Dr. Kadri Härginen, head of the firm’s public procurement and public projects sub-practice, has been promoted to partner.

As a result of the management changes that took effect in January, most of Sorainen’s top leaders are now women. Tax and customs counsel Aija Lasmane from Sorainen’s Latvia office was also promoted to partner. Ieva Andersone took over as the country managing partner of the Latvian office in January, and Eva Berlaus, who led the Latvian office for a long time, became Sorainen’s managing partner replacing Laimonas Skibarka. As a result of these changes, the majority of Sorainen’s top leaders are now women: Chief Operating Officer (COO) Eglė Venskūnienė leads the office along with Eva Berlaus. The country managing partner of the Lithuanian office is Saulė Dagilytė. Kaupo Lepasepp continues as the country managing partner of the Estonian office.

Kadri becomes the fifth partner on Sorainen’s 28-member Dispute Resolution and Risk Management team at the Estonian office, which is led by Carri Ginter, Allar Jõks, Norman Aas and Maria Pihlak.

„I met Kadri when she was still a second-year university student. The close relationship we built when we were lecturer and student has developed, and we’ve gone on a journey together. Today, Kadri is an internationally recognised expert, among both practitioners and academics. In addition to her legal expertise, Kadri possesses excellent personal qualities, making collaboration with her enjoyable both for clients and for her colleagues. I am sincerely glad that the Sorainen partners have unanimously decided to support her joining the partnership,“ says partner Carri Ginter, commending Kadri’s work.

„Our clients always expect excellent service, meaningful and practical business-focused advice from us, even if the legal landscape is constantly evolving. Our team has made an effort to provide precisely such advice, whether in the field of public procurement, employment disputes, or any other matter,“ says Kadri. „Public procurement may seem like a mundane and old field, but it still involves many complex issues that can determine the fate of large-scale projects. A recent trend in public procurement disputes is their increasing specificity, especially in the field of EU and state funding, where disputes over fund recovery are not only practically, but also legally very complex. I enjoy contributing with the team to discussions on public procurement that significantly impact Estonian society, ensuring the success of important projects for Estonia. I am very grateful to both clients and the team for the ongoing trust and exciting challenges,“ she adds.

Long-term experience in strategic public procurement and public law disputes

A team of public procurement experts led by Kadri has advised both tenderers and contracting authorities on numerous large-scale, previously unpracticed public procurements and disputes. For example, advising Škoda on the construction of 10 additional electric trains for Elron, the procurement of 23 new trams for Tallinna Linnatransport, and building two compressed gas stations and purchasing compressed gas for all Tallinn’s natural-gas powered buses, the construction of the Ülemiste joint terminal by Rail Baltic Estonia, representing Elering on providing energy security in Estonia, representing Tallinn in the dispute over new waiting pavilions in two cases etc.

The estimated total cost of these public procurement projects alone exceeds EUR 500 million. Recently, Kadri’s team has been successful in some of the most difficult disputes related to public procurement, which concern claims for the recovery of state support funds.

Kadri also has considerable experience in other public law disputes, especially those concerning state liability. The most significant of them are Lux Express’s dispute with the state regarding the compensation of free rides, based on which all commercial line carriers can now receive compensation from the state, and representing the state in a dispute with Merko.

Dedicated work in raising public awareness in the field of public procurement

Along with the rest of her team, Kadri is the creator of the free and publicly available video training series Procurement School. In these video lectures, knowledge derived from extensive consulting experience in public procurement law is shared, covering everything from basic theory to the more complex legal issues that arise in practice.

Strong academic background and contribution to the development of public procurement law

Kadri is the only practicing attorney in Estonia with a PhD in public procurement law. She is also a member of the Estonian Bar Association’s Administrative Law Commission and is a co-author of the Estonian Public Procurement Law Commentary. In addition, Kadri has provided training for judges, state authorities, local authorities, and businesses focusing on public procurement. Kadri also teaches public procurement law at the University of Tartu School of Law.

Complex employment disputes as expertise

Kadri’s secondary field of expertise lies in employment law disputes, including representing employers in cases where an employee has been diagnosed with an occupational disease. „As a trend, we can highlight the increase of disputes related to occupational diseases. We have a strong team, specialized in resolving such disputes, and we aim to be a reliable partner for clients in any future labor dispute,“ emphasizes Kadri.

From specialist to owner

In 2013, Kadri joined Sorainen from the public sector, having worked for seven years as a public procurement specialist and policymaker, including at the Estonian Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Finance. Over these ten years, she has grown into a strong leader and the head of an international team at Sorainen. Among colleagues, Kadri is a beloved and recognised mentor and trainer; she has been selected as „Mentor of the Year“ three times.