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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. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Who Represents Who

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With 'excellent commercial understanding combined with top-notch legal experience and knowledge'¬†BAHR¬†is 'well connected across the industry' and is a stand-out name for M&A transactions, particularly those in the private equity, oil and energy, real estate and infrastructure sectors.¬†√ėystein Guv√•g¬†leads the department and¬†Lars Kristian Sande¬†is the deputy head;¬†Svein Gerhard Simonn√¶s,¬†Bj√łrn Gabriel Reed,¬†Jon Christian Thaulow¬†and shipping and offshore specialist¬†Rolf Johan Ringdal¬†are also names to note. Recent highlights include advising Point Resources on its acquisition of ExxonMobil's operated upstream business from ExxonMobil Exploration and Production, assisting Oslo Municipality with the purchase of Hafslund by Oslo Energi Holding and the subsequent delisting of Hafslund and its division into four independent business areas, and acting on the sale of the Saltdalsbygg Group to Mestergruppen. Robin Bakken moved in-house at Seatankers Management.

Advokatfirmaet Schj√łdt AS¬†advises across the full spectrum of corporate and transactional mandates with notable expertise in assisting foreign investors on inbound transactions and private equity matters.¬†Knut Smith-Erichsen¬†heads the corporate M&A group and focuses on private equity issues; other key individuals include M&A head¬†Tord Fondevik, who counts industrial companies and investment funds as clients;¬†Jon Kristian Sj√•til,¬†Erling Ueland¬†in Stavanger and¬†Einar Caspersen. The firm merged with¬†Michelet & Co Advokatfirma AS¬†in 2019.

As a key name in the market for cross-border transactions,¬†Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS¬†acts for a high-profile client roster including DNB, Altor Equity Partners and Storebrand. In a recent highlight, the well-regarded¬†Anders Arnkv√¶rn¬†advised SafeRoad Holding and Nordic Capital on FSN Capital's NOK2bn acquisition of SafeRoad; other mandates include¬†Hans Cappelen Arnesen¬†assisting Hellman & Friedman with its recommended cash offer for payment service provider Nets, Christian Gr√ľner Sagstad¬†(the head of department) handling Triton Partners' acquisition of a majority stake in Glamox, and¬†Ervin Auren¬†advising Alimentation Couche-Tard on the divestment of its marine fuel business through the sale of Statoil Fuel and Retail Marine to St1 Norge.¬†Baard Bale,¬†Stig Berge¬†and¬†Solveig Fagerheim Bugge¬†are also key names to note.¬†Christian Hals¬†and¬†Rune Ulriksen Steinsland¬†made partner in 2018.

Wiersholm¬†combines 'great availability and business understanding' with 'a hardworking¬†approach to any task' to maintain its position as 'one of the best in the market'. The department excels in M&A and private equity work; recent examples include assisting Orkla with its sale of a 50% stake in Sapa to Hydro Aluminium, acting for Visma on the acquisition by Visma Nederland of Emerald Bidco, and advising Summa Equity on its purchase of Norsk Gjenvinning from Altor Fund III.¬†Harald Hellebust¬†leads the practice, which also includes¬†Erik Thyness, cross-border expert¬†Jarle Kvam, Gunhild Dugstad¬†and¬†Kai Th√łgersen. Nils Thommessen moved in-house.

Wikborg Rein¬†provides 'a level of expertise unmatched by most other firms in Norway'; clients claim that 'no challenge is too great or too small for them to provide business-minded and high-quality legal support' thanks to 'an excellent understanding of its clients and an ability to draw on experts from other divisions when needed'.¬†Sigurd Opedal¬†leads the team and recently advised Altor Equity Partners and Altor Fund III on its sale of Norsk Gjenvinning to Summa Equity. Other key practitioners include¬†Kaare Christian Tapper, who leads the corporate, finance and tax department;¬†Jan Erik Clausen, who heads up the Bergen team; and senior lawyer¬†Espen Furuholt.¬†Ketil E B√łe¬†assisted Storebrand Livsforsikring on its acquisition of the portfolio of Silver Pensjonsforsikring and¬†Per Anders S√¶hle¬†acted for Transocean on its takeover of Songa Offshore.

Aab√ł-Evensen & Co Advokatfirma¬†fields 'a business-oriented team with a strong commercial approach' that 'focuses on understanding its clients' needs' and has the 'ability to adapt to a wide variety of client environments and situations from local SMEs to international corporations'. Group co-head and name partner¬†Ole Kristian Aab√ł-Evensen¬†is 'clearly a market leader' and has 'one of the widest skills sets in the sector', fellow co-head¬†Nils Olav √Örseth¬†is 'an outstanding¬†professional' and¬†Gard Skogstr√łm¬†is 'a key name in possession of a sharp legal mind'. Highlights included advising Link Mobility on its acquisition by Abry Partners and assisting Holta Invest with its purchase of JM Als√©n Design.

At Arntzen de Besche, the team has notable cross-border elements to its work and excels in the oil and gas, life sciences, technology, fisheries, aquaculture and real estate sectors; clients include Teekay, Rasmussengruppen and Shearwater GeoServices In a recent highlight, Dagslet acted for DCC Energy on its acquisition of Esso Norge's retail petrol station network; other mandates include Lars Horgen Hinze assisting Aurelius and its subsidiary Conaxess Trade Norway with the acquisition of Galleberg and Trond Vernegg advising E-Co Energi Holding on its acquisition of 90% of the shares of Hafslund. Stavanger-based Reidar Smedsvig made partner in 2018, Henrik Braavold Johansen in Oslo made partner in 2019, and Jens Baumann Melberg joined the Stavanger office from Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA. Marianne Sahl Sveen heads the department and Per A Dagslet is also noted.

Clients of Advokatfirmaet CLP DA 'get full partner attention throughout any project and a legal adviser who cares about them well beyond the specific task at hand'. Department head Lars Gunnar Aas attracts praise as 'one of the best M&A lawyers in the mid- and high-end market', who 'combines an extreme work capacity with detailed legal understanding'. The group also includes Alexander Lund, who focuses on the private equity and venture capital space, Jakob Villum, Andreas Kildal and Edvard Cock. Villum recently advised SpareBank 1 Gruppen on the merger between its subsidiary SpareBank 1 Forsikring and DNB Forsikring, and Aas and Kildal acted for Fortum on a voluntary offer made by Oslo Municipality for all shares in Hafslund.

The 'extremely service-minded' practice at¬†Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS¬†is 'effective, expedient and energetic' and 'knows exactly what its clients need'. The group is recognised for its expertise in the technology, energy, oil, offshore, real estate and private equity sectors; it counts Telenor, Axactor and Equinor (formerly Statoil) as clients. It also recently assisted BlackRock with its acquisition of the Guleslettene wind farm and advised FSN Capital on its acquisition of a majority stake in M√łrenot.¬†Kjetil Hardeng¬†and¬†Bj√łrn Olav Torpp¬†jointly lead the department, which also includes the 'dynamic and pragmatic'¬†Preben Brecke, who is 'a safe pair of hands on any issue'.¬†Arne Byberg¬†joined from an in-house position and¬†Andreas Vik¬†made partner in 2018.

Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS' private equity-focused practice fields 'a highly professional M&A team, which stands out as being service-minded, available, efficient and solution-oriented'. Team head Camilla Magnus is 'excellent and reliable', Ingar Solheim has 'a strong understanding of the legal, strategic, financial and commercial aspects of a transaction', Are Herrem is the key name for private equity funds, and Robert Sveen is 'highly impressive'. Recent highlights include assisting 15 independent savings banks with their establishment of Balder Betaling and its subsequent acquisition of a 12% stake in Vipps, and acting for Brookfield Business Partners on its acquisition of a majority stake in Teekay Offshore Partners.

Christoffer Bjerknes¬†heads the practice at¬†Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig, which excels in the TMT, maritime and offshore sectors. Clients include Telia Company, which it acted for on its acquisition of Get and TDC Norway; Franz Haniel & Cie, which it assisted with its purchase of Optimar from Credo Partners; and Hilti, which it advised on its acquisition of √ėgl√¶nd Group Holding and its subsidiaries. Other examples include Statkraft, Tesla Motors and Bank Norwegian.¬†Henning √ėvreb√ł¬†is the key name for restructurings and reorganisations, and¬†Mathias Teir¬†joined from¬†Advokatfirmaet Schj√łdt AS¬†in 2018.

DLA Piper's practice has 'a hands-on and pragmatic approach' and includes managing partner Kaare Oftedal, who is 'effective, exceptionally service minded and confident enough to ask the extra questions other legal counsels might not dare', practice head Sveinung Mjaugedal, Fredrik Lykke and private equity expert Christian Fenner. The group assisted QuMei Home Furnishing Group and Huatai Zijin Investment with its public tender offer for Ekornes, and acted for Urbaser on its acquisition of RenoNorden. Stan Stewart joined from Baker McKenzie LLP.

Advokatfirmaet Grette AS focuses on mid-market transactions, particularly those involving clients in the technology, life sciences, financial services, energy, shipping and construction sectors. In a recent highlight, head of corporate M&A Thomas J. Fjell and Andreas O Myrstad advised Hove Medical Systems on its sale to PatientSky. Other key names include head of corporate and finance Karl Rosén, private equity and venture capital specialist Thomas Alnæs and Roland Mörsdorf, who heads the firm's German desk.

With a strong base in Stavanger,¬†Kluge Advokatfirma AS' practice is led by¬†Per Kristian Ramsland¬†and counts¬†Snorre Haukali¬†and¬†Thomas Abrahamsen¬†as key practitioners, while¬†Frode Olsen¬†and¬†Stig Even Jakobsen¬†are the contacts in Oslo. The department focuses on the oil and energy, construction, real estate and public sectors; it recently advised √ėgl√¶nd System Group on its sale to Hilti, assisted Techinvent with its sale to Yokogawa Electric and handled Odfjell Drilling's sale of its shares in Robotic Drilling Systems to Nabors Industries.

Kvale Advokatfirma DA¬†has core strengths in the technology, energy and natural resources, life sciences and shipping sectors and clients include Aventron and Danske Bank.¬†Yngve Bustnesli¬†and¬†Marius L Andresen¬†assisted Dong Energy (now √ėrsted) with the divestment of its oil and gas division to Ineos,¬†Thomas S Farhang¬†advised Telia on its NOK2.3bn acquisition of Phonero, and Bustnesli and¬†Trygve Norum¬†acted for¬†Kerogen Capital¬†on its acquisition of Norwegian Continental Shelf assets from Tullow Oil.¬†Jostein Moen¬†leads the group and¬†Susanne Schneider¬†is also a name to note.

SANDS¬†is 'an all-round robust outfit with highly experienced partners' including practice head¬†Anne Kj√łlseth Ekerholt, who joined from¬†Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS;¬†Terje Gulbrandsen, who is 'pleasant to work with and is strong at the intersection of legal and financial work';¬†Sverre Tysland, who is recognised for his corporate governance expertise; and healthcare-focused¬†Erik Lind. Lind recently advised Ambea Norge on four separate acquisitions in the healthcare space and assisted Arcus with two trade mark acquisitions.

Advokatfirmaet Ræder AS 'gets deals done effectively and efficiently', has 'excellent international reach for a firm of its size', and ensures clients receive 'hands-on and personalised partner attention'. Team head Carl Garmann Clausen is 'a very approachable and wise individual, who provides commercial and considered advice'; he recently acted for Thin Film Electronics on an asset sale to Xerox. Other key practitioners include contract specialist Carl Arthur Christiansen, technology sector expert Morten Opstad and Erik Salbu Aasland.

Frank Aase¬†leads the practice at¬†Br√¶khus Advokatfirma DA, which also includes cross-border expert and newly promoted partner¬†Christoph Morck,¬†John Sveinsvold, contract specialist Johan M√łlbach-Thellefsen¬†and managing partner¬†Stein E Hove. Clients include Capgemini Norge and BPW Hofstad; Morck recently advised the latter on its purchase of and subsequent merger with Trailer-Tec.

Bull & Co Advokatfirma AS¬†combines 'good business understanding with great experience' and fields a team with 'a¬†goal-oriented approach, high competence levels and quick response times' led by technology and IP expert¬†Bjarte Bogstad. Clients also praise¬†Erlend Balsvik¬†as 'a very analytical individual, who has a great ability to simplify the key issues and drive discussions towards a conclusion'; he recently joined from Advokatfirmaet F√łyen Torkildsen AS. Recent highlights include¬†Saloume Djoudat¬†advising YX Norge on the sale of its bulk business to Preem and¬†Eivind Bergo-Eriksen¬†assisting Coor Service Management with its acquisition of West Facility Management.

Deloitte Advokatfirma AS' expertise spans corporate reorganisations, M&A and restructurings with notable experience in transactions involving multiple jurisdictions. Mari Wetlesen heads the group; she recently advised Apax Partners France on the Norwegian elements of its acquisition of OmniAccess and assisted Optin Bank with its establishment of a new private consumer bank in Norway focusing on e-commerce financing services. Haavard Tangen leads the Bergen-based team and Geir Melby is the key name in Stavanger.

With notable corporate commercial strength,¬†Advokatfirmaet F√łyen Torkildsen AS' practice handles SME restructurings and mid-market transactions, corporate governance work, shareholders' agreements, joint ventures, tax issues and competition-related mandates.¬†Harald Evensen¬†heads the team, which also includes tax experts¬†Marianne Killengreen¬†and senior lawyer¬†Harald Christensen; Christensen assisted Sn√łhetta with a corporate restructuring.¬†Erlend Balsvik¬†joined¬†Bull & Co Advokatfirma AS.

Advokatfirmaet Hjort's department is led by¬†Rolf Trolle Andersen, whose expertise encompasses traditional corporate law, contract issues, regulatory matters and liability work.¬†Other key names include¬†J√łrn Uggerud,¬†Morten Fjermeros,¬†Sigve Braaten¬†and¬†Liv Aandal. The group has notable expertise in the energy and real estate sectors; it recently assisted Gassnova with the reorganisation of a carbon capture test facility and advised Metallco Holding on multiple acquisitions. Agder Energi, Space Norway and Telenor are also clients.

Advokatfirmaet PricewaterhouseCoopers AS focuses on mid-market transactions and leverages its global network to assist with cross-border matters. Andreas Dypvik leads the department, which also includes Bård Koppang in Stavanger, who handles corporate transactions and restructurings in the oil service, real estate and technology sectors; Stavanger-based oil and gas sector specialist Kjell Richard Manskow, and Lene Sakariassen, who leads the business law department in Oslo.

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