On 1 September, he will take over the position from founder and Managing Partner of TGS Baltic Eugenija Sutkienė, whose term of office is coming to an end, and will continue strengthening the position of the law firm in Lithuanian and foreign markets.
Ms. Sutkienė, who has been recognised as the European Managing Partner of the Year in 2017 (The Lawyer European Awards, 2017), will take the position of Senior Partner at the Lithuanian office of TGS Baltic. She will continue advising clients and contributing to strategic activities. Ms. Sutkienė will serve on the Boards of several leading Lithuanian companies, as well as charity organisations.
Ms. Sutkienė has been leader of TGS Baltic (which previously operated under different brands) for 27 years. She was among the first women lawyers who participated in forming the principles of commercial law after Lithuania regained its independence. “I have been considering the idea of passing the position of the Managing Partner at TGS Baltic to the younger generation for some time and I am certain that now is the best time. The generational shift has not been successfully implemented in Lithuanian law firms yet, as it is a complicated process. However, I am certain that our firm now has the necessary maturity for this step. The firm has a strong team of Partners and Senior Associates capable of ensuring the continuity of our business principles, values, culture and work quality. We have enough potential for an innovation shift in our business as well. Vilius Bernatonis, who has been unanimously elected to the position of Managing Partner by the firm’s partners, has been my colleague and my right hand for many years. He is an experienced lawyer recognised in the international market, and a business strategist. I trust his competence and I am certain that he and the team will continue realizing our common vision – to stay the best team of business law consultants for our clients”, says Ms. Sutkienė, founder of the law firm.
Vilius Bernatonis, the new Managing Partner at the Lithuanian office of TGS Baltic, has been active in legal services for more than 18 years. The most reputable international legal directories, such as Legal 500, Chambers and Partners and IFLR1000, appreciate him as one of the best lawyers in Central and Eastern Europe. Mr. Bernatonis specialises in banking and finance, the energy sector, as well as dispute resolution, development and regulation, project financing, commercial law and other areas. He has worked on the development of the largest strategic energy projects in Lithuania, represented and counselled the Lithuanian Government in arbitration cases against Russian gas giant Gazprom and the French energy group Veolia Environnement. This year, Mr. Bernatonis has earned a Global Executive MBA degree from IESE Business School, one of the leading business schools in the world.
“The market for legal services is currently in the process of transformation. It is becoming ever more dynamic; tech products and solutions will soon become an integral part of our services. We watch these trends and respond, seeking to become the best legal professionals and to improve professional knowledge in industries our clients operate. That is how we can find innovative legal solutions customised to meet our clients’ business needs. Our goal is not only to provide top quality legal services, but, more importantly, to contribute to the business success of our clients”, Mr. Bernatonis says, and adds that in 2018 TGS Baltic has been recognised as the best law firm in Lithuania on the basis of client satisfaction (Kantar Sifo Prospera 2018).
On 1 September, the Lithuanian office of TGS Baltic sees another important change in top positions – Marius Matonis, Head of M&A, Baltics, has been elected as Executive Partner. He will be responsible for the improvement of internal, administrative and service provision processes in the firm, as well as innovation and efficiency. “I am certain that a progressive law firm is created by two important factors – a generational shift ensuring the continuity of values and a team dedicated to innovative solutions. Currently, the Lithuanian office of TGS Baltic is at such a stage where both these factors are present and can create the greatest added value for our clients”, Mr. Matonis says.
Mr. Matonis has been practicing as a lawyer for 16 years; he specialises in competition, mergers & acquisitions, private equity and venture capital, real estate transactions, and corporate and commercial law. In his practice Mr. Matonis counselled and represented such companies as Lietuvos Energija, Swedbank, Ardian private equity funds, Enterprise Investors, MCI, Baltcap, LitCapital, Livonia Partners, international companies Thermo Fisher, Fonterra, etc. He has led the lawyers of the firm working on mergers & acquisitions involving major companies in the Baltic States.