As elsewhere in the EU, Walless Partner Gediminas Dominas says, “the thing that Lithuanian lawyers are still talking about is how the reality of an ongoing pandemic is affecting everyday activities.” According to him, “it has affected everything, really, but mostly litigation and disputes – do we go into courtrooms or do things online, and if so, how we confront witnesses, how we ensure confidentiality, witness identity and integrity if it’s all online?"
Despite the relative success of the country’s initial measures to control the virus, more have become necessary. Dominas reports that “with the second wave of the virus being a tangible reality, additional restrictions have been put in place recently,” particularly on the number of people that can be allowed indoors at any one time and the requirement that PPE rules will be “enforced more rigorously."
Lithuania will hold Parliamentary elections in the next few months, Dominas notes. "This is keeping politicians occupied quite a lot,” he says, "so there haven’t been any other things of note – even legislative processes have halted, with all eyes fixed on the elections."
In the meantime, Lithuania has seen a strong outpouring of support towards the people of Belarus, following the turmoil that that neighboring country experienced after its own August elections. “Both the Government and the people themselves have been expressing a lot of support for the citizens of Belarus,“ Dominas says. “One Sunday at the end of August, Lithuanian people made a 32km-long human chain that stretched from Vilnius towards the Belarus border, to demonstrate solidarity."
Dominas thinks Belarus businesses might migrate to Lithuania as a result of the upheaval there. “Given the troubles in Belarus and the warm support Lithuania has expressed,” he says, "I think that we might see a move by a lot of businesses by the end of the year.“ In light of Belarus's strong IT workforce, he says, a move to Lithuania “might be a logical thing, especially given the ease with which the IT sector can move house.“
Finally, Dominas reports that “the largest energy company in Lithuania, IGNITIS, is bound for an IPO with a possible listing in London." He describes this deal as “potentially rather large and, given the relative size of Lithuania’s market and the fact that deals of this kind occur once every three or four years, very important."