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Public & Regulatory Law

Public law is becoming increasingly more important in financial terms due to general trends in the regulatory field and strict compliance rules. Our team of public and regulatory law  provides all possible assistance in the regulated fields of economic activities, including the relations with the state, local municipalities and EU institutions.
Together with PwC’s business consultants and analysts we form a most unique centre of excellence to solve even highly complicated regulatory issues. 

Public sector and public law

The attorneys of PwC Legal have extensive experience in advising clients and representing their interests in regulatory issues pertaining to the public sector. We have participated as advisors in drafting regulations and making amendments and compiled in-depth legal analyses for assessing both valid legislative acts and those in the pipeline in terms of their constitutionality and compliance with EU and international law. Due to PwC’s global network we have unique access to international case-law, allowing us to offer our clients the very best solutions.


State liability

As for the field of state liability, we are the leading law firm in Estonia. The attorneys of our law firm have participated as advisors and representatives in the most complex cases of claiming damages from the state, including the case of the VEB Fund, representing creative associations in their claim for a fair compensation against the state in the so-called private copying levy  case, several disputes pertaining to expropriation of assets, representing maritime transport company  in their claim for damages against the state due to the state having granted unlawful state aid to their competitor.


Natural resources and the environment

Rules of environmental law play a significant role in planning procedures and granting permits for all types of facilities and activities. Together with our real estate specialists we provide legal assistance on environmental law issues in the widest possible sense (including spatial planning, assessing the environmental impacts, environmental permits, environmental liability) to developers and the concerned parties but also to other stakeholders, such as representatives of local communities and other environmental organisations. We have experience not only with implementing the most complicated projects but also with avoiding the implementation of such projects that would have a negative impact on the environment. Throughout numerous legal audits, we have assessed the environmental compliance of industries with a major environmental impact. We have also compiled various legal analyses on issues of environmental law, including analyses for the Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Inspectorate.


Energy law

We have an excellent cooperation network in the field of energy and long-term experience in law, tax and business. We focus on market developments and the most recent energy solutions. We have advised all types of energy market players ranging from consumers and manufacturers to network operators on main and support processes of the energy market, authorizations, endorsement of prices, other regulatory and contractual relations and assisted our clients in resolving the related disputes.


Healthcare

We assist clients on regulatory issues related to medicinal drugs, medical equipment, healthcare services and health insurance. We have advised clients on the marketing authorization procedure for medicinal drugs and the conclusion of contracts for financing medical treatment and represented clients in the related disputes. Being a part of a global network, we have access to the best know-how in the field all over the world. 


A selection of our projects

  • Advising the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the issues of creating a FinTech regulatory sandbox, a testing environment for innovative financial services in Estonia. We conducted a comparative study on FinTech Sandbox regimes in the jurisdictions where it has been applied, and based on this analysis, we gave the Estonian Financial Supervision and Resolution Authority our recommendations on its potential implementation in Estonia.
  • We analysed the suitability of the legal form of Riigi Kinnisvara Aktsiaselts for carrying out the duties it has been tasked with and the practicality of a potential restructuring.
  • At the request of the Environmental Inspectorate we drafted a legal analysis on the limits of discretion of the Environmental Board and the National Heritage Board. The analysis was about limits of discretion that state bodies exercise in a conflicting situation, i.e. a situation where the guidelines and prescriptions of one state body contradict those of another.
  • Advising and representing one of Estonia’s largest retail chains in administrative proceedings conducted by the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority regarding the restrictions on displaying alcoholic beverages and drafting proposals for the related regulatory amendments.
  • Providing daily advice to the e-residency team of Enterprise Estonia on general regulatory issues, including the development of various procedures and guidelines for compliance checks.  
  • Representing Estonian creative associations in the dispute over private copying levy, to grant authors and other rights’ holders high-level protection in the information society, thus allowing them to get adequate compensation for the use of their works. As a result of the dispute, the court ordered the state to pay a record amount of compensation to the creative associations under the State Liability Act in 2020.  
  • Advising and representing certificate holders in the case of the VEB Fund where we filed, inter alia, a claim of over 10 million euros against the state with the administrative court.
  • Representing Väinamere Liinid OÜ, a local maritime transport company, in a claim exceeding 24 million euros against the state for granting potentially unlawful state aid to the client’s competitor.
  • Advising an entrepreneur in setting up a factory that uses mineral waste of oil shale as its raw material. We advised the client in all legal issues related to establishing the factory. We advised and represented the client, inter alia, in the detailed spatial plan proceeding, the strategic environmental assessment proceeding and in applying for the environmental permits at the local municipality and the Environmental Board.
  • Advising Ionisos SAS, a French company, in issues pertaining to environmental law as the company acquired a company operating in the field of industrial sterilization of medical equipment, food packaging products and cosmetics. Given the specifics of the company’s activities, we analysed in keen detail the environmental aspects of the deal, including the environmental requirements to the current and prospective activities of the target company, the need for a supplementary environmental impact assessment, the need for modifying the environmental permits, etc. 
  • A legal analysis of state aid commissioned by the Ministry of Environment relating to the cadastral units covered by the project for cleaning waste in the area of Purtse River and its basin and Kroodi  Stream, as well as the cadastral units covered by the project for cleaning waste in the area of Erra River. We analyzed within this task whether cleaning waste by the state from land owned by individuals constituted state aid and the conditions for permissibility of such aid. 
  • A legal analysis commissioned by the Environmental Inspectorate on the limits of discretion of the Environmental Board and the National Heritage Board. The analysis is about the limits of discretion of state bodies in conflict situations, i.e. situations where the guidelines and prescriptions of a state body contradict those of another. The analysis proved necessary due to the conflicting activities of the Environmental Board and the National Heritage Board relating to the dam on Kunda River. The Environmental Board calls for the dam to be demolished because the dam is in a nature reserve. The Heritage Conservation Board wants the dam to be maintained because it is protected as part of our heritage.
  • Advising Tartu City Government in the national designated spatial plan proceeding for a biorefinery. It was our job to represent and advise the client in all aspects related to the national designated spatial plan which included issues pertaining to environmental law. We performed a legal analysis on the lawfulness of the planning proceeding, which included analyzing the aspect of environmental law, and an analysis on potential ways to protect the client’s rights. We compiled drafts for the requests and positions to be submitted in the designated spatial plan proceeding, and a draft request to the Supreme Court of Estonia for verifying the constitutionality of certain provisions in the Estonian Planning Act. Additionally, we represented the client in the administrative court proceeding at both the administrative and circuit court to challenge the order to initiate the planning.  
  • Representing MTÜ Eesti Roheline Liikumine (Estonian Green Movement), a non-profit environmental organization, in an administrative proceeding to annul or amend the terms of the construction permit issued for constructing a seaside highway in Tallinn (Reidi tee). A central issue in the dispute was to assess the need for conducting a supplementary environmental impact assessment in the construction permit proceeding. 
  • Advising an entrepreneur on environmental aspects pertaining to the establishment of a large-scale fish farm. Provision of this service included, inter alia, advising the entrepreneur in proceedings with the Environmental Board and the Ministry for Environment for a building permit, a permit for the special use of water and a detailed spatial plan; as well as a legal analysis on the lawfulness of the administrative proceeding and the possibilities to protect the entrepreneur’s rights. 
  • Advising Hiiu Municipal Government in concluding a cooperation agreement with Nelja Energia AS and representing the municipality in the administrative court dispute arising from the agreement. Nelja Energia AS wanted to establish an offshore wind farm near Hiiumaa coast with a total capacity of 700 – 1100 MW. The cooperation agreement regulated the relationship between the developer and the local government upon completion of the potential wind farm, including a mechanism for local residents to gain shares in the wind farm and for the developer to contribute to future local projects initiated in public interest. Our service included representing the municipality in the administrative court proceeding, as a local environmental organization challenged the decision of the municipal council by which the agreement had been approved.
  • Advising Alexela Energia AS on issues related to the energy market and consumer protection regulations.
  • We advised a major consumer of heat and electricity (a company operating a hotel and a SPA) on concluding a purchase agreement for heat and electricity and organising a suitable energy solution for the local level. Our service included advising the client on energy market regulations and participating in negotiations. We helped the client, inter alia, to reach the conclusion of contracts to purchase energy production equipment and production lines, construct pipelines and purchase electricity and heat. 
  • We advised EG Võrguteenused AS in applying for the permit of a transmission system operator of natural gas, in transmitting and delivering natural gas, in transactions with natural gas and electricity, in acquiring and handing over assets, in construction and planning, in maintenance and tolerance fees and we also gave advice on cross-border transmission of natural gas. Our service further included drafting and confirming standard terms for the balance agreement with the Estonian Competition Authority and advising the clients during the establishment of Balticconnector. 
  • We advise Energiaturu Võrguehitus OÜ on daily issues related to the utilities, including the construction of electricity, gas and sewage pipelines and electricity networks.
  • Advising a renewable energy producer in a dispute against a local municipality for the issuance of the design conditions of a solar park whose production capacity is 800 kW, comprising a total of 3200 panels on 80 frames. The local municipality first demanded the completion of a detailed spatial plan which would have rendered it impossible for the client to apply for support for producing renewable energy pursuant to Electricity Market Act, because it is one of the preconditions for such support that the applicant must complete their park by the end of the year 2020. We managed to convince the local municipality that it was possible to achieve the same result with less burdensome and less time-consuming design conditions.
  • Advising Rakuten TV, a VOD streaming service platform, on regulative issues relating to the provision of video-on-demand services in Estonia and other jurisdictions.
  • Advising a telecommunications company on the restrictions set for the technology used in providing the mobile communication service, which included a legal analysis of the current restrictions and those in the pipeline. 
  • Advising Olympic Entertainment Group, a company providing gambling services, on the proceeding for a permit to organise gambling in Poland. 
  • Advising Betsson AB, a company providing gambling services, on regulative issues pertaining to the organisation of remote gambling. 
  • Advising an organiser of a commercial lottery in drafting campaign rules and in regulatory relations. 
  • Representing an international manufacturer of medicinal drugs in relation to applying for the marketing authorization of a generic medicinal drug and the related legal disputes.
  • Representing several private clinics, including Kliinik Elite AS, one of the most renowned clinics in Estonia, in legal disputes pertaining to public competitions whereby successful candidates are afforded contracts under which the state finances medical treatment.

Contact our team

Indrek Kukk

Attorney-at-law / Head of Public & Regulatory Law, PwC Legal

+372 520 6097

Email

Priit Lätt

Partner responsible for the fields of IP/IT, tax disputes and public procurement, PwC Legal

+372 511 9628

Email

Indrek Leppik

Partner / Head of Litigation, PwC Legal

+372 5621 0872

Email

Imbi Jürgen

Attorney-at-Law, PwC Legal

+372 529 5932

Email

Jana Tudelep

Attorney-at-Law, PwC Legal

+372 5386 6645

Email

Mari Kelve-Liivsoo

Associate, PwC Estonia

+372 5341 0942

Email

Simon Suuban

Lawyer, PwC Legal

Email

Lawyers who are not attorneys do not provide legal services but only assist attorneys to provide the legal services.

 

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