Sorainen has successfully represented basketball club Zalgiris in a case against the Lithuanian Competition Council before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court.
According to Sorainen, “the Competition Council fined the Lithuanian Basketball League and ten of its clubs for an alleged anti-competitive agreement according to which they allegedly decided not to pay salaries or other compensation to their basketball players for the prematurely interrupted season. The 2019–2020 season was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An investigation into a possible breach of the Law on Competition and TFEU started in April 2020, after information appeared in public about the discussion between the league and the basketball clubs during the extraordinary board meeting.”
According to the firm, “the court ruled that the Competition Council had not proved that such an agreement had been reached at all, or that internal discussions between the league’s clubs on how to act during the pandemic were forbidden. Therefore, the imposed fines were annulled. The highest of any of the fines for the clubs reached EUR 16,510 and was imposed on Zalgiris. Furthermore, had the court affirmed the conclusions of the Competition Council, the general manager could have been disqualified for three to five years.”
“We are pleased with the court’s decision,” commented Zalgiris Director Paulius Motiejunas. “Zalgiris has been negotiating with the Euroleague Players’ Association since the beginning of the pandemic and has paid the players’ salaries. Zalgiris did not participate in any agreements with other Lithuanian Basketball League clubs on the payment of salaries. Therefore, the position of the Competition Council always seemed unreasonable to us.”
Sorainen’s team included Partners Daivis Svirinas and Monika Malisauskaite-Vaupsiene and Associate Auridas Litvinas.