Ellex Raidla and the Estonian office of Primus will merge on January 1, 2018 to form the largest law firm in Estonia.
The newly merged firm – consisting of 60 lawyers – will continue under the name Ellex Raidla. After the merger, Ellex Raidla´s various practice areas will be managed by 12 partners, with Gerli Kilusk, Anton Sigal, and Ermo Kosk from Primus joining the nine current Ellex Raidla partners.
According to an Ellex Raidla press release, "through the merger in Estonia, Ellex will consolidate its position as the largest law firm across the Baltics – increasing its headcount to 211 lawyers."
According to Ants Nomper, the Managing Partner of Ellex Raidla, "the decision to merge was based on a common vision to business development and customer service. Rankings show that both law firms – Ellex Raidla and Primus – are already undoubtedly the leading law firms in Estonia. Our organizational cultures are also very similar: each and every client project has always hands-on partner inclusion. Excellence is not just a slogan for us: we are working very hard to exceed our clients’ expectations."
According to that Ellex Raidla press release, Nomper says that, Primus, in addition to very high quality services, is also clearly distinguishable by superb financial performance among the new generation law firms in Estonia. “It's the only new generation law firm that has managed to break into the top 5 law firms in Estonia," he is quoted as saying.
Primus Partner Gerli Kilusk claimed that Ellex Raidla was the only viable merger partner for her firm. "Quality and professionalism are highly prioritized by both firms. We are constantly thinking how to be more efficient in our operations, how to be closer to our clients, how to grow our firm even further, and how to exceed even the western market standards in our client service," she said. According to Kilusk, the synergy of the firms is demonstrated by the fact that the client base of two offices includes more than half of the top hundred largest companies operating in Estonia. "Our workload and client base is constantly growing, and due to our rapid growth in recent years, we had reached the point where we had to make a strategic decision whether to continue the path of organic growth or to find other opportunities in our development. Therefore, it was time for us to choose, how to develop our administrative functions in such a way that we are able to maintain our close relations with our clients at the same time. Ellex Raidla's strong brand, efficient management model, very structured support functions and strong pan-Baltic cooperation within Ellex are absolutely ideal solutions for us, which allow our team to continue working with our clients with the same level of thoroughness."
Editor's Note: After this article was published Primus's Managing Partners in Latvia and Lithuania sent us their comments about the news of their Estonian colleagues' decision to tie up with Raidla Ellex. Robert Juodka, Managing Partner at Primus Lithuania, explained that: “The market of professional services is currently very dynamic, so we assess these changes as natural processes in the market. The most important thing for us is to ensure the quality and continuity of our legal services to our clients. This is our priority in taking all business decisions."
Kristine Gaigule-Saveja, Partner at Primus Latvia, added that: “During recent years all Primus offices have experienced rapid growth and we are amongst top law firms in each country based on legal rankings. Primus Latvian and Lithuanian offices have a vision of organic and independent growth, but our Estonian partners see their future by merging into another chain of law firms. We wish success to our former Estonian partners and look for a new cooperation partner in Estonia."