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Legal Market Overview

2021 saw a significant increase in transactional work for Norwegian firms, following an initial drop in early 2020. Although firms report a significant uptick in bankruptcies, insolvencies and restructurings due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic, on the other hand capital markets debt work is very active, the maritime and shipping sectors remain steady, and the real estate and construction markets have been extremely busy, with firms reporting an increase in public sector infrastructure mandates. Another buoyant area of instruction has been in ESG-related work and investments, as Norway maintains its ongoing ‘green shift’ towards sustainability and clean energy and clients’ interest in diversifying into renewable energy projects grows. Technology and IP have been prominent sources of work for firms, following the rise of digitalisation and subsequent concerns around copyright and infringement, alongside developments in the fintech space.

One prominent development in the legal market was Kluge Advokatfirma AS’ integration with international law firm CMS in October 2021 and its subsequent rebrand to CMS Kluge. Advokatfirma DLA Piper Norway DA and the Big 4 accountancy firms remain the other main international names in the otherwise primarily domestic Norwegian market. Full-service firms, including BAHR, Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS, Wikborg Rein and Wiersholm, maintain a steady presence alongside smaller firms such as AGP Advokater, which specialises in corporate law, capital markets and M&A work.