FAI Interview with Anna-Maria Svinhufvud, Legal Trainee at the FAI

   

Anna-Maria in a Nutshell

  • Anna-Maria works as a Legal Trainee at the FAI since April 2016. From April 2017 until September 2017 she worked as a Case Manager, replacing a case manager on sabbatical leave.  Anna-Maria will return to her studies at the end of November 2017.
  • LL.M. Candidate, University of Helsinki
  • LL.B. in European Law, Maastricht University, 2016

 

How did you get interested in arbitration and working at the FAI?

I was finalising my bachelor’s thesis on the use of commercial mediation in Finland when I found out that the FAI was about to launch its new mediation rules as of 1 June 2016. As I am a great advocate of mediation and generally interested in dispute resolution, it seemed to me that the FAI offered excellent insight into domestic and international dispute resolution. Although no traineeship openings were advertised on the FAI’s website, I took the courage to call them and ask for an interview for my thesis. This later opened the door for a trainee position for which I am very grateful.

 

What is the best thing about working at the FAI?

Given my background as a business law student, working at the FAI has provided me with concrete and practical experience of arbitration that cannot be gained in the academic environment. My daily tasks as a trainee have included manifold tasks ranging from collecting data for the FAI statistics to report drafting, from assisting in development projects to working in case management. Besides the intriguing work, I have very much enjoyed the possibility to participate in different events, amongst them, Helsinki International Arbitration Day (HIAD), an annual international arbitration conference held in Helsinki, where arbitration practitioners gather together to discuss hot topics and trends in international arbitration. These events have truly strengthened my theoretical understanding of arbitration and mediation.

The best thing of all, however, are the members of the FAI Secretariat, who have warmly welcomed me to their team. The team is full of great personalities, and I will truly miss each of them when I finish my traineeship at the FAI.

 

What is the most challenging aspect in your work?

Working as a case manager has been at the same time very rewarding and challenging in the sense that you never know what will happen next in each of the cases. There are no identical cases. Cases are getting increasingly complex and the new procedural tools introduced by the 2013 FAI Rules (e.g. consolidation and confirmation of arbitrators) have been taken into use by arbitration practitioners. “The devil is in the details”, the saying goes. As case manager, one needs to be extremely careful and attentive, amongst other reasons, because one deals with a lot of confidential information and because the FAI Rules provide for different time limits, which are closely monitored by the FAI Secretariat case managers.

 

If you could choose, what would you change in the field of arbitration or dispute resolution in general?

If I had the power, I would try to combat the ‘mediation paradox’ and help commercial actors to see and understand the wide-established benefits of mediation as a dispute resolution method. Currently, mediation is still barely used in commercial disputes despite its success and highly satisfying results when used. Of course, this is not to say that arbitration or traditional litigation are useless as dispute resolution methods: There will always exist conflicts and disputes that will be solved through arbitration or litigation. However, I would like to see an optimal balance in the use of these methods to best serve the parties’ interests. I believe that the use of mediation will increase also in Finland.

 

What will be your best memory at the FAI?

I could write a book about them. But to mention one, I shall mention our football initiative called FC Arbitration.

 

Anna-Maria will return to her studies at the end of November 2017. Would you like to be our next trainee? We are currently looking for an English and Finnish speaking trainee for spring and summer 2018. Read more about the application process here (in Finnish).

 

 

Posted in News |