International Dispute Resolution on the Rise in Finland

Finland is well on track to becoming a major hub of international business dispute resolution. This growth is being fed by Finland’s reputation for neutrality and efficiency. The Asian market also offers new potential.

According to the statistics of the Finland Chamber of Commerce, the number of international arbitration proceedings has increased in Finland in 2016–2017 by more than one-third compared to the two preceding years.

Castrén & Snellman’s Managing Partner Sakari Lukinmaa estimates that there is still potential for growth in the export market for dispute resolutions. Currently, half of Castrén & Snellman’s turnover comes from international assignments.

‘Finland’s good image also contributes to the growth of the dispute market. In arbitration proceedings, the parties to the dispute can freely choose the venue for and the legislation applied to the proceedings. When parties negotiate where a dispute should be resolved, Finland and the Finnish Arbitration Act are currently strong contenders’, says Lukinmaa.

This good position is a result of the Finnish court system being arbitration friendly. The attractiveness of Finnish law as an export is increased by our well-functioning legislative framework. Our educational level is high and we have skilled arbitrators and counsel for international disputes.

‘The Finnish dispute resolution method has earned a good reputation in the world. Our way of resolving matters is unassuming, efficient and solution-oriented’, says Partner Anders Forss who is specialised in dispute resolutions.

The Cold War Elevated Sweden, Asia Could Now Elevate Finland

During the Cold War, Sweden became a popular venue for arbitration proceedings. Sweden was considered a neutral country between the Soviet Union and the USA.

Finland may be the new bridge in today’s global political climate, as it occupies a strong position between the East and the West and the Asian economy is growing. Our assets are stability, safety and a lack of corruption.

However, Finland’s position could be even better if the Finnish Arbitration Act was reformed to correspond to the UN Model Law. In addition, Lukinmaa is of the opinion that active cooperation between different actors is what we now need.

‘A concerted push by the Finnish business life and attorneys could solidify Finland’s position as a dispute resolution country’, says Lukinmaa.