This year we celebrate our 120th anniversary. Every first Wednesday of each month we gather into our 4th floor living room for ten D&I stories in ten minutes, adding up to 120 D&I stories by the end of the year. So far we’ve been zooming into our first decades and the life at a law firm during the early 20th century. Diving into our history has been interesting but most of all fun, such as going through the police report from 1945 prudently listing some thieves’ catch of the day when they broke into our then offices: 16 bottles of spirits, “a lot of” cigars and American cigarettes, tea, coffee and sweeteners, a gilded pen, Swedish apple sauce and a Browning pistol with bullets!
For 120 years, it seems, we have been engineering landmark transactions, solving major disputes and been there for our clients in times of significant change, even revolutions. With our reputation for high-end expertise from industry-defining deals from each decade, we have earned the trust of an impressive list of clients. Our early client stories include assignments with some iconic Finnish firms, such as Fiskars, Aero (Finnair) and Valtion rautatiet (VR Group).
The journey from those days to today is long. Obviously, in building a modern law firm of choice – our next 120 years – it’s not our past successes that guarantee our future. In this era of constant change we are shaking hands with the past, the present and the future, all at the same time. It’s not always easy. However, looking back gives perspective for today and especially for thinking ahead.
In the Prospera Law Firm Review 2019 conducted among large Finnish companies, D&I was ranked in the TOP5 in several categories such as “Legal Advisory”, “Project Management”, “Project Staffing“, “Strategic Speaking Partner” and our clients’ willingness to recommend our services. Moreover, our clients ranked us in the TOP5 for being in the “Forefront in Digitalisation”.
In today’s world, the truth is that there is no other way than continuous development, bold experimenting and striving to make things easier, more transparent, more usable and quite simply, more efficient for our clients – and for ourselves! Digitalisation and AI are not only future, they’re here today. Law firms everywhere are changing, and in that race, being in the forefront is a good place to be.
We have been around for quite some time. Throughout our history we’ve maintained our focus in high standards of quality but we’ve have also managed to build quite a unique culture of low hierarchies and true collaboration. If time travelling was possible and we could shake hands with our founders and the great Finnish cultural and political figures of that time, I think that they would be proud of us and feel that our collaborative, self-managed and humane corporate culture resonates with the atmosphere in Finland back in 1899, the year Jean Sibelius composed Finlandia, Edward Isto painted The Attack (“Hyökkäys”) and D&I was founded.
Not everyone can rise to the challenges of the 21st century. With our clients, our people and our culture, we can. I’m willing to shake hands on it.