Mannheimer Swartling has had a remarkable journey from its beginnings in 1875 to the modern law firm we are today – but some values have always been at the core of the firm – such as our desire to deliver the highest quality in everything we do and to build and develop a business that adapts to meet the evolving needs of our clients.
“Our Pure Lockstep business model is founded on the premise that our people work together and share their knowledge and experience, without being discouraged in doing so by the prospect of reduced profits or salary.”
Beyond a business model
Our track record has shown that we achieve the very highest quality by working together. Our Pure Lockstep business model is founded on the premise that our people work together and share their knowledge and experience, without being discouraged in doing so by the prospect of reduced profits or salary. This has resulted in a remarkably strong corporate culture. It is precisely this culture that is most frequently given as the reason why our employees enjoy being at the firm and choose to stay with us.
“All clients are clients of the whole firm”
We often reiterate that “all our clients are clients of the whole firm”. What we mean by this is that our people have a strong incentive to help each other, which ultimately means that each client has full and unrestricted access to the collective expertise of the whole firm.
An enduring business partner
In an evolving world and a shifting business landscape, the demands and expectations of our clients and our own people also change. A continuous and proactive attitude to change is absolutely essential for us to continue being the business law firm of choice – both for clients and our employees.
A strong voice in society
Our role and size as an organisation means we also have a responsibility to pursue important and challenging issues in society. When providing our services, we strive to have a positive social and environmental impact, while also protecting our clients’ legal interests. Sustainability is also an ever-present dimension in our own organisation strategy.
History of the firm
Love Mannheimer and Tage Zetterlöf founded Mannheimer & Zetterlöf in 1943 in Gothenburg. The aim was to create a modern firm that could retain and mould its associates into successful partners. The firm established its first overseas office in 1971 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. An office was opened in Skåne, in the south of Sweden, in 1973 and foreign operations were expanded by opening offices in New York in 1983 and Frankfurt in 1989.
In 1875, Ossian Wallin, a court of appeal clerk, founded a law firm which vice district court judge Erik Martin later joined as partner in 1884. The firm’s name changed over the years as partners came and went. By the 1950s, the firm went by the name Wetter & Swartling, and had become one of the larger business law firms in Stockholm. In 1951, the firm moved into Ivar Kreuger’s former offices in the famed Tändstickspalatset (“Matchstick Palace”), where it remained until 1996.
Wetter & Swartling parted ways in 1974 when father and son formed Wetter & Wetter and the remaining partners formed Carl Swartling Advokatbyrå. The firm opened overseas offices in New York in 1988 and Moscow in 1989.
Contact between Mannheimer & Zetterlöf and Carl Swartling Advokatbyrå was initially made back in 1977. The firms continued to develop a close working relationship, including joint training days, until 1990, when they formally merged.
At the heart of the firm – Pure Lockstep
We often hear that our corporate culture comes as a positive surprise. We use Pure Lockstep to explain this – a unique business model with no individual financial incentive, only common goals. Business earnings are shared equally between partners, and associates with the same amount of experience are paid the same salary.
Since the firm was founded, our Pure Lockstep culture has created a stable development platform. The right people naturally work on the right tasks, and colleagues help each other out, sharing knowledge and experience. A true partnership in every sense of the word. Ultimately of course, this collegial environment is also our greatest tool for ensuring that every client is guaranteed access to the best possible service.
Codes of conduct
Mannheimer Swartling and its employees must in all circumstances act in a way that is at once responsible and sustainable. Our codes of conduct lay down the principles governing the firm in its role as employer. They also define our employees’ role in relation to each other, and the firm’s and our employees’ role in relation to clients, suppliers, business partners and the wider community. The codes of conduct provide guidance on relevant laws and regulations; they also address issues where the external and internal expectations of the firm extend further than its statutory obligations.