Bird & Bird > Helsinki, Finland > Firm Profile

Bird & Bird

Finland > Employment Tier 2

Bird & Bird provides both domestic and international employment advice to its clients, including across business immigration, collective negotiations, and restructurings and outsourcings across the Nordic region. Practice head Maisa Nikkola is ‘a real professional‘, with extensive experience in a wide range of matters, including employment-related transactions, negotiations, trade union matters, and discrimination allegations. Teea Kemppinen is particularly strong in advising clients operating in the technology, energy and utilities sectors on cross-border employment issues, including complex disputes.

Practice head(s):

Maisa Nikkola

Other key lawyers:


The team is capable of working as real in-house lawyers: they understand business and the outside world and therefore are able to give the clients practical tips and advice. This team is really able to have sparring discussions with the client and they participate in finding the real soultions together with the client.’

All individuals in employment team are real professionals but also “normal people” with whom it is easy to discuss. They do not use legal jargon if not necessary and that is why it is easy to understand them and discuss with them. They are polite and discreet. It feels like they really enjoy what they are doing. Maisa Nikkola is super! She is a real professional but also one of the most delightful people I have ever met.

Key clients

Destia Oy


Sponsor Capital

Nordic Waterproofing Oy

Terra Firma and Metric Capital

Sponsor Fund IV Ky

Bocap SME Achievers Fund II

Work highlights

  • Advised Destia Oy on acquiring the share capital of Oulun Energia Urakointi Oy, a subsidiary of electrical network and traffic infrastructure provider Oulun Energia.
  • Advised DISQO, Inc. on its acquisition of certain assets from the Bankruptcy Estate of Verto Analytics Oy.
  • Advised private equity investor Sponsor Capital on the merger of LikeIt Group and Nepton Oy.

Finland > TMT Tier 2

The Helsinki team at Bird & Bird is linked up to a global network of offices, allowing it to ‘consistently provide clear, pragmatic advice‘ on multi-jurisdictional TMT matters, including international data protection and privacy work and IT system implementation programmes. It also has niche expertise in advising clients in the healthcare and automotive industries on financial arrangements. Practice head Sakari Halonen covers complex IT outsourcing and M&A transactions. Tobias Bräutigam is a key contact regarding global strategic data protection matters. Lasse Riski departed to Hannes Snellman in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Sakari Halonen

Other key lawyers:


We have worked with Bird & Bird for many years. They understand what we do well, listen to what we need and consistently provide clear, pragmatic advice grounded in a business context. Everyone is dedicated to providing a very high quality service and to making us feel valued as a client. We have many successful transactions behind us and look forward to working together on many more in the future.’

Sakari Halonen is excellent – a very commercially astute lawyer who understands our market, our business and us. He is focused on finding solutions and does what it takes to close the transaction in a good way. It is always a pleasure to work with him.’

Excellent and pragmatic advice. When we have an emergency they always are there for us.’

Sakari Halonen and Tobias Bräutigam need to be mentioned in particular.’

Key clients

Capgemini Group (Capgemini Finland Oy)

Cerner Corporation (Cerner Ireland Limited)

DXC (DXC Technology Finland Oy)

Nordic Morning Group Oyj

Edita Prima Oy

Profit Software Oy

Sogeti Finland Oy

HPE (Hewlett-Packard Oy)

Work highlights

  • Acted as the external general counsel for Capgemini Group in respect of its businesses and dealings in Finland as well as otherwise under the laws of Finland ranging from IT outsourcing transactions to various matters involving privacy advice, including advice on data retention and negotiation of various data processing agreements.
  • Advised Cerner Ireland Ltd on the large-scale public procurement tender process, where Cerner was chosen (by the Central Finland Hospital District, as the lead authority) as the provider of a patient data system to four hospital districts throughout Finland.
  • Advised Edita Prima on matters ranging from outsourcing transactions to various software and services agreements, as well as reseller arrangements involving privacy advice, including advice on data retention and negotiation of various data processing agreements.

Finland > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

The corporate and M&A team at Bird & Bird covers inbound transactions, as well as corporate and regulatory assistance, particularly for clients based in the US, Europe and Asia. It is especially strong in advising clients in the energy, technology and transportation sectors and has previously supported Finnish government ministries and cities on M&A transactions. Team leader Maria Carlsson is an expert in private M&A, acting primarily for international clients. Equity and debt capital markets specialist Laura Huomo  joined the team in mid-2021 from Roschier; she is qualified in both New York and Finland.

Practice head(s):

Maria Carlsson

Other key lawyers:


‘Wide range and quality of deep understanding of customers needs.’

‘Responsible leader and the team were true customer servers.’

‘Strong local knowledge combined with international network/capabilities.’

‘Experienced hands-on senior people with strong judgement and availability.’

Key clients

The City of Vantaa

Ministry of Transport and Communications

Prime Minister’s Office


Fintraffic Group

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation

Metric Capital


Terra Firma

Sponsor Fund IV Ky

Eezy Oyj

Pinja Group Oy

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium led by Terra Firma and Metric Capital on the structured sale of Parmaco to Partners Group. The deal value has potential to be around €400m.
  • Assisted Aiven Oy with its $100m venture capital funding round.
  • Advised the Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications on investment into joint venture companies Suomi-rata Oy and Turun Tunnin juna Oy, together with a total of over 20 Finnish municipalities.

Finland > Dispute resolution Tier 3

The dispute resolution team at Bird & Bird is noted for its experience in the Court of Appeal, the Finnish Supreme Court, and the Market Court. It covers contentious trade secret issues and white-collar crime matters, as well as construction and real estate-related litigation. Tom Vapaavuori co-heads the practice and is an ‘expert‘ in trade secret litigation, while co-head Mikko Rajala focuses on commercial and real estate disputes. ‘Future star‘ Jarno Sulasalmi was recently promoted to senior counsel and real estate specialist Essi Jolma was promoted to senior associate.

Practice head(s):

Tom Vapaavuori; Mikko Rajala

Other key lawyers:


‘Bird & Bird are excellent at defining a strategy as well as bringing together the detail to underpin and execute it. Our case had a number of highly unusual and unexpected aspects to it. The Bird & Bird team were always on top of the facts of the case and consistently stepped up, often with very little time to respond, so that we could adjust and adapt as needed to address the challenges.’

Overall Bird & Bird deliver exceptional value for money. I do not think they, or anyone, could have done more to represent us effectively and I was convinced of this long before we knew, and regardless of, the final outcome of the case.’

‘Very good professional skill especially regarding negotiations and pre-work of arbitration. Collaboration with client was immediate and they reacted and responded properly without any default with respect to different kind of legal problems.’

‘Collaboration, very good knowledge of arbitration and solving of disputes, knowledge of commercial/contract laws.’

‘Tom Vapaavuori is reliable, responsive and very easy to work with.’

‘Very hands-on experts, easy to communicate with and proactive.’

‘Tom Vapaavuori is an expert in litigation, doesn’t hesitate to take a view and give recommendations. Jarno Sulasalmi is a future star. Both are also fun to work with.’

Finland > EU and competition Tier 3

Noted for its cross-border coverage in Europe and the Nordics, Bird & Bird is especially strong in merger control issues, advising on antitrust and cartel investigations, and state aid matters. The team is also particularly strong in dawn raids conducted by the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority, often acting on behalf of international TMT companies. Helsinki-based practice head Katia Duncker is experienced in public procurement proceedings and the competition elements of M&A. She works alongside counsel Päivi Tammilehto, who is ‘very skilled‘ in public procurement and enforcement issues.

Practice head(s):

Katia Duncker

Other key lawyers:


‘Päivi Tammilehto is very skilled and provides hands-on, practical advice, without making things too theoretical.’

Key clients

Fujitsu Finland Oy


Lähitaksi Oy

Erillisverkot Group

Kymenlaakson Taksi Oy

Work highlights

  • Advised Fujitsu Finland Oy on a breach of non-competition obligation and thereto related competition law matters.
  • Advised Finnish media group MTV Oy on the competition aspects relating to copyright matters including assisting MTV in court processes against Finnish performance rights organisation Teosto in alleged abuse of Teosto’s dominant position and unreasonable prices.
  • Advised entities in the State-owned Suomen Erillisverkot Group on competition law matters, especially with respect to competitive neutrality and state aid.

Finland > Intellectual property Tier 3

Often collaborating with other offices to provide global coverage to its clients, Bird & Bird covers multi-jurisdictional trade mark and patent-related matters, primarily on behalf of tech start-ups and mid-size corporates in the life sciences, retail, healthcare and media sectors. New practice leader Henri Kaikkonen joined from Krogerus in May 2021, and specialises in contentious IP matters and digital asset commercialisation work, while Mikko Nurmisto focuses on copyright and trade mark disputes, as well as strategic IP protection issues. Previous practice head Ella Mikkola  left the practice in March 2021.

Practice head(s):

Henri Kaikkonen

Other key lawyers:


Bird & Bird was a great partner for us. As a company with a very small team dedicated to building product they were able to guide us through the complexities of how to protect our IP. Additionally, they had a very proactive take on suggestions on what to do and didn’t just reactively wait for input from us.’

Mikko Nurmisto had an excellent ability to step into our shoes and see the world from our perspective. This allowed for our conversation to go deeper than in a lot of my previous efforts in working with IP related matters at similar companies.’

Key clients

Monster Energy

Tempur Sealy International

Isojoen Konehalli

Peek & Cloppenburg

Mainframe Industries


Pinja Group

Lightheart Entertainment


Work highlights

  • Represented Monster Energy in trade mark opposition matters.
  • Represented Isojoen Konehalli, a Finnish hardware importer and reseller with international business operations, in its trade mark matters.
  • Represent Mainframe Industries, a leading Finnish gaming studio, in trade mark matters.

Finland > Real estate and construction Tier 3

Bird & Bird is noted for its work in real estate transactions and investments, as well as advising on Finnish development projects. The team also covers insolvency, financing, environmental and sustainability matters. Real estate and infrastructure team head Jaakko Hietala  specialises in advising on complex real estate, infrastructure and industrial development projects. As the new head of the energy practice, Laura Huomo joined from Roschier in July 2021 to provide a broader range of advice regarding industrial construction and development projects.

Practice head(s):

Jaakko Hietala; Laura Huomo

Key clients


Real estate funds managed by Elite Alfred Berg

Trevian Asset Management

Pelican Self Storage

State Security Networks (Suomen Erillisverkot)

The Finnish Pharmacist Union (Suomen apteekkariliitto)

The Foundation for Business Students in Aalto University (Aalto-yliopiston kauppatieteiden ylioppilaiden säätiö)

K/S Rosendal, Finland

Work highlights

  • Advised The Finnish Pharmacist Union, Helsingfors Gymnastikklubb rf (HGK) on the sale of two office buildings to the Swedish real estate investor Areim Fastigheter.
  • Advised Elite Finland Value Added Fund II Ky on acquiring five small-scale industry properties from Cromwell Property Group.
  • Advised The Foundation for Business Students in Aalto University on the sale of a historical commercial and office building to NCC Property Development.

Finland > Tax Tier 3

Bird & Bird is noted for providing global tax coverage to international corporates, especially regarding advising private equity funds on the tax aspects of M&A transactions. The team also covers corporate income tax, VAT and indirect tax mandates, and transfer pricing issues. Sami Tuominen is the head of the tax practice and is highly experienced in tax structuring work, due diligence, and business restructurings. Counsel Ville Alahuhta covers private equity fund tax matters and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Sami Tuominen

Other key lawyers:


We have worked extensively with Ville Alahuhta. He has been exceptionally responsive without sacrificing the superior quality of his work even with large and complex projects.’

Ville Alahuhta from Bird & Bird’s tax team is an exceptionally reliable adviser with whom I find it easy to deal with. He knows well both the applicable legal requirements and the practice in our field of business.’

Ville Alahuhta understands our company’s needs well and can focus on the essential questions. He does not make things overly complicated but can find the relevant details if necessary. Ville helps identifying the topics which are most important to us which adds much value to the actual legal advice.’

Key clients

FIM Asset Management Ltd

Aalto-yliopiston kauppatieteiden ylioppilaiden säätiö (Foundation of Business Students)

Olvi plc

Movial Corporation

Traffic Management Finland Oy

Fingrid plc

Lehto Group plc

Nordic Business Group Oy and New House Innovation Oy

Larsen & Co Tilitoimisto Oy

Destia Oy

Work highlights

  • Advised FIM Asset Management Ltd on a planning process concerning the establishment of a new investment fund product.
  • Advised the Foundation for Business Students in Aalto University (KY Foundation) on the sale of a historical commercial and office building located in Pohjoinen Rautatiekatu in the centre of Helsinki.
  • Advised the Finnish beverage company Olvi Plc on the acquisition of Danish brewery Vestfyen.

Finland > Banking and finance Tier 4

Under the leadership of senior counsel Kristiina Lehvilä, Bird & Bird‘s finance and financial regulation department acts for a spectrum of local and international banks, private equity houses and corporations, leveraging the firm’s global network on cross-border mandates. The team is active across a variety of financing matters, regulatory issues, compliance work and litigation.

Practice head(s):

Kristiina Lehvilä

Other key lawyers:

Josefina Aalto; William Schofield

Key clients



Trevian Asset Management

Terra Firma Capital Partners Limited

Dispelix Oy

Work highlights

  • Advised Swedish listed real estate company Nyfosa on the acquisition and financing of a real estate portfolio consisting of nine office properties and one project property in the Finnish university town of Jyväskylä from Castellum.
  • Advised Terra Firma and Metric Capital on the repayment and release of existing financing and security in Parmaco Group Oy in connection with the sale of Parmaco to global private markets business Partners Group.
  • Advised Dispelix Oy on the raising of €5m financing advanced by Flashpoint Venture Capital.

The firm: Bird & Bird is an international law firm, with a long-established reputation for having a rare and invaluable grasp of strategic commercial issues. The firm combines exceptional legal expertise with deep industry knowledge and refreshingly creative thinking, to help clients operating at the forefront of their industries to achieve their commercial goals.

Bird & Bird has over 1,400 lawyers and legal practitioners with broad advisory transactional and contentious capability, with a particular focus on key industry sectors. The firm has an extensive international reach with 31 offices across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, offering a seamless, cross-border service between locations and sector and practice groups.

The Helsinki office combines a firmly established full-service local practice with first-class cross-border capabilities and reach enabled by the firm’s international offices.

The firm serves both Finnish and international corporate clients in all areas of business law. It takes pride in its deep understanding of the businesses in which its clients operate. This means being fully conversant with current business, market and technical issues in addition to possessing in-depth expertise in the law and regulation of each relevant industry sector.

The Helsinki office is staffed by 75 employees, including 50 lawyers. The office is headed by managing partner Jaakko Hietala.

Bird & Bird stands out in the Nordic market as the only truly international firm with a presence in the key Nordic jurisdictions of Finland, Denmark and Sweden. Its 125 lawyers are spread across its four Nordic offices, enabling the firm to mobilise appropriate resources to support its clients on cross-border Nordic matters.

Areas of practice: Underpinned by deep client and industry knowledge, the firm’s key sectors include:

Automotive: advising on all stages of a life cycle of a motor vehicle, from initial design, to sales and distribution, through to disposals.

Aviation, aerospace, defence and security: advising on asset management and financing, civil aviation matters, including airlines, regulatory and competition issues, and aerospace and defence, including PPP/PFI and product liability.

Electronics: advising clients operating in or serving the electronics industry, from R&D and component manufacturing, to technology licensing agreements.

Energy and utilities: advising large multinationals, investors, project companies and large energy consumers on electricity generation, energy trading, renewable energy, cleantech and climate change, and upstream oil and gas.

Financial services: advising global clients in the financial services sector, such as global retail and investment banks, investors and hedge funds, on transactions, regulatory issues, commercial contracts and dispute resolution.

Food and beverage: advising on a full range of areas, including branding, labelling, health claims, fair trade and patents on novel foods.

Life sciences and healthcare: advising clients in biotechnology, bioinformatics and pharmaceutical companies on licensing and drug development agreements, R&D collaboration, IP acquisitions and joint ventures.

Media and entertainment: advising clients from across the media spectrum on a wide range of issues, including exploitation across all forms of digital media, such as user-generated content exploitation.

Sports: advising national and international sports governing bodies, event organisers and sponsors on issues including exploitation of commercial rights, brand management, regulatory and disciplinary issues.

Technology and communications: advising on matters ranging from smaller innovative projects to some of the largest, most complex and ground-breaking transactions and disputes of recent years. Its team includes lawyers with a particular focus on communications, devices and components, digital tech and eCommerce, and software and services as well as a number of more specialist industries including data centres, postal and satellites.

Banking and finance Jori Taipale
Banking and finance Kristiina Lehvilä
TMT Kimmo Reina
TMT Sakari Halonen
Intellectual property Ella Mikkola
Real estate Jaakko Hietala
Real estate Mikko Rajala
Employment Maisa Nikkola
Tax Sami Tuominen
Competition and EU Katia Duncker
Corporate Maria Carlsson
Corporate Jori Taipale
Corporate Kimmo Reina
Corporate Mikko Ahonen
Capital markets Kimmo Reina
Dispute resolution Tom Vapaavuori
Dispute resolution Mikko Rajala
Data protection Tobias Bräutigam
Insolvency Mikko Rajala
Mikko Ahonen photoMr Mikko AhonenMikko is the Managing Partner of Bird & Bird’s office in Helsinki…
Maria Carlsson photoMrs Maria CarlssonPartner
Sakari Halonen photoMr Sakari HalonenPartner
Nora Jaari-Hakola photoMrs Nora Jaari-HakolaCounsel
Risto Sipilä photoMr Risto SipiläSenior Counsel
Sami Tuominen photoMr Sami TuominenSami is a partner at Bird & Bird and the head of…
Number of lawyers : 1,200
at this office : 50
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