Corporate/M&A - Finland
Jan Kuhlefelt is this firm's primary figure in Finnish M&A, known for his extensive experience across all types of transactions. He recently worked on a case for Rudus, in which he advised the client on its acquisition of Lemminkäinen Rakennustuotteet. The business was purchased from Lemminkäinen Corporation for EUR55 million.
Jan Örndahl has a broad knowledge of major M&A cases. He is often involved in cross-border mandates, such as advising German private equity house Capiton and its portfolio company, Schur Flexibles, on the acquisition of KWH Plast.
New entrant to the rankings Kimmo Rekola is the team's key partner in private equity and venture capital matters. Sources say he is a very experienced lawyer who is "easy to work with" in sizeable transactions. Recently, he combined his expertise in venture capital and ICT to advise Index Ventures on its EUR100 million acquisition of Supercell.
Pekka Jaatinen is well versed in M&A matters involving insurance providers and financial institutions, alongside his market-leading insolvency work. Of late he has advised Pohjola Group on its acquisition of the Finnish branch business of Skandia Life Assurance.
Heidi Paalanen-Koev is this firm's foremost expert in transactions involving Russia. She works closely with the Moscow and St Petersburg offices to assist Nordic clients with a wide range of complex mandates in the Russian market.
Foreign Desks The Russia desk comprises two lawyers handling inbound and outbound work between Moscow, St Petersburg and Helsinki. The team works closely with the firm's offices in Russia. Heidi Paalanen-Koev is the key contact.
Uwe Uusitalo leads the German desk, which includes a team of five lawyers who are fluent German speakers and act on matters relating to German-speaking countries. The group handles transactional and dispute resolution work, and a recent case was representing Gasmet Technologies in the acquisition of ANSYCO Analytische Systeme und Componenten.
Johan Aalto maintains his position at the top end of the market. He works with numerous large-scale clients and recently advised Ahlstrom on the combination of its label and processing business with Swedish paper company Munksjö. Sources deem him a "very talented" lawyer who exercises "superb judgement" in major cases.
Managing partner Mikko Heinonen is an esteemed presence in the field, noted for his "solution-oriented" approach to major transactions. A member of the New York Bar, he is a particularly popular choice on international matters. He recently advised rental services company Ramirent on its partial joint venture with Cramo, a transaction involving the Russian and Ukrainian operations of the two companies.
New entrant to the rankings Sten Olsson is well regarded for his work in industrial and private equity-related M&A. Clients offer strong praise: "He is one of the few lawyers in Finland who combines commercial, pragmatic judgement with legal knowledge," and "He is skilful and experienced – his negotiation skills are such that a solution or compromise will always be found." Recent case highlights include advising Vaaka Partners Buyout Fund II on its acquisition of Finnish digital services business Solita.
Riikka Rannikko remains an active player, particularly in industrial transactions, such as advising Hartwall Capital on its role as a principal investor in the joint venture between Karelia-Upofloor and Kährs. She also has notable experience of working with clients in the media and grocery sectors.
Anu Mattila continues to be recognised as a leading figure for advising on Russian and Ukrainian transactions. She has notable expertise in mandates with real estate and industrial aspects.
Head of M&A Jouni Salmi is noted for his activity with large-scale industrial clients, recently acting for Rautaruukki on the combination of its engineering operations with Komas Group's operations across various European jurisdictions, a deal of some EUR114 million. Sources value his previous experience as in-house counsel, saying it "gives him knowledge of how corporations work from a business perspective, and a sense of what is required in M&A deals and what is not."
Jon Unnérus is the team's leading figure in private equity and technology-related cases, and he has further established himself this year by acting on such significant mandates as advising Nokia on its sale of product development and licensing company Qt Commercial to Digia. Sources state: "He is very responsive and proactive, and acts as a good sounding board for discussing tactics and approaches to a transaction, instead of just providing yes or no answers on legal risk."
Paula Linna has substantial expertise in public M&A and capital markets-related regulatory matters. Recently this has included advising European construction group YIT on the demerger of its building systems business to form Caverion, with the newly formed company due to be listed on the Helsinki stock exchange.
Jan-Anders Wik has a broad corporate practice, covering public and private M&A and corporate advisory work. Of late he has represented Norwegian food group Kavli Holding in its purchase of Finnish food producer Raisio's non-dairy business.
Manne Airaksinen is well known for his expertise in corporate governance, with sources saying he is "an impressive lawyer in the area." He gains further praise for corporate advisory work. There is also a transactional element to his practice, and he recently assisted Metsäliitto Cooperative with the sale of 24.9% of its shares in Metsä Fibre to Itochu.
Toni Siimes remains an up-and-coming figure in Finnish corporate and M&A circles. He is particularly experienced in private equity matters and cross-border transactions, alongside his activity as head of the firm's restructuring and insolvency practice.
Christian Wik has experience of numerous cases with Belgian and Swedish concerns, particularly those involving the EC and the EU courts.
Mårten Willamo has a major presence in the Finnish-Swedish transactional market, thanks in part to being qualified in both countries. Recent pan-Nordic case highlights include assisting private equity fund FSN Capital LP II with its divestment of regional health and fitness company Actic Group to European private equity firm IK Investment Partners.
Petri Haussila remains one of the market leaders in Finnish and international corporate and M&A mandates. Clients appreciate his long-standing position at the top end of the market, stating: "He is obviously a very experienced lawyer, who gets involved in projects when it's crunch time."
Highly regarded M&A lawyer Timo Airisto draws respect for his transactional prowess. He is an established presence in internationally oriented mandates, such as advising Itochu on its EUR472 million acquisition of 24.9% of Metsä Fibre from Metsäliitto Cooperative and Metsä Board.
Risto Ojantakanen is admired by clients as a "straightforward and honest lawyer with good expertise" in cross-border, public and private M&A mandates. He also has significant experience in corporate law advisory matters, assisting the boards and managers of high-profile Finnish companies with various corporate and regulatory issues.
The prominence of Janko Lindros continues to grow thanks to his activity on numerous significant M&A transactions. Recently this has included advising Ahlström Capital on its concerns in the divestment of AR Packaging Group's beverage business area to Graphic Packaging Holding.
Jyrki Tähtinen is best known for his extensive work on major private equity mandates. Clients state: "He brings a lot of experience and credibility to the table. He knows the legal side of things but is also business-minded, which is very helpful." Recent case highlights include advising investors Vaaka Partners, Suomen Teollisuussijoitus, Etera and private minority shareholders on their sale of shares in technical building systems provider EMC Talotekniikka to Imtech Traffic & Infra.
Managing partner Jari Vikiö remains a highly respected presence. He has substantial experience across a range of domestic and international private equity and industrial transactions. Lately he has acted on Elisa's acquisition of PPO-Yhtiöt and a purchase of shares in Telekarelia, both Finnish ICT companies, from PPO Osuuskunta.
Department head Ari Kaarakainen is appreciated for his prowess in M&A, recently assisting listed software company Anite with its acquisition of Elektrobit System Test, including business assets in the USA and China, from publicly listed technology developer Elektrobit Group. He is noted for his knowledge of the financing aspects of major transactions.
Andreas Doepel is well known for his broad corporate and M&A practice, notably for his expertise in company law. He heads the firm's Nordic desk, and recently assisted regional broadcasting group Teracom Group with the sale of its shares in Finnish Digi TV Plus to major telecoms player DNA.
Riku Paanila is a member of the German Bar Association and frequently acts on cases involving German clients, or for Finnish clients in the German market, across areas including corporate and commercial law, competition law and dispute resolution.
Sha Wang heads the firm's China desk in Helsinki. She is eligible to practise law in China, and offers international clients insight and experience on a broad range of cases with Chinese concerns, primarily in corporate law and IP-related matters.
Foreign Desks The German desk advises clients on inbound and outbound transactions involving corporate and commercial, competition and litigation matters. The team includes a number of German-qualified and German-speaking lawyers. Riku Paanila is the key contact.
The firm's China desk is headed by Sha Wang in Helsinki. The team advises international clients on their investments in China, and is also able to assist Chinese clients with their business in Finland.
The Russia desk, which comprises five lawyers, assists Russian clients with their investments into Finland, and advises Finnish clients on their work in Russia. The team has impressive transactional experience and in-depth knowledge of tax structures in cross-border deals. Mika Salonen is the key contact.
The outstanding Ulf-Henrik Kull is widely regarded as "one of the best lawyers on the market." Another source further says: "What makes him different is that he gives you broader advice – everyone knows the law, but cannot always advise you on what it means in a real-life situation. That's where he comes into his own."
Carl-Henrik Wallin is an increasingly active figure in the transactional market, alongside his corporate governance advisory work and managing partner responsibilities. He has a notable presence with clients in the media sector, recently advising Alma Media on the sale of Mascus, its online marketplace for heavy machinery, to Mascus International.
Mathias Lindqvist has become an established presence in the market, thanks to his experience of advising major clients. A key example was advising Lemminkäinen on the EUR55 million divestment of its concrete business to Rudus. Clients appreciate that he is "very to the point, and puts effort into explaining the business logic behind his solutions, and the implications of his advice."
Newly ranked Ilkka Perheentupa is regarded as a very skilled lawyer with a good work ethic. He assisted digital agency Activeark and its shareholders with the sale of a majority interest in the company to international advertising agency JWT Group.
Mika Ståhlberg is widely considered to be one of the most prominent figures in the field. Lately he has acted on a variety of large-scale cases, such as advising major private healthcare provider Pihlajalinna on its acquisition of Dextra.
Kimmo Mettälä has extensive professional experience outside of Finland and is a popular choice on cases with a cross-border element, such as advising Finnish SOK Corporation on the divestment of 60% of its stake in Hankkija-Maatalous to Danish agriculture group DLA International Holding.
Samuli Palin is a "trustworthy and reliable" partner who is best known for his activity in real estate-related M&A cases, although he also offers experience in private equity and general corporate matters.
Sami Martola is the team's rising star, recognised by clients for "providing an excellent service – he is very responsive and quick, and accurate in everything he does."
Jan Waselius has decades of experience working across the full range of Finnish and international corporate and M&A matters. He is noted for his knowledge of banking-related M&A, recently acting for domestic investment banking and asset management group ICECAPITAL Securities on its sale of ICECAPITAL Asset Management to Finnish bank eQ.
Mikko Eerola is considered an "enthusiastic and knowledgeable" lawyer by interviewees. Lately he has been especially active in advising major foreign companies on their Finnish M&A concerns, such as assisting Dutch ICT giant Royal Imtech, and its Finnish subsidiary Imtech Traffic & Infra, with the acquisition of technical services provider EMC Talotekniikka.
Since publication, Mikko Eerola has joined Dittmar & Indrenius
Clients consider Matti Ylä-Mononen to a good negotiator. Highlights include advising Nokia Siemens Networks on the divestment of its fixed network services in Finland and Estonia to regional telecoms player Boftel.
Managing partner Jori Taipale is appreciated as a highly skilled M&A practitioner who acts on a variety of private equity and industrial deals. One example was advising Pension Fennia on the preparatory aspects of its large-scale merger with Tapiola Pension.
Harri Hynninen is noted for his strong expertise in private equity matters. He was part of the team which advised Stonesoft on its voluntary public tender offer for all shares and option rights in the company.
Managing partner Jan Ollila is one of the leading figures in Finnish corporate and M&A. Despite his managing partner responsibilities he is still highly active in advising major corporate clients, recently assisting Nordic Capital Fund VII with its acquisition of clothing and textile distributors Ellos and Jotex from French fashion group PPR.
Widely respected M&A lawyer Anders Carlberg is often involved in pan-Nordic mandates, such as advising Finnish insurance player P&C, a subsidiary of Sampo Bank, on its acquisition of Danish insurance company Tryg.
Antti Kuusimäki receives plaudits for his M&A prowess, with one source commenting that "he is one of the most talented lawyers I have ever met in Finland." He advised Finnish auditing firm Suomen Kuntaliitto on its sale of a 91% stake in Audiator to the Finnish arm of BDO, an international accountancy group.
Wilhelm Eklund is seen as one of the rising figures in the field. He was part of the team assisting Finnish directory services company Fonecta with its acquisition of domestic software designer Ideakone.
Foreign Experts (Based Abroad)
Christina Tolvas-Vincent of Bond Dickinson is a Finnish-qualified lawyer who specialises in employment law.
Eero Rautalahti of Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP in London has an international, public-focused M&A practice, advising on joint ventures, IPOs and other equity and debt offerings. He is qualified in Finland and the UK, and works with clients from across Europe on cross-border transactions in sectors such as mining, energy, agriculture and ICT.
Hamburg-based Dirk Kocher of Latham & Watkins is recognised as a prominent figure in cross-border corporate cases involving the German and Finnish markets, encompassing public and private M&A, capital markets and financial restructuring. He is vice-chairman of the board of the Finnish-German Trade Association in Hamburg.
Finnish-born Isabella Ramsay of Mannheimer Swartling works closely with the firm's Finnish clients on an array of pan-Nordic M&A and corporate cases.
Jura Junnila of McGuireWoods London LLP is a dual-qualified solicitor who has substantial experience working in the Finnish, UK and Baltic markets. His expertise in cross-border cases extends across many aspects of corporate, M&A and finance law.
Highly experienced shipping and international trade lawyer Ian Ross of Ross & Co Solicitors has profound knowledge of the Finnish shipping market thanks to his extensive experience in the jurisdiction. He is a long-standing member of the Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce.
Aku Sorainen, founding partner of Baltic firm SORAINEN, is of Finnish origin and has broad experience of acting on major pan-Baltic corporate transactions with significant Finnish aspects. He is a member of the Finnish Bar Association.