Martti Peetsalu

Martti Peetsalu

Senior Associate
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"

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  • About

    Martti Peetsalu has unique experience in advising clients in the field of transport and maritime law, including in connection with rail, air and road transport issues, which are rarely encountered in Estonia. He has represented ship owners, carriers and freight forwarders in cross-border disputes (e.g. seizure, collisions, sales of ships, refinancing transactions), thereby significantly shaping maritime case law. Martti has supplemented his knowledge at Dabelstein & Passehl, a law firm specialising in transportation law, and is actively involved in the work of the Transport Committee of AIJA (International Association of Young Attorneys), thus having a clear overview of the transport and logistics sector.

    Martti Peetsalu has broad experience in resolving disputes that have substantially shaped case law, including disputes concerning divisions, non-monetary contributions, pre-emption rights, recovery of dividends, transfer of company, board member’s liabilities and the transfer of shares.

    He has also advised clients regarding insolvency, property offences and enforcement proceedings. His experience is not limited to contractual negotiations and legal advice, he has also helped clients in situations where cooperation partners have fallen out and been unwilling to cooperate. His thorough knowledge in dispute resolution enables him to foresee potential problems and react accordingly.

    Martti has also represented clients in arbitration and in several cross-border projects that have required a thorough knowledge of international law and coordination skills while working with foreign law firms.

  • Major Projects
    • 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.

    • 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 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.

    • 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.

    • 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 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 Turkish Airlines over the passenger carriage rules

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

    • 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 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.

    • 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 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.

  • CV

    Professional career

    Since 2017
    Senior Associate, law firm TGS Baltic
    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, Master of Law
    University of Tartu, Faculty of Law, Bachelor of Law
    University of Rostock (Student Exchange Program)


    Estonian Bar Association
    Estonian Association of Young Lawyers