Matiss Kukainis is a Partner and Head of the Real Estate Practice Group at the full-service business law firm SPIGULIS & KUKAINIS (www.ska.lv), located in Old Town Riga, Latvia, which he co-founded in 2008. Matiss is a licensed attorney in the State of Illinois, United States (since 2004) and in the Republic of Latvia (since 2007). Matiss is a dual citizen of both the United States and Latvia.
Matiss holds both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) degree and Juris Doctor (JD) degree from Michigan State University (United States), as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the Riga Graduate School of Law (Latvia). Matiss was born and raised in Michigan and has been living and working in Latvia full-time since 2006. Prior to becoming an attorney, Matiss worked in Michigan as an engineer at the automotive company NISSAN.
Matiss has been elected as a Board Member of various organizations, for example, the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (2017 – 2019), the American Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (2008 – 2015, during which he served terms as both President and Vice President) and the British Chamber of Commerce in Latvia (2007 – 2009). Matiss has also taught Business and International Law at the graduate and undergraduate level at various institutions in Latvia, having logged more than 1,250 teaching hours, and has won various awards for his teaching abilities.
Matiss is a member of the student fraternity Talavija, a graduate of the Detroit Latvian Sunday School, and the Garezers Latvian Summer School (GVV). Matiss is married to Liga Upeslace-Kukaine, originally from Canada, who works at GROGLASS (www.groglass.lv) in Riga, Latvia. Matiss’ father, Janis Kukainis, is the former chairman of the PBLA and ALA, and his brother, Roberts Kukainis, is an Honorary Consul of the Republic of Latvia in South Carolina, USA.