Interview with a trainee from Finland - Juho Kivihuhta
Since September Mr Kivihuhta, a hard working law student from Finland, is a trainee at Gencs Valters Law Firm office in Estonia. Right now he is spending his last days as an intern in Tallinn, Estonia. Here is his thoughts and experience at Gencs Valters Law Firm.
How are you enjoying your internship at Gencs Valters Law Firm? Which of your personal strengths and weaknesses have you faced during this time?
The internship has been fantastic. I don’t know if I had any other strengths when I started my internship other than that I was eager to learn how things are done here. I think that the approach has paid dividends since the internship has taught me a great deal about handling client meetings and how to apply law to different cases. My biggest weakness was probably that I knew very little about actual legal work prior to the internship so the first weeks were a bit overwhelming, but the atmosphere in the office is very comfortable and I could always ask for assistance when I did not know how to proceed with an assignment.
Please tell us which legal areas you are covering the most in Gencs Valters Law Firm. Which ones are the most interesting for you and why?
Mostly I have been dealing with immigration. It has been interesting to review different cases and think about the situation and how to proceed with it. I have also written articles and dealt with matters regarding company law. Company law has been definitely most interesting. It is a bit more complex and challenging and has a lot of aspects of taxation. My favorite assignment has been translating legal texts concerning company law from English to Finnish, the process really helps to understand how the legislation works.
Could you please describe Tax Law differences and similarities between Estonia and Finland?
I am not that familiar with the similarities of taxation in Finland and Estonia. However there are quite a few differences in taxation. Estonia has the model where everyone regardless of the amount of income are taxed 20% when in Finland the model on income tax is progressive meaning that the more you make the higher the tax rate. Also company taxation is quite different, in Estonia companies do not need to pay taxes for their profit as long the money is distributed in the company, and taxed only when paid out as dividends. In Finland it works a bit differently and companies do have to pay income tax. Third difference I know of is that there is no inheritance tax here in Estonia and in Finland inheritance is taxed from sums that are 20,000 EUR and above.