Global Arbitration Review om Claes Rainer Law

Citat ur. Global Arbitration Review 15 maj 2012

"DLA Nordic partner sets up alone in Stockholm"

"Claes Rainer has stepped down as head of DLA Nordic’s Swedish disputes practice to set up a boutique specialising in energy and finance disputes in Russia and the CIS region


Claes Rainer, a Swede, who headed the practice for the past five years, launched Claes Rainer Advokatbyrå on 1 May. He is currently the sole practitioner but says he might hire other lawyers in the future.

Rainer gained experience of Russia and CIS-related disputes at DLA Nordic, which is part of the DLA Piper Group. In 2009, for example, he was on the team representing a Russian gas  company in SCC proceedings .“Russian and CIS-related arbitration is very big – and growing – in Sweden and there is a number of lawyers with in-depth experience of the subject; I am one of them,” says Rainer.

He also plans to deal with financial disputes and says the firm has already been instructed by a Swedish government entity in an SCC dispute related to a Swedish finance company based in Italy.

Matthew Saunders, joint head of international arbitration at DLA Piper says: “We wish Claes all the very best in his move to set up on his own and very much hope to be working again with him in his new capacity.”

Patricia Shaughnessy, an academic on the board of directors for the SCC Arbitration Institute, says: "Claes brings to his new boutique firm solid experience in commercial law and particularly dispute resolution. His experience and skills will be appreciated by clients looking for services from a small firm alternative."

Rainer, 41, trained as an arbitrator through a programme organised by the SCC Arbitration Institute and the Swedish Arbitration Association. He has yet to take on any appointments but says he has received several requests to sit as party-appointed arbitrator.

He will now also be able to accept such appointments – avoiding the conflicts of interests that prevented him from doing so at DLA Piper.

“There are some good arbitration teams in Sweden,” he says. “But our arbitration community is relatively small and the law firms tend to get bigger and bigger, making conflicts of interest a growing problem.”

Rainer spent a total of 12 years at DLA Nordic, making partner in 2009. Before joining the firm, he worked as an associate district judge in Uppsala – just north of Stockholm – and studied at the University of Stockholm.

His new venture follows several similar initiatives in Stockholm. Christer Danielsson left Gernandt & Danielsson in 2006 to found his own niche practice, while Fredrik Norburg established Norburg Advokatbyrå after leaving Bird & Bird's international dispute resolution group in 2009. Practitioners from larger firms agree there is room in the Swedish marketplace for small firms to operate.

Rikard Wikström, a partner in White & Case’s Stockholm-based Swedish arbitration team, says he wishes Rainer all the best and that existing boutique firms seem to be doing well, although they tend to be considered for arbitrator appointments rather than getting counsel work.

Jesper Grünbaum, a partner at Setterwalls in Stockholm, says, where counsel work does come in, it is typically from larger firms affected by conflicts.

Although he was did not comment specifically on Rainer’s practice, Kristoffer Löf, arbitration partner at Mannheimer Swartling, says: “It is probably fair to say that the most successful niche firms are those whose lawyers have strong practices as arbitrators, in addition to counsel work. There will always be a demand for niche players who can take on counsel assignments which the larger firms cannot, due to the risk of conflicts.”