About the firmHistory

Mannheimer Swartling’s roots date to 1877. The modern firm was founded through a merger between Mannheimer & Zetterlöf and Carl Swartling Advokatbyrå on 1 July 1990.

Love Mannheimer and Tage Zetterlöf founded Mannheimer & Zetterlöf in 1943 in Gothenburg. The aim was to establish a modern law firm that would be able to retain and develop its associates into successful partners. The firm established its first office abroad in 1971 in Rotterdam in the Netherlands together with firms from Denmark, Norway and Finland. In 1973 offices were established in Skåne in southern Sweden and the foreign business was expanded by establishing offices in New York in 1983 and in Frankfurt in 1989.

In 1877, district court Judge Erik Martin and court of appeal law clerk Ossian Wallin founded a law firm whose name changed as partners joined and left. Known as Wetter & Swartling in the 1950s, the firm was one the largest business law firms in Stockholm. In 1951 the firm moved into Ivar Kreuger’s famed former offices, Tändstickspalatset (the “Matchstick Palace”), where the firm remained until 1996.

Wetter & Swartling split in 1974 when father and son formed Wetter & Wetter, and the remaining partners formed Carl Swartling Advokatbyrå, which opened an office in New York in 1988 and in Moscow in 1989.

The merger
The first contacts between Mannheimer & Zetterlöf and Carl Swartling Advokatbyrå were initiated in 1977. The firms continued to have a close working relationship, exchanging financial information and holding joint training days until 1990, when the two firms were officially merged. The merger was facilitated by the firms’ shared principles: a will to develop a joint legal practice over the long term and a generous attitude towards partners and employees.

The merger led to the creation of a firm with approximately 90 lawyers. Time has shown that merging was the correct decision, and the firm has thrived ever since.

Mannheimer Swartling has never tried to be all things to all people. Clients have traditionally turned to us where quality of advice, specific expertise and effective and efficient matter management are paramount. We take the long view, and our goal is to provide the best legal advice in our region, to develop long-term, trusting partnerships with our clients, to be the employer of choice for young lawyers, and to be a responsible member of our community.