News & Views

Career Stories | Ricardo Gomes, Senior Associate, Dispute Resolution

14 June 2024

Ricardo Gomes works as a senior associate in our Dispute Resolution Team. His practice focuses on international arbitration proceedings and other cross-border disputes.

Could you tell us about your Hannes journey?

I joined the Hannes Dispute Resolution Team two and a half years ago after a couple of discussions with some of the partners at the firm. I remember the very unexpected initial contact and a summer lunch at Kasarmitori where one of the DR partners asked whether I would be interested in joining the team and the firm. Since joining Hannes, I have not only worked in disputes but also been involved in many of our cross-practice teams (such as the ESG cross practice group) and also in our corporate citizenship team.  

How would you describe your normal workday? What kind of matters have you been handling?

Since I joined Hannes, there has not been a lot of normality in my days. Right after I joined Hannes, the geopolitical tension escalated and resulted in new challenges for millions of people. This is also visible in the business world. While this is very interesting legally because we face new unanswered questions daily, clients are navigating very difficult situations on a first-time basis. Due to the current market situation, we have seen a surge in disputes which translates into busier times lately. I have been personally involved in many international disputes, mostly in arbitration, emanating from this new reality. I must say that the types of mandates that we are currently handling are not often seen in the Finnish market. They are more familiar to big hubs of international dispute resolution, such as London, Geneva, or Paris. In addition to commercial and investment arbitration, I have also been assisting on sanctions matters, ESG, and post-M&A disputes.

How would you describe the Hannes culture?

I cannot describe our culture without referencing our vision: “Outstanding legal solutions and empowering careers”. I think there is one thing that drives everyone at Hannes, and that is providing the best legal service to our clients and being their trusted legal advisors. The relationships we build with our clients go beyond providing the legal answers in long memoranda – we provide continuous advice on difficult topics with a strong focus on finding solutions to the legal questions. This is achieved daily by giving responsibility and empowering careers of young lawyers. Empowering colleagues makes everyone feel like they are valuable members of the team and of the firm. Finally, one of the best aspects of working with colleagues with the best expertise in a certain field is the constant discussion and feedback received. To summarise: high standards, ownership, and teamwork are the words that come to mind.

You are participating in Hannes Snellman’s discussion event in SuomiAreena this year - can you share some insights of the topic and your role?

The topic this year is something that is very close to my heart. We will be discussing acquisition and retention of (international) talent in Finland. We will take part in a panel discussion sharing views on “Kansainvälinen osaaminen Suomessa - mahdollisuuksia vai byrokratiaa?”. We tried to gather a diverse group of panellists so the panel will be moderated by a journalist and will include speakers from an IT/mobile games giant (Supercell), a non-profit organisation dealing with integration of foreigners in Finland (the Shortcut), and an association for promotion of Finnish work (Suomalaisen työn liitto). I will join the speakers and share my experience of moving to Finland and finding a job in one of the most conservative sectors in society. If you want to hear more, I recommend you attend the event in Pori or join the livestream.

Hannes Snellman is cooperating with Päätös, a podcast focused on decision-making, for its fifth season this spring. Inspired by the podcast, we would like to conclude this interview by asking you about decision-making — what would you say is the most significant decision you have made when it comes to your professional life?

The obvious one is moving 3,000 km north when I moved from Portugal to Finland, but I would not be where I am today without participating in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. This small decision changed my life forever. Until then, I did not know what arbitration was all about. After participating in the Vis Moot Competition, I have worked in international arbitration in Geneva and Helsinki for almost 10 years and found my true legal passion.

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