Bolagsjuristbloggen met with icon company Klarna’s General Counsel, Oscar Hållén, for a chat about his background as a speechwriter for the Swedish Prime Minister, and his priorities for 2019.
Oscar, you have quite a different background from most GC’s, having worked in politics and economics as well as law. Tell us, what has brought you to where you are today?
– Besides a combination of luck and hard work, I’ve always been a strong believer in what I call “the banana peel principle”, meaning that if you are confronted with an option which you have not really planned for, that seems a bit scary but also exciting, then you should always go for it. Living by that principle has allowed me to work as a speech writer for the Swedish Prime Minister, Microsoft and now Klarna. One aspect of this is to avoid planning everythingin your life, one should instead keep the focus on doing a good job where you are at.
This principle is also reflected in our hiring; lawyers with different backgrounds and experiences tend to like it much better at a fast paced environment like Klarna.
What are your personal goals for 2019?
– Klarna has and is continuing to experience a very strong period of growth. This naturally requires a lot from our legal teams who always needs to be one step ahead of the business. A growing business also means a growing legal team and we are already looking to add additional lawyers in several countries during 2019.
One of my top personal goals for 2019 is therefore to make sure we have the top talent at Klarna needed to deliver top legal advice. This takes a significant amount of time, but we all know it’s worth the investment.
What are your team’s priorities for 2019?
– We are focusing a lot on productifying our legal advice in various ways so that our lawyers can focus more on advanced tasks and complex advice to the business rather than being mired down with repetitive tasks.
Implemented correctly our experience has shown this also very much increase client satisfaction. We have already worked with a few smaller projects such as interactive decision trees for the business and automatic litigation trackers to great success. Identifying processes which can be automated or simplified and executing on it is a top priority for all our teams during 2019, where adoption of legal tech is one key element.
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