Jasper Kuhlefelt focuses on complex domestic and cross-border M&A and private equity transactions as well as capital markets and corporate matters. He is known for his technical expertise and thoroughness, but also for his common sense and his ability to manage large transaction teams in complex transactions. We asked our newly appointed Partner Jasper Kuhlefelt a few questions. Here’s what he said.
Q: What keeps you busy right now?
There’s a lot of exciting things going on, both client work and internal stuff. And it’s not just the usual year-end rush but it seems like deal activity is by no means going to end in January. Outside of work I’m spending most of my time with our five-month old, who is very much into peekaboo, baby swimming, and tasting whatever he gets his hands on.
Q: You say that the law firm industry and the way we work will be changing in the coming years. When you look at the trajectory of those changes, where do you anticipate to see the biggest needs for adaptation?
This could be the topic for an article, but an obvious one is remote work – making most of the opportunities and managing the challenges it presents. It is obviously possible to work much more efficiently when you’re no longer tied to a physical workplace, but at the same time it’s crucial that we make sure we don’t lose the D&I culture and atmosphere in the process. And relating to the same theme, we need to identify and take advantage of the various digital tools which can help us focus our resources where we can actually create exceptional added value, and also recognise which ones do not.
Q: You have 3 minutes to convince a young law student to choose M&A before any other practice areas. You say:
M&A is less about knowing a particular area of law inside out, and more about project management, negotiation and interpersonal skills, and understanding the business case and objectives of your client and counterparty. I also like the pace of transaction work where you typically have a clear lifecycle of a deal from beginning to end, with more and less intense phases in between. No two deals are alike, so it’s also always a learning process. And I’ll admit that getting a high profile deal over the finish line gives me a certain rush every time.
Q: The best career advice you ever got and that you will pass on?
If you have a question or an idea, don’t be afraid to speak up just because you are younger and have less experience. You’re most likely underestimating yourself and overestimating your seniors, and chances are that you have an easier time bringing fresh ideas to the table.
Q: If law would not be available, what would be your plan B?
If it hadn’t been law I’m pretty sure I would have ended up in finance. And if both would have failed I could see myself driving a taxi boat in the Finnish archipelago during the summer months and spending winter as a scuba instructor someplace warmer.