Eversheds eyes Nordic economies as it merges with Helsinki firm

Eversheds has merged with Finnish full-service firm Juridia Bützow to form JB Eversheds.

The move comes just over a year after Finland’s Bützow and Juridia merged to create a €28m (£23.5m) firm (1 October 2013). Eversheds has been working with legacy Bützow for seven years.

Today Juridia Bützow has 165 staff and five offices across Finland in Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Jyväskylä, Tampere and Turku.

Eversheds Ireland managing partner and international board chairman Alan Murphy said he had been “tremendously encouraged” by Bützow’s merger with Juridia last year, describing the combined firm as “very ambitious”.

He said the open and export-driven Nordic economy appealed not only as a means of better serving the firm’s existing clients but to pinpoint opportunities in IP, technology, mercantile and shipping.

Juridia Bützow managing partner Harri Tolppanen said: “We share a common strategy with Eversheds to continuously strengthen our position in our domestic market whilst expanding our reach internationally, both across the Nordic region and globally.”

Murphy denied that closure of the Eversheds Copenhagen office in early 2013 was evidence of a retreat from either the Nordic region or Denmark (24 January 2014).

Eversheds’ German arm Heisse Kursawe Eversheds launched a Berlin office earlier this year, sparking the suggestion that a full merger between the two firms was in the pipeline (2 April 2014).

Murphy was appointed chair of Eversheds network of associated international firms, Eversheds International, following the retirement of David Gray last year (2 May 2013).

However, Europe has not been the main focus of Eversheds’ global expansion plans lately. A year ago the firm launched a new pan-African strategy and the Eversheds African Law Institute (EALI), signing up firms from 14 countries initially to participate in the venture (1 October 2014).

It went on to re-enter South Africa via a deal with Mahons Attorneys in December 2013 gifting it bases in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Louis in Mauritius (4 December 2013), and then expanding in Durban through an affiliation with Knight Turner, which is now known as Eversheds KZN (2 June 2014).

For an in-depth look at the resilience of Finnish firms in a challenging economy see: Special report: Finland – Triumph in adversity