Kuldar is experienced in dispute resolution, public procurement and public private partnership projects as well as in project financing and administrative law. His client portfolio includes large corporations from very different areas of business that he has successfully represented in numerous public procurement and court proceedings. Kuldar has also advised as leading counsellor various financing, merger and take-over transactions. He has counselled multiple restructuring and refinancing projects, drafted the pertinent transaction documentation and represented clients in relations with both financial authorities and public institutions. Who’s Who Legal, the official research partner of the International Bar Association, has for years recognized him as one of the leading specialists in the field of public procurement.
Legal500 2017: “Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff, who is ‘very strong in disputes and transactional matters’”
Chambers Europe 2017: “Clients highlight that Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff “always defends his clients but is also not afraid to give his honest opinion” and “can put things into practical perspective and make complicated matters simple.” He advises on a range of commercial disputes and has expertise in public procurement and insolvency-related matters.”
Legal500 2016: “Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff, who ‘stands out as a leading lawyer’”, “‘solution oriented’ fellow practice head Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff”, “At FORT practice head Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff ‘can be trusted without any reservations’.”, “Practice head Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff is ‘an excellent litigator’” and “Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff has ‘wide expertise’ in real estate transactions”.
Legal500 2015: “Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff is ‘always able to find the right solution’”, “Team head Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff ‘always finds innovative solutions to complex problems’” and “Kuldar-Jaan Torokoff ‘goes straight to the core of any complex legal issue’”
Minni-Triin has a long track record of advising mergers and acquisitions. She has been involved in many major M&A transactions (including private equity investments) in Estonia by representing either the seller, the purchaser or the financial institution. Minni-Triin advises several real estate developers and real estate investors in their day-to-day business activities; she has especially extensive experience in advising development of shopping centres and counselling lease relations of shopping centres. She’s been praised by, among others, Legal 500 (2010 edition) as ‘top class in all aspects’ and recognised by Chambers Europe (2013 edition) in the area of real estate and construction.
Legal500 2017: “‘Committed and solution-oriented’ practice head Minni-Triin Park […].” and “The commercial, corporate and M&A team at FORT is jointly led by real estate head Minni-Triin Park, who has ‘impressive industry knowledge’ […].”
Chambers Europe 2017: “Minni-Triin Park focuses on M&A and comes particularly recommended for her expertise in real estate transactions.” and “Clients praise her as “very practical in her approach” and appreciate that she is “results-oriented and a very good negotiator.””
Chambers Global 2017: “Minni-Triin Park focuses on M&A and comes particularly recommended for her expertise in real estate transactions. Clients state: “She thinks through all the things to the last detail to get the best resolution on the matter.”“
Chambers Europe 2016: “Up-and-coming Minni-Triin Park enters the rankings following excellent feedback from the market. “She is available and supportive, and often answers my questions in a single phone call,” a client says.”, “Minni-Triin Park ‘always finds ways to close difficult deals’” and “Head of department Minni-Triin Park is a trusted adviser on real estate matters. Impressed clients say: “When we have a big transaction, we use Minni-Triin. She is reliable, straightforward, confident and very skilled.””
Chambers Europe 2015: “Department head Minni-Triin Park is an accomplished real estate practitioner, and is praised by clients for her business-minded approach: “She is easy to work with, client-focused, deal-oriented and accustomed to our business.””
Legal500 2015: “Practice head Minni-Triin Park is ‘well organised, with excellent knowledge’.”
Rene is a leading expert of Estonian competition law with more than 10 years of experience in the field. His specialism is in antitrust (cartel and dominance) investigations before the Estonian Competition Authority, competition compliance in both regulated or non-regulated industries and complex merger work. Over the years, Rene has been involved in a number of landmark cases, such as the ‘milk-cartel’ and ‘vodka-cartel’ cases that ended successfully for his clients. Rene has also advised both private and public sector clients on application of EU State aid rules, e.g. represented them before the European Commission. A key part of Rene’s work is in pre-transaction competition assessment, i.e. providing firms with high-level views on feasibility of specific transaction scenarios and expected regulatory obstacles in merger investigations. Rene is recognized as a leading competition expert by Chambers Europe and The Legal 500, among others.
Rene is passionate about competition law, sports and politics. He plays tennis and cycles to keep fit.
Andreas specializes in Dispute Management, Insolvency and Restructuring and Employment law. Andreas advises and represents clients in out-of-court dispute management as well as in court and arbitration proceedings. He has a strong background in private law, making him a trusted advisor for clients in complex commercial litigation. Andreas is recognized as an expert in the field of Dispute Resolution by Chambers Europe and The Legal 500. According to Legal 500 (2018), clients value his “ability to see the bigger picture” and describe Andreas as “being always well prepared.”
Janis is a partner of the law firm FORT. Janis has been practicing law for over 10 years. He has previously worked for the leading international law firms in Latvia, and he has headed the Legal Division of the Consumer Rights Protection Centre in Latvia.
International legal rating agency Legal 500 indicates that clients appreciate the knowledge and work of Janis in real estate and construction, describing Janis as precise and accurate person.
Janis not only provides legal assistance to clients, but also participates in drafting laws and regulations and is currently taking active participation in a draft law development group that is working on legal regulation for completion of the land reform and termination of the exiting shared real estate relations (land and building owned by different persons).
Sandis Bertaitis is an attorney-at-law having experience of fifteen years in providing legal assistance, which he has accrued practicing in leading international law firms of Latvia. Since establishment Sandis is a partner of Law firm FORT.
International legal rating directories Chambers & Partners and Legal 500 have appreciated professional performance of Sandis for several consecutive years and ranked him among top experts of real estate thanks to his excellent legal expertise and high efficiency. Moreover, the above rating directories have also acknowledged professional activities of Sandis in dispute resolution practice for several years in a row, where Sandis is being praised for his ability to find the most suitable solution and focus on the outcome to be achieved.
Head of Banking and Finance practice group. Andrius has over 15 years of legal experience advising clients on a variety of matters concerning business financing, insolvency of credit institutions, tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, real estate as well as contract and commercial law.
- Issue of bonds and collateral. Advised clients on issue of the bonds worth in excess of € 160 mio to a couple of clients. Drafted pertaining transaction documents concerning collateralization of assets in Lithuania.
- Negotiations with banks. Represented clients involved in a variety of business sectors in negotiations on financing and mortgage of transactions with all commercial banks operating in Lithuania in connection with over € 500 mio worth of loans.
- Bank insolvency proceedings. Represented over 300 foreign legal entities in the insolvency proceedings of bankrupt banks SNORAS and Ūkio bankas for their payments to be received under the deposit insurance scheme in the national Lithuanian courts of all instances. Drafted an application to the European Court of Human Rights concerning expropriation of property from foreign nationals against Lithuania violating the regulations of public international law on protection of foreign nationals’ property.
- Negotiations with insolvent banks. Represented the client in the national courts of all instances to prove that Lithuanian court hearing the insolvency proceedings of a commercial bank had no jurisdiction over the merits of the case in Lithuania. Succeeded to prove that the EU law required the case to be heard outside of Lithuania thereby achieving that the problem was resolved by an agreement appropriate to the client.
- Matters concerning payments under depositors’ and investors’ insurance schemes. Represented the interests of over 500 individuals in the Lithuanian courts of all instances and the EU Court of Justice and proved that the persons who had made investments in the yet-to-be approved issue of shares of bankrupt bank SNORAS, were entitled to receive payments under the depositors’ or investors’ insurance scheme enshrined in the EU law. This was an unprecedented proceeding in Europe, which succeeded in escalating the matters relevant to the proceedings beyond Lithuanian jurisdiction and proving that Lithuania had wrongly implemented the EU law, thereby violating the rights of thousands of its residents. Currently, the aim is to have interests paid to the persons for the entire litigation period concerned.
- Dealings with mortgage creditors. Advised clients on the long-term strategy for sale of assets owned by insolvent companies and represented their interests in dealings with mortgage creditors (banks operating in Lithuania). Represented clients in insolvency proceedings lasting more than a decade and ensured a phased-out sale of assets under market conditions.
- Finance raising transactions. Advised clients to raise over € 400 mio worth of private funding in the manufacturing, transport, real estate, consumer credit and the services sectors and for loans and for subordinated loans to be granted as well as for capital investments and joint ventures.
- Real estate projects development. Advised persons on investments in small and medium-sized residential real estate projects and their legal aspects in relation to taxation of profits from the projects. Assisted the clients in tax planning, obtaining a written approval from the tax administrator and successfully implementing a more favourable business model concerning the investments in residential real estate projects.
- Reinvestment in Lithuania. Advised a client on disposal of the business and reinvestment of funds in Lithuania through a corporate structure creating protection for international investment and more effective taxation. Succeeded in this process after more than 3 years and defended the client’s interests at the company’s and the natural person’s level, against the regional and national tax administrator.
- Advised clients on pulling out investments from Lithuania in a tax-friendly manner.
Businesses acquisitions and disposals
- Structure of transaction, transaction arrangements, competition issues and completion of transaction. Advised clients on investments in manufacturing, transport, design, logistics, consumer credit, service, real estate, construction, lottery, courier services, renewable energy, cable television, advertising and media, television and radio, financial leasing and other businesses. Drafted transaction documents, merger notifications and notes on compliance with the national security interests, and advised on licensing and operational matters.
- Cash flow generating real estate transactions. Represented clients in acquisition of the shopping centre Saulės miestas, the business centres Ulonai and Evolution, logistics warehouses in Vilnius, Kaunas Free Economic Zones and the hotel Holiday Inn.
- Building and reconstruction. Represented clients in negotiations on construction of 20 K sq. m factory and reconstruction of the shopping centre in Vilnius.
Head of Real Estate and Construction practice. Rūta has more than 15 years of experience working in top Lithuanian law firms (COBALT, GLIMSTEDT, Eversheds Saladžius). Rūta is especially adept in dealing with complex real estate, construction, development, zoning and lease issues. She has been advising major investors in the Baltics (e.g. EfTEN, Capital Mill) on numerous real estate investments.
- Full legal assistance in almost all real estate acquisitions in Lithuania of Capital Mill (unregulated investor with investment portfolio exceeding € 250 mio), EfTEN (regulated investment fund with portfolio exceeding € 700 mio), including acquisition of the first A class 21 storeys business centre “Grand Office” in Vilnius, 10 storeys “L3” business centre in Vilnius, DSV logistics terminal in Vilnius of more than 11,000 sq. m, Dobrovolė logistics terminal in the outskirts of Vilnius of more 27,000 sq. m and logistics terminal in Kaunas Free Economic Zone of 30,000 sq. m. She was a leading lawyer of the third biggest real estate transaction in the Baltics in 2018 representing the buyer of RYO shopping centre of 24,300 sq. m with 132 tenants in Panevėžys.
- Assistance while drafting and negotiating various lease agreements, including office, retail and logistics, representing both the tenants and the landlords. Most recent work includes successful negotiations for office lease of one of the biggest IT companies in Lithuania, as well as all lease related advice for newly reconstructed Jeruzalės shopping centre of 5,000 sq. m hosting more than 20 tenants.
Legal500: Rūta Radzevičiūtė-Meizeraitė is ‘really good in transactions’.
One of FORT Vilnius primary client has described her – “we have never experienced anything similar with any other lawyer we used to work before coming to Rūta. She is exceptionally caring and we do feel that every detail is covered when working with her”.
Head of Corporate and M&A practice group. Mindaugas works in the corporate and M&A field over 20 years. He has built his name working in such law firms as Cobalt, Ellex and Borenius where he has taken part in a number of the most distinguished deals of various scope and complexity in different business fields.
- Mindaugas is one of the most valued professionals in M&A transactions and corporate matters in the Lithuanian legal market. He daily advises clients on mergers / demergers, capital increases / decreases, share buy-backs / share redemptions and other corporate matters.
- Defending clients’ interests in corporate disputes. Mindaugas assists clients from the very initial phase: selecting and building conflict management strategy and tactics, representation in courts and arbitration as well as leading negotiations.
- Rendering legal advice on family business organisational legal issues. Renders full-scope corporate services, including incorporation, optimisation of corporate structure as well as renders daily corporate advice.
- Praised by the clients for his long-term orientated approach and strategic mindset. Mindaugas is the irreplaceable expert at structuring transactions and at choosing strategic moves in a corporate dispute.
- Mindaugas has graduated from the Baltic Management Institute where he has focused on analysis of effectiveness in the law firm’s work.
IFRL1000 2017: has mentioned Mindaugas “as a rising star” in Corporate and M&A field.
Legal500 2017: “Mindaugas Žolynas is another name to note for heavyweight transactional work”. Legal500 also describes Mindaugas as “hugely experienced and creative” and as a lawyer who can “handle work ranging from acquisitions and spin-off structures to incorporations and share sales and buy backs”.