Merja Karhapää

Merja Karhapää

Boardman partner

Merja Karhapää

Professional history and Board experience

Merja Karhapää is Chief Legal Officer at the Sanoma Group. In addition to being responsible for group legal affairs, her other responsibilities include the Public Affairs, Intellectual Property Rights, and Data Privacy. Karhapää has had an active role as a promoter of digital transformation in Sanoma. She has broad experience in leading mergers and acquisitions as well as partnering negotiations and related financial arrangements.

In the past, she has worked for Cultor Corporation and Valmet Corporation. She is a known expert on benefits and practical implementation of the transforming regulatory environment particularly from the perspective of exploiting data and Intellectual Property Rights.

Karhapää has a LL.M degree (1987) in law from the Helsinki University. Later she has studied also at the Bristol University (UK), where she received Post Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law and Practice (1999). She has studied also at London Business School / Corporate Finance Program (2005), and at Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration / Leadership Programme JOKO (41).

Karhapää is a member of the board for the Helsinki Deaconess Institute. Earlier she acted also as a Member of the Board and Audit Committee for Biotie Therapies Corporation 2012-2016, Member of the Board and Audit Committee for Finnair Corporation 2012-2014, Member of the Supervisory Board for the Belgian company, De Vijver Media N.V and from 2009-2014.

Karhapää is also amongst other things, Chairman of the Committee of Legal and Public Affairs at the Confederation of Finnish Industries, expert member of Market Court in IPR matters (IPR Court), and a Member of Securities Market Association / Takeover Panel.

Activities in Boardman

  • Board Member of the Alumnus Network, since 2015 – and a Chairman since 2016
  • Member of the Nomination Committee, 2015
  • Member of the Boardman´s Board of Directors, 2017-2020
  • Member of the Editorial Board, 2020


  • IPR
  • Data Privacy
  • M&A, Partnering and related financing arrangements
  • Corporate Governance
  • Public Affairs
  • Media
  • Digital transdormation

Contact information