Dispute resolution in Latvia
The ‘highly knowledgeable and dedicated’ Cobalt is differentiated through its sizeable team, with expertise spanning several specialist fields. The group handles both litigation and arbitration, with a caseload involving courts in both Latvia and the EU, as well as international arbitration centres. Practice head and managing partner Lauris Liepa is ‘one of the most notable lawyers in the Baltics’, primarily due to his strength in commercial, administrative and constitutional cases. He is supported by specialist partners Dace Silava-Tomsone, who focuses on competition and construction disputes; tax litigator Sandija Novicka; and EU and competition expert Uģis Zeltiņš. Founding partner Ģirts Lejiņš, who is a respected name in international arbitration, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Dace Silava-Tomsone; Sandija Novicka; Uģis Zeltiņš; Ģirts Lejiņš
‘The team is highly knowledgeable and dedicated.’
‘The team maintain exceptional ethical standards, and have a humble and positive attitude. They also are keen to learn about the client’s business to offer better service. The managing partners are very well connected in the country and understand the legal, political and business aspects of cases.’
‘Lauris Liepa can be seen as a role model for lawyers of the younger generation, as he maintains high ethical and work standards alongside great subject knowledge and communication skills. He can build trust and lead complicated negotiations. We would recommend Mr. Liepa as one of the most notable lawyers in the Baltics.’
Riga International Airport
Olympic Entertainment Group
Public Broadcasting Media
Central Election Commission of Latvia
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
- Represented Marco Pagnutti before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union in a case relating to the denial of “sickness benefits” in Latvia for EU citizens.
- Represented Riga International Airport in a case where claimants had brought an investment protection treaty claim against Latvia claiming the airport’s conduct was attributable to the state.
- Represented Latvian Television in a unique copyright and competition dispute with All Media Latvia regarding TV format.
The ‘very knowledgeable team’ at Ellex has a broad offering but is distinguished by its particularly strong reputation in white-collar crime cases. Practice head Andris Lazdiņš is one of the few white-collar crime specialists in the market and is notably strong in handling anti-money laundering issues and employee investigations. Fellow practice head Daiga Zivtiņa shares a similar interest in white-collar crime cases, particularly fraud and asset tracing matters, but also focuses on corporate and commercial cases such as shareholder, insurer liability and contractual disputes. The team also includes Ilga Gudrenika-Krebs, an expert in real estate and construction cases, and senior counsel Jevgēnijs Salims, who is adept at commercial contract and corporate liability disputes. Irina Kostina focuses on employment disputes, with additional expertise in real estate, white-collar crime and public procurement cases.
Daiga Zivtiņa; Andris Lazdiņš
Other key lawyers:
Ilga Gudrenika-Krebs; Jevgēnijs Salims; Irina Kostina
‘The Ellex lawyers are specialised in their field, but they also think holistically when it comes to solving their clients’ issues.’
‘Andris Lazdiņš is to-the-point, has very good lateral thinking and is very approachable.’
‘Professional and welcoming attitude.’
‘Good communication skills that allow for prompt and appropriate responses.’
‘Professionalism, efficiency and competence.’
‘Jevgēnijs Salims has considerable experience as a judge in civil matters.’
‘Co-operation with Ellex is great. It is a very knowledgeable team and offers solutions taking into account best practice in court.’
KPMG LLP (UK)
Iberdrola Ingeniería y Construcción, S.A.U.,
Goodyear Dunlop Tyres Group
Bitum Petrochemical Industries Ltd.
Les Bergeries de Palombaggia
Elzas Holding B.V.
Verus Praedum (IKEA)
- Represented BTA Bank in a case concerning the recognition and enforcement of several foreign court rulings based on the notion of a beneficiary owner.
- Represented more than 2,000 local and international private investors in criminal proceedings for alleged fraud and embezzlement against a major alternative investment platform.
- Achieved a judgment of the Supreme Court setting a strong precedent regarding the rights of people with disabilities, the right to equality and the interpretation of sports law on behalf of several individuals.
Dispute resolution is a foundational practice area of Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns, with name partner Agris Bitāns at the helm. Bitāns is an expert in civil liability and commercial litigation, with notable strengths in the banking and public sectors. He is also highly skilled in cross-border litigation, an attribute supplemented by the firm’s international network. Other key members of the team include Ilze Kramiņa, a respected name for construction and energy-related cases; Ginta Krūkle, who focuses on administrative disputes; and senior associate Krista Bērziņa, who is notably active in insolvency disputes.
Other key lawyers:
Ilze Kramiņa; Ginta Krūkle; Krista Bērziņa
‘They have the ability to resolve disputes outside the court room by way of discussion.’
‘Client focused and professional.’
‘Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns provides fast legal services, has a good quality of service and good communication with clients. Experience shows that not all law firms operate as quickly and as intelligently.’
‘Individuals from Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns are intelligent, skilled and polite. They are ready to do their best to help the client.’
The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia
Salaspils Municipality Council
Latvijas Kuģniecība, JSC and Vitol Netherlands B.V.
Rīgas Piena Kombināts JSC
- Representing Euromin in administrative proceedings against the Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission.
- Represented REAP and Possessor in a financial liability claim against Parex Bank’s former managers and former shareholders.
- Advised cabinet ministers of the Republic of Latvia and Ministry of Education and Science in a dispute with the major state university and its rector on his re-election.
Sorainen is a leading name in the market for disputes involving bilateral investment treaties, and is also a prominent player in commercial, public procurement and tax litigation. Sectors where the team is particularly experienced include insurance, TMT and life sciences. Valts Nerets jointly leads the practice, focusing on cross-border cases involving foreign law in Latvian courts and arbitration tribunals. Fellow practice head Andris Tauriņš specialises in IP and IT-related cases. The team's public procurement caseload is mainly handled by counsel Raivo Raudzeps.
Valts Nerets; Andris Tauriņš
Other key lawyers:
Dassault Systemes SE / Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation
SJSC State Real Estate
Sodrugestvo Holding Company LLC
Dasos Timberland Fund I
Biolars Olaine Chemical Plant
- Assisted Gazprom with the recognition and enforcement of arbitral award proceedings in Latvia.
- Represented Lithuanian investor E energija in the first ICSID case against the Republic of Latvia.
- Represented Olaine Chemical Plant Biolars in criminal and administrative proceedings related to one of the largest environmental pollution cases in Latvia’s history.
TGS Baltic has ‘a strong presence in the market’, particularly in the public sector, having brought in clients such as the Ministry of Economics and the Public Utilities Commission. Practice head and managing partner Ivars Grunte is ‘a dispute resolution leader’, known for his strength in the public, sport and energy sectors. The sport sector is also an area of expertise for Agnese Hartpenga, who has acted in cases before both the Latvian courts and the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Sandis Petrovičs is another respected name with expertise in litigation and arbitration, and has notable strengths in procurement and compensation disputes. Nauris Grigals, who focuses on corporate and tax litigation, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Agnese Hartpenga; Sandis Petrovičs; Nauris Grigals
‘A professional team with easy communication.’
‘Very experienced law office with a high service level throughout the years.’
‘Very responsive, always ready to go into the matter.’
‘TGS Baltic has a strong presence in the market, especially the dispute resolution team. The team consists of many well-known attorneys whom we can always rely on. We can trust in them, their arguments are well prepared and they are always available any time. They handle litigation in a very professional and efficient manner.’
‘Ivars Grunte has a strong position in the market and he is a dispute resolution leader.’
Ministry of Economics
Public Utilities Commission
IPAS PNB AM A
AS Enerģijas publiskais tirgotājs
Riga City Council, Welfare Department
Latvian Anti-Doping Bureau
AB Baltic Mills
AS SEB banka
Ministry of Finance and VAS Valsts nekustamie īpašumi
Graanul Invest group companies – SIA Graanul Invest, SIA Graanul Pellets, SIA Latgran, SIA Graanul Invest Energy, SIA Graanul Pellets Energy
University of Latvia
CCC Riga Digital Services
EuroPark Latvia SIA
Viesis 2 (DNB bank)
Prana Property (Coop bank)
Road Traffic Safety Directorate
- Acted for the Ministry of Economics in several court cases brought against and by the former shareholder and executives of Parex Bank, which required nationalisation in 2008.
- Acted for the Public Utilities Commission in a notable dispute with Conexus Baltic Grid over its decision to certify Conexus as an independent natural gas transmission and storage system operator with conditions.
- Represented the University of Latvia in a dispute related to the public tender announced for the design and construction of the House of Letters, one of the buildings on a new campus in Riga.
Disputes within the public sector are a flagship speciality of FORT, which has expertise in constitutional, administrative and procurement cases. Practice head and founding partner Sandis Bertaitis is highly skilled in the aforementioned areas, and also has experience in energy, commercial and construction disputes. Senior associate Arturs Caics shares similar expertise and supports Bertaitis on most matters.
Other key lawyers:
Road Transport Administration
Ministry of Traffic of Republic of Latvia
Parliament of Latvia
Civil Aviation Agency
- Represented the Parliament of Latvia in Constitutional Court proceedings with regard to the disputed amendments to the Law on Institutions of Higher Education.
- Represented the Road Transport Administration in Administrative Court proceedings concerning the requirements of the most notable public procurement in the field of national passenger services.
- Acted for Cityparks Latvija in a dispute with Consumer Rights Protection Centre regarding the terms and conditions of the short-term parking services.
Kronbergs Cukste Levin
Kronbergs Čukste Levin has significant credentials in the financial services, energy and infrastructure, and construction sectors, as well as niche expertise in the gambling industry. Cross-border litigation is another key strength of the team, which regularly acts in disputes concerning other European jurisdictions and involving EU law. Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva leads the practice and is an experienced litigator before both the national courts and the European Court of Justice. Valters Kronbergs is another key name, noted for his expertise in ICC arbitrations as well as in civil litigation. Senior associate Madara Smalka, an expert in real estate, construction and procurement disputes, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Valters Kronbergs; Madara Smalkā
European Central Bank
Baker & McKenzie
Spanish citizens v. BTA insurance
The Payment House
- Acted for Alfor in multiple cases against the City of Riga regarding zoning issues as applicable to the gaming business.
- Acting for AIG in a high-value, high-profile matter regarding liability for the Maxima shopping centre disaster.
- Advised Latvenergo on an excise tax dispute with Baltimar VT.
WALLESS (former Primus Derling)
WALLESS (former Primus Derling) shows ‘great understanding in litigation’ and handles contentious cases concerning areas such as banking, insurance and public procurement. Practice head Mārtiņš MežInskis has a distinct focus on the financial services sector, with expertise in debt recovery cases, investment disputes and white-collar crime. Fellow practice head Sintija Radionova has particular expertise in disputes in the transport and shipping industries, and counts the major Baltic shipping company Alpha Shipping Company as a key client. At junior level, senior associate Konstantīns Teļakovs is highly skilled in tax litigation and white-collar crime cases.
Mārtiņš MežInskis; Sintija Radionova
Other key lawyers:
‘Great understanding in litigation. The team works together and has the ability to evaluate the particular case from a business perspective, and is easy to work with and easily reachable.’
‘We can trust Sintija Radionova to provide assistance and representation in key disputes, because she has the right skills and experience, as well as punctuality, which has been proven in different cases.’
‘The team do not only focus on litigation, but they look ahead to solving the problem by any means, including settlement.’
Alpha Shipping Company SIA
BTA Baltic Insurance Company AAS
DEPO DIY SIA
Havas Latvia SIA
Luminor Bank AS Latvijas filiāle
Luminor Līzings SIA
Nordic Partners group
Santa Monica Networks
Škoda Vagonka A.S.
- Representing Luminor Bank AS Latvijas filiāle and its subsidiaries on a regular basis in various litigation cases.
- Represented Škoda Vagonka A.S. in a dispute over public procurement procedure.
- Represented a private citizen before the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in arbitration proceedings initiated on the basis of a damages claim.
BDO Law’s association with the global financial services and auditing network means it is well placed to handle disputes concerning financial services and debt recovery, but the team is also known to handle contentious issues involving construction and transportation. Managing partner Jānis Zelmenis and Vita Liberte are the two key names of note.
Vita Liberte; Jānis Zelmenis
LDz Ritošā sastāva serviss
Attīstības finanšu institūcija Altum, AS
- Acted for Altum in several complex civil proceedings in a dispute against the previous shareholders of Parex Bank.
- Represented private citizens in an inheritance dispute.
- Acted for TILTS in a civil lawsuit against the Daugavpils City Council and an associated construction project company.
Acting in both litigation and arbitration, LEADELL Vītols has a diverse client roster which includes banks, manufacturing companies and local start-ups. The practice is jointly led by Karlis Vitols and IIze Jankevica, both of whom have a particular focus on disputes in the banking and construction industries. The team also has expertise in cross-border cases, an attribute supplemented by its membership of the TAG international partnership.
Karlis Vitols; Ilze Jankevica
‘Karlis Vitols and Ilze Jankevica are experienced, professional, caring and always one step ahead in their minds in order to make sure I get the best legal service. They love the job they do – it is noticeable in each response I get.’
‘Most tasks were performed by a partner, with the appropriate quality, accuracy and efficiency.’
‘Quick responses, attention to detail and effectiveness in terms of results.’
‘Leadell has provided us with their legal services for years. We have never considered changing since the team are professional and agile in their solutions. They are experts in their legal field and well trained in customer service and communication.’
‘I would like to give my best feedback to Karlis Vitols. His attitude has always been exceptional.’
North American Fur Auctions
Development Finance Institution Altum
- Representing North American Fur Auctions in civil, insolvency and criminal proceedings regarding a loan recovery.
- Representing Frequentis AG before the Procurement Monitoring Bureau regarding the tender of Latvia State Radio and Television Centre.
- Representing Latvian development finance institution Altum in proceedings regarding the implementation of a limitation period in a debt recovery case.
NJORD Law Firm
Insurance disputes are a key strength of the team at NJORD Law Firm, with other core areas of focus including insolvency, shipping and transport. Practice head Sergei Petrov is well versed in litigation in these areas, and counts Kuehne + Nagel as a key client. He is supported by senior associates Eduards Vaisla and Anna Kosinska.
Other key lawyers:
Eduards Vaisla; Anna Kosinska
‘You can be sure that any significant and sometimes even less significant assignments are performed by senior staff with extensive proven experience.’
OLA Overseas Liner Agencies AB
Kuehne + Nagel
LITRES GLOBAL S.A.
NORDLINE COMMUNICATIONS L.P.
- Representing Coface in a dispute with joint-stock company Trasta Komercbanka (in liquidation).
- Representing Kuehne + Nagel in a dispute with IF P&C Insurance regarding damages.
- Represented Ecolab in a dispute with a Latvian infringer of trade marks belonging to the client.
Rödl & Partner
Rödl & Partner saw significant changes to its dispute resolution team in 2020 as former practice heads Kaspars Balodis and Inese Kalnāja-Zelča left the firm, Balodis to become a Supreme Court judge and Kalnaja-Zelca to join Accenture as general counsel. New arrivals to the team are practice heads Lauris Rasnačs, an expert in commercial and competition law, and Dace Driče, who focuses on employment disputes. The new team’s workload has consisted of civil and administrative proceedings, mainly hinging upon contract breaches, payment issues and employee terminations.
Lauris Rasnačs; Dace Driče
Other key lawyers:
‘The Rödl team was very efficient and supportive towards us as a rather difficult customer in a rather complicated case.’
Arvato Systems GmbH
Rodl & Partner SIA (accounting firm)
STOCKHOLM SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS IN RIGA SIA
- Represented Hagberg in proceedings regarding a breach of contract and collection of damages.
- Acted for Schaeffler Baltic in litigation.
- Acted for the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga in a dispute concerning the interpretation of EU and Latvian law.
Skrastins & Dzenis
Dispute resolution is a cornerstone of Skrastiņš & Dzenis, which has a team well versed in handling contentious matters concerning banking and private client issues. Founding partner Verners Skrastiņš is a key name for banking disputes and is well regarded in arbitration. Vigo Krastiņš is likewise heavily involved in cases in the financial services sector, but mainly in relation to bankruptcy and insolvencies. Andrejs Guļajevs is a respected name in litigation, having acted in cases at both Supreme Court level and further afield in the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Aivis Dzenis; Verners Skrastiņš; Andrejs Guļajevs; Vigo Krastiņš
- Representing a client in a €3m case in the London Court of International Arbitration in regards to approval for the termination of an SPA.
- Representing the former members of the board and shareholders of one of the largest Latvian banks in a wide range of legal actions.
- Representing a client in a complex real estate dispute regarding the forced lease of land.
VILGERTS is a prominent name within the fields of insurance, construction and transport, with expertise in both litigation and arbitration in these areas. Jānis Kubilis leads the practice and is well known for handling contentious matters in the transport sector. Founding partner Gints Vilgerts, who handles insurance and construction-related disputes, is another key individual, as is associate Anda Staltmane, who is particularly experienced in real estate and construction litigation.
A new firm to the market, Šķiņķis Pētersons is a dispute resolution boutique which specialises in cases involving the Constitutional Court, the European Court of Human Rights and administrative proceedings. Matīss Šķiņķis co-chairs the practice and is highly skilled in tax-related disputes, regularly defending clients against the State Revenue Service. Mārtiņš Pētersons also leads the team and is highly skilled in construction and energy-related cases.
Magnusson is best known for its expertise in debt recovery cases, with additional experience in public procurement, tax and commercial disputes. Matīss Rostoks leads the practice and has expertise in the aforementioned areas.
ZAB Deloitte Legal
ZAB Deloitte Legal commands a steady workload of disputes involving tax, procurement, commercial contract and tenancy issues. Maris Liguts leads the practice and has appeared before both local and European courts, as well as having a strong track record in international arbitration.
SIA “First Capital Investment Group”
Flying Academy s.r.o.
AS “Tukuma Straume”
VALEO AUTOKLIMATIZACE, k.s.
- Acted for First Capital Investment Group in several tenancy evictions.
- Acted for Flying Academy in a civil case against aviation simulator provider Tekara on the termination of the distribution contract due to non-conformity of goods.
- Acted for Tukuma Straume in a dispute against the State Revenue Service over VAT issues.