Helena Haapio

Associate Professor

School of Accounting and Finance, Business Law
+358 29 449 8578

I started at the University of Vaasa as a Teacher of Strategic Business Law and defended my dissertation on Next Generation Contracts: a Paradigm Shift in 2013. After completing legal studies at the University of Turku, Finland, and Cambridge University, England, I served for several years as in-house Legal Counsel in Europe and the United States, working with cross-border contracts. As an Associate Professor of Business Law I supervise doctoral students whose research interests focus on merging design thinking with proactive legal thinking: helping people and businesses use contracts and the law proactively to achieve better business results, balance risk with reward, and stay out of unnecessary problems.

I am a Contract Innovator and a Proactive Law Pioneer. My research and practice focus on enhancing the functionality, usability, and user experience of contracts. As the co-leader of the Nordic School of Proactive Law and of the ProActive ThinkTank I work with colleagues and designers to transform contracts from legal instruments to valuable business tools. This includes rewriting and redesigning complex texts using simplification and visualization. I have designed and conducted training on Contract Design, Legal Design, Proactive Contracting, Contractual Risk Management, and related topics around the world. My mission is to fundamentally change the way contracts and the law are designed, communicated, perceived, and taught.