News & Views

Get to Know Us | Lotta Hemmi, Senior Associate, Dispute Resolution, Helsinki

30 October 2017

How did you become a lawyer at Hannes Snellman?

I already knew back in high school that I would apply to a law school. I was intrigued by argumentation and its significance in the lawyer’s occupation. I started my studies at the University of Helsinki in 2008 and graduated in 2013. During my studies, I also worked, attended student activities, and participated in Pykälä’s Spexi. During the last year of my studies, I applied to Hannes Snellman’s Dispute Resolution team, which, according to my understanding, was already the best DR team in the city. I applied to be an associate trainee for the summer of 2013, was hired, and was able stay at the firm after my graduation as well.

What has your career been like so far?

I also worked in other law firms during my studies, which is how I got a good idea of how extensive the different fields of law actually are. At the time, I assisted lawyers in handling large transactions as well as matters for private persons. In the final stage of my studies, I became interested in dispute resolution, and after completing my bachelor’s degree, I did my master’s degree on international arbitration at Stockholm University. In the end, I graduated with master’s degrees from the University of Helsinki and from Stockholm University at the same time. At Hannes Snellman, I have mainly worked on antitrust litigation but I also assist our clients in other legal proceedings and arbitration proceedings.

Can you describe your day-to-day work?

My work is of a cyclical nature and varies in accordance with the matters at hand. The first step of a cycle is writing and re-writing pleadings for courts or arbitral tribunals. This can last from days to months or even years. Written statements are followed by an oral phase, preparing for oral proceedings. During the oral phase, the hearing of witnesses is prepared, which means drawing up questions and preparing for oral pleadings and final statements. Matters culminate in court, where you have to be able to represent your client in their favour. An associate lawyer has to be able to keep all the wires in their hands and be ready to react at any given time. The same tasks are already learned as an associate trainee. The role is, of course, more assisting at first and gradually becomes more independent when your experience as a lawyer increases. A litigation lawyer usually knows the upcoming dates quite well in advance, which makes planning your work easier.

What kind of skills are required from dispute resolution lawyer?

A lawyer learns the most by doing, as long as there is enthusiasm for work and ability to perceive and form the best arguments. It is useful if a DR lawyer also has wit, daring, humility, and patience. A dispute resolution lawyer has to be inspired by new sectors and new, sometimes very surprising, contentious issues and be prepared to apply any legal area when working on a matter. Matters are often so broad that good project management and IT skills are very important.

What do you enjoy best in your work?

Versatility, which comes from various matters and different phases of individual matters. My co-workers are also very important to me, and the work community is of great importance when it comes to my day-to-day work.


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