TGS Baltic > Tartu, Estonia > Firm Profile

TGS Baltic
SOOLA 3
51013 TARTU
Estonia

Estonia > Dispute resolution Tier 1

TGS Baltic is known for its strengths in litigation, arbitration, and white-collar criminal defence. The team is especially regarded for its restructuring and insolvency disputes work, as well as disputes concerning major Estonian transportation and automotive industries. Its dispute resolution expertise extends to contracts, planning, trademarks, libel and regulatory work. In recent years, it has seen a shift towards transaction-related disputes for European clients. Paul Varul covers high-profile litigation and investment-related arbitration work. January 2021 saw a number of promotions, with highly experienced litigators Martti Peetsalu and Chirag Mody being both promoted to associate partner. Head of the white-collar disputes team Dmitri Teplõhh and litigator Kedli Anvelt were both promoted to counsel.

Practice head(s):

Paul Varul; Martti Peetsalu; Chirag Mody

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘This team has consistently provided us with a great deal of experienced and knowledgeable legal advice on a top-notch level. It is able to navigate even through the most complex and challenging disputes with ease and achieve great results surpassing our expectations. In the field of local and international dispute resolution, they are indisputably the best place to go in Estonia.’

‘Being a well-renowned and extremely experienced legal scholar with a broad comparative outlook, Paul Varul guarantees the best possible understanding of the applicable law enabling him to design an efficient litigation strategy which will be really tailored to your needs.’

Chirag Mody has all you need to be a stellar litigator: exceptional acumen, knowledge, experience and winning mentality combined with impeccable language skills in order to give you exactly what you need. He is not only a great strategist, but knows the ins and outs of the Estonian code of civil procedural better than anyone else. Has he ever lost a case?

‘Well-argued solutions, good team of professionals, and high standards in their work.’

‘They have a very good litigation experience, which helps to find solutions even in the most difficult situations. It has also created case law in complex disputes.’

‘They have a large team to cover all legal aspects of disputes.’

‘Excellent experts, especially in court dispute area (and in general dispute resolution) and in insolvency proceedings.’

‘Active new partners and very motivated team. Very strong in litigation and a reliable firm to use.’

Key clients

Port of Tallinn

Rimi Eesti Food

Swedbank

TS Laevad

Operail

Taxmal Ltd

Marcel Vichmann

Kevelt AS

Elering

Royal Estate

Estonian official Anti-Doping Agencies

Eesti Post

ATKO Group

Trustee Andres Tootsman

Work highlights

  • Represented Port of Tallinn against its former directors–Mr. Ain Kaljurand and Mr. Allan Kiil–a high-profile criminal case.
  • Represented Estonian official Anti-Doping Agencies in anti-doping proceedings against the Estonian Olympic sportsman Mr Heiki Nabi (former World Champion and 2nd at 2012 Olympic Games).
  • Represented SOE Operail in several high-profile cases over the legality of rail infrastructure fees with SOE Estonian Railways and Estonian authorities competent to determine the rail infrastructure fees (The Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority).

Estonia > Real estate and construction Tier 1

TGS Baltic is known for its work in construction-related disputes and transactions, often acting on behalf of retail chains, manufacturers, residential development groups, and renewable energy and transportation operators. Practice co-head Peeter Viirsalu specialises in bankruptcy, insolvency, and reorganisation matters related to the real estate, infrastructure, and construction sectors. He leads the practice alongside Martin Tamme, who focuses on development project financing, PPPs, and advising major Estonian ports on construction-related matters. Also noted is associate Eva Arumets, who deals with due diligence on real estate projects.

Practice head(s):

Peeter Viirsalu; Martin Tamme

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘In our experience the team in TGS is well balanced and the partners’ level of overall quality is very good. They are good in managing their internal workflow and thus are able to provide us with much appreciated rapid response times. It goes without saying that they know what they are doing.’

‘We work in our every-day matters with Peeter Viirsalu. He is our main contact. We value his exceptional responsiveness and availability. He is an experienced lawyer with good market knowledge and presence.’

‘The team is customer and solution oriented. Wide range of expertise. Proposing different alternatives, what to choose from. Always available with its prompt response.’

‘Calm, fast thinking, analysing, always available with its prompt response.’

‘What can I say, the team works together very well, the service is smooth and no problem or inquiry of ours has ever been “lost” or delayed between the lawyers. I guess this speaks a lot about the team’s co-operation and availability.’

‘Our construction and real-estate matters are handled by partner Peeter Viirsalu and his team. Peeter has been with us from the start and really knows our business to the last detail. He is exceptionally available and is always providing the best market practices alongside his advice.’

‘Peeter Viirsalu is our main contact. He understands our needs and our business and is excellent in finding solutions that work for us. Also we trust his ability to manage his workflow so that he and his team is always available for us.’

Key clients

Crowdestate

Port of Tallinn

Erial Kinnisvara

City of Tallinn

Tasku Keskus

Reterra Estate

Estiko Energia

Port of Tallinn

Invego

Vintselle

University of Tartu

Hepsor

Work highlights

  • Advised the City of Tallinn on preparing for the reconstruction of Linnahall (City Hall) with a predicted investment volume around €140m.
  • Represented the Port of Tallinn in an interdisciplinary bankruptcy case with two Supreme Court decisions involving the bankruptcy of a coal processing company that was operating its terminal on the property of Port of Tallinn.
  • Advised Reterra Estate OÜ, EKE AS and OÜ Alfa Property on a central development in the city of Tallinn.

Estonia > Shipping and transport Tier 1

TGS Baltic covers a wide range of cross-border transportation-related matters, ranging from industrial fishing and rail to aviation and passenger transport. Notably, it is particularly strong in novel areas of law in Estonia, including ship finance, as well as transport-related dispute resolution and litigation. It is also experienced in advising Estonian ports on competition and state aid, as well as acting for clients in the automotive sector. Head of the transport industry group Martti Peetsalu is known for representing clients in high-profile litigation before the Estonian Supreme Court regarding transport law.

Practice head(s):

Martti Peetsalu

Other key lawyers:

Triin Kaurov

Testimonials

‘The TGS Baltic team is always able to provide high quality legal assistance and we appreciate their quick rational solutions to our questions. TGS Baltic is excellent in shipping and transport matters, but the law firm is also well specialised in other fields. In addition, we appreciate that they have also good contacts abroad and if we urgently need legal advice abroad, we are sure that in cooperation with TGS Baltic we are safe.’

‘Triin Kaurov – committed, responsive, solution-orientated and trustworthy. She has remarkable experience in a wide range of practice areas (she understands our business shipping and transport, but also dispute resolution, public law, regulatory matters and employment matters). It helps her to see a general picture and at the same time is very detailed when going through different aspects. Her advice keeps in mind our business considerations and has always been clear and to the point. We appreciate her also because she always finds time for us.’

‘Martti Peetsalu is specialized in shipping and transport matters – such a specialization is unique in Estonia, but exactly fits with our activity fields. Martti has remarkable experience in dispute resolution and is very competent in complicated matters with international elements. We appreciate his considerable experience, responsiveness and rational and well-considered solutions.’

Key clients

Port of Tallinn

Operail

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics

Kevelt

TS Laevad and TS Shipping

Swedbank (Estonia)

DenizBank A.Ş.

Jetoil

ATKO Group

Taxmal Limited (Malta)

Ingeniería y Control Ferroviario SA

Work highlights

  • Advised TS Laevad OÜ on a ship-finance transaction in Estonia, which is an international competition for the construction of a new, environmentally friendly hybrid diesel-electric passenger ferry to operate between the Estonian mainland and biggest islands.
  • Achieved an important and precedent-setting victory for the Estonian pharmaceutical company AS KEVELT in the Supreme Court. In its judgment, the Supreme Court issued important instructions to carriers of temperature-sensitive goods, such as medicines or vaccines.
  • Represented SOE Operail in several high-profile cases over the legality of rail infrastructure fees with SOE Estonian Railways.

Estonia > Tax Tier 1

TGS Baltic is particularly strong in tax litigation for international corporate clients. It also provides day-to-day corporate tax advice on areas such as excise duty tax, income tax, and VAT. Practice head Helmut Pikmets is a tax disputes specialist, frequently appearing before the Supreme Court of Estonia and the Office of the Chancellor of Justice regarding tax-related constitutional review proceedings. Senior associate Sergei Jegorov is noted for his work in corporate tax-related restructurings and risk assessments.

Practice head(s):

Helmut Pikmets

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Luminor (formerly Nordea Bank Finland Plc Estonian branch)

Tallink Group

Swedbank

Imatra Elekter

Baltic Ground Services

HKScann

Metrosystem

Euroapteek

ESTIKO

Circle K

Sanofi

Møller Eiendom group

Proplastik

TBD-Biodiscovery

Invego

Endover

MAXIMA Estonia

EstHus

Starbunker

Baltcap

EstateGuru

Auto-Bon/Bassadone

Bondora group

Opera

Work highlights

  • Advised Opera group on signing the share purchase agreement for the acquisition of a banking-as-a-service provider PocoSys and its sister company, the EU-licenced Pocopay from Poco Holding.
  • Represented Mutiforce against the Tax and Customs Board in the Tallinn Administrative Court in connection with the request of the Tax Board of the Russian Federation (within the framework of the OECD agreement) to request information and documents from the client.
  • Advised CityJet DAC on the taxation of labour taxes relating to international flights as well as represented it in communication with the Estonian Tax Board regarding the international taxation of labour taxes.

Estonia > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 2

TGS Baltic advises investment firms, banks, and consumer lenders on capital markets transactions and anti-money laundering-related obligations, but it is specifically known for its expertise assisting with fintech-related banking and finance matters, as well as acting for crowdfunding platforms on expansion into new markets. Practice group head Kirsti Pent leads on portfolio acquisitions and regulatory projects for traditional financial institutions and novel P2P lending companies. Senior associate Elina Varendi has niche expertise in both alternative financing and start-up financing.

Practice head(s):

Kirsti Pent

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team has immense in-depth financing knowledge.’

Great industry knowledge in banking, finance and capital markets.’

Elina Varendi has been essential in securing the success of all our regulatory practices. Kirsti Pent has excellent industry knowledge and is a great business-minded attorney.’

TGS has a very strong team on the market. I especially value the regulatory know-how of the team led by partner Kirsti Pent. There’s nobody else I would turn to in financial regulatory matters.’

Partner Kirsti Pent is a passionate legal adviser whose experience especially in financial regulatory field in Estonia is excellent.’

Kirsti Pent has excellent understanding of fintech sector, in particular that in relation to crowdfunding and platforms that offer investments in products that are dependent on loans.’

Key clients

Adson

ERGO Insurance SE

Tuleva

Opera Limited

Tallinna Kaubamaja group

Estateguru

Income Company

xChange

Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, UBS Europe SE, Swedbank AB (in cooperation with Kepler Cheuvreux S.A.), BofA Securities Europe SA

Bondora Group

Eesti Post

mogo OÜ

Work highlights

  • Advised Crowdestate AS on obtaining a payment institution licence to be able to expand in the European Union and prepare for fulfilling the requirements of the EU Regulation on European crowdfunding service providers for business.
  • Advised joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners Morgan Stanley & Co. International plc, J.P. Morgan Securities plc, UBS Europe SE, Swedbank AB (in cooperation with Kepler Cheuvreux S.A.), and BofA Securities Europe SA. in connection with the initial public offering of securities by AB “Ignitis grupė”, a leading Baltic energy company on the Nasdaq Vilnius and London stock exchanges.
  • Assisted Income Company with analysing its business model in the framework of financial regulatory requirements and, thereafter, to prepare all standard documents for the P2P platform.

Estonia > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

TGS Baltic is particularly experienced advising on complex restructuring, distressed assets, and venture capital in the Baltics, as well as regulated M&A in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. It is also noted for its expertise in real estate M&A, as well as M&A both in conventional energy and renewables. It frequently advises start-ups, venture capital funds, and angel investors. Practice head Kadri Kallas is a key M&A contact for private tech companies and energy and infrastructure clients. Sander Kärson specialises in real estate M&A, transactions, joint ventures, and healthcare sector-related M&A; Leonid Tolstov deals primarily in distressed M&A and complex issues with shareholders.

Practice head(s):

Sander Kärson; Kadri Kallas; Leonid Tolstov

Testimonials

‘Most important is the understanding of the client’s needs, scope of the project large or small and the relevant solution in every specific case. Of course the team must consist of necessary know-how and experience, large enough to fulfil various tasks. In the case of TGS I also admire the young executive spirit and on the other hand sufficient experience to handle the projects.’

‘Sander Kärson takes the time to dig into our business principles, values and therefore could consult us more efficiently and thoroughly. Therefore he understands when the issues at hand are serious and need more attention and when the issues should just be ignored. I like the personal attitude and also human ways to solve the issues.’

The team is capable of delivering very quickly the requested input when you you are in a need of a speedy advice. The answers are straight to the point and very helpful when making business decisions. I use them in managing my start-up related investment and that is exactly what you might need in these matters.’

Sander Kärson in always very clear in his advice and this is very helpful when making business decisions. You can tell that they know what they are telling to you.’

Key clients

Gan Limited

Mubadala Investment Company

Opera

EstateGuru

Energate/De Maria Grupp

Kapitel

Framm AS

EIT Innoenergy

SpeedUp Venture Capital

FitSphere

Inchcape

Eurostauto

Kvare Invest

Merko

BaltCap

Auto-Bon/Bassadone

Nõo Lihatööstus

Seedrs

Work highlights

  • Advised Gan Limited on the acquisition of an online gaming platform Coolbet valued at €149m.
  • Advised Mubadala Investment Company on a $14m investment in MEL Science.
  • Advised Opera group on signing the share purchase agreement for the acquisition of a banking-as-a-service provider PocoSys and its sister company, the EU-licenced Pocopay from Poco Holding.

Estonia > Employment Tier 2

TGS Baltic focuses on advising multinational corporates on complex restructuring, workforce reduction and redundancies, employee transfers, and employment-related litigation and disputes in the Baltics. It is also experienced in director’s personal liability as well as advising on hiring and terminations. Clients frequently operate in sectors including real estate, construction, hospitality, healthcare and consumer goods. Practice head and senior associate Anu Kirss advises multinationals active in the retail, fashion, and hospitality industries. Associate partner Triin Kaurov is noted for her work in immigration and health and safety disputes. Senior associate and migration law expert Siret Saks is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Anu Kirss; Triin Kaurov

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is solution and customer-oriented, describing different alternative solutions, prompt with its answers. Team covers quite a wide range of areas of expertise.’

‘Good balance, strong at analysing, and plusses and minuses are clearly brought out.’

‘Good knowledge about the required laws. Easy communication and quick solutions.’

‘TGS Baltic team is exceptional – well-experienced professionals working with passion and always taking care of our needs. They are effective, business-minded and focused on rational solutions.’

‘With regard to innovation, TGS Baltic team has great availability and readiness to assist, whether it is because of excellent organisation of work or specialisation or ICT.’

‘Triin Kaurov is our reliable contact for employment matters. She has remarkable experience. She can give quick and at the same time rational and well-considered solutions. Her strength is the ability to take an objective view on strengths and weaknesses of various possible courses of action, and she can see the wide picture for the organization. She is advising us also in public procurement matters. we can trust her and her team.’

‘I highly appreciate the TGS Baltic team, who are trustworthy professionals with good attention to detail, have great communication skills and always give quick replies.’

‘Triin Kaurov is a highly motivated, confident and experienced lawyer with a positive “we got this” attitude. Very easy to talk to and understands her client’s needs.’

Key clients

Tartu Ülikool

Imatra Elekter

Philip Morris

Schlössle Hotel Group

Duglas&Duglas

Onninen

Biuro

Offshore&Marine Services

Rimi Eesti Food

Merck Sharp & Dohme

Paxful

GlaxoSmithKline

Narva Haigla

KM Element

Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikum

Solis BioDyne

Unilever

Mars Eesti

Tarmetec

Fujitsu Estonia

Work highlights

  • Advised Imatra Elekter on agreeing a post-closing transition and protection period for its management team and (key) employees in connection with the share purchase agreement regarding 100% of the shares of Imatra Elekter to Eesti Energia AS’s fully owned subsidiary Elektrilevi OÜ.
  • Advised Philip Morris on transition to remote work.
  • Represented Tartu Ülikool, a university, in a high-profile labour dispute arising from the dismissal of the director of the university library due to allegations of sexual harassment and misbehaviour.

Estonia > EU and competition Tier 2

TGS Baltic is noted for court disputes related to state aid measures, state aid-related proceedings, and other complex competition and regulatory matters for clients operating in the manufacturing, retail, pharmaceutical and energy sectors. Practice co-head Katri Paas-Mohando specialises in competition law, particularly on behalf of clients in regulated sectors; she was promoted to the position of counsel in September 2021. Senior associate and fellow co-head Triinu Järviste represents clients in the implementation of state aid and competition-related court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Katri Paas-Mohando; Triinu Järviste

Other key lawyers:

Trrin Kaurov

Testimonials

‘Good team of professionals that cover all areas of legal issues we need. They understand our activity, thus our collaboration is fluent and we are satisfied with the results.’

‘They work quickly and professionally, very correctly.’

‘Our partner has strong competition knowledge that we need to protect us from infringements. Their billing is honest and transparent which is the most important thing, as we pay only for what was served to us. They are available at any time we need, which is also important to us.’

‘Katri Paas-Mohando is our partner, she is very competent in competition regulations and her knowledge helps us to avoid violation or rules. She knows the business and helps with possible solutions asap. Trrin Kaurov and Triinu Järviste are also part of our team. Their help is very much appreciated as they are of great competence in the matters we need help with.’

Key clients

KredEx

City of Tallinn

Eesti Post

Multikino Lietuva

Operail

Elering

Kapitel

Kvare Invest

Baltic Ground Services

Tallinna Vesi

Milrem

PharmaEstica Manufacturing

Rimi

Rickman Trade

ERGO Insurance SE

Auto-Bon

TS Laevad (Tallinna Sadam)

Framm

Work highlights

  • Represented KredEx in several court disputes where companies have challenged the activities of KredEx in the implementation of state aid measures arising from the coronavirus crisis.
  • Successfully represented the City of Tallinn in state aid pre-notification proceeding before the European Commission regarding the financing of the construction of Tallinn City Hall (Linnahall).
  • Advised Eesti Post (Omniva) on a wide variety of complex competition and regulatory matters in all areas of operation of the company and represented the client in a civil action filed against it by a competitor based on an abuse of the dominant position decision of the Competition Authority.

Estonia > IP, IT and telecoms Tier 3

With clients active in the financial, pharmaceutical and fintech sectors, TGS Baltic focuses primarily on advising on data protection and regulatory matters, as well as commercial licensing and IP infringement litigation in the Baltics. It often assists the corporate team with complex licensing, data protection, and trademarks, as well as data protection due diligence and ongoing IP and IT matters. Peeter Viirsalu focuses on IP disputes and senior associate Mari-Liis Orav leads on most IP, IT, and data protection projects related to business consulting.

Practice head(s):

Peeter Viirsalu; Mari-Liis Orav

Testimonials

‘TGS’s team always helps us to find a tailored solution for our company. They stand by us when we need them most while applying the most complex regulations into practice. They always have a strong all-around team that helps the company’

‘It has been a pleasure working together with Mari-Liis Orav and her team. Probably the most important attribute is their high execution skill. They have very unique knowledge about industry practice, especially in data protection and corporate governance, and this something we value highly when constantly developing and improving our data protection and IT security execution in company.’

‘The team of TGS Baltic is unique because almost no other law firm in Estonia combines the knowledge of data protection and the healthcare law/sector as well as they do. They have exceptional specialists in both fields (Mari-Liis in data protection and Ingeri in healthcare law) who work very well together as a team. Additionally, more junior team members are also very capable.’

‘Everything worked very well, including billing, using technology, etc. Answers arrived quickly, everything was very professional.’

‘A professionally positioned law firm with a high level of expertise and excellent procedures as well as a strong team. Special expertise in the area of GDPR.’

‘The cooperation with the legal experts in the area of IT projects and complex GDPR issues was always extremely professional and worked smoothly and very quickly. We are also very satisfied with our contacts in the ongoing cooperation.’

‘We have strong support from TGS Baltic and were able to stay in contact with our lawyer even during the weekends.

‘For us, it’s always about communication and we have a great connection and partnership with Mari-Liis Orav and she always finds a way on how to deliver value.’

Key clients

Tallinna Tehnikaülikool

Yum! Restaurants Europe Limited

Eesti Antidopingu ja Spordieetika SA (EADSE) (The Estonian Center for Integrity in Sports (ESTCIS)

Admirals Group AS

Interflora Inc. and Fleurop-Interflora

AS Fujitsu Estonia

Paxful, Inc. and its subsidiary Peaceful Tech OÜ

Adcash OÜ

ToxInvent OÜ

Mooncascade OÜ

Bondora Group AS

Liikluslab Baltic OÜ

Eesti Jazzliit MTÜ

Income Company OÜ

FitSphere OÜ

APEX HOLDING OÜ

Osaühing Tarmetec

Timbeco Woodhouse OÜ / OÜ Timbeco Woodmill

osaühing NÕO LIHATÖÖSTUS

Work highlights

  • Advised TalTech on drafting a complex template cooperation agreement to enable TalTech to participate, together with private companies, in the applied research programme (RUP) designed to help companies increase the demand for research and development.
  • Advised YUM! Restaurants Europe Limited and YUM! Restaurants International Russia & CIS, the franchisor of KFC restaurants in the Baltics, on different data protection matters.
  • Advised members of a famous Estonian punk rock band Vanemõde in a trademark dispute against a former band member.