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“Currently, the main debate in Latvia is about when business will get back to normal and whether companies will be compensated for their lockdown-caused losses,” says Janis Zelmenis, Managing Partner at BDO Latvia, sighing that he expects the burden to eventually fall on the taxpayers’ shoulders.

In February, 2020, the Latvian authorities breathed a sigh of relief after the Financial Action Task Force voted against adding Latvia to the so-called “grey list” of jurisdictions with strategic anti-money laundering deficiencies. Prior to that, MONEYVAL, the permanent monitoring body of the Council of Europe entrusted with the task of assessing compliance with the principal international standards to counter money laundering, found that Latvian financial institutions had failed to introduce sufficient methods to identify suspicious funds primarily associated with clients from the former Soviet bloc countries.

In 2015, the word Cobalt took on a new meaning in the legal markets of Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, when a new pan-Baltic law firm with that name opened its doors, immediately entrenched in the top tier of the region’s legal markets. That firm owes much of its success and reputation to the Managing Partner of its Lithuanian office and Chairman of the firm-wide Management Board, Irmantas Norkus.

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