News & Views

Get to Know Us | Antti Alanko, Partner, Finance, Helsinki

1 April 2019

When did you start working at Hannes Snellman?

I joined Hannes Snellman as a finance trainee in the summer of 2010, after which I remained as a part-time trainee to assist in projects in the autumn of 2010. Officially, I started as a lawyer after my graduation at the beginning of 2011.

What is your professional background?

During my studies, I worked in Nordea’s trade finance and derivative operations and in the KPMG transaction services team. After my graduation, I have spent my whole career in Hannes Snellman’s Finance team, excluding my secondment of five months at Pohjola Pankki (now OP Yrityspankki) at the turn of 2014-2015.

What have your last projects been like?

The work of a finance lawyer consists of projects, and the tasks vary accordingly. The tasks include drafting agreements, investigations, and project management. Overall, I do all kinds of assignments that are somehow related to debt instruments, for example in the case of mergers. Of course, there are other assignments related to contract and company law that vary from one side to the other. Recently, the assignments I have worked on have included aircraft financing, hybrid bonds, collateral and debt consolidation, and traditional bank financing.

What kind of skills are required from a good finance lawyer?

There are many skills I could list but I think what is key is having an interest towards financial law. My interest started during my studies in the production industry, and when I began my studies in law, I also decided to include studies in economics. This is also how I ended up studying my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration while doing my law studies, which increased my interest towards financing. Although commercial degrees or studies are not a requirement for a good finance lawyer, they can help you to understand questions related to financial law.

How do cross-border collaboration and internationality show in your work?

Hannes Snellman has offices in Helsinki and Stockholm. I have a lot of contact with my Swedish colleagues and work with them on a regular basis. In addition to nice co-workers, the international nature of financial transactions encourages us to communicate, as most of the assignments have an international interface in practice. This also has a direct impact on working methods: most of the financial documentation, even if it only applies to Finnish parties, is in English.

What is the best part and what is the most challenging part about your work?

The best and the most challenging things about my work are practically the same thing. You have to learn new things all the time. This has kept the work interesting, and I believe that this will continue in the future.

Do you have time for any free-time activities?

Although the work can be quite hectic at times, there is also time for hobbies. On weekdays, I regularly play tennis and badminton, and the holidays I usually spend travelling.


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