Annika Andersson has extensive experience in public procurement and construction law, as well as in closely-related public law and property-related matters. Besides the fact that she has over 10 years’ experience working at the firm, she also teaches public procurement on the Law Programme at Lund University. Here Annika talks about how it all started and why she is passionate about contract procurement.
– I’ve been at Lindahl since 2011 and I quickly felt that I was in the right place as far as the areas of public procurement and construction law were concerned. Annika is now manager of the team working on public procurement and construction contracts at the Malmö office. An awful lot has happened since I started, which is tremendously exciting, continues Annika.
From economics to law
However, it wasn’t always obvious that Annika would end up working as a lawyer, since she started out studying economics. She met a law student by pure chance at university and that induced her to change course and instead start studying on the Law Programme at Lund University. She quickly felt that she was in the right place and discovered a tremendous interest in the interaction between law and entrepreneurship.
Today, Annika has a leading role and has had the benefit of being involved in building a business from scratch. The consultant role, which forms a key part of her work at the law firm, suits her well as she appreciates having a lot going on at the same time and dealing with a number of issues in parallel during the day.
A passion for contract procurement
Construction contract procurement is often about providing support for the implementation of a construction project – from procurement to implementation. It may be about new construction projects such as schools, care facilities and housing for municipalities and municipal housing companies. It may also be about various forms of development projects.
One of the factors that stimulates Annika in her work is the feeling of being involved and making a contribution to everything that happens in the community. In social construction, it is not just a question of rational decisions on what is most justifiable from a purely economic point of view. There are also sustainability issues and political aspects when working with municipalities and then it is a case of combining law, sustainability and politics in order to find the best solution for a project. Annika sees this as an exciting challenge which is also positive for her development.
The area at present and its main challenges
Procurement regulations are based on EU law and are being amended and developed through legislative changes and new case law from the courts. In that regard, procurement law differs from construction law, where in principle there is no legislation and situations are more or less governed by standard contracts.
– The most interesting thing about the procurement part is that there are always new aspects to think about. It’s fun to work in two areas that are so different. Procurement is governed by laws, unlike construction which is instead governed by contracts.
The most challenging aspect of Annika’s work is the constant changes and the fact that unexpected questions often arise with regard to economic aspects or environmental or political issues – all of which have a part to play in projects. A lot of the work is then about trying to generate understanding and find the best way forward.
Lindahl is a greenhouse for young entrepreneurs
Annika sees Lindahl as a firm with tremendous expertise in many areas, including public procurement. It is well known that the firm has many years of expertise behind it. Not least thanks to Helena Rosén Andersson who, after several years as a lawyer at Lindahl, is now a Supreme Administrative Court judge and the lead author of the comments on the procurement laws.
“Although Lindahl has been around for a long time, the firm is driven forward in a young entrepreneurial spirit. The firm’s high standards, combined with its non-hierarchical organisation, favour individual development at all levels. We encourage and challenge one another to take the initiative to develop in any direction we want. This, in turn, leads to development for Lindahl as a whole.
The firm’s strength lies in the graduate experience
Lindahl’s strength lies in the meeting between graduates and students. In the role of employer, the firm is flexible when it comes to graduates taking different paths into the work. In other words, there is no specific path that everyone needs to take. Instead, Lindahl values people from different backgrounds and the opportunity to work in several different areas of law as much as specialisation in a specific area.
"Some people may feel most comfortable out there with the clients, mingling or “where it happens”, whereas others prefer to delve into court cases and interesting books."
– Some people may feel most comfortable out there with the clients, mingling or “where it happens”, whereas others prefer to delve into court cases and interesting books. Lindahl is a workplace where there is room for everyone and where differences are valued. That’s also reflected in our work with our clients, since clients also need not be of any specific type. Flexibility and responsiveness in meetings with students, colleagues and clients are the qualities that distinguish Lindahl. We don’t want to be a cut-glass chandelier firm. Instead, we want to be a modern, forward-looking workplace.
Annika now longs to get back to the connection with her colleagues and all the communal activities that were organised before the pandemic. She sees a bright business future, exciting meetings and opportunities at Lindahl.