A word with Bo Ahlenius about Advokatfirman Glimstedt and the Swedish Bar Association
Glimstedt is a law firm with a long tradition of commitment to the Swedish Bar Association. The company’s founder Ivar Glimstedt was a member of its main board of directors and was also chairman of its western regional department. Ivar Glimsedt was a prominent lawyer in western Sweden in the 1940s and 50s and worked tirelessly to strengthen the rights of the individual.
Today many of Glimstedt’s employees continue to be actively involved in the Bar Association in different capacities. Several of its legal professionals have been on the association’s board of directors and its Disciplinary Committee.
One such legal professional is Bo Ahlenius who practices at the Lund office. Bo has held several positions in the Bar Association and was its vice chairman from 1999-2003. He has also been on its Disciplinary Committee and has taught ethics there for many years and is in charge of the obligatory ethics course.
How important is it for legal professionals to become involved in the Swedish Bar Association?
– Naturally for an organisation like the Bar Association it is important that as many members as possible take an active interest in its activities and want to be involved in shaping its future. Those who do so will soon learn that the Bar Association is a listening organisation with short decision-paths. It is simple to get involved and have a say.
What is the level of commitment among the younger lawyers? Is it regarded as a relevant forum?
– The Board and Secretary General have sent clear signals that young lawyers are welcome to join. The “Advokat i framtiden” (“Tomorrow’s Lawyers”) project is an attempt to attract more young legal professionals to get involved in its activities. There is every reason to believe that it will pay off.
The required training period to become a lawyer was reduced from five years to three. What are your views on this?
– This issue has been in contention for a long time and I have always maintained that the five-year requirement is unreasonably long. In my view we have made a wise decision to bring it into line with the outside world.
Do you have any good advice for young attorneys?
– Embrace the dynamic and rise to the challenge of working under such a well-defined professional code as ours. It adds an extra dimension to your everyday life.
Finally, you do a lot of work for Danish companies that operate in Sweden. Any thoughts on this?
– In the early 1980s I was chairman of a number of companies with Danish owners. Since then I have continued working with many Danish clients and I work on behalf of the Danish Institute of Arbitration, Voldgiftsinstituttet. My general feeling is that those who work in the Öresund region focus more on its regional collaborative aspect than its cross-border element. There are of course cultural and legal differences but there are plenty of similarities, too. Föreningen Öresundsadvokater (literally: Association of Öresund Lawyers) is a good forum for lawyers who work with Danish-Swedish issues and want to learn more.