia.
  • Advised Magnetic MRO AS on all areas related to the company’s economic activities.

FORT

FORT focuses on advising transportation clients on M&A and competition matters, as well as dispute resolution. The team is lead by Tallinn managing partner Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff, who specialises in transport-related disputes and contracts, as well as public procurement and court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff

Testimonials

‘Industry knowledge. I have worked with their leading partner in this field, Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff, for nearly 20 years by now. There simply isn’t any practitioner in the market who has comparable know-how. He has built up a strong team around him.’

‘Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff, he seems to know everything about this field, has good feeling about what direction regulations are heading, never gets lost in details. Just impressive.’

Key clients

Hansabuss

Teede Tehnokeskus AS

Balti Bussi Grupp

ALFONS HAKANS

Loading Systems International BV

Europcar Estonia

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Tallinn Airport AS

NTG Nordic Transport Group A/S

Work highlights

  • In partnership with EY (Ernst & Young) forensics services carried out a state-commissioned investigation into the legal and financial situation of Aktsiaselts Eesti Post (Omniva).
  • Advised Capitalica Asset Management on its first Estonian investment: acquisition of logistics complex by Capitalica Green Logistics Fund.
  • Represented Hansa Group in a number of disputes with the state in various regulatory issues (including pricing regulations in the public services contracts) and related to several public procurement proceedings.