EU and competition in Lithuania

Cobalt

Cobalt’s position as one of the largest law firms in both Lithuania and the Baltics means it is a popular choice for major merger clearances, state aid, cartel investigations, price fixing and abuse of dominance cases. Rasa Zaščiurinskaitė specialises in EU and competition and is particularly prominent in the energy, pharmaceutical, and aviation sectors. Managing partner Irmantas Norkus and corporate partner Elijus Burgis are very experienced in merger clearances; the former also handles disputes. Senior associate Laura Ryzgelyte, who formerly worked in the Brussels office of Norton Rose Fulbright, is a recent arrival.

Practice head(s):

Rasa Zaščiurinskaitė

Testimonials

‘ COBALT lawyers always find precise and knowledge-based solutions for every problem.’

‘I’d like to note Rasa Zasciurinskaite. It’s a great pleasure to work with such a highly qualified lawyer. She always provides very clear and ingenious advice. Her strategic thinking, careful attention to details and extensive experience create value for every client. I would highly recommend Rasa Zasciurinskaite as an advisor to anyone.’

‘Partner Rasa Zasciurinskaite leads this team very well and is very helpful.’

‘Serious, capable and likeable team. Very responsive and responsible.’

‘Rasa Zasciurinskaite stands out as the anchor of the team and the client relationship.’

‘One of the leading practices, if not the leading practice for competition law in Lithuania. Huge experience with difficult cases (esp mergers), a lot of useful practical know-how, excellent relationship with the national competition authority of Lithuania (Competition Council).’

‘Cobalt keeps us constantly informed about news in the market – new regulations, requirements, especially in regulatory and competition area. We appreciate the urgency and high attention of COBALT lawyers to each problem or inquiry question we forward them. In addition, we always feel the team provides full concentration on the issue and a high level of teamwork. We are comfortable when delegating our issues to COBALT as we are in good hands.’

In competition issues we mostly communicate directly to Rasa Zasciurinskaite, who is a top-level professional in this area, in our opinion. Rasa is sensitive to details. She can provide urgent advice, if necessary, but her advice always remains  very diligent and extensive.

Key clients

Air Baltic Corporation

Moller Auto

G4S

Estrella Baltics (part of Intersnack Group)

Lietuvos geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways)

Riga International Airport

Avitela

KJK Management

ARX (official Skoda importer in Lithuania)

Kesko Senukai Lithuania

Media bitės

Lords LB Asset Management

Medipressa

Huqsvarna

Innovative Pharmaceutical Industry Association (IFPA)

Kauno grūdai

Bayer

Baltcap

Vilniaus energija

Novian Technologies

Lifosa

ORLEN Lithuania

Lyra Group

European Investment Bank

Lithuanian Business Support Agency

Apranga

Cgates

Lietuvos paštas (Lithuanian Post)

Biržų ranga

Consolis

Lietuvos radijo ir televizijos centras

Benu, Tamro (Phoenix group)

Tolimojo keleivinio transporto kompanija

Lithuanian basketball league

AkzoNobel Baltics

Concretus Group

Rokiškio pienas

Pieno žvaigždės

AS REPHARM

Mediterranean Shipping Company

Work highlights

  • Represented ATEA Baltic (a major international provider of IT services) in two investigations into alleged cartel agreements.
  • Represented the shareholders of KG Group (an internationally active Lithuanian conglomerate primarily focused in agriculture) in obtaining merger clearance for selling their business to a major competitor.
  • Represented the Lithuanian Basketball League and one of the basketball clubs in the investigation by the Lithuanian Competition Authority on the compliance of actions of the Lithuanian Basketball League and basketball clubs concerning the conditions of payment of salaries to basketball players.

Ellex

Ellex is a prominent name for handling abuse of dominance and cartel investigation cases, recently acting for the Lithuanian e-commerce company Diginet LTU in a complex matter concerning alleged abuse of dominance. The team is also well placed to handle non-contentious matters including merger clearance and general compliance. Marius Juonys specialises in EU and competition law, and works alongside Jaunius Gumbis and Dovile Greblikiene, who are the key names for commercial and regulatory matters. Karolis Kačerauskas, who focuses on state aid and public procurement, is another name to note.

Testimonials

‘Ellex’s competition law team led by Marius Juonys is a clear leader in this field. Simply there is no greater expert than Marius, who has both: great leadership skills and an excellent team to support in the most difficult competition law cases. Absolutely no one choice.’

‘Marius Juonys is no1 competition law expert in the Baltics. Since our business has to deal with competition authorities in all three Baltic countries, Marius Juonys is the head of all three teams, because he perfectly knows our business and applies in-depth knowledge gained from practice in the firm and university, where he teaches students competition law.’

‘Enormous experience in the market, previous cases and very diligent approach towards the challenge. Good team management, cooperation with institutions.’

‘Marius Juonys, exceptional professional in the market. Diligent, competent and very client-oriented. Exceptionally good in forging legal strategies, team management and ensuring good cooperation with clients and institutions.’

‘This team has a great partner: Marius Juonys. The team he leads is very collaborative. Billing is reasonable for such good quality work.’

‘Marius Juonys in my opinion is the best expert in the market in the competition field.’

Key clients

The Republic of Lithuania

UAB Diginet LTU (a subsidiary of Baltic Classifieds GroupOÜ, which is a portfolio company of funds advised by Apax Partners)

AB Telia Lietuva

Klaipedos Nafta AB

Linas Agro Group

Latvijas Tilti, AS

Baltic Ticket Holdings OÜ

The Lithuanian Basketball Federation

UAB TOKSIKA

Kesko Senukai Lithuania, UAB

UAB Rivona

UAB Norfos Mažmena

Veolia Group

The Association of Online Media & All Media Lithuania

Swedbank, AB

UAB Mano Būsto Priežiūra and UAB Būsto Aplinka

RIMI

VšĮ Užstato Sistemos Administratorius

Orlen Lietuva, AB

The Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Lithuania

Vičiūnai Group, UAB

Association Lietuvos Keliai

The Lithuanian branch of Ergo Insurance SE

Švyturys-Utenos Alus UAB

Work highlights

  • Advising Diginet LTU, UAB in a complex abuse of dominance investigation of allegedly excessive prices.
  • Advising Linas Agro Group in relation to merger filing triggered by its acquisition of AB Kauno Grudai.
  • Represented AB Mano Būsto Priežiura and UAB Būsto Aplinka in a dispute involving the joint liability of group companies with the Lithuanian competition authority regarding 1.1 mln. EUR fine.

Sorainen

With expertise in both contentious and non-contentious matters, Sorainen counts major names in the Lithuanian market such as Fortum and Bite as its key clients. Daivis Švirinas excels in price-fixing and bribery investigations as well as handling competition-aspects of transactions and commercial agreements. Švirinas and Monika Mališauskaitė-Vaupšienė jointly lead the team.

Key clients

Allianz SE

Bitė

TV Play

Mezon

Blue Bridge

BMGS

ConHostinger

Eco Baltia

Ekonovus Eurovia

Fenner Dunlop

Fortum Forum Cinemas

Odeon Cinemas Group

Heidelberg Cement

Kalnapilio-Tauro grupė

Kelių priežiūra Knauf Lidl Lietuvos geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways)

Limedika

Gintarinė vaistinė and Norfos vaistinė

Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania

Nuvei Palink

Sandoz

Scandagra Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Bite on multiple legal aspects related to the network sharing agreement concluded between the client and another mobile operator.
  • Advised Fortum on the sale of its district heating business in the Baltics to Partners Group.
  • Advised BMGS, one of the leading Latvian hydro-construction companies, regarding alleged big-rigging in eight public tenders that could have infringed the Law on Competition and Art 101 of the TFEU.

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic’s EU and competition has seen some changes with the departure of Darius Miniotas to WALLESS and the subsequent arrival of Rita Paukšte from Motieka & Audzevicius. Paukštė handles competition-related litigation and investigations, with a strong emphasis on the aviation, energy, gambling and financial services sectors. Practice head Lauras Butkevičius is skilled across contentious and non-contentious matters, with a particular focus on local and cross-border merger clearance. Lina Darulienė brings a unique insight into the team due to her former role as Head of the Legal Department of the Competition Council.

Practice head(s):

Lauras Butkevičius 

Other key lawyers:

Rita Paukšte; Lina Darulienė

Testimonials

‘I believe that the strong leadership, vast knowledge and well understanding of business environment makes the team exceptionally strong.’

‘Lauras Butkevičiusnot has vast theoretical knowledge of competition law, having advised clients in a number of competition law matters gives him invaluable practical knowledge.’

Key clients

The Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries

Tele2

SCHWENK Zement Beteiligungen

Saugos investicijų biuras

INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund (INVL Asset Management)

Cgates

Citadele banka

Lithuanian Pharmacy Association

EUROAPOTHECA

Lithuanian Basketball League

EUROCASH1

Work highlights

  • Advising on the merger control relating to INVL Baltic Sea Growth Fund’s acquisition of joint control of InMedica and MediCA group clinics.
  • Representing the Lithuanian Chamber of Notaries and members of its Presidium before the Court of Justice of the European Union in a referral case to decide on the application of competition law rules to notaries and in particular notaries who function within the Latin notarial system.
  • Advising telecommunication company Tele2 on competition and regulatory issues pertaining to its agreement with Bite to create a shared radio access network in Lithuania and Latvia.

Motieka & Audzevicius

Motieka & Audzevicius is renowned for its expertise in disputes resolution and cartel investigations; it is also known to handle cases concerning unfair competition and public procurement. On the non-contentious front,  it is experienced in merger clearance. Practice head Ramūnas Audzevičius has a broad skill-set across competition-related disputes; he is experienced in litigation and arbitration and has appeared before both national and EU courts. Other names to note include  Valentas Mitrauskas who specialises in public procurement disputes, and senior associate Henrikas Stelmokaitis who has been praised by clients for his ‘deep insights, knowledge and professionalism‘. Rita Paukšte departed to TGS Baltic.

Other key lawyers:

Valentas Mitrauskas

Testimonials

‘Very committed team to deliver, well structured and prepared strategies for the client.’

‘What is unique about the Motieka’s team is its approach towards work. Where others say “impossible” – Motieka & Audzevicius team comes and does the impossible. Their communication with the client leaves a very good impression – maintaining both friendly and professional attitudes all the time. What is more, the team perfectly adapted to quarantine working conditions and provided excellent service.’

‘Ramūnas Audzevičius was, is and will be the unrivalled leader in the legal service area. His deductive thinking, and insights – all leave only the best opinion about him.

‘Henrikas Stelmokaitis leaves only the best impression. In the last two years, Henrikas put a lot of his strength towards learning peculiarities of our business – which results in deep insights, knowledge and professionalism while representing us. He is also a very calm and confident lawyer.’

‘What differentiates Motieka team from others is the attitude towards work and the client. The team always seeks to understand as much as possible the goals of the client, and then gives their maximum towards achieving the set goal. Communication with the client is always proposing and considering alternatives and possible options in solving the case. This attitude positively surprises the client.

‘I could emphasize the team’s ability to integrate young team members (students and recent graduates) into the work. That may be the reason why the team is always full of new ideas and views from different angles, that helps to solve the current case.’

‘Ramūnas Audzevičius in over 10 years of collaboration keeps on proving that he is an outstanding leader, that is able to inspire others. His ability in cases to maintain the passive-aggressive style and attack opponents on their weak spots, while maintaining the respect of the court and judge, leaves only positiveness and confidence for the client.’

‘Henrikas Stelmokaitis keeps impressing not only with the ability to understand peculiarities of client’s industry business, but with insights on it as well. His ability to present things as they are straightforwardly, also maintaining respect, builds a wish to continue collaboration in upcoming cases.’

Key clients

Linas Agro Group, AB

FlyLAL – Lithuanian Airlines, BAB

Avia Solutions Group PLC

City Service SE

Būsto aplinka, UAB

Mano būsto priežiūra, UAB

City Service Engineering, UAB

Reklamos arka, UAB

Security firm Argus, UAB

Civinity, AB

Ecoservice Klaipėda, UAB

ICOR, UAB

Bruc Bond, UAB

AXIS Tech, UAB

Panevėžio keliai, AB

Mano aplinka, UAB

Work highlights

  • Advised  Linas Agro Group on the acquisition of Kauno Grūdai Group and merger clearance in Poland, Latvia, Estonia dnd Russia.
  • Successfully represented Panevėžio keliai in a series of high profile and sensitive cases against Vilnius City Municipality.
  • Representing flyLAL in over 12 years undergoing private enforcement dispute against AirBaltic and Riga International Airport regarding violations of Articles 101 and 102 of TFEU.

WALLESS

A relatively new name to the market, WALLESS has recently strengthened its team with the hire of competition and state aid specialist Darius Miniotas from TGS Baltic. The team has been particularly active in state aid notification procedures and handling allegations of illegal use of state aid. Procurement is another core area of expertise, with practice head Laura Ziferman specialising in public procurement and public-private partnership compliance. Andrius Ivanauskas was a new arrival in April 2022.

Practice head(s):

Laura Ziferman

Other key lawyers:

Darius Miniotas; Andrius Ivanauskas

Testimonials

‘Laura Ziferman is an experienced lawyer in this field. She is proactive.’

‘Attention to details, long term vision.’

‘Excellent knowledge and attitude.’

‘An exceptional team with a strong understanding of client needs.’

‘The whole team have an outstanding approach to the issues that they have been assigned to and proactively communicate with clients, once necessary.’

‘We admire the dedication of Darius to client’s matters as well as his urgency, involvement, and high expertise. He has a great experience of communicating with the competition authorities, and high leadership skills.’

Key clients

Panevėžio statybos trestas

Capital Realty

REWE-ZENTRALFINANZ eG

Voodoo SAS

Lithuanian Cable Television Association

Antano Rinkevičiaus valymo įrenginiai

EPSO-G

Mandatum Life Insurance Company Ltd.

OP Financial Group

Northway Group

Rimi (ICA Gruppen)

Tamro

Siemens

Kautra

Omniva

Biotechpharma

ACME Film

Vilnius City Municipality Administration

Kaunas City Municipality Administration

Elecnor

Palink (REWE Group)

Orivas

Affidea Group

Topo Centras

Baltic Horizon Fund

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Orlen Lietuva

Work highlights

  • Advisd EPSO-G – state-owned holding of Lithuania’s largest state energy companies on state aid notification procedures.
  • Advised REWE – a leading Europe’s retail and tourism group – in an acquisition of an innovative quick commerce (sale and instant delivery) service provider.
  • Advising Vilnius City Municipality in the state aid notification procedure before the European Commission.

GLIMSTEDT Bernotas & Partners

Advising names such as Mastercard and Apple, GLIMSTEDT Bernotas & Partners handles a broad range of matters including cartel investigations, merger clearance, state aid and compliance. Since research concluded Andrius Ivanauskas left the firm.

Key clients

Mastercard

Tele2

GE Capital

Schneider Electric

European Energy Efficiency Fund

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Generali

Sanitex

Litcapital Asset Management

Apollo Group

Lithuanian driver training and qualification schools association

Grigeo

UP Invest

Iron Wolf Capital

Wise Guys Management

Theatrical Film Distribution

Steelcase

Work highlights

  • Advised Mastercard on various legal competition-related queries regarding their new products and regulatory matters.
  • Advised Theatrical Film Distribution, a distributor of major Hollywood films in the Baltics, in an alleged cartel investigation before the Competition Council of the Republic of Lithuania and the national courts challenging the infringement decision.
  • Assisted Dentons UK with Apple’s certain pandemic-related employment and general EU law matters.

Eversheds Saladžius (a member of Eversheds Sutherland)

Eversheds Saladžius (a member of Eversheds Sutherland) has a notably strong track record in advising on merger control and compliance matters.  Rimtis Puišys whose board expertise includes advising on competition and procurement, and Tomas Rymeikis who is also skilled in advisory work regarding the competition lead the team.

Testimonials

‘This is an excellent firm. Unique technical capability of the team. I found that staff is extremely well trained.’

‘Very strong EU law-related practice. Extremely useful for logistics business as there are many EU regulatory changes in this sector. The team also advises on cross-border issues.’

‘Tomas Rymeikis is highly competent in this field,  particularly competition law.’

Key clients

Magnum Veterinaaria

MM Grupp

Gren Lietuva (former Fortum Heat Lietuva)

Gren Klaipėda

Gren Švenčionys

Work highlights

  • Advised the buyer, Magnum Veterinaaria on the purchase of shares of a minority shareholder of UAB “Magnum Veterinarija” and obtaining permit for concentration from the Competition Authority.
  • Advising MM Grupp OU in the merger clearance procedure in relation to the acquisition of Forum Cinemas OU Lithuanian branch.

Magnusson

With particular strengths in the construction, transport and food production sectors, Magnusson is highly skilled in unfair competition, merger clearances, cartel investigations, public procurement and compliance. The team is led by managing partner Ligita Ramanauskaitė and Marius Endzinas who focuses on public procurement.

Testimonials

‘Our company has been a client of Magnusson for many years. Magnusson’s EU and Competition team has handled various issues for us, ranging from unfair competition to public procurement. The most important thing which we get from Magnusson is that when they are evaluating our situations, they are very focused on creating value for us, not only coming up with formal legal solutions or proposals, but also thinking about how our company’s decisions based on those proposals will affect our business, financial costs, the image of the company as the business unit, etc. Magnusson respects the budgets and does not inflate the billables.’

‘Marius Endzinas is Magnusson’s expert for public procurement issues. ‘

‘Magnusson has been advising me with regard to both competition and public procurement matters, and they are exceptionally strong and experienced in both of these areas. They have ensured deep expertise and very practical approach to the issues we have been facing, so we feel we received the best advice we actually could.’

Key clients

Nemuno vaistinė

OW OFFSHORE, S.L.

ARV-Auto

Kauno autobusai

Eikos statyba

Handelshus

Bruneros

Alga

Stalcorp

New Bumani Invest

ERCO Technologies

Kautra

Romega

Work highlights

  • Represented Medigate Management in the merger clearance procedure with Nemuno vaistinė acquiring the sole control of Nemuno vaistinė.
  • Representing Romega in a dispute regarding bacterial safety of imported raw poultry; the dispute has been referred to the European Court of Justice.
  • Representing Eikos statyba in a complex public procurement dispute regarding the results of a tender for the construction of a new facility for Vilnius University Faculty of Medicine.

PRIMUS Law Firm

PRIMUS Law Firm’s skillset within this space primarily involves public procurement and merger clearance matters. Corporate partner Giedrė Dailidėnaitė works at the helm and is highly experienced in merger clearance and general compliance matters. The team also includes public procurement specialist Tomas Venckus.

Practice head(s):

Giedrė Dailidėnaitė

Other key lawyers:

Tomas Venckus

Key clients

Reiffeisen Leasing Gmbh

SuperDry

Vestas Central Europe

Blue Bridge Group

Siemens Healthcare Oy

PP6, UAB

Dobeles Dzirnavnieks (Tartu Mill group)

Work highlights

  • Advising Dobeles Dzirnavnieks on merger clearance related issues of an ongoing transaction.
  • Assisted Blue Bridge with a public procurement dispute and secured a favorable outcome.
  • Advised Vestas Central Europe on corporate presence and regulatory requirements on wind energy and wind turbines.