KRONBERGS ČUKSTE LEVIN has a solid track record in matters ranging from large scale, international and multi-disciplinary projects to those of individuals seeking assistance with property or estates. The firm is led by Valters Kronbergs and Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva, both experienced former big-four accounting firm legal team leaders.
We have deep industry knowledge acquired through high profile engagements in Energy & Utilities, Aviation, Rail, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Construction, Banking & Finance, Consumer Credit and other areas. Amongst our clients are household names such as Microsoft, Electrolux, Avon, DHL, Mars, Johnson Cilag, Peek & Cloppenburg and others.
Our litigation team has been entrusted to handle some of the most complex legal cases in Latvia, and has successfully represented clients on everything from high value professional negligence claims to complex property disputes between owners of real estate.
Our Competition and State Aid team led by Partner Zane Veidemane-Berzina has won difficult high value cases in disputes before the Latvian Competition Counsel regarding alleged anticompetitive practices and has successfully represented clients at the European Commission in a number of state aid cases and matters involving anti-competitive behaviour.
Our Mergers and Acquisition team has handled numerous engagements including transactions in the Telecom, Banking, IT, Manufacturing and Real estate sectors.
Our Procurement and EU Funds team currently works on a number of the biggest public procurement projects in Latvia, and regularly advises clients on matters arising from EU financed projects, including financial corrections and representation in Latvian EU Fund management institutions and European Commission institutions.
KRONBERGS ČUKSTE LEVIN is a member of LEVIN network of law firms which also includes GLIKMAN ALVIN LEVIN in Estonia and DOMINAS LEVIN in Lithuania.
Kronbergs Čukste Derling Partner Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva and Associate Reinis Papulis have obtained personal data protection officer certification from the Latvian Data State Inspectorate. This demonstrates our firm’s strong commitment to and advancement in the personal data protection service line by providing clients not only personal data protection law (including GDPR) expertise but also certified personal data protection officer services.
We are proud to announce that Dace Luters-Thümmel, of the German and Latvian bar, has been elected Secretary General of the European Women Lawyers Association on November 10th, 2017.
Partner Zane Veidemane Bērziņa was a speaker at the prestigious Payment Card Conference Riga 2017, which took place on October 3rd and 4th, and was attended by more than 300 participants from several countries, representing various financial sector players (regulators, banks, payment and e-money institutions, technology providers). Zane discussed differences in regulation of remote client onboarding for financial services providers in the three Baltic States.
On 23 October 2017 daily business newspaper Dienas Bizness published an article by partner Zane Veidemane Bērziņa regarding European Commission’s move against incumbent banks in an attempt to protect interests of FinTech. Thus, in the beginning of October, DG Competition, carried out dawn raids in banks and associations of banks in several Member States. Even though the publicly available information is scarce at this time, European Commission has stated that the alleged anti-competitive practices which are being investigated were “aimed at excluding non-bank owned providers of financial services by preventing them from gaining access to bank customers’ account data, despite the fact that the respective customers have given their consent to such access.” Hence, it seems that soon to be regulated account information services (AIS) and payment initiation services (PIS) are in the spotlight.
Even though the very purpose of the dawn raid is to catch businesses being investigated by surprise, FinTech knew it was just a matter of time before DG Competition acts, and banks should have known as well.
Tension between the incumbent banks and their FinTech rivals has been mounting for quite some time. Screen scraping practices engaged in by FinTech to provide PIS and AIS is just one of the problems which should be solved once PSD2 becomes applicable next January. For those banks which consider stalling access to accounts until application of Regulatory Technical Standards setting out details of communication is mandatory, the recent dawn raid might be a serious signal to reconsider (one can expect the Standards to become applicable in 2019, provided that EBA and European Commission can reach a compromise soon enough).
In the ongoing clash between the banks and FinTech, screen scraping is far from the only battle ground though. Thus, banks currently enjoy a major advantage in that they have access to payment systems, while FinTech companies are forced to use banks’ services to execute payments. One can only imagine how tempted the banks should feel to foreclose FinTechs’ access to the account services or render the access cumbersome by applying disproportionate fees. It remains to be seen whether the ongoing investigation by DG Competition will also shed some light on the boundaries of bank – FinTech relations when banks’ account services are used by FinTech.
Full text of the article is available in Latvian language at: http://www.db.lv/viedokli/eksperti/ek-iesaistas-banku-un-fintech-cina-467985
Partner Zane Veidemane Bērziņa provides legal assistance to the very first Baltic crowdfunding platform Fundwise in extending its operations to Latvia. Additional information is available at: fundwise.lv
Partner Zane Veidemane Bērziņa took part in preparation of a joint position of various associations of players in Latvian financial sector with proposals for the further development of FinTech sector and submission of the joint position to EU Commission Vice President Mr. Dombrovskis on June 5. Joint proposal was prepared as a response to European Commission Public consultation on FinTech: a more competitive and innovative European financial sector. Additional information, including text of the joint proposal, is available at: ttp://www.lka.org.lv/lv/aktualitates/jaunumi/jaunumi/latvijas-finanshu-nozares-asociaacijas-iesniedz-priekshlikumus-eiropas-komisijai-inovaaciju-veicinaashanai-eiropas-finanshu-sektoraa/
KRONBERGS ČUKSTE DERLING has asisted the Latvian Ministry of Economy on amendments to the Latvian Energy Law on liberalization of the natural gas market, the unbundling of natural gas transmission and storage system operator from JSC Latvijas gāze and exit of current Latvijas gāze shareholders from the unbundled entity. As the amendments of Energy Law amendments involved complex discussions with current shareholders of Latvijas gāze having objections against the timeline and terms of natural gas market liberalization, we are delighted to see that Latvijas gāze has just established a sister company Conexus Baltic Grid, which will shortly become a natural gas transmission and storage system operator.
Partner Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva participated in a cloud computing event organized by Microsoft Latvia with presentation “Is the cloud safe?”. It analysed personal data protection issues (including the requirements of the new General Data Protection Regulation) as well as preconditions for transfer of personal data to third countries.
Kronbergs Čukste Derling in cooperation with SIA “Ernst & Young Baltic” provides legal support to the Courts Administration in implementation of EU financed project which aims to increase the competence of personnel of courts and law enforecement institutions to improve the Latvian business environment. We provide support in organizing more than ten public procurement procedures and other legal issues related to the project. The aim of the project is to ensure training of persons employed by courts and law enforcement institutions as well as other persons belonging to Latvian court system in order to increase competitivenes of Latvian business environment and economy. The activities related to strengthening of competences and administrative capacity will be performed in the Ministry of Justice, the Supreme Court, the State Courts Expertise Bureau, Prosecutor’s Office, Ministry of Interior and other investigation institutions. The project is managed by partner Vineta Čukste-Jurjeva together with senior associates Madara Smalkā and Normunds Orols.
Avesco, a Swiss company, has recently acquired the three Baltic subsidiaries of Wihuri International Group of Finland, engaged in sales and leasing of new Caterpillar and Cat equipment, combined solutions for electric power and heat supply, and technical support and consultancy. This was complex transaction due to real time closing in three jurisdictions and complex deal structuring. Brands represented include Caterpillar, Cat, The Cat Rental Store, Metso and SITECH. Kronbergs Čukste Derling handled the Latvian component of the transaction while coordinating the transactions in the three Baltic jurisdictions, with partner Valters Kronbergs leading the team.
Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has established the Financial sector development committee. Kronbergs Čukste Derling partner, attorney at law Zane Veidemane-Bērziņa is actively participating in the work of the committee, particularly with respect to planned amendments to legal acts related to payment services and other alternative financial services.
LEVIN is committed to ensuring the highest quality of services, which is why our lawyers have received high rankings from leading international law publications. The work of our lawyers has been highly ranked by such prominent international legal directories as Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Legal 500, IFLR1000 and Best Lawyers, to mention a few.
LEVIN's recent assignments cover all areas of commercial law and a wide range of industries.
KRONBERGS ČUKSTE LEVIN
Attorneys at Law
Address: Muitas iela 1,
Riga, Latvia, LV-1010
Phone number: +371 67 043 803
E-mail address: email@example.com