Sector convergence is more or less unstoppable
Hanna Sonning

The trend of sector convergence is more or less unstoppable. Businesses must engage with it or they risk being left behind, says Hanna Sonning, Associate at Setterwalls business law firm, one of the Gold Sponsors for this year’s Park Annual event.

Publish date: 2020-09-29 Text: 
Jamie Smith

Hanna, what’s the best part of your job?
I get to work with important matters. Matters that make a difference. Many of our clients are more or less in a make or break situation. They come to us when they need qualified legal assistance. That means that I get to be a part of the deals and events that mean the most to these companies and have great impact. I think that’s really cool.

Why did Setterwalls decide to be a gold sponsor for Park Annual 2020?
We consider Park Annual to be a key event for the life science industry. Our purpose in sponsoring this event is to show the industry that we are the law firm in West Sweden which is most invested in the life science sector. The sector has been one of our most prioritised industries for the last couple of years and we are still investing a lot to be the best partner for life science companies. We want life science companies to think of us first when they face situations requiring qualified legal counsel. Park Annual is a great place for us to meet these companies.

What does Sector Convergence mean to you and Setterwalls?
First of all, Sector Convergence is a great opportunity for companies to widen the potential of their applications. That should be the main focus. Then, from a legal perspective, sector convergence raises issues about how to deal with this way of doing business and being open in a wider sense. When dealing with openness in technology and knowledge-intense industries, such as the life science industry, we always need to think about how we can protect our valuable intellectual assets and our valued data while, at the same time, sharing them with others. This is quite challenging for any company but, for us of course, it’s a real opportunity. We can assist companies in using the legal tools that are available for doing this.

Why is sector convergence important?
It’s simply a fundamental growth opportunity for companies. The trend of sector convergence is more or less unstoppable. Businesses must engage with it or they risk being left behind.

Any cool innovations or updates you can tell us about from Setterwalls?
We want to take this opportunity to brag about an amazing opportunity we had recently to assist Isofol Medical, an outstanding biotech company located in the Biotech Center, when they entered into a major licensing agreement with a Japanese company to develop and commercialise their proprietary drug in Japan. The deal exemplifies the importance of Gothenburg-based companies, which we sometimes forget. It also shows why local qualified local legal assistance is so important in our region. I think we will see more of these types of deals with Gothenburg companies, and when we do, we are ready!

What learnings or positive experiences can we take from Covid?
There’s no doubt that we have become much better at utilizing the digital tools that are available for meeting each other online. Just look at how Park Annual will be able to reach out to a lot more people this year by going digital. Work-life balance considerations will also perhaps be easier moving forward since we have become better at working from home and finding more tools and flexibility for doing that. On a higher level when we look back at this experience, we will have a better understanding of how important it is to be able to go outside, to meet people, to have an office to go to, to have regular meetings and to be able to hold parties, weddings and baptisms, etc. These community activities are essential to the well-being of people and what it means to be a human-being. This could be something for the life science industry to work more on in the future–that health is a wider concept.

Register here for Park Annual by Sahlgrenska Science Park on 1 October.

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