Real Estate: Estonia
THE FIRM This highly regarded pan-Baltic firm maintains a significant share of the Estonian real estate law market. The full-service practice advises clients on the entire cycle of commercial, retail and industrial property deals. Peers agree that it merits a top ranking, citing the scope of the practice and the size of its transactions. The group continues to expand its client base by focusing increasingly on the energy and renewables sector.
Sources say: "This reliable and hard-working team really impressed us."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Aivar Taro is esteemed for his experience in a variety of real estate transactions, with observers describing him as "an excellent practitioner." He is particularly active in acquisitions and disposals of commercial properties. Margus Mugu contributes an extra dimension to the practice with his renowned expertise in construction law. He is also recognised as a strong litigator, with clients describing his pleading style as "highly articulate and effective."
THE FIRM The team at Raidla Lejins & Norcous is widely acknowledged as one of the most active real estate practices in the market, and is present on many of Estonia's largest real estate transactions. It offers the full spectrum of services, from zoning and planning to construction and advice on infrastructure projects. It acts for both domestic and international clients, and recently assisted Eesti Energia with establishing a wind park at Paldiski, illustrating the firm's capabilities in the energy sector. The team is also present on major cross-border deals, such as advising Rail Garant on an agreement to construct a container terminal in Muuga Harbour.
Sources say: "This top-flight firm is a dominant player in the Estonian real estate market."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jaanus Ikla is described as "the go-to lawyer for everything from real estate financings to property-related disputes." Clients and peers alike commend his leadership skills and hands-on approach.
THE FIRM This team handles a considerable volume of high-profile real estate work. Demonstrating its ability to undertake large-scale, complex deals, the team recently advised Citycon on all aspects of the EUR105 million acquisition of the Kristiine shopping centre in Tallinn, from initial negotiations to final closing.
Sources say: "A pan-Baltic firm with an excellent reputation and a strong regional network."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice leader Kaido Loor draws warm praise for his personable manner and in-depth knowledge of real estate matters. "He always brings a fresh angle to the table and offers a variety of solutions," stated one client. Kris Tammistu is another key figure in the practice, and is particularly active in zoning, planning and leasing. Clients describe him as "a team player who always delivers on time."
THE FIRM This five-lawyer team upholds its sterling reputation for combining technical ability with detailed market knowledge. It is active in the complete range of real estate matters, including acquisitions, refinancings and development projects, and continues to be present on several of Estonia's largest deals. Recent highlights include advising developer Technopolis Oyj on the acquisition of the Ülemiste City office complex.
Sources say: "The team completes tasks quickly, thoroughly and entirely to our satisfaction."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients describe department head Risto Vahimets as "a Renaissance man who understands the needs of a business." He specialises in large-scale real estate transactions, and is also renowned for his M&A work. He leads on many of the firm's key deals, including advising UniCredit on a refinancing deal for a shopping centre.
THE FIRM As a well-established brand in the real estate market, the team at LAWIN continues to impress clients and peers across the board. Staff changes within the wider firm do not appear to have affected the team's ability to attract significant mandates from both domestic and regional players. In the last twelve months the group has handled a good number of restructurings and refinancings as the number of original projects has slowed due to the economic downturn. A key highlight was advising the Estonian Real Estate Agency on the establishment of the Koidula border railway station.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Liina Linsi focuses on real estate development and transactional work, and is described as "an exceptional lawyer with great networking skills."
THE FIRM This well-regarded firm has offices across the Baltic region, and maintains its visibility in the real estate market. It advises developers and construction companies on a variety of matters, including acquisitions and refinancings. Recent highlights include advising Koger Projektijuhtimise on several construction disputes, and assisting Tallinn University with the procurement and contracts for a new building to house the Baltic Film & Media School.
Sources say: "A highly active market presence, this group is superb for real estate-related disputes."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Martin Tamme is largely known as an M&A and private equity lawyer, but also has a firm grounding in real estate law. He is increasingly cited as one of the brightest talents in the Estonian market, by clients and peers alike. Clients appreciate Mikk Lõhmus' extensive experience and detailed understanding of construction and planning law. He is particularly active in the mining and waste management sectors.
THE FIRM This real estate team remains busy, focusing on commercial leases and loan restructuring. It benefits from the firm's strong international network, which attracts a number of cross-border mandates. The group is more geared towards real estate finance than transactional work, and frequently collaborates with the firm's corporate, M&A and tax teams.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Maivi Ots is an experienced generalist who combines a broad overview of several practice areas with a detailed understanding of real estate matters. Randu Riiberg is renowned for his restructuring work and contributes a considerable amount of experience and expertise to the team.
THE FIRM This full-service practice handles a wide variety of real estate transactions, including conveyancing, draft agreements and mortgage actions; it is also well regarded for related dispute resolution work. Clients include real estate funds, developers, investment banks and brokerage companies. In a recent highlight, the team advised ELASA on the construction and management agreement for the broadband network covering the entire Estonian territory.
KEY INDIVIDUALS The main contact is Mariana Hagström.
THE FIRM This firm does not specialise in real estate matters, but earns a place in the rankings for its advisory work with developers and construction companies. Peers recognise the firm for its increasing market presence and activity, whilst clients appreciate the team's hands-on approach and technical skill.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice leader Toomas Tamme is expanding his market reputation, attracting effusive praise from several sources. He benefits from a broad background in both public and environmental law, enabling him to have a clear overview when handling real estate transactions.
Since publication, Toomas Tamme has joined Law Firm Glikman Alvin & Partners
Since publication, Alvin, Rödl & Partner Law Office has merged with Law Firm Glikman Alvin & Partners
THE FIRM In addition to regular real estate deals, this relatively small team is active in construction and planning. It is particularly noted for its work in title transfer and mortgage issues, and handles contentious and non-contentious matters for medium-sized companies.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Tõnis Tamme is a respected generalist lawyer with significant experience in real estate transactions. Clients appreciate his ability to "see the bigger picture and offer workable solutions."
THE FIRM Primarily known for its litigation work, this firm is active in a number of key real estate disputes, representing both local government bodies and private companies. It continues to represent the City of Tallinn in a dispute regarding the construction of an annexe to the Hotel Viru skyscraper.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Ilmar-Erik Aavakivi is the practice contact.
THE FIRM This well-established firm serves a broad clientele from across the Baltic and Scandinavian regions. Clients praise the team for its local knowledge and expertise in a wealth of real estate matters. The group offers a strong litigation service in addition to transactional work.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Siim Roode is the lead lawyer at the practice.
THE FIRM This team debuts in the rankings this year having earned enthusiastic praise from market sources. It specialises in disputes relating to the termination of commercial leases and other construction-based matters. Clients include Tallinn International Airport and Aanensen & Co.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Jüri Ploom is the main contact.
of Red Legal largely represents real estate funds in a variety of deals. Clients highlight his corporate expertise and analytical approach.
of GLIMSTEDT is recognised for his technical capabilities and his transactional experience. Commentators also praise his document drafting skills.
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