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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 > Commercial, corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Commercial, corporate and M&A
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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With ‘an excellent combination of legal knowledge and market awareness’, Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS is ‘a clear leader in Norway’ for M&A work in the private equity arena through Børre Sofus Arnet and Peter Hammerich. The department also ‘excels in the oil and energy space’; energy experts Thomas Svensen and Stig Klausen Engelhart led advice to Point Resources on its acquisition of ExxonMobil’s Norwegian upstream business; and Rune Svoren and Jon Christian Thaulow acted for the City of Oslo and its subsidiary Oslo Energi Holding on the purchase of Hafslund, and its subsequent delisting. Øystein Guvåg leads the group, and Robin Bakken, Svein Gerhard Simonnæs, Bjørn Gabriel Reed and Lars Kristian Sande are other names to note.

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS’ team stands out for its private equity and international investment expertise. Stavanger-based Dag Sigvart Kaada led advice to Prox Dynamics on its sale to Flir Systems, Erling Christiansen acted for Wallenius Lines on its cross-border merger with Wilh. Wilhelmsen, and Mathias Teir Pettersen handled Altor Equity Partners’ divestment of Curato Røntgen. Knut Smith-Erichsen heads the corporate advisory and transactional team, and Jon Kristian Sjåtil leads the M&A and capital markets practice. Erling Ueland, Einar Caspersen and Robert Romansky are also singled out.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS’ practice is ‘a key name for high-quality M&A work’, particularly cross-border transactions. Recent highlights include advising EQT on its NOK4bn acquisition of AutoStore, assisting Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division with its acquisition of Navico and Digital Marine Solutions, and handling a cross-border merger for Nordea Bank, which changed its corporate structure to turn local banks in Norway, Denmark and Finland into its branches. Noteworthy practitioners include Hans Cappelen Arnesen, Anders Arnkværn and Baard Bale. Solveig Fagerheim Bugge was promoted to the partnership.

Wiersholmstands out above the competition’ for M&A work and ‘scores high across the board for knowledge, pragmatism and business acumen’. Harald Hellebust leads the department, which includes Erik Thyness and Kai Thøgersen; Thyness recently advised Hafslund on its purchase by the City of Oslo, and Thøgersen assisted KKR with the sale of its stake in Visma. Jarle Kvam, Nils Thommessen, Gunhild Dugstad and recently promoted partner Kristian Martin Lind are also key practitioners.

Sigurd Opedal, who is ‘an outstanding professional and highly service-minded M&A expert’, leads Wikborg Rein’s team, which excels in M&A, particularly matters with a cross-border element. In a recent highlight, Opedal handled Norsk Hydro’s NOK27bn acquisition of a 50% stake in Sapa; he also advised Altor Equity Partners on Altor Fund IV’s investment into Nordic Trustee and assisted with Summa Equity Fund I’s acquisition of EcoOnline. Ketil Bøe leads the corporate finance group, Jan Erik Clausen leads the firm’s Bergen-based practice, and clients praise senior lawyer Espen Furuholt. Marianne Sahl Sveen joined Arntzen de Besche.

Boutique firm Aabø-Evensen & Co Advokatfirma expanded its ‘incredible M&A expertise’ with the recruitment of Gard Skogstrøm from Arntzen de Besche. Clients also praise ‘highly renowned’ practice head Ole Kristian Aabø-Evensen and ‘excellent communicator’ Lars André Gjerdrum. The group advised Link Mobility Group on three separate cross-border acquisitions.

Arntzen de Beschehas an indisputably strong footprint and reputation in the market’. Highlights included assisting DCC Energy with its NOK2.5bn acquisition of Esso Norge’s retail petrol station network and acting for McDonald’s on the sale of its Nordic operations. Sector focuses include the energy, life sciences and aquaculture fields. Per Dagslet leads the team, Lars Horgen Hinze is ‘a strong project leader’, Marianne Sahl Sveen joined from Wikborg Rein and Reidar Smedsvig was promoted to the partnership in 2018.

Lars Gunnar Aas heads the ‘impressive’ department at Advokatfirmaet CLP DA, which fields a team of ‘excellent, hands-on and dynamic individuals, who are always extremely professional’. Private equity work is the cornerstone of the practice through the expertise of Alexander Lund, Jakob Villum, Andreas Kildal and Edvard Cock.

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS’ ‘top-notch’ practice has ‘an experienced team that doesn’t beat around the bush’, placing it as ‘a key name in the market for cross-border transactions’. The team is active in the technology, energy and private equity fields; it recently advised Telenor on the sale of its companies in South America. Kjetil Hardeng leads the team, which includes Bjørn Olav Torpp and Preben Brecke.

Private equity transactions are the linchpin of Selmer’s work; the group recently advised Plant Topco and Apax Partners on the sale of shares in Ratos, and handled the sale of Trygg Vei for Erik Borgersen Holding. Practice head Camilla Magnusfocuses directly on the real issues’, Are Herrem is ‘a pleasure to work with’, Ingar Solheimalways responds quickly’ and Robert Sveen is ‘incredibly trustworthy’.

Under the leadership of ‘skilled negotiator’ Kaare Oftedal, DLA Piper leverages its global network to focus on cross-border mandates. The practice, which is ‘increasingly becoming a real competitor in the market’, acted for Linas Matkasse HoldCo on the combination of Adams Matkasse and, and assisted Herkules Private Equity IV with its acquisition of Beckmann. Clients also praise the ‘hardworking’ Christian Fenner, Fredrik Lykke and Magnus Brox, who recently made partner.

With ‘an up-and-coming team that is increasingly involved in high-profile matters’, Advokatfirmaet Grette DA has substantial expertise in the financial services, technology and energy sectors. Recent work includes advising Nemetschek on its acquisition of dRofus, and assisting BKW Group with its acquisition of the Joarknatten and Høgås wind power projects. Practice head Karl Rosén has ‘a truly commercial mind-set’; Andreas Myrstad and Roland Mörsdorf are also names to note.

Kluge Advokatfirma AS leverages its ‘exceptionally strong Stavanger base’ to act for clients in the oil and energy sector. In a recent highlight, the team advised Wärtsilä Norway on the divestment of its non-core electrical drives business to The Switch Finland; it also counts Wintershall Norge, WorleyParsons and BR Industrier as clients. Team head Per Kristian Ramsland acts for venture funds, Thomas Abrahamsen is ‘incredibly knowledgeable’ and Snorre Haukali is ‘highly dedicated to the task at hand’.

Marius Andresen leads Kvale Advokatfirma DA’s department, which is recognised for its strength in the telecoms, energy and life sciences sectors. Highlights included advising Dong Energy on the divestment of its oil and gas division to Swiss Ineos, and assisting Telia Norge with its NOK2.3bn acquisition of Phonero. Orkla, Aventron and Danske Bank are also clients.

Oil and gas boutique Michelet & Co Advokatfirma AScombines industry specialised knowledge with highly dedicated lawyers’, making it ‘the go-to firm for energy-related M&A’. Geir Evenshaug handles public and private M&A, Erlend Bakken is ‘incredibly solution oriented’ and petroleum expert Preben Willoch ‘provides crystal-clear advice that is solid, structured and practical’.

SANDS continued its growth trajectory in 2017 with the recruitment of Sverre Tysland, who focuses on corporate governance issues in the energy and natural resources sector and joined from Selmer. Other noteworthy names include practice head Erik Lind and Terje Gulbrandsen; Gulbrandsen handles M&A deals and ‘can be trusted to thoroughly examine even the finest of details’.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiigprovides high-quality and reliable advice to a broad range of technology clients’. Recent work includes advising Autostore’s shareholders on its sale and assisting Hewlett Packard Enterprise with the spin-off of Hewlet- Packard’s worldwide enterprise services business. The ‘superbly attentive’ Amund Fougner Bugge leads the team, which gained associate partner Christoffer Bjerknes from Selmer.

Recent clients of Brækhus Advokatfirma DA include Capgemini Norge and Insula; Stein Hove advised the latter on its acquisition of Fiskemat. Practice head John Sveinsvold and ‘excellent communicatorChristoph Morck are recommended.

Deloitte Advokatfirma AS primarily handles restructurings and corporate reorganisations and leverages the firm’s network to bring in cross-border work. Mari Wetlesen leads the group. Odd Erik Johansen joined Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS.

Harald Christensen heads Advokatfirmaet Føyen Torkildsen AS’ practice which includes corporate restructuring expert Erlend Balsvik and was recently bolstered by the recruitment of Harald Evensen from Selmer. The group focuses on the real estate and TMT sectors.

The department at Advokatfirmaet Hjort is ‘highly regarded’ for its M&A advice alongside its expertise in corporate issues relating to investigations, professional liability matters and white-collar crime. Rolf Trolle Andersen and Jørn Uggerud are the key names to note.

Advokatfirma Ræder DA’s ‘excellent, experienced and courteous practitioners’ include team head Carl Clausen, competition expert Carl Arthur Christiansen, technology specialist Morten Opstad and Erik Salbu Aasland, who handles property transactions.

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