Chairman: Jussi Ikonen
Managing Partner: Heidi Merikalla-Teir
Partners: Tommi Elo, Heidi Hiltunen, Jussi Ikonen, Antti Kahri, Satu-Anneli Kauranen, Ari Keinänen, Heidi Merikalla-Teir, Emma NiemistÖ, Mika Pakarinen, Henrik af Ursin, Teemu Taxell, Sakari Aalto Erkko Ruohoniemi, Jani Ylä-Autio
Number of partners: 14
Number of lawyers: 40
Languages: English, Finnish, French, German, Swedish
Merilampi Attorneys Ltd. is one of the leading Finnish business law firms. Many of its clients are major international corporations and listed Finnish companies. The firm is regularly involved in high-profile M&A, real estate, competition law and dispute resolution cases.
Main Areas of Practice:
Transactions & Finance:
In M&A, the firm represented, among others (1) Pihlajalinna Plc in a Mehiläinen Yhtiöt Oy public cash tender offer for all shares in Pihlajalinna Plc (transaction value approximately MEUR 362), (2) Sweco AB in its acquisition of NRC Group’s rail infrastructure engineering and consulting services business (transaction value approximately MEUR 42,5), (3) K Caara Oy in its acquisition of the Volkswagen, Audi and SEAT businesses of Laakkonen Group and Länsiauto Group (two separate transactions), (4) Kesko Corporation in its acquisition of the foodservice wholesaler Heinon Tukku Oy and (5) Posti Group Plc in its acquisition of Suomen Transval Group Oy. For several years in a row now, a great deal of the banking and finance work undertaken by the firm was made in relation to real estate market, including both property acquisition financing and refinancing transactions. Clients in that sector included, among others, Mercada and Aberdeen Standard Real Estate Funds. During the year, the firm also experienced increase in demand for regulatory advice especially by foreign financial institutions operating in the Finnish market. During the past year, Merilampi completed a substantial number of real estate transactions. Among others, the firm advised the following clients in their major transactions: Aberdeen, Barings Real Estate Advisers GmbH, Elo Mutual Pension Insurance, Nordea Life Assurance and Schroders Real Estate Funds.
In the field of dispute resolution, Merilampi has top assignments from all relevant areas: commercial litigation, arbitration (both domestic and international), ADR, white-collar defence and insolvency related advice. The firm’s lawyers are constantly active in a number of arbitration and mediation cases, both as counsel and arbitrators/mediators. Merilampi continues to represent clients in a wide variety of industries and areas of substantive law. Lately, there has been a notable increase especially in the firm’s caseload in complex construction and engineering disputes. The firm’s lawyers have recently been very active also in different types of liability cases (such as product liability, environmental liability, board of directors’ or auditor’s liability). During the past year, the DR team has advised, among others, Fujitsu Finland Oy in its complex contract dispute with the City of Espoo. The team also regularly represents Lassila & Tikanoja plc in controversial matters with their subcontractors, employees and other stakeholders. Merilampi is also known for their work in the biggest insolvency related assignments in the Finnish market. Furthermore, Merilampi is renowned for their work in high-profile white-collar defence cases, which has given them extensive workload also in the past year. They also represent one of the big-four auditing companies in many of its high-profile liability cases.
Competition & EU:
The firm’s competition experts have recently been particularly busy with merger proceedings before the competition authorities. For example, Merilampi represented Posti Corporation in its acquisition of Suomen Transval Group Ltd before the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA). Merilampi also represented Sweco AB in merger control proceedings related to Sweco’s acquisition of NRC Group’s rail infrastructure engineering and consulting services business. Furthermore, Merilampi represented Mutual Pension Insurance Company Elo and Mutual Pension Insurance Company Varma in merger control proceedings relating to the creation of a joint venture that combines the shopping centre Jumbo and entertainment centre Flamingo to form one of the largest shopping centres in the Nordic region. Firm also successfully represented transport company Länsilinjat Ltd. in the Bus Cartel case in all national judicial instances. In addition, the firm regularly represents high profile companies in public procurement cases as well as cases related to abuse of dominant position as well as distribution systems and e-commerce. Another example of Merilampi’s versatile competition expertise is the successful representation of telecom company Elisa Corporation in a recent access pricing case against the Finnish telecom regulator Traficom in the Supreme Administrative Court.
Real Estate & Construction:
Merilampi’s real estate and construction practice is one of the advisors in the forefront of advising in the most prominent real estate developments and construction endeavours in the market. The breadth of services of the team covers not only demanding real estate transactions but assistance in all stages of a construction project from inception, contract advisory, risk and dispute management to post-completion. The expertise of the team is utilised by private and public sector property owners, developers, contractors, financiers and consultants in a variety of assignments, both contentious and non-contentious, in the construction and real estate field. The practice group has a steady flow of mandates particularly concerning complex infrastructure and engineering projects, and a strong specialisation in design & build and construction management contracts. During the past year, some of the most notable references include advising YIT Finland and Meridiam SAS in their successful bid for the first social infrastructure PPP in Finland (concerning schools and day care centres in Espoo), assisting several hospital districts and social and health care authorities in the largest hospital build projects in Finland, and several litigation and arbitration proceedings relating to construction and engineering endeavours.
Employment & Labour Law:
Merilampi’s group of employment lawyers is one of the most experienced in the industry. The team offers legal support to employers in all aspects of employment and labour law. They are involved in building new organisations, working rules and contracts of employment as well as supporting company management with employment related questions and challenging situations. They represent clients in civil and criminal cases relating to employment and assist in cooperation negotiations. During the past year, the team has advised, among others, Microsoft on a regular basis in both national and global HR-issues, University of Helsinki on several significant court cases and Fondia Plc in its dispute with two of former founders.
Technology, IT & Data Privacy:
Merilampi’s technology and IT law specialised practice is experienced in handling technology and IT law related contentious and non-contentious assignments with high quality. The team routinely assists clients in a variety of contractual arrangement related to the exploitation and distribution of technology, such as licensing and distribution agreements. In addition, the team routinely advises clients in matters of software and IT service development, sales, licensing, distribution and maintenance. Their expertise also covers data privacy questions.
Intellectual Property & Media:
Merilampi’s intellectual property and media practice manages assignments from protection and commercialization of IP to regulatory questions and dispute resolution in complex IP matters. The IP team assists among others the Nordic luxury brand Daniel Wellington and the iconic Burberry brand in the defence of their valuable copyright and trademark portfolios. Furthermore, they represent a major German automotive company in Finland’s largest anti-counterfeiting litigation. In 2019, the IP practice’s caseload consisted of e.g. complex marketing and unfair business practices cases, trade secret matters, trademark and design litigation as well as drafting employee invention strategies. Furthermore, Merilampi’s IP team has extensive experience in the field of media and entertainment law. One of Merilampi’s high-profile cases from 2019 was a dispute where the firm represented a large media client in a complex litigation involving the right of an artist in music.