In the latest development in the ever-changing Baltic law firm landscape, Klavins Ellex has announced that it will be merging with Glimstedt's Riga office to "form the largest law firm in Latvia." The two firms will operate under the Klavins Ellex brand.
Klavins Ellex Managing Partner Filips Klavins informed CEE Legal Matters that the Glimstedt team in Riga consists of 15 lawyers, including four partners, all of whom will be joining Klavins Ellex's 32 legal professionals. The merger is expected to take legal effect on February first, contingent on its approval by the Council of the Latvian Bar association, which is scheduled to meet on January 31.
“The main objective of the merger is to provide additional benefits to our clients," Klavins commented in a press release distributed by the firm. "They are: the combined expertise of two strong legal teams, which complement each other and will now be available as a single team; also a higher capacity for effectively managing large-scale and sophisticated processes. Consolidation of law firms is one of the key trends in our industry on a global scale.”
“Both of us – Ellex and Glimstedt – are renowned for strong specialization in a number of areas of law," added Peteris Dalderis, Managing Partner of Glimstedt, in that same press release. "By combining our expertise in each of these areas, we considerably extend the 'geography' of our services. Consolidation by both of our law firms will ensure more professional lawyers and a wider scope of services for the industry in general.”
In a separate statement published on the Glimstedt Lithuania website, the firm wished success in future endeavors to "partners in Latvia who have decided not to continue operating as a self-dependent firm," and said that "from now on we will be providing legal services to our clients in Latvia directly or through cooperation with the partners whom we find to satisfy the highest standards of Glimstedt."
This merger forms a prominent part of the ongoing reshuffling and consolidation of the Baltic legal markets, including Tark Grunte Sutkiene's 2016 merger with Varul in Estonia (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on April 14, 2016), the creation of the Leadell alliance (as reported by CEE Legal Matters on August 26, 2016), Cobalt's merger with Borenius's former offices across the Baltics (as reported on September 23, 2015), and more. The process was triggered, perhaps, by Tark Grunte Sutkiene's merger with the former Baltic Legal Solutions office in Lithuania (as reported on September 10, 2014) and the 2015 trade of Estonian offices by the former Raidla, Lejins & Norcous and Lawin, and the firms' rebranding as Ellex and Cobalt (as reported on May 19, 2015). The process was considered at length in the June 2015 issue of the CEE Legal Matters magazine).