Get to Know Us | Meri Vanhanen, Associate, Competition & Procurement, Helsinki
12 March 2020
How did you end up working at Hannes Snellman?
I did a traineeship at Hannes Snellman’s competition team at a very late stage of my studies. I felt right at home from the first day and ended up continuing as a lawyer upon my graduation in May 2019.
What kind of matters have you been handling lately in the Competition & Procurement team?
Recently, I have had the pleasure to work with several interesting merger control cases. In addition, I have assisted companies in varied competition law matters and helped our M&A team in, for instance, evaluating terms of vertical agreements as part of legal due diligence.
You were recently granted a scholarship by the Finnish Fashion Law Association for your master´s thesis. How did you come up with the idea for your thesis and could you tell us a little bit about it?
I have always found e-commerce and the related legal issues to be very fascinating. I was browsing through recent legal publications, when I saw articles dealing with the Coty Germany ruling of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). I thought that the topic would make for a good, and not too theoretic, thesis, and could even be useful in my future role as a competition lawyer.
In the Coty Germany case, the ECJ ruled that suppliers may prohibit the dealers of a selective distribution system from selling luxury goods online via third-party platforms, such as Amazon or eBay, to protect the “aura of luxury”. In my master’s thesis, I argued that the ruling was not in line with the principle of proportionality or the competition policy of the EU and that the luxury image of a product could be preserved by other means less restrictive of competition.
Do you have any advice for those starting their master´s thesis?
Make sure that you have enough time for every phase of the process, from the planning to the final proofreading. Aim high, but be ready to accept that no thesis is perfect.
What is the best career advice you have received?
My favourite pieces of advice are these two: treat others with respect, and never be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
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