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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Norway > Oil and gas > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Oil and gas
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Torkjel Kleppo Grøndalen - Michelet & Co Advokatfirma AS
    • Sandra Simonsen - BAHR AS, Advokatfirmaet
    • Preben Willoch - Michelet & Co Advokatfirma AS

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Under the leadership of Jan Jansen, Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS’s full-service practice ‘delivers first-class advice on transactional and finance matters’ and also assists with upstream issues, petroleum tax and litigation. In a recent highlight, the ‘solution-oriented’ Jon Christian Thaulow and Stig Klausen Engelhart advised Aker BP on several acquisitions on the Norwegian Continental Shelf including acquiring Noreco’s license portfolio and its acquisition of BP Norge. Clients also praise ‘market leader’ Jan Einar Barbo, the ‘genuinely fantastic’ Thomas Svensen and ‘brilliant’ senior associate Sandra Simonsen.

As ‘one of the leading firms in Norway on petroleum law’, Kvale Advokatfirma DAstands out for its regulatory and litigation experience’; practice co-head Jens Brede is ‘the go-to guy for oil litigation’. Contract specialist Yngve Bustnesli and offshore construction expert Erik Brannsten also jointly lead the department. Highlights included advising Dong Energy on its IPO, and representing Statoil in a dispute pertaining to the termination of a drilling contract. DNO, Total E&P Norge and Halvorsen Offshore are also clients.

Boutique firm Michelet & Co Advokatfirma ASutilises its incredibly focused, agile and dedicated team to provide commercial and pragmatic advice that receives top marks across the board’. The ‘unbelievably talented’ group counts ‘genius’ Christian Fredrik Michelet; ‘high-flyer’ Torkjel Kleppo Grøndalen; Erlend Bakken, who ‘brings considerable experience to the table and knows exactly how to use it’; and transactional specialists Preben Willoch and Geir Evenshaug as key practitioners. Shell, Faroe Petroleum, Diamond Offshore Drilling and ExxonMobil are clients.

The ‘excellent’ practice at Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS is ‘one of the very best in Norway’ according to some, with ‘a commercial mindset and client focus combined with an unbeatable pragmatism and practicality’. In a recent highlight, the group assisted ExxonMobil Holding Norway with the sale of its petroleum stations and Norwegian retail business to DCC. Other clients include Maersk Oil Norway, Petoro and Engie E&P Norge. Knut Høivik leads the department, which also includes litigator Amund Bjøranger Tørum, Sverre Bjelland and Trond Sollund.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS has ‘excellent industry acumen and insights paired with a commercial approach’, which ‘places it as one of the obvious go-to firms in the country’. Department head Rune Solberg is ‘highly experienced in M&A and regulatory issues’; he handled Ineos’ $1bn acquisition of Dong Energy’s oil and gas business and advised BP UK on its merger with Det Norske Oljeselskap to form Aker BP. ‘Excellent negotiatorPål Lieungh, the ‘highly technicalJacob Bull and ‘outstanding litigator’ Asle Bjelland also receive praise.

Wiersholm is ‘able to combine excellent legal skills with a practical and business-oriented approach that helps solve the most complex problems in an efficient and cost-effective manner’. Practice head Sondre Dyrland and Thomas Naalsund are ‘two lawyers who are at the top of their game’; Dyrland represented Statoil in a dispute relating to the validity of production licences, and Naalsund defended it against a compensation claim brought by Sar. Other noteworthy names include recently promoted partner Kristian Martin Lind, Stephan Jervell and Erik Thyness. Energy expert Jon Rabben joined from Wikborg Rein.

At Arntzen de Besche, team head Karl Erik Navestad advised Naturkraft on the sale and decommissioning of a gas power plant, Rune Omdahl acts for Lundin on its exploration, development and production matters; and Anders Rødland handles transactional work. Tonje Gormley was promoted to the partnership in 2017, and Dag Erlend Henriksen moved in-house.

Led from Stavanger by Thomas Abrahamsen, Kluge Advokatfirma AS’ practice is ‘very solution oriented and conscious of the practical considerations of the clients, allowing it to provide full and comprehensive support across the full spectrum of the field’. Audun Stornes and Amund Noss are names to note. Recent work includes advising Edison Norge on the sale of its interest in the Dvalin field.

Selmer fields department head Thomas Michelet, Nils Bugge and Liv Monica Stubholt as key practitioners; Michelet is advising Karpinsky Oil and Gas Company on a fund establishment, Bugge is recommended for contractual issues, and Stubholt is assisting RN Nordic Oil with issues relating to its Norwegian Continental Shelf activity. Kværner, Lundin Norway and Maersk Drilling are also clients.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig is ‘a stand-out name in the market for oil and gas transactions and regulatory advice’; it recently advised Tullow Oil on the sale of its Norwegian licences and operational platform to Kerogen Capital, and assisted Aker BP with the Snadd subsea field development. Bjørn-Erik Leerberg leads the Oslo team, and Gunnar Espeland is head of the Stavanger group. Trym Landa joined from Ernst & Young Advokatfirma AS.

Wikborg Rein’s ‘excellent’ department includes ‘talented professionalDag Mjaaland as head of the gas team, and the ‘very impressiveAadne Haga as leader of the energy group, with other notable names including managing partner Finn Bjørnstad and litigator Ola Nisja. Clients include Cairn Energy and Naftogaz of Ukraine; Mjaaland is representing the latter in the Gazprom disputes. Jon Rabben joined Wiersholm and Oddbjørn Slinning joined SANDS.

Problem-solving expertMikal Brøndmo leads the practice at Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS, which is ‘excellent at striking the balance between pragmatism and formality’, and was recently strengthened by the recruitment of Christopher Sveen and Bård Sandstad from Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA. Fortis Petroleum, Kværner and North Energy are clients.

At Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA, ‘highly experienced’ practice head Eirik Høiby and Odd-Arne Kleveland are key names to note in the team, which primarily handles transactional issues for a client roster including Kværner, Ocean Installer and National Oilwell Varco. Bård Sandstad and Christopher Sveen joined Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS.

Following the recruitment of team head Lars Berge Andersen from an in-house position in 2016, SANDS continued its growth in 2017 with the recruitment of Oddbjørn Slinning from Wikborg Rein. The full-service department advises on cross-border oil and gas projects, construction and disputes.

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