EU and competition in Finland
Castrén & Snellman works on complex and high-profile competition matters including disputes, abuse of dominance issues and cartels cases. The experienced Sari Hiltunen leads the practice, while the 'business-minded, and pragmatic' Anna Kuusniemi-Laine and Jussi Nieminen are highly recommended for their work in public procurement and private enforcement matters respectively. In a recent highlight, the team successfully represented Valio against predatory pricing claims; other notable clients including OP Financial Group and Finnish Customs.
‘Practical and to the point approach, exceptionally analytical and great industry understanding.‘
‘Areas of activity of the C&S team important to us include general competition law, public procurement and state aid related cases and assignments including contract law. Definitively one of the best law firms in Helsinki in terms of pragmatic and easy-going yet professional approach. From our perspective the firm has enough resources in busy situations and are also easily accessible.’
‘In addition to superior knowledge on different aspects of competition and public procurement legislation, the C&S team is on its own level when it comes to understanding the business strategies. Furthermore they have exceptional communication skills both orally and in written form to explain difficult legal matters in pragmatic and understandable way also to top management. When all this is combined with good price-quality balance they are clearly the best team in Finland.’
‘Anna Kuusniemi-Laine can be described as efficient, business-minded and pragmatic in her practice. Anna emphasizes understanding of the business and activities of the client, which we find very valuable. She possesses strong knowledge and experience in competition law including state aid and procurement law cases domestically and on the EU level. She has also developed a growing reputation in the area of sustainable and impact procurement processes and procedures. Jussi Nieminen is also very experienced and can be relied on in demanding cases in the area of competition law and contract law. He is able to give very pragmatic and high standard advice and understands the special nature of different business areas of the clients we work with.‘
OP Financial Group
- Represented Valio in a follow-on damages case related to the Supreme Administrative court’s decision on an abuse of dominant position.
- Representing Pohjolan Liikenne in cartel proceedings relating to the bus and coach transportation cartels.
- Representing Teosto in an alleged abuse of a dominant position investigation before the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority.
Dittmar & Indrenius maintains a strong presence in major competition matters regularly representing clients in significant cartel investigations taking place in Finland, alongside accompanying antitrust cases for local municipalities. Other notable work includes merger control issues, competition advice, state aid work and public procurement proceedings; the group recently handled a notable case regarding the acquisition of a public procurement provider by the Finnish state. The practice is led by Ilkka Leppihalme, who is a competition expert specialising in cartel investigations, damages actions and abuses of dominance. Senior attorney Heidi Muukkonen is also a key name to note.
‘The important goal of speedy and high quality assistance is well achieved by the team.’
City of Espoo
Fennia Mutual Insurance Company
Auris Kaasunjakelu Oy
Veho Oy Ab
Ahlström Capital Oy
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA)
Kämp Collection Hotels
Trustly Group AB
Örum Oy Ab
- Representing the City of Espoo and a number of other municipalities in a precedent-setting series of antitrust cases relating to the asphalt cartel proceedings.
- Advising KL-Kuntahankinnat on its merger with Hansel, the Finnish Government’s central purchasing entity, owned by the Finnish state.
- Successfully represented Nobina in a high-profile state aid case, in which the European Commission ruled Helsingin Bussiliikenne had received illegal state aid funds.
The 'highly skilled and competent' team at Roschier acts across the full spectrum of European and competition law matters, with practice heads Christian Wik and Ami Paanajärvi leveraging deep expertise in merger control, abuse of dominance, state aid and antitrust litigation; the group regularly argues cases before the European courts. Clients stem from a variety of industries with examples including Nokia, Tieto and Bonnier Broadcasting; Wik also represented Arla in the FCAA's investigation and subsequent Market Court proceedings into abuse of dominance by Valio. Niko Hukkinen departed to Frontia Attorneys at Law Ltd in 2019.
Christian Wik; Ami Paanajärvi
‘Professional, enthusiastic, proactive as well as responsive in their work.‘
‘The attendance to matters is very high and we have a very good experience working with the firm.‘
‘We have been fortunate to work with Ami Paanajärvi and her team at Roschier. They were all very professional, enthusiastic, proactive as well as responsive in their work. Much appreciated. ‘
‘Strong expertise in competition law – best in class.’
‘Christian Wiik understands business needs, he is available for both the big assignments but also available for brief discussions.‘
‘Roschier excel in both legal matters and in customer service. The communication is quick and clear, and there is no threshold in contacting the team at any moment with any concerns. They are considerate both in legal matters as well as the business-aspects of any given situation; they recognise that what could be a good legal decision could be a bad business decision and vice-versa. The main strength is that we can trust the judgement of Roschier which is expressed through excellent legal expertise.’
‘The team was devoted and capable, as well as business oriented! Proactive but still cost conscious!‘
‘Ami Paanajärvi had a capability to explain complex legal processes and regulations in plain text, so that we non-lawyers also understood. Also she and her team were easy to work with.‘
Arla Ingman Oy
Stora Enso Oyj
Carlsberg/Oy Sinebrychoff Ab
Eltel Networks and Eltel Group
Bonnier Broadcasting SJ AB
- Advising Bonnier on its sale of Bonnier Broadcasting to Telia.
- Represented the Eltel companies in cartel proceedings in the Market Court, which involved allegations by the FCCA relating to an infringement.
- Representing Pro-Keskus in a sectorial inquiry into the liberalisation of the taxi services market conducted by FCCA.
Avance Attorneys Ltd acts for clients in merger control work, competition law matters relating to mergers and abuse of dominance cases alongside state aid and public procurement proceedings. Clients include healthcare companies, private equity and insurance funds, public bodies and trade associations. The practice is jointly led by Mikko Alkio, Katja Jaakkola and newly-hired senior economist Petri Rouvinen, who joined from the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
Mikko Alkio; Katja Jaakkola; Petri Rouvinen
‘Mikko Alkio and Katja Jaakkola are excellent, fast, and innovative lawyers.‘
Adelis Equity Partners
If P&C Insurance Ltd
Medialiitto ry (the Finnish Media Federation)
The City of Tampere
Colosseum Dental Group
University of Eastern Finland
- Acted for If P&C Insurance in an antitrust investigation before the FCCA concerning the alleged abuse of a dominant position by OP Group.
- Represented the Finnish Media Federation in a state aid complaint procedure before the European Commission.
- Advised University of Eastern Finland on the establishment of Neurocenter Finland.
Borenius has a strong and varied practice, which represents clients in high-profile and contentious competition matters including state aid, antitrust and public procurement proceedings, phase II merger control filings and investigations; the group is also involved in the high-profile asphalt and bus cartel cases. The practice is led by Ilkka Aalto-Setälä, who is an antitrust expert with a strong record in advising businesses and governmental bodies on national and EU-level competition matters. In a recent highlight, the group represented the City of Helsinki in a precedent-setting state aid case relating to €54m in allegedly unlawful state aid funds paid to Helsingin Bussiliikenne, the highest such figure to be contested in Finland.
‘Borenius is very customer orientated, offering high quality services for versatile needs. Highly capable and fast, keeps its promises.‘
‘Highly skilled individuals, high level of quality and service attitude.‘
‘They have strong experience, they can come up with innovative and creative solutions. I am impressed by their abilities.‘
‘They are very experienced and successful in the field of EU and competition law.‘
‘They are very customer-oriented.’
NCC Industry Oy
The City of Helsinki
Kela – the Social Insurance Institution of Finland
Nordea Bank Finland Plc
Oy Matkahuolto Ab
The Finnish Bus and Coach Association
The Finnish Real Estate Management Federation
The Finnish Taxi Drivers Association
Valmet Automotive Oy
Fox Networks Group
- Advising the City of Helsinkin in state aid proceedings relating to an alleged €54m in incompatible state aid funds paid to Helsingin Bussiliikenne.
- Representing the Finnish Bus and Coach Association in the high-profile bus cartel case.
- Representing Destia in a precedent-setting public procurement case before the Supreme Administrative Court.
Frontia Attorneys at Law Ltd
Frontia Attorneys at Law Ltd is a significant new entrant to the Finnish market, with experienced practice heads Niko Hukkinen and Mikael Wahlbeck joining from Roschier and Hannes Snellman respectively. The firm has quickly established itself as a prominent player in the practice area and represents significant clients in the construction and forestry sectors including YIT and UPM-Kymmene. Notable matter highlights include acting in the high-profile asphalt cartel cases and handling private enforcement work, horizontal cooperation matters and competition issues relating to M&A transactions.
Niko Hukkinen; Mikael Wahlbeck
‘Frontia is a new boutique firm in Finland specialised in competition law, public procurement and dispute resolution, bringing high level of expertise and long experience together under the same law firm. Leading individuals in this firm are some of the best in their practice areas in Finland.‘
‘Partner Niko Hukkinen provides practical, first-class advice on areas of competition law. He is the one to turn to for help in most difficult competition law cases.‘
‘A team of well-known and highly qualified lawyers without the fuss from a big firm. A welcome addition to the Finnish market.‘
‘Mikael Wahlbeck has the ability to make competition law understandable and, due to his in depth knowledge, is not afraid to give clear pragmatic recommendations that will stand up to external tests.’
‘Probably the best competence in Finland in their key areas: competition and litigation. Team consists of hand picked individuals who are guaranteed to know their business. Approachable and low key, no-nonsense type of service provided by experienced partners. I also appreciate the hands-on attitude by the experienced partners.‘
‘Niko Hukkinen is a great sparring partner and available for providing his insights and input on the spot without creating meter-long disclaimers in writing. That is what you need in an advisor: quick response and courage to provide an opinion.‘
The Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency
The City of Espoo
- Representing Thermisol in the Market Court against allegations of illegal market cooperation.
- Representing YIT in asphalt cartel proceedings.
- Successfully defended UPM-Kymmene against over 1500 private enforcement claims.
The practice at Hannes Snellman focuses on complex merger control issues alongside handling the full spectrum of competition law issues for a list of corporate clients including Kesko, Aspo and Orion. Mikko Huimala leads the practice with Maria Wasastjerna; Wasastjerna joined from an in-house position at Nokia and bolstered the team's commercial expertise. In a recent mandate, Anna-Maria Tamminen successfully defended UPL-Kymmene against over 1500 claims relating to the round wood cartel case. The group has also notably expanded at the junior level with multiple associate and senior associate recruitments. Mikael Wahlbeck departed to Frontia Attorneys at Law Ltd.
Mikko Huimala; Maria Wasastjerna
‘Practical and always available. Quick and simple solutions to everyday issues.‘
‘Maria Wasastjerna has a unique combination of academic knowledge with extensive global practical experience from a multinational. Maria can identify the essential and solve problems with a very strong business mindset. In addition, she is extremely nice to work with.‘
‘Mikko Huimala, Partner: Superb. Analytical but very practical at the same time. Easy to work with.‘
Asiakastieto Group Plc
- Acted as Finnish counsel to Evry on its combination with Tieto through a cross-border merger.
- Successfully defended UPM against over 1500 private enforcement cases brought against Stora Enso and Metsäliitto.
- Acted for YIT on the €280m sale of its paving and mineral aggregates businesses in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark to Peab and the related merger control aspects.
Jointly led by Tuomas Saraste and Jouni Alanen, the team at HPP Attorneys is a key name for clients involved in high-profile cartel and antitrust proceedings and also fields a strong public procurement and state aid practice, which acts for clients in the aviation, energy and construction industries. The group is particularly active in recent high-profile cartel investigations including the insulation and power transmission line cartels, and regularly argues cases before the Supreme Administrative Court and the European Court of Justice.
Tuomas Saraste; Jouni Alanen
‘Very efficient team with personal service and extremely professional competence.‘
‘Partner Tuomas Saraste is an extraordinarily good lawyer.‘
The Finnish Plastics Recycling
State of Finland
- Representing UK-Muovi in the EPS insulation cartel proceedings.
- Representing Eltel before the Supreme Administrative Court and ECJ in power transmission line cartel proceedings.
- Represented Metsäliitto against a claim brought by state-owned Metsähallitus regarding the commercial effects of competition restraints.
Experienced pair Katri Joenpolvi and Leena Lindberg head up the practice at Krogerus, which works on merger control matters, public procurement and EU litigation including state aid and horizontal cooperation disputes. The team also has a strong focus on the healthcare and pharmaceuticals industries, and recently successfully represented the University of Helsinki Pharmacy in an appeal to the General Court of the European Union regarding whether its favourable regulatory and tax treatment constitute state aid. Other notable clients include Samsung, Nordic and Danske Bank. Senior associates Simo Autio and Tulia Tanskanen are also noteworthy individuals.
Katri Joenpolvi; Leena Lindberg
‘Talented, innovative and high quality team.’
‘Leena Lindberg (Partner) and Tuulia Tanskanen (Senior Associate) are both committed and highly talented experts. Both of them are innovative and have great knowledge of the industry.’
Finnish Food and Drink Industries’ Federation
Danske Bank Oyj
- Successfully represented DNA before the European Commission in opposing Telia’s vertical integration into the broadcasting market through its acquisition of Bonnier Broadcasting.
- Acted for the University of Helsinki and University of Helsinki Pharmacy in an appeal to the General Court of the European Union.
- Representing Nobina, the largest public transport service provider in the Nordic region, in an appeal against a Market Court decision to the Supreme Administrative Court concerning the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority’s bus services procurement in the Helsinki metropolitan area.
The 'trusted' team at Merilampi Attorneys Ltd, which handles the full range of competition mandates, is led by public procurement specialist Erkko Ruohoniemi and also fields Satu-Anneli Kauranen, who focuses on merger control and vertical dominance matters. The group's expertise encompasses merger control matters, abuse of dominance issues, market position work and public procurement proceedings. The practice also has notable litigation capability, and recently successfully represented Länsilinjat in the bus cartel proceedings.
‘Really good, trusted team.‘
‘Erkko Ruohoniemi is one of the best public procurement lawyers in Finland.‘
‘Erkko Ruohoniemi knows his public procurement legislation all the way. Very good at getting on top of the current matter quickly and giving practical advice and analysis.‘
Posti Group Corporation
Isku Interior Ltd
- Represented Länsilinjat before the Supreme Administrative Court in the bus cartel case.
- Advised Posti on its acquisition of Suomen Transval. The deal was approved by the FCCA in Phase 2 subject to conditions.
- Representing Elisa before the Supreme Administrative Court in two separate appeal cases concerning significant market power decisions by the Finnish telecom regulator Traficom.
Bird & Bird advises corporate clients on competition-related matters and primarily focuses on merger control filings and day-to-day advice on competition law considerations. The team also acts in contentious matters, including pricing and abuse of dominance proceedings. Practice head Katia Duncker is an experienced transactional lawyer and assists numerous business clients with competition and antitrust issues.
- Advising Finnish media group MTV on competition law work.
- Advised Terra Firma on the acquisition of Parmaco Group from MB Funds and the related notification to the FCCA.
- Advising Lähitaksi on competition law-related matters.
'Highly skilled and experienced' lawyer Mika Oinonen heads up the team at DLA Piper, which assists clients with a range of competition matters including merger control work, competition analyses and state aid issues as well as acting in cartel proceedings and horizontal and vertical dominance cases. The firm's international reach enables the practice to act on significant cross-border transactions for international clients.
‘Top-quality, prompt and easy-to-work with.‘
‘Partner Mika Oinonen is highly skilled and experienced as well as a brilliant lawyer; associate Auriina Holck, a rising star, is also a name to note.‘
‘They have excellent information on competition law.’
‘They are experts. They make people understand what to do and how to act. They are effective and convincing.’
- Advising Kaslink as the seller in merger control proceedings.
Olli Hyvönen leads the department at Eversheds Asianajotoimisto Oy / Eversheds Attorneys Ltd (a member of Eversheds Sutherland), which focuses on state aid and antitrust cases. The team has argued several cases at the European level and is involved in precedent-setting cases including representing the City of Vantaa in the asphalt cartel damages case and acting for Helsingin Bussiliikenne in a state aid case before the European Court of Justice.
‘Excellent knowledge and connections to the European Commission’s decision-making process.’
‘We have very diverse needs, related to public administration. The needs are rarely ones that we can foresee or that would repeat. Thus, it is very valuable for us that Eversheds has a large team themselves and we can always rely on finding the best fitted experts to suit our needs.‘
‘We have always been met by dedicated and helpful individuals, who are able to understand our specific needs.‘
City of Vantaa
Koiviston Auto Group
Helsingin Bussiliikenne Oy
Salon Energiantuotanto/Vapo Oy
Jyväskylän ammattikorkeakoulu JAMK
Regional Council of South-West Finland
Northern Ostrobotnia Hospital District
ISS Palvelut Oy
- Represented Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences in a public procurement matter in the Market Court and subsequently in the Supreme Administrative Court when JAMK appealed the decision of the Market Court.
- Representing nine municipalities in follow-on damages litigation relating to a nationwide asphalt pavement cartel.
- Representing Koiviston Auto Group in antitrust proceedings.
Mentula & Väätäinen Attorneys Ltd
The practice at Mentula & Väätäinen Attorneys Ltd is led by Arttu Mentula, who is a litigation and competition lawyer and has represented clients in a number of high-profile and precedent-setting cases before the national and European courts. The group acts for clients across a range of industries including the food retail, trade association and technology sectors. In a recent highlight, Mentula represented Skanska Industrial Solutions in a key case before the European Court of Justice involving a precedent-setting preliminary judgement relating to follow-on damages in the asphalt cartel case.
‘Flexible, knowledgeable and efficient team.’
‘Tapio Väätäinen is an excellent attorney, who is highly capable of analysing difficult situations and proposing solutions to them. Arttu Mentula brings high value with his ability to combine his extensive knowledge with the customer’s current situation. He is very customer oriented.‘
MTech Digital Solutions Oy
The Finnish Bakery Federation
- Represented Osuuskunta Maitomaa and Osuuskunta Maitokolmio against Valio before the District Court of Helsinki on a matter in which local dairies claimed damages caused by Valio’s predatory pricing.
- Defended Mtech Digital Solutions, ProAgria and Faba before the Appeal Court of Helsinki against damages claims arising from their alleged dominant position.
- Representing the Finnish Bakery Federation before the Supreme Administrative Court in claims relating to an alleged infringement of competition law and price recommendations.
Lotta Uusitalo and Asta Siponen jointly head up the practice at Procopé & Hornborg, which acts for clients across a range of competition matters with a particular strength in contentious work including cartel cases, damages actions and industrial disputes. In a recent contentious highlight, the team successfully represented Fenniarail against state rail monopoly VR Group and secured an unfair pricing judgement.
Lotta Uusitalo; Asta Siponen
- Acted for Fenniarail in a case against VR Group before the Finnish Rail Regulatory Body relating to alleged unfair pricing and other pricing regulation issues.
The team at Waselius & Wist acts across the full range of competition matters, with a particular focus on merger control work and public procurement litigation. Practice head Lotta Pohjanpalo successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care before the Market Court in litigation against the Joint Municipal Authority of the Hospital District of Central Finland. Other clients include Bayer, NRC Group, Commonwealth Bank and First State Investments. Litigator Bernt Juthström is also a key name to note.
‘The Waselius & Wist team provides an undeniably compelling choice in the market. Their ability to handle complex issues with simplicity cannot be understated.‘
Maksuturva Group Oy
- Successfully represented Ascensia Diabetes Care Finland in public procurement litigation before the Market Court relating to a major procurement by the Joint Municipal Authority of the Hospital District of South Ostrobotnia of blood glucose meters and test strips.
- Advised NRC Group on the Finnish competition law aspects of its acquisition of VR Track, a subsidiary of the Finnish state-owned railway operator VR Group.
- Advised Marfina and its subcontractor CityBike Finland on a public tender relating to a major procurement by the City of Vantaa of a city bike system comprising 1,000 bikes and 100 city bike stations in Vantaa, Finland.
Mäkitalo Attorneys Ltd specialises in public procurement work and regularly advises clients on construction projects including power plants, hospitals and regional planning issues The team is led by construction and energy sector expert Aimo Halonen and also provides competition law advice to public institutions; example clients include the Finnish Ministry of Finance.
‘The team is the right size to be flexible and competent. They have a good track record in Finnish public jurisdiction topics.‘
‘Our contact’s speed of response and service mindset has been appreciated. They are also able to challenge public organisations’ opinions bringing their views and opinions to help the customer to proceed with digitalisation in Finnish social and healthcare processes and organisations.‘
Ministry of Finance
- Advised SoteDigi on contract negotiations and public procurement matters.
- Advising Lounavoima on the public procurement aspects of the construction of its waste-to-energy plant in Salo, Finland.
- Advising the Finnish Ministry of Finance on competition law-related issues.
Boutique commercial, corporate and litigation firm Merkurius Attorneys focuses on competition work and primarily acts for clients in cartel investigations and public procurement mandates. Practice head Kirsi-Marja Salokangas is a 'competent and professional' public procurement specialist and also handles abuse of dominance and state aid cases. A recent notable mandate for the practice was successfully defending Länsilinjat in the bus cartel proceedings before the Market Court and Supreme Administrative Court.
‘The team is very professional, and they all have unique skills which makes them stronger together. They are very flexible in serving the customer.‘
‘Their team work is effortless, quick and seamless.‘
Business Tampere Oy
Tampereen Sähkölaitos Group
Oy Woikoski Ab
Nokas CMS Oy
- Represented Länsilinjat in a high-profile cartel case brought against several bus companies as part of an FCCA investigation before the Market Court and the Supreme Administrative Court.
- Advised Tampereen Sähkölaitos on its successful public procurement of an ERP software.
- Successfully represented Woikoski in a public procurement appeal before the Market Court against Helsinki University Hospital.