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Tanel Kalaus

Estonia
Partner
Attorney at Law

Tanel heads TRINITI dispute resolution team.  During his more than 20 years of experience, Tanel has established himself as a valued litigator dealing with really big and complex cases – in the last few years alone, Tanel has been involved in litigations worth more than 150 million Euros. Tanel is widely recognised as Estonia’s leading expert on competition law and state aid. He is the Head of the Competition Law Committee of the Estonian Bar Association and has been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers Europe and in the Hall of Fame by Legal500 for years.

Combining his unique skills in dispute resolution and expertise in specific areas of law (competition law, corporate law) and industries (energy, utilities, healthcare), Tanel has represented clients in complex civil, administrative, misdemeanour and criminal proceedings (both in court and out of court, including in the European Commission), earning praise from clients and peers.

 

According to Chambers Europe (2021), Tanel has “extensive experience” and is “well placed to advise on Estonian and EU competition law matters, with particular expertise in state aid issues” and the clients claim that Tanel “can find solutions even in the most difficult situations, both in court and in negotiations”.

 

The clients also value his business-oriented approach and clear advice. Having worked for years as an inhouse counsel, being involved in many IPOs and other significant transactions and providing day-to-day general legal advice to large corporate groups, Tanel understands well the position and needs of the client and the importance of a pragmatic attitude in negotiations and disputes.

 

His expertise and good work have gained the highest international recognition:

  • Leading individual (Band 1) in Competition/Antitrust by Chambers Europe (2010-2021)
  • Leading individual and Hall of Fame in EU and competition by Legal500 (2014-2021)

Tanel’s clients include Tamro (one of the biggest players in the Estonian markets for pharmaceuticals wholesale belonging to PHOENIX Group), Eesti Energia-Enefit (a state-owned international energy company that operates in the electricity and gas markets of the Baltic countries and Poland and in the international liquid fuels market), Tallinna Vesi-Tallinn Water (the water company of the capital of Estonia), Tallinna Sadam-The Port of Tallinn (the operator of the biggest port in Estonia), EstateGuru (the biggest Estonian crowd financing platform that also operates internationally) and KredEx (a financing institution established by the Estonian State).

Key highlights of his experience include:

  • Defending international food retailer Prisma Peremarket and its employee, both out of court and in court in one of the most important competition law proceedings in Estonia so far, the so-called ‘vodka cartel’ criminal proceedings.
  • Representing Tallinna Sadam in a 20 million Euro claim for damages or unjust enrichment by Tallink Grupp (the biggest shipping operator of the Baltic Sea) in connection with alleged abuse of a dominant position.
  • Advising KredEx on significant state aid measures which were related to the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of preparing state aid notifications and submitting them to the European Commission.
  • Representing Krivest and members of its management board in several disputes (including in the Supreme Court) with a minority shareholder which have led to the significant development of corporate law practice in Estonia.
  • Representing international timber group Stora Enso in connection with obtaining the approval from the Competition Authority to the merger between Stora Enso and Sylvester, which was the most complex merger in Estonia up to that date.
  • Being in a leading role as an external legal advisor in the preparation of initial public offerings (IPOs) regarding the shares of Tallinna Vesi and Tallink Grupp.

Tanel has also been active in providing proposals to different legislative changes, e.g. to the Competition Act, the District Heating Act, the Medicinal Products Act, the Electricity Market Act, etc.

Personal contact

Languages

Estonian

Russian

English

Industries

Agribusiness & Food
Energy & Utilities
Healthcare & Life Sciences

Education

  • Publications issued by Law Business Research Ltd (Merger Control, Vertical Agreements ja Dominance from the series Getting the Deal Through), co-author of the Estonian chapters, 2012-2014
  • Publications issued by Sweet & Maxwell (Leniency Regimes), co-author of the Estonian chapters, 2012-2013
  • Kalaus, Tanel (2013). Corruption does not concern me. Or does it? Focus, 4, 8-9
  • Campbell, D. (editor). „International Banking. Law & Regulation“, Oceana; Oxford University Press, co-author of the Estonian chapter, 2010-2014

University of Cambridge, Master of Laws (LL.M.), 2002.

Universiti of Tartu, Faculty of Law, cum laude, 2000.

Professional memberships

Member of the Competition Law Committee of the Estonian Bar Association since 2015 and the Head of the Committee since 2019.

Member of the Estonian Bar Association since 2001.

Recent experience
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