How Legal Scholars Facilitate Tax Avoidance: Case Study on the Power of Tax Consultancy Firms

Santtu Raitasuo, Matti Ylönen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Social scientists have neglected the ways in which the consultancy assignments of legal scholars mediate private interests, even though their opinions provide important guidance in legal proceedings. Through a case study from Finland, we document a process where private tax advisory firms utilize their access to academic forums to defend their clients' interests. With further evidence on related dependencies, we trace a twofold process that amplifies the voice of tax advisors and suppresses public interest-related concerns. By achieving positions of trust in the academia, tax consultancy firms gain important gatekeeper roles that facilitate corporate-friendly research and subdue critical arguments. The findings challenge the conventional understanding of the dynamics of knowledge production and call for a greater attention to the pitfalls of the marketization of academic legal advice and scholarship. The national-level interpretative power of major tax advisory companies is also an important building block for international network power.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)507-521
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • LAW
  • 513 Law
  • 5171 Political Science

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