Ellex Valiunas Makes Another Step Forward

2017 was a year filled with advances for Ellex, including a number of new individual partners, and in Estonia and Latvia new entire teams. We are happy to conclude this remarkable year with yet another set of major steps forward – please discover our changes in management.
“Over the past 25 years we have learned that as a market leader, we must embrace change at a strategic level and move forward in order to meet new challenges. As part of our ongoing strategic development, we are again introducing changes to ensure we are market leaders for the next 25 years. Therefore, we are strengthening our team and promoting even stronger knowledge sharing. We believe that the tandem of highly experienced experts and young leaders is the best way to respond to the ever-changing business market and better meet the needs of our clients”, says Rolandas Valiūnas, Managing Partner of Ellex Valiunas.
New partner in the M&A team
On 1 January 2018, M&A Partner Paulius Gruodis will join the Ellex Valiunas team. His knowledge and experience perfectly complements our Corporate Law and M&A Practice Group. Before joining Ellex Valiunas, Paulius led Glimstedt’s Corporate and M&A Practice Group. Over the past 15 years of his professional career Paulius has been involved in numerous large and complex M&A transactions while advising such international clients as IKEA Group, E.ON Ruhrgas International, Ripplewood Inc., Allianz Capital Partners, Bank of America affiliate companies and various private equity funds. Paulius will lead a new sub-group for Strategic M&A and private clients. His subgroup will service two key areas: strategic merger and acquisition transactions and private persons’ equity management and investment issues. He has unrivalled experience working in complex international business acquisitions projects that will be very valuable to our clients”, states Dovilė Burgienė, Partner, Head of Corporate Law and M&A Practice Group.
New Tax Practice Group
Tax matters are among the most crucial issues faced by Lithuanian businesses on a daily basis. Provisions of tax laws and practice are particularly dynamic in Lithuania. This is demonstrated by the impressive growth in demand for our services in this field that has increased by more than third this year compared to last year. As a result, a new and separate Tax Practice Group in Lithuania has been created. The team of tax experts at Ellex Valiunas is led by Partner Dr Aistė Medelienė and comprises eight lawyers and tax consultants. This is the largest tax practice among law firms in Lithuania. “The firm seeks to provide its clients with the highest quality tax services when representing them during tax disputes as well as when advising on the matters of tax structuring in transactions, tax  planning, and international taxation. Setting up the Tax Practice Group as a separate group in the firm represents a big step forward”, Dr Aistė Medelienė believes.
Tandem of leaders
In order to achieve its strategic aims and be more active in sharing experience, assisting in training young partners, and bringing together experience and enthusiasm, the office is moving to the ‘co-chair’ management model starting 1 January 2018. This move is intended to demonstrate a high sharing culture in the practice groups and throughout the entire firm.
Dr Jaunius Gumbis, Head of the Commercial Practice Group, specialising in commercial and regulated industry, and IT law, will be joined by Laura Ziferman, who became a partner this year and who has over 10 years’ consulting experience in different complex infrastructural projects. Her main areas of professional activity are competition law, public procurement, and PPP. 
The Dispute Resolution Practice Group will be co-chaired by partner Ramūnas Petravičius and Attorney at Law Giedrė Aukštuolienė. Ramūnas Petravičius is highly experienced in the areas of energy, infrastructure, EU law, employment relations, company mergers and acquisition law, and has represented clients in the largest disputes of the greatest risk. Over the last several years Giedrė Aukštuolienė has emerged as a leading expert in dispute resolution and arbitration law. Her practice includes representing clients not only at national courts and courts of arbitration but also at the international dispute resolution forums. The combination of industrial knowledge and expertise in dispute resolution will allow Ellex Valiunas to find the most innovative and efficient methods to help resolve our clients’ disputes.
“Disputes are often very specialised and demand extensive knowledge and experience in very diverse industry sectors and legal disciplines such as energy, infrastructural projects, investor protection, EU law, shareholders rights, banking and finance and real estate. With Giedrė in our team we are able to offer even more specialised services and exclusive expertise in all industries to better assist our clients in their disputes in the modern, disruptive business environment”, said Ramūnas Petravičius.
In 2018, the Dispute Resolution Practice Group at Ellex Valiunas will become a team of 22 professionals comprising four subgroups specialising in specific areas. Such a high degree of specialisation is unprecedented in the Lithuanian market and will not only enable Ellex Valiunas to provide clients with the most exhaustive services in any given dispute, but will also allow us to find the most effective out of court ways of dispute resolution including peaceful methods of settlement of disputes and recommendations on dispute prevention.
Partner Vilija Vaitkutė Pavan, who chaired the Dispute Resolution Practice group for 15 years and has 20 years of experience as an Attorney at Law, will now focus solely on representing our clients in complex disputes before Lithuanian courts and international and national arbitration hearings. Freeing Vilija Vaitkutė Pavan from the day-to-day managing of the Dispute Resolution Practice Group will enable her to focus more closely on her clients’ disputes in addition to her continuing to contribute to the development of commercial arbitration in Lithuania.
“I am delighted that the Dispute Resolution Practice Group will have new leaders. Ramūnas Petravičius and Giedrė Aukštuolienė are not only great professionals in their own areas but also particularly creative and efficient colleagues when it comes to resolving matters for our clients. Over the last 15 years the disputes department has grown from three to 17 professionals and has enjoyed a success rate of over 80% for much of that time. It is in rude health and being passed to very safe hands,” said Mrs Vaitkutė Pavan
The New Head of Real Estate and Environmental Practice Group
The beginning of the next year will also bring changes to the Real Estate and Environment Practice Group comprising RE transactions and Construction and Environment Subgroups. Tomas Milašauskas, who chaired the Group for 12 years, has decided to seek new professional and personal challenges. Associate Partner Indrė Jonaitytė-Gricė, who currently chairs the Real Estate Transactions Subgroup will take over the management of the whole Real Estate and Environmental Practice Group. The structure, experts, and chairmen of subgroups of the department will not change. The Construction and Environment Subgroup will continue to be managed by Associate Partner Dr Evaldas Klimas. “I believe that I leave the team in reliable hands. Indrė’s extensive experience, which includes complex and diverse real estate matters, will ensure the group continues to lead the market, stated Mr Milašauskas.