Firm Profile > Cobalt > Riga, Latvia
MARIJAS IELA 13 K-2
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Cobalt > The Legal 500 Rankings
As a leading pan-Baltic firm, Cobalt operates on a full-service model but is particularly strong in the capital markets space, advising on some of the biggest Eurobond and green bond issuances in the market. Lauris Liepa has been advising on those particular deals and is also highly skilled in M&A transactions in the banking sector. Aviation finance is another of the practice's strengths, thanks to the expertise of founding partner Ģirts Lejiņš. The team also has a strong syndicated financings offering, which is primarily handled by specialist counsel Andrejs Lielkalns. Sandija Novicka and specialist counsel Edgars Lodziņš are also an integral part of the team, with Novicka advising on tax and M&A issues in the banking sector, and Lodziņš assisting Liepa on major mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Lauris Liepa; Andrejs Lielkalns; Sandija Novicka; Edgars Lodziņš
‘An engaged, responsive team with good knowledge of the market standards.’
European Investment Bank
Nets group of companies (Nets Denmark, Nets Oy, Nets Estonia)
IPF Digital Latvia
American Express group
Erste Group Bank AG
VTB Bank EU, PSCL VTB Bank (Russia)
Cobalt is a leading corporate law firm in the Baltics, with standout strengths in handling public M&A and listings. A recent example of this work was advising airBaltic on its sale of €250m-worth of share capital to the Latvian government in order to assist the airline during the Covid-19 pandemic. Practice co-head Gatis Flinters advised on that particular matter and is noted for his expertise in corporate transactions involving distressed assets. He is also skilled in corporate governance and reorganisations. Private equity and venture capital transactions are another key strength of the practice, largely owing to the work of Flinters' fellow practice head, Guntars Zīle. Managing partner Dace Silava-Tomsone is another key name with expertise in M&A, corporate and competition law. At junior level, Diāna Zepa is an expert in corporate, commercial and real estate matters.
Gatis Flinters; Guntars Zīle
Other key lawyers:
Dace Silava-Tomsone; Diāna Zepa
‘COBALT has a highly educated team of professionals as well as strong expertise and a presence throughout the Baltics.’
‘They are distinguished by the ability to find the most effective and customised solution.’
Marguerite Adviser S.A
Moller Baltic Import SE
Dispute resolution Tier 1
The ‘highly knowledgeable and dedicated’ Cobalt is differentiated through its sizeable team, with expertise spanning several specialist fields. The group handles both litigation and arbitration, with a caseload involving courts in both Latvia and the EU, as well as international arbitration centres. Practice head and managing partner Lauris Liepa is ‘one of the most notable lawyers in the Baltics’, primarily due to his strength in commercial, administrative and constitutional cases. He is supported by specialist partners Dace Silava-Tomsone, who focuses on competition and construction disputes; tax litigator Sandija Novicka; and EU and competition expert Uģis Zeltiņš. Founding partner Ģirts Lejiņš, who is a respected name in international arbitration, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Dace Silava-Tomsone; Sandija Novicka; Uģis Zeltiņš; Ģirts Lejiņš
‘The team is highly knowledgeable and dedicated.’
‘The team maintain exceptional ethical standards, and have a humble and positive attitude. They also are keen to learn about the client’s business to offer better service. The managing partners are very well connected in the country and understand the legal, political and business aspects of cases.’
‘Lauris Liepa can be seen as a role model for lawyers of the younger generation, as he maintains high ethical and work standards alongside great subject knowledge and communication skills. He can build trust and lead complicated negotiations. We would recommend Mr. Liepa as one of the most notable lawyers in the Baltics.’
Riga International Airport
Olympic Entertainment Group
Public Broadcasting Media
Central Election Commission of Latvia
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited
Employment Tier 1
Cobalt is a prominent name for advising international companies on local employment issues, attracting major names such as Hugo Boss, Johnson & Johnson and Radisson. This workload has entailed advising on immigration, major restructurings, remote working issues, share option plans, terminations and whistleblowing. Toms Šulmanis heads the employment and immigration team, with notable strengths in handling restructurings, redundancies and trade union issues.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have primarily been in contact with Toms Sulmanis and my experiences are as follows: always very fast in responding, highly competent, flexible, professional and friendly.’
‘The team has experience in working with international clients and provides high-quality work product.’
Johnson & Johnson
EU and competition Tier 1
Cobalt’s pan-Baltic presence means it is well placed to handle cross-border issues and the team has strong credentials in vertical restraint and abuse of dominance matters. Other core areas of focus include merger clearance, private damages claims and state aid compliance. Sector of particular expertise include financial services, pharmaceuticals and waste management. Managing partner Dace Silava-Tomsone is a key name in the market for EU and competition law, as illustrated by her recent advice to AirBaltic on the state aid issues surrounding its government bailout due to Covid-19. Uģis Zeltiņš, who made partner in February 2020, leads the competition team and has represented clients before the EU and Latvian courts, as well in arbitration. His workload is broad, but he is notably strong in state aid matters.
Other key lawyers:
Dace Silava-Tomsone; Ivo Maskalāns
‘The team is highly knowledgeable and dedicated to its mission to support clients. The team maintains exceptional ethical standards, keeping a humble and positive attitude. They also are keen to learn about the client’s business to offer better service. The managing partners are very well connected in the country and understand the legal, political and business aspects of cases.’
Riga International Airport
Kesko Senukai Latvia
Moller Baltic Import
Eco Baltia Vide
AKKA / LAA [Latvian Authors’ collective rights management organisation]
Latvijas Būvuzņēmēju partnerība [Partnership of Latvian Construction Companies]
Procter & Gamble
IP, IT and telecoms Tier 1
Cobalt has a broad offering across IP and IT, particularly in the life sciences sector, with Big Pharma clients such as Pfizer, Novartis and Biogen. The team also acted in one of the biggest copyright cases in Latvia, advising Latvian Television in a dispute with All Media Latvia which hinged upon a breakfast TV show format. Indriķis Liepa is a key name in the team with broad capabilities across IP, IT and regulatory issues. Senior associate Līga Fjodorova has a more distinct focus on IP matters, specifically in relation to patents, trade marks and designs. Fellow senior associate Linda Bīriņa specialises in data protection, IT and media matters. Former practice head Ingrīda Kariņa–Bērziņa left the firm in July 2020 and is currently a lecturer.
Indriķis Liepa; Līga Fjodorova; Linda Bīriņa
‘Professional, time efficient.’
Andreas Stihl AG & Co KG
Yeda Research & Development Company Ltd.
Chapter 4 Corp (Supreme)
Latvia MGI Tech SIA
Real estate and construction Tier 1
Fielding a sizeable team, Cobalt is distinguished through the breadth of work it handles across real estate and construction. Managing partner Dace Silava-Tomsone leads the practice and has been assisting inbound investors on the development of retail, office and hospitality properties. Guntars Zīle is another key name in the practice and is highly active in large residential projects. Other notable team members include Toms Šulmanis, who similarly focuses on residential property work but also handles commercial property matters, as well as Gatis Flinters, who is an expert in energy and infrastructure developments. Additionally, thanks to the firm’s offices in Estonia and Lithuania, it its well placed to handle pan-Baltic instructions.
Other key lawyers:
Guntars Zīle; Toms Šulmanis; Gatis Flinters
‘Very good real estate knowledge. Good quality and timely deliverables.’
‘Dace Silava-Tomsone stands out for her very good communication, responsiveness, industry knowledge and timely preparation of good-quality documents.’
Corum Asset Management
CG Investīcijas SIA
AFI Investments SIA
Consolis Latvija SIA
Lidl Latvia SIA
Ionity Holding Gmbh
Shipping and transport Tier 1
Cobalt is the leading Latvian firm in the aviation sector, counting airBaltic and Riga International Airport as clients. The team is also skilled in road, rail and sea transport matters, primarily focusing on cargo-related disputes, vehicle acquisitions and transport infrastructure projects. Practice head Gatis Flinters is an expert in corporate, commercial, financing and restructuring issues in the transport sector. Ģirts Lejiņš handles the disputes side of the practice and is also an expert in financing matters.
Tax Tier 1
The ‘very professional and efficient’ Cobalt has a broad skillset covering both contentious and non-contentious matters, with big names such as AbbVie and Harley Davidson on the client roster. As a leading corporate firm, the team is highly skilled in advising on the tax aspects of corporate transactions, both in Latvia and in other Baltic countries. Tax litigation is another cornerstone of the practice, which has handled cases in both the Supreme Court and administrative courts. Sandija Novicka leads the team and particularly excels in cross-border issues across tax planning and tax litigation. Senior associate Elīna Ločmele, who is an expert in tax advice and restructuring, is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Elīna Ločmele; Sabīne Vuškāne
‘Very professional and efficient. Capable of managing complex and novel matters.’
‘Well-coordinated and experienced experts.’
‘Sandija Novicka combines both excellent legal and tax skills and a high level of business thinking. Easily reachable and responsive.’
‘Cobalt is extremely experienced and knowledgeable. What makes Cobalt different from some other peers in the field is a good combination of knowledge in legal and tax fields. Such a combination for a law firm is not very common.’
‘Sandija Novicka is a highly qualified legal counsel with good knowledge of tax legislation. Extremely organised, deadline oriented, sees the big picture and the substance of the question raised simultaneously, with a good eye for details.’
‘Elīna Ločmele is clear in communication, deadline oriented and submits high-quality advice and documents that do not need any further review and adjustments. Understands the client’s business needs and does not provide excessive general information that has no added value for the client.’
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Olympic Entertainment Group AS
Cobalt is distinguished through its strong track record in handling patent litigation and parallel imports disputes in the life sciences sector, with notable clients including Novartis, Merck Sharp and Dohme. Practice head Žilvinas Kvietkus (who specialises in the life sciences sector) has handled cases relating to trade mark and copyright law, among other areas. Senior associate Julija Beldeninovienė is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘The cooperation was very pleasant and effective. ’
‘We have worked with Julija Beldeninovienė. She was swift, responsive and on-point. ’
‘In the short time of our cooperation already much appreciated: The cooperation with our Cobalt lawyers is very fruitful as there is knowledge and room for open discussions at the same time. Furthermore, they are very swift and reliable in dealing with our matters.’
‘The collaboration with Cobalt was genuine pleasure. Cobalt has appropriate teams working in specific areas, thus you know that your question/issue will be dealt by lawyer, who specializes in that area.’
Novartis Pharma AG
Amadeus IT Group, S.A
UAB MERCK SHARP & DOHME
Inter IKEA Systems B.V.
DPD Lietuva, UAB
Specializuota komplektavimo valdyba, AB
Bayer Cropsience AG
Bayer Intellectual Property GmbH
UAB Vėjo projektai
UAB ALLIANCE RECRUITMENT
Paris Elysees (Parfums de Grasse SL)
ELON Group AB
Lithuania > Fintech Tier 2
Cobalt is a well-established name in Lithuania’s fintech market and most notably has its own Blockchain Task Force, which advises clients through all stages of initial coin offerings. Equally strong advising investors and fintech companies, the team’s workload primarily involves corporate transactions and financings, as well as applications for e-money licences. The team is led by Akvilė Bosaitė and Eva Suduiko, with Bosaitė focusing on licensing matters, while Suduiko handles corporate and banking transactions. Managing partner Irmantas Norkus is also highly active in licensing and transactional matters.
Akvilė Bosaitė; Eva Suduiko
Other key lawyers:
B4Payment GmbH (SEPAexpress)
Earthport PLC (bought by VISA)
KEVIN EU, UAB
Finolita Unio, UAB
Paydoo Payments, UAB
Glocash Payment, UAB
Cobalt > Firm Profile
COBALT is a closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices across the Baltics and Belarus uniting more than 200 attorneys and lawyers. The firm’s legal professionals offer leading–edge legal solutions in all key areas of business law: banking and finance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, EU law, competition, dispute resolution, restructuring and bankruptcy, real estate and construction, energy and infrastructure, employment, IP, IT and regulatory, environmental law, transportation and tax.
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Dr Irmantas Norkusemail@example.com||+370 687 81323|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Elijus Burgisfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 687 93933|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Martin Simovartemail@example.com||+372 511 2020|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Guntars Zilefirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2942 7809|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Peeter Kutmanemail@example.com||+372 502 2426|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Žilvinas Kvietkusfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 699 54702|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Karina Paatsiemail@example.com||+372 514 6405|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Gatis Flintersfirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2655 6592|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Toms Šulmanisemail@example.com||+371 2911 0761|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Marina Kotkasfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 525 3086|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Lauris Liepaemail@example.com||+371 2920 6001|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Akvilė Bosaitėfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 698 06964|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Kristel Raidla - Taluremail@example.com||+372 513 6997|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Eva Suduikofirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 610 40646|
|EU & COMPETITION||Elo Tammemail@example.com||+372 512 0573|
|EU & COMPETITION||Ugis Zeltinsfirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2632 8671|
|EU & COMPETITION||Rasa Zaščiurinskaitėemail@example.com||+370 655 38008|
|IP, IT & DATA PROTECTION||Egon Talurfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 518 8579|
|IP, IT & DATA PROTECTION||Indrikis Liepaemail@example.com||+371 2928 4852|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Aivar firstname.lastname@example.org||+372 528 8508|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Dace Silava-Tomsoneemail@example.com||+371 2947 7302|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Simona Oliškevičiūtė-Cicėnienėfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 698 88460|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Artūras Kojalaemail@example.com||+370 659 20404|
|TAX||Sandija Novickafirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2914 2856|
|TAX||Rokas Daugėlaemail@example.com||+370 688 84503|
|DISPUTE RESOLUTION||Jaanus Modyfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 501 5407|
|DISPUTE RESOLUTION||Dr Rimantas Simaitisemail@example.com||+370 652 36366|
|Linda Birina||Linda is an expert in Intellectual property and IT. She is a…||View Profile|
|L?ga Fjodorova||Līga Fjodorova specializes in the field of intellectual property law, commercial law,…||View Profile|
|Gatis Flinters||Gatis Flinters heads the Corporate & Commercial Law practice group at COBALT…||View Profile|
|?irts Leji?š||Ģirts Lejiņš is a Senior Advisor at COBALT Latvia. During more than…||View Profile|
|Andrejs Lielkalns||In the course of his legal practice extending over 20 years, Specialist…||View Profile|
|Indri?is Liepa||Indriķis Liepa heads IP, IT and Regulatory practice group at COBALT Latvia.…||View Profile|
|Lauris Liepa||Lauris Liepa is the Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution Practice…||View Profile|
|Edgars Lodzins||Edgars Lodziņš is a Specialist Counsel and Head of Banking and Finance…||View Profile|
|Sandija Novicka||Sandija Novicka is a Partner at COBALT Latvia office and heads the…||View Profile|
|Sergejs Rudans||Sergejs Rudāns is a Specialist Counsel at COBALT Latvia. While working at…||View Profile|
|Dace Silava-Tomsone||Dace Silava-Tomsone is Managing Partner and Head of Real Estate Practice Group…||View Profile|
|Toms Sulmanis||Toms Šulmanis heads the Employment & Immigration practice group in COBALT Latvia.…||View Profile|
|Ugis Zeltins||Uģis Zeltiņš is the head of the Competition practice group at COBALT…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 39 Number of Lawyers : 181
LanguagesLithuanian English Latvian Estonian Finnish German Italian Russian
MembershipsGALA (Global Advertising Lawyers Association) Lex Mundi World Services Group (WSG) Ius Laboris INTA - International Trademark Association IBA (International Bar Association)
We value diversity and the benefits diverse teams bring to our clients. While we currently don’t have a formal firm-wide D&I policy just yet, we continue to strive to create an inclusive culture and diverse workforce where our people have a sense of belonging and feel they are equally involved and supported. We are committed to continuing to build an inclusive culture and to make diversity and inclusion an integral part of our decision-making at every level of the firm. We demonstrate our position in action. Our activities in 2020:
- COBALT is a nominee for the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe 2021 awards, shortlisted in the ‘Social Justice’ category for the firm‘s work on two landmark cases in the Constitutional Court regarding the rights and protection of families of same-sex couples in Latvia.
COBALT provided pro bono legal assistance to the Association of LGBT and their friends Mozaīka as amicus curiae in both Constitutional Court’s cases. These were the first cases in the history of the Latvian Constitutional Court where the court convincingly ruled in favour of same-sex couples; moreover, it was declared that same-sex couples and their children shall be considered as families and should therefore enjoy equal protection by the state as families of married heterosexual couples. As a consequence, Saeima (the Parliament) is required to create regulation for the protection of families of same-sex couples by June 2022.
- COBALT together with the Go Forward Academy launched the COBALT female leaders’ class and granted 3 scholarships to the most motivated and socially active female students to study at the Go Forward Academy. The Academy is a leadership academy for women in Lithuania where future leaders are introduced to inspirational stories, knowledge and ideas to give tools for change in the world of business, science, and culture.
- In November 2020, COBALT became a signatory to the Latvian Diversity Charter, the first law firm in Latvia to join the initiative. The Diversity Charter is a voluntary declaration striving for respect and inclusion of diversity groups: http://www.thinkdiversity.eu/home/.
- COBALT Estonia is a long-term partner of the Art Museum of Estonia Foundation. In 2020, we elected to support the exhibition ‘Creating the Self: Emancipating Women in Estonian and Finnish Art.’ The exhibition focused on the changes in women’s self-awareness and social position that started in the 19th century, whichare echoed in the activities of female artists.
COBALT is a closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices across the Baltics and Belarus uniting more than 200 attorneys and lawyers.
COBALT’s Finnish Desk, based in our Tallinn office, focuses on legal issues related to cross-border business activities between Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania and Finland. Its main target group consists of the investors, entrepreneurs and companies in the Baltic States having a business interest in the Finnish market and vice versa.
The Finnish Desk consists of a four-member project management team: Martin Simovart, partner, Jesse Kivisaari, specialist counsel, Getter Villmann, junior associate, and Hegle Pärna, assistant lawyer.
In addition, the services of the Finnish Desk provide access to the high-level legal services of COBALT law office in all legal areas in the Baltics and Belarus, and to an extensive global partner network, including the exclusive membership of the Estonian office in World Services Group which intermediates worldwide recognised legal professionals and high-quality legal services, and in Lex Mundi which is an organisation of the world’s leading independent law firms.
Germany is an important trading partner for the Baltic States. Many German and Austrian companies have established subsidiaries in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Likewise, Baltic entrepreneurs expand their business to German speaking countries. Accordingly, the demand for legal services in German language is quite high. We advise both domestic companies that are entering markets in Germany, Austria or Switzerland, as well as investors from German speaking countries.
Our team consists of qualified lawyers who have obtained their master or doctorate degree at German universities and have gained certain working experience in German law offices.
Although the business environment and investment activity around Russia always experienced unforeseen turbulences, there is a continuous need for entrepreneurial platforms that foster and safeguard economic interactions between Russia/CIS countries and European Union. As there is a constant demand for high quality and seamless cross-border services for foreign companies doing business in Russia and for Russian companies establishing a presence or expanding into Europe. Through many years of work experience in the region, COBALT is ideally positioned to offer its clients an in-depth knowledge and comprehensive understanding of the subtle differences between legal environments and business culture in Russia and European market. COBALT Russian Desk is the integrated team made up of lawyers who are fluent in Russian and have experience of advising clients in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Our one-stop project management approach and expertise, combined with all the necessary support from the leading Russian law firms, mean that investments and other commercial objectives in either market can be realized as smoothly as possible.
CLIENT: Flavio Perini, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board, AS Baltika
COMPANY/FIRM: AS Baltika
TESTIMONIAL: I met with COBALT team for the first time during early spring 2020 when me and the shareholders were evaluating the opportunity to apply for the reorganisation of Baltika, one of the biggest retail companies in Estonia with also a presence all over Baltics, listed on Nasdaq Baltic Stock Exchange market. COBALT team was leading Baltika’s team through this complicated and uncertain procedure with a lot of professionalism, seriousness and preparation and the final result achieved thanks to their help was simply great.
CLIENT: Donatas Aksomitas, Managing Director, AGACAD
TESTIMONIAL: AGACAD had worked with Cobalt in the past on a variety of corporate matters and always found them to be highly knowledgeable on both the legal and the business side, as well as proactive and efficient. For M&A work, the reputation of the firm – and in particular that of Juozas Rimas who heads the M&A Practice – preceded them. There was a long track record of deals where they successfully advised both local and international clients. So we knew we could count on them to represent our interests effectively and professionally in this transaction of historic importance to AGACAD and its founders.
CLIENT: Olga Barreto Goncalves, CEO, Latvian Startup Association “Startin.LV”
COMPANY/FIRM: Latvian Startup Association “Startin.LV”
TESTIMONIAL: Our recent experience with Cobalt included work on the new share option regulation in Latvia which took almost a year.
The elaboration on the new share option regulation in Latvia is an excellent example of private-public cooperation, which has resulted in the qualitative, balanced and up-to-date legal framework, embodying the best international practice and respecting essential local requirements.
As the lead voice of the start-up ecosystem in Latvia, we can confirm that the new share option regulation was a long-waited improvement and we already notice its positive impact on industry development.
Together with the start-up community, venture capitalists, parliament representatives (in particular Mr Reinis Znotiņš), Cobalt was one of the key drivers within the legislative process, demonstrating an excellent understanding of the business side and providing crucial legal input throughout all process.
CLIENT: Darius Žakaitis, Founder, Tech Zity UAB
COMPANY/FIRM: Tech Zity UAB
TESTIMONIAL: COBALT has advised our company Techzity UAB on the acquisition of shares in Techfabrikas UAB and the creation of a joint venture for the development of an innovative business park in Klaipėda, Lithuania. COBALT lawyers always find logical and knowledge-based solutions for every problem. I really enjoy working with COBALT and feel they have my back every step of the way. They were agile, pragmatic, bold, consistently level-headed and worked 24/7 to keep the deal on track. The team handles the full spectrum of M&A work and appears to be the first port of call for many of the market’s most high-value and sophisticated matters. Their attention to detail, extensive experience and strategic skills create value for clients.
COMPANY/FIRM: OP Corporate Bank plc Latvia branch
TESTIMONIAL: COBALT team was reached to provide their service in preparing credit documentation for a project finance case in energy sector. With the team’s professional and elaborative approach, it was possible to reach the goal in rather compressed time schedule. The team was certain not to overlook any details and they were prepared for anything that could come their way during discussions. It was also significant contribution that the involved specialists were following very carefully the set milestones in order to satisfy their fulfilment. Extensive knowledge of the energy sector was essential in supplementing the final documentation with important elements. All in all, ability to work under pressure and find compromises were also important elements to finalize this service, and we are thankful for the team’s contributions in this project.