Gisela Knuts

Partner, Head of Helsinki office, Helsinki

Gisela Knuts is Head of the Helsinki office and she also heads Roschier’s Dispute Resolution practice in Finland.

Gisela is specialized in commercial dispute resolution, including international and domestic arbitration, complex cross-border litigation, and ADR. She also acts as counsel in white collar crime matters.

The main part of Gisela’s practice focuses on counsel work in commercial disputes. She has acted as lead counsel and advised clients in multi-million euro disputes in fields such as post-M&A, construction (on and off shore), engineering, projects & energy, distribution, sale of goods, insolvency, tax, financial instruments, corporate law and shareholder relations, director’s liability, ICT, and competition damages.

In addition to her counsel work, Gisela also regularly sits as arbitrator in international commercial arbitrations mainly seated in the Nordic region and continental Europe. Her arbitrator experience comprises of more than thirty cases, most of which as chair or sole arbitrator.

In addition to her dispute resolution practice, Gisela takes a special interest in risk management and is frequently sought out for boardroom and C-suite advice on legal and strategic issues by both corporations and not-for-profit organizations.

Gisela holds an LL.D. from the University of Helsinki and has been a visiting scholar at the University of Uppsala (2004). In addition, Gisela graduated from the Swedish Arbitration Association’s Training Programme for Arbitrators in 2011.

Gisela is recognized as a leading expert in dispute resolution in Finland by international legal directories such as Chambers, The Legal 500, Benchmark Litigation and Who’s Who Legal. The Legal 500 ranks her as a Leading Individual (since 2017), while Who’s Who Legal ranks her as a Thought Leader in Arbitration (since 2017), in addition to her rankings as a Global Leader in the categories Arbitration and Professional Negligence. Before that, Gisela was ranked by Who’s Who Legal as a Future Leader in Arbitration. Gisela is the winner of the Benchmark Litigation Europe Award 2020: the Lawyer of the Year for Finland and she is ranked as a Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.

According to clients, Gisela is an “excellent leader and coordinator, who is able to “grasp key issues swiftly and deliver clear, practical options and solutions, even under difficult situations” (Chambers Europe, 2020). Her work is praised as “uniformly outstanding” (The Legal 500, 2021). Further, clients describe her as “meticulous and committed to her work”, “highlexperienced” (The Legal 500, 2019) and as “a well-known and respected litigator, most notably active in competition-related disputes” (Chambers Europe, 2020)She is lauded for offering “very good and efficient client service and communication” (GAR100, 2019) and for being “very fast, easy to reach and work with” (Chambers Global, 2018). 

In additional to Gisela’s individual rankings, Roschier’s arbitration team is ranked in the GAR100 directory as one of the hundred most prominent arbitration practices globally. 

Gisela Knuts’ experience includes advising:

  • Baltic Connector Oy on risk management and dispute prevention in the building of a bi-directional offshore gas transmission pipeline between Estonia and Finland;
  • Arla in a 70 MEUR follow-on competition damages action before the District Court of Helsinki regarding the abuse of dominant market position by Valio on the Finnish fresh milk market through predatory pricing;
  • Claimant in multiple concurrent FAI arbitrations concerning cartel damages claims valued at several hundred million euros;
  • A global group of companies in complex insolvency related 150 MEUR claw-back and board liability claims with parallel civil and criminal litigations in multiple jurisdictions in Europe and Asia;
  • A Finnish manufacturing company in parallel SCC arbitration and proceedings before the Helsinki District Court relating to a shareholders’ agreement;
  • The CEO of a Finnish state-owned company in a FAI arbitration regarding a 35 MEUR claim for director’s liability;
  • A global corporation on claims management and dispute prevention in connection with a 100 MEUR ICT outsourcing project.

Roschier (2000-), Partner (2011-); Head of Disputes Finland; Head of the Helsinki office (2019-)
Pargas District Court, Law clerk (1999-2000)

Member of the Finnish Bar Association
Member of the International Bar Association
Member of the Finnish Arbitration Association
Member of the Swedish Arbitration Association
Member of the ICC Commission on International Arbitration

Åbo Akademi Foundation, Board member (2012-), Chair (2019-)

“Recourse to the Courts Against an Arbitral Award” in “International Arbitration in Sweden: A Practitioner’s Guide” 2nd Edition, Kluwer Law International B.V., 2021

”Domarens förlikningsverksamhet och rätten till rättvis rättegång” (”Facilitation of settlement by the courts and the right to a fair trial”), Festskrift till Dan Frände 2017

”Toolkit for Award Writing”, IBA Arb40 Subcommittee 2016

Book review of Anna-Liisa Autio’s doctoral dissertation entitled “Lainkäyttö yritysten riidanratkaisussa” (“Dispute resolution practices among companies”), with A. Keinänen, Lakimies 2014

“Recourse to the Courts against an Arbitral Award”, in Ulf Franke et al. (Ed.): “International Arbitration in Sweden. A Practitioner’s Guide”, Kluwer Law International 2013

“Jura Novit Curia and the Right to be Heard – an Analysis of Recent Case Law”, Arbitration International 2012

“Korvaus tarpeettoman turvaamistoimen aiheuttamasta vahingosta” (”Compensation for Damage due to Groundless Interim Relief”), Lakimies 2011

”Skiljeförfarandeundantaget i Brysselförordningen – Quo vadis?” (“The Arbitration Exception in the Brussels Regulation – Quo vadis?”), Festskrift till Gustaf Möller, November 2011

”West Tankers – ett bakslag för internationellt skiljeförfarande in Europa” (”West Tankers – a Backlash for International Arbitration in Europe”), Tidskrift utgiven av Juridiska Föreningen i Finland 2010

“Asiakirjakategorian esittämispyyntö kansainvälisessä välimiesmenettelyssä International Bar Associationin Rules of Evidencen mukaan” (”Discovery in International Arbitration in Accordance with the Rules of Evidence of the International Bar Association”), in Risto Koulu (Ed.): Oikeudenkäyntejä ja tuomioistuimia: Juhlakirja Juha Lappalainen 60 vuotta, Helsinki 2007

”Förfarandegarantier vid domstolsanknuten medling” (“Procedural Guarantees in Court-annexed Mediation”), Doctoral Thesis, Suomalainen Lakimies-yhdistys 2006

”Tuomioistuinsovittelu – vaihtoehtoinen riidanratkaisu osaksi riidanratkaisun virallisjärjestelmää Suomessa?” (”Court-annexed Mediation – Alternative Dispute Resolution to be Integrated to the Public System in Finland?”), Defensor Legis 2003

University of Helsinki, LL.D. (2006)
University of Helsinki, LL.M. (1999)
SAA Training Programme for Arbitrators (2010-2011)

English, Finnish, Swedish, German, Danish, Norwegian

Excellent leader and coordinator, who is able to grasp key issues swiftly and deliver clear, practical options and solutions, even under difficult situations.

Chambers Europe