Greetings from Alumni: Johannes Husa, Senior Legal Counsel, Lassila & Tikanoja
31 January 2024
In the first part of this springs’s Greetings from Alumni series, we interviewed Johannes Husa, who works as a senior legal counsel at Lassila & Tikanoja. During his time at Hannes between the years 2011 and 2021, Johannes worked in the positions of an associate and senior associate.
Hi Johannes, how are you?
I am well – thanks for asking! The year has started quite busy but luckily there are a lot of interesting things to keep me busy both at work and in the personal life. L&T also announced an updated strategy in October last year, and it will be exciting to see what the implementation of the new strategy will bring.
You work as a senior legal counsel at Lassila & Tikanoja. Can you tell us a little bit about your work and daily tasks?
L&T has four major business divisions: Environmental Services, Industrial Services, Facilities Services Finland, and Facilities Services Sweden, and as a group counsel I work with all four divisions so the work and daily tasks can vary quite a bit depending on the day and the business in question! I think that just as at a law firm, you rarely know beforehand what each day brings. On a more general level, my tasks include, among other things, working on the group’s M&A transactions, supporting the business in drafting and negotiating contracts, managing disputes, and generally advising L&T’s business in a variety of legal matters that may arise. In addition, my work includes acting as the secretary of the board for our Swedish subsidiaries, training the business on legal matters, and just keeping up with the legal developments affecting our business.
What would you say are the biggest differences between working as an in-house lawyer and working as a lawyer in a law firm?
The biggest difference is perhaps that as an in-house lawyer, you really get to know the business in a more in-depth manner and get involved in projects already in their very early stages (and way before the project may come to a law firm). Often the people and stakeholders you get to work with are also more varied – in many instances you may be the only lawyer and have a grasp of the sometimes differing perspectives within the group to come up with the best legal solutions. Furthermore, as an in-house lawyer, you will need to navigate through a wider variety of different legal (and non-legal!) matters as opposed to specialising in a specific field of law. However, at the same time, I think there are a lot of parallels – such as the fact that you are expected to provide on point, concrete advice relevant to the business and come up with solutions on how to make things happen.
Has the law firm background helped you in your current job?
I think my law firm background has been a big asset in my current job. In a law firm, you have to be able to quickly identify the relevant issues, be an effective communicator, and have a general mindset of making things happen, and these things are obviously also valued when working in-house. Aside from these, working at a law firm was really helpful for my contract drafting and negotiation skills as well as to quickly identify the relevant details from the mass of information received. Furthermore, at L&T I still work a lot with M&A transactions and for these matters there was no better school than Hannes – I still draw on the lessons learned from my law firm years especially in my current work.
What is your favourite memory from your time at Hannes?
It is difficult to pick one thing out of the so many, but perhaps on the leisure side I would say the impromptu summer afterworks at the firm’s rooftop terrace and the annual ski trips to Tahko. On the more serious side, it was always really rewarding to work with some of the best people in the business and take demanding projects over the finish line. However, if I needed to point out one thing, it would be the always great colleagues!
One theme that currently stands out in working life discussions is purpose at work. To conclude this interview, we would like to know what the things are that keep you going and motivated at work — what is your purpose?
At L&T, we work in the forefront of circular economy and, thus, it is really motivating to see the concrete positive effects of one’s work in the business and how one can play a role in making the world more sustainable. On the transactions side, it has been really rewarding to continue working with the business and the new people who have become part of the L&T family after a transaction closes. Also, the constant learning and deepening of one’s knowledge of the business we are operating in are things that keep me going.