Pirita Virtanen 2018-10-18T22:24:57+00:00

PIRITA VIRTANEN

Senior Fellow – Finland

Pirita Virtanen is a Harvard-educated lawyer and mediator, and the founder of Private Mediator, Finland’s first mediation and strategic consulting and training firm, which works with leaders in business, law, and diplomacy.

About Pirita Virtanen

Pirita Virtanen is a Harvard-educated lawyer and a mediator. In 2018, she founded Private Mediator – Finland’s first mediation and strategic negotiation consulting and training firm, which works with leaders in business, law and diplomacy. She also serves as a co-mediator with Judge Daniel Weinstein (Ret.).

Before founding Private Mediator, she completed a Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship and participated as a mediator in over thirty highly complex mediations at JAMS. She participated as a mediator in a case worth over 800 million dollars and involving over fifty persons from ten different corporations.

In addition to her mediation and negotiation training while a Weinstein JAMS International Fellow, Ms. Virtanen completed her second LL.M. degree at Harvard Law School and specialized in international dispute resolution (mediation, negotiation, diplomacy) and leadership. At Harvard, she designed a conflict resolution framework for the conflict in Syria for a former Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, advising parties in peace negotiations. Ms. Virtanen wrote her final paper on women peace negotiators and the Iran Nuclear Deal, focusing on how to deploy gender-based perceptions of women beneficially, while negotiating peace agreements. For this purpose, Pirita interviewed, inter alia, Ambassador Wendy Sherman, the U.S. lead negotiator in the Iran Nuclear Deal Negotiations and the fourth highest-ranking official in the Obama Administration. Pirita also completed the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and Harvard’s flagship course in negotiation, “the Negotiation Workshop.”​

Ms. Virtanen has extensive practical experience in dispute resolution. She represented clients in one of the largest damages trials in Finland’s legal history for over six years (the asphalt cartel litigation) and completed a clerkship at the highest court of the European Union. She worked pro bono for the peace mediation organization, CMI, founded by Finland’s former president and a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari. At CMI, Pirita participated in facilitating meetings of high-profile Iraqi actors to develop a reconciliation strategy for Iraq, regarding how Iraq could tackle problems concerning the rule of law, transitional justice and constitutional reform.

Ms. Virtanen cares deeply about her clients and her work. She combines her unique experience in resolving business and peace disputes, strategic thinking and outstanding interpersonal skills to end disputes quickly, negotiate excellent deals, and advance peace worldwide.

Mediation Practice

Ms. Virtanen is the founder of Private Mediator, Finland’s first mediation and strategic negotiation consulting & training firm, which works with leaders in business, law and diplomacy.

She has more experience in mediating highly complex and high-value commercial disputes than any other person in Finland. In every mediation, she combines her Harvard training, extensive private practice background and insights from work done at CMI to end disputes quickly and leave the parties better off. She works globally, and her mediation/facilitation experience includes:

  • Facilitating meetings of high-profile Iraqi actors developing a reconciliation strategy for Iraq – a strategy for how Iraq could tackle problems concerning, inter alia, the rule of law, transitional justice, and constitutional reform
  • Highly complex international commercial disputes
  • High-value class actions in the fields of consumer protection, construction and banking
  • Complex contractual disputes, including disputes in the telecom industry over intellectual property rights and between founders/shareholders
  • Other complex commercial disputes, including engineering disputes and construction disputes
  • A highly complex sexual harassment case
  • Personal injury cases, employment disputes and various types of property disputes (family and business)
ADR Achievements and Training

  • As the founder of Private Mediator, Ms. Virtanen has been responsible for developing and overseeing its operations, clientele and profitability, and for establishing mediation as a method for the resolution of commercial disputes in Finland.
  • She has undergone extensive mediation, negotiation and diplomacy training at Harvard Law School. As a Weinstein JAMS International Fellow, she underwent advanced mediation training at JAMS (San Francisco) and by Scotland Yard’s former lead hostage negotiator, Richard Mullender.
  • Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship (2017)
  • She received a Rotary Global Grant, “Peace Award”, Rotary’s highest grant and the first individual global grant received from Finland (2016–2017)

ADR Teaching and Mentoring

As the founder of Private Mediator, Pirita teaches strategic negotiation skills for business executives and leaders in law and diplomacy. Trainings are designed based on particular needs. Additionally, she offers pre-designed negotiation workshops.

Publications and Education

Publications

Author, Women Negotiating Peace – The Iran Nuclear Deal, Harvard Law School (2017)

“Virtanen, Pirita: Korko kilpailunrajoituksella veloitetulle ylihinnalle – kuinka paljon rahaa on aika?” (Interest to a Cartel Overcharge – How Much Money is Time?), Defensor Legis 3/2016, p. 364–383.

“Kalliokoski, Toni – Virtanen, Pirita: Kilpailuoikeudellinen vahingonkorvaus asfalttikartellituomion valossa” (Antitrust Damages in Light of the Asphalt Cartel Judgment), Defensor Legis 1/2014, p. 29–46.

Educational Qualifications

  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) in international dispute resolution (mediation, negotiation, diplomacy) and leadership, Harvard Law School (2017)
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.) and Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from University of Turku (2006-2012)

For more information

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