My name is Sofia and I have been a lawyer in Scandinavia since 2006. I have always been curious to learn and listen to others and had a creative streak that came to blossom at law school. Why is that, you ask? How could law school inspire creativity? Read on and I’ll tell you.
My story starts in Borås, a city in western Sweden that stands out for its entrepreneurial spirit that turned the textile crisis of the 1970s into modern-day success in design and e-commerce. Growing up with a family business (real estate), many conversations around the kitchen table and in the summer cottage focused on developing what was good, taking care of customer relationships, and improving what worked less well. I have great memories thinking of my grandfather’s words on good business:
“The most important thing is to make a decision (based on what is known). If it later turns out that it was the wrong decision, well, then make a new decision on better information.”
Why then did I choose to go to law school? Thinking of it, a reasonable choice with my family background could have been to study business or finance and go into the business world earlier than I did. I chose law, and I still chose to practice law every day, to help decision-makers to improve their business, to let them create better products for their customers, which translates into the better company culture and an improved society. I was motivated in law school to be the person to explain the solutions to common business issues, particularly as the law was presented from a highly analytical, inward-looking and problematic perspective. I found my passion early – business law and technology law. I was intrigued by the vast possibilities to shape and influence business and the everyday situation for businesses taking a practical and creative approach to applying business law. A stark contrast to the legal minutia of e.g. real estate, public administration law or the more deterrent areas of the law as criminal law.
My entrepreneurial spirit took me through law school to the Chalmers University of Technology, where I earned a Masters degree in Entrepreneurship in IT & Communications. After finishing at the top of my class, I landed an opportunity as an in-house legal counsel at Nokia Inc. While in Nokia’s global headquarters in Helsinki, Finland, I encountered a global and creative mindset that was widely inspiring. Working alongside engineers, developers, business developers and data scientist was a fantastic experience. I was fortunate to work with several high achieving women leaders (Lucy, Kaisu, Catherine) in the field of global Intellectual Property and Privacy.
Back at work in Sweden, I continued serving decision-makers in technology-driven companies. During the years 2007 – 2009, I worked as an in-house lawyer for Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Science Park and the University of Gothenburg. I provided legal advice to the researchers, their technology startups, large joint ventures between academica, industry and government. It could be anything from leading complex collaborations between academia and industry, negotiating license agreements for life science or nano coated technologies, managing M&A at the exit of a technology venture and research projects, reviewing various technology transfer agreements and corporate agreements, and assisting the management of SMEs developing their IP strategy.
In 2009 I served as a junior judge at the Gothenburg District Court, where I further trained as a notary and assisted judges with analysis, administration and preparation of various documents, decisions and rulings in financial disputes, family law, financial crime, copyright infringement cases and criminal cases. I held my own negotiations in bankruptcy, traffic offences and parking cases, as well as consumer related disputes between companies and individuals.
I then moved to Stockholm and worked as an associate lawyer and later Advokat at the international law firm of Baker McKenzie. My practice focused on commercial agreements, copyright, internet law and e-commerce. I also advised in M&A and public procurement. My work for online media clients let me build my international network while setting up and managing global launches and scaling up of various SaaS and online classifieds concepts across the Nordic, the EU, northern Africa, Southeast Asia and South America.
In 2014 – 2015, I worked as as an Advokat/Lawyer and business area manager for Synch Advokat, where I led a major project that involved developing a business model to offer business law services via a web portal. I also worked as a lawyer and advised startups to larger companies in internet law, e-commerce, data privacy and commercial agreements. My team’s efforts resulted in two nominations in the industry association The Lawyer for “Best Use of Digital Client Facing Media” and “Best Blended Delivery Model”.
During my many years in the legal industry, I have reflected upon the rather weak position that the customer typically has. I have seen clients who after a first meeting chooses not to seek continued support as the lawyers spoke over the client’s head or because they were given the impression that the client’s solution was too complex or ill-conceived. Another group of customers who do not receive sufficient support today is a large number of business owners and employees in small to mid-sized companies that are actively looking for support on the Internet, discussion forums, or through business networks but can not find their match with a sensible, hassle-free lawyer on reasonable terms.
Clients’ wants action and need help with how to prioritise among all necessary decisions. Clients’ value pragmatic, insightful advice that he or she can act on. It should not be difficult to get professional support on reasonable terms and have an efficient and pleasant working relationship with an expert consultant. During summer 2015, when I started, I turned to my role models of responsible and good business owners, such as the family business and friends that lead great businesses, listened and, based on these discussions, developed the framework for this venture. I chose to build a consulting business from the inside out governed by the principles of customer value, integrity and proactiveness.
My starting point is how to improve business today by deconstructing tomorrow’s emerging legal and technical regulations. The experience I bring to the table is how other decision-makers successfully managed their most important business issues – whether it is raising capital for an AI-startup, taking a second opinion on a current privacy enforcement case, launching a SaaS product or a Cloud Service Provider supplying hybrid cloud services.
Sharp Cookie Advisors law firm was born from my quest to provide relevant and actionable advice that didn’t yet exist.
Welcome to join our journey!