Finnish firms merge to form €28m outfit

Finland’s Bützow and Juridia have merged to create a €28m (£23.5m) firm employing over 100 lawyers.

The two firms combined on 1 September. The merger includes Juridia’s IP subsidiary Heinonen & Co, which is now a subsidiary of the merged Juridia Bützow.

Legacy Bützow’s chair Vesa Turkki told The Lawyer the partners had been in informal discussions, followed by more formal negotiations, for about a year before the merger completed.

“The more we thought about it, the more it made sense,” Turkki said. “What we’re seeing in the Finnish market is the same as in most of the market in Europe – the big firms are getting bigger and stronger.”

In contrast, said Turkki, smaller firms were finding it harder to compete on an international scale.

He said the firms’ practice areas were complementary, with Bützow stronger on the M&A and litigation side and Juridia bringing depth in TMT and IP law. There were “hardly any” conflict issues, Turkki added.

He said the combined firm wanted to increase its international work. Bützow was a member of network Meritas, and Juridia was a member of Multilaw.

Bützow managing partner Harri Tolppanen is the inaugural managing partner for the merged firm, while Juridia managing partner Kimmo Oila is board chairman. Turkki and Juridia partner Hannu Rintala are also members of the board.

The merger is the biggest combination in the Finnish legal market for several years. The most recent was the 2010 merger between Merilampi and Veikko Palotie & Co, creating a €12m outfit.