In an interview granted to the global legal directory Legal 500, our Managing Partner Eva Berlaus has predicted healthy growth in several economic sectors, including Defence, Energy and Private Clients. Emphasising the attractiveness of the Baltic countries as a place for investment, Eva Berlaus notes: “The efficiency of our business ecosystem has not gone unnoticed by our international clients.”

Here is the full interview.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Sorainen from your competitors?

Sorainen was the first and only top law firm in the Baltics that was created as a truly one-team firm, as opposed to alliances of local service providers. This unique structure gives us two key advantages.

First, seamless service: clients can access our services across the three Baltic states—Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius—without any barriers. Second, a deeper bench: our extensive international and local networks allow us to pool resources efficiently, especially for large projects.

Sorainen is also very much a value-based organisation. We take our mission of growing prosperity in the region seriously. Our commitment to long-term sustainability, pro bono cases, and initiatives to enhance the legislative and business environment sets us apart. Importantly, we selectively onboard projects and clients who align with our values.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

In the coming year, several practices are poised for growth.

The energy and defence sectors are on the rise, as the region is developing production and service capabilities and seeking increased self-sufficiency. Notably, our M&A market is witnessing significant activity in the energy sector.

Given our alignment with the European legislative framework and value system, we anticipate an increasing demand for ESG services. The Life Sciences are abuzz with innovation and research. As the current healthcare system reinvests itself, and as the Baltic countries mature, the sector becomes even more appealing from a business standpoint.

Another growing sector is Private Clients. With wealth accumulation, many first-generation entrepreneurs face the challenge of passing on their business empires. This, as we know, must be handled properly. Additionally, successful start-up founders often reinvest after selling their initial ventures – in the Baltics, this phenomenon is called the “Skype effect”, as a single global success story empowered the region’s startup community with skills, courage, and funds to launch new initiatives, thereby creating a positive chain of transformations.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Over the years, we’ve proactively shifted our focus toward clients in multiple ways. Here are some key changes we’ve implemented.

Sector approach: rather than confining ourselves to legal areas, we’ve encouraged our lawyers to specialize in specific business sectors. This expertise allows them to communicate in the language of business with clients, rather than relying solely on legalese. We strive to be actively present in business associations of all largest sectors, which, apart from a valuable network and a better understanding of the respective business sector, also gives us an opportunity to give early input in legislative initiatives.

Client-centric solutions: our approach is centred around listening carefully to our clients’ needs. Instead of offering generic, one-size-fits-all solutions, we strive to provide personalised advice.

Adaptability: we stay attuned to changing market demands and proactively create and expand new services. Our agility ensures that we can address emerging legal issues.

Innovation and technology: the firm is actively investing in technology and is experimenting with new tools on a daily basis to ensure that also, efficiency-wise, our clients receive a top-class service. We are more and more diving into territories where technology will allow us to provide new services to our clients.

Webinars and client events: we organize over 100 client events annually, mostly webinars, all of which are free of charge to our clients. These events serve as valuable knowledge-sharing platforms. Clients appreciate the effort we put into keeping them informed and updated. Our webinars consistently attract large audiences — an attendance of 700-800 participants is common – demonstrating their relevance and impact. Often, clients attend these events with entire departments.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

As the firm becomes more efficient, it’s a positive sign for both internal processes and client services. Streamlining operations can lead to better outcomes for everyone involved. The adoption of AI tools holds immense potential. Clients stand to benefit from faster and more accurate legal services.

Another game changer is automating document creation. It saves time, reduces errors, and ensures consistency. Having paying clients already using this service demonstrates its value.

Sorainen also has its own technology spin-off, Crespect, which is developing an intelligent cloud-based legal practice management system.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

Recently, Sorainen played a pivotal role in the reconstruction of the New Riga Theatre in Latvia. As legal advisors to the owner of the building complex, the Latvian state-owned company holding and managing real estate owned by the state, we faced a monumental dispute related to changing contractors during the project.

The original contractor unexpectedly requested additional time and money after completing only 3% of the works. This situation posed significant challenges and foreseeable new claims. Our team worked around the clock and under much public scrutiny, providing not only legal advice but also helping the client to build a much wider strategy around the matter, including offering innovative solutions. In the end, a client-friendly settlement was reached, and the client publicly acknowledged that this culturally significant project would not have been possible without our support.

Sorainen has also advised on more than half of the unicorn-making deals in the Baltics, and there is a solid number of our start-up clients whom we have been advising on numerous financing rounds, helping those clients grow globally – Bolt is an excellent example of such cooperation.

We have also been assisting in the birth of new banks, such as the pan-Baltic Luminor or Latvian Citadele, which emerged from the remains of the collapsing Parex banka. Our strategic advice helped save the assets, avoid deepening the financial crisis, and now Citadele is planning an IPO.

Sorainen has been a part of growth stories of many local companies in other traditional business sectors who have now grown into Baltic champions and are increasingly looking into growth strategies outside the Baltics. Eco Baltia, currently the largest player in the Baltics in the field of environmental management and waste recycling is just one of such examples.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Absolutely! Clients increasingly seek both stability and strategic direction from their legal partners. As major disruptors like COVID-19, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, and economic challenges introduce greater volatility to the market, established law firms play a crucial role as strategic advisors – particularly for foreign investors.

Sorainen has ambitious goals for the upcoming years. We are committed to maintaining the Baltic region as a safe and business-friendly environment. The efficiency of our business ecosystem has not gone unnoticed by our international clients, reinforcing our dedication to bringing prosperity and well-being to the region.