PRACTICE AND EXPERIENCE
Mika specialises in commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and litigation.
For more than 20 years, Mika has advised clients in a large number of business disputes relating e.g. to the sale of goods, distribution and agency, joint ventures and shareholders’ agreements, mergers and acquisitions, construction and engineering, banking and finance, insurance and reinsurance, competition law infringements, intellectual property rights and telecommunications. He has extensive track record in representing Finnish and foreign corporations in international and domestic arbitrations as well as in complex litigation cases.
In addition, Mika frequently sits as presiding, sole and party-nominated arbitrator in ad hoc and administered arbitration proceedings. One of Finland’s most renowned international arbitrators, he has been appointed in more than 50 arbitrations conducted under various sets of rules and different applicable laws, in various arbitral seats and across different business sectors.
A versatile lecturer, Mika has published books as well as numerous articles and case comments mainly in the field of procedural law, contract law and competition litigation. He served as secretary of the Finnish Arbitration Association between 1998 and 2010 and has been a member of its board since 2004. As from 1 January 2013, Mika has also acted as the chairman of the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce (FAI).
- Represented a NASDAQ-listed U.S. corporation in a large-scale product liability case against Finnish companies and authorities.
- Represented a Finnish listed company against one of the largest Danish corporations in a high-value engineering dispute mediated and arbitrated in Copenhagen under the DIA Rules and Danish applicable law.
- Represented a Finnish manufacturer against a Chinese customer in a complex construction and engineering dispute arbitrated under the ICC Rules in Paris.
- Represented one of the largest German corporations against a major Finnish listed company in a multi-million euro M&A dispute arbitrated under the ICC Rules in Stockholm.
- Represented a Finnish listed company against a Latin American counterparty in a multi-million euro dispute over the termination of a distribution agreement and unlawful use of our client’s intellectual property rights. Apart from the main arbitral proceedings seated in Helsinki, the case involved convoluted injunction and criminal proceedings before Brazilian state courts.
- Represented a major Finnish listed company against two other Finnish companies in a landmark domestic FAI arbitration concerning the breach of our client’s tag-along right under a shareholders’ agreement. The case resulted in record damages of EUR 67 million awarded to our client.
- Represented a multinational telecom company against two other telecom companies in convoluted court and arbitration proceedings in which the counterparties claimed damages exceeding EUR 500 million from our client based on purported abuse of dominant market position. The dispute ended in an amicable settlement in favour of our client.
- Represented a Finnish listed company against the European Commission in a complex state aid litigation before the Community Courts. The issue in dispute was whether the State of Finland had violated the EC Treaty by granting alleged unlawful state aid to our client.
- Represented a major multinational insurance company against the Finnish Consumer Ombudsman in a high-value dispute regarding whether misleading marketing information had been provided to individual consumers who had subscribed a voluntary pension insurance policy from our client. The case resulted in a precedent issued by the Supreme Court of Finland.
Mika is listed as a leading arbitration and litigation lawyer in Finland in all the major international legal directories, including e.g. Chambers Global, Chambers Europe and Legal 500. He is also ranked as a top individual in the Who's Who Legal: Arbitration and Who’s Who Legal: Commercial Litigation.
Each year since 2014, Chambers has awarded Mika a unique “Star Individual” ranking among the Finnish dispute resolution practitioners and listed him in Band 1 in the “Most in Demand Arbitrators” category.
Further, the International Law Office (ILO) has granted Mika their Client Choice Award 2010 and 2011 in the Litigation category, and in 2016 and 2017 in the Arbitration & ADR category. ILO Awards recognise those law firms and partners around the world that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service. Based on ILO’s extensive survey among senior corporate counsel, Mika was regarded as the best arbitration and litigation lawyer in Finland.
Below a sample of quotes from Mika’s client feedback – as reported in the ILO Client Choice Guide:
- ”The best dispute resolution lawyer around”
- ”The quality is outstanding – despite being very demanding, there’s never been an issue on quality side with Mika and his team”
- ”Has the courage to give direct and clear answers to the customer (not just legal jargon with extensive disclaimers)”
- ”Pragmatic, understands the client’s business needs underlying the dispute”
- ”Extremely short turnaround time”
- ”True added value in the pre-litigation phase”
- ”Mika is extremely thorough – there is not an issue he would not recognise and deal with”
- ”He turns every stone to find justification for his client's case, but in a fair manner”
- ”Creative yet down-to-earth”
- ”Work capacity and dedication in line with what one expects more typically of top US attorneys”
- ”He is the best attorney I have had an opportunity to work with”
- ”A damn nice guy to work with”
In other legal directories, Mika has been referred to as follows:
- "Mika Savola enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market as a lawyer who is 'very experienced, pragmatic and quickly understands the big picture.'", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2018
- "Esteemed player in the market Mika Savola is renowned for his international arbitration expertise across various industry sectors. Clients acknowledge him as one of the foremost litigators in the country. 'He's the number one dispute resolution professional in Finland. I know how excellent he is in that respect. He's very responsive, has a brilliant legal mind and is extremely hard working.'", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2017 and Chambers Europe 2017
- Leading individual, Dispute Resolution, Legal 500, 2016 and 2017
- "Mika Savola is recognised as a highly experienced and 'very talented' lawyer, who stands out in the Finnish market for his dispute resolution prowess. He is regularly appointed as arbitrator, in addition to advising clients on complex litigation cases." Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2016 and Chambers Europe 2016
- "Head of department Mika Savola is widely admired as one of the undisputed stars of dispute resolution in Finland. In addition to his litigation expertise, he is noted for his long-standing experience in arbitration...", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2015 and Chambers Europe 2015
- "Market leader Mika Savola impresses interviewees with his top-level work on major disputes in Finland, alongside a prominent role in the development of the Finnish arbitration market following his recent appointment as chair of the Finnish Arbitration Institute's board. He has wide-ranging experience acting as arbitrator on cases conducted under numerous institutional rules, including ICC, and has recently appeared as counsel on a number of international cases involving industrial clients.", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2014
- "Mika Savola is one of the key figures in this field. He has long-standing experience in litigation and also frequently acts as arbitrator. Clients appreciate his breadth of knowledge and scientific approach to complex disputes...", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Europe 2013 and Chambers Global 2013
- "Practice head Mika Savola, ‘a great character and a great lawyer’ who always ‘thinks one step ahead of the competition’ (…)", Legal 500, 2013
- "Practice head Mika Savola is ‘analytical and straight to the point.’", Legal 500, 2012
- "Team leader Mika Savola is superb in arbitration, and is deemed "one of the most skilful lawyers in this field in Finland.", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global 2012
- "Mika Savola is in charge of the litigation team and is described by peers as “extremely experienced, especially with international cases.", Chamber Europe 2011
- "Mika Savola is one of the leading figures in the domestic market and maintains a strong presence in international arbitration. As a member of the Swedish and Swiss arbitration associations and the LCIA, he is one of this firm’s most valuable assets when it comes to cross-border issues, say peers.", Legal 500, 2011
- "Savola is rated as the standout litigator in the country", GCR 100, Global Competition Review, 2010
- "Team leader Mika Savola is a client favourite for his experience and ‘tactical expertise’.", Legal 500 EMEA 2010
- "’He is a thorough, tough and strong-minded litigator and would go through a stone wall if he had to,’ clients say.", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2010
- "Mika Savola is one of the country’s leading litigators and has acted on various large-scale competition proceedings.", Competition/European Law, Chambers Europe 2010
- "… partner Mika Savola is ‘without doubt one of the top litigators in Finland today.’" Legal 500, 2009
- "Clients describe Savola as 'an extremely hard-working, pragmatic and analytical lawyer.'", Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2009
- "Heads the firm's dispute resolution group, and is an experienced commercial litigator and arbitration counsel, known for competition law specialisation. One client remarked on his capability to deal with all ambushes attempted by the disputing party yet never loses sight of commercial realities.", PLCWhich Lawyer? Yearbook 2009
- "The 'highly talented' Mika Savola heads the dispute resolution practice. His extensive experience in competition cases and major commercial disputes sees him appear before national competition authorities, the Commission and the ECJ.", Competition/antitrust, Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2008
- "Mika Savola is blessed with the ability to 'always convince in the courtroom.' He comes highly recommended, particularly for international arbitration.", Dispute Resolution, Chambers Global and Chambers Europe 2008
- "Mika Savola also garners respect for his resilient, 'hands-on approach', likening him to 'a terrier that just won't let go of the ball'.", Chambers Global 2007
- "Mika Savola is responsible for the firm's competition litigation practice. He wins plaudits for his perseverance, hard work and thorough approach, 'he will leave no stone unturned', say peers.", Chambers Global 2006
- "… highly regarded for his contentious aptitude…", Legal 500, 2004
MEMBERSHIPS AND POSITIONS OF TRUST
- Member of the Finnish Bar Association
- Chairman of the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce
Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR
- Member of the Board of the Finnish Arbitration Association
- Member of the Swedish Arbitration Association
- Member of the Arbitration and Litigation Committees of the International Bar Association
- Member of the Swiss Arbitration Association
- Member of the London Court of International Arbitration
- Member of the Finnish Association for Competition Law
- Member of the Association of Finnish Lawyers
EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND
- Head of Dispute Resolution, Hannes Snellman, 2006 - 2017
- Head of Competition and Litigation group, Hannes Snellman, 2004
- Partner, Hannes Snellman, 2002
- Associate Lawyer, Hannes Snellman, 1996
- Master of Laws, University of Helsinki, 1996
- Master of Political Sciences, University of Helsinki, 1993