Martti Peetsalu

Martti Peetsalu

Associate Partner
Head of Transport Practice Group
Co-Head of Dispute Resolution Practice Group
Tallinn, Estonia

According to prestigious international legal directories, Martti is one of the most active lawyers in shipping and transport practice and is described as "practical, diligent and responsive".

‘Martti is an extremely analytical, pro-active and commercial lawyer, which is a unique combination as you would usually find not more than one of these capabilities in a lawyer. However, Martti is always acting like chess player – thinking several steps ahead, making the right predictions and advising his clients accordingly. ’

Rising Star Martti Anu Kedli Triinu J v2. Elina

  • About

    Martti Peetsalu has unique experience in shipping law as he has litigated several cases to the Supreme Court which have shaped the legal practice in Estonia (especially in ship arrest issues). His work and cases have considerably helped Estonia to gain reputation among creditors and financing banks to consider Estonia as a country with an efficient legal system and developed court practice in maritime law.

    Martti has extensive experience in all the relevant sectors of the transport industry. He has acted in cases involving the liability of road carriers and freight forwarders, dealt with i.a. forced sales of the vessels, collisions, refinancing, cargo claims and advised clients in issues related to the carriage of goods and passengers by air. Over the years, Martti has gained unique experience in rail carriage and railway infrastructure charges.

    He has successfully represented the clients in several Supreme Court cases on shareholders’ disputes that have substantially shaped the case law, i.a. division of companies, non-monetary contributions, pre-emption rights, recovery of dividends, board member’s liabilities and the transfer of shares.

    Martti has supplemented his knowledge at Dabelstein & Passehl (Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein), a law firm specialising in the transport industry sector.

    He is a member of the national revision committee on national defence law and co-author of the analyses on court procedures in a state of emergency.

  • Major Projects
    • 01.07.2021

      TGS Baltic's senior associates Martti Peetsalu and Silvia Urgas scored an important victory for the Estonian pharmaceutical company AS KEVELT in the Supreme Court.

      On 16 June 2021, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of AS KEVELT, a customer of TGS Baltic, holding that a consignor of temperature-sensitive goods such as medicines may assume that the carrier of the goods has a proper action plan for refrigeration equipment failure.

    • 26.01.2021

      TGS Baltic Scored Significant Victory for Coffee IN Against Apollo Cinema

      TGS Baltic’s litigation and competition team in the participation of Martti Peetsalu, Triinu Järviste and Silvia Urgas scored a significant interim judgment in recent judicial proceedings which explains admissibility of exclusivity clauses in distribution agreements in terms of competition law and confirms to Coffee IN in a positive way that Apollo cannot use its high market share on the cinema market to free itself from contractual obligations on other markets based on competition law arguments.

    • Representing Credit Suisse AG in a forced sale of the vessel

      Representing Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company Credit Suisse AG in a cross-border dispute over the arrest and forced sale procedure of the vessel belonging to one of Palmali group of companies. Favourable outcomes to enforce the mortgage under the European Enforcement Order (EEO) rules have been reached at every stage.

    • Representing Operail in a dispute over rail carriage fees

      Representing Operail (formerly EVR Cargo), the largest and oldest existing railway transport company in Estonia, in a dispute over rail carriage fees (interpretation of SMGS treaty).

    • Representing OJSC Bank St Petersburg in several cross-border cases

      Representing Russian bank OJSC Bank St Petersburg in several cross-border cases related to arrest and sale of a vessel, which has led to considerable clarification of maritime law practice.

    • Advising Oribalt regarding the road carriage of pharmaceutical products

      Advising pharmaceutical wholesale company Oribalt in a matter related to the road carriage of pharmaceutical products and a subsequent claim of damage against the actual carrier.

    • Representing Turkish Airlines over the passenger carriage rules

      Representing the Estonian branch of Turkish Airlines in a precedent-making dispute over the passenger carriage rules.

    • Representing Swedbank in the Supreme Court

      Representing Swedbank in the Supreme Court on insolvency issues regarding the sale of shares of a co-ownership in the enforcement and bankruptcy proceedings.

    • Representing RLS Finance SA in a dispute with the Bank of Moscow

      Representing RLS Finance SA in arbitration and in the Supreme Court in a dispute with the Bank of Moscow on the acquisition of the shares of Krediidipank.

    • Representing Eesti Raudtee in a dispute with the Estonian government

      Representing Eesti Raudtee, the largest Estonian railway infrastructure company, in a dispute with the Estonian government over the return of PHARE funds.

    • Advising DVB Bank America N.V on takeover of the vessels

      Advising transport finance specific bank DVB Bank America N.V on the restructuring of facility and charter agreements for ferries operating between the mainland and islands. TGS secured complete takeover and de-registration of the vessels on behalf of the bank.

    • Successfully representing Luminor in the Supreme Court

      Successfully representing the leading independent main financial services provider in the Baltics, Luminor (DNB Bank Estonian branch), in the Supreme Court. The dispute was related to interpretation of a surety agreement, which is very important for the bank, as its main activity is to lend money against security (surety).

    • Advising A/S Em. Z. Svitzer in a complex dispute related to the collision of vessels

      Advising Danish company A/S Em. Z. Svitzer (part of A.P. Moller – Maersk group) in a complex dispute related to the collision of vessels in Estonian territorial waters.

  • CV


    Estonian Association of Young Lawyers
    Estonian Bar Association

    Professional career

    Since 2021
    Associate Partner, law firm TGS Baltic
    Senior Associate, law firm TGS Baltic (formerly Varul)
    Senior Associate, law firm Varul
    Intern, Law Firm Dabelstein & Passehl (Hamburg)
    Senior Associate, law firm Glimstedt
    Lawyer, Ministry of Foreign Affairs


    University of Tartu, Faculty of Law, MA
    University of Tartu, Faculty of Law, BA
    University of Rostock (Student Exchange Program)
  • Publications