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Firms To Watch: Employment

BDO Law has a growing portfolio of work in relation to employee contracts, remuneration policies and general regulatory compliance.
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Employment in Latvia

Cobalt

Cobalt‘s team is highly skilled in acting for international clients, as is reflected by the fact that it acts for names such as Biogen and Hugo Boss. The team’s recent workload included major restructurings, immigration issues and outsourcings. It also advises on regulatory compliance in relation to bonus policies, remote working and general HR issues. Group head Toms Sulmanis is an expert in restructurings, redundancies and trade union negotiations.  He is supported by senior associates Kristine Patmalniece and Ivo Maskalāns. Patmalniece is highly skilled in redundancy matters, while Maskalāns has a particular interest in corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Practice head(s):

Toms Sulmanis

Testimonials

‘Highly competent, fast and fair prices.’

‘Professionals working at Cobalt are experts in the field and provide a personal approach and supportive communication with clients.’

‘Associates within the labour law department are supportive, efficient, fast and present in all cases we have had to use their expertise.’

‘Overall collaboration with Cobalt has been flawless so far. It has been very easy to work with Cobalt in terms of communication, billing, service itself, timeliness etc.’

Key clients

Goodyear

Cabot

Hugo Boss

Johnson & Johnson

Radisson

Evolution Latvia

Fragomen LLP

Nutricia

Volvo Truck Latvia

Solvay

Work highlights

  • Provided comprehensive employment law advice to Biogen in relation to launch of its business operations in Latvia.
  • Advising Fragomen LLP on arrangements for obtaining of residence/work permits for employees of various multi-national companies.
  • Provided comprehensive legal advice to Hugo Boss in relation to operations in the Latvian market, including adjustment of various policies in line with the local requirements.

Ellex

Ellex's pan-Baltic reach makes it a popular choice among international clients such as L'Oréal, for whom it advised on the implementation of a global share ownership plan in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in 2020. The group covers a full spectrum of matters for clients, with its expertise including remote working arrangements and employment issues associated with the use of artificial intelligence. Practice head Irina Kostina is highly skilled in contentious employment matters. Daiga Zivtiņa, Andris Lazdiņš and senior counsel Iveta Ceple are also noteworthy names.

Practice head(s):

Irina Kostina

Other key lawyers:

Daiga Zivtiņa; Andris Lazdiņš; Iveta Ceple

Testimonials

‘Precise, professionally interested in the topic, understand my sense of urgency.’

‘Ellex is one of the most reputable firms in the Baltic region. The services offered are utmost professional and up-to-date, taking into account the latest developments and legal amendments in the country.’

‘The strength of Ellex is its pan-Baltic team and ability to consult large international clients at regional level.’

‘The people I have worked with are very professional, knowledgeable and engaged. I would like to highlight Irina Kostina, Associate Partner.’

‘The team is competent and flexible.’

‘The individuals we worked with have always shown themselves as responsive and committed to delivering quality services.’

‘I appreciate that the firm operates as a one stop shop for assistance in the Baltic region.’

‘The individuals that I have been in contact with have had great availability and provided pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Beam Suntory

Embassy of Switzerland

Oracle

Fact Set

SAP SE

Coca-Cola HBC Latvia

Saint Gobain

Merck Sharp & Dohme

Cognizant

Developer of IKEA brand in Latvia

Heisterkamp Transport Latvia

Sanofi-Aventis

Eastnine Latvia

Bonava

Solvay

Danone

Bloomberg LP

Work highlights

  • Assisted L’Oréal Baltic with the implementation of the second Global Employee Share Ownership Plan in 2020 with respect of more than 120 employees.
  • Advised IBM on the provision of IT outsourcing services to Luminor Bank which required transfer of the bank’s employees to the client.
  • Advised Allnex on working from home guidelines, options to work from different workplaces and related work safety requirements.

Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns

Contentious matters are a particular area of strength at Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns, which recently acted for clients on cases brought by employees and trade unions over allegedly unfair terminations. The team is also highly skilled in non-contentious work and regularly assists clients with their employee contracts and internal policies. The practice is led by Elina Mucina, who is well versed in local employment regulations, having previously worked for the Department of the Ministry of Welfare of the Republic of Latvia. Managing partner Agris Bitāns is also highly skilled in employment disputes. Senior associate Jānis Siliņš is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Elina Mucina

Other key lawyers:

Agris Bitāns; Jānis Siliņš

Testimonials

‘Always very attentive to all assistance required.’

‘The understanding of what and how exactly the tasks needs to be solve.’

‘The team includes experts of the industry. The firm delivers excellent client service and attention to the client issues.’

‘Agris Bitans has shown exceptional professionalism and expertise in managing litigation cases. Excellent strategic thinking and negotiation skill.’

Key clients

Ventspils nafta “Termināls”

LSC

Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre

Rīgas satiksme

Rīgas namu pārvaldnieks

TNT Latvia

RB Rail

Virši-A

CGI IT Latvia

Work highlights

  • Advised RB Rail on the development of employment documentation.
  • Advised Ventspils nafta on several labour disputes with an employee.
  • Advised the Mikhail Chekhov Riga Russian Theatre on multiple challenging labour disputes.

Sorainen

Sorainen is regularly instructed by multinational clients and assists with matters such as terminations, restructurings and remote work issues. Managing partner Eva Berlaus, who leads the team, undertakes a mix of both contentious and non-contentious work, counting Adidas and Nokia among its clients. She is supported by counsel Andis Burkevics, who has expertise in data protection issues.

Practice head(s):

Eva Berlaus

Other key lawyers:

Andis Burkevics

Testimonials

‘The team has in-depth knowledge and experience in employment law and it’s application in everyday, and unique situations.’

‘Andis Burkevics is is quick to offer different options, and also probable risks associated with these options. All promised work is delivered on time or ahead of schedule.’

Key clients

Adidas Baltics

NVMF Latvia

L’Oreal Baltic

Vitabalans SIA

Storent SIA

Sandoz

Nokia Solutions and Networks SIA

DANFOSS

SAP Latvia SIA

Riga Graduate School of Law

Work highlights

  • Providing advice on Covid-19 employment related restrictions and available state support to Adidas’ Baltic division.
  • Advised Riga Graduate School of Law on a contested termination with a professor.
  • Providing everyday employment law advice to Merck Serono.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic, which is equally strong in contentious and non-contentious employment matters, attracts a strong flow of work from multinational companies such as Unilever and Philip Morris. Andra Rubene advises international clients on employment regulations. Another key individual is Linda Štrause, whose expertise includes employment contracts and share purchase plans. Associate Toms Tīdemanis is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Andra Rubene; Linda Štrause

Other key lawyers:

Toms Tīdemanis

Testimonials

‘Professionalism, experience and competence.’

‘In-depth knowledge of a number of specific legal areas.’

Key clients

Unilever

STUDIO MODERNA SIA / Studio Moderna Holdings Investments B.V.

GlaxoSmithKline

Phillip Morris

CCC Riga Digital Services

Peek & Cloppenburg, SIA / Peek & Cloppenburg Holding B.V. / Peek & Cloppenburg GmbH & Co. KG

Digicert

Via 3L Latvia, SIA

Strabag SIA

Mars Latvia SIA, Royal Canin Latvia SIA

Latvian Hockey Federation

SIA Intrum Global Technologies / Intrum AB

Latvian Academy of Sciences

Essity Latvia SIA / Essity Group Holding B.V.

Boehringer Ingelheim

AS GRINDEKS

Patria Oy

Aldaris AS, Carlsberg Group

Inchcape Motors Latvia SIA

JDC Estonia

Work highlights

  • Advised the Latvian Hockey Federation with organizing and hosting 2021 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Riga.
  • Advised Unilever on general employment matters.
  • Advised Maxima in relation to providing an additional worforce during the Covid 19 pandemic.

VILGERTS

VILGERTS has an excellent record of resolving employment disputes in the aviation sector. Its team acted for AirBaltic on several contentious matters against the Latvian Aviation Trade Union. Real estate, retail and manufacturing are also other key areas of activity. The practice is led by Julija Jerneva, who has experience of advising on employment disputes arising from alleged discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissals.

Practice head(s):

Julija Jerneva

Key clients

Air Baltic Corporation AS

Merks SIA

A.P.N. Promise SIA

Altum kapitāla fonds AIF 9

BAO AS

BGS ADR SIA

Biļešu paradīze SIA

Conexus Baltic Grid AS

DECATHLON SA

Fondia Baltic Oü

GLINAR SIA

GroGlass SIA

MANITOU

Marcin Walawski Doradztwo Prawne

Mikrotīkls SIA

Nordic Homes SIA

Nyor Investments Limited (BVI)

Omniva SIA

Soil Association Certification Limited

SPC legal, Advokatų kontora

Sveaskog Baltfor SIA

Triple Bounce SIA

VGP Latvija SIA

Zenith Family Office OÜ

Work highlights

  • Advising Air Baltic on employment disputes, initiated by the Latvian Aviation Trade Union and its members.
  • Advising Groglass on conducting collective redundancy process in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Advising Decathlon on all employment law related matters after entering the Latvian market.

WALLESS (former Primus Derling)

WALLESS (former Primus Derling) advises on employment matters ranging in scope from contractual terms and conditions and employee relations to terminations and disputes with employees. Team head Sintija Radionova advises on day-to-day issues, as well as major disputes, redundancies and cross-border reorganisations. Senior associate Laura Tumiņa is very experienced in handling employment agreements and internal working policies.

Practice head(s):

Sintija Radionova

Other key lawyers:

Laura Tumiņa

Testimonials

‘They respond to our enquiries quickly with good answers in terms of advice and guidance. Often providing us with several options and suggestions based on the legal requirements which we are happy about.’

‘Prompt and accurate, we feel we get good service and advise and legal opinions. We are a small client but are treated as important.’

Key clients

Gaso AS

Schenker SIA

UAVFACTORY SIA

Sapiens International Corporation

Pulsar Optics SIA

Nuvalo Latvia SIA

Uctam Baltics SIA

Svenska Handelsbanken AB Latvijas filiāle

Tele 2 Shared Service Center

Dan Store LSEZ SIA

SIA L-Ekspresis

Havas Latvia SIA

Forevers SIA

PG Wood

Graanul Invest AS

VG KVADRA PAK AS

Vilomix Latvija SIA

Work highlights

  • Represented Gaso AS in employment dispute regarding overtime work remuneration.
  • Advised Pulsar Optics SIA in allocation of employees – non-EU citizens and opening amanufactory in Latvia.
  • Advised UAV Factory on complicated employment issues.

Kronbergs Cukste Levin

Kronbergs Cukste Levin's team has experience of covering a range of issues for both domestic and international clients. Its workload spans areas such as immigration, collective bargaining agreements, terminations and redundancies. Valters Kronbergs, who is a trusted adviser to clients such as Microsoft and DHL, leads the group.

Practice head(s):

Valters Kronbergs

Key clients

Luther Law Firm

Moller Auto Baltic

Gefco Baltics

Suncrisp SIA

DHL Latvia

Vesta Consulting

Microsoft Latvia SIA

Reckitt Benckiser Avesco SIA

Bridgestone

Cryption,

Aspect SIA

Essity Latvia SIA

4Finance

Electrolux

KRONBERGS CUKSTE LEVIN Latvia

Radisson Blu Hotel

Zalaris HR Services

Cryption

Reckitt Benckiser

Avon

Work highlights

  • Advising on remote work regulatory environment, vacations, overtime, other regulatory issues for DHL.
  • Advising on cross-border restructuring employment aspects for Moller Auto Baltic.
  • Advising Microsoft on pension schemes and employee agreements.

LEADELL Vītols

LEADELL Vītols assists clients with the drafting of employment contracts, as well as handling restructurings and dismissals. Ilze Jankevica, who leads the team, is very strong in cross-border matters involving new market entrants, non-residents and workers who are employed across more than one state.

Practice head(s):

Ilze Jankevica

Key clients

Agrochema Latvia

Balex Metal Vidzeme

Chemical Works of Gedeon Richter

IoT Systems

LEADELL Pilv

Merrild Baltics

WILL Sensors

Work highlights

  • Advised Chemical Works of Gedeon Richter Plc. on employment of an employee in two states.
  • Advised WILL Sensors and IoT Systems regarding the creation of motivation solutions for employees.
  • Advised Balex Metal Vidzeme on how to handle a situation where anemployee refuses to use the annual paid leave.

NJORD Law Firm

NJORD Law Firm's practice is led by employment specialist Dmitri Nikolaenko, who is an expert in employment contracts, terminations and immigration issues. Clients include Bolt and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Latvia.

Practice head(s):

Dmitri Nikolaenko

Key clients

Ineco

Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Latvia

Oriflame Poland Sp.

Bolt Services

3S Money Club

DORDA Rechtsanwälte

Gokstadhus SIA

Zalaris HR Services Latvia

Fit People SIA

Lokalise

Work highlights

  • Continuously advising Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Latvia on employments matters.
  • Consulting INECO on general questions of Latvian employment law.
  • Continuously advising 3S Money Club, Representative office in Latvia on all employment matters.

Rödl & Partner

Rödl & Partner's team advises on employment matters such as market entry, state support, employee contracts and staff transfers. It has a particular specialism in assisting clients from Germany and other German-speaking countries. Inese Lazdupe and Sanda Lāce lead the group.

Practice head(s):

Inese Lazdupe; Sanda Lāce

Key clients

Swisscom (Switzerland) Ltd.

Quintessence consulting GmbH

SIROWA Group

HÖGL shoe fashion GmbH

VAN GRAAF Latvia SIA (VAN GRAAF GmbH (Peek & Cloppenburg)

LLOYD Shoes GmbH

HSH Chemie GmbH / HSH Chemie SIA

RHL Hamburger Lloyd

Thales Group

Dinair Filton SIA (AAF International BV)

Stockholm School of Economics in Riga

Travelport Baltija SIA

Work highlights

  • Advised Swisscom on its entry into the Latvian market, including, inter alia, all necessary support to establish HR package, through respecting Swisscom group policies and systems.
  • Provided legal assistance to VAN GRAAF Latvia in obtaining the state support during the period of Covid-19 restrictions.
  • Advised Sirowa Riga on day-to-day employment matters.