Lithuania

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Lietuvos Advokatūra

Competition authority: Lietuvos Respublikos konkurencijos taryba

Financial regulator: Lietuvos Respublikos centrinis bankas

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Energy and infrastructure (published June) – Energy and infrastructure

Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking and finance, M&A

Jurisdiction overview

The largest of the three Baltic states, both economically and in terms of population, Lithuania is a civil law jurisdiction. The country’s legal system is based on a constitution adopted following a referendum on the matter in October 1992, two and a half years after the country became the first state to declare independence from the Soviet Union.

An EU and Eurozone country, it has some of the lowest personal and business tax rates in Europe and is ranked above heavyweights like France and the Netherlands by the World Bank Group in terms of ease of doing business. Despite only having a population of around 3 million, it maintains an economic output similar to that of countries like Portugal and Greece, whose populations are more than triple that of Lithuania’s.

The country has a diverse economy spread across a range of different sectors. There is a strong focus on the services industry but manufacturing, agriculture and construction also make up a prominent proportion of the workforce. Also, thanks to its favourable tax regime, it is able to attract notable amounts of foreign direct investment.

Russia remains the biggest single import and export partner for the country, though increasingly ties with continental Europe are playing an important role. Poland and Germany in particular are seen as important trade partners and improving infrastructure links between Lithuania and these nations in the coming years is likely to see the importance of those relationships grow.

Like the other Baltic states, the legal market here is dominated by a small number of pan-Baltic firms. Perhaps more so than the other two, though, Lithuanian lawyers are increasingly focused in their work. Primarily this is split into banking and finance lawyers and corporate and M&A lawyers but there are also some more highly-focused individuals, such as securitisation specialists, emerging.

There are few restrictions on practicing law in the country. As an EU-member state, qualified lawyers from the EEA are free to practice law, while those from outside that area are more restricted. EEA lawyers must register with the Lithuanian bar and may appear in court, though they must do so in association with a local lawyer.

Jonathan Moore – Journalist - EMEA

Financial and corporate
Cobalt

Cobalt has strength across the board in all financial and corporate areas in Lithuania. The firm excels in private equity and projects work, with an equally strong offering in banking and finance.  

With one of the best banking teams in Lithuania, the firm, which works for lenders and borrowers, advises on large refinancings, acquisition financings and general corporate financings. It regularly represents the large global, Nordic and Baltic banks on mandates.  

The M&A team has experience on large deals in the agriculture, pharmaceutical and technology sectors. It has a significant market share of Baltic private equity and venture capital deal work. Recent highlights include acting for target Luminor in the largest private equity deal in Baltic history.  

In the projects area the firm increased its experience in energy and infrastructure mandates recently, and has taken roles on deals concerning the development of heating facilities and wind power plants. A further notable project where the firm is involved is Rail Baltica.  

Recent Deal Data highlights  

  • Blackstone $1 billion acquisition of 60% in Luminor
  • CVC Capital Partners €900 million acquisition of Paroc
  • Debifo / Factris merger
  • Klaipedos Smelte €80 million financing
  • UnifiedPost acquisition of 95% stake in Fitek 

Client feedback

"Prompt responses. Complies with instructions. Has a very good understanding of what's required from a local counsel." – Banking

"Good cross-border work and management. Accurate advice." – M&A

Ellex

Ellex has a strong financial and corporate offering with a market leading position in every practice area. Lawyers at Ellex are notable for specialising in specific areas. 

The firm’s banking team often represents lenders and borrowers on Lithuania’s biggest mandates. As one of the few firms capable of engaging in large financings, it is often seen working on significant acquisition and project financings. Other active areas for the banking team include aircraft finance, financial regulation and payment services. 

The firm is strong in the debt capital markets area and has a track record of working on sovereign eurobond issues.  

M&A is also an area of strength for the firm. In the research period it notably represented the Blackstone Group on the largest private equity deal in Baltic history.  

The firm’s project development team has a focus on renewable energy and power, as well as being a leader in domestic PPP projects. 

In a major change to the Lithuanian market in January 2019, eight partners from the firm quit to join the newly set-up Walless. As a result the firm hired banking partner Ieva Dosinaitė from TGS Baltic, M&A partner Jolanta Liukaitytė-Stonienė from Glimstedt, and several senior associates from rival firms. Moreover, the firm underwent an internal reorganisation and made several partner promotions. 

Recent Deal Data highlights  

  • Blackstone $1 billion acquisition of 60% stake in Luminor
  • Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania (GIPL) pipeline
  • Livonia Partners acquisition of Santa Monica Networks Latvia and Lithuania
  • UnifiedPost acquisition of 95% stake in Fitek
  • Visa acquisition of Earthport Payment Services 

Client feedback

"The energy practice is exceptional. It has strong expertise of this team in infrastructure projects, regulatory issues and disputes. The firm had provided rather sophisticated energy project management services to me. Its response is always timely, their lawyers do have specific knowledge in the oil business, so I always get the broad-range business law advice I need." – Project development

"The team is with wide competence, well organised, and takes sincere care of the customer and their problems. It also has good capacity to manage big projects." – Project development

"We were highly satisfied with the level of the professionalism within the company, their ability to focus on the specialisation and their in-depth sector-knowledge." – Project development

Rūta Armonė

 "She has provided very professional advice within M&A and corporate law as well as corporate governance. She has advised us on various matters within corporate issues and legal due diligence."

Edvinas Beikauskas

"His competence and experience is very high."

Dovilė Greblikienė

"Perfectly organised, takes great care of the customer."

"She demonstrates deep regulatory knowledge in the oil sector as well as other energy industry issues. She is going deep into every issue and provides the best proposal for the client." 

"She has provided exceptionally high quality services for us. She has in depth sector specialisation and expertise within regulatory, infrastructure and transactional issues and hands-on local legal expertise, which resulted in fast and strong results."

Laura Karalkevičiūtė

"She has helped us during the company incorporation process, when she very professionally went through all the legal processes, was very supportive and service minded. Moreover, she has shown a high level of professionalism when working with clients."

Arnoldas Puodžius

"His competence and experience is very high."

Glimstedt

Glimstedt has a credible offering in the banking and M&A areas, where it maintains a good share of the market’s mid-cap deals. Fintech, investment funds and private equity are areas where the firm has experience.  

In banking the firm has been active for clients advising on the implementation and use of payment services technology.  

The firm team often advises on the structuring and licencing of private equity and venture capital funds, working for fund managers. These type clients also work with the firm on M&A mandates, often on financial investments in the technology sector.  

A notable staffing change recent saw the departure of M&A specialist Jolanta Liukaitytė-Stonienė to Ellex. 

Recent Deal Data highlights  

  • European Investment Fund €30 million investment in INVL Baltic Sea Growth Funds
  • Filipopolis / Henkell & Co-Gruppe merger
  • J2L Skr36 million acquisition of IABÖ Global Holding
  • Open Circle Capital investment in Whatagrap
  • Radisson Blu Lietuva hotel expansion 

Client feedback

"Very experienced and business-oriented." – M&A

Sorainen

The Lithuanian office of Sorainen is recognised for its strong banking and M&A practices, and is one of the market’s best firms in these areas. The team regularly operates on the largest deals within the Lithuanian market and specialises in work in the financial services and renewable energy sectors. 

The firm has been involved in a range of significant bond issues recently. Most notably assisted Lietuvos Energija as it became the first domestic, state-controlled company to issue bonds, in a deal that was also the first green bond sale by a Lithuanian issuer.   

The firm’s M&A practice has been busy recently, representing a mix of acquirers, sellers and targets on the six largest Baltic M&A deals in 2018 by value. Energy, technology and telecommunications are the sectors in which the firm was most active. 

The firm’s project development team has been active for developers on a range of energy, infrastructure and telecommunication projects across the Baltics, including on PPPs. 

Recent Deal Data highlights  

  • Aon Baltic / Balto Link merger
  • INVL Baltic Sea Growth €30 million investment in Grigeo
  • Morele / Pigu merger
  • NEO Finance Nasdaq Vilnius First North IPO
  • Republic of Lithuania €1.5 billion dual tranche (0.5% and 1.625%) sovereign bond issue  

Client feedback

"They are always prompt which is very important for us. They provide value for our money and are capable of providing a smooth working relationship with national banks." – Banking

"Deep knowledge of the subject. In-depth analysis skills. Wide experience." – Capital markets: Debt

"The team delivered on time and was helpful during negotiations due to prior experience and a proactive approach." – M&A

"They have worked thoroughly and done a good job. They understand the issues and address them well." – Restructuring and insolvency

TGS Baltic

TGS Baltic is renowned in Lithuania for its banking and project work. In both these areas, it ranks alongside the very best firms in the country. Aviation finance and financial restructuring are areas of strength for the firm. 

The firm’s banking team has been involved in a mix of lender and borrower side work recently, partaking in mandates across sectors ranging from fintech to infrastructure.  

In M&A, the firm often advises on deals in the energy, pharmaceuticals and transport sectors. 

Within the project development space, the firm is regularly involved in assisting district heating companies with the modernisation of heating systems. During the research period the firm represented Lietuvos Energija, Miesto Energija and Vilniaus Šilumos Tinklai on deals to improve current heating infrastructure in cities including Alytus, Kaunas and Vilnius. 

Recent staffing changes at the firm include the arrival of new banking partner Žygimantas Stankevičius from Luminor Bank. Moving on, Ieva Dosinaitė joined Ellex and Daiva Ušinskaitė-Filonovienė joined newly launched Wint. 

Recent Deal Data highlights  

  • Debifo / Factris merger
  • ERMI acquisition of Bauhof
  • Euroapotheca €300 million acquisition of Apoteksgruppen
  • Novaturas WSE / Nasdaq Vilnius IPO
  • Republic of Lithuania €1.5 billion dual tranche (0.5% and 1.625%) sovereign bond issue

Client feedback

"Good work, with good co-operation with other offices around the Baltic countries." – Capital makets: Debt

"Brilliant engagement and understanding of business." – M&A

"High attention to detail, excellent management of deadlines and superior negotiation skills." – M&A

"Highly skilled in company law and corporate governance. Very approachable, creative, sharp minded." – M&A

"Highly skilled in corporate law." – M&A

"My assessment is very good. Experts involved have not only strong legal background, but a good understanding of business needs and the long term strategy vision." – M&A

"Responsible and quick. Masters in their area" – M&A

"Solid and good quality work." – M&A

"Strengths include speed, professionalism, knowledge." – M&A

"Working with the firm, we get all the corporate legal services from one hand, which is very convenient and efficient. The members of the team are great professionals in their fields, and we felt pleasantly surprised by their exceptional understanding of our business model, market details and nuances. I appreciate their business and result orientated approach, quick responsiveness and sharp insights." – M&A

Sandra Bliuvaitė-Šulcienė

"One of the best you can work with."

Marius Matonis

"He is a very experienced lawyer at the height of his abilities."

"One of the most experienced M&A legal advisers in Lithuania. His strengths include his work speed, and meeting of deadlines."

"Smart, experienced, fast, solution-oriented, constructive."

Agnius Pilipavičius

"Creative, approachable, sharp minded."

"He is one of the best corporate law experts in Lithuania. He is accurate, reliable, straight to the point, sharp minded, and a broad thinking strategist. We are more than satisfied with the quality of the legal works he delivers but would like to stress his business-oriented mindset and project management skills, which we consider to be undoubted business value for us. Also, he is very professional, friendly and easy to work with."

"High level of responsibility and very good project management skills."

"Highly skilled in company law, sharp minded, creative."

Dalia Tamašauskaitė-Žilienė

"Patient, calm, innovative"

Walless

Walless is a young firm with an experienced team across the board in the financial and corporate area and is particularly known for the expertise of its banking practitioners. 

Several of the market’s leading banking lawyers work for the firm. In recent times the firm has assisted a mix of lenders and borrowers on acquisition financings, corporate loans and regulatory work. 

The firm is active within the M&A space where it regularly worked for buyers and sellers on deals within the financial services and renewable energy sectors recently. Other sectors where the firm has advised on recent transactions are retail and real estate. 

In the projects area the firm’s lawyers work on the development of nationally significant mandates such as the Gas Interconnection Poland–Lithuania pipeline, the National Stadium PPP and the electrification of the Vilnius-Klaipeda railway. 

Eight former Ellex partners joined the newly launched firm in January 2019. In April 2019, the firm expanded its team by merging with Dominas Levin. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

  • Baltic Horizon Fund acquisition of Duetto II
  • Easy Debt Service acquisition of Amber loan portfolio
  • Inbank / Mokilizingas merger
  • Quaero European Infrastructure Fund acquisition of Vėjų Spektras 21.5MW wind farm 
  • Vilniaus Baldai €37.8 million financing 

Client feedback 

"Professional, fast and straight-to-the-point work." – Banking 

"The law firm has a solid team of highly skilled experts with great industry and regulatory connections in Lithuania." – Banking 

Akvilė Mackay

"She represented us really well. She knew our business inside out and was able to dive into the case right away. Very fast turnaround and results." 

Gediminas Rečiūnas 

"He has a deep understanding of banking and financial regulations in Lithuania. He has proven time and again that he has a wide network of connections with financial and regulatory authorities in Lithuania."