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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 > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals: Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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With 'impressive, first-class, professional competencies', Arntzen de Besche is 'in a class of its own'  and has 'deep insight into the legal issues at hand and an in-depth knowledge of its clients' industries' alongside an ability to provide 'access to every resource at short notice'. Key sector expertise for the group encompasses the aviation, energy, public, media and construction sectors. Recent highlights include advising Scandinavian Airlines Systems on multiple issues including union negotiations, assisting TV2 with the employment aspects of its restructuring and downsizing, and acting for DCC Energy on its acquisition of Esso Norge's retail petrol station network. Håvard Sandnes leads the team, Tron Dalheim is 'undoubtedly one of the absolute best lawyers in the field', Knut-Marius Sture 'solves problems quickly', Lars Holo handles contentious work and Sven Iver Steen focuses on pensions law. Frode Martin Toftevåg joined from Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS in 2019.

Clients give¬†BAHR¬†the 'utmost positive feedback' and single out¬†Geir Mikalsen¬†as 'a truly dedicated partner who goes above and beyond and shows a deep understanding of his clients and their work'. Other key names include practice head¬†Tarjei Thorkildsen, pensions expert¬†Peter Hammerich¬†and¬†B√łrre Sofus Arnet, who primarily advises private equity houses. Recent work includes Norwegian Air Shuttle, which the team represented in the Supreme Court in a dispute relating to the employment status of its cabin crew; Norsk Industri, which it acted for in a dispute regarding whether its internal age limit of 67 is classed as age discrimination; and Norconsult, for which it handled a legal challenge following amendments to its pension scheme.

As 'one of Norway's leading firms', Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS has 'a professional and effective approach' thanks to 'a solution-oriented team, which is smart, creative and experienced' and 'handpicked for each problem so problems can be easily solved'. Clients single out group head Lars Kokkvold, who is 'an outstanding lawyer, who is dedicated to finding the right solutions', 'perfect partner' Pål Kvernaas, Sten Foyn, who 'really takes his client's needs seriously', and Gaute Krokann, who is 'proactive in his approach and provides excellent strategic and tactical input'. Erik Davidsen and Kari Gimmingsrud are also names to note. The team handles the full spectrum of employment law advice and recently assisted Telenor with a reorganisation, transfer of undertakings and outsourcing issues. Other clients include Randstad, Equinor (formerly Statoil) and Tieto.

Advokatfirmaet Hjort¬†handles the full spectrum of employment law issues with notable expertise in contentious work. It recently defended Petrus in a claim pertaining to alleged damages based on a breach of a non-compete agreement by a former employee following the company's purchase of Hotel Alstor, acted for the Norwegian Nurse Association in a claim against the municipality of Oslo alleging that its refusal to pay pensions for work performed by part-time nurses that exceeded their fixed working hours was a breach of the Gender Equality Act, and represented Boreal Sj√ł in a case against Finnmark County municipality relating to the costs for public defined benefit plans.¬†Einar Engh¬†leads the department, which also includes¬†Alex Borch,¬†Claude Lenth,¬†Anne Marie Due¬†and¬†Jarl Borgvin D√łrre¬†as key practitioners.

Wiersholm¬†is recognised for its expertise in complex employment work, with notable experience in contentious issues, transfers of undertakings and workforce reorganisations. Recent mandates include acting for CHC Helikopter Service in the Supreme Court in a dispute relating to the validity of several dismissals following a redundancy process and the application of seniority, representing Skolelederforbundet in a claim relating to whether the union has the right to bargain collectively to establish specific provisions for its members, and defending Lorentzen & Stemoco in claim for bonus payments brought by a former employee. Litigator Jan Fougner¬†leads the department, which also includes Eli Aasheim¬†and newly promoted partner Christel S√łreide.

As 'a renowned firm with a proven track record' in the oil and gas sector, Kluge Advokatfirma AS fields 'a highly professional team, which always seeks to find the optimal solution'. The group is led by Marco Lilli in Oslo, Johan Krabbe-Knudsen in Stavanger and Nina Gundersen Sandnes in Bergen; Anders Stenbrenden, who is 'an honest, calm and knowledgeable individual', is also noted. The group's client roster includes Neptune Energy, which it assisted with the employment aspects of its acquisition of VNG Norge; MRC Global Norway, which it advised on a major downsizing; and CHC Helikopter Services, which it acted for on the outsourcing of its ground handling operations.

Advokatfirmaet Schj√łdt AS' department 'acts very professionally in all aspects of the job' and fields 'knowledgeable and experienced practitioners' who are 'easy to work with and quickly sort out the essentials'. Practice head Martin Jetlund¬†receives praise for his 'excellent teamwork, in-depth knowledge of the field and prompt responses',¬†Magnus L√ľtken¬†'provides good, practical advice', Trond Stang¬†is 'excellent'¬†and associate Marie Hagberg¬†'goes the extra mile to understand all the facts in a matter'. The group has notable expertise in the oil and gas, technology and media industries; it recently acted for Apply S√łrco in litigation relating to a collective salary reduction and advised Spirit Energy on a downsizing process.

Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS' 'highly capable and dedicated' team is 'available 24/7' with¬†'strong strategic skills' and¬†handles the full spectrum of employment work including pensions work, investigations and compliance issues. In a recent highlight, the team assisted Ekornes with the employment aspects of its sale to QuMei Home Furnishing Group; other mandates include advising CGI Norge on its purchase of Affecto and acting for Azets on its acquisiton of several portfolios from Visma and Bluegarden. Andr√© Istad Johansen¬†leads the practice and Hans J√łrgen Bender¬†specialises in non-compete and non-solicit work, management incentives and whisteblowing issues.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig's team has 'diverse knowledge across employment law and closely related matters and works seamlessly' to 'identify the relevant questions for specific needs and communicate them in a clear and understandable way'. Team head Lill Egeland is 'a true specialist and a valuable sparring partner in difficult cases'; she recently advised Aebi Schmidt on the employment aspects of the closure of its Norwegian production and assisted Norwegian Air Shuttle with its election of employee board members. Litigator Per Arne Damm defended Fredrikstad Kommune in a whistleblowing case involving allegations of retaliation and senior attorney Trond Erik Kvalsnes advised Orona on a strike action.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS' 'knowledgeable' practice is led by Stein Kimsås-Otterbech and Trond Hatland is the key contact in the Bergen office; Kimsås-Otterbech is recognised for his expertise in senior management issues and cases involving reputational risk and Hatland focuses on contentious work, particularly in the shipping and oil and gas sectors. Recent highlights include advising Bama Gruppen on working time issues, transfers of undertakings, collective bargaining agreements and employee terminations; assisting Boliden Odda with gender equality issues and employee termination-related litigation, and acting for Tidal in a dispute brought by an employee following their redundancy.

Wikborg Rein's 'highly professional, efficient, supportive, knowledgeable and trustworthy' practice provides 'solid and competent¬†advice' across employment law.¬†Jan L Backer¬†leads the group and is a key name for executive terminations; other noteworthy names include deputy head¬†Simen Lium, who has 'a solution-oriented approach and is always extremely well prepared', and Bergen-based¬†Fredrik Gisholt, who handles employment disputes. Backer recently represented S√łrlandet Sykehus in an age discrimination case and Lium acted for Nettbuss in unfair dismissal proceedings brought by a former bus driver.

Fielding 'a highly competent team',¬†Deloitte Advokatfirma AS' practice includes 'excellent' group head¬†Gro Forsdal Helvik,¬†Thomas Tal√©n, who 'has a good combination of responsiveness, knowledge and empathy', and director¬†Bj√łrn Ofstad, who is the key name for privacy work. The department has notable strength in cross-border restructurings, terminations, employment contracts, investigations and pensions issues.

DLA Piper 'goes above and beyond for its clients' and has 'a professionalism, attitude and thoroughness that makes it very trustworthy'. Practice head Per Benonisen 'brings a wealth of experience to every matter he works on'; he recently advised Spotify on its employment contracts and assisted Discovery Networks Norway with its reorganisation. Other key names include associate partner Gunn Kristin Olimstad and lead lawyer Kaja Kaarby, who has 'a 360 degree approach to matters and provides outstanding advice'.

Advokatfirmaet F√łyen Torkildsen AS' 'solid base in the market' allows for 'a fast and reliable service paired with good industry knowledge and excellent communication skills' and the group is led by the 'patient and professional'¬†Preben Haugmoen Mo. The team acts on the full range of employment work; senior lawyer¬†Marianne Klausen¬†advised the Norwegian Opera and Ballet on all its employment work and¬†Lars Skotvedt¬†assisted Gresvig with several downsizings and employee terminations. Clients praise¬†Anniken Astrup¬†as 'responsive, efficient and pleasant to work with'.

Advokatfirmaet Grette AS¬†is a key name in the market for employment disputes, particularly those involving collective employment law; it recently represented the Norwegian Medical Association in a matter relating to the validity of a collective wage agreement. Other work includes advising National Oilwell Varco Norway on its downsizing and restructuring, and assisting Evry Norge with a downsizing and related litigation.¬†Jens Kristian Johansen¬†leads the group, which also includes¬†Christopher Hansteen¬†and¬†Sigurd-√ėyvind Kambestad.

Employment boutique¬†Homble Olsby advokatfirma AS¬†is 'brilliant in all aspects' thanks to its 'personal and¬†professional' team, which includes¬†Runar Homble, who 'clearly understands¬†his clients' needs';¬†Ole Kristian Olsby,¬†Tore Lerheim, who 'presents his professional judgement efficiently and convincingly', and 'stand-out lawyer'¬†Trond Erik Solheim. The team represented the Policemen's Association in multiple disputes relating to whether time travelling to work can count as working hours; Elkj√łp Nordic, Parat and Apokus are also clients.

Kvale Advokatfirma DA's 'solution-oriented' department recently acted for Bravida in the Gulating Appeal Court in a matter pertaining to the importance of the seniority principle in downsizings, advised the Norwegian Federation of Engineers on issues relating to collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts as well as a variety of discrimination issues, and assisted Top Temp with issues surrounding the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. Nicolay Skarning heads the practice and Jan-Erik Sverre focuses on contentious work.

SANDS' team provides 'professional advice that clients know they can rely on' across employment disputes and investigations, workforce reductions and matters in the energy and natural resources sectors. Torkel Tveit leads the department, which also includes Henning Heitmann, Espen Johannessen and Per Ragnar Bronken; Bronken recently represented Menzies Aviation Norway in a dispute relating to a dismissal during a probation period.

At boutique labour law firm¬†Advokatfirmaet Storeng, Beck & Due Lund (SBDL) DA,¬†Kari Bergeius Andersen¬†attracts praise as 'a service-minded and always available individual' and¬†Anne-Lise Henriette Rolland¬†is 'a very skilled and dedicated professional'. Other key names include managing partner and group head¬†Erik R√•d Herlofsen,¬†Nils H Storeng,¬†Arve Due Lund,¬†Arvid R √ėdeg√•rd¬†and¬†Terje Gerhard Andersen. The team advises national and international businesses, unions, government departments, municipalities and individuals.

Key areas of expertise for Brækhus Advokatfirma DA, which 'helps companies in difficult legal situations', include collective labour law issues, contracts, disputes, discrimination and whistleblowing claims and investigations. Department head Eirin Simonsen focuses on employer work; Eivind Arntsen, Johan Hveding and Christian Engelstad are also names to note.

Litigator¬†K√•re Bj√łrlo¬†leads the team at¬†Bull & Co Advokatfirma AS, which excels in the technology, life sciences and healthcare sectors. In a recent highlight, Bj√łrlo advised SAP Norge on its reorganisation and employee co-determination. Other noteworthy practitioners include¬†Anette Mellbye, who¬†regularly handles out-of-court settlements for senior executives, and¬†Thomas Berg Nordahl.

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Legal Developments in Norway for Employment

  • New review on pension schemes

    Questions on pensions have long had a large political focus in Norway, in connection with pension reforms such as obligatory occupational pension and changes in the National Insurance Scheme.
    - Advokatfirmaet Grette DA

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