Late on Wednesday evening SORAINEN was awarded the title of “European Law Firm of the Year”, marking a year of impressive growth and strategic development. SORAINEN became the first Baltic law firm to win the main title at the awards, which celebrate the best of Europe’s independent legal market.
The “European Law Firm of the Year” is selected from fifteen law firms recognised as the best law firms at country level – SORAINEN was also recognised as the “Baltic Law Firm of the Year”.
“This award is unbelievable,” said the firm’s founder and senior partner Aku Sorainen. “It’s incredible that the small Baltic and Belarus market receives so much international attention. It goes to show how much our region and its companies have developed.”
The jury, made up of 25 prominent lawyers and business executives from around the world, quoted their reasons for giving the main award to SORAINEN: “The firm stands out for its overall commitment to diversity, social responsibility and strategic vision, combined with strong financial results and an impressive list of work.”
2015 was indeed an exceptional year for SORAINEN – the firm celebrated 20 years since its founding, launched a CIS/Russian Desk as a new service to support clients in cross-border matters in the region, while the team enjoyed continuing growth and recognition.
Aku Sorainen commented that it has been a true challenge to succeed in attracting superior quality personnel across several countries within such a small market and to make them all work for the same goals under one leadership while benefiting from diverse cultural and language backgrounds.
Says Toomas Prangli, co-managing partner of the firm: “SORAINEN demonstrates the robust partnership culture and strong strategic vision and steady growth that the judging panel is looking for. We are especially proud of the recognition of our talented team – partners Allar Jõks and Carri Ginter were named as the most influential lawyers in Estonia, while Karin Madisson was recognised as Lawyer of the Year by the Estonian Bar Association. In addition, our Lithuanian office enjoyed a boost when Sergej Butov was promoted to partnership and then Dr Daivis Švirinas and Þygimantas Pacevièius joined our firm with a team of eleven lawyers from BORENIUS. We are also delighted that our long standing partner and more recently ‘of counsel’ Pekka Puolakka has re-joined the SORAINEN partnership.”
Among key mandates that the judging panel evaluated as evidence of a strong international clientele, the firm advised:
- Providence Equity Partners on the acquisition of telecoms group BITË from Mid Europa Partners, the largest transaction in the region in this past year;
- the buy-side on a transaction where Partners Group acquired the BPT Optima real estate portfolio together with its operating partner Northern Horizon Capital;
- PZU, the largest insurance company in Poland, on the sale of 99.88% of its shares in Lithuanian subsidiary PZU Lietuva to Gjensidige Forskiring;
- Bridgepoint, a major international private equity group, on the acquisition of Nordic Cinema Group, a leading cinema operator in the Nordic and Baltic regions which owns, eg, Forum Cinemas in the Baltics;
- Latgran Biofuels, a company owned by BillerudKorsnäs and Baltic Resources, on the sale of its shares in LATGRAN;
- the EBRD in acquiring a stake in Eco Baltia, a leading provider of waste treatment in Latvia and the Baltic States;
- Cofi on applying for a credit institution licence from the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority;
- Fortum Heat on the sale of its 51.4% shareholding in associated company Võrguteenus Valdus for EUR 28 million to the state-owned Estonian electricity transmission system operator Elering.
See more at www.thelawyereuropeanevent.com.