Procopé & Hornborg under the management of Tanskanen
Pia Tanskanen has started her new role as Managing Partner of Procopé & Hornborg Attorneys Ltd as of the beginning of May, thereby reinforcing the strategic development of the company alongside the Chairman of the Board, Ismo Hentula.
“This new situation will enhance the development and implementation of our strategy in cooperation with the Managing Partner in charge of daily business management”, the Chairman of the Board, Ismo Hentula, summarises.
With the new situation, Hentula refers to the reorganisation of his previous “triple role” as Lawyer, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board as a result of Pia Tanskanen’s new role as Managing Partner as of the beginning of May.
Hentula has managed the law firm since 2013. During that time, Procopé & Hornborg has reformed and, amongst others, the law firm has taken huge leaps in terms of digitalisation. The law firm aims to operate without paper, and therefore documents are available and accessible online to all concerned parties. The law firm has thus been a pioneer in the top tier of an otherwise conservative industry.
“Electronic solutions significantly speed up our work, which in turn increases efficiency, reduces costs and thereby brings about many benefits to our clients”, Hentula remarks.
Tanskanen is on a roll!
Pia Tanskanen, who has co-headed the M&A practice area for over two years, has achieved incredible milestones during this year. In March, she was admitted to the Finnish Bar, which is pivotal for heading a law firm. In April, she became Partner of Procopé & Hornborg and as of May, she has been Managing Partner.
Tanskanen’s new role naturally involves many challenges, although it is always pleasant to start heading an already well-crafted company.
“The goal is still to grow profitably, expand the clientele and at the same time, maintain the flow of our well-established processes, even as the number of personnel might increase”, Tanskanen states.
New employees are key to a company experiencing strong growth, which means that we are in constant search of key players to join our ranks.
A law firm with a focus on the essential
When Tanskanen joined the law firm a few years ago, a particularity of Procopé & Hornborg stood out immediately in her view.
“I was immediately filled with excitement from the feeling of directness. Here, everyone focuses on what matters most to the clients, and works as a team together with Associates as well as Trainees. There is no sense of hierarchy standing in the way of our work.”
In practice, this means that younger lawyers very quickly get the chance to be acquainted with real cases together with more experienced colleagues. Mentoring and guiding young professionals is an important mission of Procopé & Hornborg. Ismo Hentula refers to Philosopher Simone Weil.
“People do not have rights, but instead obligations. Our obligation is to help young lawyers to find their own guiding star by supporting them in every possible way.”
At Procopé & Hornborg, the belief is that the focus on the essential serves the clients who at times might feel that a team of lawyers of a law firm unduly make easy matters seem unsurmountable.
“Having worked in the past as in-house counsel in industrial corporations, at times I felt that law firms should use more common sense and focus on the essential. If the client has no knowledge of the law, it is difficult for the client to assess which issues truly form a relevant legal risk”, Tanskanen observes.
At Procopé & Hornborg, the focus on the essential also entails that each Partner aims to work with one designated Associate. The enhancement of the flow of operations has not been an end in itself.
“When we do not have an entire team to be supplied with work, the costs to the client are minimised. Of course, we may choose to engage a bigger team on certain projects, where necessary and appropriate”, Hentula comments.
In the United States, at least Munger, Tolles & Olson, known as a top tier law firm with a similar strategy to ours, has been able to distinguish itself in this vein. 80% of the personnel of the law firm have served as judges of the Federal Circuits and 18 people as lawyers in the Supreme Court.
The weight of risks changes over time
The Covid-19 pandemic is a prime example of how different legal questions suddenly resurge. As the pandemic significantly impeded the fulfillment of contractual obligations in chains of supply, many companies had to review their supply agreement through new lenses. Previously efficient supply clauses suddenly proved challenging to many.
Now, more than ever, ESG stipulations in agreements are gaining significance, and these stipulations need to be addressed even more specifically when companies engage in international trade or M&A transactions.
“In addition, the reporting of these issues needs to be transparent and under constant improvement”, Tanskanen notes.
A law firm with great expertise
Pia Tanskanen has become head of a full-service law firm with some of the country’s strongest experts in M&A, Competition, Dispute Resolution and International Trade, to name a few.
Like her predecessor, Tanskanen has kept working in her area of expertise and passion, M&A. Despite the enlargement of her role, Tanskanen also commits to looking after herself.
“Probably more than ever before, I need pilates and music.”
Ismo Hentula in turn rejoices over the opportunity to focus more on his basic role
“The work of a lawyer, as a profession, is very independent. Now, it feels comforting to be able to devote more time and attention to one matter at a time and explore the possibilities it might bring”, Hentula reflects.
In the summertime, hopefully there will be enough time to spend on the 6mR class sailboat. Sailing is a popular topic at the law firm as Finland’s youngest round-the-world sailor, Emil Vartiainen, is part of the team.
“To be able to sail, however, is not a criterion for being employed by this law firm”, Hentula reassures tongue in cheek.