Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Banking, finance and capital markets

Skrastins & Dzenis was founded in 2015 and has been very active in advising clients on fintech and regulatory issues. Aivis Dzenis, who worked in-house at a major Latvian bank, leads the team.

Banking, finance and capital markets in Latvia

Cobalt

As one of the biggest firms in the Baltic region, Cobalt is well-equipped to handle large-scale transactions, as illustrated by its recent work for European Investment Bank and Nordic Investment Bank on financing the €122m Kekava Bypass road project. Edgars Lodzins, who was promoted to the partnership in 2022, is notably also active in capital markets work, particularly in relation to Eurobonds and green bond offerings and he heads the practice. The team also benefits from the expertise of specialist counsel Andrejs Lielkalns, who focuses on regulatory and restructuring issues, Sandija Novicka, who specialises in tax and M&A issues involving the banking sector and managing partner Lauris Liepa.

Practice head(s):

Edgars Lodzins

Other key lawyers:

Andrejs Lielkalns; Lauris Liepa; Sandija Novicka

Testimonials

‘Cobalt works in a very flexible way, whereas we can ask a question to one consultant – main contact person, and the team will assign all necessary resources and experts from the whole inhouse experts available for this topic. Extremely client and service oriented.’

‘Cobalt will always point out to the client the critical places in the agreement we need to pay our attention to and will come up with the solutions that would be both beneficial for the client and acceptable to the banks/ financing institutions.’

‘Andrejs Lielkalns is a highly skilled and experienced consultant for banking & finance. Andrejs has a deep knowledge and understanding of the business and the industry that is of a great value when negotiating details. ‘

‘When Andrejs is involved in the drafting/negotiation process, one can be sure all details will be covered and all critical matters will be brought to attention of the client.’

‘Top-tier financing know-how.’

Key clients

airBaltic

American Express group

Credit Agricole

Danske Bank

Erste Group Bank AG

European Investment Bank

HSBC

ING Belgium NV/SA

IPF Digital

Luminor Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised European Investment Bank and Nordic Investment Bank on signing a 21-year loan agreement for the Kekava Bypass road project.
  • Advised SEB banka and Danske Bank as lenders in respect of a court supervised restructuring proceedings of Valmiera Glass group.
  • Advised Barclays, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole CIB as joint lead managers on te issuance of a 10-year €1.250b Eurobond by the Republic of Latvia.

Ellex

Ellex's standing in the market sees it attract mandates from clients such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. It has a very strong reputation in acquisition finance and project finance, as well as capital markets transactions. Practice head Valters Diure's wide-ranging experience includes aviation finance and insolvency work. Zinta Jansons is known to handle financial services transactions and regulatory compliance work. Senior counsel Raivis Leimanis is also a respected name for regulatory work. The team is known for its expertise in cross-border transactions and has a strong profile among international investors, with one client commenting that its advice ‘was tailored perfectly for our US client.’

Practice head(s):

Valters Diure

Other key lawyers:

Zinta Jansons; Raivis Leimanis

Testimonials

‘Ellex provided excellent advice that was tailored perfectly for our US client.’

‘I would like to say three words that best describe the team: responsibility, professionalism and speed.’

‘We are working with the team relatively recently in this field. Even now it is clear that it is a team that has lived up to our expectations both in terms of quality as well as value for money.’

‘Ellex stands out from other peers because of the mindset they maintain in the practice. They are tackling each question with responsibility and deep understanding. The team constantly upgrades and improves its knowledge.’

‘The individuals working for the practice are professional, kind, and responsible. It’s a pleasure to work with them.’

Key clients

Bigbank

Citigroup

Deutsche Bank

Providence Capital

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Goldman Sachs

JPMorgan

International Capital Markets Association

International Finance Corporation

Bank of America

Generali Europe

Warwick Capital

Danske Bank

Clearstream Banking S.A.

Livonia Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Danske Bank on the sale of its corporate portfolio to Luminor.
  • Advising the initial bond purchasers and mandated lead arrangers on Bite Group´s  €700m bond issuance and financing.
  • Advising Warwick Capital Partners on financing the acquisition of Valmiera Stikla Šķiedra.

Sorainen

As a leading pan-Baltic firm with the 'capacity to navigate very different interests', Sorainen is highly reputed for its work on major financings and capital markets, and also its regulatory compliance advice. It also handles corporate work in the financial services sector.  Rūdolfs Eņģelis, who heads up the team, counts Luminor Bank as a key client. He also advised Ignitis Group on its landmark IPO, which was the largest public offering to come out of the Baltic States. Eņģelis works with senior associate Inese Heinacka. Associate Agneta Rumpa is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Rūdolfs Eņģelis

Other key lawyers:

Inese Heinacka; Agneta Rumpa

Testimonials

‘Hands-on mentality, availability, good advice and strong focus on customer needs.’

‘Inese Heinacka and Agneta Rumpa are always ready to help, very good support in finding accurate and practical solutions.’

‘Capacity to navigate very different interests.’

Key clients

Kekava ABT

Luminor

Ignitis Group

Bitė Group

Vienna Insurance Group

Andele Mandele PAY

Nasdaq CSD SE

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Holm Bank

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns has a first-rate reputation for handling some of the largest capital markets transactions seen in the Baltic market, including IPOs and secondary raisings, as well as bond issuances. It is one of the few leading law firms in the Baltic states that has been granted the status of a pan-Baltic Certified Adviser on First North market by Nasdaq Riga. Senior partner Māris Vainovskis, who leads the team, is particularly knowledgeable about the new anti-money laundering laws. Another key name is associate Justīne Ignatavičute, who is dual-qualified in Latvia and the UK, and focuses on both banking and finance and capital markets work.

Practice head(s):

Māris Vainovskis

Other key lawyers:

Justīne Ignatavičute

Testimonials

‘The team is highly client-oriented and understands business needs exceptionally well. They provide very good communication, the employees are highly responsive and clients can receive swift and competent answers almost at any time.’

‘Maris Vainovskis as the leading partner is experienced adviser in any transaction. Justīne Ignatavičute is a highly motivated and client-oriented associate.’

‘Deep knowledge and understanding in the field of AML/CFTSP. ’

‘The Eversheds Sutherland Bitans team has proved to be superb diligent, hardworking and result-oriented.’

‘Maris Vainovskis is a great manager, also very diligent and punctual.’

Key clients

AS Valmieras stikla šķiedra

AS “Virši-A”

EURONET 360 Finance Limited

SIA Callidus Capital

SIA DelfinGroup

AS MADARA Cosmetics

Signet Bank AS

AS “SEB banka”

Work highlights

  • Advised AS Valmieras stikla šķiedra on refinancing and restructuring proceedings as well as a majority share sale transaction.
  • Advised SIA Callidus Capital on a capital raising and two-tier share capital increase by issue of new shares and convertible bonds.
  • Advised AS Alphinox Quality on obtaining a license for the operations of an investment brokerage company in Latvia, which was successfully obtained in July 2021.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic advises on major financings and capital markets transactions, with additional strengths in regulatory compliance and banking-related corporate deals. Other areas of activity include advising on fintech, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and employee share schemes. The firm’s pan-Baltic model also makes the team well placed to handle cross-border transactions. Practice head Inese Hazenfusa is particularly skilled in project finance transactions and bond issuances.

Practice head(s):

Inese Hazenfusa

Testimonials

‘TGS Baltic’s individual qualities are delving into the nuances, ability to listen to the client’s wishes, patience and professional attitude.’

‘The team’s strengths are its high level of responsibility, fast reactions in different situations and high-quality work.’

Key clients

Swedbank

Inchcape

SEB

EstateGuru

FMS Wertmanagement

European Investment Bank

ALTUM KAPITĀLA FONDS

Jyske Bank

Overkill Ventures

4Finance

Rīgas Satiksme

BlueOrange Bank

Evernord

Work highlights

  • Advised Rigas Satiksme in relation to a facility agreement arranged by Česká spořitelna with Česká spořitelna.
  • Advised a financial consortium with respect to the initial public offering of 20m shares of AB Ignitis grupė.
  • Assisted with implementation of TI’s new omnibus employee share purchase plan.

BDO Law

BDO Law is adept at advising on regulatory issues, particularly in relation to the fintech sector, alternative investment funds and anti-money laundering compliance. Practice head Vita Liberte is skilled in the aforementioned areas and counts Baltic Asset Management as a key client.

Practice head(s):

Vita Liberte; Janis Zelmenis

Other key lawyers:

Inese Rendeniece

Testimonials

‘Team members are available when necessary. BDO has a great international network with lawyers all around the world and is ready to service complex requests in a short amount of time.’

‘Janis Zelmenis always comes up with innovative and long-term ideas for our business and business owners.’

Key clients

Baltic International Bank

Finup

SIA “Mobitech”

Altum

VIA SMS Group

Baltic Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advised the fintech company Mobitech on regulatory and licensing issues.
  • Advised Baltic International Bank on the establishment of a European Company or Societas Europaea (SE) by means of conversion of an existing local joint-stock company.
  • Advised Altum on a collateral agreement.

drill. law firm DELETE

drill. Law Firm is a new law firm that opened its doors for business in December 2020, with fintech representing one of its core areas of focus. Former FORT partner Ramona Miglane leads the practice, with a focus on undertaking regulatory and compliance work within the fintech and alternative investment spaces. Senior associate Laura Erkske, who supports Miglane on most matters, has also joined from FORT.

Practice head(s):

Ramona Miglane

Other key lawyers:

Laura Erkske

Key clients

Balta AAS

DelfinGroup

Finance Latvia

Ferratum Bank

Globitex

INDEXO

Mintos Marketplace

Mindi Insurance

Mindi Latvia

Mogo

ZGI Capital

Work highlights

  • Advised INDEXO on creation of “new generation” third-pillar private pension fund.
  • Advised AS Longo Group on two rounds of capitalization of a shareholders’ loan.
  • Advised the car leasing company mogo on an unfair commercial practice claim brought by the Consumer Rights Protection Centre.  

Kronbergs Cukste Levin

Kronbergs Cukste Levin is a strong choice for advice on banking and finance regulations and handles various issues for the European Central Bank. In addition to handling regulatory matters, Vineta Cukste-Jurjeva is also experienced in advising on insolvency and liquidation.

Practice head(s):

Vineta Cukste-Jurjeva

Key clients

European Central bank

ABLV

Baker & McKenzie

Luminor Bank

SEB

Express Credit

Sun Finance

Societe Generale

Wirecard Bank

Estate Guru

German Bankers Association

AIG

Latvian Alternative Finance Association

Extra Credit

Pasažieru vilciens

Work highlights

  • Advised Sun Finance on setting up a cross border corporate structure with a holding company.
  • Advising 4Finance Latvia on regulatory and licensing matters.
  • Advising Moller Auto Baltic on cross-border restructuring.

VILGERTS

VILGERTS has a long-standing reputation in real estate finance, with other core capabilities in bond issuances and fintech. Managing partner Gints Vilgerts oversees the team and is highly skilled in real estate financing transactions, most recently advising through acquisition and mezzanine financing structures. Aivars Lošmanis, who is an expert in bond issuances, is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Gints Vilgerts

Other key lawyers:

Aivars Lošmanis

Testimonials

‘Good level of attention to all client issues. Capable team acting very fast and professionally with necessary attention to every detail. ’

‘Gints Vilgerts, the Managing Partner, is an outstanding individual with a very high level of professionalism and ethics. He is well connected, well experienced and reliable.’

Key clients

Balcia Insurance

Estera Development

RIMI

East Capital Real Estate

Cream Finance

BPM Capital

Citadele Leasing

COFACE

Baltic Dairy Board

Cachet

Summus Capital

Altum

AS DelfinGroup

Work highlights

  • Advised SUMMUS CAPITAL OÜ on the acquisition of one of the largest shopping malls in Latvia, “Riga Plaza”.
  • Advised INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund in acquiring 52.81% in Eco Baltia.
  • Advised SIA Baltic Dairy Board, on its acquisition by the Lithuanian dairy processor, VilviGroup.

WALLESS (former Primus Derling)

WALLESS (former Primus Derling) advises on capital markets, regulatory compliance and contentious matters, counting JP Morgan and BNP Paribas as key clients. Managing partner Kristīne Gaigule-Šāvēja is a key name and advises on a number of capital markets transactions. This is also a core strength of Zane Eglīte-Fogele and is a member of AS Nasdaq Riga. Sintija Radionova is another key individual.

Testimonials

‘Long-term cooperation with WALLESS team has brought nothing but great results to us as a client. We especially appreciate their skillset working with untypical issues, as well as competence working with different public and private institutions.’

‘Sintija Radionova has delivered superb results while maintaining excellent work ethics and fast, high-quality turnaround. We have never had any issues when it comes to working with Sintija, and her skillset gives us as a client assurance that she cares for the matters she is working on.’

Key clients

BNP Paribas

J.P. Morgan

Luminor Bank AS

Luminor Līzings SIA

Uctam Baltics SIA

UAVFACTORY SIA

UPB AS

AJ Power Group

L-EKSPRESIS SIA

LSEZ Dan Store SIA

Lumi Retail Property

ALD Automotive SIA

Iron Mountain group company

DEPO DIY SIA

Novira Capital OU

ESTO Holdings OU

Citadele Banka AS

BHM group

OP Corporate Bank Plc

Income Company OÜ

Mandatum Life Insurance Company Limited

Maiden Life & General

AS Sakret Holdings

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented the shareholders of UAVFACTORY SIA in a M&A transaction.
  • Advised consortium “BERERIX” on its fulfilment of its public procurement contract with Rail Baltica.
  • Advised BHM Group in its acquisition of Olainfarm.

ZAB Deloitte Legal

ZAB Deloitte Legal is experienced in both financing and regulatory matters, with particular strengths in advising on Latvia’s anti-money-laundering regulations. Māris Liguts oversees the team and is skilled in syndicated loan, debt restructuring and property finance. The team’s client base includes banks such as Expobank and Industra Bank, as well as more niche lenders such as PayRay and Caterpillar Finance.

Practice head(s):

Maris Liguts

Key clients

Industra Bank AS

Expobank AS

Payoma Limited

Crowdestor OU

Caterpillar Finance

Polipaks Group

Baltic International Bank SE

Expobank AS

PayRay

Baltic International Bank SE

DNB AsA branch in Latvia

Work highlights

  • Advised Baltic International Bank on issuance of convertible contingency bonds and on regulatory matters.
  • Reviewed Industra Bank’s internal AML/CTF procedures with AML directive and local FSA’s requirements and suggested best practise used in the region for the same type of banks.

Law Office Spridzans

As a relatively new name to the market, Law Office Spridzans counts European Investment Bank and Citadele Bank among its clients. It primarily focuses on regulatory and licensing work. The firm is recognised by Nasdaq as a Nasdaq Riga First North certified adviser and it often assists overseas companies with local listings. Fintech and alternative investment are other core strengths. Ansis Spridzans leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Ansis Spridzans

Key clients

European Investment Bank

Baltic Technology Ventures, AS7

ViVentor

Funding for Future B.V.

Citadele banka

Capitalia

Credon

Easy Debt Service

SME Finance

Vivat Verwaltungs GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised ViVentor on licensing issues.
  • Assisted Citadele banka with the development of internal procedures in relation to a securities settlement.
  • Advised Credon in relation to regulatory and licensing issues involving P2P lending.

LEADELL Vītols

LEADELL Vītols is highly involved in insolvency, restructuring and debt recovery work, with an additional ability to advise on the opening of overseas bank branches. The practice is led by Karlis Vitols, who counts Swedbank leasing as a key client. Ilze Jankevica has expertise in acquisition finance, asset finance and trade finance.

Practice head(s):

Karlis Vitols

Other key lawyers:

Ilze Jankevica

Testimonials

‘Permanently excellent and reliable legal service provider.’

Key clients

Chemical Works of Gedeon Richter Plc.

Merrild Baltics

NAFA Europe B.V.

North American Fur Auctions Inc.

Swedbank Leasing

Virtu

Work highlights

  • Advised Swedbank Leasing on debt recovery worth over €2m.
  • Advised NAFA Europe B.V. on insolvency proceedings regarding a loan recovery of over €4m.
  • Advised Chemical Works of Gedeon Richter on the preparation of sponsorship and donation agreement.