Nine partners from three different countries joined the Sorainen partnership at the beginning of the year. This new wave of leaders will strengthen six of our international teams: Dispute Resolution & Risk Management, Corporate and M&A, Finance & Insurance, Tax, Real Estate & Construction, and Competition & Regulatory.
The new partners include five Lithuanians, two Estonians and two Belarusians, bringing the total number of Sorainen partners from 33 to 42. The new wave of leaders is made up of four women and five men. Remarkably, one new partner has just started their parental leave, refuting the ”old-school” notion that becoming a parent means promotion to partner being delayed.
All new partners are outstanding experts in their field, but they also share other strengths – they build lasting client relationships, coach younger colleagues, and are outspoken opinion leaders. The members of the group, which includes two PhD degree holders, also lecture at universities and the firm’s Student Academy.
“We carried out this remarkable round of promotions for three main reasons,” comments Laimonas Skibarka, managing partner at Sorainen. “First, we see that clients and our own people expect more partner attention and we aim to be the market leader in terms of client satisfaction and staff engagement. Second, in recent years and largely thanks to our structured career development system, we have developed a strong group of new generation leaders. Third, we have achieved strong growth over the last two years and aim to accelerate it further in 2022 and beyond.”
Senior partner Aku Sorainen noted that with this promotion, the Sorainen partnership has grown by nearly 30% and is stronger than ever. “With this new energy we aim to further strengthen our core practice and sector groups and client service. Without doubt these promotions will also enable us to continue fulfilling our core purpose, which is to grow prosperity in the Baltic states and Belarus by helping clients succeed in business. I am especially glad that this group of new partners are all “home-grown” and that we have also been able to increase the proportion of female partners in the firm,” he added.
Kaido Künnapas (Tax)
Kaido helps clients on a variety of topics relating to taxation, including taxes in M&A deals, designing employee incentive plans, tax structuring of investment funds, and cross-border employment taxes. Adapting novel business models, such as crypto businesses and digital economy operators, to the existing tax rules is an everyday task for him.
Kaido is a vocal proponent of modern and fair tax laws. He has successfully represented technology sector companies facing unclear tax rules when issuing employee equity incentives – the most popular way to remunerate staff these days. Kaido has a doctor’s degree and gives lectures and supervises graduation theses at several Estonian universities.
Kätlin Krisak (Finance & Insurance)
As leader of the Sorainen Finance & Insurance team in Estonia, Kätlin specialises in capital markets and has also been involved in most of the team’s fintech- and cryptocurrency-related projects.
Kätlin has helped many clients to raise capital on the stock market, taking them through the process of drafting a prospectus and registering with the state authority, as well as advising on corporate governance, disclosure and listing.
The roster of listings in which Kätlin has been instrumental is impressive. For example, she led Sorainen’s international team in advising the book-runners for the Enefit Green IPO – the IPO with the largest number of subscribers in the history of the Baltics. The list also includes Saunum, Elmo Rent, Arco Vara and Baltic Horizon Fund.
Simonas Skukauskas (Real Estate & Construction)
Simonas is a versatile real estate lawyer with extensive experience of large-scale real estate transactions, and development and construction projects, as well as prominent real estate disputes. This combination allows Simonas to provide clients with efficient legal services during all the stages of real estate development.
He is one of the few lawyers in Lithuania who specialise in the field of cultural heritage. Simonas has taken part in many precedent-setting cases and advised prominent developers dealing with issues related to cultural heritage. He also actively participates in expert groups, and parliamentary and municipal commissions, speaking on the implementation and improvement of laws in the field of cultural heritage.
Kazimieras Karpickis (Insolvency & Restructuring, Dispute Resolution & Risk Management)
Kazimieras heads the Insolvency & Restructuring practice in Lithuania and is known for his excellent skills in bankruptcy matters. He has worked on many insolvency proceedings involving Lithuanian banks and credit unions. As a litigation professional with the firm’s Dispute Resolution team, Kazimieras has represented clients’ interests in a wide range of disputes, including those resolved by the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Supreme Court of Lithuania. For example, he has represented almost every bank established or operating in Lithuania.
Monika Mališauskaitė-Vaupšienė (Competition & Regulatory)
Monika is among the leading competition law experts in Lithuania, heading the office’s Competition & Regulatory team. She also covers advertising and consumer-related questions, manages compliance projects, and participates in TMT and IP cases. During her career, she has participated in landmark antitrust cases and merger deals.
She is a member of the Competition Law Committee at the Lithuanian Bar. She often speaks at events and contributes to various international competition-related newsletters and publications. At Sorainen, she is known for being a great mentor who actively develops talents.
Evaldas Dūdonis (Corporate and M&A)
Evaldas is clients’ go-to corporate lawyer. He is an experienced expert in corporate governance field and has successfully led the Sorainen firm-wide corporate workstream. With considerable experience in projects covering all three Baltic States, he advises local and international clients throughout businesses’ life cycles. He has advised a large number of foreign investors on launching or developing their business in Lithuania, including Nasdaq Vilnius Services, Mondelez, PKC Group, Harbortouch Payments and Virtustream.
As an active member of an expert group that reviews and updates Lithuanian company law, Evaldas contributes to improving the country’s legal business environment.
Indrė Ščeponienė (Tax)
Indrė is a well-known tax advisor and an experienced negotiator. She boasts a track record of successfully defending client interests during tax administrator audits and of winning practice-changing cases. Her former position as a senior official at the tax authorities makes Indrė the go-to person during tax audits and other control procedures. She is also active in proposing amendments to commentaries to tax laws, an area in which she has solid experience.
Indrė is known for her strong focus on client relations, often bringing together multiple Sorainen teams in order to best serve the client’s needs.
Ann Laevskaya (Finance & Insurance)
Having focused on banking and finance for over 10 years, Ann has created a strong reputation for herself in the market. To a large extent owing to Ann, Sorainen’s Belarusian Finance practice is a top choice for financial institutions and international law firms.
As co-head of the firm’s Finance & Insurance team in Belarus, Ann assists clients with structuring and implementing financial transactions, preparing and negotiating security instruments, and advising on banking and financial services regulatory matters. She also leads legal teams during M&A projects, especially in the banking sector.
Kirill Laptev (Competition & Regulatory, TMT)
As leader of the Competition & Regulatory team and head of Sorainen’s TMT group in Belarus, Kirill supports clients, especially from the IT, telecom and media sectors, with the most complex matters that they face in their business. He is well-known expert in data protection matters and also assists international clients with the unique regulations for IT companies at the so-called Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe: the Belarus High-Tech Park. High-scale projects in the gambling industry and media sphere are part of his portfolio.
Kirill has represented clients in arbitration cases at the world’s top arbitration institutions, such as ICC (Paris), SCC (Stockholm), VIAC (Vienna) and LCIA (London). He also has extensive lecturing experience.