Cobalt > Riga, Latvia > Firm Profile
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Cobalt > The Legal 500 RankingsCobalt is well-equipped to handle large-scale transactions, as illustrated by its recent work for European Investment Bank and Nordic Investment Bank on financing the €122m Kekava Bypass road project. Edgars Lodzins, who was promoted to the partnership in 2022, is notably also active in capital markets work, particularly in relation to Eurobonds and green bond offerings and he heads the practice. The team also benefits from the expertise of specialist counsel Andrejs Lielkalns, who focuses on regulatory and restructuring issues, Sandija Novicka, who specialises in tax and M&A issues involving the banking sector and managing partner Lauris Liepa.
‘Cobalt works in a very flexible way, whereas we can ask a question to one consultant – main contact person, and the team will assign all necessary resources and experts from the whole inhouse experts available for this topic. Extremely client and service oriented.’
‘Cobalt will always point out to the client the critical places in the agreement we need to pay our attention to and will come up with the solutions that would be both beneficial for the client and acceptable to the banks/ financing institutions.’
‘Andrejs Lielkalns is a highly skilled and experienced consultant for banking & finance. Andrejs has a deep knowledge and understanding of the business and the industry that is of a great value when negotiating details. ‘
‘When Andrejs is involved in the drafting/negotiation process, one can be sure all details will be covered and all critical matters will be brought to attention of the client.’
‘Top-tier financing know-how.’
American Express group
Erste Group Bank AG
European Investment Bank
ING Belgium NV/SA
- Advised European Investment Bank and Nordic Investment Bank on signing a 21-year loan agreement for the Kekava Bypass road project.
- Advised SEB banka and Danske Bank as lenders in respect of a court supervised restructuring proceedings of Valmiera Glass group.
- Advised Barclays, BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole CIB as joint lead managers on te issuance of a 10-year €1.250b Eurobond by the Republic of Latvia.
Other key lawyers:
Marguerite Adviser S.A
- Advised Entain on its public takeover offer to the shareholders of the largest iGaming operator in the Baltics Enlabs AB.
- Advised Mid Europa Partners on its acquisition of Pigu and Hobby Hall Group.
- Advised BaltCap Private Equity Fund III (BPEF III) and its co-investor Sven Nuutmann on acquiring Baltic Ticket Holdings OÜ.
Latvia > Dispute resolution Tier 1Cobalt is particularly strong in constitutional and administrative law cases, with managing partner and practice head Lauris Liepa regularly acting before the Court of Justice of the European Union and also the European Court of Human Rights. Recent work has had a particular focus on matters arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and the fundamental rights of businesses, as well as issues surrounding the LGBTQ+ community. The team is also known to handle disputes connected with construction, banking, tax, IP and competition. In addition to being active in litigation, international arbitration is another strong point, with Ģirts Lejiņš being a noteworthy name within this field. Other names to note include tax disputes specialist Sandija Novicka and Ugis Zeltins, who focuses on EU and competition-related matters.
‘COBALT team was exceptional in working with the LGBTQ issues. We can also say that they were brave in taking a clear stand for equality, diversity and LGBTQ rights in the environment, which is still partly hostile towards the LGBTQ issues.’
‘Managing Partner Lauris Liepa is one of the most respected lawyers and attorneys in Latvia. He is one of the top constitutional rights and human rights lawyers in Latvia. His expertise is valued in professional, academic, political and policy fields.’
‘The team is very professional and is focused on achieving goals. The team is able to quickly connect to legal challenges, which are very important to us, given that the legal proceedings in which we are involved are dealt with in short terms.’
‘Mr. Lauris Liepa is a high-ranking expert on constitutional rights. We have long years of cooperation. His knowledge and legal analysis of the situation helped greatly.’
‘The practical experience, technical strength and strategic insight of their lawyers is unmatched. From the very first meeting I felt very well informed and supported – on a human level, in terms of my rights and in terms of what settlement would be workable and fair. Highly recommended.’
‘Lauris Liepa was able to decipher the complex technicalities of the case immediately and his professional skills were exemplary throughout the process. I thoroughly cherished the experience of working with him.’
Riga International Airport
Olympic Entertainment Group
Public Broadcasting Media
Central Election Commission of Latvia
- Represented Saeima, legislator of the Republic of Latvia, before the Constitutional Court regarding the compatibility of administrative-territorial reform with the Constitution and the European Charter of Local Self-Governments.
- Represented an Italian citizen who lives in Latvia before the Grand Chamber of the Court of Justice of the European Union in relation to accessibility of state financed medical care to an economically inactive foreign national.
- Represented Swiss company Produktech Engineering AG in a case regarding the confiscation of the allegedly illegally acquired funds in the Commercial Court of Latvia.
Latvia > Employment Tier 1Cobalt‘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.
‘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.’
Johnson & Johnson
Volvo Truck Latvia
- 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.
Latvia > EU and competition Tier 1Cobalt is highly reputed for its strengths in contentious and non-contentious EU and competition matters. Its varied workload spans merger control, unfair competition and abuse of dominance claims and public procurement and state aid, among other areas. Leading the team is Ugis Zeltins, who leads on most of the contentious work, and has acted before the Latvian Courts and European Court of Justice. Managing partner Dace Silava-Tomsone is particularly skilled in merger control work.
Other key lawyers:
‘Experience, knowledge and business understanding.’
‘Dace Silava-Tomsone and Ugis Zeltins are experts in competition law with great experience. Both can find a solution in every case.’
Eco Baltia Vide
Latvijas Būvuzņēmēju partnerība
Riga International Airport
Procter & Gamble
Moller Baltic Import
AB Linas Agro Group
- Represented Linas Agro Group before the Competition Council of Latvia in merger control procedure concerning the acquisition of the Kauno grūdai group.
- Represented Riga International Airport in a damages action brought by a bankrupt Lithuanian carrier flyLAL and its shareholders. The claimants alleged that anti–competitive conduct by Riga International Airport and airBaltic had caused damages.
- Advised Wolt Latvija in an inquiry by the Latvian Competition Council into the legality of Wolt’s online / offline price parity clause.
Latvia > IP, IT and telecoms Tier 1Indriķis Liepa leads the team at Cobalt, which has a first-rate reputation for IP, IT and regulatory work. On the IP side, the firm attracts a mix of contentious and non-contentious mandates in relation to patents, trade marks and designs. It acts for clients in sectors such as publishing, banking, fashion and pharmaceuticals, among may others. Liepa works with litigator Ugis Zeltins, who excels in advising on trade mark oppositions and anti-counterfeiting measures. Senior associates Līga Fjodorova and Linda Birina are also recommended. Ingrida Karina-Berzina is now a lecturer.
‘Liga and Ugis handled/are handling those cases very professionally. I particularly appreciate their responsiveness, reliability and competence.’
‘They are equally taking care of all requests in an uncomplicated way and are able of talking in the “client’s language”. There’s no need to run after deadlines or worry about anything as a client, which is extremely valuable.’
Andreas Stihl AG & Co KG
- Advised several clients in trade mark disputes against Grigorius Holdings, considered to be linked with Michael Gleissner, who has established a global network of shell companies, the main activity of which is the bad faith trademarks registration in different jurisdictions.
- Advised CV-Online as a claimant against an aggregator that infringed client’s sui generis rights in the database.
- Advised Pfizer in relation to merger of its off-patent branded and generic established medicines business (Upjohn) with Mylan NV and formation of a new joint venture Viatris Inc.
Other key lawyers:
Guntars Zīle; Toms Šulmanis; Gatis Flinters; Sergejs Rudāns
‘Professional attitude and high level of competence bring the COBALT Law firm to a highly professional level.’
‘I would like to mention Guntars Zile – the best professional I have ever met during my work in real estate sector for more than 16 years.’
Corum Asset Management
AFI Investments SIA
Consolis Latvija SIA
Lidl Latvia SIA
AirBaltic Corporation AS
- Advised EURION Fund managed by Corum Asset Management in a landmark office property acquisition from Baltic RE Group. Transaction was among TOP 10 real estate transactions in Latvia in 2020.
- Advised SEB Group’s business services centre in Riga on negotiating a long-term lease agreement of 11,000 m2 of custom-built office premises in a newly constructed business centre GUSTAVS.
- Advising Air Baltic on contractual matters related to construction of Maintenance, Repair & Operation (MRO) hangar at its home base, Riga International Airport.
Other key lawyers:
Freeport of Ventspils authority
Moller Baltic Import
Riga International Airport
Skultes Kokosta SIA
Baltijas Sporta Auto SIA
- Advised European Investment Bank (EIB) and Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) on the financing of the Kekava Bypass road project, which is to become the first major private-public partnership (PPP) project in Latvia and the first large-scale PPP in the Baltics.
- Advised the Austrian company Swietelsky AG as a part of the winning consortium in the international tender for the construction of Rail Baltica train station and related infrastructure at the Riga International Airport.
- Advising IONITY Holding Gmbh on the development of high-power charging stations across Europe, including in Latvia.
Latvia > Tax Tier 1Cobalt‘s team has broad expertise in tax litigation, regulatory compliance and the tax aspects of corporate transactions. Practice head Sandija Novicka is particularly experienced in tax planning and litigation. She is supported by specialist counsel Sabīne Vuškāne, who also places tax litigation as a primary area of focus, as well as compliance and tax structuring.
Other key lawyers:
‘COBALT’s specialists are remarkably organized, business-oriented and ready to explain and discuss solutions and processes to the smallest details. That reduces the managerial and communication effort required from our side.’
‘Partner Sandija Novicka combines both excellent legal and tax skills and a high level of business thinking. Easily reachable and responsive.’
‘Cobalt can cover questions related to cross-border deals and help to create not only best deal structures, but also always overview tax consequences of the deal, thus providing to the client complete all-in-one consulting.’
‘Cobalt has broad experience of business practices in different industries and can advise on a very wide range of questions. The team is very much client and service-oriented and precise and accurate with deadlines, keeps promises and we can rely on their work and advice.’
‘The team is full of knowledgeable lawyers, each specializing in a different field. Whenever we have a question, it is always forwarded to the best person and we receive full information and assistance.’
‘They are very careful towards clients’ needs and pay extraordinary attention to details. No doubts about their competence, they are very efficient and dedicated.’
Corum Asset Management
Olympic Entertainment Group AS
- Represented Lielzeltiņi SIA in a dispute with the State Revenue Service concerning the decision of the State Revenue Service that the company is not entitled to deduct input tax.
- Representing the Finance Latvia Association in the Ministry of Finance regarding direct and indirect tax aspects related to drafting of Covered Bond Law in Latvia.
Cobalt > Firm Profile
COBALT is a closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices across the Baltics uniting more than 250 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 Norkusfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 687 81323|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Elijus Burgisemail@example.com||+370 687 93933|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Martin Simovartfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 511 2020|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Guntars Zileemail@example.com||+371 2942 7809|
|M&A AND CORPORATE TRANSACTIONS||Peeter Kutmanfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 502 2426|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Žilvinas Kvietkusemail@example.com||+370 699 54702|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Karina Paatsifirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 514 6405|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Gatis Flintersemail@example.com||+371 2655 6592|
|CORPORATE ADVISORY & EMPLOYMENT||Toms Šulmanisfirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2911 0761|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Marina Kotkasemail@example.com||+372 525 3086|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Lauris Liepafirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2920 6001|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Akvilė Bosaitėemail@example.com||+370 698 06964|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Kristel Raidla - Talurfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 513 6997|
|BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS||Eva Suduikoemail@example.com||+370 610 40646|
|EU & COMPETITION||Elo Tammfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 512 0573|
|EU & COMPETITION||Ugis Zeltinsemail@example.com||+371 2632 8671|
|EU & COMPETITION||Rasa Zaščiurinskaitėfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 655 38008|
|IP, IT & DATA PROTECTION||Egon Taluremail@example.com||+372 518 8579|
|IP, IT & DATA PROTECTION||Indrikis Liepafirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2928 4852|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Aivar email@example.com||+372 528 8508|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Dace Silava-Tomsonefirstname.lastname@example.org||+371 2947 7302|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Simona Oliškevičiūtė-Cicėnienėemail@example.com||+370 698 88460|
|REAL ESTATE, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT||Artūras Kojalafirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 659 20404|
|TAX||Sandija Novickaemail@example.com||+371 2914 2856|
|TAX||Rokas Daugėlafirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 688 84503|
|DISPUTE RESOLUTION||Jaanus Modyemail@example.com||+372 501 5407|
|DISPUTE RESOLUTION||Dr Rimantas Simaitisfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 652 36366|
|Ms Linda Birina||Linda is an expert in Intellectual property and IT. She is a…||View Profile|
|Ms Liga Fjodorova||Līga Fjodorova specializes in the field of intellectual property law, commercial law,…||View Profile|
|Mr Gatis Flinters||Gatis Flinters heads the Corporate & Commercial Law practice group at COBALT…||View Profile|
|Mr Girts Lejins||Ģirts Lejiņš is a Senior Advisor at COBALT Latvia. During more than…||View Profile|
|Mr Andrejs Lielkalns||In the course of his legal practice extending over 20 years, Specialist…||View Profile|
|Mr Indrikis Liepa||Indriķis Liepa heads IP, IT and Regulatory practice group at COBALT Latvia.…||View Profile|
|Mr Lauris Liepa||Lauris Liepa is the Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution Practice…||View Profile|
|Mr Edgars Lodzins||Edgars Lodziņš is a Specialist Counsel and Head of Banking and Finance…||View Profile|
|Mrs Sandija Novicka||Sandija Novicka is a Partner at COBALT Latvia office and heads the…||View Profile|
|Mr Sergejs Rudans||Sergejs Rudāns is a Specialist Counsel at COBALT Latvia. While working at…||View Profile|
|Mrs Dace Silava-Tomsone||Dace Silava-Tomsone is Managing Partner and Head of Real Estate Practice Group…||View Profile|
|Mr Toms Sulmanis||Toms Šulmanis heads the Employment & Immigration practice group in COBALT Latvia.…||View Profile|
|Mr Ugis Zeltins||Uģis Zeltiņš is the head of the Competition practice group at COBALT…||View Profile|
|Mr Guntars Zile||Guntars Zīle is Partner and Head of M&A Practice Group. He has…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of Partners : 40 Number of Lawyers : 203
LanguagesEstonian English Latvian Lithuanian 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) Mindful Business Charter (MBC)
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.
At Cobalt, we are committed to creating a culture of equality providing an environment within which all employees have equal opportunities for development and progression. All our people are key to our future growth and ongoing success.
Some of our career development, talent acquisition and retention initiatives and principles are mentioned below:
We don’t have a specific female-focused career development program. These expectations are equal for all moving on their career path. We have 8 main levels in our career plan and these steps are determined by years of experience, level of education and specific expectations that need to be filled in order to move to the next level. All these expectations are discussed when the entry level starts at the office or yearly during the performance reviews.
Seeking new talent
We run a twice a year traineeship programmes (winter and summer) in Estonia. Traineeship program lasts for 4-6 weeks and yearly we hire yearly about 12% from the trainees to our firm. In average applicants are 30-35% male and 65-70% female, and the ratio of successful candidates has been 50% female and 50% male for the past 3 project rounds.
Seeking experienced hires
When seeking experienced talent, we keep a close eye on our market and conduct a wider public hiring campaigns or targeted searched for certain fields. In addition, we campaign and share our vacancies and opportunities always on different marketing channels, to ensure the widest outreach possible.
Fair promotion and appraisal practices
We strongly believe that following fair promotion practices are of critical importance in setting the tone for our internal culture and retaining talent. We promote based on merit, results and ability.
Equal pay and bonus
We remain confident that men and women are paid equally for doing equivalent roles within Cobalt. We continue to monitor our mean and median pay ratios on all the levels in the firm. We are systematically running analysis on the salaries of our associates at different levels, at our partner’s and our business services team to ensure that. We are also closely reviewing our bonus procedures as part of the annual salary review, and we commit to treating men and women equally when considered for a bonus.
Diversity & Inclusion
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 continue creating an inclusive culture and make diversity and inclusion an integral part of our decision-making at every level of the firm. At the moment Estonia has six female and seven male partners, Lithuania has four female and fourteen male partners, Latvia has two female and seven male partners. Meaning 33% of our partners are female.
According to Eurostat, Estonia and Latvia still have the highest gender pay gap compared to other EU Member States, we believe it is our responsibility as a corporate citizen to take a firm action to improve the current situation.
COBALT is a closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices across the Baltics 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 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.
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.
Dr Irmantas Norkus, Managing partner
What do you see as the main points that differentiate COBALT from your competitors?
Over the last 20 years, we have grown from a 1-practitioner firm to an organiztion of more than 100 people in Lithuania. We now count more than 250 team members in the Baltics. Today we are located in three capital cities – Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn. A constant appetite for growth keeps us looking for innovation and development. We are well diversified and specialized; our firms cover the full range of business law as well as provide private services (family law and white-collar crime) to individuals. In terms of the age of our partners, we are one of the youngest partnerships in the market.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
Corporate / M&A will continue to grow in 2022. Post-pandemic recovery and over-liquidity in the market will drive investments in the M&A market. Foreign direct investments should increase in the Baltics too.
Regulatory advice in the markets of financial services will continue to be in demand. A growing ecosystem of fintech companies will require more extensive legal guidance. Data protection and consumer protection are growing areas too. It is very likely that governments will tighten tax regulations to recover part of the state aid distributed to prevent the economic crisis due to COVID.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
We try not to reinvent the bicycle but to adapt it to the new environment. We monitor the evolution of business and aim to provide support to companies that embrace the future. Therefore, there is not one change but a group of regular improvements to our services addressing the changing needs of the client.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Absolutely. Remote working encouraged us to test various media and communication forms to interact with clients and provide services. In certain instances, to speed up the process, we share the database, document templates and proprietary information with clients, while working on documents simultaneously and drafting without exchanging multiple versions of the same document. This allows us to better engage with the client, understand his needs and produce documents in a more expedient manner. We share our resources (data and people) with clients too.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
Being connected and having partners in all European jurisdictions, we often help clients who are considering entering multiple EU jurisdictions identify showstoppers or potential risks or costs in the early stages. It is not legal advice only but assistance with understanding commercial barriers too. We assist young companies in their expansion by advising on certain aspects of capital raising or making business partnerships.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Business is all about a long-term partnership. Thus, our clients seek a reliable and trustworthy advisor in us capable of assisting them with long term projects. Our goal is to develop COBALT into a sustainable and ever-adapting and evolving organization able to attract talent and provide quality service. As post-pandemic recovery promises to be steep and active, we need to be well resourced (people) and equipped (technology). Our focus now is people. The transformation of the working method and office organization should not be overlooked.