Matiss D. Kukainis B.S.M.E., J.D., LL.M.

Partner, Attorney at Law

Admitted to Practice

Licensed Attorney / Attorney at Law - 2004
State Bar of Illinois, United States

Licensed Attorney / Sworn Advocate - 2007
Republic of Latvia

Education

LL.M. International and European Union Law - 2007
Riga Graduate School of Law - Riga, Latvia

J.D. Juris Doctor - 2004
Michigan State University College of Law
E. Lansing, MI, United States

B.S.M.E. Bachelor of Science - Mechanical Engineering - 2000
Michigan State University College of Engineering
E. Lansing, MI, United States

Other

Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia
Board Member (2017-2019 and 2019-2021)

American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia
President (2014-2015)
Vice President (2010-2014)
Board Member (2008-2015)

British Chamber of Commerce in Latvia
Board Member (2007-2009)

Lecturer - RISEBA University - Riga, Latvia
Business Law, International Law, and EU Structure/Law (2007 - 2016).

About

Matiss Kukainis is a licensed attorney both in Latvia and in the State of Illinois, USA (currently inactive), who is only one of a handful of attorneys who are licensed in both countries. Matiss was born and raised in the State of Michigan in the United States, and has been living and working in Latvia full-time since 2006. Matiss is a dual US and Latvian citizen.

Matiss holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Juris Doctor in Law from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, United States. He also holds an LL.M. in law from the Riga Graduate School of Law in Riga, Latvia. 

Experience

Matiss is a founding partner of the Latvian law firm Spigulis & Kukainis (established in 2008), where he specializes in all aspects of real estate law (including property right litigation, inheritance, sale, lease or management of properties, including farmland, forest / timber, and the transparent valuation of same), inheritance law (including wills, trusts, succession planning, and inheritance disputes), and business law.

In real estate transactions and inheritance matters, Matiss has represented clients from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, El Salvador, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States, Venezuela, and more. Thus, Matiss most likely is familiar with issues that affect your specific matter with regard to tax issues to consider, and specific document requirements that pertain to your domicile country.

Examples of work performed are due diligence and representing clients during the acquisition, sale, lease and/or management of large commercial properties, sawmills, large and small residential buildings (including shares of buildings) in Riga and outside of Riga, and more or less any type of transaction relating to property. In 2018 Matiss represented the buyer in the most expensive apartment purchase transaction in Latvia in the last 4 years (2015-2019).
Matiss has represented clients in 100+ (one hundred plus) estate / inheritance matters over the years, assisting with almost any issue imaginable with regard to inheritance of property in Latvia, or the inheritance of other assets in Latvia.

Matiss also has extensive experience in the corporate law sector. In the corporate law sphere, Matiss regularly advises regarding company establishment, corporate governance, and any and all issues surrounding establishing and running a business in Latvia.

Other

Matiss is currently a Board Member (2017-2019, 2019-2021) of the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia. Matiss is a former American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia President (2014-2015), Vice President (2010-2014), and Board Member (2008-2015). Matiss also served as a Board Member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (2007-2009).

Matiss also has taught International Law, Business Law, and European Union Law, at the graduate and undergraduate level at various institutions in Latvia, having logged more than 1,400 direct contact/teaching hours. Matiss also has represented Latvia in the organization "Team Europe", a European Union organization composed of experts from academia from every European Union Member State, that meet periodically to discuss issues that are of significant importance to the development of the European Union.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Matiss worked in the metro Detroit area (USA), as an engineer at NISSAN automotive company, and as an engineering intern for MAGNA, one of the largest automotive suppliers in the world.

Family

Matiss’ parents live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and his father is the former president of the World Federation of Free Latvians (PBLA), American Latvian Association (ALA), and various other Latvian non-profit organizations. Matiss’ brother Robert is the Honorary Counsel to Latvia in South Carolina, United States. Matiss’ sister is an attorney in the State of Michigan, United States. Matiss is married and has a daughter.

Languages

Latvian and English