24/10/2018

Leena Romppainen Back in Castrén & Snellman’s Tax Team After a Year at the Supreme Administrative Court

Leena Romppainen

Besides over two decades of experience in corporate tax law, Senior Counsel Leena Romppainen's long career also includes court work. After having served as a Justice of the Supreme Administrative Court for a year, Leena returned to her work as a member of Castrén & Snellman’s tax team on the 1st of October.

A fixed-term position became available in the Supreme Administrative Court’s second chamber, which examines, among other things, cases relating to corporate, value added, excise and personal taxation and appeals on customs duties. The Supreme Administrative Court wanted to fill the position with a corporate tax expert. Leena decided to seize the opportunity to deepen her expertise and was hired for the position.

‘I had a wonderful experience working at the Supreme Administrative Court. The knowledge and insights gained from working as a justice truly shaped my legal thinking. At the Supreme Administrative Court, you can clearly see the whole “life cycle” of tax issues. For example, in a dispute between a company and the Tax Administration, the final decision on an arrangement is obtained only years after the arrangement was planned or carried out in business operations, and it is probable that the operational environment has changed a great deal from what it was at the time of the arrangement. I got a more thorough understanding of different aspects of the tax appeals process. It is now also very clear to me why it is so important to carefully structure questions referred for a preliminary ruling’, Leena sums up.

Attorneys and court justices see matters from a very different angle. ‘When I meet a client for the first time to discuss an assignment, we start by considering the best way to proceed. Things can change very quickly during the course of a transaction, for example. At the Supreme Administrative Court, on the other hand, a tax matter is ‘static’ when it lands on your desk’, Leena says.