An interview with a trainee from Finland - Lauri Vaihtamo
After internship at Gencs Valters Law Firm I became more excited about the field of international taxation. Due to the recent insecurities in the International taxation, and with this I am referring to the Panama papers, there will probably be huge changes in the field in the near future.
Please tell little bit about yourself. What do you studding currently?
I am a first-year student from Tallinn Technical University, currently conducting my bachelor studies in the field of International law. I am starting my second year this autumn. My courses will consist of dispute resolution, European Union law, Human rights law and Public international law. I could say I have my plate full for this semester!
How was it like to do internship in our Law firm? What did you expect from this internship? Was your expectations met?
My internship in the Tallinn Office was a great experience. It was easy to step into the Office, as Kati is really friendly and helpful. The assignment I got from Kati were interesting and challenging and it helped me to develop my skills especially in legal research. In the Office at the time was another Intern Sara, with whom I had the pleasure to work with. I expected to learn more about the daily life at the law office of an international law firm, mainly corporate and business law as well as Estonian legal system and legislation. My expectations were met, as I gained useful information in all of these areas. I found out during my internship that the most demanding assignments were the one’s concerning taxation issues. Taxation and business law are the fields in which I wish to deepen my knowledge in the future. I also had the opportunity to participate in meetings with Kati and see first-hand what is like working with clients.
Please tell about legislation in your country? Maybe you can give some interesting example? What was different in Estonian law system?
Estonia and also Finland are members of the European Union which means that especially recent legislation in Finland is very similar to Estonia due to the harmonization and integration process in the European Union. However, the most significant difference that I paid attention during my internship was Estonia´s much more appealing environment towards companies than in Finland, especially regarding corporate income taxation.
E-residency is a digital identity, which Estonia has created for foreigners. Due to Estonia’s E-residence program it is easy for foreigners to establish a company in Estonia without even actually arriving there in person. Signing contracts can be done on the internet with an identity card. This digital identification and signing is legally binding as face-to-face identification and hand-written signatures in the European Union. This attracts a lot of foreign investors, which has been clearly visible during my internship.
Please describe the proceeding process in your country (maybe something specific)?
There are three different sections in the Finnish court system. The general courts, administrative courts and special courts. The general court consist of district courts, courts of appeal and the supreme court, being the highest level. The administrative courts consist of regional administrative courts and the supreme administrative courts. General courts deals with civil and criminal matters, whereas administrative courts sees the actions of the administration and litigations between individuals and the administration. The special courts include market court, labour court, insurance court and the high court of impeachment.