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On October 6, 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its judgment on the Maximillian Schrems vs Data Commissioner case (the “CJEU Decision”). Within the week, dozens of client alerts circulated from law firms describing the impact of the decision on companies operating within EU member jurisdictions and beyond. What follows here is a review of pressing issues in various CEE jurisdictions, considering this decision and its ramifications. 

Cobalt has announced that lawyers from the Borenius team in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belarus will join it from January 1, 2016, turning Cobalt into “the largest full-service business law firm operation in the region.” This follows Borenius’ announcement earlier this week that it is withdrawing from the Baltics, and Sorainen’s announcement that it had picked up former Borenius Lithuania Partners Daivis Svirinas and Zygimantas Pacevicius, along with another eleven lawyers (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on September 21, 2015).

Jesse & Kalaus has brought on former Sorainen Senior Associate Mari Matjus as a new Partner. Matjus specializes in pharmaceuticals and healthcare law, competition law, EU law, contract law, mergers and acquisitions, and personal data protection. She also claims extensive experience in the field of competition law. Matjus joined Sorainen in 2010, and eventually led the firm’s pharmaceuticals and life sciences group across the Baltics and Belarus, while teaching at the University of Tartu on competition law.

On May 18 and 19, 2015, separate press releases came across the wire, announcing that the Lithuanian and Latvian offices of two of the top pan-Baltic alliances – Raidla, Lejins & Norcous (RLN) and Lawin – had, in essence, dissolved, traded Estonian offices, and reorganized. The former Lithuanian and Latvian members of RLN and the former Estonian member of Lawin re-formed as Cobalt, while the former Lithuanian and Latvian offices of Lawin and the former Estonian office of RLN re-formed as Ellex.

Tark Grunte Sutkiene has advised two separate clients – Flora Ehitus OU and Kemiflora OU – on the sale of a total of six "developed business immovables” in Tallinn (which the firm clarified consisted of "office spaces and tenants, warehouses, production buildings, and access roads") to local Estonian retailer Puumarket AS.

The Latvian and Lithuanian offices of Raidla Lejins & Norcous (RLN) and the Estonian office of Lawin have left their firms to join forces in what they describe as "a vibrant new pan-Baltic alliance.” The result — “Cobalt” — also includes an office in Belarus. As a result, Irmantas Norkus, the Managing Partner of Cobalt’s Lithuanian office said yesterday, “RLN is dissolved as of today.”

The teams associated with Magnusson in Latvia and Belarus before separating from the firm in controversial circumstances this past summer have announced that they are once again doing business as Vilgerts — the name they operated under before the 2012 tie-up with Magnusson. Simultaneously, Vilgerts announced that it has opened offices in Estonia and Lithuania "to ensure consistently high quality of our services to clients throughout the region.”

Lawin is representing Ladee Pharma in three extensive patent disputes against Bayer — the first of which was recently resolved by the circuit court in favor of Ladee Pharma. According to Lawin, “ such judicial proceedings between pharmaceutical companies are rare in the Estonian legal landscape and significantly affect the end-consumers of the medicinal products.”

Estonian Knowledge Partner

COBALT is closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, making us one of the largest law firms in the Baltic market. 

COBALT is a trusted partner for daily matters and complex large-scale transactions and disputes. The firm’s broad spectrum of expertise and established position as the market leader give a comprehensive basis for providing advice on special areas of business law.

We advise top international and regional businesses, financial institutions, state and local governments, and the region’s most promising start-ups. We offer leading-edge solutions in key industry sectors: Consumer Products, Trade & Distribution, Real Estate & Construction, Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Energy & Utilities, Communications, Media & Technologies, Financial Services, Transport & Logistics.

COBALT has been named Baltic Law Firm of the Year 6 times. We were recognized as the Most Innovative Law Firm of the Year 2019 in the Baltics at the IFLR European Awards in London. COBALT also won CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Award for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the overall Baltic Deal of the Year, at the 2019 CEE Legal Matters Awards. We have received multiple awards from the Chambers Europe, IFLR, The Lawyer and Mergermarket and we are regularly listed amongst the top performing M&A legal advisors in the Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters and Mergermarket deal tables

More information on Cobalt can be found at www.cobalt.legal

All News about Cobalt can be found here.


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