Legal market overview in Latvia

Firms in the Latvian market have been particularly active advising on anti-money laundering (AML) compliance programmes and financial investigations since the accusation of 'institutionalised money laundering' was levelled by the US Treasury against ABLV, a major local bank. The voluntary liquidation of ABLV has had a major effect on the banking sector, with credit now relatively limited, which has meant less work advising on the financing of projects. However, firms have been increasingly busy with employment matters. Legislation providing greater protection for whistle-blowers, such as free legal support and anonymity, came into force in May 2019. In addition, employers have become more aware of the importance of harassment and equal treatment cases, generating a steady stream of work. The construction sector remains active, although an increase in the cost of projects - due to an increase in average wages - has meant fewer developments and thus less work for firms in this area.Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns remains the most prominent international firm with operations in Latvia, while regional firms Cobalt, Ellex and Sorainen continue to dominate the market.