Helmut Pikmets

Helmut Pikmets

Partner
Head of Tax Practice Group
Tallinn, Estonia

Helmut Pikmets is endorsed as the "king of tax disputes in Estonia" by reputable international legal directories Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, according to which he proposes "quick and effective solutions, always with a couple of alternatives to choose from", and is "absolutely brilliant" at tax matters, being "pretty much the No.1 choice when you need someone to solve the most complicated tax disputes". Helmut Pikmets is also recognised in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame.

chambers europe 44 v2      legal 44 v2       Djmi8h2WwAAPUYO

  • About

    Helmut Pikmets has extensive practical experience in day-to-day tax advisory as well as advising corporate acquisitions, restructurings and reorganisations as well as property and investment transactions, for example, he has advised Orlen Estonia, Swedbank, Fortum, Unibet, Luminor (formerly Nordea Bank), Turkish Airlines, Michelin and Tallink Group.

    Helmut Pikmets has been involved in numerous high-profile tax disputes, many of which have led to landmark decisions in the Supreme Court of Estonia. The most significant ones being a tax dispute related to Sylvester, which was the largest tax dispute in the Baltics concerning the taxation of the transfer of shares, and a case in the Supreme Court dealing with constitutionality of fuel retailers’ tax bonds. Helmut Pikmets has long-time experience in representing clients in criminal proceedings related to tax crimes (most recently in a court case concerning fictitious invoicing in Tartu, including approximately 90 witnesses) and representing taxpayers in the European Court of Human Rights.

  • Major Projects
    • 05.02.2020

      We advised Nasdaq-listed fintech company Opera on the acquisition of Pocosys

      TGS Baltic advised the Opera group, which is listed on stock exchange Nasdaq in the USA, on entry into a contract of purchase for the acquisition of fintech company Pocosys and its sister company, a licensed payment institution, Pocopay from Poco Holding where Indrek Neivelt has a large shareholding.

      More
    • 26.06.2019

      Advising on the divestment of KAFO Eesti

      TGS Baltic advised on the divestment of the seller of coffee dispensing machines and coffee KAFO Eesti to Lithuanian wholesale group Eugesta.

      More
    • 10.11.2016

      Baltic Ground Services obtained an excise warehouse activity licence and enters the Estonian market

      The firm's lawyers advised Baltic Ground Services EE, a subsidiary of Lithuanian capital-based company Baltic Ground Services UAB operating in the aviation sector, in obtaining an excise warehouse activity licence for the sale of JET-A1 fuel in Tallinn Airport.

      More
    • 22.10.2015

      Representing Tallink Group before European Commission in connection with alleged state aid resulting from tax benefits

      The firm's competition and tax law team, led by partner Helmut Pikmets, represented the Tallink Group in a procedure conducted by the European Commission in connection with possible illegal state aid resulting from legislation on excise duty and deposit on packaging.

      More
    • 18.09.2015

      Representing Amalfi in litigation with Tax and Customs Board

      The firm’s tax team, led by partner Helmut Pikmets, successfully represented Amalfi in a complex legal dispute with the Tax Board. It was the first case in taxation practice when the Tax Board imposed income tax on Amalfi, regarding an immovable in the possession of a shareholder as dividends paid to the shareholder.

      More
    • 19.04.2014

      Representing Nordea Bank Finland Plc in litigation against tax authority

      The firm's tax team, led by partner Helmut Pikmets, successfully advised Nordea Bank Finland Plc Estonia branch office in court regarding a dispute with the Tax and Customs Board. The case concerned legal issues related to foreign companies' permanent Estonian branches taxation and corresponding law amendments which entered into force in 2010.

      More
    • 03.03.2013

      Advising Tallink Group on the legislative proceeding of the draft Maritime Safety Act in the Parliament of Estonia

      The firm's tax and competition teams, under the leadership of Helmut Pikmets, advised the Tallink Group on the legislative proceeding of the draft Maritime Safety Act in the Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu).

      More
    • 07.01.2013

      Nordea Bank Finland Plc Estonian branch takes its dispute with the tax authority to court

      The firm's tax team led by partner Helmut Pikmets advised Nordea Bank Finland Plc Estonian Branch (Nordea) in constitutional review proceedings at the Office of the Chancellor of Justice. The case involves legal issues relating to the taxation of branches of foreign companies who have permanent establishment in Estonia.

      More
    • Representing former shareholders of Stora Enso Timber in the largest tax disputes of the Baltics

      Successfully representing a group of former shareholders of Stora Enso Timber (formerly AS Sylvester) in the largest tax dispute in the Baltic States.

      More
    • Advising Energate on tax aspects regarding acquiring

      Advising Energate, investment arm of Baltcap Private Equity Fund L.P., regarding tax aspects when acquiring a gas infrastructure company and wind park operator.

    • Compiling a legal analysis for the supervisory board of Eesti Pank

      Compiling a legal analysis for the supervisory board of the Estonian central bank Eesti Pank on legal aspects of interest taxation for private housing loans as well as proposed alternatives for changing the current regulation.

    • Advising Sanofi regarding the VAT rules of Estonia and the EU

      Advising the Estonian subsidiary of a global pharmaceuticals company Sanofi regarding the VAT rules of Estonia and the European Union.

    • Representing Amalfi in a complex legal dispute with the tax board

      Representing Amalfi in a complex legal dispute with the tax board in the first case of its kind where the tax authority imposed income tax on Amalfi, regarding an immovable in the possession of a shareholder as dividends paid to the shareholder.

    • Advising Turkish Airlines regarding the establishment of Estonian and Lithuanian branches

      Advising Turkish Airlines on tax matters regarding the establishment of its Estonian and Lithuanian branches, including cross-border employment taxation issues. The firm also analysed the application of the Estonian-Turkish tax convention.

    • Representing Bauhof Group in the Supreme Court

      Representing one of the largest DIY retail chain in Estonia, Bauhof Group, in the Supreme Court regarding taxations of management fees.

    • Representing a fuel retailer in the Supreme Court

      Representing Kõrveküla Petrol Station in the Supreme Court and over 20 fuel retailers in the administrative court in a dispute against the Estonian Tax and Customs Board regarding tax collateral stipulated in the Liquid Fuel Act, the many provisions of which were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

    • Representing Tallink Group in the Supreme Court and the European Commission

      Representing the largest passenger transport group in the Baltics, Tallink Group, in the Supreme Court and the European Commission concerning excise duties on packaging and potentially unlawful state aid arising from the packaging deposit act.

  • CV

    Memberships

    2008
    International Fiscal Association
    1996
    Estonian Bar Association

    Professional career

    Since 2017
    Partner, law firm TGS Baltic (formerly Varul)
    2004–2017
    Partner, law firm Varul
    1996–2004
    Associate, law firm Varul
    1994–1996
    Lawyer, law firm Varul

    Education

    1994
    University of Tartu, Faculty of Law, MA
    1992
    Stockholm School of Economics, Commercial Law