Banking, finance and capital markets in Lithuania
Cobalt's banking and finance practice is highly reputed in the private equity market, and is also particularly strong on cryptocurrency regulatory issues and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Team head Akvilė Bosaitė (who is an expert in project finance and investment funds) advised ValorPay on obtaining a payment institution licence, enabling it to offer payment services such as credit transfers and money remittances. Elijus Burgis acted for SEB on the €80m financing for the development of the joint stock stevedoring company Klaipėdos Smeltė. Eva Suduiko is another key figure. Senior associates Aurelija Balčiūnė and Justina Milašauskienė, who advise on e-money and payment institution projects (among various other matters), are also recommended.
European Investment Bank
- Advised Citibank and other lenders on the circa €930m senior and mezzanine financing to refinance the Technopolis Group.
- Advised two Scandinavian commercial banks, SEB and Swedbank, on extending €185m syndicated loan facilities to Euroapotheca pharmacy chain.
- Advised Practica Capital on the launch of new venture II, which will invest in the Baltic innovation and technology driven ventures.
Ellex's practice attracts client praise for its 'deep expertise in Lithuanian banking and finance law'. The firm acts for clients on regulatory and compliance matters, as well as finance litigation. The 'experienced and client- oriented' Ieva Dosinaite jointly leads the team with Giedrius Stasevicius. Dosinaite advised Technopolis Oyj which is seeking to borrow €900 million in senior and mezzanine financing partly to refinance its current external indebtedness. Stasevicius advised LKAB Klaipedos Smelte on its third stage investments into the development and modernisation of a port terminal superstructure. LKAB signed a €80 million loan facility agreement with AB SEB Bank to finance the project. Another notable individual is associate Domantas Gudonis, who undertakes transactional work and advises on e-money and payment services.
‘Partner Ieva Dosinaite is very experienced and client-oriented.’
‘Deep expertise in Lithuanian law and finance. I like them. They have significant subject expertise. They are responsive and easy to work with, and have helped my company resolve a couple of difficult issues with the Central Bank of Lithuania. I would certainly recommend them to other firms wanting to do business in the Baltics.’
‘I have been very impressed with Ieva Dosinaite. What I particularly like about her is how hard she works to help my firm achieve its objectives. She not only gives good, solid advice but is actually willing to give some aggressive advice and take on a bit of risk for her client. I find that to be a valuable and rare quality. Most outside counsel will not take risks for clients but instead restrict their advice to fairly conservative positions. Ieva actually wants to help and is willing to push boundaries a bit to put her clients in a better position. I would definitely recommend her to anyone looking to do business in the Baltics.’
The Blackstone Group
Citibank Private Bank
- Advised Telia Forsakring on the transfer of its insurance portfolio to another insurance company.
- Advised Danske Bank on the consolidation of its banking activities in the Baltics.
- Advised Citibank Private Bank on the legal consequences of a hard Brexit.
Sorainen has an 'exceptional' banking and finance practice. In addition to advising on finance transactions, it handles a full range of regulatory issues, and is strong in matters concerning innovative financial services, including e-money and consumer credit. Tomas Kontautas, who is 'ready to go the extra mile', jointly leads the team with the 'professional and pragmatic' Augustas Klezys. Klezys assisted Verse Payments with obtaining an electronic money institution licence. Senior associate Agnė Sovaitė provides clients with regulatory advice and assists clients with the cross-border provision of financial services. Lina Ragainytė is another senior associate to note.
‘I’ve been working with Sorainen Lithuania banking team for a while. During the last 12 months, the team has been able to positively surprise me, demonstrating exceptional performance and delivery while dealing with small daily tasks as well as exceptionally large transactions. It’s been responsive, proactive, super-efficient and delivered quality work (no need for extra rounds of reviews, amendments, etc). It works perfectly, like an automatic Swiss watch.’
‘Deep knowledge, understanding and maintained relationships with Central Bank on regulatory matters, particularly in the consumer lending business.’
‘Augustas Klezys has a professional and pragmatic approach.’
‘Tomas Kontautas and Augustas Klezys are trusted partners, team members, experts, supporters and advisers. They are ready to go the extra mile to make the clients’ and market’s ecosystem balanced and efficient.’
‘Tomas and Dalia are beyond fantastic lawyers to cooperate with – they are both exceptional and drive for results, providing fantastic legal advice.’
- Advised Google Payment Lithuania on obtaining an e-money institution licence from the Bank of Lithuania.
- Advising the Ministry of Finance of Lithuania on implementing a project aimed at introducing covered bonds and securitisation legislation in Lithuania.
- Advised Iron Wolf Capital Fund on launching operations in Lithuania.
TGS Baltic, whose team demonstrates 'an extremely high level of expertise', handles all aspects of banking and finance law for commercial banks, hedge funds and private equity firms. Managing partner Vilius Bernatonis is a 'unique lawyer', who 'strives to deliver value.' He was the lead adviser to ING Bank and the other creditors on the provision of finance to companies of Indorama Ventures group, including the Lithuanian subsidiary UAB Orion Global Pet. Žygimantas Stankevičius provides the Association of Lithuanian Banks with banking law advice. Vidmantas Drizga is an expert on private equity funds and securities mandates. Associate Karolina Lapinskaita, who is 'extremely efficient', is knowledgeable about asset management, licensing of financial institutions and crowdfunding.
‘TGS Baltic is more than just a law firm. It really tries to understand the client – irrespective of whether it is a public or private one – and always strives to find a solution. Its team demonstrates extremely high level expertise and an ability to respond to business needs. It manages to find creative solutions – even in very difficult situations – and is very efficient and well managed.’
‘When you work with Vilius Bernatonis, you know that your expectations and goals are in safe hands. In each situation, there is a feeling that Vilius has your best interests at heart. Vilius is not only a lawyer but also a consultant. He manages to really listen, and not only find a legal solution, but also a solution that makes sense business wise and brings value added to the company. Vilius strives to deliver value and that is what makes him unique.’
‘Associate Karolina Lapinskaita is very hard-working and extremely efficient. She always provides the best solutions to the client.’
European Investment Bank
- Advised the Ministry of Finance on two Eurobond issues with a total value of €1.5bn.
- Advised Maxima Grupe on a €1bn medium-term note program and €300m notes issue under the programme.
- Advised Šiaulių Bankas on the admission of a €20m bond issue to trade on Nasdaq Vilnius.
Eversheds Saladžius (a member of Eversheds Sutherland) covers a wide range of finance transactions, and also assists clients with the development and implementation of financial products in Lithuania. Jonas Saladžius, who leads the team, has experience of advising clients on investment banking issues, loan finance and compliance matters. Another key figure is Tomas Rymeikis, who is active in domestic and cross-border transactions. Saladžius and Rymeikis advised Euronet Worldwide on the establishment of a branch of ATM services in Lithuania.
Samsung Electronics Baltics
- Advising an American fintech company on obtaining electronic money institution licence in Lithuania.
- Advising a US blockchain software developer on blockchain-related regulatory and compliance matters.
- Legal advice to Fortum Heat on financial arrangements, capital injection and CO2 tax implications in relation to waste-to-energy facilities operating in Lithuania.
GLIMSTEDT Bernotas & Partners
GLIMSTEDT Bernotas & Partners' team has a wealth of experience acting for investment banks and other financial institutions, and borrowers, among other clients. Linas Sesickas and Andrius Ivanauskas co-head the team. Sesickas is knowledgeable about credit unions, real estate finance and consumer finance matters. Ivanauskas advised Eiffel Investment Group on its investment in Blender, a consumer financing platform. Senior associate Michailas Molis acts on project finance transactions and refinancings. Senior associate Audrius Zvybas is also recommended.
Iron Wolf Capital
Eiffel Investment Group
Startup Wise Guys
- Advised LitCapital on the launch of a new venture capital fund LcX Opportunity Fund.
- Advised the European Investment Fund (EIF) on its investment in the biggest Baltic Sea region closed-end fund intended for professional investors.
- Advised Iron Wolf Capital Management Capital on the licensing of its fund management company and new venture capital fund Iron Wolf Capital.
Primus Derling's banking, finance and capital markets practice is noted for advising clients on bond issuances, credit financing and establishing investment funds, among many other matters. The practice is led by Robert Juodka , who is advising Rafako on the financing aspects of an international procurement for the construction of new combined heat and power plant in Vilnius. Senior associate Greta Bagdanavičiūtė advises on financial regulatory matters.
- Assisting SK ID Solutions AS with entering the Lithuanian market and regulation of e-authentication for banking purposes in Lithuania.
- Advising Teamgate on attracting investment from venture capital fund Open Circle Capital.
- Assisting Mebelain, SBA Group company, with raising a €20m senior loan from The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to facilitate the expansion of Mebelain furniture factory in Belarus.
WALLESS' team, which is jointly led by Gediminas Reciunas and Joana Baublyte-Kulviete, displays a 'professionalism and integrity of the highest standard.' Reciunas assisted AB Mano Bankas with its conversion from a credit union into the first specialised bank in Lithuania. Baublyte-Kulviete is experienced in regulatory and compliance matters, capital markets and finance transactions. Gediminas Dominas, who joined the firm in April 2019 from Dominas LEVIN, advises on IPOs, credit facilities, bond issues and contentious work in the banking sector.
‘They are genuinely interested in bringing value to the customer and your business and how they can help you. Energy and devotion is limitless. Knowledge, professionalism and integrity is of the highest standard.’
‘Devotion, professionalism, pro activity.’
- Acted for the arrangers BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank on the establishment of €1bn EMTN programme approved by Maxima Grupe in 2018.
- Advising Vilniaus Baldai on borrowing €37.8m from the EBRD and the Citadele Bank Lithuania.
- Assisted consumer credit provider Blender with raising $22m by way of debt and equity finance.
Deloitte Legal, Professional Partnership of Advocates
Deloitte Legal, Professional Partnership of Advocates' practice is co-led by Tomas Davidonis and managing associate Monika Žlabienė. The firm's clients include banks, credit providers and electronic money companies. Working with Žlabienė (who heads up the technology and data practice) and Gintautas Bartkus, Davidonis is representing electronic money institution Mistertango in GDPR-related court proceedings against the State Data Protection Inspectorate; this is the first GDPR court case in Lithuania.
Bank of Lithuania
- Assisting Uplata, a Ukrainian capital electronic money institution, with the preparation of GDPR compliant documents, review of IT systems and establishing anti-money laundering compliant processes and procedures.
- Advising the Bank of Lithuania on creation of a blockchain sandbox known as LBChain.
LEADELL Balčiūnas & Grajauskas
LEADELL Balčiūnas & Grajauskas is particularly known for its work in bankruptcy proceedings involving financial institutions. Managing partner Marius Grajauskas advised Click2Sell on regulatory compliance, which involved working with the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania to ensure that the payment institution's activities were in compliance with the law. Senior associate Jurgita Najulytė is working with Grajauskas to assist various insolvent credit unions with loan portfolio transactions and bankruptcy proceedings. Lina Balčiūnė is another notable individual.
‘A reliable law firm that we could trust in any legal matter. They always come to us with solutions.’
‘The ability of lawyers to cover and provide a wide range of legal services is crucial in bankruptcy proceedings.’
‘The managing partner Marius Grajauskas is undoubtedly an extremely important person. His experience and commitment to personally delving into the situation and giving the best advice is appreciated. Also, worth mentioning is Jurgita Najulyte, who solves legal problems very quickly. Jurgita not only drafts legal documents but also perfectly represents credit union in legal proceedings and other legal relationships.’
Centro taupomoji kasa
- Represented Pervesk in a dispute with supervisory authority over the imposition of the highest fine in the field of money laundering prevention in Lithuanian history. Successfully represented the client in the court of first instance; the fine imposed by the supervisory authority was abolished.
- Assisting Fitek LT with obtaining a full payment institution licence.
- Assisted Fitek with negotiations with another company in the context of a fintech project, relating to the implementation of payment allocation decisions.
ECOVIS ProventusLaw's practice has 'unique experience of banking, finance and capital markets.' The team is led by Inga Karulaityte-Kvainauskiene, who assisted Kuan Financial with obtaining a payment institution licence to enable it to provide a money remittance service. Senior associate Linas Vidžys is 'very knowledgeable' about the regulations of financial institutions. Associate Tautvydas Užkuras is known for his work on the licensing of financial brokerage firms.
‘From the moment we contacted ECOVIS ProventusLaw, we knew that our business was in safe hands. We were very impressed with the firm’s efficient and reliable service, which simplified all aspects of the process. Quoted timescales were adhered to, and we were kept informed at each stage. We have found that it is not only the firm’s legal expertise but also its solid commercial logic that really sets it apart from the competition.’
‘It is the first and best company to advise on fintech licences in Lithuania. Its local knowledge and experience is top quality.’
‘We chose Ecovis ProventusLaw because of its in-depth knowledge and understanding of the banking and finance industry, as well as its ability to help manage complex or emergency matters.’
‘We have been working with this law firm for a long time and can say that the whole team strives to provide an excellent, loyal and trust-based service to the clients.’
‘In our experience, we found Inga Karulaityte-Kvainauskiene responsive and professional when dealing with our e-money licence application to the Bank of Lithuania. This was balanced with a friendly and approachable manner. From the outset, we were provided with comprehensive and professional advice relating to possible outcomes, timescales and next steps, with clarity being provided where needed. We would not hesitate in recommending Inga’s expert counsel to anyone who is looking for comprehensive legal assistance in payment service provider licensing and compliance matters.’
‘Inga Karulaityte-Kvainauskiene and Kęstutis Kvainauskas are very flexible, and they always adapt to our individual needs. Moreover, they are really enthusiastic about their work, and choose their team with extreme care’
‘Inga Karulaityte-Kvainauskiene is very dedicated to her work, and she tries to find the best solution in every situation and create real value to each client’s business.’
Shanghai Witsion information technology
- Assisted Click2Sell with re-licensing process due to the changes implemented in accordance with PSDII directive.
- Assisted SafeRe with obtaining a licence as a financial brokerage firm.
- Assisting 3J Capital Partners with obtaining a financial brokerage firm licence.
Magnusson's team is active in finance transactions, regulatory compliance matters and disputes between financial institutions and their customers. Associate Kęstutis Baranauskas, who leads the team, is advising Identifikaciniai projektai UAB (a Lithuanian provider of IT solutions to the financial sector) on the development of electronic identifying (eIDV) software which can be used worldwide by credit companies and other financial institutions. Managing partner Marius Liatukas represents clients in disputes with banks over issues such as the termination of loans and mortgages.
United Central Credit Union
Inter Cars Group
Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund
Paccar Financial Nederland
- Represented Rima Zenkevičienė, a private individual, in administrative court proceedings over the provision of allegedly inadequate investment services by a money broker.
- Advising PACCAR Financial Nederland on the expansion of its business operations in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
- Advised Inter Cars, an importer and distributor of automotive spare parts in Central and Eastern Europe, on a loan facility agreement.
PwC Legal's banking and finance group is noted for its 'responsiveness and deep legal know-how'. The team is led by the 'unique' Rokas Bukauskas, who acts for regional and international banks, payment institutions and funds, among other clients. In 2019, he assisted PlusPlus with an application for inclusion in the list of mortgage creditors in Lithuania, which is supervised by the Bank of Lithuania, and also an update of its AML compliance program. The practice group is noted for its work on cross-border regional and multinational projects.
Telia Finance Lithuanian branch
USB Europe SE
Association of financial Institutions (FINCO)
- Advise IPF Digital Lietuva on all commercial/financial activities related to the provision of consumer credits in Lithuania.
- Advice to the Association of Financial Institutions (FINCO) on consumer credit regulatory matters.
- Advice to Telia Finance on regulatory compliance matters, including reporting to the local supervisory authority.
Response's banking and finance practice has particularly strong capabilities in regulatory matters, where its team is sought out to advise on alternative financing (including crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending), the establishment and licensing of specialised financial institutions and the purchase of loan portfolios. The 'sharp minded' Vytautas Šenavičius co-heads the team with the 'efficient and professional' Tadas Lukošius. In addition to being an expert in alternative financing, Šenavičius has expertise in restructuring portfolios of credit institutions. Lukošius is also noted for his alternative financing work. Response was founded by Vytautas Šenavičius who moved, alongside most of the team, from TVINS.
‘Extensive knowledge of the finance sector, particularly in understanding the latest and upcoming regulations of alternative finance (crowdfunding, VCs etc.) field, makes it invaluable experience in working and planning for future.’
‘The team is very strong and has a wealth of knowledge. It is very helpful and fast working.’
‘Vytautas Senavicius is definitely the key person. I’ve worked with quite a few law firms before and, over the last few years, I only use his services on matters related to banking, finance or capital markets.’
‘I would also like to mention Tadas Lukusios. He is very efficient, highly professional and a very easy person to work with.’
‘Senavicius is professional and knows how to handle the projects. Tadas Lukosius is very responsive, young professional.’
‘Tadas Lukosius works a lot in this field. He is very responsive and does the work great. I really like his responsiveness. Vytautas Senavicius is the leader. He is different from others as he does not promise what is impossible. Moreover, he has a very good reputation in institutions. Vytautas is very experienced. I recommended him to a lot of other businesses.’
Easy Debt Service
SME Digital Financing
- Advising on the establishment and authorisation of an investment firm licence for investment firm Monsoon Investments.
- Assisted EDS Invest with its acquisition of a distressed loan portfolio from Medicinos bankas.
- Assisted Mano Bankas with managing post-licensing documentation.
Triniti Jurex Law Firm
Triniti's banking and finance practice, which generates mandates from domestic and international clients, is led by Linas Sabaliauskas. Sabaliauskas is working with Giedrė Čiuladienė to advise US payment technology company Flutterwave on the legal requirements concerning companies working in the financial sector in Lithuania. Čiuladienė also has experience of capital markets work. The practice's clients include insurance companies, credit unions and start-ups.
Rato Credit Union
- Advice to GoSystems with the aim to obtain an Electronic Money Institution Licence.
- Advice to BK Group and preparation of the documentation during the procedure of obtaining a bank licence and electronic money institution licence.
- Advice to Rato Credit Union during the conversion procedure from credit union to bank.