Career Stories: Sami Lommi

Many lawyers start working in a law firm while still studying and continue in that career after graduating.

Counsel Sami Lommi took a different path. Before joining Castrén & Snellman, he spent about fifteen years working in an insurance company in various legal positions, such as compliance officer, director of legal affairs and internal services and member of the management team.

What got him to buy services from Castrén & Snellman in his previous in-house career?

‘As a client, I was attracted to the firm’s skill capital and reputation for sustainability. Those were the main things that led me to choose C&S as a service provider.’

‘Sustainability, interpreted broadly, is vital today. No matter how good the skill capital of a company is, it is hard to justify buying services from that company if it does not take sustainability into account. It is well worth being ahead of the pack in this matter.’

Legal Degrees from Two Countries

Sami was originally supposed to be a dentist.

‘I fell off my bike and knocked my teeth out when I was ten. This meant that I spent a lot of my youth at the dentist’s office, and I became interested in the profession.’

‘In high school, however, I realised that I was not passionate about math and could retain text much better than numbers. I also became interested in societal matters. The high school I went to had an optional law course, which is what got me interested in the law.’

After high school, Sami studied in Sweden. Swedish is his native language, and he wanted to see a bit of the world. After graduating in Sweden, Sami moved back to Finland and got a second legal degree at the University of Helsinki.

A Financial and Insurance Regulation Expert

Sami joined Castrén & Snellman in 2019 bringing impressive insurance regulatory expertise to the firm.

‘I’ve spent a large part of my career working with financial regulation, particularly insurance regulation. My employers have included a Finnish banking concern and an international insurance concern. I have experience not only of regulation specific to the financial industry, but also relating to the prevention of money laundering, strategic planning and business development.’

At Castrén & Snellman, Sami has advised domestic and international regulated parties in a wide range of matters relating to the financial industry, such as arrangements, transfers of insurance portfolios, authorisations, governance systems, capitalisation, as well as the distribution and marketing of products. He has also advised clients in matters relating to anti-money laundering and sanctions regulations, has drafted and reviewed related guidelines and provided training on these matters both inside the firm and to clients.

‘I have enjoyed working here so much. A big part of wellbeing at work depends on how your supervisor acts, what the team is like, what kind of assignments you get to work on and how much control you have over your own work. I feel like all of those things are well balanced here.’

Towards a More Sustainable Legal Services Industry

In February 2021, Sami started work as Castrén & Snellman’s compliance officer alongside his client work. In this position, he supports the firm’s management and employees in acting sustainably and in compliance with legal services industry regulations.

Law firms are not required to have a compliance officer,but considering the importance C&S places on sustainability, the firm wants to ensure its risk management is second to none.

‘Compliance and risk management were already well in hand at C&S. I feel a bit like Toto Wolff in that I am stepping into a team that is already doing an excellent job. My goal is to use my experience to further refine the team’s work’, Sami says.