Having interpreted law as a judge, Chancellor of Justice and attorney-at-law since 1991, I have a unique perspective on the Estonian legal system. I contributed to developing the Estonian court system as a judge of the Courts of First Instance and Second Instance as well as the chair of the Estonian Association of Judges. As Estonia’s Chancellor of Justice from 2001 to 2008, I stood up for a better culture of governance and constitutional legislative drafting. When Estonia joined the European Union, the country’s constitution was supplemented upon my initiative with the “protective clause”, which stipulates that the application of EU law may not come into conflict with the fundamental principles of the Estonian constitution.
Developing government relations. I can proudly say that since joining Sorainen in 2009, I have contributed to creating one of the most talented legal disputes and government relations teams in Estonia. As a former Chancellor of Justice, I mostly commit to disputes between the state and the individual as well as assisting clients in their relations with the state. Several legal disputes won by me have considerably changed the legal culture and practice of governance in Estonia.
Active and vocal in society. An attorney should never be a part of the silent majority. Anyone who cares for Estonia should boldly speak up about important issues and use their clout, so I try to step forward. The Good Election Practices developed by me in 2009 and supervision over compliance with election practices by the public has positively affected Estonian election culture. In order to make Estonian legislative drafting more competitive, I initiated the Best Legislation Practice and the annual Best and Worst Law competition in 2011. To implement my understanding of a better Estonia, I participated in the presidential elections of 2016 as a politically independent candidate, winning the first round in the electoral body.
Acknowledgements for work. The President of Estonia awarded me the Order of the White Star, 3rd Class, for improving Estonian legal culture, and I also received the Friend of the Press award from the Estonian Newspaper Association in 2002 and 2010. A survey conducted by the newspaper Eesti Päevaleht in 2015 ranked me as the most influential lawyer in Estonia.
Believing in the young. I love instructing my colleagues, and am happy when I see the development of younger colleagues, the sparkle in their eyes, and their ambition.
- University of Tartu, Estonia (MA in Law)
- University of Tartu, Estonia (BA in Law)
I am a member of
- Estonian Bar Association
- Estonian Bar Association Fundamental Rights Commission
- Estonian Lawyers’ Union, Council Member
- Estonian Academic Law Society
- Water of Tallinn (member of the audit and corporate governance committees)
Deals & Cases
European Commission: The Estonian state has an obligation to pay compensation to Lux ExpressDeals & Cases
Elamus SPA awaits clarity regarding the proportionality of COVID-19 restrictionsDeals & Cases / Ärileht
Sorainen successful in representing client regarding changes in the law in light of Covid-19Deals & Cases
Sorainen represents client in landmark proceedings at the European Court of Human RightsDeals & Cases
Sorainen represents the Ministry of Environment in a disputeDeals & Cases
Allar Jõks sues government over coronavirus restrictionsPublication / ERR
Taxes in a Nutshell 2021Publication
Estonia needs unaffected, free discussion, not self-censorshipPublication / ERR
Government communication on masks controversial and confusingPublication / ERR
Estonia: COVID-specific news for Life Sciences & Healthcare sectorPublication
Sorainen demonstrates strong performance in Chambers Global 2021 rankingsNews
Taxes in a Nutshell 2021News
Our experts appointed to the expert committees of the Estonian Bar AssociationNews
Chambers Global: Sorainen has excellent practice with significant strength representing large domestic clients and foreign investors operating at a pan-Baltic levelNews
Aku Sorainen receives the Order of the Lion of Finland for developing relations between Finland and the Baltic-Belarusian regionNews