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 Ltd., Finland’s first mediation and strategic negotiation consulting and training firm, which works with leaders in business, law, and diplomacy. Ms. Virtanen also serves as a co-mediator with Judge Daniel Weinstein (Ret.).
Ms. Virtanen has participated as a mediator in over thirty highly complex and high-value commercial mediations at JAMS, such as a case worth over 3 billion euros and several cases worth 100–800 million euros. Additional case examples include:
- a highly complex international securities breach case worth over 800 million euros. The case involved over 50 persons from 10 different corporations. This case was mediated in one day.
- an international intellectual property case worth over 500 million euros. This case was mediated in one day.
- several class actions and other cases worth 100–500 million dollars in the fields of consumer protection, construction, and banking. These cases were typically mediated in one day.
Before mediating, Ms. Virtanen gained extensive experience in dispute resolution. She represented clients in one of the largest damages trial in Finland’s legal history for seven years, (the asphalt cartel litigation) and in other complex litigation and arbitration cases. Ms. Virtanen also completed a clerkship at the highest court of the European Union, and worked pro bono for the peace mediation organization, CMI, founded by Finland’s former president and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Martti Ahtisaari. At CMI, Ms. Virtanen participated in facilitating meetings of high-profile Iraqi actors developing a reconciliation strategy for Iraq. This strategy addressed how Iraq could tackle problems concerning the rule of law, transitional justice, and constitutional reform.
Ms. Virtanen holds an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School and the University of Turku (Finland). At Harvard Law School she specialized in international dispute resolution (mediation, negotiation, diplomacy) and leadership. In particular, Ms. Virtanen designed a conflict resolution framework for the conflict in Syria for a former Nobel Peace Prize nominee, advising parties in peace negotiations. She 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, she 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. Ms. Virtanen also completed the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and Harvard’s flagship course in negotiation, “the Negotiation Workshop.”
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 the peaceful resolution of conflicts worldwide.
Ms. Virtanen is the founder of Private Mediator Ltd., 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 from the Nordic countries. 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
- Various types of highly complex international commercial disputes
- High-value class actions in the fields of antitrust damages, consumer protection, construction, and banking
- High-value disputes relating to contracts, insurance coverage, engineering and construction, product liability, intellectual property, employment, personal injuries, property rights, estates, and sexual harassment
- ADR Achievements and Training
- As the founder of Private Mediator Ltd., 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, commercial mediation training at JAMS, (San Francisco and New York) and hostage negotiation training by Scotland Yard’s former lead hostage negotiator, Richard Mullender.
- Weinstein JAMS International Fellowship (2017)
- She received a Rotary Global Grant, Rotary’s highest grant and the first individual global grant received from Finland (2016–2017)