Heikki Vesikansa

Title: 
Partner
Office: 
Helsinki
Telephone: 
+358 9 2288 4496
Mobile: 
+358 40 844 2117
Language: 
English
Finnish
Swedish
Assistant: 
Maria Qutishat

Assistant's telephone:

+358 9 2288 4475

Assistant's e-mail:

PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE

Heikki heads our Tax practice in Helsinki, and he advises our clients on transaction tax structuring and tax planning as well as tax litigation engagements. He frequently acts as a trusted advisor, particularly in cases involving complex international and cross-border tax elements. Heikki has received recognition especially for his tax technical skills and service-oriented approach in major surveys by Chambers, Legal500, and IFLR1000.

Heikki’s wide experience in the area of transaction structuring stems from providing tax advice in over 400 transactions over the past 17 years. He also frequently defends clients' tax positions in courts – recently, in the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court, Heikki has provided advice in several successful high-profile tax cases which have resulted in important case law precedents in Finnish tax law. Heikki works with a wide range of clients, including publicly listed companies, real estate and private equity investors, family-owned businesses, and private clients.

RECENT REFERENCES

  • Counsel to Vaaka Partners in its acquisition of NHG

  • Finnish counsel to Nexit Ventures and Ekahau, Inc. in the sale of shares of Ekahau to Ookla, a subsidiary of Ziff Davis

  • Counsel to Beneq Oy and its shareholders in the sale of Beneq to Qingdao Sifang SRI Intellectual Technology Co. Ltd.

  • Counsel to a client receiving confirmation from the Supreme Administrative Court that despite domestic tax law provisions the treaty dividend participation exemption prevents Finland from taxing a capital repayment from paid-in capital by a US subsidiary

  • Counsel to Areim Fund III in an acquisition of a portfolio of eight office properties from Avant Capital Partners, Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company and EPISO 4 fund advised by Tristan Capital Partners

  • Counsel to Skandia Fastigheter in its divestment of a 14,400 sqm of office property in Helsinki to Castellum

  • Counsel to CapMan Infra’s EUR 70 million investment in Elenia, a leading Finnish electricity network and district heat company
  • Counsel to LocalTapiola in its co-investment with CVC Capital Partners to Mehiläinen Oy, a leading Finnish private health- and social care provider
  • Counsel to several landlords defeating Finnish Tax Authorities’ attempt to deny VAT deductions on the basis of tenant’s bankruptcy

  • Counsel to a fund managed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management in its disposal of a 66,680 sqm logistics property in Espoo to a fund managed by Genesta

  • Counsel to Vaaka Partners in its acquisition of majority of shares in Jungle Juice Bar

  • Counsel to Skandia Fastigheter in its acquisition of 14,400 sqm of office property in Helsinki from TRIUVA

  • Counsel to GW Sohlberg in Ahlström Capital’s EUR 110 million acquisition of shares in Detection Technology and Glaston from GW Sohlberg

  • Counsel to Lemminkäinen Corporation in the combination of Lemminkäinen Corporation and YIT Corporation through a statutory merger

  • Counsel to a J.P. Morgan Asset Management fund in its disposal of four office properties to Alma Property Partners I AB in the Keilaniemi business district of Espoo, Finland

  • Counsel to a tax payer in a court proceeding which confirmed that earn out payments cannot be taxed as salary income subject to highest progressive tax rates

  • Counsel to several tax payers successfully claiming a refund for unlawfully imposed transfer tax on issue of employee stock options

  • Counsel to majority sellers in the sale of a majority of shares in Quattro Mikenti Group Oy to Adelis Equity Partners Fund I AB by Henri Juva and other sellers

  • Counsel to SUSI Partners AG in its acquisition of the Tetrituuli Wind Farm in Finland from Ilmatar Windpower Plc

  • Counsel to a fund managed by J.P. Morgan Asset Management in its disposal of a 11,200 sqm office property in Helsinki to a fund managed by Genesta

  • Counsel to Powerflute Oyj in its acquisition of Harvestia Oy from Vapo Oy

  • Counsel to Ahlstrom in the combination of Ahlstrom and Munksjö through a merger

  • Counsel to Powerflute Oyj in the recommended cash offer for Powerflute by Nordic Packaging and Container (Finland) Holdings Oy an affiliate of Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC

  • Counsel to SoftBank and its affiliates in the sale of their entire 72.2% stake in Supercell, a Finnish leading mobile game maker, to Tencent, a Chinese internet company, in a transaction valuing Supercell’s equity at USD 10.2 billion

  • Counsel to Patria and its shareholder in the sale of 49.9% of the shares in Patria Oyj to Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace AS

  • Counsel to Veolia in a JV with Neste and Borealis to build a new combined heat and power plant and produce and supply steam and other utilities to Neste's refinery and Borealis' petrochemical plant in Porvoo, Finland

  • Counsel to Ahlstrom Corporation in the sale of its building & wind business unit to Owens Corning

  • Counsel to Biotie Therapies Corp. in the public tender offer of the shares and other securities in Biotie Therapies by Acorda Therapeutics

  • Counsel to EQT Infrastructure Limited in its sale of Adven Group to a consortium comprising of AMP Capital Investors and Infracapital Partners II

  • Counsel to Faron Pharmaceuticals Ltd in its IPO and listing on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange as well as in the preceding fundraising of approx. GBP 10 million

  • Counsel to Alma Media Corporation in the exchange offer for the shares and options in Talentum Oyj. The exchange offer includes both share and cash components and the total value of the offer amounts to Eur 42.7 million

  • Finnish tax counsel to Summit Partners in the acquisition of a EUR 20 million minority stake in RELEX, a Finnish provider of supply chain software solutions for retailers

  • Finnish counsel to SoftBank in the acquisition of an additional 22.7% stake in Supercell, a Finnish online gaming company

  • Counsel to Trimble Finland Oy in its acquisition of Fifth Element Oy from key employees of and investors in Fifth Element Oy

  • Counsel to Asiakastieto Group Plc in its IPO and listing on the Helsinki Stock Exchange

  • Counsel to Valmet Plc in its acquisition of the process automation systems business from Metso Plc

  • Counsel to Patria Plc in purchase of shares from Airbus Group

  • Counsel to Ratos AB in investment into Ledil Group Oy 

  • Counsel in legal proceedings before the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court leading to a ruling whereby Finnish tax authorities are not entitled to retrospectively impose additional taxes to companies by re-characterising legal transactions without relevant mandate given by Finnish domestic tax law*
  • Counsel in a Central Tax Board case resolving the correct consolidation level indicated in the safe haven rule of the new Finnish interest deduction limitations (earnings stripping)*
  • Counsel in legal proceedings before the Helsinki Administrative Court confirming an earlier Supreme Administrative Court decision that transfer taxes are not payable on the termination of share options*

(*=references from prior to joining Hannes Snellman)

RANKINGS

  • 'Clients note that he combines "really good technical knowledge and friendly customer service."', Tax, Chambers Europe 2018
  • Ranked as a Notable practitioner in the 2018 and 2019 editions (Finland: M&A) of IFLR1000
  • Ranked as a recommended lawyer in the 2017 edition (Tax) of Legal 500

MEMBERSHIPS AND POSITIONS OF TRUST

  • Member, Taxes Committee of the Finnish Bar Association 2017

  • Member of the Finnish Corporate Law Association 2016
  • Member of the International Bar Association 2016
  • Member of the Finnish Bar Association 2015
  • Member of International Fiscal Association (IFA) 2015
  • Legal committee of the Finnish Venture Capital Association (FVCA) 2011 -
  • Member of the Association for Finnish Tax Professionals 2005

EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND

  • Partner, Hannes Snellman 2016

  • Specialist Partner, Hannes Snellman 2014

  • KPMG Oy Ab 2001-2014
  • Master of Laws, University of Helsinki 2001

PUBLICATIONS