Red is a new generation full-service business law firm with offices in Tallinn, Estonia and Riga, Latvia.
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2013 firm rankings: Banking & Finance; Corporate and M&A; Dispute Resolution; Tax; Real Estate and Construction; Shipping and Transport
Banking & Finance
With respect to the Estonian office The Legal 500 notes that it “‘treats all cases as equally important and is very punctual with deadlines while offering unorthodox solutions at the same time’. According to The Legal 500, the team advises banks and other financial institutions on every type of pan-Baltic and international financial transaction. Practice head Ermo Kosk is ‘without any doubt a high-class expert’. Clients are ‘really happy to have such a great team of advisers ready, 24/7 – it is a value that can not be underestimated’.”
While describing the Latvian office (formerly LETLAW), The Legal 500 notes: “Practice head Sintija Radionova regularly advises UniCredit Bank on the repossession of assets associated with distressed loans, and assists DNB Banka with loan restructurings. Highly regarded managing partner Kristine Gaigule is representing Turkey’s Tekstil Bankasi in money-laundering proceedings.”
Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A practice area of both Red offices receives a special attention from The Legal 500, which notes that “the Latvian office “delivers ‘good, quick and to-the-point responses’, and is renowned for its transactional work. The ‘competent, clear and attentive’ Zane Eglite advised Van Genechten Packaging on its acquisition of one of Latvia’s main packaging production companies, Kvadra Pak.”
The Legal 500 states that the Estonian office “gives ‘advice that is always accurate, provided on time and helpful’. The team is representing the majority shareholder of AS Karme, an Estonian wine and beer producer, on the sale of a 49% stake to Estonia’s leading beverage producer A Le Coq (part of Olvi Group). Practice head Gerli Kilusk ‘finds it easy to combine her knowledge and experience with tailor-made business solutions, and is very easy to get on with’.”
With respect to the Estonian office The Legal 500 notes, “is ‘there when you need it the most’. The team is representing SIA Binders, the leading Latvian road construction company, in arbitration proceedings against the Estonian Road Administration regarding early termination of a €20m construction contract. Practice head Anton Sigal ‘may well be the most rational, quick and unorthodox attorney in dispute resolution in Estonia’.”
While describing the Latvian office’s Dispute Resolution practice, The Legal 500 notes, “Litigation is an important practice where Sintija Radionova is the lead practitioner. Radionova represented UniCredit Bank and SIA Latvian Snacks in respective debt recovery cases”.
The Legal 500 notes that the Latvian office’s Tax practice is “‘well-structured and deeply knowledgeable’ team, which has a strong focus on tax litigation and ‘works as a united force to meet clients’ needs’. The firm successfully represented the Latvian subsidiary of Liepajas Metalurgs in one of the country’s largest tax disputes against the State Revenue Service concerning a €28m VAT bill, and acted for Schenker before the Supreme Court in a case relating to import duty payments.” Inguna Abele heads office’s Tax practice.”
Senior associate Maret Hallikma from the Estonian office is noted as “leading individual” in the area of Tax practice.
Real Estate and Construction
Latvian office’s Real Estate practice is described as “a core practice, which advised Turkish airport operator TAV Airport Holding and other companies in its group on the lease and sublease of commercial spaces at Riga International Airport; and Riga Airport Commercial Development on renovation. Laura Zalana is the main contact.”
Shipping and Transport
With respect to the Latvian office, The Legal 500 notes that office “acts for shipping company Alpha Shipping, stevedore company Jaunmīlgrāvja Ostas and multi-bulk terminal Dan Store. The team recently advised Liepājas Osta, a subsidiary of Liepājas Metalurgs, on contracts for transport and forwarding services.”
CHAMBERS EUROPE 2013
Banking & Finance
With respect to the Estonian office Chamber Europe notes, “This spin-off continues to build a reputable market profile. It focuses on advising banks and other financial institutions on various pan-Baltic projects, including those involving structured trade and project financings. The group recently assisted LHV Pank with the drafting of the terms and conditions of its capital lease agreements.”
Chamber Europe recognizes all three Red’s Estonian partners as leading lawyers, with Ermo Kosk being described as “well known for his work on financings, particularly those involving acquisitions and real estate, as well as debt restructurings” and Anton Sigal commended for his ability to structure deals effectively. According to the publication, Gerli Kilusk is well placed to advise on banking and finance matters and her clients include Ecomet Invest and the majority shareholder of Karme.
While describing the Latvian office (previously LETLAW), Chamber Europe writes, “A solid player in the mid-to-large cap banking market, this firm assists with insolvency, debt recovery, litigation and legal protection, as well as loan restructuring and asset repossession. The firm represents such clients as UniCredit, DnB NOR and LHV Bank.” Clients say "we use it for important cases because we know if we put anything in its hands, it will do an excellent job."
Red’s Latvian partner Sintija Radionova is described by clients as “strong and determined.” Clients especially appreciate her “expertise in financial law and her tough terms during negotiations”.
Corporate & Commercial
Both Red offices’ Corporate / Commercial law practices receive special attention with Chambers Europe noting the Latvian office as an “up-and-coming full-service firm that enters the rankings on the back of positive market feedback.” According to the publication, “Many of its lawyers came from major pan-Baltic firms, so the group benefits from substantial international experience. M&A and commercial law are amongst its core practice areas, and the team assists with cross-border mergers, reorganisations and the drafting of contracts. It advised the shareholders of Blue Mountain Peat on the sale of its shares to Klasmann-Deilmann, a global leader for horticultural products. Other clients include UniCredit, CSK Steel and Trelleborg.” A client notes "I like the firm's creativity and its various solutions to our problems. The work is done quickly and effectively."
It also notes that “Latvian partner Zane Eglite leads the corporate department and is singled out as “a hard-working and conscientious lawyer who “always sticks to deadlines”.” Her broad practice covers M&A, commercial law, competition, and insolvency. Also partner Sintija Radionova is described as “talented” and "extremely responsive".
With respect to the Estonian office, Chambers Europe notes, “This new market player has rapidly made a name for itself thanks to the first-class reputation of its attorneys. It acts for a range of clients, including private equity funds and companies from the food, energy, and construction sectors. A recent case of note was representing real estate developer and investor VGP in the EUR24 million sale of Tänassilma logistics park to East Capital.” Clients say that "the team really puts itself in our shoes – it has very strong business sense." Estonian partner Ermo Kosk attracts praise for being "calm, analytical, and reliable." He has considerable experience in this sphere, having previously worked at a major pan-Baltic law firm.”
Dispute Resolution practice area of both Red offices is highlighted, with the publication noting on Estonian office, “This recently established firm is successfully carving out a name for itself, and dispute resolution is one of its core practice areas. Sources appreciate its personalised service, noting the involvement of key partners. The practice covers commercial litigation, arbitration, and white-collar crime. In a recent highlight, it represented SIA Binders in EUR24 million arbitration proceedings against Estonian Road Administration. Other significant clients include Parex Bank and private equity fund Mesa Capital Partners. ” Clients say that firm is "extremely time-efficient."
“According to clients, Estonian partner Anton Sigal is described as "a strong negotiator who gets straight to the point and quickly sees the counterparty's arguments". He specialises in bankruptcy disputes, and also has experience in real estate litigation.”
While describing the Latvian office’s Dispute Resolution practice, Chambers Europe notes, “This local firm has rapidly made a name for itself and enters the rankings having earned glowing feedback for its commercial sense and open, approachable communication style. The team has been particularly busy with debt recovery, insolvency, tax and employment cases. Examples include successful defense for Rimi Latvia against claims brought by a former employee. Other clients include UniCredit, CSK Steel and Alpha Shipping Company.” Clients say, "Red's lawyers work incredibly hard to cover all the bases and they produce extremely high-quality work.” Partner Sintija Radionova heads the department.”
Firm’s Real Estate law practice is described as follows: “This firm is steadily gaining market momentum and handles a varied range of real estate matters. Recent mandates demonstrate its expertise in commercial lease and sublease agreements, construction and reconstruction processes, public procurement, EU funding and liability claims. Of late it has assisted Riga Airport Commercial Development with the drafting and negotiations of construction agreements for the reconstruction of part of Riga International Airport. Other notable clients include RE & RE, UniCredit and CSK Steel.” Latvian partner Kristine Gaigule is the main point of contact for the practice.”
It is noted that Estonian partner Ermo Kosk “continues to impress sources with his real estate work and is known for assisting a leading bank with its issues in this area.”
The firm’s Employment law practice is also recognized, with Chambers Europe noting on Latvian office, “This firm advises clients on key aspects of employment law and is particularly notable for its employment litigation. Its clients come from a range of sectors including banking, retail, pharmacy and transport; key clients include CSK Steel, Baltic Feed and a subsidiary of P. Dussmann. A highlight for the team was representing Rimi in litigation initiated by a former employee regarding reinstatement, recovery of unpaid salary and moral damages. The court ruled in favour of Rimi in the first instance.”
INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL LAW REVIEW (IFLR1000) 2012
2012 firm rankings: Financial and corporate
Editorial: “Red Legal is a brand new firm that was established in October 2010, comprised primarily of partners who, amicably, broke away from Lawin earlier this year. Leading lawyers Gerli Kilusk and Ermo Kosk, formerly of Lawin, are joined as partners by former Head of Legal at Alta Capital Anton Sigal, and the team has hit the ground running."