Castrén & Snellman’s Code of Conduct

During its 130 years of existence, C&S has become a forerunner of demanding legal services with a staff of over 260 people. We are based in Helsinki, and in other parts of the world we work with an extensive international network of law firms.

A central building block in the firm’s success has been the renowned Castrén spirit, a sense of community, built and developed over many decades. As the firm has grown, increasing attention has been put into fostering this spirit and has been codified in the firm’s values through a firm wide value dialogue.

This Code of Conduct is based on our values and guides us in our daily work. It sets the ground rules for our dealings with each other, our clients and the society at large.

Our Code of Conduct is inspired by the UN Global Compact and other international standards on corporate responsibility. As part of our membership in UN Global Compact, we publish an annual report on sustainability.

Our Values

Courage

We follow our own path. We don’t look for easy wins but have the courage to take a stand and to do what is right. We question, we develop ourselves and we look ahead.

Respect

No matter what the situation is, we always play as one team. We help our clients and one another shine. Every day, we build a work community where empathy, ambition and great results meet.

The Spark

We take our client’s matter to heart. We put ourselves on the line for our clients and push each other to exceed our clients’ expectations. The spark is born of trust, close interaction and the professional ambition of each individual. We are driven by the spark to provide the best legal service in Finland and to be the best workplace in the legal sector.

Responsibility

Our business is a business of trust. We stand by our clients with integrity. We always strive towards the best possible result, but not at the expense of health, quality or the environment.

1. Human Rights

We respect internationally proclaimed human rights in everything we do.

We expect our suppliers and business partners to do the same.

We refuse assignments where our advice would assist human rights violations.

2. Our People

Our people are our greatest asset. By looking after each other, we ensure the best possible quality for our clients.

To us equal treatment and opportunities are self-evident. We do not accept any form of discrimination, be it based on gender, age, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or any other similar basis. 

  • More detailed guidelines are laid out in our Equality Plan.

We are honest, straight forward and always treat each other with respect.

We ensure that our working environment is inspiring and safe.

We promote continuous learning and development of our professional skills in accordance with and beyond the requirements set by the professional standards of the legal profession.

3. Professional Conduct

Our business is based on trust and integrity. We always act in accordance with the professional and ethical standards of the legal profession, which regulate matters such as client relationship, loyalty to the client, independence, conflicts of interest, confidentiality and integrity. 

  • We are bound by the Finnish Advocates Act as well as the Professional Code of Conduct of the Finnish Bar Association

We act in accordance with applicable rules against money laundering and financing of terrorism. We know our clients and make sure we understand their intentions. We do not accept assignments, which include a risk of money laundering or financing of terrorism.

  • More detailed guidelines are set out in C&S Guide for Preventing Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism

As a leading lawfirm continuously handling insider information, confidentiality and unconditional compliance with insider regulations are of utmost importance to us, our clients and our reputation.

  • More detailed guidance is included in C&S Insider Guidelines

Data security is crucial when dealing with highly sensitive client information in today’s world. We take information security seriously and always act in accordance with internal guidelines.

  • Detailed guidelines for our employees are found in C&S ICT Security Instructions

We do not accept corruption in any form. We have strict rules against bribery and limits applicable on hospitality and gifts, which all of our employees are obliged to follow.

  • More detailed rules are laid out in C&S Guideline against Bribery and Corruption

4. Environment

The environment is important to us. We contribute to a cleaner future by seeking to minimise our effect on the environment. We have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5°C campaign and pledged to reduce our scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 50% by 2030 from a 2018 base year.

  • We aim at continuously reducing our energy consumption.
  • We calculate our carbon footprint and compensate our emissions annually.
  • We have procedures to minimize the waste we produce.
  • We strive to reduce the environmental impacts of our travelling. 
  • Our office is a certified WWF Green Office. 
  • We publish an annual report on sustainability.

5. Society

To participate in the development of society has always been a central part of the legal profession.

As attorneys, we have an important role to play in the realisation and development of the rule of law and we actively participate in preparation of new legislation.

We encourage our attorneys to actively engage in the education of future lawyers by sharing our knowledge with students.

We take part in the pro-bono legal counselling organised through the Finnish Bar Association, which ensures access to legal advice free of charge.

6. Representation and Compliance

Every C&S employee is a representative of C&S and it is every C&S employee’s duty to follow this Code of Conduct in their daily work.

C&S partners and supervisors are responsible for informing their subordinates of the contents of and give guidance on the correct implementation of the Code of Conduct.

All employees guide their junior colleagues by example.

We can inform our Managing Partner or HR Director of our concerns without fear of retaliation, knowing that they will be duly investigated and that appropriate actions will be taken in case of non-compliance.