Finnish dispute resolution team successfully assists forestry companies in white-collar crime investigations and criminal proceedings spanning 9 years

By Tom Vapaavuori, Ville Kivisto


On 26 September 2018, the Supreme Court of Finland decided not to grant a leave to appeal to defendants who were sentenced to extensive imprisonments and compensations in one of Finland's longest and largest cases regarding malpractice of corporate management. We represented Mena Wood (formerly RETS Timber), the complainant in the case, who was at the time a joint venture of Stora Enso Plc and UPM Kymmene Plc selling sawn timber to the Middle East and North Africa.

As a consequence, the judgment by the Court of Appeal of Helsinki in July 2018 remains final. According to the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the company's former executives and the representatives of the company's business partners were convicted of aggravated frauds committed between 1994 and 2011 to four unconditional imprisonments and two conditional imprisonments, the length of which varies from one year and three months up to six years and six months. Furthermore, the offenders were sentenced to pay a compensation of over EUR 10 million to the company. Among the convicts were members of the company's operative management, who had contributed to the fabricated and overpriced billing and contractual arrangements with the help of several business partners and thus deceived the company. In addition, a director of an English shipping company was among the convicts. Companies and money transfers in several EU member states and countries outside the EU were probed into as a part of the investigations and proceedings. Within Bird & Bird, attorneys-at-law Tom Vapaavuori and Ville Kivistö were involved with the case.

To read a story published by the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle (in Finnish), see here.   

The unique unit focusing on white-collar crime and corporate malpractice is a part of Bird & Bird's dispute resolution team in Helsinki. The unit assists clients in investigations, criminal investigations and proceedings until the final judgment. The unit serves large and medium-sized Finnish and international companies.