News & Views

Career Stories | Axel Rosengren, Associate, Real Assets

23 May 2024

Axel Rosengren works as an associate in our Real Assets Team. Axel joined Hannes as an associate trainee in 2023 and was appointed as an associate lawyer upon his graduation. Axel holds a master’s degree in laws from the University of Helsinki.

Could you tell us about your journey at Hannes?

My Hannes journey started like all good friendships start: “When I first met you, I thought you were a jerk.” I first visited Hannes in 2017 when I participated in Pykälä’s freshman excursion. I couldn’t help but feel like a tattooed, long haired, and pierced guy would never fit in this grey and old-fashioned law firm. Or so I thought. After steering clear for the majority of my studies and having developed an interest for the contractual side of industrial projects, I noticed that Hannes had a specific projects & construction team and felt like maybe I should give Hannes a second chance. Thankfully so! A little over a year from the start of my traineeship in Hannes’s Real Assets, I’m an associate in the P&C team, and the rose-coloured glasses seem to have stuck to my head for good. There is nothing grey about this place, except for the Grey Foxes floorball team, of course.

How would you describe your normal workday? What kind of matters have you been handling?

Like I pointed out above, our clients are mainly involved in projects of industrial scale and nature, which nowadays mostly relate to the green transition. We help our clients throughout the entire life span of their projects, from assisting with the RfQs and drafting the contracts to being involved in the negotiations. We also assist our clients in any disputes arising from any phase of their projects. As the captain (elect) of the Grey Foxes, most of my daily tasks are about making sure our players stay healthy and ready to play. All jokes aside, my other daily tasks involve making first drafts of our clients’ contracts and modifying and creating negotiation materials.

What are you mostly looking forward to in your career as a lawyer?

I’m mostly looking forward to gaining a comprehensive understanding of how large-scale contracts function and how those are best tied to the reality of the construction site. Combining the theoretical with the practical and seeing a concrete outcome of my labour, in many cases quite literally, is never boring or mundane and that’s what keeps me interested.

How would you describe the Hannes culture?

I can without a shadow of a doubt say that I can, and am encouraged to, be myself. We are a firm filled with as many personalities as we have employees. No-one is forced to fit in a certain role or to look or sound a certain way.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I consider myself the ultimate generalist, as I can do a bit of everything. I have a sailboat, I play ice-hockey, floorball, football, and golf (I’m planning on adding tennis to the list this coming summer), I knit and build furniture and ride my snowboard in the winter.

Based on your own experience, what are your top three tips for a newly graduated lawyer?

  1. Don’t think you should know everything, or better yet — anything, in the beginning. You’re only expected to be eager to learn.
  2. It’s exhausting to be clueless all the time, be patient with yourself.
  3. Be yourself, everybody smells a fake and acting unnaturally wears you out quicker than anything.

Hannes Snellman is cooperating with Päätös, a podcast focused on decision-making, for its fifth season this spring. Inspired by the podcast, we would like to conclude this interview by asking you about decision-making — what would you say is the most significant decision you have made when it comes to your professional life?

A great question, even though I find it to be a little bit leading. Stating the obvious, the most important single decision regarding my professional life was registering myself for the entrance exam to the University of Helsinki. But this doesn't mean that the single moment when I made that decision was completely separated from all other decisions I've made during my life. Some sources say that people make more than 30,000 decision each day, over 10 million a year. Roughly guessing there must've been at least a million decisions that led to deciding to apply to law school. During the spring of 2017, I made important decisions like go to the library, take a break, and stay a little longer every day. I can't begin to rank the significance of those decisions because if I'd decided not to go one day, that decision might've nullified all the previous ones, including the decision to register for the exam. So maybe I could say that my most significant professional decision was deciding to make the same decision repeatedly every single morning, day, and evening, over and over again.

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