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Latvian law firms


Posted: 12th January 2021 08:51

Latvia sits in the middle of the Baltic States geographically, economically, and in terms of population and has strong ties with Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south. An EU and Euro zone country, it is ranked as a highly developed nation by the UN. The World Bank lists Latvia among the 25 best countries to do business in. 
 
The legal market resembles that of the other Baltic countries with Eversheds being the only prominent international law firm in the market. While bigger pan-Baltic law firms have their share of the market, the market is large enough for middle sized law firms as well. It is worth mentioning that the firm will be considered ‘big’, if it has 40+ lawyers, while middle-sized firms will have 10+. All major practices are based in the capital Riga.
 
According to Legal500, during 2019: ‘Firms in the Latvian market have been particularly active advising on anti-money laundering (AML) compliance programmes and financial investigations since the accusation of ‘institutionalised money laundering’ was levelled by the US Treasury against ABLV, a major local bank’. The major after-effect of this scandal was that a variety of measures were taken in order to significantly strengthen the fight against the legalization of proceeds from crime.  Therefore, issues related to the freezing and seizure of funds in bank accounts and the need to prove the legality of the source of funds came to prominence during last year as in many cases such actions were ungrounded.
 
Latvia law firms are registered as partnerships by the Latvian Bar Association and until now this is the only way to operate a law firm in Latvia. This is supposed to change shortly as Latvia will adopt a pattern similar to that of most EU states where there are different options including professional LLC. Only qualified attorneys-at-law are allowed to operate such law firms.
 
To qualify as a “Zvērināts advokāts” (admitted to the bar, attorney-at-law), the one must be an EU national, fluent in Latvian, have profound experience and have strict Bar exam passed. 
 
It is possible, however, to practice in Latvia without passing a Bar exam. It is therefore advisable to ask whether your chosen firm is operated by attorneys-at-law.
 
Additional Information
 
For more information, contact partner, attorney-at-law Sergei Petrov (sp@njordlaw.lv).
 
NJORD is a Latvia Law Firms with offices in Denmark, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. We have more than 200 employees of which about half are lawyers. We have extensive experience in the field of legal proceedings in various industries, in particular, in the field of intellectual property, freight transportation, transport, insurance and others. Our dispute resolution department is known for successfully helping renowned local customers as well as leading international companies, and we are the first choice for Scandinavian and Russian clients. We offer full service in civil, administrative and criminal law processes (especially in cases involving criminally obtained property, money laundering and crimes committed by officials). We are often recommended and hired specifically as trial attorneys.
 
 


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