On 1 January, Eva Berlaus, currently country managing partner of our Latvian office, will become the managing partner of Sorainen, taking over the role from Laimonas Skibarka. Ieva Andersone, head of our Commercial and Regulatory practice in Latvia, has been appointed as the new country managing partner in Latvia.

Both leaders have played a vital part in the development of Sorainen and risen to top leadership positions from within the firm.

Eva joined Sorainen as a lawyer in 2000, and in 2010 became the first female country managing partner among the leading Baltic law firms, having built her reputation as one of the most distinguished M&A lawyers in the region. Ieva joined our firm as an assistant lawyer in 2005 and joined our partnership in 2019, as a leading expert advising on complex competition law and intellectual property law cases, as well as on various regulatory matters.

“As a new-generation leader, Eva has the capability to lead our firm through the changing landscape while focusing on the needs of both our clients and our team,” commented Laimonas Skibarka, Sorainen managing partner for the past nine years. He added that both Eva and Ieva bring strong energy and vision, and are taking the helms with the ambition to consolidate Sorainen as the clear market leader in the Baltic region.

Eva Berlaus: We will continue to invest in innovation, excellence and well-being

Under Eva’s leadership, the Sorainen Latvian office has grown to over 100 people and established itself as a clear market leader in Latvia. Eva is passionate about law firm management and recently graduated with an executive MBA from the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga, focusing her studies on ESG-related aspects.

Eva Berlaus noted that Sorainen law firm has grown along with the Baltic economies, and that our core purpose – to grow prosperity in the region by helping our clients succeed in business – will remain at the heart of everything Sorainen does.

“Collaboration, reliability, integrity, and striving for excellence and innovation are at the heart of our firm. We respect each other and everyone we work with,” Eva commented. She added that she would continue to support the values and strategy Sorainen has pursued for years by promoting balanced investment in developing services for clients, supporting technological advancement, and caring for the team’s development and well-being. “Importantly, we expect to deepen our industry expertise, focusing on the growing fields of ESG, defence, white collar, energy and private clients, to name a few.”

Eva added that she was especially happy to have become our firm’s first female managing partner, hoping that we had set an example that will foster diversity and inclusion in our region and beyond. She also said that the Sorainen team would continue to be active citizens working to ensure our region is a safe, green, sustainable and prosperous place. Eva herself has supported and created initiatives that promote accessibility of healthcare services for children and young people in Latvia.

Ieva Andersone: My goal will be to strengthen cooperation

Ieva Andersone heads one of the most diverse practice groups in the Latvian office, the Commercial & Regulatory team, which covers a lot of different legal expertise areas. Ieva’s team has handled numerous international landmark projects, including ensuring compliance with competition law, defence in cases of alleged infringements, advising on merger control matters, protecting intellectual property, and handling GDPR projects.

Ieva heads the Life Sciences & Healthcare sector group at Sorainen, and is actively involved in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications sector group. She is a keen supporter of young lawyers and leaders, and acts as a mentor and Think Tank lecturer, as well as participating in the Sorainen student academy and moot court projects. Ieva gladly shares her opinions and gives interviews, explaining legal issues in plain and simple language.

Ieva devotes her time and expertise to social causes. She recently contributed to the Latvian Children’s Hospital Foundation and Ukrainian refugee support projects, and she is an active member of her local neighbourhood association.

“I feel confident about the growth course the Latvian office has taken. As the number of Latvian office employees now exceeds 100 people, it will allow our lawyers and tax consultants to specialise in depth,” Ieva said. “As the head of a fairly large organisation, my goal will be to strengthen the successful cooperation of our people and teams, as well as an efficient, transparent and comfortable work environment, which in turn will be reflected in customer satisfaction with the services we provide.”

Ieva added that, responding to the needs of clients, the Latvian office is strengthening several legal areas and sectors, particularly energy, climate and ESG, technology and life sciences, dispute resolution and risk management. With regard to disputes and risk management, there will be special focus on work with criminal and reputational matters, assistance to clients in relation to public administration, and strategic advice.

Continuity of leadership and new focuses

For the past nine years Sorainen has been led by partner Laimonas Skibarka, including four years of co-managing together with partner Toomas Prangli. After the transition, Laimonas will continue contributing to the firm’s leadership as a member of the board. He will dedicate himself to developing our firm’s sector focus, and will do more client work primarily in M&A, private equity, venture capital transactions and advising private clients.