Key Actors in Finnish Arbitration Awarded Medals of Merit in Connection with the Helsinki International Arbitration Day 2017

The Chair of the Board of the Arbitration Institute of the Finland Chamber of Commerce (FAI), Mr Mika Savola, has been awarded The Chamber of Commerce Cross. The Finland Chamber of Commerce has awarded Savola The Chamber of Commerce Cross on behalf of the Finnish business and industry for his meritorious work for the FAI and contribution to the Finnish business and industry.

The Finland Chamber of Commerce also awarded Carita Wallgren-Lindholm the Finland 100 – Special Medal of Merit for her contribution to the Finnish business and industry through her work as an ambassador of Finnish arbitration abroad.

Arbitration is an alternative dispute resolution method to litigation in state courts. It is generally considered as the most effective means of resolving both domestic and international commercial disputes. The FAI administers domestic and international arbitrations governed by its Rules and appoints arbitrators both in domestic and international arbitrations.

The Significant Importance of the Rules Revision Process Chaired by Savola for the Raise of the FAI’s International Profile

Savola has chaired the FAI Board since 2013. The new Arbitration Rules of the Finland Chamber of Commerce and the Rules for Expedited Arbitration of the Finland Chamber of Commerce entered into force on 1 June 2013. The key objectives of the FAI Rules Revision Task Force, which was also chaired by Savola, included the promotion of speed and cost-efficiency in arbitration proceedings, as well as the effective administration of increasingly complex disputes and multiparty arbitrations.

”The key objectives of the Rules revision process are successfully achieved. FAI arbitrations have been consistently efficient while meeting high quality standards. The median duration of arbitrations conducted under the FAI Arbitration Rules has been eight months during the past years. This is an excellent achievement in international comparison – even more so, if we take into account the increase in the number of international cases as well as the evolving complexity and higher monetary value of disputes. We have also seen a significant increase in the number of so called multiparty proceedings”, reports Ms Heidi Merikalla-Teir, the Secretary General of the FAI.

The Rules revision process brought the FAI into a new era during which the FAI’s activities have been continuously developed and its international profile greatly raised. Savola’s role in this work has been significant.

“On behalf of the FAI Secretariat and myself, I wish to warmly thank Mika for his valuable contribution in developing the FAI’s activities and for our excellent cooperation”, Merikalla-Teir says.

The current term of office for the FAI Board members began on 1 June 2016. Savola continues to chair the FAI Board.

“I am very grateful for this acknowledgement. It is a fitting testament to the importance of arbitration as a swift, efficient and confidential means of settling business disputes”, says Mika Savola. “Apart from the Finland Chamber of Commerce, I wish to thank my colleagues at the FAI Board and Secretariat for their professionalism and seamless cooperation in administering our cases and promoting arbitration in Finland.”

Savola has no doubt that, with the help of the FAI, Finland can become one of the leading centres of international dispute resolution in Europe over the next few years.

“However, to reach that position, further assistance would be needed from the Finnish legislator as our current Arbitration Act is somewhat outdated and does not reflect all the best international norms and practices. Therefore, Finland would be well-advised to quickly modernize its arbitration law, preferably by adopting the UNCITRAL Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration without any meaningful amendments to it”, notes Savola.

Finland 100 – Special Medal of Merit Awarded for Valuable Work for the Finnish Business and Industry

The Finland Chamber of Commerce has awarded the founding partner of Lindholm Wallgren Attorneys Ltd, attorney-at-law Carita Wallgren-Lindholm the Finland 100 – Special Medal of Merit.

Carita Wallgren-Lindholm has exceptionally broad international arbitrator experience in Finland and particularly abroad. She has earned several international positions of trust. She has served as a board member of the Arbitration Institute of the Central Chamber of Commerce of Finland (currently the FAI) during 1996-2001 and as a board member of the ICC Finland during 2008-2014. As to her international positions of trust, she is a member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration since 2012 and Vice-Chair of the ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR since 2011.

”Carita is one of the first truly international arbitrators in Finland, and she is highly regarded internationally. With her excellent work, she has been a valuable ambassador of Finnish arbitration abroad”, Merikalla-Teir gratefully notes.

“I am moved and grateful for this unexpected gesture of the Finland Chamber of Commerce.  It has been a pleasure and a source of pride to watch the quantum leap by which the current young, energetic, knowledgeable and very hardworking team at the FAI has made the Institute an international player in only a few years. Addition of expat Board Members has been a strategically crucial move. This year’s HIAD is further evidence that those at the helm of FAI are getting it right”, says Carita Wallgren-Lindholm.

The Medals of Merit were awarded during ‘Helsinki International Arbitration Day’, an international arbitration conference that was held in Helsinki on 18 May 2017. The conference attracted close to 250 legal practitioners specialised and interested in arbitration and dispute resolution from approximately 20 countries. The event was organized by the FAI. The FAI administers arbitrations and mediations governed by its Rules. On the FAI website (www.arbitration.fi), you may find the Rules and model arbitration and mediation clauses in different languages.