Legal Market Overview
After a strong year for transactions and capital markets work in 2018, the Finnish market has somewhat slowed, with private M&A and IPOs much rarer in 2019. Public-to-private M&A and one-on-one deals are on the rise, as are revenue-raising capital markets transactions and financing arrangements. Mostly notable was the €4.6bn public tender offer for Amer Sports by Mascot Bidcot, the largest such offer in Finnish history. The anticipation of a potential economic downturn and an unstable political situation has led to increased wariness by foreign investors, although the impact of a busy year in neighbouring Sweden has kept the market relatively active.
Finland’s extensive collection of long-running cartel investigations are slowly coming to an end, though a European Court of Justice ruling on economic succession could lead to a renewed series of damages claims in the coming years. In its place, many competition practices are dealing with the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority’s decision to open Phase II investigations into multiple mergers, with a lack of public authority resources likely to keep cases in the courts for several years.
While GDPR has passed its initial implementation stage, firms engaged in IP, life sciences and technology mandates are now faced with the implementation of the new Finnish Trademark Act, which has moved the application process online and tightened rules on pending trade marks.
The most significant change in the legal market can be found in the field of competition; boutique firm Frontia Attorneys at Law Ltd was founded by high-profile partners from Hannes Snellman and Roschier. In the market more generally, the group of leading firms remains largely unchanged with Hannes Snellman, Roschier and Castrén & Snellman dominating, closely followed by Krogerus and Borenius. Boutique litigation firms have also seen notable success, particularly in the fields of financial disputes and white-collar crime.