HPP Asianajotoimisto

News

Select key sectors or all articles

27.05.2019

The modification of the Bankruptcy Act enter into force on 1 July 2019

The modification of the Bankruptcy Act has finally been accepted and the new Rules. Partner Sami Uoti acted as a member of the working group: “I am grateful that I have been able to influence to this new legislation as a member of the working group. I am also very satisfied of the results of our work”.

Collection of statutes

22.05.2019

HPP authored the Finland Chapter in the Chambers Mining Guide 2019

Partner Tarja Pirinen from HPP’s environmental team authored the Finland Chapter of the Chambers Global Practice Guide – Mining 2019.

The guide covers the latest regulation of different aspects in the field of mining law and the environmental law related to mining projects in Finland. It is a useful read for mining industry professionals as well as lawyers from other jurisdictions assisting clients in matters relating to mining projects in Finland.

HPP is one of the leading service providers in the Finnish legal market advising on the full range of legal issues relating to mining operations. HPP also has one of the largest dedicated environmental teams in Finland which specialises in all aspects of the environmental sector.

12.03.2019

HPP ranked highly in the 2019 edition of the leading global law firm directory, Chambers and Partners

8 core practice areas and 13 lawyers were ranked as notable individuals in their chosen specialist legal field with Head of Energy & environment Kari Marttinen and Head of TMT Kari-Matti Lehti, both ranked as leading individuals in their practice area, reflecting HPP’s market-leading strength in Energy & natural resources and TMT respectively.

 

HPP has been recommended in the following 8 practice areas:

 


Competition

Corporate and M&A
Dispute resolution
Energy and natural resources
Insolvency
Real estate
Shipping
TMT


Clients’ responses to our products and services:

Competition
“comprehensive skills and ability”

Corporate/M&A
“solution-oriented”
“high responsiveness”

Dispute resolution
“very responsive and co-operative”
“ready to go the extra mile”

Energy and natural resources
“one of the best law firms in Finland on the energy and natural resources sector”

Insolvency and restructuring
“They do give value”
“They are very strong in insolvency”

Real estate
“extremely reliable and flexible”
“effectiveness and ability to focus on the major issues”

Shipping
“one of the go-to firms in shipping”
“pays the necessary attention to the matter”

TMT
“very efficient work”


The full list of HPP lawyers ranked is as follows:

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger, Shipping
“she knows the industry well, and has a practical understanding of the business”

Maarika Joutsimo, Competition/European law
“very skillful in the important matters”

Matti Komonen, Shipping
“a good litigator, and very service-minded”
“very proactive”

Kari-Matti Lehti, TMT
“great technical and commercial knowledge”
“demonstrating leadership in difficult negotiations”

Juho Lenni-Taattola, Restructuring and insolvency
“He is very experienced as an insolvency lawyer”

Kari Marttinen, Energy and natural resources, real estate
“great knowledge of the waste and recycling industry”

Björn Nykvist, Energy and natural resources

Tarja Pirinen, Energy and natural resources

Pekka Raatikainen, TMT

Tuomas Saraste, Competition
“very good business acumen”
“practical and workable solutions”

Jari Tuomala, Real estate
“quick and effective”
“comprehensive understanding of the customer’s needs”

Sami Uoti, Dispute resolution, insolvency and restructuring
“besides his own expertise, he is willing to take into account the client’s input”
“a well-regarded practitioner”

Marko Wainio, Dispute resolution
“a brilliant legal mind”


HPP wishes to thank its lawyers and clients for helping us be consistently recognised as a leading Finnish law firm comprising of leading lawyers.

 

06.03.2019

HPP strengthens real estate team with Leif Laitinen joining as Partner

HPP is pleased to announce that Leif Laitinen has joined the firm as Partner effective from 18 March 2019. With the addition of Leif to the HPP partnership, the firm further strengthens its expertise in real estate transactions, particularly with a cross-border element.

Leif has significant experience in domestic and, in particular, complex cross-border real estate transactions, including real estate portfolio and real estate fund investments and sale and leaseback arrangements. His other areas of expertise include mergers and acquisitions and private equity transactions. He also provides general corporate, contract and real estate advice. He represents international, Nordic and Finnish real estate funds, major investors and private and public companies. Leif’s working languages are Swedish, Finnish and English.

“We are very pleased to have Leif joining the HPP team to strengthen our growing team of experts focusing on real estate transactions. Leif brings experience, knowledge and expertise which will be very valuable to our clients”, commented HPP’s Managing Partner Markku Mäkinen.

Leif is a graduate of the University of Helsinki and has an LL.M. degree from Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington D.C., the US. Leif is a member of the Finnish Bar Association and is also admitted to the New York State Bar. Mr Laitinen joins HPP from Aleksandra Attorneys, a boutique law firm focusing on real estate transactions which he co-founded in 2016.

26.02.2019

Autonomous Shipping and Liability from a Finnish Perspective

Maritime automation and fleet intelligence in maritime cargo logistics face the same digitalisation challenge as in Smart Mobility (MaaS) in passenger transport.

Recent Developments

Finland is investing in maritime automation and fleet intelligence in many ways. The Finnish legislation was recently amended to enable development of autonomous shipping by allowing shipowners to apply exemptions to watchkeeping and minimum vessel manning requirements. Remote pilotage, i.e. pilotage taking place outside a ship, is allowed in Finnish waters as of 1 February 2019. Finland is also actively participating in an assessment process in the IMO to determine how IMO conventions may apply to autonomous ships with different degrees of autonomy.

Major advances were made in autonomous shipping in December 2018: Finferries and Rolls-Royce demonstrated the world’s first fully autonomous ferry, and Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) and ABB successfully tested to remotely operate a ferry. Autonomous shipping is also reflected in the educational field, Novia University of Applied Sciences has launched a master’s degree programme on autonomous maritime operations. The above mentioned are only a few examples of the emerging sector of maritime automation in Finland.

Allocation of Liabilities

Vessel automation raises many kinds of questions in the field of regulation, one of which is the allocation of liabilities. The Finnish Maritime Code (674/1994, as amended), and more precisely part III of it, includes the provisions regarding liability. The general provision on liability can be found in section 1 of chapter 7, under which the shipowner (FI: laivanisäntä, SV: redare) shall be liable to compensate damage caused by the fault or neglect of the master, crew or others performing services for the ship.

In the light of this provision, what would be the liability of a programmer of an autonomous ship control system or other new parties involved? Could product liability, regulated in the Product Liability Act (694/1990, as amended) in Finland, be applied to damages caused by autonomous vessels or vessel equipment, or some components or software thereof? But how would the different types of liability be integrated? Allocation of liabilities between a shipowner, programmer, shipbuilder, subcontractor and marine insurer, and possible other parties involved, requires new approach and thinking.

When reviewing the allocation of liabilities, remotely controlled vessels and autonomous vessels should be distinguished from each other. In practice, the autonomy level may vary which is likely to make a liability framework multiform. The IMO classifies the different degrees of autonomy as follows:

Degree one: Ship with automated processes and decision support: Seafarers are on board to operate and control shipboard systems and functions. Some operations may be automated and at times be unsupervised but with seafarers on board ready to take control.

Degree two: Remotely controlled ship with seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location. Seafarers are available on board to take control and to operate the shipboard systems and functions.

Degree three: Remotely controlled ship without seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location. There are no seafarers on board.

Degree four: Fully autonomous ship: The operating system of the ship is able to make decisions and determine actions by itself.

Shipowners of conventional vessels should not be forgotten either, as autonomous and remotely controlled ships will sail side by side with conventional ones. Firstly, this begs the practical question of how ship-to-ship communication between ships is going to be arranged. Secondly, when it comes to a possible collision between a conventional and an autonomous ship or a conventional and a remotely controlled ship, the allocation of liability might demand re-evaluating.

Future Insights

Neither international maritime conventions nor Finnish laws have been prepared with a view to autonomous shipping. Consequently, for example the liability provisions will need to be interpreted in a new way or to be amended. Stakeholders in the maritime industry should prepare themselves for new, and perhaps creative, ways of thinking and interpreting liability questions that will arise. And one thing is sure, they will arise.

Because maritime and land transport, as well as cargo and passenger traffic, face similar challenges and are often also closely integrated, it would be recommendable to apply the same best practices to the whole transport chain. This could mean applying similar principles and regulatory approaches in liability issues to all modes of transport.

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger
Partner

Alexandra Heikkonen
Associate Trainee

 

13.02.2019

Antti Rintakoski joins HPP partnership

HPP Attorneys Ltd is pleased to announce that it has invited Antti Rintakoski to join the partnership effective 1 January 2019.

Antti Rintakoski has extensive experience in both domestic and international debt and equity financing arrangements. His areas of expertise include corporate and real estate finance, project and infrastructure finance, bonds, factoring, leasing and voluntary restructuring.

Rintakoski is known for handling many of the most challenging and significant assignments in the Finnish corporate finance market. In addition to his work experience in leading law firms, Rintakoski has developed his expertise during time spent working in both OP Corporate Bank and the European Investment Bank. As a result, he has very good knowledge of the operating environment for financial institutions and their requirements.

“Expertise and understanding of our clients’ businesses are the core of HPP’s services. Antti has shown himself to be a top-class legal expert in relation to the banking and finance sector and capable of bringing real added value to our clients with his experience, knowledge and expertise. Antti is a great example of HPP’s principle of specialising in the essential”, commented HPP’s Managing Partner, Markku Mäkinen.

Antti Rintakoski is a graduate of the University of Helsinki and has worked for HPP since 2018.

28.01.2019

ECJ confirms insurance premium tax is payable in the jurisdiction in which the policyholder is established

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

On 17 January 2019, the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) gave its judgment on the question of the right Member State entitled to levy tax on insurance premiums, which was referred to the ECJ by the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland. According to the judgment, when an insurance company established in a Member State offers insurance covering the contractual risks associated with the value of the shares and the fairness of the purchase price paid by the buyer in the acquisition of an undertaking, an insurance contract concluded in that context is subject exclusively to the indirect taxes payable on insurance premiums in the Member State where the policyholder is established. The SAC will give its final ruling on the matter based on the judgment, which is expected within approximately 2 months.

Background

On 4 November 2016, the Central Tax Board (“CTB”) of Finland gave a preliminary ruling (2016/49), in which it assessed the liability to pay the insurance premium tax (“IPT”) at 24% in relation to a buy-side Warranty & Indemnity (“W&I”) insurance. According to the ruling, which was given in respect of a buy-side W&I policy issued in respect of a Finnish target, IPT at 24% should be levied on the premium payable by the insured. According to the CTB, the location of the place of business of the target company was relevant, as the policyholder is a legal person and the insurance policy covers risks caused by the operations of the target company. In that case the state of location of the target company was also the state of location of the risk.

The CTB’s preliminary ruling is not binding as it was appealed to the SAC. The question to be resolved by the SAC was how to interpret the provisions regarding the state in which the risk is located of the Directive 2009/138/EC (Solvency II, recast). The SAC decided to postpone the processing of the case and requested a preliminary ruling from the ECJ, which was given on 17 January 2019.

ECJ Judgment of the ECJ (C-74/18)

According to the ECJ judgment, when an insurance company established in a Member State offers insurance covering the contractual risks associated with the value of the shares and the fairness of the purchase price paid by the buyer in the acquisition of an undertaking, an insurance contract concluded in that context is subject exclusively to the indirect taxes on insurance premiums in the Member State where the policyholder is established. According to the ECJ, it should be primarily considered that the place where the activity is carried out whose risk is covered by a W&I policy, is the place of establishment of the policyholder acting either as the seller or as the buyer, and not the place of establishment of the target company.

Further updates and information

HPP will update clients on the outcome of the SAC process as is becomes available (expected in spring 2019).

The ECJ ruling is contrary to the ruling given by the CTB. Due to the judgment by the ECJ, we expect the Finnish Tax Administration to amend its current guidelines on the tax on insurance premiums after the matter has been further evaluated in the Finnish Tax Administration. For now, the ECJ judgement should be followed by insurers in respect of W&I policies issued in relation to Finnish target.

HPP has a market-leading team advising underwriters looking at underwriting Finnish M&A deals and tax risks and HPP’s experts would be happy to assist on all legal issues in Finland related to insurance and specifically W&I and specific tax insurance.

Contacts:

Andrew Cotton
Partner
+358 45 657 57758
andrew.cotton@hpp.fi

Marko Koski
Senior Advisor / Head of Tax
+358 44 758 2475
marko.koski@hpp.fi

 

23.01.2019

Who is responsible for the ethics of a self-driving car?

The greatest challenge of autonomous driving will be the replacement of the human power of deduction with artificial intelligence. At the moment, a machine cannot be taught to make purely abstract decisions; instead, all the reaction models are the consequence of pre-programmed solution models.

In problematic situations, the machine is programmed to naturally select the option that causes the least damage, in other words to avoid collisions and bodily injuries, which is called a win-lose situation. The challenge is situations where none of the assumed options create a positive outcome, in other words so-called lose-lose situations. How to programme a machine to solve an ethical problem, and who decides how to solve it?

Let’s imagine a scenario where a child suddenly jumps in front of the car, and the only way of not hitting the child is to drive the car off the road which, in turn, has a high chance of causing the death of the driver and other passengers. How should the car be programmed to react in such a situation? Should it spare the passengers by killing the child or kill the passengers and, thus, save the child? The machine may also face situations where it uses other viewpoints to make the decision: old or young; one person or several people?

Figure: Ethical cars

Source: MIT Technology Review.

Current legislation is not very helpful in terms of ethical choices. The Constitution of Finland stipulates that each person has the right to life and integrity (section 7) and that no one shall be treated differently from other persons on discriminatory grounds (section 6). In light of this, it is impossible to decide who is hit or how the person to be hit is selected.

Numerous discussions find the most ethical solution to be a model where the vehicle should continue on its selected lane, in other words hit the people who would be directly in front of it. This model would not consider the personal characteristics or number of people. This is ethically based on the perspective that the better or at least not quite as bad an option is to let death happen, instead of actively selecting a person who will die.

Which ever solutions are decided upon, they must be predictable and enable consistent compliance. Such decisions cannot be made by individual businesses or programmers; ethical logic must be based on governmental decision-making and legislation. A separate challenge is posed by situations where different countries would apply different ethical perspectives to solve the problem. Should the features of the car change according to the country in which it is used at any time?

In collisions, the most likely option is a solution model where the passengers in the vehicle are protected at the expense of others. Self-driving cars would probably not become a huge commercial success if they were programmed to turn against their owners in emergencies. On the other hand, a setting can be programmed in which the passenger gives their consent to this option as a potential solution. Such consent would be required from each passenger for each individual drive. The question, of course, is: who among us would be prepared to give such consent?

The increase of smart features in cars puts pressure on existing legislation. At the moment, the driver is responsible in each situation, regardless of assistive functions. An example of this is the accident in Florida which was caused by Tesla’s Autopilot function and resulted in the driver’s death. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the U.S. did not find Tesla liable for the fatality that was caused after a truck suddenly turned to oncoming traffic as the driver was not monitoring the traffic as actively as instructed by Tesla but was instead watching a Harry Potter movie with a DVD player, according to witness testimonies. With the Autopilot function, the driver is liable for reassuming control of the vehicle in hazardous situations. In the United Kingdom, legislation specifically states that the driver is liable for any actions performed by the vehicle (the Road Traffic Act, 1998).

In Finland, valid legislation offers some answers to the question of liability. According to the Finnish Product Liability Act, compensation shall be paid for an injury or damage sustained or incurred because the product has not been as safe as could have been expected. According to the same section of the act, in assessing the safety of the product, the time when the product was put in circulation, its foreseeable use, the marketing or the product and instructions for use as well as other circumstances shall be taken into consideration. However, section 2 of the same act excludes liability for damages when the damages have been caused by the vehicle to the vehicle itself.

If the driver’s role in the vehicle becomes similar to the role of a passive passenger, should the driver’s responsibility be adjusted accordingly? Can a person travelling in a self-driving car be compared to a passenger in a taxi? Could the passenger’s responsibility only be actualised in situations where the passenger has, through his or her own actions, caused a disruption that can be considered as impacting the actions of the driver? Can this analogy also be applied to other offences carried out by a vehicle? Tesla’s Autopilot programme can be set to knowingly drive over the speed limit which, under certain conditions, can be a maximum of 10 km/h. This is considered to increase driving safety as the car adjusts to the speed of other traffic when people are generally driving slightly above the speed limit.

It is very likely that external operators will supply the software to be installed in car manufacturers’ vehicles in the future. Will connected cars become computer-like platforms with the software purchased separately? Or will there be one or two large operators in the market whose software will be used by all the car manufacturers, similarly to the phone market (Android, iOS)? Will it be possible to switch the software later? This raises an interesting questions about the liability related to connected cars. What is the responsibility of such a software developer and, on the other hand, the car manufacturer, regarding the functions of the end product?

With a sufficiently long reference period, all the technical components will stop working, some sooner than others. Instead of a linear or gradual breakdown, software components often function in a binary manner. Either they are fully functional or not functional at all, which makes it quite difficult to check their condition. How to detect the likelihood of breaking and how to monitor the condition of these components? What is the liability of an individual component manufacturer if a defect in one part results in more extensive damage? Can the manufacturer’s liability be transferred to the consumer by, for example, requiring the consumer to maintain the components and replace components or software in specific intervals according to a maintenance programme?

It is obvious that the Road Traffic Act, the Motor Liability Insurance Act and product liability legislation need to be amended to better take into account future changes in both technological development and driving culture. The current legislation contains too many questions with no clear answers and considerable problems in terms of interpretation.

The situation makes both buyers and manufacturers uncertain about the division of liability when problems arise. Excessively strict product liability for the manufacturer, automatically making car manufacturers liable for any collision damages and accidents, would probably hinder the development of self-driving vehicles. The state should assume responsibility for solving ethical questions. The manufacturers could then adjust their technical solutions and software to the resulting parameters.

Kari-Matti Lehti
Partner

Mikko Leppä
Partner

Mikko Kaunisvaara
Legal Trainee

15.01.2019

HPP`s Insolvency team authored the Finland Chapter in the Chambers Insolvency Guide 2019

Partners Sami Uoti and Juho Lenni-Taattola have co-authored the Finland Chapter of the recently published Chambers Insolvency Guide 2019.

The guide covers the latest regulation and recent development in the field of insolvency and restructuring in Finland. It is a useful read for insolvency and restructuring professionals as well as for lawyers from other jurisdictions assisting clients in matters relating to insolvency and restructuring in Finland.

HPP’s Insolvency team is one of the leading teams in the Finnish legal market.

Chambers Insolvency Guide 2019

 

08.01.2019

HPP`s Environmental team authored the Finland Chapter in the Chambers Environmental Law Guide 2019

Four of HPP’s Environmental team, Kari Marttinen, Tarja Pirinen, Minna Juhola ja Outi Iso-Markku have co-authored the Finland Chapter of the recently published Chambers Environmental Law Guide 2019.

The guide covers the latest regulation of different aspects in the field of environmental law and will be useful read for environmental industry professionals and lawyers from other jurisdictions assisting clients contemplating undertaking projects related to environment in Finland.

HPP’s Environmental team is the leading environmental team in the Finnish legal market, as reflected by its ranking as a Band 1 Natural Resources firm in each year in which leading global law firm directory, Chambers, has issued rankings for the ‘Energy & Natural Resources’ category. HPP has one of the largest dedicated environmental teams in Finland which specialises in all aspects of the environmental sector.

Chambers Environmental Law Guide 2019

05.12.2018

Self-driving cars are the next step in traffic development

The introduction of self-driving cars in traffic is the single biggest change in the history of automobiles. This still requires developmental efforts in technology, community planning and legislation. The revolution at hand can be divided into two phenomena: connected cars and self-driving cars.

A connected car is a vehicle with built-in features that assist or bypass the person in pre-programmed situations. Cars with the self-driving feature can also be described as connected cars. Self-driving is not the same as autonomous driving where the car drives to the set destination without human participation, even without a passenger. Self-driving refers to a feature where artificial intelligence can temporarily and briefly steer the car without human assistance. The function is switched on separately and usually includes a short time limit.

Tesla has been able to develop its self-driving feature the furthest. In the Tesla model, the car drives independently until it reaches a situation where human intervention is necessary for safety. The purpose of self-driving features is to provide active assistance in situations where driving the vehicle is monotonous, the vehicle ends up in a surprising situation or the driver is temporarily or permanently distracted.

The future objectives of Tesla include making self-driving a standard feature in all its vehicles. Other car manufacturers have also offered similar features in their vehicles, such as Mercedes Benz with its S-Class (W222). Other connected car features in vehicles already on the market include a lane monitor and the automatic emergency braking system of Volvo.

A robotic vehicle or a self-driving car refers to a vehicle which primarily or exclusively uses the self-driving function. Self-driving replaces active human steering either partially or completely or even prevents the vehicle from being driven in the traditional sense. Such self-driving cars have not yet reached the consumer market but their testing among passenger traffic has already started.

Industry has used similar robot automatics successfully for decades. The Port of Rotterdam, for example, is nearly completely automated so that any transport and loading of goods, crane functions and most of the other logistics operations are performed by robots and monitored by artificial intelligence. The cargo port area has so many automatically moving parts that, instead of focusing on the robots, the surveillance in the area guides people to prevent them from disrupting the robot traffic. Human drivers instead of other robotic vehicles are also the greatest challenge in the design of fully automated cars.

The upcoming renewals of smart mobility are not restricted to vehicles but require infrastructural and legislative development. The question is a symbiosis of technology and legislation where the changes must overlap and the development be built gradually.

Self-driving robotic vehicles are the natural and inevitable next step for the evolution of motoring. Transferring the previously human-performed driving function to a computer and artificial intelligence means integrating both the motoric actions of the driver as well as human thinking, power of observation, problem-solving capacity and ethics in the process.

Transforming the routine movements of a human into something a machine can perform is technologically quite simple. Vehicles already contain technology that, in some situations, replaces or bypasses human actions. True challenges come from replacing human power of deduction with artificial intelligence.

Kari-Matti Lehti
Partner

Mikko Leppä
Partner

Mikko Kaunisvaara
Legal Trainee

 

 

26.11.2018

HPP’s Partner Harri Hynninen has died in an airplane accident

HPP’s Partner Harri Hynninen has died in an airplane accident, which took place in Zimbabwe on Friday. Hynninen was in Zimbabwe on a private holiday trip.

“Harri was a highly respected and much liked person and professional. On behalf of our law firm I wish to extend my deepest condolences to his family”, says HPP’s Managing Director Markku Mäkinen.

Further information: Partner Björn Nykvist, + 358 40 753 7387.

12.11.2018

HPP´s Energy Team authored the Finland chapter in the Global Legal Insights: Energy 2019

Three of HPP’s Energy Team, Andrew Cotton, Laura Leino and Ella Rinne have contributed the Finland chapter to the recently published Global Legal Insights: Energy 2019. The book is part of the Global Legal Insights series in which the world´s leading lawyers provide essential insights into current legal issues.

The book provides an overview of the worldwide energy market and covers the latest changes in the energy situation and summarises the latest developments in legislation, regulation and case-law affecting the energy sector. It will be a useful read for energy industry professionals, investors and lawyers from other jurisdictions assisting clients contemplating undertaking projects or investments in the Finnish energy sector.

HPP’s Energy team is one of the leading energy teams in the Finnish legal market, as reflected by its ranking as a Tier 1 energy firm in each year in which leading global law firm directory, Chambers, has issued rankings for the ‘Energy & Natural Resources’ category. HPP’s Energy team is constantly involved in significant energy projects and transactions and has broad experience advising specialist energy funds, investors, financial institutions and project companies on the full range of legal issues involved in energy project development and investment.

Global Legal Insights: Energy 2019

07.11.2018

How will intelligent transport transform future cities?

The development of intelligent transport is often divided into three phases of innovation: electric cars, self-driving cars and car-sharing. The first phase of innovation has already begun with almost all major car manufacturers bringing their own electric cars to the market. There will be a significant increase in the number of electric cars in service as purchase prices go down, making electric cars more affordable for average consumers while the cars’ properties, such as operating ranges, improve and charging times shorten. In the future, electric cars will replace conventional internal combustion engine vehicles – the only question is when.

In the near future, the need for car transport will not decline by any measures. Helsinki Region Transport (HSL) predicts that car density in Helsinki will increase by a third by 2035. The number of parking spaces in town planning must be proportional to the number of vehicles in service in such a manner that the supply of spaces is double in comparison to the demand. The centre of Helsinki has now approximately 13,000 parking spaces (on-street parking, parking areas and parking facilities) and the whole car fleet of Helsinki needs over 5.5 km² of parking space. Development globally has already gone slightly further.

Even if the number of cars would remain at the current level, people’s need for mobility is increasing. One solution to the problem is increasing the utilisation rate of the cars in service. The current estimate is that privately-owned cars are unused over 95% of the time. If the utilisation rate of a vehicle is only around 5%, theoretically, the car could be used by up to 20 people without a reduction in the owner’s usage. This is obviously only a theoretical estimate because people’s need for transport does not spread evenly, but even a small increase in the utilisation rate would reduce the total amount of traffic.

The change is about more than just practicality and transformation of public transport. A needs assessment based on just the utilisation rate does not give a reliable picture of the need or endowment effects. Even if the car is still seen as a part of wealth status, it is increasingly becoming a commodity.  It is used to satisfy a need – getting to work, a supermarket, hobbies or holidays. The smaller the utilisation rate of a car is and the more occasional the usage, the further from home the vehicle can be stored.

One future approach is to renounce private car ownership and transform cars into a part of public transport services. It is projected that in the long run transport will experience a transformation into a comprehensive service (Mobility as a Service). A self-driving car could pick you up from your doorstep and carry you to your destination like a taxi, albeit at a significantly cheaper cost. As the safety and reliability of self-driving cars improves, the supply of transport services utilising the technology will increase. Similarly to communication services, transport is intended to become a service package. Vehicles can be designed so that the manufacturing costs are lower (for example, two-seated cars) because the driver functions can be removed. However, so far the technology is not on a practical level nor safe to use.

Instead of self-driving cars, the next step will be sharing and renting cars. However, these “carpool services” are somewhat challenging. For instance, the utilisation rate of Finnish summer cottages is even lower than that of cars and their upkeep is often very expensive, but still, only a few cottage owners are willing to rent out their summer house to outsiders. So why would they do that with their car? On the other hand, the phenomenon of property sharing is exercised with Airbnb, a service where people rent out their homes for short-term accommodation. In the United States, car rentals of private users have already gained more popularity thanks to Turo and other service providers.[1] The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2017) estimates that two million people in Los Angeles alone will renounce car ownership in the next 15 years. The change does not arise just from technological development but also because consumer habits are changing.

It is worth keeping in mind that the biggest single factor to promote the success of new technologies is money, and only after that comes practicality. If you could travel by a self-driving car, why would you take a train? And how much more should the car cost in order for you to choose the less practical option? Also growing concern over climate change encourages government action to promote cleaner transport. The new report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[2] encourages governments to take more active steps to reduce CO2 emissions. New intelligent transport solutions play a key role in these efforts.

Change in intelligent transport would also have an influence on cities’ economies as public parking is a significant source of income to them. In Helsinki, parking payments bring the city approximately 11 million euros a year, that is, around 3,143 euros for each parking space. When residential and business parking is included, the income exceeds 15 million euros a year. Also individual housing associations can gain significant profits by renting out their parking spaces, especially in city centres.

Growth of intelligent transport will lead to reduction of parking spaces and therefore also changes in both town and building planning. In town planning, parking spaces can be replaced with green areas or wider walkways but the reuse of residential building garages can turn out to be more problematic.

[1] https://turo.com/

[2] IPCC: Global Warming of 1.5 °C (2018). http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/

Jari Tuomala
Partner

Mikko Kaunisvaara
Associate Trainee

02.11.2018

On Sunday, HPP’s co-operation partner Ari Huusela starts to one of the biggest sailing races in the world

Single-handed sailor and flight captain Ari Huusela starts to one of the biggest, most famous and most followed sailing races in the world on Sunday, 4 November. Huusela is the only Finn participating to this legendary transatlantic race, Route du Rhum, in IMOCA-class. No other sailor from the Nordics have ever achieved to start in this class before.

Route du Rhum is sailed single-handed, non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean from Saint-Malo in France to the island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean Sea. The length of the course is approximately 6.000 kilometres. The race, sailed every four years, have attracted a record number of entries this year, 123 skippers in six different classes.

www.routedurhum.com

31.10.2018

The Act on Transport services must promote the creation of new services

Mobile applications through which various transportation and mobility services can be received in return for payment are currently being marketed to consumers. The integrated mobility services offered through the app can include the use of public transport, taxis, carsharing, car rentals and city bikes. The service application Whim, offered to consumers via mobile phones by MaaS Global Oy, is one example of such service packages.

For companies offering integrated mobility services, being able to reach agreements with reasonable terms with transport services companies is very important. Public transport tickets form a key part of the service. Therefore, it is essential that companies providing integrated mobility services reach an agreement on the brokering of tickets to consumers through the app. Technically, this is achieved by the public transport ticket provider giving the provider of integrated mobility services access to their system through the open sales interface built into their ticket and payment system and selling tickets to be brokered to customers through the app.

Issues related to competition arise in situations where the administrator of the public transport ticket system and the ticket seller hold a monopoly in their area. In these situations, the integrated mobility services provider is dependent on the tickets sold by the company holding the monopoly, and it has no access to alternative ticket products or providers. Companies in monopoly position can choose their ticket brokers and sales method without the pressure of competition and determine the prices and terms and conditions of the tickets to be brokered.

The Act on Transport Services, which entered into force in the beginning of 2018, aims to enable the provision of integrated mobility services to consumers. The Act obligates administrators of public transport ticket systems to offer tickets to providers of integrated mobility services through an open sales interface built into their system. It must be possible to use the interface using generally applied technology and tickets must be sold to the users of the interface on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi) monitors compliance with the Act on Transport Services.

In September 2018, Trafi gave a decision in which it outlined its own powers and the conditions for meeting the requirements of the open interface.[1] The decision stresses the importance of effective cooperation and that the solutions for opening the interfaces must be technologically independent so that the interfaces can be used for as many purposes as possible. The decision concerned the public transport ticket sales interface of the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority (HSL).

In its assessment, Trafi stated that the interface opened by HSL did not use generally applied technology and did not meet requirements of the Act on Transport Services. Trafi ordered HSL to develop its interface solution so that it would not create unnecessary barriers to offering integrated mobility services. Trafi deemed that HSL must also take into account the views of the interface’s users—such as MaaS Global, who already cooperates with HSL—when developing the solution.

Trafi also outlined its own powers related to the assessment of the interface’s terms and conditions of use. MaaS Global had claimed that HSL’s policy of not paying sales commission for tickets brokered through the interface was unreasonable and discriminatory, as HSL paid sales commission for tickets brokered at physical locations.

Trafi did not investigate the discrimination claim as it deemed that its powers only apply to assessing whether the terms and conditions for different users of the interface were reasonable and non-discriminatory in relation to each other. Assessing whether these terms and conditions were reasonable and non-discriminatory in relation to brokers that do not offer tickets through the interface was not considered to be within Trafi’s jurisdiction. Trafi also judged that assessing the contractual arrangements according to which HSL offered MaaS Global tickets through an interface other than the open interface was outside its jurisdiction.

Trafi’s decision demonstrates that certain kinds of matters related to the provision of integrated mobility services—such as those concerning the technological requirements of the ticket system open interface and the requirement of non-discrimination between the users of the open interface—can be resolved on the basis of the Act on Transport Services. Opening the interfaces can therefore be performed as the Act intended.

However, some legal issues still remain that cannot, according to Trafi’s interpretation, be resolved based on the Act on Transport Services. It appears that the Act on Transport Services does not offer solutions for situations in which a public transport monopoly sells tickets under unreasonable conditions through an interface other than its open interface or in which it treats those brokering tickets through the interface differently from those brokering tickets by other means. General competition legislation would better apply to these matters, and the competent authority in Finland for issues such as these would be the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (KKV).

The discriminatory or unreasonable pricing of the public transport ticket sales interface could be investigated under the competition legislation as suspected abuse of market dominance or acting in breach of the competition neutrality regulations. The provider of integrated mobility services would therefore be required to start two different processes to have the discriminatory treatment they have experienced investigated by the authorities. This would delay and complicate the creation for the market for new integrated mobility services and its opening up to competition and would admittedly go against the general aims of the Act on Transport Services.

It would be recommendable that all the authorities would use all the opportunities they have in applying the Act to open interfaces and set reasonable terms and conditions of use. This is because, in rapidly evolving markets, amending the Act on Transport Services or starting processes under competition legislation are a slow way to make the interfaces open in a genuine way. If the Act’s aims of opening interfaces and promoting new services cannot be achieved in practice, Finland will lose its chance of being a pioneer of smart mobility services.

[1] https://www.trafi.fi/trafi/ajankohtaista/6469/liikennedatan_rajapintojen_avaamisessa_yhteistyo_avainasemassa

 

25.10.2018

Financial Supervisory Authority’s interpretation on the insurability on administrative fines and penalty payments

The Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has recently published a statement regarding the insurability of both criminal and regulatory fines and penalties. According to the FSA’s interpretation, the provision of insurance coverage in respect of corporate administrative fines and penalty payments, which are deemed to be punitive payments, is contrary to good insurance practice and is therefore not permitted in Finland.

The FSA’s interpretation on insurability of punitive payments covers all criminal and regulatory fines and penalty payments regardless of the cause of such punitive payment and irrespective of whether they are imposed on the basis of a deliberate act, omission or negligence.

The FSA’s reasoning is that insuring such risks could in some events encourage companies to act without regard to regulatory compliance and weaken a company’s obligation to comply with the applicable legislation and regulations. The FSA also believes that insuring punitive payments and sanctions would not be in line with the socially accepted values.

The FSA’s statement clarifies conclusively that warranty & indemnity insurance policies in respect of Finnish transactions should not be extended to cover any corporate fines or other punitive payments. The question of the insurability of fines has arisen particularly in the context of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). W&I insurers should consider the effect on W&I policy wording and discuss the effect of the FSA’s statement with brokers arranging W&I insurance for Finnish targets and transactions. The effect of the FSA’s interpretation on the insurability of different interest and penalty payments imposed by the Tax Administration due to the late payment of taxes, tax adjustment or tax increases will have some further clarification to determine whether such fines and penalties are also covered by the FSA’s statement.

Further updates and information: HPP will update clients on the outcome of the updates on the FSA’s position on insurability of punitive penalties.

HPP’s has a market-leading team advising underwriters looking at underwriting Finnish M&A deals and insuring tax risks and HPP’s experts would be happy to assist on all legal issues in Finland related to insurance and specifically W&I insurance.

Contacts:

Andrew Cotton
Partner
+358 45 657 57758
andrew.cotton@hpp.fi

Anna Lehtomaa
Associate / Tax
+358 50 567 5979
anna.lehtomaa@hpp.fi

 

24.10.2018

MaaS should be considered in traffic taxation

The digitalisation of traffic will reduce the importance of owning vehicles, and the extensive electrification and automation of vehicles will alter current business models so that physical goods, in other words cars, become part of digital services.  This development also means that the taxation of traffic must be comprehensibly reassessed.

The assessment must settle how the tax burden of traffic is distributed between the operator and the user of the service and who will be considered the taxpayer in the future.   When digitalisation produces more detailed data on service providers, users and the used services, the accumulated information can be used as grounds for taxation, if desired.  In addition to fiscal objectives, taxation may also have an increasing number of more targeted objectives related to environmental, infrastructural and technological policies. The administrative costs of taxation should not, however, increase as a result of various targeted tax solutions; on the contrary, the system should be simultaneously streamlined.

The current tax legislation of Finland supports commuters with a number of tax concessions. The tax legislation, tax authorities’ instructions and statements should already be able to respond to the new needs of digital business models.  As of the beginning of 2019, the plan will be to alter the tax treatment of charging electric cars at the workplace by specifying a formulaic taxable value for the charging benefit that will correspond to the computational average value of charging. This prevents situations where the employer would like to offer a charging option at the workplace but has to limit the use of the charging station to those entitled to an unlimited car benefit by the employer.

The tax authorities’ current policies do not altogether encourage commuters to extensively use new mobility services. The provisions of the Finnish Income Tax Act concerning an employer-provided commuter ticket’s exemption from taxes in public transport should be amended to cover commuters’ overall mobility services, regardless of the means of transportation. The data produced by MaaS services can be utilised, as explained above, for targeting tax support at commuter traffic in accordance with the legislators’ intent.

In addition, carsharing offered by an employer does not signify a car benefit referred to in the fringe benefit decision of the Finnish Tax Administration but a so-called other fringe benefit that is always assessed with the current value. At the moment, users of MaaS services are also not equal in this respect relative to the terms of taxation for the users of traditional company cars.

Finland may rise as a spearhead of digital traffic. While gaining a more functional and environmentally friendly traffic system, Finland could also obtain thousands of new jobs with digital traffic. However, MaaS and new digital business models also challenge the taxation system. Some of the challenges will be faced as a consequence of long-term development, but some are already calling for attention. It is particularly important to identify the taxation-related issues and find solutions in cooperation with various operators.

The development of the taxation system requires some amendments to legislation, but some issues can be settled within the framework of current legislation through administrative decisions and current instructions submitted by the tax authorities. The fastest changes to the taxation system should be conducted with the specification of the taxable values of MaaS services. The recommended approach for specifying a taxable value for a MaaS service would be similar to that of telecommunications services: a fixed and reasonably low taxable value that is simple and clear for the users and supports the development of the industry.

 

16.10.2018

Transport Code promotes smart mobility

Transport Code, formally the Act on Transport Services, is one of the government’s chief initiatives. The main purpose of this ambitious, open-minded and future-oriented legislation project is to create a growth environment for business digitalisation and to promote transport business by deregulation. The Code unifies legislation governing different transport services and reforms the strict regulation of all transport modes, so that at least the regulation itself will not become an obstacle to digitalisation, automation and new innovations and business models.

The essence of the Code is customer-oriented and digitalised transport services. The crucial thinking behind the Transport Code is based on the concept of “mobility as a service” (MaaS) – which, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, means: “that through technology, information and innovations, transport services will be made a customer-oriented service, in which the boundaries between transport modes disappear and transport chains will be smooth.”

The Code is tailored to enable and promote the seamless and multimodal travel and transportation chains and other combined added value mobility services by opening up the data on traffic systems to be shared between customers, service providers and authorities as openly as possible to promote additional value. Not surprisingly the data protection issues and the GDPR has a big role in legislation process.

Due to the Code’s enormous scope, to cover all transport modes, its preparation has been divided into three stages.

First stage

The first stage focuses mainly on road transport harmonising the provisions of the Public Transport Act, Taxi Transport Act and the Act on Transport of Goods on the Road. Unlike other transport modes, the transport of passengers and goods by road was heavily regulated by domestic legislation and one of the purposes of the Code is to bring the legislation closer to that of other modes of transport by simplifying the traffic licence system. Issuing traffic licences will be centralised to the Transport Safety Agency, which also acts as a general supervisory authority.

The inflexible and old-fashioned taxi system meets the biggest change, when the new legislation makes it easier to access the taxi sector by removing limits on the number of taxi licences, enabling new business models and increasing competition. Pricing will be become more flexible, but the Transport Safety Agency will be able to step in and specify a maximum price should prices rise unreasonably.

The Code reduces significantly the regulatory burden of the public transport of passengers and transport of goods. Additional domestic regulations have been removed by implementing EU legislation and mandatory transport provider training for entrepreneurs will be abolished. The transport licence weight requirement will be raised from 2,000 kilograms (kg) to 3,500kg, so that service providers carrying goods weighing over 2,000kg but less than 3,500kg on a vehicle (typically a van) must register with the Transport Safety Agency. Professional qualifications for lorry and bus drivers will be lightened and clarified. Combining passenger and freight transport is possible.

Implementation of the objectives of the Transport Code requires that data must be compatible with all service providers. Therefore, the Code has obligated all mobility service providers and also authorities from 1 January 2018 onwards to open Application Programming interface (API) as specified in the Government Decree 643/2017. Depending on the mode of service such essential data may consist of routes, stops, timetables, prices and fares as well as information on the availability and accessibility of services.

This obligation applies to all mobility service providers and includes according the Finnish Transport Agency passenger transport services (including bus and taxi services, air- or waterborne passenger transport), stations, ports and other terminals, transport mode rentals and services for commercial ridesharing services, general commercial parking services, brokering and dispatch services.

The first stage of the Transport Code entered into force on 1 July 2018. However, the provisions relating to the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) based on Directive 2010/40/EU entered into force already on 1 October 2017 and the above-mentioned provisions on opening essential data on 1 January 2018.

Second stage

The second stage will unify and deregulate the national legislation of other transport modes (air, sea, rail) and bring them into the Transport Code to be compatible with the provisions on road transport. Different, transport mode-based registers will be consolidated on a one single register which would contain data on service operator permits, transport vehicles and personal licences such as professional qualifications. The second stage of Transport Code will strengthen the role of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency as a licensing and supervisory authority and improve registered persons’ possibilities to use their own data in acquiring mobility services.

The second stage legislation continues to develop digitalisation and data availability of the mobility services further.  The aim is to increase and innovate mobility services and to improve the official and service activities of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency. The Finnish Transport Agency would be obligated to open collected data through open interface, anonymously and by taking care of data protection.

To promote customer-oriented development of more and more individualized trip chains and combined services in future there would be a new sort of provision on acting another’s behalf. That would enable all service providers, not only those being in the dominant position to administer data, to act on customer’s behalf to incorporate tickets for all modes of transport and mobility services.

Government proposal of the second stage (having colossal 878 pages) was submitted to Parliament for approval on 19 October 2017 and was approved with some amendments on 21 March 2018. The second stage of the Act entered into force on 1 July 2018 except that the provisions on acting another’s behalf will enter into force on 1 January 2019.

Third stage

Third stage legislation is under preparation and after public consultation scheduled to be submitted to Parliament in December 2018. Third Stage would cover the remaining provisions to be ensured that objectives with regard to the transport system and digital services are comprehensively covered in the Transport Code.

 

09.10.2018

Digitalisation challenges taxation

The digitalisation of traffic changes existing structures and the way we move from one place to another. Mobility increasingly transforms into a service (Mobility as a Service/MaaS) that allows us to purchase mobility services according to our needs. A MaaS concept may consist of, for example, public transport, car, bicycle and haulage services. In the future, we will be able to buy a monthly mobility package similarly to purchasing phone or data communication services from a telecommunications company.

The digitalisation of traffic will influence the structure and efficient use of vehicle stock. The importance of owning a car will be reduced and mobility will become safer, more environmentally friendly and more fluent. At the same time, new business models will create new businesses and challenge established operators. The global value of the digital traffic services market is estimated at more than EUR 10,000 billion. The functional infrastructure and high level of education in Finland gives us an exceptional opportunity to spearhead this development.

Digitalisation, platform economy and sharing economy also pose a challenge to the tax authorities. Some of the challenges are purely national; however, digital business and its parties are often connected to several countries.   MaaS services, too, can be offered without the company being physically located in the country where the services are consumed. In that case, however, the tax authorities must settle which country should tax the operations, whether the operations are taxable, who is liable to pay taxes for the operations and whether the tax is paid on income or consumption.

Digitalisation is becoming a hot topic in the taxation discourse all around the world. Digitalisation has been viewed as a threat that disintegrates the tax base of countries and strongly increases tax disputes. It has been argued that digitalisation is everywhere and that the current international tax system that was developed in the beginning of the previous century is outdated and requires a significant reform.

Large-scale policies on tax legislation are drafted on an international level, which makes the role of national tax legislation and legislator more of an executive one. Key taxation rules for digitalisation must be agreed upon on a scale that is as global as possible at the OECD. National, regional and temporary solutions must be avoided.  The European Commission’s proposal for a temporary digital tax has faced justified critique, and passing the proposal as such is unsure.

More than 110 member states of the OECD are committed to strive towards shared taxation policies for the challenges of digitalisation by 2020. To put it plainly, the question is how tax revenue will be distributed between different countries. Will corporation tax be directed to the state where the services are used or to the state where the product development of the services takes place and where the value is created?  If a global consensus cannot be reached on common policies, companies are at risk of double taxation. There is a lot at stake.

When developing the tax system, it is advisable to acknowledge that separating digital business from other operations is problematic, which is why the taxation principles concerning digitalisation should be as in line as possible with the taxation principles used in traditional business. On the other hand, necessary tax solutions implemented as a result of digitalisation will have an effect on the current rules of the taxation of traditional business.

The principle of destination or consumption countries is applicable to indirect tax, such as value-added tax, traffic-related taxes and excise tax as the precise purpose of these forms of consumption tax is to tax the use of goods and services. However, digitalisation, artificial intelligence and automated traffic will also change the compensation paid for goods or services. Does the platform operator act e.g. as a seller or only as an intermediary.  Digitalisation blurs the concept of a service or goods, which may make the application of indirect tax legislation challenging. As a result, legislative decisions may also vary.

The tax authorities are very interested in gaining access to the data accumulated in digital platforms for the delivery of taxation. However, the need to simplify taxation so that every operator has the chance to be correctly taxed with minimal administrative costs has received less attention.

The tax system must adapt to the quick reformation by not hindering development but, instead, enabling the quick and flexible implementation of new business models. This requires changes in the legislation, but some of the issues can be settled by updating the instructions and statements of the tax authorities.

The EU is expanding its special scheme for electronic services and simplifying the value-added taxation of e-commerce. The purpose of the changes is to simplify the declaration and payment of value-added tax when the consumer buys goods and services online. This development has positive implications, and the new regulations should enter into force gradually as of 2019.

For long, it has been argued that states competing with the lowest corporation tax will soon lower it to zero. Digitalisation challenges corporation tax in a new way. The focus of legislative work regarding taxation will be on corporation tax in the coming years. However, simultaneously, the significance of consumption taxes to states’ tax revenue will increase. As a result, digitalisation will challenge corporation tax more than indirect taxation.

 

02.10.2018

Data management makes or breaks smart mobility

We are about to face the revolution of smart mobility. The development of self-driving vehicles, electric motors and various digital transport services, for example, will revolutionize the mobility of people and goods. The long-term financial, social and legal impacts of the revolution come with a number of questions yet to be answered.

Smart mobility heavily relies on the efficient digital collection and sharing of information, such as geographic data and traffic behaviour. Therefore, smart mobility also entails the question of how various personal data related to mobility is processed and utilised.

For privacy protection, information related to the mobility of individuals is sensitive. Hardly anyone would want information related to their movements used without express permission, appropriate reason and supervision.

All the information collected in mobility is managed somehow. Data management can be centralised, decentralised or something in between.

Centralised data management could mean that an authority-driven, centralised system used to collect mobility-related personal data would be created in Finland. This approach is used for health care in the Kanta.fi service, for example. A centralised system might entail some benefits, for example from a data protection perspective, but in other respects, it is poorly suited for ecosystem-based, quickly developing business operations.

An opposite extreme would be based on deregulation, meaning that the model would allow the market to manage the processing and utilisation of data. However, it seems that completely excluding the collection and utilisation of data from authoritative direction is quite difficult, as seen when, for example, the United States Congress heard Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.

Finland has chosen a data sharing model based on the distribution of information and open interfaces. Operators joining the ecosystem of smart traffic must open their data for the use of others so that the data is machine readable and generally available, based on existing technology.

This operating model also comes with its issues that must be settled in the near future.

One key conflict has to do with the ownership of data. Is information related to mobility the sole property of an operator or does the shared use of information based on legislation considerably narrow the traditional concept of ownership where the owner is entitled to use their property as they see fit?

Some comments start by stating that shared information is not owned by anyone. On the other hand, companies that use money and resources to collect, manage and utilise data are not too excited about a model that turns shared data into public assets.

The ownership of data is closely connected to its pricing. If the market is allowed to control the exchange of information, a certain price is formed for cooperation between businesses and for opening one’s own interface. In that case, we face the risk that the smart mobility operators with a strong position in the market and especially monopolies overprice their cooperation and knowingly hinder the arrival of new businesses in the market. This has also occurred in other sectors.

In fact, other industries have observed that there has been reasons to take action against the pricing of companies with a strong market position. This has taken place for instance in the telecommunications sector.

As the ecosystem of smart mobility will have an extremely large number of operators and contractual relationships, the policies related to contracts should be updated to a new level. It is not efficient to create a modern ecosystem for smart traffic by relying on traditional document or meta keyword-based contract management systems. It would be more advisable to use data-based -even standardised – contracts that can automate processes related to data management and payment.

Smart mobility is a great opportunity for Finland. However, utilising it in practice requires us to reconsider and settle a number of issues, in a new, innovative way.

 

Published in Finnish in Kauppalehti 2018

 

Pekka Raatikainen
Partner
HPP Attorneys Ltd

Vesa Silaskivi
Executive Advisor
HPP Attorneys Ltd

14.08.2018

HPP’s Energy team authored the Finland Chapter in the Chambers Alternative Energy & Power Guide 2019

Three of HPP’s Energy team, Andrew Cotton, Laura Leino and Ella Rinne have co-authored the Finland Chapter of the recently published Chambers Alternative Energy & Power Guide 2019.

The guide covers the latest regulation of different aspects of the energy sector in Finland and will be a useful read for energy industry professionals, investors and lawyers from other jurisdictions assisting clients contemplating undertaking projects or investments in the Finnish energy sector.

HPP’s Energy team is one of the leading energy teams in the Finnish legal market, as reflected by  its ranking as a Tier 1 energy firm in each year in which leading global law firm directory, Chambers, has issued rankings for the ‘Energy & Natural Resources’ category.

Chambers Alternative Energy & Power Guide 2019

17.07.2018

Young tennis talent, supported by HPP, won the Wimbledon Boys’ Doubles trophy

The young tennis talent Otto Virtanen (pictured left), supported by HPP, has won the boy’s doubles championship in Wimbledon.

Congratulations Otto.

 

photo by Anthony Upton

05.06.2018

HPP’s Aleksei Hanninen defended his doctoral thesis on the transfer pricing of business restructurings

HPP’s Senior Associate Aleksei Hanninen defended his doctoral thesis entitled “Transfer pricing of business restructurings from the perspective of Russian, Finnish and U.S. tax law” on 20 April 2018. Hanninen examines in his dissertation to what extent business restructurings may become objects of transfer pricing under the national transfer pricing regulations in Russia, Finland and the USA. The second research question is how the arm’s length transfer prices should be determined for transfers of such assets/something of value that are deemed to be in the scope of the national transfer pricing rules. In particular, the current Russian transfer pricing rules have not been examined broadly in international tax law research.

The research reveals that business restructurings fall more extensively within the scope of application of the national transfer pricing rules and the arm’s length principle in Finland and the USA in comparison with the existing situation in Russia. In Russia, only transfers of tangible property and intellectual properties seem to fall within the scope of the Russian transfer pricing rules in the business restructuring context, while in Finland and the USA the assets/items-of-value that are typically transferred in business restructurings seem to fall well within the scope of the national transfer pricing rules. This means that intangible assets transferred between related parties are also generally objects of transfer pricing had unrelated parties compensated transfers of such assets in corresponding situations. Moreover, related parties are required to examine on a case-by-case basis whether premature terminations or renegotiations of existing agreements should potentially be compensated and whether the restructuring should be regarded as a transfer of a going concern and thus examined as a whole.

Several uncertainty factors also may relate to the transfer pricing treatment of business restructurings. It is not entirely clear in all cases, inter alia, to what extent transfers of something of value (especially intangibles) fall within the scope of application of the national transfer pricing regulations and what the most appropriate transfer pricing method in a given case is. The best solution to address the uncertainties that relate to the transfer pricing of business restructurings is the conclusion of multilateral or bilateral advance pricing agreements (APAs) with tax authorities. In addition to APAs, the maintenance of a thorough transfer pricing documentation as well as the compliance with the transfer pricing reporting requirements may lead to potential transfer pricing disputes with tax authorities being avoided.

24.05.2018

New support scheme for renewable energy

Wind power produced about 5.6 % of all consumed Finnish electricity in 2017. By the spring 2018, new wind power projects were published for nearly 15 500 megawatts (MW), of which offshore projects are approximately 2 000 MW. In total, projects in different stages of project development will lead to a total investment of over 23 billion in Finland. However, lately the development has decelerated due to the anticipation of the new support scheme.

Wind power operators have been waiting for a new support scheme for renewable energy and its details for a long time. The Finnish Parliament has on 23 May 2018 approved the Government Bill 175/2017 vp by enacting an amendment to the Feed in Tariff Act (Act on Subsidies for Electricity Produced from Renewable Energy Sources 1396/2010). According to the new Act, provisions on a premium system based technology-neutral tender process are added to the Feed in Tariff Act. The new Act must be approved by the European Commission before entering into force.

According to the Energy and Climate strategy for 2030 adopted by the Finnish government on 24 November 2016, the aggregate annual electricity production to be tendered under the new support scheme will be 2 TWh. The Government has, however, subsequently, stated that it will in the autumn 2018 make a proposal to the Parliament to ban the use of coal, which, if approved, will most likely to reduce the aggregate annual electricity production covered by the scheme from 2 TWh to 1.4 TWh. If said reduction is effected, it is expected that only one auction round will be arranged. The timing of the round has not yet been determined, but it is however expected that it will be arranged in December 2018.

Hydro power excluded from the support scheme

According to the new Act, the new subsidy scheme will apply to wind power, solar power, wave power, biogas and wood fuel power. Therefore, hydro power is explicitly excluded from the support scheme. The tenders with the lowest premium and with an annual electricity production not exceeding the annual production subject to tender would win the process. The premium offered would have to fall under the threshold price of the process, which in the beginning would be EUR 53.5/MWh, i.e. the same as under the current feed-in tariff system. The subsidy may be received for maximum of 12 years.

The project must fulfill the preconditions for the auction process

To be eligible for an auction process, the project should be genuinely feasible, which means that the project is as ready as possible for the construction. Therefore, the electricity producer would have to meet certain physical conditions of participation in order to be able to participate in the tender process. The Energy Authority verifies the fulfillment of the conditions as part of the process of selecting the electricity producers approved for the premium system. A participation fee (currently estimated to be EUR 2 500 per bid) is payable in connection with the submission of the bid in the auction process. Furthermore, as the aim is also to ensure the viability of the projects, a participation security and a construction guarantee must be issued during the process. To participate in the tender process, electricity producer would have to post a participation security amounting to the annual production of electricity being tendered multiplied by EUR 2/MWh. Respectively, the amount of the construction security is the offered annual production amount multiplied by EUR 16/MWh.

Obligation to produce electricity

The electricity producer is obliged to produce electricity produced from renewable energy sources according to the accepted tender. Whether the electricity producer would fail to comply with its obligation, an underproduction compensation shall be paid to the state. However, the electricity producer would not be obliged to pay the underproduction compensation insofar as the shortage is attributable to the grid operator and for the time when the market price of electricity in the power plant’s location has been negative. The Energy Authority may also in certain situations exempt the electricity producer to pay the underproduction compensation.

 

HPP is one of the leading legal experts in the wind power sector. We are actively following the development and implementation of the new premium scheme and assisting customers in support scheme related issues.

Minna Juhola
Associate

Minna Juhola specializes in environmental law and advises clients on issues relating to renewable energy projects. Minna has extensive experience in energy, environmental and land use issues related to the wind power sector both in project development and in operational projects.

Björn Nykvist
Partner

Björn Nykvist specializes in banking and finance, M&A and real estate transactions and advises clients on investment and structuring issues arising from renewable and wind energy projects for overseas investors on regular basis. Björn has long-term experience in various transactions and financing arrangements in the wind power and energy sector in general. He is widely respected by both project developers and investors.

12.04.2018

A digital tax would slow down the development of technology and business

The so-called digital tax being planned by the European Commission has been the topic of recent discussions. The idea behind this tax is that the digital platform of a company could form a basis for taxation and a virtual permanent establishment of a sort. This tax would mean that companies providing digital services and exceeding pre-defined revenue or user-based threshold values would be taxed for offering digital services.

In the global distribution of work, Finland’s role will continue to be based on high competence and technology. The production of basic goods will increase in China, India and other growing markets near customers. Labour-based production is searching for new competitive areas— for example, in Africa.

From Finland’s perspective, any regulation hampering or even punishing business that is based on high technology and competence is a bad thing. This is the case regardless of the future distribution of tax revenue between various countries after the implementation of the new tax and whether Finland loses tax revenue or not.

This issue can be analysed further, for example, from the perspective of smart mobility.

There are various types of operators in the area of smart mobility, such as multinational corporations (e.g. Google), national operators (OP, LähiTapiola) and companies providing new types of services (MaaS Global). All operators are collecting enormous amounts of data that they want to use in the development of new services. The roles of the operators vary greatly: all generate data, some own it while others commercialise it, and data processing is being provided as a service in various parts of the world— for example, by using the SaaS model.

Data related to the movement of people is sensitive and can be compared, for example, to health or credit data. For this reason, it is commonly accepted that the use of such personal data is monitored in order to protect the privacy of persons. The legislation applicable to the monitoring of personal data use has more or less kept up with the changes brought about by digitalisation, which is reflected in the GDPR that will take effect in May.

Topics related to the protection of individuals continue to be of importance in smart mobility, and they may also require national solutions to ensure that Finland can maintain its position at the leading edge of development.

Furthermore, the key factor in the development of smart mobility is data on persons, vehicles, circumstances and behaviour. The major investments of operators in this field are related to system development and interface specification, which enables maximising the collection and utilisation of data. This data exchange is necessary for the development of new services and should not be seen as an object for punitive taxation.

There is no similar commonly acceptable justification for digital tax as there is for regulation related to areas such as personal data and polluting production. On the contrary, digitalisation increases efficiency in the use of raw materials and protects the environment.

In addition, as far as the equality and fairness of taxation is concerned, forms of taxation that are unilaterally adopted internationally, various threshold values and problems related to the determining of the tax base are naturally issues that create problems that will misdirect the operations of companies. The appropriate forum for handling global taxation problems is not a state but an international community such as the OECD. As it is, even the current tax competition is a problem and things should not be made worse by introducing new taxes.

Frankly, digital tax— in the form that is currently being discussed— feels like a measure that the old world would use to intervene in the inevitable economic and service development in a manner that reveals common sense having been replaced with greedy taxation and an attack against multi-national “bad guys”. In all this, the major victims are the companies leading digitalisation and having the desire to develop. A digital tax is not a good idea.

 

 

Markku Mäkinen
Managing Partner
+358 (0)40 761 9177
HPP Attorneys Ltd

 

Vesa Silaskivi
Executive Advisor, LL.D, Lic.Sc. (BA)
+358 (0)50 329 9900
HPP Attorneys Ltd

05.04.2018

Antti Rintakoski strengthens HPP’s finance team

HPP is pleased to announce that Antti Rintakoski has joined as Specialist Counsel to strengthen HPP’s finance team.

Antti Rintakoski has extensive experience in domestic and cross-border finance and debt capital markets transactions, including leveraged and acquisition finance, corporate and investment grade lending, real estate finance, project and infrastructure finance, investment grade and high yield bond financing, asset finance and restructuring.

Antti is a respected finance lawyer in the Finnish legal market through his involvement on some of the most complex and significant finance cases in the market to date. In addition to his decade-long career in a reputable Finnish law firm, he has gained expertise at OP Corporate Bank and European Investment Bank, giving him an excellent insight into the commercial and practical requirements for financial institutions.

“HPP aims to offer its clients both a wide range of legal expertise and a deep understanding of their businesses and sector-specific issues. With his experience, expertise and skill in serving clients in the finance sector, Antti Rintakoski helps us do both. We warmly welcome him to our growing finance team and look forward to continuing to develop a market-leading team”, Björn Nykvist, Head of HPP’s Banking & Finance group, says.

05.03.2018

Smart mobility is a major opportunity for Finland

Daily there seems to be news about the world being on the verge of a transport revolution. Electric cars will soon replace combustion engines, self-driving vehicles will be a part of everyday life, and new types of digital services will enable the flexible combination of various forms of transport.

These technologies that are about to change the way we use transport are called smart transport or smart mobility. Some technologies used in smart mobility are related to vehicles themselves, such as the development of electric motors and self-driving cars. The other aspect of the phenomenon is digital services, which will change the way vehicles are used. A well-known example of this is Uber.

The major revolution in transport will take place when the various transport methods and digital services are seamlessly combined. Only imagination sets the limits to the possible solutions that will be created already in the next few years and that will transform transport into a service. For example, by combining the use of shared self-driving electric cars and public transport, the need to have your own car standing in front of your house will be rendered unnecessary and simply a thing of the past.

Smart mobility will inevitably change the economy as well. According to the estimate of the market research company ABI Research, the value of service business related to smart mobility alone will amount to as much as one trillion (1,000 billion) dollars by 2030. It is no wonder that all companies with transport-related operations are currently reviewing their business strategies, with large car manufacturers leading the pack.

For Finland, smarter mobility is the opportunity of a lifetime. This is because the future change will combine several strengths that Finland and Finnish companies and society already have: a functioning transport infrastructure, strong energy sector, digital competence and flexible cooperation between authorities and the business sector. In addition, the new Transport Code is amongst the most advanced transport-related legislation in the world.

Concrete business opportunities are already emerging at a constant rate. Terrafame is planning to start the production of nickel and cobalt chemicals used in the manufacture of batteries. New consumer services are combining the benefits of various transport modes into one monthly ticket. Robot cars are being tested on the roads in Helsinki. Vaasa is aspiring to be the location for the electric car manufacturer Tesla’s gigafactory and the related competence cluster.

OP and LähiTapiola will start providing mobility services. International corporate giants, such as Toyota, Volkswagen and Denso will invest in innovations related to this field in Finland.

We have the opportunity to make Finland the pioneer in smart mobility while utilising the same development to significantly increase employment and economic growth. However, this cannot be done without increasing the flexibility related to the possibilities of experimenting with new technologies and services. For example, favoring the traditional monopolies at the cost of new transport services will not promote the possibilities to create genuinely new innovations.

Finland should now take action in order to ensure that we can develop into a forerunner country in smart mobility. In the next few years already, the changes in transport will generate not only questions related to technology but also challenges related to community and town planning, responsibilities, the opening of markets and intellectual property rights. These changes should be taken into account already in the Transport Code that is being prepared.

It should be kept in mind that smart mobility is also about societal changes. New services can improve the quality of life in congested big cities and in remote districts in which public transport is no longer available. Efficient use of resources and reducing emissions will also play a key role in the fight against climate change.

For this reason, Finland should invest in cooperation that extends beyond the boundaries of companies, industries and public and private sectors by enabling even bold experiments. This would facilitate the emergence of new transport innovations in Finland instead of only adopting solutions that are created in international markets and utilised by others. If our focus is short-sighted and about protecting what exists now— often monopoly type public transport operations at the national or town level— we will miss the opportunity to create new services.

Finland is a country with a high level of trust and technological leadership. Compared to countries in which citizens and companies do not trust each other or the authorities, Finland is a place where it is easier to implement services such as those related to the sharing economy. This trust and desire to experiment are now the keys to the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to utilise Finnish work, improve the everyday life of citizens and reduce the environmental burden.

 

 Published in Finnish in Talouselämä 8/2018

 

Markku Mäkinen
Managing Partner
+358 (0)40 761 9177
HPP Attorneys Ltd

Vesa Silaskivi
Executive Advisor, LL.D, Lic.Sc. (BA)
+358 (0)50 329 9900
HPP Attorneys Ltd

14.11.2017

HPP Energy lawyers write the Finland Chapter of Global Legal Insights to: Energy 2018

Three of HPP’s Energy team have contributed the Finland chapter to leading global law guide Global Legal Insights to: Energy 2018.

In the chapter, HPP lawyers Andrew Cotton, Laura Leino and Björn Nykvist give their insights on topical issues in the Finnish energy sector including, amongst other topics, the development of different energy sources market share in the recent past, attempts to improve security of supply and the new proposal for a renewable energy support scheme as well as other future trends in both energy policy and regulations.

The chapter is available online. HPP’s Energy team is one of the leading teams advising clients in the energy sector in Finland which is reflected by our Tier 1 ranking in the Energy category of leading global law firm directories.

31.05.2017

Uber-complex: regulating ride-hail services

Ride-hail services such as Uber and Lyft generally offer a cheaper and more convenient alternative to standard taxi services, but have disrupted the transport market and generated a myriad of complex issues in terms of regulation. The problem is that a taxi licence is required for driving Uber rides as required for driving a taxi.

Due to the undefined nature of Uber, implications in relation to social security and employment matters have not yet been considered. The insurance industry is also considering issues relating specifically to Uber cars and ride-hail services, as well as to shared cars generally.

Uber began operating in Helsinki in November 2014. However, the police soon began investigations against Uber drivers and now an important precedent is pending before the Supreme Court. That outcome will determine whether and how Uber can continue to operate in Finland. At present, the police are also investigating Uber Finland Oy as a company.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd has written an update on this matter. The update titled “Uber-complex: regulating ride-hail services” has been published in the International Law Office’s Newsletter.

19.05.2017

Ballast Water Management Convention to enter into force – Impacts on the environment, shipowners and the cleantech industry

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments, adopted by the IMO (International Maritime Organization) in 2004, will enter into force on 8 September 2017. The Convention specifies standards for ballast water and sediments management to follow. It applies, in principle, to all ships in international traffic. The Convention does not apply to vessels which only operate in waters under the jurisdiction of a state,[i] e.g. to Finnish flagged vessels which only sail in waters under Finnish jurisdiction.

Impacts on the environment

The purpose of the Ballast Water Management Convention is to prevent and reduce transferring invasive species through ballast water and sediments from one water area to another, as invasive species cause damage to the environment, biological biodiversity and even to human health. To maintain stability and maneuverability, vessels load ballast water at a cargo discharging port and discharge it at a cargo loading port. Consequently, invasive species are transferred through ballast water from a port to another. Ballast water is also operated during cargo handling to control trim, list and stresses of the vessel.

Impacts on shipowners

Each vessel which the Convention applies to shall be surveyed and carry a certificate onboard which indicates that requirements of the Convention are fulfilled. A type-approved BWTS (Ballast Water Treatment System) shall be installed onboard existing tonnage at the first IOPP (International Oil Pollution Prevention) renewal survey after 8 September 2017, i.e. the latest day to install a BWTS varies among vessels. However, to enable more flexible implementation of the Convention, Trafi (the Finnish Transport Safety Agency) allows for de-coupling the IOPP certificate from the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification with an exceptional permission.[ii]

Each vessel shall have a Ballast Water Management Plan, the minimum content of which is defined in Regulation B-1. Onboard a Finnish flagged vessel, the Plan shall be approved by Trafi or an authorized classification society. Furthermore, a record shall be kept of each ballast water operation as specified in Appendix II of the Convention, for which each vessel shall carry a Ballast Water Record Book onboard.

The Convention requires vessels to either exchange ballast water in accordance with Regulations B-4 and D-1, or treat ballast water before discharging it in accordance with the Ballast Water Performance Standard laid down in Regulation D-2. However, ballast water exchange is only a temporary option until all ships have a BWTS onboard.[iii]

In the Baltic Sea area, ballast water is not possible to exchange as required,[iv] due to the fact that there are no such areas where the minimum required distance from the nearest land and depth are met.[v] This means that when a vessel is operating in the Baltic Sea area, ballast water shall be treated with a BWTS once the vessel has installed one onboard. The low temperature, turbidity and brackish water of the Baltic Sea may also pose challenges to operate a BWTS in the Baltic Sea area.[vi]

Required investments from shipowners – Possibilities for the industry

Investment costs of a ballast water treatment system vary among vessel types and sizes. Trafi has evaluated the amount of investment to be between 120,000 and 1,100,100 euros per BWTS when the treatment capacity of a BWTS is between 300 and 5,000 cubic meters of ballast water per one hour.[vii] In addition, a BWTS causes i.e. maintenance and annual operating costs to shipowners.

On the other hand, the Convention will have and has had positive impacts on the marine technology industry; such as on companies involved in manufacturing ballast water treatment systems, shipyards involved in installing the systems and ship design offices.[viii] Wärtsilä Water Systems Ltd, Panasonic Environmental Systems & Engineering Co., Ltd. and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd., to name a few, provide type-approved ballast water treatment systems for vessels.[ix] We are of course glad to see that also Finnish companies are represented among the names.

Exceptions and exemptions

Nevertheless, the Convention provides that vessel safety shall be given priority. Ballast water exchange is not required as regulated if the master of the vessel decides that exchange would threaten the safety or stability of the ship, crew or passengers.[x] It is also worth noting that a vessel shall not be required to deviate from its intended voyage or delay the voyage, in order to exchange ballast water as regulated.[xi]

Furthermore, the states party to the Convention are allowed to grant exemption from ballast water management to a vessel on voyages between specified ports or locations, or to a vessel which operates exclusively between specified ports or locations.[xii] To facilitate administrations and shipowners to identify routes that may qualify for exemptions in the Baltic Sea and North-East Atlantic regions, OSPAR and HELCOM have released an online risk assessment tool, which is available here.

Inspection of vessels­

To verify compliance with the requirements ­­of the Convention, a vessel may be inspected by the Port State Control Authorities. Trafi is responsible for Port State Control inspections in Finland, while the ELY Centre (Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) has responsibility for supervision of sediment reception facilities in Finnish ports.

The Port State Control inspection is primarily carried out as a documentary check by Trafi, but the Port State Control may also include a sampling of the ship’s ballast water.[xiii] It is recommended that shipowners and their crew familiarize themselves with the IMO guidelines for Port State Control under the BWM convention (MEPC.252(67)), which provide detailed procedures for inspections. The guidelines are available here.

After all, ballast water management is not a new phenomenon. National rules restricting ballast water exchange locally have been applicable previously[xiv] and are still to be applied in some states, while this is the first international ballast water management convention. However, the USA has not ratified the Convention and has its own regulations on ballast water management to be taken into consideration when a vessel is operating in waters within the jurisdiction of the USA. This is likely to cause confusion amongst shipowners and operators.[xv]

 

Partner Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger
Trainee Alexandra Kauppi

 

[i] See Article 3 of the Convention.
[ii] Decoupling ships’ IOPP certificates from the Harmonized System of Survey and Certification, News of Trafi, published on 2 February 2017.
[iii] Government proposal 122/2015, p. 39. Available here (in Finnish) or here (in Swedish).
[iv] See paragraphs 1–2 of Regulation B-4 of the Convention.
[v] Government proposal 122/2015, p. 6.
[vi] Statement of the Environment Committee 1/2016, p. 3, available here (in Finnish) or here (in Swedish) and e-Newsletter of Trafi, published on 4 January 2017, available here (in Finnish).
[vii] Evaluating the costs arising from new maritime environmental regulations, Trafi Publications 24/2013, p. 33. Available here.
[viii] Government Proposal 122/2015, p. 13.
[ix] Lists of Ballast Water Management Systems, which received type-approval certification (updated in November 2016). Available here.
[x] See paragraph 4 of Regulation B-4 of the Convention.
[xi] See paragraph 3 of Regulation B-4 of the Convention.
[xii] See Regulation A-4 of the Convention.
[xiii] Literature Review for the Indicative Ballast Water Analysis Methods, Trafi Publications 10/2017, Summary. Available here.
[xiv] Dandu Pughiuc: Invasive species: ballast water battles, Seaways 11/2010, p. 5. Available here.
[xv] Eva Grey: IMO vs USCG: navigating the differences in ballast water regulation, published on 7 April 2016. Available here.

 

27.04.2017

HPP ranked highly in the 2017 edition of the leading global law firm directory, Chambers and Partners

8 practice areas and 15 lawyers were ranked as notable individuals in their chosen specialist legal field with Shipping specialist Henrik Gahmberg rated as a ‘Senior Statesman’ and Head of Head of Energy & Environment, Kari Marttinen and Head of TMT Kari-Matti Lehti, both ranked as Leading Individuals in their practice area.

 

 

HPP has been recommended in the following 8 practice areas:

Competition

Corporate and M&A

Dispute resolution

Energy and natural resources

Insolvency

Real estate

Shipping

TMT

 

Clients’ responses to our products and services:

Competition

”Very skilled and flexible team.”

“Lovely to work with.”

“Communicative, available and very skilled.”

Dispute resolution

“It’s a very good service. The practice has good insight into the latest practices and developments in litigation. They have very good contacts and a good selection of arbitrators, as well as very developed tactical insight.”

Energy and Infrastructure

“Range of in-house expertise is reassuringly comprehensive, their variety of languages complements their international service, and their ability to think out of the box is very refreshing.”

Real estate

“Good level of understanding and experience.”

“Provides simple solutions but is also very creative.”

Restructuring/Insolvency

“Interactive and communicates at a good level.”

“Flexible.”

“Able to work across borders.”

“In-depth knowledge of Finnish law.”

Shipping

“Excellent legal skills. They are flexible and quick and understand the customer’s needs. They carry out the duties assigned flawlessly.”

“Approach, availability, the speed in which they deliver the documents and the quality of the documentation.”

TMT

“Versatile expertise.”

 

The full list of HPP lawyers ranked is as follows:

Tuomas Saraste, Competition/European law

”Good commercial awareness and client service.”

Maarika Joutsimo, Competition/European law

“Good commercial awareness, practical approach to legal problems and excellent training skills.”

Marko Wainio, Dispute resolution

”Really brilliant”

“His legal skills and knowledge are outstanding. He’s quick to understand things and obviously highly intelligent.”

Jörgen Hammarström, Dispute resolution

Mikko Leppä, Dispute resolution

Kari Marttinen, Energy and Natural resources, Real estate

”Leading environmental law specialist.” 

“Vast knowledge.”

”Easy-going, understands client needs and is always available.”

Tarja Pirinen, Energy and Natural resources

“Good knowledge, especially in environmental and mining law.”

Björn Nykvist, Energy and Natural Resources

“Commanding grasp of commercial concepts.”

Jari Tuomala, Real Estate

”Very good at making complicated matters simple.”

Juho Lenni-Taattola, Restructuring/Insolvency

“He’s pragmatic.”

“Tries to find solutions.”

“Excellent in all areas.”

Henrik Gahmberg, Shipping

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger, Shipping

”An excellent lawyer, a skilful negotiator, extremely effective and flexible.”

Matti Komonen, Shipping

“Very hard-working lawyer.”

Kari-Matti Lehti, TMT

”One of the best in that market.”

“Long experience in the market.”

Pekka Raatikainen, TMT

”Very good negotiation abilities.”

12.04.2017

Supreme Administrative Court on reduced fairway dues when carrying empty containers

According to Section 1 of the Fairway Dues Act, “Fairway dues are payable to the government for ships engaged in merchant shipping in Finnish territorial waters”. The amount of fairway dues will be reduced if a ship is not fully loaded comparing to the particular loading capacity utilisation rate. According to the legislature, reducing fairway dues as a result of reduced loading capacity are based on established practice. However, the established practice has been subject to considerable interpretation.

It has been unclear whether a ship is carrying cargo in the meaning of merchant shipping and entitled to reduced fairway dues when carrying empty containers for free. On March 23 2017 the Supreme Administrative Court rendered a decision stating that a ship carrying a shipping company’s empty containers is entitled to the loading capacity reduction, while, on the other hand, a ship carrying empty containers that are not owned by the shipping company is regarded as carrying cargo.

In this case Customs charged fairway dues without granting any reduction. The decision was against the application instructions issued by the Board of Customs in 2006. According to the instructions carrying empty containers and similar platforms free of charge is not regarded as merchant shipping and hence not to be subject to fairway dues.

The Supreme Administrative Court accepted the Helsinki Administrative Court decision, where the customs decision was overruled by referring to Section 6 of the Administrative Procedure Act (434/2003), which states that the acts of the authority will protect legitimate expectations according to law. It means justified expectations towards the acts of the authority.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd has written an update on the amount of fairway dues and the Supreme Administrative decision. The update titled “Supreme Administrative Court on reduced fairway dues when carrying empty containers” has been published in the International Law Office`s Newsletter.

07.04.2017

New Motor Liability Insurance Act enters into force

The new Motor Liability Insurance Act entered into Force on January 1 2017, renewing the previous act from 1959. The reform process began in 2004 and the end result is a clear and easily understandable act which responds to existing and future needs.

Motor liability insurance safeguards the innocent party’s legal protection and compensation. The protection given by motor liability insurance in the act remains as broad as before. The obligation to insure remains but the consequences of failing to insure are now more severe. The basic compensation principles have not changed but the claims process has now been more accurately specified. The insurer has right of recourse against a third party and as a new aspect the right of recourse is also against a person that is liable under the Product Liability Act.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd has written an update on this matter. The update titled “New Motor Liability Insurance Act enters into force” has been published in the International Law Office´s newsletter.

20.12.2016

Validity of legal expenses insurance

The purpose of legal expenses insurance is to cover the legal fees charged by a lawyer representing the insured in an insurance event. The right to coverage arises when there is a dispute, such as a claim or charge that has been disputed.

Legal expenses insurance indemnifies only insurance events occurring during the validity of the insurance. However, there is usually a precondition that the insurance policy must have been also valid for at least two years at the time of the insurance event and that the particular matter which the dispute is based on must have been happened during the validity of that insurance. This can be especially problematic when ending business activities.

In a recent decision the Vaasa Appeal Court stated, that such insurance condition was not unreasonable. In the case a pharmacist sued the insurer after the insurer rejected the pharmacist’s claim, which was related to a former employee’s workers’ compensation claim presented after the pharmacist had retired and ended his business activities and terminated legal expenses insurance at the same time. The Court stated that, inter alia, when the insurance contract was concluded the pharmacist had been provided with the insurance conditions, which were not exceptional.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd has written an update on Finnish legal expenses insurances and the Vaasa Appeal Court decision. The update titled “Validity of legal expenses insurance” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

01.12.2016

HPP presented an award to F-Secure in Slush

HPP sponsored the competition the Best Mobile Service in Finland 2016 organized by Technology Industries of Finland and Teleforum in one of the most significant start-up events in the world – Slush.

HPP took part in choosing the best mobile service in the category of MyData. The judges decided that among all of the candidates the winning product worked best in securing the privacy of mobile users in mobile devices.

The winner was Freedome VPN by F-Secure.

Minister Anne Berner of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (in the photo on the left) and Terho Nevasalo, a partner in the technology team of HPP Attorneys (in the photo on the right) presented the award in the Slush Arena.

 

16.11.2016

Ship carrying no cargo entitled to loading capacity reduction of fairway dues

According to Section 11 of the Fairway Dues Act, the amount of fairway dues will be reduced if a ship is not fully loaded according to the particular loading capacity utilisation rate, which is calculated by comparing the combined total of cargo imported into and exported out of Finland.

Section 11 has been subject to considerable interpretation. It has been unclear, inter alia, whether Section 11 applies if there is no cargo onboard at all. On October 25 2016 the Supreme Administrative Court rendered the precedent (KHO:2016:159) that a ship with no cargo onboard is entitled to the loading capacity reduction. The court referred to the wording of Section 11, which states that the fairway dues for a cargo ship are reduced by 75% if the ship’s loading capacity utilisation rate is 15% or less. As reasonably argued by the shipowner, it would be absurd if only partially loaded ships were entitled to a reduction, not ships carrying no cargo at all.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd has written an update on the reduction of fairway dues and the Supreme Administrative court decision. The update titled “Ship carrying no cargo entitled to loading capacity reduction of fairway dues” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

14.10.2016

Harri Hynninen and Marko Wainio join HPP as partners

Harri Hynninen and Marko Wainio have joined HPP Attorneys Ltd as partners with effect from 3 October 2016. They join HPP from an international law firm located in Helsinki. Both are qualified attorneys and members of the Finnish Bar Association.

Harri Hynninen (pictured left) has broad experience of M&A, corporate transactions and general corporate law issues. Harri’s clients include investment banks, private equity investors and listed companies. Harri also advises clients on dispute resolution both in the local courts and in arbitration proceedings.

Marko Wainio (pictured right) specialises in dispute resolution. He has significant experience of resolving large and complex disputes both as an attorney and as an arbitrator. Marko’s clients include listed companies and leading private companies across a variety of sectors.

Both Hynninen and Wainio are featured in the global legal directories as leading experts in their respective practice areas in Finland.

According to Markku Mäkinen, HPP’s managing partner, ”Harri Hynninen and Marko Wainio are among the leading Finnish legal professionals in M&A and dispute resolution. Their experience and skills would make a significant addition to any Finnish law firm’s strengths and we are delighted that they have chosen to continue their careers here at HPP, one of Finland’s fastest growing corporate law firms.”

23.08.2016

Insurer’s right to terminate cancer insurance

When research and development of a new type of insurance fails or insurance products priced low at the time of marketing become unprofitable thereafter, insurers are inclined to amend conditions repeatedly, raise premiums or close down the insurance portfolio by referring to extensive and unspecified insurance conditions. However, these remedies are not necessarily available under the Insurance Contracts Act.

Unprofitability has been an issue with cancer insurance products introduced in Finland in the late 2000s. Amendments to cancer insurance conditions and premiums and the insurers’ terminations of the insurances resulted in multiple recommended decisions of the Insurance Complaints Board in 2014. The board’s recommendations serve as a reminder that insurers cannot amend insurance contracts or terminate unprofitable contracts if they do not draft the conditions carefully at the outset and fulfil their duty to inform when marketing their products.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd has written an update on the cancer insurance policy amendments and terminations and the Insurance Complaints Board recommendations. The update titled “Insurer’s right to terminate cancer issue” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

06.07.2016

Parliament approves controversial bill abandoning national road cabotage regulations

 Following pressure from the European Commission to fully implement European cabotage rules as laid down in EU Regulation 1072/2009, Parliament has approved a controversial bill amending the Act on Commercial Transport of Goods on the Road on June 22 2016.

On June 16 2016 the commission decided to refer Finland to the European Court of Justice for failing to properly apply the cabotage rules. However, the commission noted that if Finland changes its legislation and decides to follow the EU regulation, it will reconsider its decision to sue Finland.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd, has written an article on this matter, titled “Parliament approves controversial bill abandoning national road cabotage regulations”, which has been published in the International Law Office´s newsletter.

 

27.05.2016

Bankruptcy estate’s liability for maintenance charges

The Supreme Court recently set a precedent (KKO 2015:103) regarding the liabilities of a bankruptcy estate in a case that concerned maintenance charge receivables (incurred after the beginning of bankruptcy proceedings) of a limited liability golf company in connection with the golf company’s shares (i.e., were they considered administrative expenses, and as such, were they payable on becoming due and before the disbursements towards other creditors’ claims in bankruptcy).

The questions before the court were, whether the maintenance charges were administrative expenses for which the bankruptcy estate was liable and if so, could the bankruptcy estate be discharged from its liability by abandoning the shares for the benefit of the golf company.

The Supreme Court found that the bankruptcy estate was not liable for the maintenance charges as administrative expenses in a precedent that seemed to tie the coverage of the administrative expenses more rigidly to the letter of law. The precedent may also be seen to support the legal objectives of bankruptcy proceedings in general. Further, the precedent could be applied to the maintenance charges connected to other types of shares as well.

International Law Office’s newsletter

13.05.2016

HPP has again been ranked highly in the latest edition of the leading global law firm directory, Chambers & Partners

8 practice areas and 15 lawyers were ranked as notable individuals in their chosen specialist legal field with Shipping specialist Henrik Gahmberg rated as a ‘Eminent Practitioner’ and Head of Competition, Tuomas Saraste as well as Head of Energy & Environment, Kari Marttinen and Head of TMT Kari-Matti Lehti, all ranked as Leading Individuals in their practice area. The full list of HPP lawyers ranked is as follows:

Tuomas Saraste, Competition/European Law

Maarika Joutsimo, Competition/European Law

Kari Marttinen, Energy and Natural Resources, Real Estate, Dispute Resolution

Tarja Pirinen, Energy and Natural Resources

Kari-Matti Lehti, TMT

Pekka Raatikainen, TMT

Pekka Puhakka, Dispute Resolution

Jörgen Hammarström, Dispute Resolution

Mikko Leppä, Dispute Resolution

Björn Nykvist, Corporate/M&A, Energy and Natural Resources

Jari Tuomala, Real Estate

Juho Lenni-Taattola, Restructuring/Insolvency

Henrik Gahmberg, Shipping, Dispute Resolution

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger, Shipping

Matti Komonen, Shipping

 

In addition HPP has been recommended in the following 8 practice areas:

 

Competition

Corporate and M&A

Dispute resolution

Energy and natural resources

Insolvency

Real estate

Shipping

TMT

 

Clients’ responses to our products and services:

 

Competition

“The team’s strengths are in having top people, a good teamwork dynamic and being able to connect abilities and skills into one focus. ”

M&A

“We’ve been very pleased. The lawyers are very knowledgeable, professional, always easy to reach and quick to react.”

“The lawyers are very friendly, prompt to answer and offer good advice that you can trust.”

Dispute resolution

“The way the lawyers make an effort to explain things to us understandably and to satisfy our client needs is admirable.”

“The team’s work is really thorough; you can see that the lawyers enjoy what they do, and this brings results.”

Energy

”Its lawyers respond fast and are always available for meetings at short notice. ”

“One of the best environmental legal teams there is.”

Real estate

“The lawyers are very experienced and thus able to concentrate on essential issues in agreements, saving huge amounts of time and energy.”

“These are commercially oriented lawyers. They have the competence to look after the clients’ best interest but also know about market practices, so when there are things that may cause problems down the road, they notice that.”

Restructuring

“The lawyers have a willingness to openly discuss different scenarios and don’t sell us something that looks good but isn’t safe enough. Their honesty really shows through.”

Shipping

“The team delivers on time, giving even more than we expect on different risks and mitigation issues. I’m very happy with its performance and thorough work. No matter the issues, the quality of work is very high. ”

TMT

“The team has a high level of expertise and timely delivery.”

 

25.04.2016

HPP and its lawyers ranked among the leading Finnish lawyers in Legal 500 2016

Once again, HPP has been highly ranked in 8 key categories of the latest edition of the Legal 500. The quality of our leading lawyers has been recognised in this leading global directory and a total of 14 HPP lawyers have been listed as leading individuals in their fields, with 4 achieving ‘Elite’ status. HPP would like to thank all our clients and co-operation partners for giving us such positive feedback.

In summary the rankings provide as follows:

Hammarström Puhakka Partners has been recommended in the following 8 practice areas:

FINLAND

Banking and finance
Corporate and M&A
Dispute resolution
EU and competition
Intellectual property
Maritime and transport
Real estate and construction
TMT

4 lawyers are listed in elite “Leading lawyers” list. The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2016’s guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide.

Maritime and transport:

Henrik Gahmberg

Real estate and construction – environment:

Kari Marttinen

Technology, Media and Telecom:

Kari-Matti Lehti

Klaus Nyblin

 

14 lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 Europe (listed below)

Banking and finance:

Björn Nykvist

Corporate and M&A:

Vesa Silaskivi

Antti Säiläkivi

Dispute resolution:

Pekka Raatikainen

EU and competition:

Tuomas Saraste

Intellectual property:

Markku Mäkinen

Klaus Nyblin

Maritime and transport:

Henrik Gahmberg (Elite)

Matti Komonen

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger

Real Estate and construction:

Kari Marttinen (Elite)

Antti Rikala

Jari Tuomala

Technology, Media and Telecom:

Kari-Matti Lehti (Elite)

Klaus Nyblin (Elite)

Pekka Raatikainen

16.03.2016

New Workers’ Compensation Act enters into force

The new Workers’ Compensation Act has entered into force. The act’s purpose is to update legislation to meet the requirements of today’s working environment. The act has codified the prevailing court and compensation practice and it is clearer and more accurate than the previous act, which dated back to 1948. Inter alia, the act defines the term ‘accident’ and specifies which workers are insured and under which circumstances the accidents are covered.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd, has written an update on this matter. The update titled “New Workers’ Compensation Act enters into force” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

10.02.2016

Icebreaking services agreement with Russia comes into force

Since the traffic to the Russian ports on the Baltic Sea has increased greatly over the last few years, Russia’s icebreaking capability can no longer meet demand in severe winter conditions. Russia and Finland have thus entered into an agreement focus of which is to promote cooperation in icebreaking assistance in the Baltic Sea by letting Finnish icebreakers provide assistance in Russian territorial waters, and vice versa. The assistance is provided under a commercial agreement, which defines, inter alia, a compensation system and individual conditions of assistance.

Partner Matti Komonen from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, has written an article on the agreement. The update titled “Icebreaking services agreement with Russia comes into force” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

25.12.2015

Liquidated pension fund had no right to collect extra premiums

In a recent case the Insurance Court found that the debiting of extra premiums, performed by a pension fund after it went into liquidation, was not in line with the Insurance Fund Act. The court confirmed that, in principle, the liquidated pension fund was entitled to collect the premiums in order to meet the solvency requirements, but it set out some requirements for the collection, e.g. that the transfer of the insurance portfolio first required the realisation of the fund’s assets.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd, has written an article on this matter. The update titled “Liquidated pension fund had no right to collect extra premiums” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

09.12.2015

Kari-Matti Lehti listed as the most influential IT lawyer

HPP TMT partner Kari-Matti Lehti has been ranked as the most influential IT lawyer in Finland.

Tivi, the leading business newspaper for the information and communication technolgy industry, placed him on their annual list of the most influential experts in the industry.

Kari-Matti is the only lawyer ever to appear on the top 100 list.

24.11.2015

HPP proud to sponsor Jarkko Nieminen’s Final Night event

Finland’s best and most successful tennis player, Jarkko Nieminen, played his last game of professional tennis against the greatest tennis player of the modern era, Roger Federer. In addition, Finnish ice hockey legend Teemu Selanne and Swedish ice hockey legend Peter Forsberg made up a doubles match which entertained the large crowd at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki.

The Final Night event was a big success and the money generated through ticket sales will be donated for the benefit of the young Finnish tennis players attending the Jarkko Nieminen tennis academy.

12.11.2015

HPP organised a seminar on the new procurement legislation for tendering companies

What does the new national procuerement legislation mean specifically to the tending companies? In the seminar HPP’s public procurement professionals explained, what will change in practice as the new procurement legislation will come into force. The seminar also dealt with the newest case-law of the Market Court and the Supreme Administrative Court. The seminar was opened by Jouni Alanen, Partner at HPP, who was soon followed by the Senior Administrative Secretary of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Markus Ukkola. Ukkola talked about the background of the reform, the key changes, and the next steps of the legislative process.

Attorney Klaus Majamäki gave a presentation on the scope of the procurement legislation and on the obligation to invite tenders. Partner Jouni Alanen continued along the same lines about the new in house provisions. Senior Associate Perttu Koivula held a presentation on the main changes in the procurement procedures and on the selection of the best tenders. With procurement agreements as his subject, Partner Kari-Matti Lehti talked about the optimisation of tenders and about securing a position in agreement negotiations. The seminar was concluded by a discussion.

10.11.2015

Responsibilities of company management stirred up debate in a seminar organised by HPP

HPP organized a seminar on responsibilities of company management and on legal process. Other topics discussed during the seminar were financial crime process, labour law breaches, bribes, and breaches in business secrecy.

Klaus Nyblin, partner at HPP, opened the seminar with a presentation about why legal process often comes as a surprise. Senior Advisor Jyrki Siivola continued the seminar by presenting corporate criminal processes, concentrating on the labour law breaches. Senior Advisor Mikko Erkkilä gave a presentation on offering and accepting bribes.

Partner Klaus Nyblin then moved on to talk about breaches of business secrecy. The next speaker, nonfiction writer Petteri Järvinen shared personal experiences of being the subject of a financial crime process over the course of 10 years. The last topic discussed during the seminar was crime and public judgement. Communications manager Teuvo Arolainen gave an overview of publicity.

19.10.2015

Pharmaceutical injury insurance and time-bar clauses

In a recent case the Insurance Complaints Board stated that pharmaceutical injury insurance is not in the public domain. The board’s understanding was that an insured usually becomes aware of such insurance from a doctor after injury has occurred, and hence awareness must be judged on a case-by-case basis. The board found that the insurer was not entitled to rely on its insurance conditions and the claim was not time barred.

Partner Matti Komonen from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, has written an update on this matter. The update titled “Pharmaceutical injury insurance and time-bar clauses” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

07.10.2015

Labour Court overrules stevedores’ effort to take over container bar lashing

For several years, the Transport Workers’ Union (AKT) has claimed that the lashing and unlashing of bars on container ships in Finnish ports should be performed by its own stevedores, even though usually a vessel’s own crew performs the lashing and unlashing. After several disputes with the Finnish Port Operators Association and the consequent convictions, AKT started boycotting directly selected shipping companies. The case came before the Labour Court, which dismissed AKT’s claim and held that AKT had violated the industrial peace by putting pressure on shipping companies so that they would order bar lashing work from port operators.

Partner Matti Komonen from HPP Attorneys Ltd, has written an article on this matter. The update titled “Labour Court overrules stevedores’ effort to take over container bar lashing” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

17.09.2015

HPP and Pöyry together organised a seminar on the requirements of a functional environmental permit

HPP and Pöyry together arranged a seminar dealing with the new changes in environmental legislation and the requirements of a fluent environmental permit process.

Kari Marttinen, Partner at HPP, and Jaana Tyynismaa from Pöyry opened the seminar. Kari Marttinen introduced the newchanges brought by the new government platform and the three steps of the reform of the Environmental Protection Act. Mikko Kantokari from Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment spoke about the validity of environmental permits in the light of the new legislation.

Pirkko Seitsalo and Maarit Korhonen from Pöyry presented particular issues of the directive facilities, such as accounting for BAT conclusions in the permit application.

Senior Advisor Suvi Marttinen provided an insight on the environmental permit procedure from an attorney’s point of view. She presented the latest changes in authority practice, such as the significance of of coercive measures and water protection programmes in the permit consideration. Lastly, Kirsi Koivunen from Pöyry presented practical viewpoints concernin a good environmental permit application and e.g. provided examples of problematic parts of drafting an environmental permit application.

03.09.2015

A seminar on the significance of procurement legislation and on the recent practice of the Finnish Market Court

A seminar organized by HPP went through the significance of new national procurement legislation from the viewpoint of waste facilities. Recent case law of the Finnish Market Court was also discussed.

The new national procurement legislation stands for multiple new provisions but what are the changes in practice? In the seminar organized by HPP the changes in national procurement law were discussed with an emphasis on waste facilities. The topics of the seminar were, among other things, the in-house provision of the EU procurement directive and the Finnish draft law, a recent decision by the Market Court concerning the in-house position of waste facilities, essential changes of tender procedures, ruling out the unfit tenderers from the tender process and the selection of the best tender.

The speakers of the seminar were Partner Jouni Alanen, Senior Associate Perttu Koivula, Attorney Klaus Majamäki and Attorney Julia Pekkala.

01.09.2015

HPP and Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association organised a seminar on the most essential terms and principles of agreements concerning software supply, development and upkeep

Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd together with Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association organised a seminar concerning the most essential terms and principles of agreements concerning software supply, development and upkeep. The seminar went through e.g. the differences between the terms concerning software supply and maintenance when installing software for the client and when supplying the software as a service. The presentations also included examples of topics generally most subject to disputes during negotiations concerning the supply and maintenane agreements and attention was also paid to accounting for client requirements in SaaS service agreements. Issues concerning the delivery contracts also discussed during the seminar. What are the most common matters causing disagreements during and after supply? The seminar went practically through the challenges in software supply agreements without forgetting the international viewpoint.

The speakers of the seminar were Terho Nevasalo and Markku Mäkinen, partners at HPP, Keijo Karjalainen, CEO of Sympa, and Kaija Erkkilä, CEO of Midaxo. The seminar initiated by the CEO of SYmpa. His presentation concerned the journey towards internationality and challenges brought by it. He was followed by Terho Nevasalo,who talked about agile development as a supply model and more generally about the supply agreement negotiations. CEO of Midaxo, on the other hand, spoke about Midaxo’s experiences on how Midaxo’s international growth was accomplished and about the experience gained along the way. Markku Mäkinen, the managing parther at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, held a presentation on development and maintenance agreements.

29.05.2015

Markku Mäkinen appointed as the managing partner of Hammarström Puhakka Partners

Partner Markku Mäkinen has been appointed as the managing partner of HPP effective from 1 June 2015.

Mäkinen joined HPP in 2012. Prior to joining HPP, Mäkinen worked at Nokia for 12 years and held various senior positions including as head of both Nokia China and Nokia North America legal teams.

“Markku Mäkinen’s experience and personal qualities provide an excellent basis on which to further develop HPP’s business and continued solution-oriented growth strategy. Furthermore, Markku’s background strengthens HPP’s ability to respond to the increasingly international and diverse nature of legal work and the rapid pace of change in the domestic, Nordic and global economy, which require law firms to develop and adopt new and more effective operating models”, says HPP’s Chairman of the Board Tuomas Saraste.

Mäkinen will continue his client work as an experienced specialist in mergers and acquisitions and technology related matters.

”I’m very excited about the new challenge of leading the HPP organisation. I believe my experience will add particular value to overseeing the development of HPP’s business and the core capabilities supporting the business. Client work and interaction with clients, which are at the core of HPP’s business, have always been close to my heart and I believe that through my new role I will be able to strengthen this vital part of HPP’s business by building on an excellent foundation of highly-experienced and qualified people and their expertise”, says Markku Mäkinen.

27.05.2015

Seminar on damages related to competition law

HPP held a breakfast seminar at the Akseli Gallen-Kallela hall at Hotel Kämp on 27 May 2016. The seminar concerned damages related to competition law. Partners Vesa Silaskivi and Jörgen Hammarström along with Attorney Julia Pekkala were the speakers of the seminar.

The presentation by partners Jörgen Hammarström and Vesa Silaskivi focused on the challenges and special characteristics of damages related to competition law. The presentation went through practical experience from the case involving the biggest damages related to competition law in Finland – the concrete cartel (betonikartelli).

As the second speaker of the seminar, Julia Pekkala’s presentation concerned EU’s new damages directive and its most notable changes to the legal situation. The presentation concentrated on damage presumption, reversed burden of proof and on other notable changes brought by the directive.

06.05.2015

HPP ranked highly by Chambers & Partners

HPP has again been ranked highly in the latest edition of the leading guide to law firms, Chambers & Partners.

13 HPP lawyers were ranked as notable individuals in their chosen legal specialist field with Shipping Partner, Henrik Gahmberg rated as a ‘Eminent Practitioner’ and Head of Competition, Tuomas Saraste and Head of Energy & Environment, Kari Marttinen, both ranked as Leading Individuals in their practice area.

Tuomas Saraste, Competition/European Law

Maarika Joutsimo, Competition/European Law

Kari Marttinen, Energy and Natural Resources, Real Estate, Dispute Resolution

Tarja Pirinen, Energy and Natural Resources

Pekka Puhakka, Dispute Resolution

Jörgen Hammarström, Dispute Resolution

Mikko Leppä, Dispute Resolution

Björn Nykvist, Corporate/M&A, Energy and Natural Resources

Jari Tuomala, Real Estate

Juho Lenni-Taattola, Restructuring/Insolvency

Henrik Gahmberg, Shipping, Dispute Resolution

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger, Shipping

Matti Komonen, Shipping

In addition, our Shipping and Energy & Natural Resources teams were ranked as top tier departments with stand-out performances over the past year.

HPP is grateful to its clients and peers for their positive feedback and to our committed and talented lawyers and support staff who are continuing to build a high-quality independent Finnish law firm capable of handling the biggest and most complex domestic and cross—border assignments in all sectors in the Finnish market today.

30.03.2015

HPP’s seminar on transfer of environmental and competition law based liabilities in transactions seminar will be arranged again later this year

On 11 March 2015 HPP hosted a topical seminar on  “Transfer ofenvironmental and competition law based liabilities in transactions”.

The seminar gathered more than 70 visitors together to listen to HPP’s experts and to discuss environmental and competition law related questions in transactions and bankruptcy.

The head of HPP’s environmental team, Partner Kari Marttinen described the transfer of environmental liabilities in transactions and bankruptcy while the team’s Senior Advisor Mikko Erkkilä focused on environmental liabilities in legal due diligence and M&A agreements. The head of HPP’s competition law team, Partner Tuomas Saraste discussed the transfer of competition law based liabilities in different transactions and Senior Associate Anu Aaltonen focused on state aid risks relating to transactions. The seminar was chaired and presentations commented by Partner Vesa Silaskivi from HPP’s Transactions and Investments team.

HPP’s speakers are happy to provide further information on the seminar and the topics discussed. Due to the high interest in the topic HPP will arrange another seminar on the subject later this year.

05.03.2015

HPP’s seminar on special issues of complementary construction gathered real estate professionals together

HPP hosted a topical seminar concerning special issues of complementary construction on 5 February 2015. Due to shortage of building land, especially in the metropolitan area there is a high pressure for complementary construction and conversion of purpose of use. The seminar gathered a significant number of corporate real estate professionals together to listen to HPP’s experts and to discuss legal issues regarding complementary construction.

Senior Advisor Mikko Erkkilä reviewed preconditions and official procedures necessary for conversion of purpose of use defined in a detailed plan. Erkkilä discussed the subjects especially in the light of recent legal praxis.

Senior Advisor Suvi Marttinen’s presentation concentrated on protection of buildings, which often needs to be considered in complementary construction projects. Marttinen focused on project developer’s possibilities to take part in building protection procedures and options to influence the content of building protection orders.

Partner Jari Tuomala described legislation and regulations regarding soil and structure contamination  and project developer’s decontamination liabilities.

Senior Associate Antti Rikala and Associate Pauliina Lievonen reviewed horizontal and vertical division of possession between real property owners.

HPP’s real estate team is happy to provide further information on the seminar and the topics discussed.

22.01.2015

Finnish wind power attracts foreign investors

Successful foreign investments into the Finnish wind sector has alerted other fund investors to the opportunities present in Finland, observes Björn Nykvist, partner at HPP, in an inverview published in the January issue of American Lawyer / Focus Europe.

As a corporate finance partner at HPP Nykvist has advised a number of foreign investors with their wind power related projects.

– HPP has acted for five different foreign private equity funds looking at acquiring assets in the Finnish wind sector in the past 12 months, which is a significant number given the size of the market.

According to Mr Nykvist, one of the main drivers behind wind power investments into Finland is the competitive feed-in-tariff available for electricity producers (83,50 euros per MW/h).

– The current Nord Pool spot price is around 30 euros per MW/h, so the feed-in-tariff guarantees a very healthy return on investment.

The full article is available in the digital edition of Focus Europe.

03.12.2014

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger appointed as Finland’s representative for WISTA Nordic collaboration

Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland have launched a Nordic collaboration of the respective national associations of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA). Finland’s representative for Nordic cooperation is HPP’s partner Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger, who is also the WISTA Finland board member responsible for international affairs.

WISTA is a networking organization for women at management level in the maritime industry. The organization supports its members by arranging networking possibilities and events with focus on education and mentoring, amongst other things. WISTA has over 2,000 members in 32 countries worldwide.

WISTA Nordic collaboration will enable drawing up a more focused programme for the Nordic member nations, which are known as forerunners in structuring financial and other services, innovating ship type and design, and in environmental aspects related to shipdesign.

28.11.2014

Insurer’s right to amend premiums and conditions of cancer insurance

The Insurance Complaints Board recently issued three recommended decisions about insurers’ rights to amend the premiums and conditions of cancer insurance. The recommendations serve as a reminder that insurers cannot amend an insurance contract on the whatever grounds and should draft the conditions carefully from the beginning.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Insurer’s right to amend premiums and conditions of cancer insurance” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

14.11.2014

“Trends in Nordic M&A “ seminar was a success

HPP was pleased to co-host a breakfast seminar on “Trends in Nordic M&A: Developing solutions and trends for protecting value in Nordic transactions” along with AIG and UK Trade & Investment on Wednesday 5 November at the British Embassy in Helsinki.

Speakers including Rowan Bamford, AIG’s Head of Underwriting, Jan Mattlin, Partner at Capman Buyout, Henrik Rydén, CEO of JLT Risk Solutions and HPP Partner Antti Säiläkivi, addressed the audience on topics concerning trends in Nordic transactions market, the use of M&A insurance on both the buy and sell-side to protect parties to a transaction, and how M&A insurance is affecting deal and auction processes in the Nordic transaction market.

The audience was made up primarily of General Counsel of leading Finnish corporates and private equity and corporate finance professionals. The conclusion of a very interesting panel discussion was that M&A insurance was a developing solution which was set to increase in use as a means of resolving potentially contentious issues during negotiation, for ‘sweetening’ bids in auction processes and avoiding the need for escrow arrangements allowing sellers to realize and protect value at an earlier stage than previously.

Further information on insurances in connection with transactions can be obtained from partner Antti Säiläkivi, antti.sailakivi@hpplaw.fi.

31.10.2014

HPP’s seminar on dispute resolution gathered the representatives of municipal waste management companies together

On 18 September 2014, HPP organized a seminar on dispute resolution directed to waste management companies. In their presentations HPP’s experts concentrated on subjects concerning the waste management business, i.a. public procurement and dispute resolution. Interest towards a seminar focusing on waste management disputes was substantial and the topics evoked a lot of discussion among the participants and speakers.

Jouni Alanen, Partner at HPP, introduced the new public procurement directives and their national implementation and the competence of courts and supervising authorities in the disputes relating to waste management. In addition, Mr. Alanen described the assignment of waste management tasks to waste facilities and presented recent legal praxis relating to waste management business.

Senior Associate Perttu Koivula reviewed the activities of the Market Court and the processing of appeals in the Market Court, especially concerning public procurement.

Competition law specialist, Senior Associate Maarika Joutsimo described recent legal praxis in Finland and in the EU focusing particularly on waste management and recycling and sorting systems. Ms. Joutsimo also covered the current report and measures of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority concerning the waste management business.

Senior Associate Johan Pråhl’s presentation concentrated on waste management disputes in general and especially on disputes regarding avoidance of waste related payments. Mr. Pråhl went through the reasons, consequences and damages relating to the avoidance of waste related payments and the special features of criminal and civil procedures in such cases.

Partner Pekka Puhakka described the disputes in the waste management business in connection with arbitration. In addition, in his presentation Mr. Puhakka concentrated on the differences between arbitration and court proceedings.

The topic of Partner Kari Marttinen’s presentation was the reform of the Environmental Protection Act from the perspective of waste management facilities’ operations. The presentation focused on the changes brought by the new Environmental Protection Act especially for the companies acting in the waste management business.

HPP’s dispute resolution, public procurement and environmental law teams are happy to provide further information on the seminar and the topics discussed.

20.10.2014

Kari Marttinen nominated as Lawyer of the Year 2015 in three categories

Best Lawyers, a US publication, lists best lawyers within various jurisdictions that have been nominated by their peers. Within each field of law the acknowledgement is granted to a person who is respected by other professionals and known as outstandingly professional and gifted within his own field. HPP’s partner Kari Marttinen has been nominated as the best within his field by awarding him the distinction Lawyer of the Year 2015 in three different categories; real estate and construction, environment and natural resources.

Best Lawyers recommends also the following specialists working for our firm: Henrik Gahmberg, Jörgen Hammarström, Mikko Erkkilä, Matti Komonen, Juho Lenni-Taattola, Herman Ljungberg, Suvi Marttinen, Klaus Nyblin, Björn Nykvist, Pekka Puhakka, Tuomas Saraste, Jari Tuomala and Vesa Silaskivi.

Best Lawyers listed Finnish lawyers for the sixth time. Altogether it lists top business lawyers in 70 countries in different parts of the world.

17.10.2014

Seminar on e-money was very well received

On 8 October HPP co-hosted a seminar “Electric money in payment service business” together with Teleforum ry. The audience was made up of people working for telephone operators, mobile service businesses and payment system providers. During the event HPP’s partner Terho Nevasalo and Juha Eerikäinen, Senior Financial Supervisor with the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority, discussed the concept of electric money and which payment services are subject to regulation, whereas Paytrail Oyj and Enterpay Oy discussed their observation of the regulation of payment services and the challenges that it has entailed.

The seminar was the first event organized by Teleforum ry’s working group on electric payment since the establishment of the group in the summer 2014. The working group comprises of 11 member companies and its chairman is Terho Nevasalo.

The seminar was very well received by the audience. HPP and Teleforum ry will continue their collaboration during the course of the year 2015.

14.10.2014

HPP’s and Pöyry’s breakfast seminar regarding the new Environmental law

HPP and Pöyry organized a breakfast seminar about the key changes of the new Environmental law which entered into force on the first of September 2014. The seminar was organized on Tuesday 30.9.2014 in a nearly full Rake Sali Ball Room.

Kari Marttinen from HPP and Jaana Tyynismaa from Pöyry opened the seminar by describing the close cooperation between HPP and Pöyry regarding projects within Environmental law.

The speakers at the seminar were Suvi Marttinen and Tuulia Strandén from HPP, Teemu Lehikoinen from the Regional State Administrative Agency of Southern Finland and Maarit Korhonen from Pöyry.

Suvi Marttinen gave an extensive presentation relating to the key changes of the new Environmental law. Tuulia Strandén spoke about the changes relating to the BAT-regulations and Teemu Lehikoinen continued the topic from an authority’s perspective. The seminar was concluded with the practical presentation of Maarit Korhonen regarding the hands-on experience of the baseline report.

17.09.2014

Supreme Court rules which party is liable for oil-spill fee

A vessel was suspected of leaking oil and the Border Guard imposed an oil discharge fee on the vessel owner. The owner appealed on the grounds that the fee was imposed on the wrong party, since the vessel was operated by the operator at that time. However, the owner had not raised this argument when the fee had been imposed and the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Supreme Court rules which party is liable for oil-spill fee” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

02.09.2014

Helsinki Appeal Court on insurer’s duty to inform in group pension insurance

The Helsinki Appeal Court recently ruled on whether an insurer had given two insured employees incorrect or misleading information about their pension insurance cover. The judgment demonstrates that insurers must be careful when providing information and insureds must use common sense and read annual pension information clearly.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Helsinki Appeal Court on insurer’s duty to inform in group pension insurance” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

27.08.2014

HPP is proud to be co-hosting the next International Project Finance Association seminar in Helsinki on 2 September

HPP is proud to be co-hosting the next International Project Finance Association seminar in Helsinki on 2 September entitled: “Wind in Finland – The Ever-Accelerating Deal-flow”. The event will feature speakers from HPP, KPMG, Pohjola Bank, as well as leading Finnish wind developers, international investors and financial institutions.

To register for this event please go to: http://www.ipfa.org/events/8026/ipfa-nordic-region-helsinki-wind-in-finland-the-ever-accelerating-deal-flow

29.04.2014

HPP ranked highly by Chambers & Partners

HPP has again been ranked highly in the latest edition of the leading global guide to law firms, Chambers & Partners.

13 of our 18 partners were ranked as notable individuals in their chosen legal specialist field with Shipping Partner, Henrik Gahmberg rated as a ‘Star Individual’ and Head of Competition, Tuomas Saraste and Head of Energy & Environment, Kari Marttinen, both ranked as Leading Individuals in their practice area.

In addition, our Shipping and Energy & Natural Resources teams were ranked as top tier departments with stand-out performances over the past year.

HPP is grateful to its clients and peers for their positive feedback and to our committed and talented lawyers and support staff who are continuing to build a high-quality independent Finnish law firm capable of of handling the biggest and most complex domestic and cross—border assignments in all sectors in the Finnish market today.

22.04.2014

Right to indemnities when policyholder fails to notify of increased risk?

A recent Supreme Court judgment has emphasised how important it is to define the scope of insurance in the policy and to keep the policy updated regarding changes in a business environment. The case arose after twenty-seven vehicles were damaged in a flood at a port warehouse. The warehouse was not indicated in the insurance contract as a place of storage and the insurer did not know that the cars were stored there.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Right to indemnities when policyholder fails to notify of increased risk?” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

14.04.2014

HPP and its lawyers ranked highly in Legal 500 2014

HPP has once again been ranked highly in 8 key categories of the latest edition of the Legal 500. We are also delighted that the quality of our leading lawyers has been recognised in this authoritative global publication and a total of 17 HPP lawyers (one in three of all HPP lawyers) have been listed as leading individuals in their fields, with 4 achieving ‘elite’ status. HPP would like to thank all our clients and co-operation partners for giving us such positive feedback.

The full rankings and commentary for HPP can be found here, but in summary the rankings provide as follows:

Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd has been recommended in the following 8 practice areas:

FINLAND

Banking and finance
Corporate and M&A
Dispute resolution
EU and competition
Intellectual property
Maritime and transport
Real estate and construction
TMT

4 lawyers are listed in elite “Leading lawyers” list. The Legal 500 Europe, Middle East & Africa 2014’s guide to outstanding lawyers nationwide.

Maritime and transport:

Henrik Gahmberg
Herman Ljungberg

Real estate and construction – environment:

Kari Marttinen

TMT:

Klaus Nyblin

17 lawyers are recommended in The Legal 500 Europe (listed below)

Banking and finance:

Björn Nykvist

Corporate and M&A:

Markku Mäkinen
Björn Nykvist
Vesa Silaskivi
Antti Säiläkivi

Dispute resolution:

Jörgen Hammarström
Mikko Leppä
Pekka Puhakka

EU and competition:

Tuomas Saraste

Intellectual property:

Andrew Cotton
Markku Mäkinen
Klaus Nyblin

Maritime and transport:

Henrik Gahmberg (Elite)
Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger
Matti Komonen
Herman Ljungberg (Elite)

Real Estate and construction:

Kari Marttinen (Elite)
Antti Rikala
Jari Tuomala

TMT:

Markku Mäkinen
Klaus Nyblin (Elite)

11.04.2014

Guarantee issues generated discussion in the HPP Shipbuilding Seminar

The Ship Building Seminar organized by the maritime and transport practice group of HPP attracted an international audience to the Rake hall on 10th April 2014. Speakers at the seminar included senior associate Max Lemanski of the London office of Stephenson Harwood, Knut Morten Finckenhagen of the P&I Insurer Gard, partners Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger, Henrik Gahmberg and Herman Ljungberg as well as senior associate Markus Hamro-Drotz of HPP.

Markus Hamro-Drotz covered in his presentation a buyer’s possibilities for securing his financial interests in newbuild contracts by means of registering a ship under construction or demanding a guarantee from the builder. Max Lemanski further elaborated on refund guarantees through a case study. Herman Ljungberg’s presentation offered a look into the concept of appurtenances in connection with ship mortgages.

Nora Gahmberg-Hisinger spoke on liquidated damages clauses in ship building contracts highlighting interesting practical viewpoints arising from negotiations. Knut Morten Finckenhagen presented Builders’ risks insurances from an insurer’s point of view. Henrik Gahmberg concluded the seminar with a presentation on certain choice of law issues which surfaced in a recent case revolving around asset transfers of active vessels.

The HPP maritime and transport practice group are happy to provide further information on the seminar as well as on any questions pertaining to ship building and maritime choice of law.

09.04.2014

The SaaS and Licence Agreement Seminar attracted a large crowd to the Rake hall

Terho Nevasalo, a partner at HPP, held a seminar at the event organised by the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association. Nevasalo spoke on the essential conditions of SaaS service agreements from a business perspective as well as how to avoid risks.

The seminar was part of the series ‘Growth Enterprises’ Business Contracts’. Highlighting the diverse experiences of all parties, the seminar approached the subject from the perspective of service providers, buyers and users. A corresponding seminar will be held at the ICTExpo at Messukeskus Helsinki on 8 May 2014.

29.03.2014

Partner Klaus Nyblin was awarded for the third time

Klaus Nyblin was awarded again in the Client Choice Awards 2014 as the  Winner in Healthcare & Life Sciences, Finland.

Partner at Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd, attorney-at-law Klaus Nyblin was awarded for the third time with International Law Office’s (ILO) award, Client Choice Awards 2014, as the winner of the category Healthcare & Life Sciences in Finland. Klaus Nyblin has market-leading experience and understanding of the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry; he regularly advises several companies in the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

What clients commented to ILO:

“I know that most of the pharmaceutical giants use Klaus because he is the best.”

“He shows excellent professionalism and knowledge on healthcare and life sciences.”

“His status as one of the leading healthcare law experts is  not in doubt. However, it is his understanding of the business of the pharmaceuticals industry that really sets him apart.”

“He is well connected and a key player in the market.”

28.03.2014

Mirka Kuisma at HPP wins the race for Best Commission Representative in the European Law Moot Court

Trainee at HPP, Mirka Kuisma, has won the award of the Best Commission Representative in the 2013-2014 European Law Moot Court competition (ELMC) in the individual competition of Commission Representatives. The prestigious ELMC competition comprises three categories in which mainly European and American law students compete in the field of EU law. The best team prize was awarded to Maastricht University and the prize of the best Advocate General to College of Europe. Kuisma competed as a member of the team of University of Turku.

The All-European Finals of the ELMC were held at the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on 28th March 2014 and were preceded by written and oral qualification rounds in four Regional Finals. In the All-European Finals the performance of the students was judged by acting judges and advocates general of the Court of Justice.

More information on the competition can be found on the ELMC webpage.

25.02.2014

Supreme Court rules insured not bound by jurisdiction clause

An insurer and a major Finnish public limited company had agreed in a directors’ and officers’ liability policy that a Finnish court had jurisdiction to settle any disputes arising from the insurance contract. The Supreme Court held that the provisions which derogate from the jurisdictional rules in insurance matters must be interpreted strictly. It stated that the insured’s position was protected by mandatory jurisdiction rules.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Supreme Court rules insured not bound by jurisdiction clause” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

05.02.2014

Suspected abuse of dominant market position in harbour towage services

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority recently investigated suspected abuse of the dominant market position of major harbour towage service operators. Based on a competitor’s complaint the authority investigated the suspected abuse in harbour towage services in the port of HaminaKotka and other parts of the Finnish coast. The authority found no form of abuse of dominant position in the operators’ activities.

Senior associate Maarika Joutsimo and partner Herman Ljungberg from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Suspected abuse of dominant market position in harbour towage services” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

01.01.2014

Terho Nevasalo invited to join partnership

Hammarström Puhakka Partners has invited Terho Nevasalo to join the partnership effective from 1 January 2014.

Mr. Nevasalo specialises in legal issues in the field of technology as well as intellectual property rights, data security and privacy protection. He works as part of the firm’s technology group with responsibility for ICT assignments. He has 15 years of experience in this area.

Terho counsels clients in data system procurement and other assignments related to the development of electronic business operations. He has extensive experience in different data system procurement and maintenance agreements, licensing agreements and other ICT-sector agreements from the point of view of the buyer as well as that of the supplier. In addition, he has experience in extensive data security and privacy protection legislation-related projects and litigation concerning the ICT sector. He has previously worked as a lawyer at the consulting company KPMG performing similar duties.

Terho completed his postgraduate studies at Stockholm University. He started work at HPP in 2006.

19.12.2013

Solvency II system of governance requirements to enter into effect ahead of schedule

Adoption of the Solvency II Directive has been delayed until 2016.  The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has released guidelines on preparing for Solvency II, but the Finnish legislator has found the guidelines to be inadequate for patching up any deficiencies until Solvency II is implemented. For these reasons the Finnish insurance company-related legislation will be amended. The reform is expected to come into effect on January 1, 2014.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Solvency II system of governance requirements to enter into effect ahead of schedule” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

15.11.2013

Lawyer of the Year 2014 prize to Mikko Erkkilä and Henrik Gahmberg

Best Lawyers, a U.S. publication, has listed Finland’s best lawyers for the fifth time. The survey involved requesting various business law specialists to nominate their candidate for the award for the best lawyer in their respective categories of business law. The survey also leads to the nomination as the lawyer of the year to individuals who have gained particularly high repute among their peers.

Best Lawyers have awarded the Lawyer of the Year 2014 prize to Mikko Erkkilä and Henrik Gahmberg in their particular areas of expertise. Mikko Erkkilä was chosen as Finland’s leading environmental lawyer and Henrik Gahmberg as Finland’s leading transportation lawyer.

The following members of the HPP team were listed among Best Lawyers in Finland 2014:

Mikko Erkkilä                          Environmental Law

Henrik Gahmberg                  Maritime Law; Transportation Law

Jörgen Hammarström         Litigation

Matti Komonen                       Maritime Law; Transportation Law

Herman Ljungberg                Maritime Law; Transportation Law

Kari Marttinen                        Environmental Law; Natural Resources Law

Suvi Marttinen                        Environmental Law

Klaus Nyblin                            Intellectual Property Law; Technology Law

Björn Nykvist                          Project Finance and Development Practice

Pekka Puhakka                       Arbitration and Mediation; Litigation; Mergers and Acquisitions Law

Tuomas Saraste                      Competition Law

Vesa Silaskivi                          Competition Law; Energy Law

Jari Tuomala                           Environmental Law

12.11.2013

HPP moves on to a new phase in its growth strategy

In recent years, Hammarström Puhakka Partners has been Finland’s fastest growing law firm. The company’s turnover was 6.9 million euros in 2009, and in 2013 it is estimated to reach ca. 14 million euros.  In just 4 years, the firm has doubled in size and become one of the most significant corporate law firms in Finland. HPP’s growth strategy was formulated and implemented in 2010 and, due to the success of the initial phase, the associated development programme is progressing to a new phase. The cooperative project commenced with Markus Einiö, the managing director, that was launched with a strategic focus in 2010 is coming to an end as planned and the company will move on to a new management model on 18 November 2013.

The new management model will see the introduction of an executive committee chaired by Mikko Leppä. Kari Marttinen will continue as the Chairman of the Board of directors. Contrary to the normal Finnish legal sector practise, no new managing director or managing partner will be appointed.

“A company’s life cycle requires different management strategies and skills at different phases. Significant changes in HPP’s business have been implemented in recent years and their growth will now continue under a different model. The new model is ground-breaking in the Finnish legal industry. We strongly believe that the model will support the company’s future success and development in the best way possible”, says Markus Einiö, the first non-lawyer in Finland to have acted as  managing director of a law firm.

“Recent years have treated the company very well. We are grateful to Markus for the successful cooperation over the past years. After some significant hires we have assembled an excellent team that will build the next steps for HPP’s future. We will continue to invest strongly in our complex dispute resolution and transactions practices where our goal is to have one of the most significant and best teams in the Finnish legal market. In the area of our selected niche practices – environment and infrastructure projects, competition law and public procurement, maritime and transport, technology, and insolvency – we intend to be the country’s leading law firm”, says Kari Marttinen, the Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Markus Einiö believes in HPP’s continued success: “I am convinced that HPP will be one of the legal sector’s biggest achievers in Finland.”

01.11.2013

Duty of bankruptcy administrator to report offences

A recent amendment to the Bankruptcy Act regulates the duty of the bankruptcy administrator to report offences committed by the bankruptcy debtor. Pursuant to Chapter 14, Section 5 (4), if there is a reason to suspect that the bankruptcy debtor has committed an offence against the creditors, an accounting offence or another business offence, and if such an offence may have more than a minor effect on the claims in bankruptcy or the scrutiny of a bankruptcy estate, the bankruptcy administrator must report the suspected offence to the police if deemed necessary. When filing a report on a debtor’s suspected offence, the administrator must assess the effect that the suspected offence has on claims in bankruptcy and on the scrutiny of the bankruptcy estate. The provision sets out an active and independent duty to the bankruptcy administrator to react to if there is a reason to suspect an offence by the debtor, and the administrator is not bound to creditors’ statements. Typical offences committed against creditors include dishonesty by a debtor, fraud by a debtor, favouring a creditor, accounting offence, money laundering and offences under the Companies Act.

Partner, attorney-at-law Juho Lenni Taattola and associate Lasse Luoma at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Duty of bankruptcy administrator to report offences” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

23.10.2013

Ports and port operations in revision

Amendments to the Municipal Act and other reforms are set to change the ownership structures of ports, with the aim of enhancing competition within and between ports. Under the new regime, a municipality must establish a corporation for all of its activities when it acts in competitive markets. Meanwhile, the much-debated fairway dues are also subject to possible revision.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Ports and port operations in revision” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

04.10.2013

Students voted HPP the employer of the year

The Association of Finnish Lawyers has awarded Hammarström Puhakka Partners the title of the law student employer of the year 2013. The association conducted a survey in the spring of 2013 with over 400 law students participating. The recipient of the biennial award was announced during the professional lawyers’ fair at the Finlandia Hall on Friday 4 October 2013.

In its findings the awarding jury stated the following: “The employees’ happiness with the workplace and colleagues was reflected throughout in the responses we received concerning the winner. The responses were particularly appreciative of the close-knit and encouraging collegial atmosphere in the office. The students considered their tasks versatile and interesting. The management and other staff were thought to be approachable. The students felt like they were genuinely a solid part of the work community.”

The criteria by which the winner was selected included salaries, compliance with employment legislation, students’ opportunities to combine work and study, students’ orientation and training, students’ opportunity to seize challenges according to one’s level of study as well as a good and open work atmosphere.

03.10.2013

Management liability in international cartels

HPP’s EU and Competition Law Group organized a seminar regarding management liability in the Mirror Room of Hotel Kämp on the 3rd of October, 2013. The speakers of the seminar were Keith Packer, former Commercial General Manager of British Airways World Cargo, Rudolfs Engelis, partner and the head of the Competition & Regulatory Team in the Latvian office of the law firm SORAINEN and Tuomas Saraste, partner and the head of HPP’s EU and Competition Law Group.

Keith Packer spoke about his personal experiences with regard to the flight cargo cartel, one of the biggest cartels in the world, and about the eight months’ imprisonment he served in the United States due to being a top executive in British Airways, a party involved in the cartel. Packer’s presentation was a concrete example of the management’s personal liability. Rudolfs Engelis told about management liability in the Baltic countries and reminded the participants about the potential personal criminal liability in for example Estonia, even though there is little case law at the moment. Tuomas Saraste summarized the theme of the day and described the circumstances in which a Finnish company director or an employee may be personally liable as a result of cartel either in Finland or abroad.

HPP’s EU and Competition Law Group will provide further information on the seminar and management liability with regard to international and domestic cartels.

03.10.2013

Does transport of printed advertisements constitute carriage of goods by road?

In a matter held before the Helsinki Appeal Court, a mail courier company distributed printed advertisements for a retailer based on an assessment of the number of households in different post codes. The retailer claimed that this assessment was incorrect, leading to a shortfall of advertisements in some areas and a surplus in others. The Helsinki Appeal Court held that the advertisements constituted goods and their delivery constituted transport; the advertisements could not be regarded as mail.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Does transport of printed advertisements constitute carriage of goods by road?” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

25.09.2013

Commercial seal equivalent to official seal in unperformed cargo safety checks

In a recent case held before the appeal court a driver was accused of neglecting to control the cargo security of a trailer sealed with the transport company’s seal as he had controlled the trailer from the outside but failed to control the inside. The dispute concerned whether the commercial seal overruled the duty to carry out a cargo safety check. The district court found that as a ‘seal’ is not defined in the Road Traffic Act or its preparatory work, the definition also covers commercial seals.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Supreme Court sets precedent on CMR carrier’s liability for loading” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

21.08.2013

Supreme Court sets precedent on CMR carrier’s liability for loading

The Supreme Court recently confirmed that a Convention on Contracts for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) carrier has a right to release itself from liability for the loading, stowage and securing of goods, and that the sender has no right to take direct action against the CMR sub-carrier. The decision is a reminder that it is important to have a clear and detailed agreement on such matters.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Supreme Court sets precedent on CMR carrier’s liability for loading” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

28.06.2013

New dominance rule for the Finnish grocery trade will enter into force year 2014

The Finnish Parliament  passed a bill on 28 May 2013 proposing a new section to the Competition Act according to which a Finnish grocery trade operator is automatically considered to be in a dominant market position in a nationwide market if its market share exceeds 30 per cent. This means that the two major operators of grocery trade, S and K Groups, must take into consideration the provision prohibiting the abuse of dominant position in their future activities.  The amendment will enter into force 1 January 2014.

The amendment will not affect the structure of the Finnish grocery trade market, prevent grocery trade operators from growing or competing and will not impact the activities of local merchants in any other ways. Due to the amendment, the grocery trade operators whose market share exceeds 30 per cent should re-assess their pricing policies and other trading conditions.

Two major grocery trade operators have criticized the amendment in public for leading to higher retail prices and difficulties to buy local products. Most statements given on the proposal of the amendment however supported the amendment because it was held to increase competition in the grocery trade and decrease traditionally high retail prices of grocery goods in Finland.

Should you be interested in hearing more about the amendment, please contact Senior Associate, attorney-at-law Maarika Joutsimo on +358 50 338 8495 or maarika.joutsimo@hpplaw.fi.

27.06.2013

The proposal for intervening in the actions of public entities on competitive market

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (the FCCA) has had difficulties to supervise and intervene in competition law restrictions in connection with economic activities by the state or municipal authorities. The amendment of the Competition Act concerns the supply of goods and services by the public authorities or other public institutions when they act on competitive market.

The FCCA will be given the authority to ban restrictive activities or impose obligations that will ensure competition neutrality in the relevant market, if practices of public entities distort or prevent competition in the Finnish market – and no results are achieved by negotiations.

The proposal does not cover public procurement, EU state aid or official activities of the authorities or competition restrictions based directly on legislation.

The proposal is currently handled in the Parliament by the relevant committees.

Should you be interested in hearing more about the proposed amendment, please contact Senior Associate, attorney-at-law Maarika Joutsimo on +358 50 338 8495 or maarika.joutsimo@hpplaw.fi.

25.06.2013

Application of EU Brussels 1 Regulation in recourse claim between insurers

Finnish courts have recently had to consider the application of the EU Brussels 1 Regulation to a recourse claim between a Finnish and a German insurer which arose from a traffic accident in Germany. The district court ruled that the German courts had jurisdiction; however, referring to principles set out by European Court of Justice in its case law, the Turku Appeal Court reversed the decision.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Application of EU Brussels 1 Regulation in recourse claim between insurers” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

19.06.2013

Does stevedore work for vessel or cargo?

It is sometimes unclear whether a stevedore works for the vessel or the cargo. A longshoreman was injured while working onboard and the case was remitted to a competent maritime court. The court found that since the vessel had not ordered the stevedore’s work, the injured longshoreman was not acting in the interest of the vessel.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Does stevedore work for vessel or cargo?” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

14.06.2013

Should minimum distances between housing and wind turbines be required by law?

The neighbours view the use of “sufficient distance” parameters defined in meters as an easy way to monitor and secure their right to a safe and healthy living environment whereas project developers, on the other hand, wish to have certainty as to which areas may be designated for wind farm development.

Associate Jenny-Li Holmström at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, has written an article which aims to address from a legal perspective the reasons why it is recommendable to refrain from establishing definite distance requirements or recommendations. The article was published in the Finnish Wind Power Association’s paper Tuulienergiaa, including an abstract in English.

31.05.2013

Creditor’s lodgement of claim in bankruptcy

In order to be entitled to a disbursement, a creditor must lodge a claim by sending a written statement to the estate administrator.  Both the Finnish Bankruptcy Act as well as the Council Regulation (EC) on insolvency proceedings comprises provisions in respect of fulfilling the creditor’s obligation to carry out the lodgement of a claim and the content of the letter of lodgement. The provisions are not entirely equivalent which has become apparent in recent case law.

Partner Juho Lenni-Taattola and associate Matias Leskinen from Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Creditor’s lodgement of claim in bankruptcy” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

17.05.2013

AIJA May Conference sponsored by HPP – turnout breaks out all the records

HPP is one of the main sponsors in the International Association of Young Lawyers (AIJA) 2013 May Conference which is going to be held in Helsinki on 22–25 May. Almost 260 lawyers from over 30 countries are going to attend the conference.

The conference consists of seminars on international arbitration and employment law. In addition to the seminars, the participants are offered a chance to take part in various social events, such as home hospitality dinners held by local lawyers, and a midnight sauna.

On Wednesday, before the opening of the conference, the AIJA Nordic Meeting is held at the Helsinki University. The event will feature a presentation by HPP partners Andrew Cotton and Pekka Puhakka on common law concepts in Nordic agreements.

10.04.2013

Seminar on waste as a new critical resource filled the Rake-Sali Ball Room

A breakfast seminar organized by the Finnish Business & Society ry (FiBS) and HPP brought people from waste sector together at Rake-Sali Ball Room in Helsinki.

The new Finnish Waste Act which entered into force in 2012 and the numerous decrees that are going to be renewed as a consequence thereof will radically adapt the operational preconditions in the waste sector. One illustration of these changes is the prohibition against dumping organic waste in landfill sites from the year 2016 on. Waste recycling and intensification thereof, significance of the new waste regulation, new business opportunities in the waste sector and development possibilities in environmental business were covered during the seminar.

The speakers represented companies which have created new business opportunities in the waste sector and the introductory speeches emphasized the new operations models in the sector, such as producing traffic fuels out of waste and producing recycled oil out of waste oil.

02.04.2013

HPP’s seminar acquainted Finnish companies with London’s capital markets

On Wednesday 20th March, HPP co-hosted a breakfast seminar titled ‘Accessing international capital in London’ at the British Embassy in Helsinki. The event, co-sponsored by PwC, the London Stock Exchange, Jones Day and UK Trade & Investment, discussed the opportunity for Finnish companies in all sectors and of all sizes to raise capital through London’s capital markets, particularly the AiM Market.

The event was opened by the British Ambassador, Matthew Lodge and the Minister for Europe, The Rt Hon David Lidington MP and the audience were taken through the reasons for listing in London, the listing process and requirements for Finnish companies for being admitted to the AiM Market.

Should your company be interested in hearing more about the reasons for listing in London or the process for doing so, please contact HPP Partner Andrew Cotton on +358 45 657 5758 or andrew.cotton@hpplaw.fi.

27.03.2013

Stevedores convicted repeatedly for illegal actions

The Finnish Port Operators Association has repeatedly turned down the Transport Workers Federation’s (AKT) demand that the lashing and unlashing of containers – traditionally undertaken by the vessel’s own crew – be carried out by stevedores. In a recent decision the Labour Court found the AKT’s threat that stevedores would take over the lashing work from February 4 2013 to be an illegal industrial action. The Labour Court fined the AKT again when the threat was spurred on by instigating strikes in the ports of Helsinki, Kotka and Tornio. Negotiations to settle the dispute are ongoing.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Stevedores convicted repeatedly for illegal industrial actions” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

20.03.2013

Seminar on agile software development well attended

The joint breakfast seminars of Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd and Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry (The Finnish Software Entrepreneurs Association) continued at the end of February at Tapahtumatalo Bank. This time the seminar dealt with contractual practices of agile software development.

During the well-attended seminar the participants got to familiarise themselves with the realisation processes of agile software development and the basics of two universally used development methods, and heard views on using agile software development in software delivery.

HPP was represented at the seminar by Senior Associate Terho Nevasalo, who discussed the most common disagreements over software deliveries and ways of avoiding them.

A corresponding seminar is going to be held during the ICTexpo event at the Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Centre 21 March 2013.

14.03.2013

Associate Jenny-Li Holmström elected to the Finnish Wind Power Association’s board

HPP’s associate Jenny-Li Holmström has been elected as member of the Finnish Wind Power Association’s (FWPA) board. The head of HPP’s wind power practice, partner Björn Nykvist has been elected as Holmström’s deputy for the year-long board membership period.

The members of the association who voted for the composition of the board considered Holmström’s and Nykvist’s legal knowledge as a valuable addition to the board’s work. Jari Suominen, the CEO of Tuuliwatti Oy and the Energy Director of ST1, will continue as FWPA’s chairman.

The Finnish Wind Power Association was founded in 1988 and its main objective is increasing wind power awareness and its use in Finland.

09.03.2013

Green economy calls for green legal expertise

As Finland’s leading law firm in all aspects of environmental law HPP is now focusing on developing a new approach to the legal services that green economy calls for. Key to HPP’s Green Economy Law concept is the idea that legal services related to green economy are integral to each other and complimentary, rather than separate areas of legal practice as they have been perceived traditionally.

HPP aims to bring its entire palette of legal services closer to the needs of the companies already active in the green economy or aiming to make products and services based on green economy their future core activities.

Various companies have a lot to gain from partnering with a law firm like HPP with both local and international experience of questions pertaining to, inter alia, environmental law, immaterial property rights and financing.

Thanks to the Green Economy Law concept, HPP has been selected to be profiled in this year’s edition of HighTech Finland’s listing of the latest and best in Finnish technology. See HighTech Finland’s 2012-2013 presentation of HPP’s Green Economy Law concept at the company’s website.

11.02.2013

The growth continues – HPP appoints four new partners

Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd has promoted four of the firm’s lawyers to partners as the demand for the firm’s legal services continues to grow. The turnover of the firm has nearly doubled during the past three years as a result of the growing demand for the firm’s services. At the same time the number of lawyers in the firm has increased to fifty.

“In accordance with our strategy we have been determined to expand our field of expertise and recruited  lawyers from different areas of law and have now appointed four new partners who will be serving our clients in the  areas of their speciality”, states Kari Marttinen, the chairman of the board.

Mikko Leppä, attorney-at-law and trained on the bench, specialises in dispute resolution and has extensive experience handling a wide array of commercial litigation cases as well as both domestic and international arbitrations. Mikko joined HPP from Attorneys at law Borenius Ltd.

Markku Mäkinen, trained on the bench and former Director, Legal of Nokia Corporation, specialises in technology, media and telecommunications. He is in charge of the firm’s technology, media and telecommunications practice. Before joining HPP Markku was Director, Legal of Nokia Corporation’s operations in the USA and China.

Tarja Pirinen, attorney-at-law and trained on the bench, specialises in advising clients on mineral exploration and mining projects as well as on IT and technology agreements. She leads the firm’s mining practice. Prior to joining HPP Tarja worked as a partner at Kalliolaw.

Antti Säiläkivi, attorney-at–law, has more than ten years of experience in advising clients on mergers and acquisitions, finance, company law and corporate governance issues. Antti joined HPP from Attorneys at law Borenius Ltd.

The Finnish Bar Association approved the appointments on 1 February 2013.

01.02.2013

Finnish branch offices and bankruptcy

Branch offices are a common model used by many international companies to expand into Finnish markets due to their relative simplicity and cost efficiency. It follows that questions relating to the role of branch offices in potential insolvency situations – whether local or global – are significant issues for the creditors of such companies.

As confirmed by a recent ruling by the Helsinki Court of Appeal, however, a branch office is not a legal person, but rather a part of another foreign legal person. This could be problematic for the creditor, especially if a debtor’s assets in Finland would make local bankruptcy a practical and attractive solution. In these instances, a creditor may find potentially available territorial proceedings (such as secondary insolvency proceeding under EU Insolvency Regulation) directly against the debtor more convenient than the main proceedings in debtor’s country of domicile due to, among other things, the limited scope of the proceedings and relative ease of lodgement in brankruptcy claims.

The update written by partner, attorney-at-law Juho Lenni-Taattola and associate Lasse Luoma at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on February 2013.

Finnish branch offices and brankruptcy

31.01.2013

Appeal court overrules charges against officers of missile ship

A Finnish appeal court recently dismissed criminal charges against the master and first mate of a vessel who had been fined for failing to ensure that their ship was seaworthy prior to a voyage from Germany. While the vessel’s cargo of explosives had not been transported in accordance with the applicable regulations, the appeal court found that this had caused no risk to life and thus did not constitute a criminal offence.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Appeal court overrules charges against officers of missile ship” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter.

21.01.2013

Doing business in the Nordic region

In its latest issue Acquisition International, an international magazine specialized in corporate finance, published an interview with HPP’s Partner Andrew Cotton. In the interview Mr Cotton discussed the current outlook for M&A and investments in Finland.

According to Mr Cotton, the Finnish wind sector along with mobile and technology including biotechnology are among the greatest opportunities for investors at the moment. “The Finnish wind sector is currently booming as a result of a competitive regulatory environment, an attractive feed-in-tariff and a lack of local finance to build out the large number of projects currently under development,” he added.

Mr Cotton concluded with his predictions for the Nordic Region’s economy in 2013: “It is very difficult to make solid predictions in the current market but we expect further project-based investment into Finland in specific sectors. M&A will continue to remain relatively flat during the first half of 2013 but with more distressed transactions and consolidation. It is likely that there will be some private equity deals given the age of some of their portfolio investments.”

To the article

14.12.2012

Environmental Crimes and Compensation for Environmental Damages

Attorney-at-law Kari Marttinen acted as chairman of  the “Environmental Crimes and Compensation for Environmental Damages” seminar organized by The Association of Finnish Lawyers. The seminar took place on 21st November 2012 at Katajanokan Kasino in Helsinki.

The themes of the seminar ranged from special characteristics of environmental crime law and supervision of environmentalmatters to compensation of environmental damages and the legal basis for liability.

Speakers at the seminar were attorney-at-law, LL.L Kari Marttinen of Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd on compensation of environmental damages, lawyer Satu Lyytikäinen from the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for Uusimaa on supervision of environmental matters, attorney-at-law Mikko Erkkilä of Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd on forfeiture of profit gained by crime in the light of recent case law on environmental crimes, Professor Elina Pirjatanniemi from Åbo Akademi on special characteristics of environmental crime law, and District Prosecutor Heidi Nummela from Prosecutor’s Office of Eastern Finland on prosecutor’s point of view on environmental crime.

13.12.2012

Wind Power Project Planning – Maximizing Profitability seminar gathered together 60 specialists

Aalto Capital Partners Oy, Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd, Sito Oy and Triventus Oy organized a seminar with the topic Wind Power Project Planning – Maximizing Profitability. The seminar was organized on 11th December 2012 at Rake hall in Helsinki as a co-operation between the four parties.

Speakers at the seminar were Justin Jeffs from Triventus Consulting Ab, who held a presentation on “Maximising returns, minimising risks”, Aleksi Lumijärvi from Aalto Capital Partners Oy, who held a presentation on “Non-recourse lending in wind power projects”, Sakari Grönlund and Petri Kokko from Sito Oy, who presented a 3D virtual model of a wind power plant and the benefits and possibilities of the technology and Kari Marttinen from Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd, who held a presentation about current and upcoming legislation and regulations regarding the planning stages of wind power.

The seminar gathered together approximately 60 participants.

27.11.2012

Flood damages compensation set to switch to insurers

As part of broader reforms to improve adaptation to climate change, the slow and complex state compensation system for flood damages will be abolished. State funding will come to an end in regard to damages caused to buildings and movables, and will be replaced by flood insurance offered by insurance companies.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Flood damages compensation set to switch to insurers” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 27 November 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3A

07.11.2012

Hammarström Puhakka Partners the Best Maritime & Shipping Firm

Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd has been chosen as the Best Maritime & Shipping Firm in Finland in the World Finance Awards. The winners are chosen by the readers of the World Finance magazine and the vote is supervised by a judging panel consisting of experienced financial journalists. World Finance is a financial magazine published by the London-based World News Media.

HPP’s experience in maritime and shipping covers matters concerning maritime, transport, insurance and tort law as well as forwarding and logistics. HPP’s specialists in maritime and transport are partners Henrik Gahmberg, Nora Gahmberg, Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg.

29.10.2012

Klaus Nyblin’s book about dispute resolution has been published

Klaus Nyblin’s work “Dispute Resolution – Handbook for a Company” (Talentum, 326 pp.) has been published. The book is targeted at in-house lawyers and corporate management – for assisting with the strategic choices in dispute resolution. The work is the first of its kind in Finland, which is specifically intended to serve a company which is involved in a conflict as a party. The book covers the whole field of dispute resolution: the actual disputes in general courts or in arbitration as well as criminal and administrative law proceedings.

“Klaus’ book highlights the client’s point of view, the fact that is the most crucial in an attorney’s work”, says Pekka Puhakka, the leader of HPP’s dispute resolution group.

The author, Klaus Nyblin specializes in dispute resolution as well as pharmaceuticals law, protection of trade secrets, electronic communications and privacy law.

02.10.2012

Insurance Court decides on amount of parental allowance following recent ECJ ruling

The Insurance Court recently ruled that in order to fulfil the requirements of equal treatment imposed under EU Regulation 1408/71, parental allowance must be calculated by taking into account the income of an individual who is similarly employed in Finland and with comparable experience and qualifications.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Insurance Court decides on amount of parental allowance following recent ECJ ruling” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 2 October 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3D

26.09.2012

Breakfast seminar on Wind Power Financing

Hammarström Puhakka Partners and Suomen Tuulivoimayhdistys (Finnish Wind Power Association) organized a breakfast seminar concerning wind power financing on September 26th.

The seminar guests were members of Suomen Tuulivoimayhdistys. The topical seminar subject aroused interest and even up to 70 wind power professionals joined the event. The presentations aroused lively and diverse conversation between the seminar participants.

Seminar’s program consisted of three interesting presentations which introduced different perspectives to wind power financing. Partner Björn Nykvist of HPP talked about financing of a wind power project, financial director Jarkko Nikkanen of OP-Pohjola described sources of financing whereas chairman of the board Immo Sundholm of Voimavapriikki Oy told about his concrete experiences of financing in wind power projects.

26.09.2012

Will boycotts against foreign vessels end at last?

The Finnish Seaman’s Union (FSU) has long subjected foreign flagged vessels to harassment. If a foreign vessel that applies a collective bargaining agreement which the FSU dislikes calls at a Finnish port, the FSU tends to claim the right to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement for the vessel. The FSU has almost never sought a mandate from the crew, but claims that it has a right to negotiate.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Will boycotts against foreign vessels end at last?” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 26 September 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3R

18.09.2012

Shipping law seminar

Hammarström Puhakka Partners arranged a shipping law seminar on ship arrest and use of injunctions in shipping and transport related matters. Invited were representatives from different areas of the shipping, insurance and transport industry. More than 30 guests participated in the event that was hosted at Ravintola Sipuli on Katajanokka.

Victor Fenwick from Ince & Co held an introduction to ship arrest under English law, followed by an introduction to ship arrest in Finland by Herman Ljungberg, partner. We were very pleased that the former district bailiff,  Antero Seppä of the Kymenlaakso execution office held an interesting lecture about ship arrests from the bailiff’s view and Johan Lång, Claims Manager, Oy Gard (Baltic) Ab from the insurer’s view. Henrik Gahmberg, partner lectured about the use of injunctions in shipping and transport related matters in Finland, and finally Victor Fenwick ended the program with injunctions from an English law point of view.

15.09.2012

Great number of participants assembled to discuss current issues in the field of environmental law

Hammarström Puhakka Partners participated in organizing the annual environment law seminar held by the Finnish Society for Environment Law (SYS ry.) on September 13th.

HPP hosted an afternoon seminar in the Rake hall in the center of Helsinki. HPP’s senior advisor Mikko Erkkilä gave the opening lecture on the use of confiscation in connection to environmental crimes. The environmental crime theme continued with Professor Erkki J. Hollo’s lecture on the challenges of the EU directive on the protection of the environment through criminal law. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland also introduced topical issues from the frame of reference of their research themes. Niko Soininen spoke of the challenges and possibilities related to reconciliation of different interests in accordance with the Finnish Water Act, with an emphasis on juridical decision making. Kimmo Huttunen spoke of forest planning from an environment law perspective. As chairman of the event acted Mr. Kari Marttinen, partner at HPP and in charge of HPP’s environment law practice. After the seminar, discussions were continued over cocktails and snacks at HPP.

12.09.2012

Seminar on contracting in the software industry

On September 12th 2012, Hammarström Puhakka Partners and Ohjelmistoyrittäjät ry (the Software Entrepreneurs Association) organized a breakfast seminar concerning contracting in the software industry.

Members of the Software Entrepreneurs Association were invited to this successful event, with the participants filling up the whole Rake hall at Hotel Klaus K in the center of Helsinki.

The seminar focused on SaaS, partnership, cooperation and subcontracting agreements, policies, terms and conditions, as well as the use of common law concepts in Finnish agreements. The seminar also discussed the use of such agreements, as well as highlighted the most common risks in particular those arising when doing international business.

Lawyers at HPP who gave presentations included Senior Associate Terho Nevasalo, Senior Advisor Markku Mäkinen and Partner Andrew Cotton.

27.06.2012

Rail freight reform: first new operating licence ends state monopoly

Despite efforts to encourage competition, Finland has remained one of the few EU countries where the goods transport network was operated by a single railway company. However, the first safety certificates were issued to private companies in 2011 and the Ministry of Transport and Communications recently issued a licence to Ratarahti, making it the first new official operator since the sector was opened to competition.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Rail freight reform: first new operating licence ends state monopoly” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 27 June 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3U

12.06.2012

Poor credit history as an obstacle to obtaining insurance

The rate of payment defaults has increased in the last few years. The Insurance Contract Act was amended in 2010 in order to prevent insurance applications from being rejected solely on the basis of the applicant’s public credit records, which are available from the public data registry. Such a rejection is acceptable only if the insurer can objectively assess that the applicant is likely to default on its payments in future.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Poor credit history as an obstacle to obtaining insurance” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 12 June 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3G

02.05.2012

Amendments to Tonnage Tax Act

A shipping company which is subject to tax in Finland can choose between ordinary corporate income tax or tax under the Tonnage Tax Act. However, the shipping industry found the tonnage tax scheme unattractive and inflexible. Therefore, the government recently amended the act. It remains to be seen whether shipping companies will opt for tonnage tax in the future.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Amendments to Tonnage Tax Act” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 2 May 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3X

04.04.2012

Henrik Gahmberg Lawyer of the Year in maritime

Partner, attorney-at-law Henrik Gahmberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd has been chosen as the Lawyer of the Year in Finnish maritime law. Lawyers of the Year are chosen by the Best Lawyers publication. The accolade is particularly significant, since only one lawyer in each practice area and designated geographical area is honored with it.

Mr. Gahmberg specializes in maritime and transport law, insurance law and dispute resolution. He handles assignments for domestic and international insurance companies, shipping companies and operators, forwarding agencies, traffic contractors and national maritime authorities.

Lawyers of the Year are selected based on peer-review assessments conducted with thousands of leading lawyers. The nomination implies that a lawyer commands great respect among other leading lawyers for his or her abilities, professionalism and integrity.

03.04.2012

Insurance Complaints Board: good insurance practice

The insurance industry must comply with good insurance practice. Usually, disputes are decided directly under the law and applicable insurance conditions. However, in some cases which are open to interpretation, good insurance practice may be the decisive factor. The Insurance Complaints Board’s practice demonstrates that good insurance practice can sometimes be worth money to the claimants.

Partners Matti Komonen and Herman Ljungberg at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd, have written an update on this matter. The update titled “Insurance Complaints Board: good insurance practice” has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 3 April 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7HK2L3K

28.03.2012

Klaus Nyblin was awarded for the second time in a row

Klaus Nyblin was awarded for the second time in a row in the Client Choice Awards 2012 as the  Winner in Healthcare & Life Sciences, Finland.

Partner at Hammarström Puhakka Partners Attorneys Ltd, attorney-at-law Klaus Nyblin was awarded for the second time in a row with International Law Office’s (ILO) award, Client Choice Awards 2012, as the winner of the category Healthcare & Life Sciences in Finland.  Klaus Nyblin has market-leading experience and understanding of the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industry; he regularly advises several companies in the pharmaceutical and health care industry.

What clients have said according to clients’ comments to ILO:

”Klaus Nyblin is one of the leading experts in pharmaceutical law in Finland and has market-leading experience in the life science industry.”

“His outstanding expertise in the law and long experience within the industry make him a great legal partner for a multi-divisional company.”

“Klaus Nyblin is dedicated to providing excellent client service. He is always available with fast and focused responses and high-quality input.”

02.03.2012

Recovery of gratuitous transactions in a corporate group

The need for recovery of assets to a bankruptcy estate can arise for instance when a company declared bankrupt is a group company. The connection between group companies has significance when assessing the remunerativeness of a transaction.

Related recovery situations are reflected upon in the update titled “Recovery of assets: gratuitous transactions in a corporate group”. The update written by partner, attorney-at-law Juho Lenni-Taattola and associate Lasse Luoma at Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd. has been published in the International Law Office’s newsletter on 2 March 2012.

http://www.internationallawoffice.com//?l=7GC6D0C

15.02.2012

Former director legal of Nokia to head the TMT group

Hammarström Puhakka Partners has appointed Markku Mäkinen as a Specialist Counsel and head of the firm’s technology, media and telecommunications group effective from February 13, 2012. Prior to joining HPP, Mäkinen was in-house counsel at Nokia for 12 years, ultimately as head of legal for Nokia’s global marketing function.

Mäkinen has significant experience of large-scale technology implementation and delivery projects and technology development in an international environment. He has lead several legal teams including the Nokia China and Nokia North America legal teams as well as been responsible for the legal support to Nokia Research Center and Nokia Ventures Organization and head of legal for Nokia’s global marketing, retail, online sales, logistics and care functions. Prior to his career in Nokia he was a partner of a Helsinki based law firm.

“I am really excited about this opportunity. The last 12 years at Nokia in different roles in Europe, China and the US give an excellent basis to add value for the clients of Hammarström Puhakka Partners. Customer focus and providing solutions to our clients’ needs will be at the core of the expanding activities of HPP’s TMT group”, says Mäkinen.

According to HPP’s Managing Director, Markus Einiö, Mäkinen’s long international career in one of the world’s leading technology companies will further strengthen HPP’s TMT practice and offer a valuable commercial and legal perspective on taking Finnish clients into the international market as well as attracting further multinational technology and telecoms companies with Finnish business activities and legal needs.

 

07.02.2012

The UK Bribery Act seminar well received

HPP held a well-attended and well-received seminar entitled ‘The UK Bribery Act and its effect on Finnish companies’ at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Helsinki on 1 February. HPP partner and English solicitor, Andrew Cotton, examined the new legislation, discussed how Finnish companies might be held liable of the corporate offence of ‘failure to prevent bribery’ and gave some practical tips on how to implement measures to reduce the risk of committing an offence under the Act. The audience was made up of HPP’s clients and contacts and included some of Finland’s largest multinationals. The seminar aroused lively discussion on issues concerning compliance with the Act making it a valuable exercise for all who attended.

For more information on how the UK Bribery Act can affect your business, please contact Andrew Cotton on +358 456 575758 or andrew.cotton@hpplaw.com

01.01.2012

Nora Gahmberg invited to join partnership

Hammarström Puhakka Partners has invited Nora Gahmberg to join the partnership effective from 1 January 2012.

Gahmberg joins from her role as in-house counsel at the Norwegian company Teekay Petrojarl Productions AS, a subsidiary to Canadian Teekay Corporation, the global leader in oil and gas shipping, and offshore oil production, storage and transport. Teekay Petrojarl Productions AS is the largest operator of floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels in the North Sea, giving her significant oil and gas industry experience. During her time at Teekay she advised on a range of corporate and commercial matters relating to the oil and gas industry and will complement HPP’s market-leading maritime, transport, energy and natural resources teams.

”HPP is rightly regarded as the leading firm in Finland in transport and energy and with my background in those areas it was a natural choice for me to develop a client base throughout the key jurisdictions in those industries. I look forward to continuing to work with those Nordic and European law firms I got to know during my time in-house and to continuing to grow HPP’s excellent reputation in these sectors”, Gahmberg commented.

HPP’s Managing Director Markus Einiö explained that the hire reflects the increasing focus of the firm on leveraging its core sector strengths internationally: “Nora brings a wealth of specific sector experience gained in an international environment and her international network and relationships will be invaluable as HPP continues to develop its international offering for clients, law firm partners and the firm’s lawyers”.

22.11.2011

Dual-qualified Andrew Cotton invited to join partnership

Hammarström Puhakka Partners, Attorneys Ltd has invited dual-qualified English solicitor and Finnish attorney, Andrew Cotton, to join the partnership effective from 1 November 2011. Cotton is a corporate and commercial lawyer, specializing in both inbound and outbound cross-border transactions in a range of sectors including mobile and telecoms, technology, pharmaceutical and retail.
Commenting on his move into the partnership Cotton said: ”HPP is an excellent firm with a very strong client base and the firm counts some of Finland’s leading lawyers in amongst its partnership  and senior lawyers. I am pleased to be given the chance to be part of the process of continuing to spread the word internationally about HPP’s skills and expertise and to continue working with leading international companies and law firms on their Finnish legal issues. This is a very exciting time to be joining such a well-performing firm”

Markus Einiö, HPP’s Managing Director commented: “In a time of increasing change in the Finnish legal market, HPP has grown through hard work and a focus on continuing to serve our Finnish clients to the highest standard and increasing our brand recognition internationally. Andrew’s partnership reflects not only the high quality of his work for HPP’s clients but also our increased focus on developing our international client and law firm relationships.”

21.10.2011

The fastest growing business law firm in Finland

Hammarström Puhakka Partners, is Finland’s fastest-growing law firm. HPP was recently announced by Talouselämä as the firm with the biggest percentage growth in both turnover and profit in 2010 (turnover up by 33%, profit up by 110%). HPP counts among the top 10 of Finnish law firms.

Markus Einiö, HPP’s Managing Director commented: “In a time of increasing instability in the Finnish legal market, HPP has grown through hard work and a focus on continuing to serve our clients to the highest standard and increasing our brand recognition domestically and internationally”.

HPP is a full service commercial law firm serving domestic and international clients from one office in Helsinki, Finland. With over 40 lawyers HPP provide the full range of legal advice to commercial clients, government organisations and industry bodies with particular expertise in the energy, transport and infrastructure, financial, technology and pharmaceutical sectors. HPP services clients in Finnish, Swedish, English, German, French and Mandarin Chinese and cooperates with other leading law firms around the globe.

20.10.2011

New managing director to join the company from the advertising industry

For the first time in the history of Finnish practice of law a law firm will be managed by a person who is not a lawyer. Markus Einiö (M.B.A.) has been called to the office of Managing Director for the law firm Hammarström Puhakka Partners as of 1 January 2011.

Markus Einiö has a long experience and a successful career in the management of companies and business operations. Among other duties, he has worked as a strategy consultant for PwC Oy, a consultancy company, and in his latest office he was Managing Director for and a partner in Family Inc. Oy, a company in the line of marketing and communications.

01.10.2009

Law firms Hammarström Puhakka Partners and Gahmberg & Co merge

The result of this merger will be the leading Finnish provider of legal services related to logistics. The proficiency of Gahmberg & Co is evidenced by its international ranking as leader in this field in Finland and this move will increase the range of areas of specialist expertise offered by Hammarström Puhakka Partners. Gahmberg & Co specializes in transport, maritime and insurance law, and litigation. The current partners of Gahmberg & Co will continue as partners of Hammarström Puhakka Partners.

Managing Partner Vesa Silaskivi says the specialities of Gahmberg & Co both complement and support the services provided by Hammarström Puhakka Partners. He states as follows:
“In an increasingly complex world, clients require deep specialization by their expert organizations. It is our vision to offer our clients the highest quality legal expertise available in the country in all our selected areas, and this arrangement follows that line of thinking; all leading publications and catalogues in the field (Chambers Global, Chambers Europe, Legal500, Best Lawyers) agree that Gahmberg & Co is the leading Finnish specialist in its areas of expertise: maritime and transport law and related dispute resolution.”

The resulting overall logistics services will allow us to assist our clients in relation to legal matters involving both passenger and goods transportation and telecommunications.