Sorainen > Tallinn, Estonia > Firm Profile
- Go to...
- Firm Profile
- Main Contacts
- Lawyer Profiles
- Notable Cases
- Comparative Guides
Sorainen > The Legal 500 RankingsSorainen is ‘very good‘ at advising blue-chip companies on complex cross-border transactions and mergers in the pan-Baltic region. It is particularly experienced in working for Estonian fintech start-ups raising capital from international investors, as well as matter relating to private equity. Co-head of the corporate and M&A team Toomas Prangli advises on private equity matters, venture and angel investments, and buy outs and buy-ins. He works alongside co-heads Piret Jesse, who specialises in transaction negotiations, and Karin Madisson, an expert in mandatory pension funds, cross-border mergers, and pan-Baltic corporate reorganisations. Promoted to counsel in April 2021, Piret Lappert is a transaction specialist, covering everything from early due diligence to post-closing corporate advice.
Toomas Prangli; Piret Jesse; Karin Madisson
Other key lawyers:
Lauri Liivat; Triin Ploomipuu; Piret Lappert
‘The team has in-depth knowledge of market practice in corporate and M&A counselling, thereby providing necessary guidance in structuring and negotiating transactions. It is capable of providing excellent legal and market analysis for supporting deals.’
‘Piret Jesse is just perfect in communication, she is fast and provides great value.’
‘Very good for large and complex transactions. Wide spectrum of services.’
‘The team has extensive experience in M&A and can position themselves to be in the shoes of the client to get the best outcomes.’
‘We value their approach to us as a customer that not only focuses on the scope of any given assignment but more widely as a company and the areas we operate.’
‘I have mainly work with Karin Madisson and she really wants to protect you and make sure that she know all details. Perfect work!‘
‘Strong M&A team, with fast thinkers and excellent management by the partner.’
‘Piret Jesse is the best partner to deal with M&A cases.’
Odeon Cinemas Group
Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Vista Equity Partners
Infracapital and AMP Capital
- Advised Fortum on the sale of its district heating business in the Baltics to Partners Group, valued at €500m on a debt- and cash-free basis.
- Advised Vista Equity Partners on its majority investment in Pipedrive, valued at $1.5bn.
- Advised Bolt on raising €750m in two large Baltic funding rounds, as well as a €20m investment agreement with the International Finance Corporation.
Estonia > Dispute resolution Tier 1Sorainen focuses on international litigation, international arbitration, white-collar criminal defence, insolvency and restructuring disputes. It has represented clients before the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union and has also been involved in setting precedents in areas such as state liability and food safety. Carri Ginter heads the dispute resolution practice in the Baltics and has represented clients, including Estonian government ministries, in court; Allar Jõks focuses on major disputes between the Estonian state and individuals; head of the corporate crime investigations and defence team Norman Aas was promoted to partner in January 2021; senior associate Kadri Härginen leads the public procurement and public projects team, and has represented clients in major public and civil law cases. Three dispute resolution specialist associates joined the team in 2021, with Marcus Niin joining from the Tallinn Circuit Court in April, Rety Estorn joining from Ellex Raidla in March, and Ringo Heidmets joining from the Republic of Estonia Centre for Defence Investment in July.
Carri Ginter; Allar Jõks; Norman Aas; Kadri Härginen
‘The practice has exceptional knowledge and understanding of the local (Baltics) dispute resolution systems as whole (legal, political and human aspects). They also communicate very well with the surrounding jurisdictions in cross border cases.’
‘Sorainen is a highly professional and innovative team which can be trusted to solve even the most complex legal problems. They work as true team-players and know how to build up the most cost-efficient and competent task-force for each unique assignment.’
‘Carri Ginter is known for his invaluable experience in legal disputes and out-of-the box strategies.‘
‘Their general sound commercial understanding, good value for money and a broad team. Quick responses.’
‘Carri Ginter is very focused on obtaining the result. He is sharp, and at the same time spends sufficient time to get to the core of the matter. He always delvers!‘
‘The Sorainen team understands the business, so it is easy to work with them. They are solution-oriented and they have a lot of experiences.‘
‘Very good communication skills, they always find time – willingness to start the day earlier if it is necessary.’
‘Carri Ginter consolidates the team and both keeps the strategic direction aligned, and comes up with nuggets in tactics that turn out to make the difference.‘
Tallinna Linnatranspordi AS
Estonian Ministry of Environment
Finnish National Emergency Supply Agency
- Advised Škoda in a public procurement conducted by state-owned Eesti Liinirongid for purchasing six trains with an additional option to buy ten more trains in the coming years.
- Represented Windoor in arbitration proceedings at the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington, D.C., involving its claim against the Republic of Kazakhstan for €23m.
- Represented a legal person before the European Court of Human Rights in proceedings against the Republic of Estonia, concerning a breach of the right to proceedings within a reasonable time and a breach of the right to receive a fair and immediate compensation for expropriation.
Estonia > Employment Tier 1Sorainen supports clients with day-to-day cross-border employment advice, compliance, and employment-related dispute resolution. The team is also experienced in employee data protection, trade unions and collective agreements, business secret protections, employee mobility and immigration, and non-compete clauses. Practice co-leaders Karin Madisson and counsel Pirkko-Liis Harkmaa represent clients in employment-related disputes and negotiations, as well as advising on reorganisations. Piret Jesse focuses on corporate governance and employment law pertaining to management and executive contracts.
‘The Sorainen Employment Law team consists of professional, calm, clever and client supporting legal experts. They understand what the client is talking about and try to offer real-life scenarios to solve problems.’
‘They have clockwork cooperation with a high professional approach, listening, reflecting back how they understand customers problems, suggesting potential solutions, pointing out what could be the best result, and also cost effective, always substituted by colleagues if a certain lawyer is not available. Plus they are friendly, easy to talk to and discuss issues.’
‘The company offers quality legal assistance in many areas.‘
‘The team is very responsive and provides pragmatic advice.’
‘Karin Maddison is very responsive and commercial.’
‘Pirkko-Liis Harkmaa is a very good partner.’
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
Vista Equity Partners
- Advised Vista Equity Partners on its majority investment in Pipedrive, supporting the client in all transactional employment law matters, as well as employee stock options.
- Represented seven natural persons previously employed by the GuardTime group Estonian entity in an employment dispute with their former employer.
- Advised Splunk on all employment matters, including employee data privacy and employee IP matters in Splunk’s acquisition of Plumbr.
Estonia > EU and competition Tier 1Sorainen is particularly strong in regulatory matters, abuse of dominance, state aid, and cross-border merger control proceedings. Of note, it has a unique sub-practice dedicated to infrastructure and regulatory work for clients in the rail, water, natural gas, and renewable energy sectors. Practice head Kaupo Lepasepp is an expert in competition law, including prohibited agreements, dawn raids, tariff regulation, and competition law-related court disputes. Head of the TMT team Mihkel Miidla is also noted for his work in regulatory and competition law, especially in the automotive and utilities industries. Additionally, merger control specialist Piibe Lehtsaar was promoted to counsel in April 2021.
Kaupo Lepasepp; Mikhel Miidla
Other key lawyers:
‘Exceptional commitment. Recognition of business needs.’
‘A very committed and pragmatic team, always delivers a high-quality output.’
‘Mihkel Miidla has a good combination of IT knowledge and a practical approach.’
‘Sorainen is a team of uniquely clever lawyers who complement each other. As lawyers they know what they are doing – starting from fundamentals of national and EU law to specifics of our sector-specific rules. As cooperation partners they are capable to see the big picture, and also notice details. This all makes working with them a great pleasure. They are innovative, both with their advice and also additional services (secondments, digital seminars and events).’
‘We use Sorainen as a one team for different types of matters. Sorainen always performs as one truly collaborative team, irrespective of exact team members. This demonstrates their collaborative culture, and truly stands out in the market.’
‘Kaupo Lepasepp – He was one of the first to specialize in utilities regulatory law, and these days is a prominent expert of EU and regulatory law, well known and highly regarded by the market, regulatory authorities and courts. He is orchestrating the marvellous team with whom we are working most frequently. Kaupo is an excellent lawyer, but truly stands out with understanding client’s expectations and offering exact solutions.’
‘A good team of professionals that cover all area of legal issues we need. They understand our activity, thus our collaboration is fluent and we are satisfied with the results.’
Vista Equity Partners
AMC Entertainment Holdings
- Advised AMC on the sale of Forum Cinemas to a major competitor in the Baltics.
- Advised Mehiläinen on the acquisition of occupational healthcare provider Qvalitas Arstikeskus and dental care chain Unimed Grupp.
- Acted for PharmaTwo in an administrative court dispute concerning the legality of an activity licence issued to the client for the provision of general pharmacy services.
Kaupo Lepasepp; Mihkel Miidla
Other key lawyers:
‘For us, Sorainen is simply the go-to law firm in the Baltic States. The firm knows the local market very well, is exceptionally hands-on and highly responsive.’
‘The team works very fast and is efficient.’
‘In one high-profile cross-border trade mark case where time was of the essence, Kaupo Lepasepp and Olivia Kranich responded extremely quickly – and gave our case the highest priority. Hourly rates are very fair. In short: with Sorainen, we know for sure that our client’s interests are in safe hands.’
‘Olivia Kranich is very easy to work with. She gives commercial legal advice in international IP matters and is able to communicate well and listen to the client.’
NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting
Temnikova & Kasela
Sondoz d.d. Estonian branch
- Advised Allfilm with regard to production of its new thriller Burial, feature film Cerberus and TV-series A good family.
- Advised PlanB Labs on preparing for and closing the sale of Drops to Kahoot!, assisting the client also with questions regarding tax, corporate and trademark matters, as well as providing ongoing advice in regard to various trademark matters and managing the client’s trademark portfolio both in the EU and US.
- Advised Temnikova & Kasela gallery on the launch of the first-ever NFT project in the history of Estonian art, determining and regulating the parties’ rights and obligations.
Other key lawyers:
Finest Bay Area Development
The Estonian Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority
- Advised RB Rail on all legal matters regarding the development of the Rail Baltic railway.
- Advised Škoda on a public procurement conducted by state-owned Eesti Liinirongid (brand name Elron) for purchasing six trains with an additional option to buy ten more trains in the coming years.
- Advised Bolt on various legal matters including corporate, regulatory and trademark matters among others.
Estonia > Tax Tier 1Sorainen provides highly regarded expertise in tax due diligence, transfer pricing, and tax compliance, especially when linked to M&A transactions in Estonia. It also advises Estonian government bodies on key tax matters. Practice head Paul Künnap is noted for his tax-related work relating to corporate restructuring and other corporate matters. Counsel Kärt Anna Marie Kelder advises private individuals on the full range of tax issues in Estonia, as well as acting for key players in the energy and pharmaceutical sectors. Senior associate Tanel Molok focuses on VAT and corporate income tax matters. Tax specialist Kaido Künnapas was promoted to counsel in April 2021; he advises start-ups and venture capital groups on tax matters such as share option arrangements and VAT.
‘Very approachable, always get the scope of the problem quickly, they stick to their agenda and scope, pro-business minded, solve problems practically rather than theoretically, always find time to chat, friendly and down-to-earth people.’
‘Sorainen have been super responsive, open and have shared experience and best / latest practice and innovation via webinars and group calls, keeping me informed and educated about issues, many of which are new for me.’
‘The team is exceptionally well set up, both in terms of factual legal knowledge as well as their communication skills. We were very happy that we had them at our side in a difficult legal question that span over multiple countries and languages.’
‘Kärt Kelder is a person who has a deep understanding of the relevant legal framework. She also can foresee the potential risks/issues between different jurisdictions. She can understand the needs from the client’s perspective. Her mindset is towards finding out solutions.’
‘Kaido Künnapas is very approachable, always get the scope of the problem quickly, pro-business minded, solves problem practically rather than theoretically.’
Vista Equity Partners
Komatsu Financial Europe
- Advised Green Tiger on tax regulations.
- Advised Vista Equity Partners on its majority investment in Pipedrive and addressed tax topics related to the acquisition.
- Advised Bolt Technology on different cross-border tax issues.
‘Always looking for innovative ways to improve the work.’
‘Kätlin Krisak has a strong ability to adjust and provide speedy input.’
Northern Horizon Capital
OP Corporate Bank
- Advised Saunum on the IPO and subsequent admission to trading on First North alternative market operated by Nasdaq Tallinn with a combined value of €1.8m.
- Advised Ignitis Group in preparation for the largest initial public offering in the Baltics, raising €450m and admission to trading on the Vilnius and London stock exchanges.
- Advised Clementer in obtaining a creditor’s licence.
Paul Künnap; Piret Jesse
‘A large team with different kinds of expertise. You can have answers to all your questions.’
‘Piret Jesse is a great manager and high-quality leader for the legal team.’
‘A strong team with good knowledge of the industry.’
FinEst Bay Area Development
Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications
Estonian Ministry of the Environment
Technopolis UMA Holding
- Advised Kaamos on various legal matters including development and lease agreement related matters, investment matters, sale and acquisition of property, as well as construction matters.
- Advised FinEst Bay Area Development on all aspects of developing the railway tunnel in Estonia, in particular on operational matters.
- Advised Infracapital and AMP Capital on the sale of their combined ownership interest in Adven, the leading provider of energy and water services in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
Sorainen > Firm Profile
Four offices, one team
We are a fully integrated international business law firm with offices in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus.
With 42 partners and more than 240 lawyers and tax specialists, we have the resources to support our clients on all business law and tax issues involving the Baltic States and Belarus. Founded in 1995, the firm has worked on many significant mandates for international and local clients.
|Corporate and M&A||Aku Sorainenfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 6 400 910|
|Corporate and M&A||Laimonas Skibarkaemail@example.com||+370 52 685 040|
|Competition & Regulatory||Kaupo Lepaseppfirstname.lastname@example.org||+372 6 400 939|
|Corporate and M&A||Eva Berlausemail@example.com||+371 67 365 014|
|Finance & Insurance||Tomas Kontautasfirstname.lastname@example.org||+370 52 685 040|
|Finance & Insurance||Kiryl Apanasevichemail@example.com||+375 17 306 2102|
Staff FiguresPartners : 42 Lawyers & tax advisers : 240+ Business services professionals : 100+
LanguagesEnglish Russian German French Polish Finnish Swedish Estonian Latvian Lithuanian
MembershipsIBA (International Bar Association) Estonian Bar Association Latvian Bar Association Lithuanian Bar Association
Supporting diversity by responding to individual needs
At Sorainen we believe that diversity breeds success, so it is essential to respond to the individual needs of our team members. With that in mind we are continuously developing and implementing solutions such as flexible work arrangements and alternative career path options.
Five of our lawyers are currently working remotely from Berlin, Brussels, London and Paris. Several people in recent years decided to take advantage of our temporary time-off arrangements, spending up to a year with their families or on their personal projects. Additionally, we recently introduced an alternative career path option for lawyers wishing to shift their focus from client projects to supporting colleagues with their practical working know-how and in the field of knowledge management.
Topics of work-life balance and flexible working approach are under active discussion and are also implemented in our firm’s procedures. We have a set of activities that support colleagues returning from parental leave – from part-time work arrangements to an environment allowing children being brought to work and family events. That way we can ensure that our clients are advised by happy and enthusiastic lawyers of different genders, nationalities and age groups.
At Sorainen, we are committed to making the world a better place. In order to make a difference, we support initiatives that we believe in.
Sorainen Estonia supports the international educational exchange organisation Youth for Understanding in Estonia, the annual “Let’s Do It” (“Teeme ära”) environmental clean-up campaign, Tartu University Hospital Children’s Foundation and the charity company MTÜ Naerata Ometi in addition to the “Let’s Donate Time“ („Annetame aega“) charity, which seeks to engage more people in charity initiatives. The Estonian office also has a long-standing cooperation with the Art Museum of Estonia, as well as Bethel’s Centre of Pastoral Care, which helps at-risk children and families.
Sorainen Latvia co-operates with and supports the activities of the Latvian Children’s Palliative Care Society. The Latvian office also takes part in the Santa Fun Run in Old Riga to raise funds for the rehabilitation of sick children.
Sorainen Lithuania supports the Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino Pavasaris”, and the staff take part in the annual “Let’s Do It” (“Darom”) environmental clean-up campaign.
- Apollo Funds acquires majority stake in leading sustainable bioenergy producer Graanul Invest
Acting as local counsel in the Baltics through Allen & Overy’s London office Sorainen advised Apollo Global Management, a global alternative investment firm, on acquiring a majority stake in Estonian-based Graanul Invest, the largest producer of sustainable wood pellets in Europe – and one of the largest producers globally.
- Fortum sells its district heating business in the Baltics
Sorainen advised Fortum, a European energy company with activities in more than 40 countries on the sale of its district heating business in the Baltics to Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm, acting behalf of its clients. With a total consideration of EUR 800 million on a debt- and cash-free basis, this was the biggest M&A transaction in the Baltics in 2021.
- Bolt raises USD 709 million in the biggest funding round in the history of the Baltics
Acting as the sole legal advisor to Bolt throughout the fundraising process, Sorainen advised Bolt, the fastest-growing mobility platform in the world, on raising USD 709 million in the biggest funding round in both Bolt’s and the Baltic’s history. Sequoia Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC co-led the round with Whale Rock, Owl Rock (a division of Blue Owl), D1, G Squared, Tekne, and Ghisallo among others.
- Record-breaking IPO of Enefit Green
In co-operation with leading law firm Shearman & Sterling, Sorainen advised the book-runners of the Elering Green offering – Swedbank, Nordea, and Citigroup – throughout the IPO process on all legal matters related the offering. The EUR 175 million IPO had the largest number of subscribers in the history of the Baltics.
- Landmark proceedings at the European Court of Human Rights
Sorainen is representing a legal person before the European Court of Human Rights in proceedings against the Republic of Estonia. The basis of the claim is a breach of Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and a breach of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 of the Convention. This is an exceptional case, as the European Court of Human Rights rarely starts proceedings based on claims filed against Estonia.