Summer School 2020

Greetings from Summer School 2020: Behind Closed Doors

Summer School 2020 was different from our previous summer schools as we were not able to travel due to the Covid-19 situation, and we arranged the event remotely with our colleagues in Stockholm. The groups of students gathered in the Hannes Snellman office in Stockholm and Helsinki and worked together remotely, wherefore the event required a bit more IT planning and testing beforehand, but luckily everything went well, and we were able to enjoy an inspiring two-day cross-border event. Summer School 2020 took place between 20 and 21 August, and this year’s summer school group consisted of nearly 30 law students from seven different universities in Finland and Sweden and of more than 20 hosts from both Finland and Sweden.

The theme of this year’s summer school was “Behind Closed Doors”. The event revolved around the topic of how disputes are resolved by arbitration – from the strategy and argumentation to the exchange of written submissions and the final hearing. In addition to multiple workshops, the event featured lectures and discussions by practitioners from the legal and corporate world, as well as networking with experienced experts and other law students.

Summer School 2020 was opened by Partner Richard Åkerman, who welcomed the students by telling them a bit about his own career path. After Richard’s words, it was time for the first lecture, when Pontus (in the picture above) told the students about differences between arbitration and court proceedings. The forenoon continued with an interesting panel discussion about the do’s and don’ts of arbitration. The panel discussion (pictured below) was moderated by Senior Associate Saara Ludvigsen, who interviewed Partners Anna-Maria Tamminen and Pontus Ewerlöf. After the panel discussion, it was time for lunch and mingle. After the lunch, it was Associate Mathilde Matsgård’s turn to talk about her secondment at SCC.

Then it was time for the first workshop! First, the students got familiar with the dispute they were later going to solve by arbitration with the assistance of their Hannes mentors. Having got to know the case, it was time to create the arguments. The students planned in teams what would be the best tactic to win the case. After a few hours of work, it was time to switch to leisure and let things simmer overnight.

Next morning, the participants woke up to a sunny day prepared and ready for the final day. The morning was kicked off by Björn Morin, Legal Counsel at NCC, who gave an interesting lecture on his work-life experiences. Björn’s lecture was followed by Partner Martin Rifall’s lecture on investment arbitration. In the afternoon, the students got ready for the oral proceedings, where they got to arbitrate against the other teams.

After the oral proceedings, Partner Markus Manninen (in the picture below) gave a lecture on international sports arbitration as he told the students about his own experiences from the field of sports arbitration. The last lecture of Summer School 2020 was given by Managing Associate Helen Lehto, who looked into the future of arbitration.

However, it was not all work and no play, as at the end of the day, the summer school groups both in Sweden and Finland gathered together for dinner and some mingle at the office.