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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


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Who Represents Who

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BAHR' team 'puts considerable effort into delivering high-quality advice on time' and has 'detailed knowledge of the industry and its clients'. The group handles the full spectrum of issues including development projects, upstream oil and gas work, petroleum tax issues and litigation; it recently represented Solveig Gas Norway, Silex Gas Norway and Infragas Norge in the high-profile Gassled litigation, advised Point Resources and Eni on the merger of their Norwegian activities and the creation of Vår Energi, and assisted Rosneft with its establishment in the Norwegian market through its subsidiary, RN Nordic Oil. Practice head Thomas Svensen is 'a highly skilled and experienced professional with a commercial mindset'; Jan Jansen, Haakon Flaatten, Jon Christian Thaulow, Stig Klausen Engelhart and senior associate Sandra Simonsen are also key names to note.

Kvale Advokatfirma DA's experience spans contentious and non-contentious mandates with individual areas of expertise including practice co-head¬†Jens Brede¬†handling oil and gas disputes, co-head¬†Yngve Bustnesli¬†focusing on petroleum law and contractual work, and co-head¬†Erik Brannsten¬†excelling in offshore construction and subsea projects.¬†Andreas Stang Lund¬†is also recommended for contentious work. Recent highlights include assisting √ėrsted (previously Dong Energy) with the sale of its oil and gas portfolio to Ineos Industries, representing Equinor (previously Statoil) in a dispute relating to the termination of a drilling contract with Cosl Innovator, and advising Pandion Energy on its acquisition of a 10% stake in the Valhall and Hod fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Following its merger with¬†Michelet & Co Advokatfirma AS¬†in early 2019,¬†Advokatfirmaet Schj√łdt AS¬†fields a team of 'very high-quality lawyers who have extensive knowledge and experience' including the well-regarded¬†Christian Fredrik Michelet, 'excellent partner'¬†Torkjel Gr√łndalen, transactional specialists¬†Geir Evenshaug¬†and the 'extremely responsive and practical'¬†Preben Willoch, and¬†Erlend Bakken. Michelet recently acted for the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in the high-profile Gassled case, Willoch advised Blue Water Energy on its investment in Mime Petroleum, and Gr√łndalen assisted Spirit Energy Norge with the tie-in of the Nova field to the Gj√ła oilfield facilities. Knut H√łivik moved in-house at Equinor (formerly Statoil).

Key areas of expertise for¬†Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig¬†include transactions, capital markets work, petroleum law issues, procurement projects, disputes, decommissioning issues and oil services mandates. The group is providing regulatory and petroleum law advice to Gassco relating to its NCS gas pipeline, is assisting the Ugandan government with its development of an upstream and midstream petroleum legal framework, and is acting for Aramco Overseas on its purchase of shares in several Norwegian oil technology companies.¬†Bj√łrn-Erik Leerberg¬†heads the team in Oslo and¬†Gunnar Espeland¬†leads the Stavanger group;¬†Frode Berntsen¬†and¬†Frode Vareberg¬†are the key names for upstream petroleum matters and¬†Trym Landa¬†is experienced in oil and gas field developments.

At¬†Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS, newly promoted partner¬†Christian Hals¬†leads the oil and gas team and¬†P√•l Lieungh¬†heads the oil services group; Hals recently advised Ineos on its acquisition of Dong E&P and Lieungh assisted Island Offshore Shipbuilding with the restructuring of its debt relating to a 30-vessel operation. Other mandates include acting for PGNiG on its acquisition of licence interests in the Fogelberg field and handing Seadrill's restructuring. BP International, Equinor, Kongsberg Gruppen, Faroe Petroleum and Transocean are also clients.¬†Jacob F Bull¬†focuses on construction projects,¬†Mads Haavardsholm¬†advises clients in the oil services sector and¬†St√•le R Kristiansen¬†handles tax work.¬†Rune Ulriksen Steinsland¬†made partner in 2018 and managing associate¬†Kristine Hyldmo Bj√łrnvik¬†joined from¬†Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS¬†in 2019. Rune Solberg retired and Asle Bjelland is now a judge.

Wiersholm handles the full spectrum of transactional, contentious and regulatory matters for a client roster including ConocoPhillips and Equinor (formerly Statoil); the group is representing the latter in a dispute relating to a cancelled contract. Other recent mandates include assisting VNG with the sale of its subsidiary, VNG Norge, to Neptune Energy Norge; advising on the combination of Bayerngas Norge and the North Sea exploration and production (E&P) business of Centrica to create Spirit Energy; and acting for the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on a carbon capture and storage project. Sondre Dyrland leads the department and regularly handles petroleum and contract law issues; Jon Rabben, Kristian Martin Lund and Thomas Naalsund are also key names to note.

With 'genuine industry expertise and a commercial outlook', Arntzen de Besche has 'strength-in-depth, which allows it to support clients across the spectrum'. The group also has substantial experience in the E&P sector, petroleum industry and oil services market; it recently advised E&P company Hess on the $2bn sale of its Norwegian subsidiary to Aker BP, assisted with the establishment of Edge Petroleum, and handled all issues relating to Lundin's activity on the NCS including the Edvard Grieg and Brynhild oil fields. Group head Karl Erik Navestad has 'great industry knowledge', Rune Omdahl focuses on licensing issues, and Stian Fagervold joined from Wiersholm.

Kluge Advokatfirma AS 'provides excellent advice' and fields 'a strong team for upstream oil and gas work' under the leadership of the 'genuinely brilliant' Audun Stornes and Thomas Abrahamsen, who is 'particularly good at getting the deal done'. In a recent highlight, Stornes and Abrahamsen led advice to Neptune Energy Norge on its acquisition of VNG Norge. Other work includes assisting Repsol Norge with its purchase of participating interests in the Visund field on the NCS and acting for Faroe Petroleum on development projects in the Njord hub area. Olav Hasaas and litigator Amund Noss are also recommended.

Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS' 'efficient and professional' group handles licence transactions, contractual issues, regulatory work, unitisations, compliance mandates and disputes regularly acting for E&P companies, engineering, procurement and construction contractors; equipment suppliers and seismic and electromagnetic services companies. The team recently assisted Okea with its acquisition of working interests in the Draugen and Gj√ła fields and handled Kufpec's acquisition of Total Norge's interests in the Gina Krog field.¬†Thomas G. Michelet¬†leads the group;¬†Liv Monica Stubholt¬†and newly promoted partner¬†√ėyvind Olimstad¬†are also active in the space. Following the firm's 2019 merger with offshore, oil and gas, and oil services boutique Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA,¬†Eirik H√łiby,¬†Odd-Arne Kleveland¬†and¬†Gro L√łge¬†are also key names to note.

At Wikborg Rein, Trond Eilertsen leads the energy, shipping and offshore department, Aadne Haga heads up the petroleum and energy practice, and Tormod Ludvik Nilsen leads the energy and renewables team; other key individuals include Dag Mjaaland and litigator Ola Nisja. Recent highlights include representing Naftogaz in two international arbitrations relating to contractual issues and assisting Transocean with its takeover of Songa Offshore. Panoro Energy, Cosl Drilling Europe, CapeOmega and Petroleum Geo-Services are also clients.

With 'broad and in-depth knowledge of contracts for the NCS',¬†Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS¬†is 'able to see the different viewpoints in complicated issues'. In a recent highlight, team co-head¬†B√•rd Sandstad¬†advised Seacrest Capital Group and Bangchak on their investment in Okea and acquisition of producing interests in the Draugen and Gj√ła fields; other work includes group co-head¬†Mikal Br√łndmo¬†and associate partner¬†Kristine Hyldmo¬†representing Westcon Yards in a dispute relating to a tender support vessel and Sandstad assisting Fortis Petroleum with the restructuring of its NCS activities.¬†Johnny Johansen¬†and¬†Christopher L. Sveen¬†are also key names to note.

Under the leadership of the 'highly¬†experienced and resourceful'¬†Lars Berge Andersen,¬†SANDS¬†has 'a highly commercial¬†and responsive approach to disputes' and 'is pragmatic but tough when required'. The group also handles non-contentious work and recently assisted MHWirth with negotiations with a shipyard for a topside and drilling equipment package to furnish a semi-submersible new-build rig. Other clients include Sevan Marine, Safelink and Frydenb√ł Industri. Maritime expert¬†Oddbj√łrn Slinning¬†is also active in the space.

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