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Risto Rüütel, Partner

Risto Rüütel


Practice areas

  • Competition, EU and Trade
  • Health and life sciences
  • Litigation and dispute management

Practice notes

Risto Rüütel has over 15 years of legal experience specialising in competition law and antitrust issues. He has vast knowledge in all aspects of competition law both in contentious and non-contentious matters.

In Eversheds Sutherland Ots&Co Risto has been involved in all competition cases the firm has handled since 2012 when he joined the firm, i.e. he has drafted more than 25 notices of concentration (and has handled almost half of all 2nd phase mergers in Estonia), has successfully defended the total of 9 clients in three criminal cartel investigations, has represented clients in more than 15 competition authority’s administrative investigations (with 90% success rate) and has handled 5 court proceedings in administrative and civil courts. This makes Risto one of the most active competition law specialists amongst lawyers in Estonia.

He has actively participated in the capacity of a competition law advisor in processes of opening the telecommunication, postal, railway, waste management and medicine sales markets to free competition.

Risto's comprehensive competence in competition law has been recognised by independent international publications Chambers Europe, Legal 500, Euromoney Expertguides, Best Lawyers, Corporate INTL, Lawyer Monthly and World Finance.

As of 2015 Risto Rüütel acts as chairman of Competition and Antitrust Committee of Estonian Bar Association. 

Risto’s clients’ list include for example Samsung, Garmin, Starbucks, Starwoods Hotels & Resorts, Click&Grow, Huntloc, G4S and Monier.

Risto's recent experience includes:

  • Advising G4S Eesti AS, Estonian arm of the World’s leading security company in competition law issues. G4S is the largest employer on the London Stock Exchange, with operations in more than 125 countries and over 620,000 employees. Risto successfully represented G4S in front of the Estonian Competition Authority in regards to alleged anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominant position in the cash transit market.
  • Advising two mobile network operators in Estonia on the legal possibilities of pooling their network resources together and sharing the available network capacities to provide mobile broadband services to clients in Estonia.
  • Advising AS Eesti Keskkonnateenused – one of the biggest waste transportation companies in Estonia – in all of its competition law issues and in a number of competition law investigations.
  • Advising a well-known distributor of products manufactured by a major global company group. Risto analyzed the client’s distribution contract related to resale of the products in Estonia and gave competition law advice related to legality and execution of the contract, including the exclusivity and non-compete provisions contained in the contract.
  • Advising a global, well-known international producer of hi-tech products. For many years Risto has provided advice in relation to vertical relations with other market players, including issues related to parallel trade, to ensure that the client’s activities are in line with Estonian competition law.
  • Successfully representing Estonian office of Monier Braas – a global manufacturer of construction products - in competition law investigation of its activities in the market for sale of roofing products in Estonia.
  • Advising Pharma Group OÜ - owner of one of the biggest pharmacy chains (Südameapteek) in Estonia operating 70 pharmacies - on widening its pharmacy chain and reorganisation of the whole franchise system following liberalisation of the market.
  • Advising AS Prike – major importer and one of the biggest wholeseller of alcoholic beverages in Estonia with considerable market share in other Baltic States. Risto helped Prike with competition compliance manual and a dawn-raid manual, containing detailed instructions on how to avoid non-compliance with competition law requirements and how to behave during competition law investigations.
  • Representing private hospitals in a landmark state aid case where the European Commission is investigating the legality of public health-care funding in Estonia. The outcome of the case may have a tremendous impact on health-care systems of many EU member states.

Chambers and Partners 2017 personal ranking: Risto Rüütel: Band 1

Chambers and Partners 2017 ranking for Competition/Antitrust: Band 2

Chambers and Partners 2017: “Risto Rüütel is a leading figure in the Estonian competition space with broad expertise that incorporates merger control and cartels.”