HAMMARSKIÖLD & CO: INTERNATIONAL STRATEGY
ACCORDING to Mergermarket data Stockholm- based Hammarskiöld & Co ranked top among Nordic legal advisors by value of deals across the period of 1 January 1998 until December
2010. The average deal value of transactions handled
by the firm during that time frame was a weighty
b266m, demonstrating a consistency of headline
instructions that placed it far ahead of its regional
rivals; notably the firm ranked second had an average
deal value of b194m – over b70m less. Claes Langenius,
managing partner at Hammarskiöld & Co, discusses
how the firm manages to stay ahead of its competitors
using a single-site business model.
WHY IS SWEDEN CURRENTLY SUCH AN ATTRACTIVE
JURISDICTION FOR INTERNATIONAL CLIENTS?
First and foremost, Sweden is an attractive jurisdiction
for international clients because we have a strong and
stable economy. This has become an increasingly
evident benefit as the financial crisis continues to
destabilise economies across other, less financially
secure, parts of Europe.
It is also fair to say that Sweden, and Stockholm in
particular, is considered to be the financial centre of
Scandinavia. Therefore, we see a lot of companies
establish the centre of their Nordic operations in
Sweden including US, EU and Asia-based companies.
It is also important to note that company tax is
comparably low; there is a popular misconception that
Sweden is a very high tax jurisdiction. The income tax
rate may be relatively high but the rates for capital
gains tax and company tax are not as high as people
assume – the capital gains tax in Sweden is 30% on
realized capital income, while corporate tax stands at a
competitive 26.3%. So it is a good place for investment.
WHAT BUSINESS AREAS ARE CURRENTLY DRIVING
Our M&A practice is one of the signature strengths of
the firm and it continues to be a dominant driver of our
success. Private M&A has been really picking up pace
over the past few months and we continue to see
activity there. Recent highlights included advising paper
Over the past 13-14 years
we have acted on some
of the largest deals in
Sweden and that has given
us a platform to continually
raise the bar.
manufacture Munksjö on the sale of its packaging
business to Norwegian packaging company, Tommen
Gram Folie. On the public M&A side, we advised Swedish
insurance company Länsförsäkringar AB in its recent
b550m acquisition of Länsförsäkringar Fondliv
Litigation is an area for which Sweden has a
deservedly fantastic reputation. The country boasts a
globally pre-eminent arbitration institute in the
Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of
Commerce (SCC). That reputation obviously contributes
significantly to our work flow and we have a very strong
Our M&A and litigation departments are supported
by a broad range of standalone practices such as
banking and finance, and competition law.
DOES THE FIRM HAVE STRENGTH IN ANY NICHE
One of the expressions we are hearing more often is
‘comply or die’ and indeed we have seen an increasing
flow of work relating to compliance issues across
banking and finance, competition and anti-corruption.
Clients want us to take the lead and create investigation
and compliance programmes for their companies.
Our IP and media department also has a very good
reputation, especially in the IT, media and
entertainment sectors. The connection between
intellectual property rights and EU and competition law