The history of Roschier: firm values in a changing world

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Roschier was founded in 1936. Since then the world has seen a lot of changes, and so has the firm. Today, Roschier is no longer a domestic operation, but an international one with a leading presence also in Sweden. Despite the firm’s vast expansion and growth during the past few decades, its core values remain the same and are as strong as ever.

1936 was a year of great achievements: the first regular television service from the BBC, the completion of the Hoover Dam, the publication of Gone with the Wind, the first edition of Life magazine, to name a few.
And the founding of Roschier.
At the time, Åke Roschier-Holmberg, the founding Partner, was a young lawyer working at the law offices of a fellow lawyer. When the other lawyer accepted a job at the City Court of Helsinki, Roschier-Holmberg took over his book of business, adding to it in October 1936 the business of pioneering female lawyer and campaigner for women’s rights Agnes Lundell.
“We are fortunate in having evolved a unique culture that emphasizes client orientation, professionalism, pioneering spirit, teamwork, ethics and social responsibility.”From the start, the law firm that Roschier-Holmberg created benefited from a strong set of values. Foremost among these was an absolute commitment to professional ethics and to the wider role of the lawyer in society. Also important from the start were “the Roschier thumbprint” – a relentless focus on the highest qualities of product and of client service – and a commitment to teamwork and respect for one’s colleagues.
It was this approach that helped the firm survive its first major challenge – the Winter War. It was during the war, too, that Åke met Arne Waselius, who was to join the firm in 1944, becoming a Partner three years later. The pair would go on to run the firm for 30 years, becoming admired and respected fixtures of the Finnish legal landscape.
The firm has enjoyed a long tradition of innovation and entrepreneurialism. At the start, it was the most international of Finland’s law firms, working largely with the Finnish subsidiaries of international businesses, and this may have helped instill a global mindset. This was vital as markets, business practices and technology changed rapidly through the 1970s and 1980s.

The firm went through two major reorganizations, one in 1984 and another in 1994, which revolutionized the industry and introduced, for the first time in Finland, legal specialization as we know it today. Being on the front lines of development had, by this time, become second nature to the firm.

The 1990s and 2000s saw Roschier professionalizing further, and in 2005, it took the important step of setting up an office in Stockholm, Sweden. Today, the firm’s Swedish operation has established itself as a market leader, with more than 125 lawyers and a track record for steadily winning market share and recruiting some of the strongest profiles in the market.

The modern Roschier is one of the world’s elite law firms. Its technology, training and knowledge management systems are state-of-the-art. Its reputation for the highest quality of product and client service is second to none.

“We are fortunate in having evolved a unique culture that emphasizes client orientation, professionalism, pioneering spirit, teamwork, ethics and social responsibility. It’s sometimes said that ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast.’ We hope that’s true – because in an unpredictable world, where no organization is ‘future proof,’ getting the basics right offers the best chance of remaining at the cutting edge of European law for another 83 years,” says Fredrik Rydin, Managing Partner of Roschier.