Dispute Resolution

NOVE’s attorneys are the most highly recognised specialists in dispute resolution in Estonia. Due to our long-term work experience we have valuable experience primarily in the resolution of complex business disputes. The experience of NOVE’s attorneys in dispute resolution is also shown by statistics. We have substantial experience in all national courts and court instances, as well as in national and international arbitration. Just in the Supreme Court (where approximately 1% of all court cases end up according to statistics), NOVE’s attorneys have represented clients for more than 85 times in cases where a judgement on the merits of the matter has been achieved. Furthermore, most of the judgments have created a precedent and have been recurrently quoted in the subsequent judgments of the Supreme Court, in the case law of lower courts as well as in legal literature. 

In business dispute resolution, we assist our clients in:

  • Resolving various disputes deriving from contracts (supply, procurement, sale, lease, leasing, authorisation contracts and contracts of services, as well as other contracts widely used in business relations)
  • Filing contractual and non-contractual claims for damages and debt-claims and protecting our clients against unjustified claims that are brought against them 
  • Resolving disputes in the energy sector between contractors and contracting entities deriving from supply, installation and operation of combined heat and power plants 
  • Resolving civil disputes connected with construction and real estate, including representing and advising the contracting entity, contractor, designer and owner supervision 
  • Finding solutions in case of disagreements between shareholders or other disagreements related to company management, including in matters related to the liability of and abuse of confidence by a member of a management body 
  • Negotiations and litigation related to relationships and disputes between minority and majority shareholders 

Our portfolio includes:

  • Successful representation of the road construction company PKM Grupp OÜ in the Supreme Court (2-16-16481) in a dispute between the contractor and the contracting authority concerning the possible liability of the road construction company (2019)
  • Successful representation of MV Kaubad AS in the Supreme Court in litigation related to the purchase of shares (2-13-57327). The dispute concerned the question whether the financial situation of the company sold corresponded to the terms of the contract and to the assurances given by the sellers in the contract and to the information provided prior to the conclusion of the contract (2019)
  • Successful representation of parking organizer Europark Estonia AS in the Supreme Court (2-17-117146) in a dispute of fundamental importance in which the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court found that leaving a contractual penalty notice under the windshield wiper of a car is a reasonable way of transmitting such notice (2019)
  • Successful representation of the client in a media dispute in the Supreme Court (2-17-17140, BLRT Grupp AS vs. Anastassia Kovalenko), in which the Supreme Court specified the principles of judicial rejection of data given to the press in the form of an interview (2019)
  • Successful representation of the client in the Supreme Court (2-16-12587) in a dispute of a fundamental nature about the hidden deficiencies of the immovable and the associated dwelling (2019)
  • Successful representation of Nasdaq Tallinn AS in the dispute with Olympic Entertainment Group AS. The dispute was about whether the decision of the Listing and Surveillance Committee of Tallinn Stock Exchange to refuse to delist the shares of OEG was lawful (2018)
  • Representation of Elveda OÜ / AS Tere / Oliver Kruuda in various disputes related to bankruptcy proceedings and corporate law (2016–2017). The dispute regarding the solvency of the parent company comprised several complex legal and economic issues. As a continuation of the same dispute, we advised the shareholders of AS Tere in the transactions for selling a holding 
  • Representation of Unicredit Leasing Estonian branch in various disputes related to leasing transactions (including the basic dispute with AS LHV Pank regarding the ownership title to the leased assets (2017–2018)
  • Representation of AS Filter in various energy sector court disputes connected with the sale, construction and operation of combined heat and power plants (2014–2018, 3 separate cases with the monetary value of 500 000, 200 000 and over 1 000 000 euros)
  • Representation of the minority shareholders of BLRT Grupp AS in various corporate law disputes, several of which have been adjudged by the Supreme Court creating fundamental precedents (see e.g. 3-2-1-28-16; 3-2-1-158-15; 3-2-1-82-15; 3-2-1-146-15) (2014–2018)
  • Representation of Novatours OÜ, one of the largest tour operators in Estonia, in a case which created a precedent in the Supreme Court (3-2-1-76-16). The dispute was based on the action of three travellers against the tour operator, whereby they claimed compensation from the tour operator, as the tour operator discontinued their holiday tours prematurely due to the public commotion starting in Egypt in spring 2014, and brought the travellers back to Estonia in the interests of their own security (2017)
  • Representation of the property developer Novira Capital group companies in various proceedings, including in a litigation case with a real property purchaser (the dispute was taken through all court instances, judgement no. 2-15- 3965 of the full panel of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court (2015–2018)
  • Representation of Selfdiagnostics OÜ in a litigation case with Balti Logistika AS. The fundamental dispute comprised several aspects relating to the application of the law of obligations and international law due to international goods transport (2016–2017)
  • Representation of a 50% shareholder of Hotell Pärnu in disputes between shareholders (Supreme Court case no. 3-2-1-26-17) (2017–2018)
  • Representation of MV Kaubad AS in disputes with other shareholders upon transfer of the shares in AS Jahipaun (2017–2018)
  • Representation of the manufacturer of EstHus prefabricated houses in litigation related to the quality requirements for doors devlivered by the door manufacturer Saku Metall to a foreign country under a housing development project, and the claims for compensation for damage deriving therefrom (2017–2018)
  • Representation of a leading agricultural undertaking as a major creditor in reorganisation proceedings, enforcement proceedings and related litigation, including claims for recovery of property (2017–2018)
  • Representation of Bytelife Solutions OÜ and shareholders in disputes deriving from buyout of shares and in negotiations with the purpose of a compromise; drafting of agreements required for acquisition of a holding (with the transaction value of over 600 000 euros)
  • Representation of Saaremaa Municipality in various civil disputes, including employment law disputes, claims for compensation for non-patrimonial damage, etc (2018)
  • Representation the Estonian Internet Foundation in various disputes with software developers related to the law of obligations as well as public procurement issues (2016–2018)
  • Representation of Financial Management Group in various proceedings relating to distribution of strategic and military goods (2018)
  • Representation of a leading fuel seller in a trademark dispute with Alexela AS (2018).

In challenge proceedings and administrative court proceedings, we assist our clients in:

  • Defending their interests in challenge proceedings and, as necessary, in court, in connection with applying for financial support of national and EU structural funds from the respective national authorities such as the Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA), Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and Environmental Investment Centre (KIK)
  • Defending their rights in administrative court proceedings (including representation of the complainant as well as the administrative authority) in all court instances 
  • Successfully litigating in connection with building documentation and planning procedures (including representation of local governments)

Our portfolio includes:

  • Successful representation of the leading Estonian bus company SEBE AS in the public procurement dispute concerning the public bus line procurement of Pärnu County, organized by Pärnumaa Ühistranspordikeskus, with a value of more than 22 million euros. The dispute went through Procurement Complaints Board and all court levels (2019)
  • Successful representation of the US arms manufacturer Lewis Machine & Tool Company (LMT) in the Public Procurement Complaints Board and Administrative Court Proceedings in connection with the procurement by the State Defense Investment Center for the Defense Forces to purchase new 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm handguns. It is one of the largest public arms procurement projects in Estonia ever (up to a total of EUR 75 million in the framework contract), which, in addition to purchasing weapons, includes accessories, spare parts and maintenance services over a life cycle of at least 20 years (2019)
  • Successful representation of SEBE AS in the public procurement litigation case related to the procurement organised by MTÜ Harjumaa Ühistranspordikeskus: Organisation of Public Regular Carriage of Passengers by Bus on Northbound Bus Routes of Harju County regarding a public regular service contract of Harju County with the value of more than 21 million euros. The dispute was taken through the Public Procurement Review Committee and all court instances (2018)
  • Representation of AS Värska Vesi in a dispute related to the grant of investment aid of PRIA. PRIA that had initially refused to grant the aid, changed its position as a result of the action, and decided to grant aid in an approximate amount of 600 000 euros (2017)
  • Representation of the Minister of Culture in administrative court in a dispute with Risti congregation of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church related to exercise of ownership title to a treasure found in the congregation church (2017–2018)
  • Representation of the heat producer Danpower Eesti AS in administrative court proceedings in disputes relating to procurement proceedings (third party on the side of the Estonian Competition Authority) (2016)
  • Representation of Väätsa Prügila AS in administrative court proceedings vs Eesti Keskkonnateenused AS (the dispute was connected with the transfer of the set of assets of the waste treatment facility by direct award to a subsidiary of Ragn Sells AS) (2018)
  • Representation of the Land Board in administrative court in a dispute with a property developer deriving from division of cadastral units (2018)
  • Representing the subsidiary of SEBE AS in the public procurement litigation case: Ordering of Public Regular Carriage of Passengers by Bus in the City of Tartu for the Period 01.07.2017 – 30.06.2027 (with the monetary value of approximately 64 MEUR) (2016)
  • Representing SEBE AS / Eesti Buss OÜ (Mootor Grupp AS companies) parallelly in three public procurement disputes Ordering of Public Regular Carriage of Passengers by Bus in the City of Tartu for the Period 01.07.2019 – 30.06.2029 (2017–2018 with the monetary value of approximately 64 MEUR, the disputes were taken through all court instances, except the Supreme Court) (2017 – 2018) 
  • Representation of AS Merko Ehitus Eesti and KMG Inseneriehitus AS in the public procurement litigation case (public procurement of the Ministry of the Environment, Design and Construction Work for Recovery of Hazardous Site at Purtse River, Kohtla River and Phenol Swamp (reference number 172886), with the monetary value of approximately 18 MEUR). The dispute was taken through all court instances (except the Supreme Court) (2017)

In arbitration, we assist our clients in:

  • Defending their interests in national and international arbitration proceedings 
  • Communicating with experts of arbitration court
  • Preparing a legal opinion on Estonian law for international arbitration court 

Our portfolio includes:

  • Successful representation of Nasdaq Tallinn AS in the dispute with Olympic Entertainment Group AS. The dispute was about whether the decision of the Listing and Surveillance Committee of Tallinn Stock Exchange to refuse to delist the shares of OEG was lawful. The arbitral tribunal decided to refuse to satisfy the action of OEG (2018). 
  • Consulting and representing a company in arbitration proceedings in Stockholm (2018)
  • Representation of Fransermax OÜ in a proceeding for recognition and declaration of enforceability in Estonia of an arbitral award by default made in Ukraine (2018)

Litigation team:

Veikko Puolakainen (team leader)
Andrus Kattel
Arsi Pavelts
Kristjan Tamm
Urmas Volens
Veiko Vaske
Marika Oksaar
Heili Püümann
Karin Sein
Maret Kruus
Indrek Niklus