Brothers and partners Heikki and Matti Huhtamäki. Photo: Pauliina Toivanen
They seek for efficiency and are offering their field of business new models to evolve. However, Huhtamäki Brothers Attorneys is not a startup. It is the first Finnish law firm that specializes in competition law and dispute resolution.
Five university degrees, nearly two decades worth of experience in some of the most respected law firms, and two doctoral dissertations on the way. Behind all this expertise stands two determinant young men originally from Espoo, competitive siblings who decided to establish Huhtamäki Brothers, a new law firm in 2017. Even though the startup trend has reached its branches to the law sector as well, Matti and Heikki, who are both members of the Finnish Bar Association, see their entrepreneurial journey as a life-long deal, a lifestyle that helps companies to defend against infringements, and thus not as a startup.
“The perspective and vision of our newly found business spans 20 years rather than a few years, as startups tend to have,” the elder brother Matti explains.
Despite valuing their previous employers, in 2016, Matti and Heikki felt their calling was to create a service that better resembles their ideals and enables them to encounter customers and give them personal service.
“We highly appreciate our profession and the ethics involved. By operating as a specialized smaller firm, we have more opportunities and capabilities to focus on efficiency and customer orientation than big organisations could offer to us and our clients,” Heikki discusses.
When receiving legal advice, the customer needs to be able to trust their counsel and to be sure from whom the advice is coming from.
“In Big Law, it’s not always possible to sort out from whom the requested advice is coming from. With us it’s easy: our clients personally know who is advising them. In our experience, the chemistry between the attorney and the client is integral to successful representation,” Matti adds.
From Competition to Cooperation
Like all partnerships, brotherhood grows in competitive circumstances.
“We’ve been competing literally in everything since we were kids. When Heikki got into law school, I knew I needed to hurry to graduate before him. He is a missile, both in terms of academic and working life. Even though we have just started working together, Heikki has professionally made a name for himself. Diligent and honest, the best possible background for a partner, even if he wasn´t my brother.”
While Heikki has determined the speed, Matti has been the voice of wisdom along the way.
“Voice of reason, that’s even his nickname in our group of friends. As a big brother, he has always been on my side and given the most reasonable advice also to me. Since we are friends and brothers, there is no such thing that we couldn´t discuss in depth as partners as well.”
At the beginning of his law studies Matti’s dream job was to become a sports agent.
“My intention was to represent ice hockey players, and it would not have been more than a couple of phone calls away, but after graduation I quickly realized that becoming an attorney was much more intriguing. Nevertheless, I have had the opportunity to represent athletes, clubs and federations in their legal matters.”
After experiencing both global and local elite law firms, Matti wanted to do things differently.
“I had had enough of certain routines that slow down the efficiency of providing the best possible legal advice. I knew there were plenty of more effective ways to get things done”
While Matti followed his calling, Heikki had the need to seek for righteousness. Even though outgoing and social are not the most common features of attorneys-in-law, he enjoyed his studies and noticed, first as a judge then counselling as an attorney, that his social qualities were crucial in solving difficult conflicts that others might see as frightening or burdensome.
“I see conflict situations as positive challenges and enjoy solving them.”
Heikki A. Huhtamäki
Matti J. Huhtamäki
Text: Pauliina Toivanen