Legal Updates

Legal updates covering current topics.

Legal Updates / 04.06.2020

First four administrative fines issued for non-compliance with the GDPR in Finland

The first four fines for non-compliance with the GDPR were issued in Finland in end May 2020. The fines were imposed by the Collegial Body of the Finnish Data Protection ombudsman (DPA), who began its work in end September 2019 only. All four decisions concern infringements of very basic GDPR obligations and principles such as not providing data subjects with required information, failure to carry out data protection impact assessments and collecting unnecessary personal data. Read more

Legal Updates / 27.05.2020

Several amendments proposed to the Competition Act based on the ECN+ Directive

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (the “MEAE”) recently published its report regarding the national implementation of the Directive (EU) 2019/1 (the so-called “ECN+ Directive”). The purpose of the ECN+ Directive is to empower national competition authorities in the European Union to become more effective enforcers by introducing certain common investigative and enforcement powers. In its report, the MEAE proposes several changes to the Competition Act. The below non-exhaustive summary discusses certain interesting changes proposed by the MEAE, including imposition of structural remedies to end competition infringements, detailed provisions on the setting of competition infringement fines and enhanced cooperation between national competition authorities in the EU. Read more

Legal Updates / 25.05.2020

Significant Supreme Court Precedent on Redemption Clauses in Shareholders’ Agreements

One of the primary goals of a shareholders’ agreement in privately held companies is normally to ensure that the company’s shares remain in the hands of employees. Therefore, a good shareholders’ agreement will mandate the redemption of shares from a shareholder, for example, in the case of termination of employment and other events that might cause shares to fall outside of the control of the company and its active employees. In this respect, the Supreme Court of Finland has recently issued a significant precedent (KKO 2020:34) on the mechanism to be applied when redeeming shares based on a shareholders’ agreement, which may require shareholders’ agreements (and/or the articles of associations) of a company to be tuned-up. Read more

Temporary framework for assessing cooperation between competitors in the combat against Covid-19

In April 2020, the European Commission published a communication regarding a temporary framework for assessing antitrust issues related to business cooperation in order to ensure the supply and adequate distribution of essential scarce products and services during the Covid-19 outbreak. The framework concerns the products and services that are now under rapid and exponential growth of demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, notably medicines and medical equipment that are used to test and treat Covid-19 patients or that are necessary to mitigate and possibly overcome the outbreak. In its communication, the Commission emphasizes that the response to the emergency situation related to the Covid-19 crisis may require different degrees of cooperation, with a varying scale of potential competition concerns. Read more

Covid-19 and insolvency – update on temporary amendment of insolvency legislation

Due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, many undertakings are suffering from unexpected financial difficulties and, according to a recent survey, one third of Finnish companies worry of becoming insolvent. New insolvency legislation has not yet been enacted since the Covid-19 pandemic spread to Finland, but the Finnish government and authorities have expressed their concern regarding the potential wave of bankruptcies in the suite of the Covid-19 crisis. Below we list some of the efforts made by Finnish authorities to date in response to the feared wave of insolvencies. Read more

Preventing the spread of Covid-19 in Finland – temporary exceptions to rules regarding annual meetings of companies, co-operatives and associations

On 24 April 2020, Finnish Parliament enacted temporary legislation regarding exceptions to the statutory requirements for the annual meetings of companies, cooperatives and associations to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The law allows companies, cooperatives and associations to hold their statutory meetings despite the restrictions on gatherings resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic while complying with the current health protection requirements. The law entered into force as of 1 May 2020 and will remain in force until the end of September 2020. Read more

New temporary restrictions on interest rates and direct marketing of consumer loans

The Finnish government has on 23 April 2020 proposed certain amendments to the legislation on consumer loans due to the coronavirus outbreak. According to the government’s proposal, the applicable interest rate on consumer loans will be temporarily capped at 10 per cent instead of the current 20 per cent. Also, any direct marketing to consumers will be banned. These restrictions are planned to enter into force on 1 May 2020 and apply until 31 December 2020. Read more

Financing opportunities for mid-cap companies during the Covid-19 crisis

The Finnish government has recently increased business financing in order to ensure that companies may continue to operate profitably during and after the current Covid-19 crisis. At the date of this legal update, companies may, in addition to their own banks, apply for financing from the following institutions, depending on the type and size of the relevant company: Read more

Legal Updates / 15.04.2020

Proposed changes to employee share schemes for unlisted companies

The Finnish Ministry of Finance has recently announced proposed changes to simplify the current employee share scheme framework to make it easier for small businesses (unlisted companies) to offer shares to their employees. Read more

Covid-19 forces changes to state financial aid for employers, employees and entrepreneurs

The Finnish labour market organizations have, on request by the Finnish Employment Minister, provided the Government with a number of proposals aimed at facilitating the lives of employers, employees and entrepreneurs who are currently, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, facing an unforeseen and though financial situation. The Parliament has supported many of these proposals and during the current week amendments to existing legislation as well as new acts have in this respect been approved by the Parliament, whereas some changes are still pending approval. Read more