We operate panels in many practice areas and in many countries. We don't always have a practice area specialist who knows firms in the country, so that is where guides like this come in handy.
The IFLR1000 is a useful cross reference to refer to ... to make sure a personal referral aligns with some objective rankings from a survey. I would refer to it in my main area, M&A, when looking for a counsel in a country we are new to.
The country-by-country tiered rankings by practice area are a good approach, to get a rough feel if a firm is viewed as active in a practice area.
UK General CounselUS-listed multi-national corporate
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Boutique M&A firm Avance has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2011. Clients and competitors agree it is increasingly seen as one of the better teams in the country. "They have a very good reputation in the Finnish market," says one client. "They have strong execution skills even though they're more of a mid-sized player in terms of headcount. By using the best picks from larger legal firms they have formed a formidable mid-sized player."
Though primarily involved in supporting the corporate team, the banking and finance team has been involved in some pure financing and project financing this year. In acquisition finance the work is of a high level and based on that the firm has moved into tier 4 for banking and finance this year.
Thanks to shifts in the acquisition financing market, bonds are more and more becoming part of transactions so even boutique M&A firms need to have a strong team in this area. Avance's, led by Elisa Heinonen, was involved in a number of such bond issues including advising Triton on one in relation to the merger of Swedish company Gustaf Kährs with Finnish company Karelia-Upofloor.
The corporate team moves up another tier this year as the niche practice continues to grow into one of the best M&A houses in Finland. Both clients and peers are full of praise for the team, though capacity is mentioned as a limitation. "Avance has a strong M&A practice," says one competitor. "But being an M&A boutique it lacks the capabilities for such larger projects that would require in-depth expertise from several fields of law." On the other hand clients have nothing but praise for the team. One describes Heinonen as having a "pragmatic, no-nonsense approach" and "solid legal skills". "[She was] focused on finding the best solution for all parties without forgetting the client's interest," they say. "She had excellent accessibility and responsiveness." Another client notes that partner Erkki-Antti Sadinmaa has "excellent co-operation skills". Finally, a senior private equity client says: "Ulf-Henrik Kull is the best M&A and private equity lawyer in this jurisdiction."
Tel: +358 20 155 5140
Managing Partner: Carl-Henrik Wallin
Banking: Sari Wallgren
Capital markets: Elisa Heinonen
M&A: Ulf-Henrik Kull
Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Competition Law and State Aid, Contract and Commercial, Corporate Advisory, Energy and Infrastructure, IP and Technology, M&A and Joint Ventures, Private Equity and Venture Capital, Real Estate. For a complete list of our areas of expertise please visit www.avanceattorneys.com.
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