Dispute Resolution People

Allar Jõks

Allar Jõks

Partner

Ph:

+372 6 400 967

Mob: +372 5 043 666
Fax: +372 6 400 901
E-mail: allar.joks@sorainen.com
Office: Estonia

Practice areas:

Tax & Customs, Government Relations & Administrative Law , Dispute Resolution, Public Procurement, Energy & Utilities

Languages: Estonian, English, Russian
Experience

Allar Jõks is a partner, head of the Government Relations & Administrative Law Team and head of the Tax & Customs Team in Estonia. He has been practising law since 1991.

Allar specialises in constitutional and administrative law, with a wide knowledge of public law and exceptionally valuable experience in constitutional review and protection of fundamental rights. Prior to joining SORAINEN, he practised as a judge for ten years both in the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeal. He was chair of the Estonian Association of Judges and a member of the Court Administration Council. He has been appointed an honorary member of the Estonian Association of Judges to mark his contribution to the development of the Estonian Court System.

Allar has advised a number of high-profile disputes both in and beyond courts, mostly in the areas of tax law and public procurement. He is a renowned expert of constitutional law and has successfully represented clients in disputes over the constitutionality of specific legal provisions. In one case, the Supreme Court en banc established the unconstitutional nature of austerity-related pension cuts affecting former judges. Allar also represented clients in a case where the Supreme Court ruled an unexpected increase of mineral resources extraction charge unconstitutional. As a result, the concerned undertakings will save a total of EUR 34 million.

For seven years immediately before joining SORAINEN, Allar held the position of Chancellor of Justice of Estonia. He led the introduction of the so-called protection clause into the Constitution of Estonia. This clause stipulates the primacy of the fundamental principles of the Constitution over EU law and ensures the continuity of the principle of national sovereignty for the country as an EU member state. As Chancellor of Justice, Allar served as an advocate of well-prepared legislation guided by public interest. His appeal led the Supreme Court to annul disproportionate voting right restrictions. He has received national recognition for improving the legal culture in Estonia.

Allar is a recommended practitioner in leading international legal directories, including:

  • Chambers Europe noting that clients say Allar Jõks has an "impeccable understanding of constitutional matters and principles."
  • The Legal 500 in dispute resolution, noting that Allar has “excellent knowledge of constitutional law”; "Allar Jõks leads a tax team of ‘innovative and strong professionals’, with expertise in areas including excise duty, VAT and transfer pricing."
  • Best Lawyers for administrative law, constitutional law, arbitration and mediation, government relations, litigation and public law practices in Estonia.

Allar, as a recognised constitutional law expert, has participated in the process of harmonising constitutional and administrative law with EU legislation and in preparing the act amending the constitution. With his expert knowledge and experience, he has worked as a UN representative contributing to the establishment and development of the Institution of Ombudsman (Chancellor of Justice) in Georgia, Ukraine, Tajikistan, Moldova, Uzbekistan and Bangladesh.

In 2015, the Estonian Minister of Justice of Estonia appointed Allar as a member of an advisory committee to assist the minister on issues related to the development of Estonian legislative policy. For his outstanding contribution, Allar has received several national and public acknowledgements. In 2015, he was cited as the most influential lawyer in Estonia according to a survey conducted among 1000 interviewees by the Estonian daily newspaper Eesti Päevaleht, news portal Delfi, newspaper Maaleht and independent research company Turu-uuringute AS. In 2002 and 2010, Allar was elected “Friend of the Press” and in 2002 “Taxpayers’ Friend” in Estonia. In 2012, European Movement Estonia awarded him the “European of the Year” title for advancing European values and principles of open government in Estonian public life.

Allar is among the authors of Estonia’s Best Legislation Practice, containing the main legislative principles to be followed in drafting laws. He is also one of the founders of the annual Best and Worst Law competition.

Education

University of Tartu, Estonia (BA in Law)
University of Tartu, Estonia (MA in Law)

Membership

Estonian Bar Association
Estonian Lawyers' Union, Council Member
Estonian Academic Law Society

Publications

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