Paul Varul

Senior Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution and Arbitration practice group, Estonia

Tartu, Estonia

+372 730 1610; +372 511 1535

Estonian, Russian, English

According to Legal500, high-profile Paul Varul is ‘the father of Estonian bankruptcy law’.


Advising the Estonian branch of one of the leading Scandinavian financial groups – Swedbank – in large-scale cross border bankruptcy proceedings of Alta Foods as well as in the bankruptcy proceedings of metal material trader Alberta Trade and in representing related litigations in Russian court.

Advising Nordea Bank Finland Plc, the largest financial services group in Northern Europe, as a creditor in bankruptcy proceedings.

Representing the Bank of Estonia and Financial Supervision Authority and different bankrupt credit institutions and insurance companies (EVEA Bank, Inko Balti Bank, Tartu Commercial Bank, ERA Bank, ASA Insurance, AB Life Insurance, Polaris Insurance) in bankruptcy proceedings.

Representing the Estonian commercial bank, Eesti Maapank, in one of the largest bankruptcy cases in the Baltics and in many related court proceedings.

Acting as an expert in ICSID in the matter of Sampo Pank, OKO Bank Plc and VTB Bank (Germany) AG versus the Republic of Estonia concerning investment protection contracts.

Serving as an arbitrator for the SCC Arbitration Court in the matter of Norwegian Tschudi Shipping Company versus the Republic of Estonia.


Serving as an arbitrator for the Arbitration Institute of the SCC Arbitration Court in the matter of Alta Foods versus Luterma in their dispute over the sale of Estonian foodstuff producer Tere.

Representing City of Pärnu in a complex dispute over a sales and purchase agreement against real estate company Herder in the largest case won in the history of the City.

Advising DNB Bank, belonging to the largest Norwegian financial group DNB Bank ASA, in MRP Ärigrupp bankruptcy proceedings and related court disputes.


2011–2016 Leader of the Estonian work group of The Scandinavian/Baltic Network on Insolvency
2011 Founding Member and Member of Council of The European Law Institute
2006 Expert Commission in Insolvency Law within the Ministry of Justice
20062009 Compilation and Reduction Team for Common Frame of Reference, operating under the auspices of the European Commission
2008 Member of the Board of INSOL-Europe Academic Forum
2008 INSOL-Europe and INSOL-International
2007 International Insolvency Institute
20032008 Study Group on European Civil Code
19992002 Chairman of the Expert Commission for the Law of Obligations Act and the General Part of the Civil Code Act
2002 Academy of European Private Lawyers
1994 Estonian Bar Association
19921999 Chairman of the Head Commission for the development of the Estonian Civil Code Act and Commercial Code


Since 2017 Senior Partner, law firm TGS Baltic (formerly VARUL)
19942017 Senior Partner, law firm VARUL
19951999 Minister of Justice of the Republic of Estonia
1992–2015 Civil Law Professor, University of Tartu


1985 St. Petersburg University, Legal Science, PhD
1975 University of Tartu, Faculty of Law, BA (cum laude)