Dispute resolution in Latvia

Cobalt

Cobalt's practice is capable of handling domestic and international arbitration as well as litigation, particularly in relation to IP, construction and financial disputes. Managing partner Lauris Liepa heads the team and has experience representing corporate and state clients in the domestic courts of Latvia and the European Court of Justice. Ģirts Lejiņš focuses on international arbitration work. Ingrīda Kariņa–Bērziņa has expertise in trade mark and patent disputes. Senior associate Ugis Zeltins has acted as arbitrator and counsel in domestic and international arbitral proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Lauris Liepa

Key clients

Konekesko Latvija

Latvian Television

Moller Import Baltic SE

Pfizer

Riga International Airport

Work highlights

  • Represented the Central Election Commission of Latvia in the Administrative District Court in a case regarding the 2019 European Parliament election results.
  • Providing legal assistance to Mārtiņš Jansons in his case in the European Court of Human Rights regarding alleged violation of property rights.
  • Represented Lielzeltini in a dispute with the State Revenue Service of the Republic of Latvia related to VAT.

Ellex

Ellex's practice advises on civil and commercial disputes, and is experienced in arbitration and litigation in a range of sectors, including with regard to EU law and regulations. In addition, the practice advises on enforcing arbitral awards and foreign court rulings. Daiga Zivtina and 'thorough' and 'professional' associate partner Andris Lazdins , who specialises in anti-money laundering matters and investigations, co-lead the dispute resolution practice. In a recent highlight, the former acted for the trustees appointed by the UK court over the assets of Russian millionaire Mikhail Shlosberg in bankruptcy proceedings. Ilga Gudrenika-Krebs acts for clients in arbitration and litigation in the real estate and construction sectors. Associate partner Irina Kostina has acted in litigation relating to real estate, employment and public procurement. Senior counsel Jevgenijs Salims handles corporate liability, property and insurance litigation.

Practice head(s):

Daiga Zivtina; Andris Lazdins

Testimonials

‘The magnitude of the firm in terms of the number of lawyers as well as the diversity in legal services puts Ellex one step ahead of other law firms in the region. The lawyers in the dispute resolution practice are business minded and experienced in handling complex disputes. The lawyers from this practice do their best in order to provide clients with the best approach in court proceedings.’

‘A strong reliable firm with enough internal capacity to handle voluminous and complicated litigation matters’

‘High level of professionalism, fast task execution, good communication and reputation’

‘Ellex is a very solution-oriented team.’

‘Despite a number of difficult requests from us, involving liaising with uncooperative third parties, we could rely on Ellex to deliver.’

‘I would trust Ellex with complicated disputes work in Latvia, especially where it involves particular tensions between various parties, which they navigated beautifully.’

‘We put the individuals at Ellex under immense pressure to achieve the desired outcome in a very short period of time. The lawyers, including Irina Kostina and Ints Skaldis, rose to the occasion and delivered for the client.’

‘Andris Lazdins is always very responsive and thorough in his explanations and thoughtful in his advice.’

‘Andris Lazdins, Maris Brizgo and Liga Merwin are all professional. Maris Brizgo is especially good for international and cross-border cases.’

‘Andris Lazdins is a young, energetic professional, living up to our expectations both in terms of knowledge and speed.’

‘Roberts Rimsa is a well-qualified specialist and it was my pleasure to work with him. Despite any obstacles, Roberts remains calm and maintains good sense.’

‘Senior counsel Jevgenijs Salims stands out for his professional experience.’

Key clients

Dinotrans

EFN Nord

Lofbergs Baltic

Signet Bank

Fact Set

Work highlights

  • Prepared a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights in relation to almost ten-year-long court proceedings in a criminal case where the clients were recognised as injured parties.
  • Represented the English court-appointed receivers (the partners of KPMG) in Latvia in ongoing activities for obtaining information from local financial institutions pursuant to the recognised receivership order in Latvia.
  • Provided legal assistance and representation to Estmak Capital as a claimant in civil proceedings regarding the requirement for a Latvian company to provide information to the client as one of its shareholders.

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns has the capacity to handle domestic and cross-border litigation. Agris Bitāns heads the 'competent and experienced' team, which represents clients in all the courts of Latvia and handles claims against state institutions. In a recent highlight, Bitāns and Raimonds Groza represented Olegs Fils, one of ABLV Bank's majority shareholders, in a multimillion-euro dispute with his ex-wife, which has resulted in criminal and civil proceedings. Groza is also noted for handling shareholder disputes and cross-border debt recoveries. Ilze Kramiņa is experienced in planning, environmental and construction disputes. Senior associate Krista Bērziņa is also notable, with experience acting in commercial disputes and cross-border recoveries.

Practice head(s):

Agris Bitāns

Testimonials

‘Competent, experienced and  knowledgeable.’

‘Maris Vainovskis, Ilze Kramina and Krista Bērziņa are all aim orientated, competent and experienced.’

Key clients

Seesam Insurance

Oļegs Fiļs

Salaspils Municipality Council

Leonhard Weiss (Estonia)

JSC Reverta (formerly Parex Bank)

Work highlights

  • Representing Latvijas Kuģniecība and Vitol Netherlands as third parties in administrative court proceedings commenced by UBBV relating to declaring a decision of the Latvian Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) unlawful.
  • Representing Seesam Insurance – one of the key insurers in Latvia – in a civil matter before the court.
  • Representing Salaspils Municipal Council in litigation commenced by general partnership Modus un Partneri in relation to an agreement on construction work at the site of a public school building with a sports complex.

Sorainen

Sorainen has a broad dispute resolution practice spanning international commercial arbitration, compliance and corporate crime investigations, commercial litigation and bilateral investment treaty disputes. Newly promoted partner Valts Nerets is active in international arbitration and litigation with cross-border aspects. Andris Tauriņš acts on IP disputes, including in relation to patent violations and trade mark protection. Counsel Raivo Raudzeps has acted for clients in the civil and administrative courts. Former practice head Agris Repšs departed the firm in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Valts Nerets; Andris Tauriņš

Testimonials

‘Great understanding of international law and international arbitration practice, as well as Latvian law.’

‘Professional team, can cover a diverse range of issues, team members work together and are always up to date.’

‘Valts Nerets and Linda Reneslace show in-depth knowledge, think outside the box, see the full picture and beyond, and follow up the case even when it is done.’

Key clients

SJSC State Real Estate

RB Rail

Dasos Timberland Fund I

Primeteh

Biolars Olaine Chemical Plant

Work highlights

  • Representing E Energija in ICSID annulment proceedings against the Republic of Latvia.
  • Representing the interests of Dassault Systèmes against IP rights infringers.
  • Representing state property management company State Real Estate in litigation against a construction company regarding the execution of the Literature and Music Museum reconstruction works.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic handles corporate, commercial, tax and procurement disputes, and the energy sector is also a key focus for the firm. Ivars Grunte heads the practice; he recently represented Luminor Bank in the recovery of losses of €2m from a member of the debtor's previous management board. Agnese Hartpenga is a key practitioner, with experience of arbitration and litigation, especially in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Linda Strause is noted for handling disputes in the energy sector and for her representation of public sector clients. Nauris Grigals is experienced in corporate and tax litigation and active in arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Ivars Grunte

Key clients

Baltic Mill AB

Luminor

Viesis 2

Coop Pank

Public Utilities Commission

Work highlights

  • Representing Euroaptieka in several administrative cases challenging decisions of the Health Inspectorate in relation to the violation of restrictions for medical product advertising and unfair commercial practice.
  • Represented the Public Utilities Commission in a dispute with the sole gas transmission and underground storage operator regarding the decision to certify the system operator with conditions.
  • Advised the European Central Bank on Latvian law matters regarding claims brought by shareholders of Trasta Komercbanka after revocation of the bank’s licence.

FORT

FORT's dispute resolution practice has experience in administrative and civil litigation, acting for public and private clients. Real estate, construction and planning are key sectors for the practice. Sandis Bertaitis, the head of the practice, possesses 'remarkable theoretical knowledge and knows exactly how to put it into practice'He is representing the Parliament of Latvia in constitutional proceedings concerning the possible breach of the right to the inviolability of a private life. 'Very professional' senior associate Arturs Caics is active in litigation in a variety of areas, including energy, public administration and infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Sandis Bertaitis

Testimonials

‘FORT has a team of exceptional, high-level lawyers, who have extensive knowledge and experience in various practices, including dispute resolution. I am always sure that I can reach the team quickly.’

‘Professional and straightforward legal advice.’

‘Quick to respond with good practical and commercial advice. Work well between departments.’

‘I highly value Sandis Bartaitis’ ability to provide constructive and logical solutions and ideas. He has remarkable theoretical knowledge, and he knows exactly how to put it into practice.’

‘Arturs Caics is a very professional litigator. He is always several steps ahead.’

Key clients

Crowdestate

Convergen Energy

Mintos

Swedbank

The Ministry of Traffic of Republic of Latvia

Work highlights

  • Representing Rigas Energija in court proceedings regarding the deprivation of the feed-in tariff rights.
  • Representing Cityparks Latvija in disputes with several consumers and the Consumers Rights Protection Centre.
  • Representing the Latvian Renewable Energy Federation in  constitutional proceedings regarding amendments to the regulation of renewable energy production.

Kronbergs Cukste Levin

Kronbergs Čukste Levin's dispute resolution practice acts in litigation in the construction, aviation, banking and energy sectors. The 'professional and responsive' Vineta Cukste-Jurjeva heads the team; she recently represented the European Central Bank in the European Court of Justice in a claim against the Latvian state over security measures taken against the governor of Latvijas Banka, Ilmārs Rimševics. Valters Kronbergs acts as an arbitrator in international commercial arbitration, and also handles litigation, acting as defence counsel for AIG in ten civil proceedings relating to the collapse of the Maxima shopping centre. Sworn-in advocate and civil litigation expert Madara Smalka aided Kronbergs in this matter.

Practice head(s):

Vineta Cukste-Jurjeva

Testimonials

‘Kronbergs Cukste Levin has gained great experience in complex disputes. One of the best law office in Latvia.’

‘Vineta Cukste Jurjeva can guide opponents and judges through the case to deliver the best result to the client.’

‘Madara Smalka has developed her argument skills excellently.’

Key clients

European Central Bank

Alfor

Solaris

4finance

Gefco/Russian Railways

Work highlights

  • Representing Alfor in a dispute over the revocation of more than 20 gambling permits in Riga in the administrative courts, Constitutional Court and preliminary rulings by the European Court of Justice.
  • Representing Solaris Bus & Coach in a dispute with Riga City Council regarding the supply of new trams and trolley-buses in a public procurement procedure.
  • Acting for Azerbaijan Railways in a dispute over the repair and possession of a locomotive.

VILGERTS

VILGERTS' dispute resolution practice has represented clients in the shipping and transport, construction and insurance sectors. The firm also has experience acting for a variety of government entities. The 'excellent' and 'dedicated' Jānis Kubilis heads the practice and is assisting Air Baltic Corporation in various court proceedings in Russia against Investbank, with the total claimed amount exceeding €16m. Gints Vilgerts has experience in litigation and arbitration in the construction and insurance sectors. Associate Anda Staltmane has expertise in commercial, construction and insurance litigation.

Practice head(s):

Jānis Kubilis

Testimonials

‘Vilgerts has a broad practice in the field of litigation, which makes them excellent when it comes to representing clients’ interests.’

‘The team is great, extremely reliable, even when the deadlines are tight.’

‘Janis Kubilis is one of the leading litigators in the firm and delivers an excellent performance in court.’

‘Both Janis Kubilis and Aivars Losmanis are excellent lawyers, both as academics and practitioners.’

‘Janis Kubilis is very responsive, very dedicated and very competent – he was able to provide us with the necessary help on an extremely short notice.’

‘Aivars Losmanis is an established authority in civil law in Latvia.’

Key clients

Air Baltic Corporation AS

East Capital Real Estate AS

State Environmental Service

Riga City Real Estate Department

AS Conexus Baltic Grid

Work highlights

  • Represented Merks in a €2.4m construction dispute with Riga International Airport.
  • Representing Valsts vides Dienests in a €25m construction dispute  with Skonto Būve, one of the largest construction companies in Latvia.
  • Representing If P&C Insurance in a shipping and insurance dispute with Kuehne + Nagel Latvia.

WALLESS (former Primus Derling)

WALLESS (former Primus Derling)'s practice covers international arbitration and commercial and cross-border litigation, particularly in the construction, employment and tax sectors. Mārtiņš MežInskis and Sintija Radionova jointly lead the team. Mezlnskis handles investment disputes and international arbitration, and in a recent highlight he acted for Kauno Tiltai, the largest transport infrastructure company in the Baltics, in a dispute with an insolvent subcontractor. Radionova is an experienced litigator in the construction, commercial and transportation sectors. Senior associate Konstantīns Teļakovs is noted for his representation of local and international clients in civil and administrative proceedings. He has also represented banks and financial institutions.

Key clients

L-Ekspresis

AmberStone Group AS

BTA Baltic Insurance Company

Luminor Bank AS Latvijas filiāle

UAB Daltra

Work highlights

  • Representing Santa Monica Networks as a third party in a regression claim initiated by If P&C Insurance against the general contractor of the Latvian National Library.
  • Representing Kauno Tiltai in a dispute with an insolvent sub-contractor.

LEADELL Vītols

LEADELL Fogels, Vitols & Paipa's broad dispute resolution practice 'covers and combines many fields'The team has experience representing construction companies, entrepreneurs and banks in major litigation. Practice head Ilze Jankevica acts for clients in both litigation and arbitration; in a recent highlight, she represented Coffee Drive before Riga City Council as well as before the court regarding a dispute about the issuance of a building permit.

Practice head(s):

Ilze Jankevica

Testimonials

‘The practice covers and combines many fields: negotiations in the construction sector, debt-related matters, IT, and so on.’

‘Partners have strong individual backgrounds and specialisations which gives added value.’

Key clients

Luminor Bank

Swedbank

Swedbank Leasing

Coffee Drive

Virtu

Work highlights

  • Represented long-term clients Luminor Bank, Swedbank, Swedbank Liising and Altum in court and arbitration proceedings.
  • Represented Coffee Drive before Riga City Council as well as before court regarding dispute of issuance of building permit.

NJORD Law Firm

NJORD Law Firm's practice has particular strength in shipping and transport, insurance and IP-related disputes. While the team also represents local clients, it has a focus on its international client base. Practice head Sergei Petrov is representing AbeBooks in a dispute with a resident of Latvia over infringement of the client's rights. Senior associate Anna Kosinska is well versed in litigation, with experience in the transport, employment, telecoms and IP sectors. Eduards Vaisla, who is known for his expertise in civil and administrative litigation, joined the firm in February 2019. Senior associate Laura Ozola is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Sergei Petrov

Key clients

Grovema BV

Ecolab USA, Inc.

Natalia Chabelnique

Andreas Lakomek

UAB Tilsta

Work highlights

  • Representing Coface in a court dispute with joint-stock company Trasta Komercbanka (in liquidation) on the recovery of insurance compensation.
  • Represented Avest in a civil case regarding the recognition of title on a building situated on a land plot owned by the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Latvia.
  • Representing Ecolab in a dispute with a Latvian company concerning its trade mark.

BDO Law

BDO Law's dispute resolution practice handles both domestic and international litigation and arbitration. The group is headed by attorney-at-law Edgars Ziedins, who joined the firm in 2018 and is an expert in civil and commercial law. Managing partner Vita Liberte has experience representing clients in the European Court of Justice in employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Edgars Ziedins

Rödl & Partner

Rödl & Partner's dispute resolution group has strength in civil litigation, arbitration and constitutional proceedings. Kaspars Balodis, who is described as 'an established authority in civil and constitutional law matters', co-leads the team and has expertise in constitutional claims and commercial rights matters. Co-head Inese Kalnaja-Zelca has 'deep knowledge' in a variety of areas, including arbitrations, labour law disputes and administrative litigation. Associate Kristiāna Viļuma, who is experienced in shareholder disputes and administrative litigation, joined the firm from BDO Law in April 2019.

Testimonials

‘Inese Kalnaja-Zelca and Kristane Zvejniece have competence and deep knowledge. They work hard to find effective solutions to cases.’

‘Inese Kalnaja-Zelca and Kristane Zvejniece have shown a high level of knowledge of the applicable laws, including the procedural aspects of local arbitration proceedings. The legal strategies proposed have been original and effective to strengthen our position in the case.’

‘Kristine Zvejniece is excellent, results orientated, friendly and helpful – all I expect from a legal partnership’

‘Kaspars Balodis is an established authority in civil and constitutional law matters.’

‘The team is very forthcoming and provides high-level legal opinions, as well as suggestions on the resolution of the dispute based on the evaluation of all the related business and reputation risks, time and money investments and the long-term goals of the company.’

‘Inese Kalnāja-Zelča takes every case close to her heart and does not leave any stone unturned. We have the utmost trust our cases were led in the best way possible and all arguments were well substantiated and played at the right time. We are happy with the outcome and the quality of the services provided to us.’

Key clients

Sirowa Group

Baltic-Calves SIA

Brain Games Publishing SIA

Kapačmuiža SIA

Premier Restaurants SIA

Work highlights

  • Representing Kapačmuiža in an administrative dispute with the Rural Support Service regarding the refusal of EU financial support.
  • Providing Edgars Lediņš with advice related to real estate matters and public environmental issues.
  • Representing DBS Celtnieciba during a debt recovery process and eventual dispute with Komercveiksmes.

Skrastins & Dzenis

Skrastins & Dzenis' dispute resolution group has experience in litigation and arbitration proceedings, including administrative disputes. Verners Skrastiņš, who advises both domestic and international clients, and Vigo Krastiņš, who represents clients in shareholder and employment disputes, as well as arbitration proceedings, co-head the team. Andrejs Guļajevs is experienced in administrative and civil disputes, appearing in local courts and the Supreme Court of Latvia.