Volvo Car Corporation
Volvo Car Corporation is one of the largest corporations in the Nordic region and a globally-known brand in the automotive sector. Maria Hemberg, general counsel and senior vice president, leads a widely-acclaimed legal department of 25 employees to support the operations of the Swedish multinational. The team is considered a valuable partner to the company, reflected in the regular interaction with the CEO and senior management; Hemberg is also partially responsible for corporate strategy which has increased the legal function’s overall influence in regards to strategic developments. To ensure its advice and service is of an expected standard, the department often measures its progress via surveys and regular feedback from business partners. Regulatory change has proven to be a challenge for the automotive industry as a whole: the relatively unknown, and therefore unregulated, topic of autonomous cars and changing data privacy rules have both needed attention from the legal team. In order to overcome these hurdles, the legal team took an active role in implementing various global contract guidelines, an act which ensured that global legal teams apply consistent standards when administrating legal advice. The process is considered to have been a huge success and resulted in an improvement in general efficiency and quality throughout Volvo. The in-house team has been at the heart of Volvo’s international expansion as well, providing a substantial contribution to the negotiation and documentation of all contracts related to the establishment in their new institution based in the United States, and contributing to the execution of all documents required to ensure the company’s Chinese joint ventures are a success.