June 30, 2010

Quality – and innovation

2009 was one of the most challenging years in the firm’s history, yet we were able to strengthen our leading position in the Nordic region. Our “true partnership”, full service approach proves resilient in volatile market conditions and flexible in meeting our clients’ changing needs.

“True partnership” is based on using all our resources – whether in Sweden or abroad – to ensure that the best combination of our skills and experience is deployed in each assignment, thereby adding the greatest possible value for each client. Thanks to the combination of our full-service concept and “true partnership”, we were able to rapidly adapt our services to the needs of our clients and meet their increased demands for expertise in areas such as distressed deals, company restructuring, refinancing and disputes in the wake of the financial crisis.

Last year was characterised by continued uncertainty on the financial markets which, among other things, led to a sharp downturn in transaction volumes. However, Mannheimer Swartling succeeded in increasing its share of the transactions which nevertheless did take place in the Nordic region during the year. At the same time, the rapidly changing conditions on the capital market led to an increased demand for new structures to resolve complex credit and financing problems. We have historically enjoyed a strong position in this area. At present, markets are cautiously optimistic and there is growing interest from foreign investors to invest in the Nordic region.

We are also grateful that clients seek our counsel on large and complex transactions – such as advising Ford on its sale of Volvo to Geely – and wherever we have the required expertise and resources.

Last year we consolidated our presence in China – an extremely exciting market with undoubtedly great potential. With both Swedish and Chinese lawyers at our offices in China, we are able to offer the breadth of expertise required to address a large number of different assignments, including the rapidly growing international arbitration market. Climate change is increasingly important to our clients’ business. Our Climate Change group has brought together a number of specialists from different practice areas. We are able to offer clients cutting edge skills in, for example, trading in emission rights, clean tech, renewable energy and risk management. These are issues that will continue to increase in importance around the world and this is an area in which we have a long-term commitment.

We continue to attract the best lawyers. Our employees’ superior skills and great commitment are the foundation on which we have built and maintained our long-term position as Sweden’s leading business law firm. We are also pleased to note that the percentage of women in our firm is increasing in terms of both new hires and new partners, because we have been working hard at it. We are continuing our involvement with training the next generation of lawyers, and also with organisations and initiatives that help the most vulnerable groups in our society. This is an important tradition at Mannheimer Swartling and one of the cornerstones of our practice.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all of our employees for their strong commitment and our clients for their continued confidence in a challenging year.

Stefan Brocker
Managing Partner

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