Arntzen de Besche is 'a leading provider' of EU and competition advice in Norway. Well known for its full-service expertise, the team covers competition work, state aid issues, merger control matters, investigations and cartel cases, and also has a significant track record in competition litigation. The practice has been notably active in assisting clients in the food and forestry industries. Svein Terje Tveit is 'very competent' in trade and distribution mandates and issues in regulated markets, Stein Ove Solberg is highly regarded for his merger control work, and procurement expert Espen I Bakken is also noted.
EU and competition in Norway
Stein Ove Solberg; Espen I Bakken; Svein Terje Tveit
‘Always available, very knowledgeable and service minded. Delivery on time and with good quality.’
‘Svein Terje Tvedt is very competent, service minded, easy and pleasant to work with, delivers practical to-the-point legal advice.’
‘They are one of the best Norwegian law firms and have competence and experience in and of the EU market as well. They are good at understanding the customers’ needs.’
‘They are a leading provider of legal advice and assistance in this area. They are a very well-known company in Norway. Espen I. Bakken and his team are skilled at adapting to each individual customer, adapting the message they bring to each individual person or to each individual need.’
Shearwater GeoServices Holding AS
The Norwegian Competition Authority
Glommen Mjøsen Skog SA
Toyota Norge AS
Widerøes Flyveselskap AS
- Assisted Shearwater with completing its strategic vessel transaction with CGG, including the takeover of five high-end seismic vessels.
- Assisted NTS ASA and Frøy AS with a 4:3 merger in the market for well boat services to the salmon industry.
- Advised Glommen Mjøsen Skog SA on a high-profile transaction and competition mandate relating to its acquisition of a controlling stake in Moelven Industrier ASA.
BAHR has a leading EU and competition practice, which is especially recognised for its merger control expertise; the team regularly acts in complex merger investigations, cross-border transactions and international merger filings. The group also handles audit and compliance issues, state aid matters and competition damages claims. Helge Stemshaug spearheads the department and is singled out for her strong knowledge of economics; the team also recently recruited an economist. Beret Sundet stands out for her M&A and competition work in the pharmaceuticals and biotech sectors.
Other key lawyers:
‘Beret Sundet is surely among the elite of Norwegian lawyers within competition and anti-trust law. She is excellent in providing clear advice and her capabilities extend far beyond that of Norwegian law only. Having her as part of the team on cross-border transactions is indispensable for multi-national clients.’
‘Fast feedback. Very accessible. For larger questions, they always let us know when we can expect answers.’
‘Partner Beret Sundet sees the challenges and can respond and advise quickly and precisely when the need arises. She also has very good knowledge of the markets our company operates in, which of course is a great advantage.’
‘Good combination of legal and economic skill set.’
‘Very good at presenting the case.’
‘BAHR has an excellent competition team. They are always spot-on and give accurate and useful advice. They also have an economist as part of the team, which is very useful. On top of that they’ve got strong connections with other similar teams around the globe (which is also very useful as our use in these segments often includes multiple jurisdictions).’
‘Beret Sundet is always to the point. She has a lot of knowledge, and quickly captures the issues and does not spend useless time on unimportant topics. She listens to requests carefully and quickly understands what clients are asking for.’
Nordea Bank AB
Prosafe SE and Floatel International Ltd.
Gjelsten Holding/Sport 1
- Advising Prosafe and Floatel, on their proposed merger.
- Advising Nordea on the merger clearance of its acquisition of leasing and factoring provider SG Finans from Société Générale, coordinating the filing process in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
- Advising REMA 1000 on several matters, including advice in relation to price discrimination by suppliers in the groceries sector and an ongoing investigation by the Norwegian Competition Authority into the grocery sector following dawn raids in 2018.
Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig fields an established EU and competition practice with recognised professionals who notably handle takeovers, national merger filings and issues relating to breaches of the Competition Act. Jan Magne Langseth, who focuses on abuse of dominance claims, cartel investigations and EU-regulation disputes, leads the department. The team also regularly acts for public authorities, including police bodies and universities, on EU law matters, leveraging managing partner Mona Søyland's experience acting for government ministries. Karin Fløistad is well regarded for competition work; she specialises in the media and telecoms sectors and advises privately run welfare institutions.
Jan Magne Langseth
Other key lawyers:
Mona Søyland; Karin Fløistad
‘The team has an extraordinarily easy-go-to culture with rapid, thoughtful and constructive feedback.’
‘Jan Magne is unique and one of the best competition lawyers in Norway.’
‘Jan Magne Langseth – outstanding competition lawyer who always delivers solid advice in a timely manner. He is always available, fast, pragmatic and delivers excellent competition law advice.’
‘The team is versatile with a broad set of skills. Very efficient and service minded.’
‘Jan Magne Langeseth is without doubt the expert in the industry in Norway. He is excellent both on the legal side and on the public affairs side.’
‘Very high knowledge of the Norwegian tender market and regulation. SVW are able to combine excellent legal capabilities with a business mindset and have a broad range of experts in different areas to bring in if needed.’
Yara International ASA
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA
Snusbolaget / Haypp Group
British American Tobacco
St1 (formerly Shell in Norway)
The Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries
The Ministry of Transport and Communication
The Ministry of Children and Equality
Kindred Group PLC
- Advised St1 Group on its acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail Marine, which was approved after fulfilment of the undertakings imposed in 2019.
- Acting as competition counsel to Yara, including assisting with compliance and risk analysis issues related to regulatory competition requirements across the Nordics and world-wide.
- Representing Bank Norwegian in a court case lodged against the bank in connection with Adwords advertising on the internet. The case is the first case where a Norwegian court will assess the legality of coordinating online advertising among competitors under the Competition Act.
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS' EU and competition practice is 'second-to-none' with core expertise in investigations, mergers and joint ventures, areas in which it attracts the most complex cases in the market. The team acts across various sectors, including the energy, shipping, retail and pharmaceuticals industries. 'Outstanding key individuals’ include practice co-heads Siri Teigum and Eivind J Vesterkjær, who handle merger clearance work and distribution and pricing issues respectively; and associate Heidi Jorkjend, who stands out for her expertise in complex cross-border investigations.
Siri Teigum; Eivind J Vesterkjær
Other key lawyers:
‘Second-to-none on competition law with outstanding key individuals.’
‘I work regularly with Eivind J Vesterkjær on competition law issues. Eivind is a very pleasant person to co-operate with, he has outstanding legal insight in competition law, and he works very hard to understand the facts and the commercial aspect of the matter at hand, he delivers exactly what we as the client needs from him in terms of advice.’
Gyldendal ASA, including its subsidiary Ark AS
- Representing Telenor in its application to the EFTA Court seeking annulment of the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s fining decision.
- Acting for NorgesGruppen in the investigation by the Norwegian Competition Authority of competitive conditions in the Norwegian foodstuffs sector.
- Representing DAF in the follow-up claim against truck manufacturers in Norway in the aftermath of the European Commission’s ‘Trucks’ case.
At Wiersholm, Håkon Cosma Størdal heads up the competition practice, which has knowledge of Norwegian, EU and international competition law and experience in significant merger cases, investigations and follow-on actions for damages from breaches of competition regulations. The department also includes a sub-group, focusing on state aid and EU and EEA law, which is led by public procurement expert Stephan Jervell, litigator Morten Goller and energy sector specialist Thomas Naalsund. Associate Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal stands out for her experience in cases relating to restrictive practices, abuse of dominance claims and damages actions.
Håkon Cosma Størdal
Other key lawyers:
Stephan Jervell, Morten Goller; Thomas Naalsund; Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal
‘Thomas Naalsund provides much of the legal advice in the field of state aid and competition. He is very good at identifying great resources within the firm, bringing them onboard and letting them handle much of the day-to-day work if the client is happy about it. He is still available for advice etc, but very good at delegating in a way that is efficient for the client.’
‘Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal has proved impressive in the field of state aid. What I appreciate most about Elisabeth is her ability to identify what is important from a state aid perspective and provide concrete advice that is very valuable. She is also very efficient, and always reverts quickly, also within tight deadlines. In addition she is a nice person, who always appears energetic and cheerful.’
‘Thomas Naalsund and Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal are both very professional and knowledgeable on state aid law.’
‘The team from Wiersholm has very good understanding of the energy sector, both the actors and day-to-day regulation and the changes that are happening both commercially and in the national and EU regulation. Because of their understanding and experience, they can give good advice in complex cases quickly – and with high quality.’
‘Elisabeth Lian Haugsdal has impressed us. She has very good understanding of the energy sector and is an expert on EU/EEA law.’
Bertel. O. Steen
Coop Norge SA
Hurtigruten ASA/ Hurtigruten AS
IK Investment Partners
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Telenor Norge AS
Veidekke ASA/Seby AS
Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA
Sector Alarm Holding AS
The Norwegian Heart and Lung Patient Organisation (LHL)
Santander Consumer Bank
Veidekke Entreprenør AS
Skanska Norge AS
Boreal Norge AS
Den Norske Opera og Ballett
Discovery Communications Europe Limited
Bastø Fosen AS
Viking Redningstjeneste Topco AS
Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS
Norwegian Banks’ Guarantee Fund
Braathens Regional Airlines (BRA)
Algeco Holdings B.V
- Assisted the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy with obtaining state aid approval for the funding of the construction and operation of the first full-scale industrial carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Norway and the EEA.
- Acting for Norway’s largest media company Schibsted before the Norwegian competition authority on its acquisition of Nettbil.
- Defended Widerøe Flyveselskap AS in the EFTA Surveillance Authority’s investigation regarding suspected breaches of the competition rules.
The competition team at Wikborg Rein is regularly involved in infringement cases initiated by the Norwegian Competition Authority, and recently represented Lerøy Seafood Group in an investigation for anti-competitive conduct initiated by the European Commission; deputy head Eivind Stage led the matter. Department head Mads Magnussen has core expertise in merger filings, while state aid, public procurement and EU mandates are handled by Hanne Camilla Zimmer. At associate level, Stuart Stock is singled out for his work on global competition projects.
Other key lawyers:
Hanne Camilla Zimmer; Eivind Stage; Stuart Stock
‘Exceptional availability and service level, great customer knowledge, excellent quality of partners. Pleasant people to work with.’
‘They are simply the best. They understand what the client is looking for and find good solutions.’
‘Eivind Stage is swift to provide assistance, highly skilled and therefore most recommendable. He has extensive regulatory experience and provides solid and fit for purpose advice.’
‘A strong and very experienced team that works superbly together. The team is very attentive to client needs and gets excellent case feedback. The team is good at coordinating the contributions from different advisors, acts in the best interest of the client and does not engage in destructive fights.’
‘Stuart Stock is an excellent project manager and very attentive to the interests of the client.’
‘Strong and flexible international team.’
‘Stuart Stock is a highly competent young attorney with good people skills, who leads a major global antitrust related project with very good results.’
‘Skilled team with high competence and extensive experience from relevant authorities makes their advice practical and to the point. Easy to have informal and pragmatic day-to-day discussions without ending up with extensive theoretical memos (which is tempting within this field of law). High degree of availability.’
Lerøy Seafood Group
Norwegian Ministry of Defence
- Representing Verisure in the NCA’s investigation into alleged market-sharing in the alarm market in Norway, in which the NCA has indicated an intention to levy the highest fine ever in a case of anti-competitive collusion.
- Advising Mastercard International on the notification to the NCA of its €2.85bn acquisition of parts of the business of Nets, a major provider of payments platforms and invoice payment services.
- Acting for Lerøy Seafood Group in all aspects of the ongoing European Commission investigation into suspected anti-competitive conduct in the market for Norwegian farm-raised Atlantic salmon.
Advokatfirmaet Schjødt's competition team is recognised for its activity in the M&A market, especially on merger notifications. The team is also specialised in acting in high-profile disputes for clients in the farming, food, retail and oil industries; it has experience before the national courts, the Norwegian Competition Authority, the European Commission and the European Courts in Luxembourg. Olav Kolstad and Thomas Nordby focus on competition issues and oil and gas regulation; and public procurement, energy law, and public regulations respectively, and jointly head up the practice.
Olav Kolstad; Thomas Nordby
‘Good cross-border competency.’
‘Olav Kolstad has very sound and precise probability assessment skills. Transparent communication.’
‘Extraordinary and in-depth knowledge about what is current and updated practice is highly appreciated when facing e.g. merger controls.’
Grieg Seafood ASA
Cappelen Damm AS
NEC OncoImmunity AS
Herkules Private Equity
SG Finans AS
Ocean Quality AS
Rederiforbundet (Therwegian Shipowners’ Association)
Aker Biomarine AS
Polaris Media AS
- Advised EVRY ASA on its merger with Tieto Oyj.
- Assisted Grieg Seafood with all dealings with the European Commission and the DOJ relating to alleged anti-competitive behaviour.
- Acted for Cappelen Damm in challenging a decision by the Norwegian Competition authority relating to an alleged cartel.
Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS stands out for its competition and merger control practice, which also covers investigations, advisory work, follow-on damages actions and state aid mandates. Department head Simen Klevstrand, who was promoted to partner in early 2020, is particularly recognised for his expertise in the technology and digital services sectors; he also regularly acts in cartel damages claims and investigations.
‘Haavind responds quickly, with a very good understanding of clients’ businesses. Their advice is helpful and to the point.’
‘Haavind lawyers are efficient and to the point. They show interest in understanding our business and in providing useful advice.’
‘Simen Klevstrand is extremely competent and understands his client.’
‘High degree of integration with client – more so than other similarly situated firms we have had experience with in the Norwegian market.’
‘Practical and fast, easy to work with.’
‘Simen Klevstrand is an expert in competition law, working at the level of international law firms with deep local expertise.’
‘Highly skilled lawyers who deliver truly value-added, high-quality work. Stands out compared to other top Norwegian law firms. The team is always structured, well prepared and proactive. Good value for money.’
‘Team provides practical and commercial advices supporting the client’s strategic objectives at local level.’
‘Simen Klevstrand has great availability, a good understanding of businesses in combination with competition law professionalism.’
Posten Norge AS
- Representing Posten Norge against European truck manufacturers in the first cartel damages claim pending before Norwegian courts.
- Advised Tieto, a leading Nordic IT services company, on its merger with EVRY.
- Lead counsel for a Norwegian salmon farming company in the European Commission’s ongoing cartel investigation.
Kluge Advokatfirma AS' practice covers the full range of matters from competition work to merger control issues, and has stand-out expertise in state aid work. Arne Torsten Andersen leads the team and is a widely recognised practitioner along with Bjørnar Alterskjær, who regularly acts on state aid mandates for corporations, public authorities and the Norwegian Government. Henrik Nordling is an expert in multi-jurisdictional merger filings and cartel investigations.
Arne Torsten Andersen
Other key lawyers:
Henrik Nordling; Bjørnar Alterskjær
‘Kluge is by most considered to be the best state aid law firm in Norway, and that is correct. Cases both big and small are dealt with professionally and expeditiously.’
Øglænd System Group/Oglaend System Group
Neptune Energy Group
Aleris AUB – now Stendi AS (part of Ambea Group)
Norsk Tipping AS
Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Sogn og Fjordane fylkeskommune
Norwegian Company Register
Direktoratet for forvaltning og IKT
- Assisted the Ministry of Local Government and Digitalisation with securing state aid approval for a deferral of NOK550m in payments due by Ice Communications, the third major mobile telecoms provider in Norway.
- Assisting Schibsted with the competition, regulatory and procurement aspects of certain services.
- Advising the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries on the compliance with state aid rules regarding a capital injection into Andøya Space Port, a future launch site for small satellites.
Kvale Advokatfirma DA's department is especially singled out for advising telecoms, media and technology companies, which the team assists with corporate restructuring projects, sales process and investigations, including issues relating to abuses of dominant positions. The group also has expertise in competition compliance work and public procurement mandates, and is notably active in the life sciences sector. The team is headed up by Kristin Hjelmaas Valla, who handles merger clearances, cartel issues and leniency processes; procurement and state aid law expert Robert Lund is also a key name to note.
Kristin Hjelmaas Valla
Other key lawyers:
‘They are hard working, and always give their best to answer all clients’ needs. High quality work, delivered on time.’
‘The team had unique insight on the topic in question and provided the advice and help we needed. They were a strong partner for discussions. They understood and knew the industry and the topic.’
‘Robert Lund was always easy to approach and always gave thorough advice in addition to being a good partner for discussions.’
‘Robert Lund showed a very good understanding of the assignment’s key questions. He was very attentive to the need of the client in a complex assignment. He covers both procurement law and state aid law and this gave a coherent and overall perspective on an assignment with conflicting considerations.’
‘They have shown a great ability to act very quickly and get to know the situation in a fast manner. They also show ability to understand and relate to the situation.’
‘Knowledgeable and service minded.’
‘Kristin Hjelmaas Valla stands out. Very thorough, and precise in her advice on competition law.’
‘Kristin Hjelmaas Valla has deep knowledge of competition law, which is combined with an ability to quickly grasp complicated facts in detail and a pragmatic approach.’
‘Very professional. Easy to get in touch with.’
Telia Norge (incl TDC/Get)
Vigmostad & Bjørke
Coca Cola European Partners Norge
Grønnegata 21 AS, Kirkeveien 72 AS and Mano AS
- Represented Strand Unikorn and Strand Brænderi in a private litigation, claiming damages from Hoff SA based, among other issues, on breach of competition law.
- Advising Polarcus on an antitrust matter.
- Acting for OneCo Networks (formerly Relacom) on a corporate restructuring project for the company, as well as a sales process, which resulted in the sale of all shares in Relacom (now OneCo Networks) to OneCo.
Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS demonstrates particular strength in handling complex merger control cases before the Norwegian Competition Authority and the European Commission. Practice head Ole-Andreas Torgersen also handles disputes in relation to distribution work, cartels and other competition-related issues. Karen Anne Rekkedal, who focuses on public procurement work including tender contracts, tender submissions, appeal processes and public agreement negotiations, was made partner in early 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Karen Anne Rekkedal
‘The team at Selmer has a broad knowledge of competition law and years of experience in practising the law on a variety of cases.’
‘The lawyers at Selmer are all professional and customer minded. In the competition law area, Ole-Andreas Torgersen is a highly competent, pragmatic and solution oriented lawyer. In addition to being available and service minded, he is proactive and gives information relevant to our companies and our business. His legal skills and understanding of the client’s business make his services seem even more relevant than services provided by other legal firms.’
Nordic Concrete Group / Betong Øst
- Advised Gasum Oy on its acquisition of AGA’s clean energy business and Nauticor’s marine bunkering business from Linde.
- Acted for Helgeland Sparebank and Sparebank1 Nord-Norge on a complex deal structure, involving Helgeland Sparebank’s acquisition of a bank customer portfolio from SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge, and the process of implementing Helgeland Sparebank in the SpareBank 1 alliance, including the acquisition of minority shareholdings in companies owned by the other participants of the SpareBank 1 alliance.
- Advised the Nordic Concrete Group and its joint venture company Betong Øst on the acquisition of control over the ready-mix concrete business of Betong Øst Trøndelag, in which Betong Øst already owned a non-controlling share.
DLA Piper specialises in EU and competition matters in the food, retail, construction and pharmaceuticals industries. The team, which is part of the firm's regulatory group and leverages the firm's wider Nordic and global network, includes Kjetil Haare Johansen, who has a focus on international trade and distribution mandates, intellectual property issues and M&A; and practice head Line Voldstad.
Other key lawyers:
Kjetil Haare Johansen
‘Strong competition law expertise.’
‘In particular Kjetil Johansen is indeed very competent and responsive, keeps promised time lines, provides advice that is valuable and easily understandable. Good business acumen.’
‘Kjetil Johansen and his team are proactive, solution oriented, highly competent within their field, quick in communication and response, and have an informal and agreeable attitude. In short, very recommendable.’
‘Kjetil Johansen has in-depth knowledge of competition law and practice.’
‘Excellent knowledge and experience about relevant legal issues.’
‘Professional and excellent knowledge and experience.’
‘The dedication, expertise and the absolutely extraordinary service stands the team at DLA Piper out among other law firms dealing with EU and competition in Norway.’
‘Line Voldstad: her dedication and service towards her customers is equal to none! She is extremely knowledgeable, knows her field to the absolute maximum and has a great team surrounding her which one has nothing but good things to say about.’
- Advised a large US-based food manufacturer on the seizure of evidence in a dawn raid.
- Advised OneCo in relation to merger filing obligations, timing and probability for clearance of OneCo’s acquisition of Relacom AB, as well as the risk of intervention or rejection of the transaction by the Swedish Competition Authority.
- Acted for a leading Norway-based sport retailer in relation to a complaint before the Norwegian Competition Authority regarding a dominant competitor.
Under the leadership of Odd Stemsrud, the team at Advokatfirmaet Grette AS provides EU, competition and public procurement advice to a variety of industry sectors; the team has been particularly active in the retail and pharmaceuticals industries. Recent highlights included acting in international cartel mandates and handling private enforcement matters.
‘Odd Stemsrud has impressive skills in the competition field, both as strategist and in his understanding of and working with different legal systems.’
‘Extremely responsive and knowledgeable with good industry insight.’
UK – Her Majesty’s government
Höegh Autoliners Holdings AS
The Central Norway Regional Health Authority
The Norwegian Tax Administration
Norwegian Public Roads Administration
Moelven Industrier ASA
Johnson & Johnson (Janssen-Cilag)
LFV (The Swedish Luftfartsvärket)
- Acted for Höegh Autoliners as global coordinating counsel in a maritime car carrier case.
- Acting as legal counsel for Vinmonopole, the only retail monopoly in Norway.
- Acting as adviser to the UK Government on Brexit-related matters.
Advokatfirmaet Hjort has notable expertise in competition law, state aid work and public procurement matters, and leverages its Brussels office on EU law cases relating to unfair commercial practices, criminal proceedings and market manipulation matters. The team, which is led by Monica Syrdal and Heddy Ludvigsen, stands out for its experience in abuse of dominance cases. Syrdal works with clients in the media and communications sectors, while Ludvigsen focuses on the aviation, healthcare, construction, ports and public sectors.
Monica Syrdal; Heddy Ludvigsen
- Representing an individual in the first criminal case ever to be referred to the EFTA Court.
- Acting for an individual in proceedings, which are part of the NAV case complex to be heard by the EFTA Court.
- Represented Telenor in a court case against the Government and Telia Norge AS regarding the validity of a decision by the Ministry on the prices for access to Telenor’s mobile network and the principle of non-discrimination.
SANDS' competition department is recognised for its ability to act for clients across a broad variety of public and private sectors. The team, which is led by merger control specialist Thomas Sando, is a key name in the market for entities operating in the construction, fishery and aquaculture, waste and recycling, healthcare and automotive industries.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development
- Representing CNH Industrial and its subsidiaries, Iveco and Fiat, in a NOK410m damages claim before the Norwegian courts.
- Representing Hval Sjokoladefabrikk in its complaint to the EFTA Surveillance Authority concerning the Norwegian sugar and chocolate levy.
- Advising Norsk Takst on competition law compliance as well as issues relating to government legislative processes.