Tax in Norway
BAHR' team of 'absolutely top-of-the-line lawyers' provides 'down-to-earth and honest advice that is clear, solid and based on realistic assumptions'. Clients single out practice head Joachim Bjerke and Frode Talmo as 'top tax practitioners who combine excellent business understanding and technical skills'; other key names include petroleum tax expert Jan Jansen, private equity-focused Peter Hammerich and real estate specialist Anne Sofie Bjørkholt. The group's client roster includes ExxonMobil Production Norway, which it acted for in a transfer pricing dispute; Shell, which it represented in a dispute relating to the application of the special duty rules on the importation of a synthetic diesel fuel; and the Norwegian Tax Appeals Board, which it defended in proceedings relating to the right to deduct input VAT on transaction costs.
Deloitte Advokatfirma AS 'focuses on the practical risk and solutions for its clients with a service that goes beyond theoretical advice', thanks to an 'efficient and hands-on team that is among the best in Norway'. Audun Frøland heads the practice, which also includes managing partner Rolf Saastad, transfer pricing group head Hans Martin Jørgensen, indirect tax leader Alexander With and employment tax expert Stig Sperre. Frøland recently assisted Strawberry Holding with the tax aspects of its transfer of ownership; Storebrand, Circle K and OSM Aviation are also clients.
EY Norway handles the full spectrum of tax issues at a local, national and global level with seven distinct service lines including indirect tax, financial services, international tax, transfer pricing, business tax, people advisory services, transaction tax and global compliance and reporting work. Øystein Arff Gulseth heads the team and focuses on indirect tax work; other noteworthy names include Øyvind Hovland, TMT expert Gjert Melsom, litigator Per Oskar Tobiassen and Aleksander Grydeland. Orkla, Aker, Norwegian and Hurtigruten are among its clients.
With 'substantial experience in tax at both a theoretical and a practical level', KPMG Norway advises on international and domestic tax issues across corporate tax, transfer pricing, VAT and indirect tax, and tax litigation. The group recently represented Marine Harvest in a dispute relating to whether a loss on a receivable in a Vietnamese group was fully tax deductible; other clients include Chevron, Glamox and Fred Olsen. Key names include managing partner Per Ivar Skinstad, transfer pricing expert Svein G. Andresen, international tax specialist Thor Leegaard, Oddgeir Kjørsvik, who handles indirect tax, and Fredrik Klebo-Espe, who focuses on M&A-related mandates.
Advokatfirmaet PricewaterhouseCoopers AS
At Advokatfirmaet PricewaterhouseCoopers AS, Pål Heggernes leads the tax group, Ståle Wangen heads the international tax practice, Trond Ingebrigtsen is the key name for VAT issues, director Morten Beck leads the transfer pricing team and Knut Ekern is head of the utilities practice. In a recent highlight, Heggernes advised EQT Infrastructure on the tax aspects of its divestment of offshore communication infrastructure provider Tampnet to 3i Infrastructure and ATP; other work included Wangen assisting Helly Hansen with its sale to Canadian Tire and Espen Qvist advising Kongsberg Gruppen on the indirect tax implications on its European business and supply chain structure.
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS has 'the skills and competences to move issues forward quickly' with expertise in corporate tax, VAT, international tax, litigation and notable strength in the energy, petroleum and shipping sectors. Practice head Finn Backer-Grøndahl primarily handles tax disputes; he recently represented PRA Group in a dispute with the Norwegian Tax Authority relating to penalty tax. Ståle R Kristiansen and Hanne Skaarberg Holen are also recommended for contentious work, Marius Holm Rynning focuses on corporate tax mandates, Espen Ommedal handles international tax issues and Bjørn Christian Lilletvedt Tovsen leads the indirect tax practice.
Wiersholm fields a team of 'technically very strong' lawyers, which includes highly regarded practice head Bettina Banoun, the 'service-minded' Andreas Bullen, who handles transfer pricing issues, 'commercial and proactive' litigator Morten Goller, and corporate tax expert Nicolay Vold. Recent highlights include acting for Equinor (previously Statoil) in a transfer pricing dispute and representing Yara International in litigation relating to final loss exceptions; other clients include Ikea, Saga Tankers, Kistefos and Caiano Fisk.
Arntzen de Besche is recognised for its expertise in the tax aspects of acquisitions and corporate restructurings particularly in the oil and gas, shipping, real estate, banking and insurance sectors. The practice recently assisted Gassco with real property tax issues relating to the Kårstå processing plant, advised Edge Petroleum on the tax elements of its establishment, and handled the tax aspects of DCC Energy's acquisition of Esso Norge's retail petrol station network. Eyvind Sandvik focuses on international tax and Rune Tjomsås Andersen is a key name for petroleum tax work. Anders Heieren joined Kluge Advokatfirma AS in 2019
Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS' expertise encompasses corporate tax, VAT and tax litigation through the experience of group head Espen Nordbø, Nils Flesland Bull and Arne Haavind respectively. Nordbø recently advised Axactor on the process of making a tax neutral change of corporate seat and tax residence, Bull represented Avinor in a case relating to whether a VAT registered enterprise can recover input VAT, and Haavind acted for the Norwegian Tax Authority in a matter connected to the valuation of IP rights.
The 'responsive, solution-oriented and pragmatic' department at Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS has 'a can-do attitude, which allows it to consistently search for solutions and alternatives' across corporate tax, VAT and tax litigation. Team leader Morten Sandli handles issues in the private equity and real estate sectors, Cecilie Amdahl focuses on corporate tax work and Trond Larsen is the key name for indirect tax matters. The team recently acted for Canica in a dispute relating to the right to deduct loss and represented Komplett Group in VAT-related litigation.
With 'excellent commercial orientation and technical skills', Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS' 'dedicated, professional and highly supportive' practice 'delivers 100% of the time' on tax litigation and transactional advice. The 'very hands-on and creative' Sverre Hveding heads the group, which also includes the 'proactive' Einar Bakko and senior lawyer Are Fagerhaug, who 'always has good solutions to complicated issues'. Bakko recently advised Nord Pool on its tax-exempt group merger and the simultaneous demerger of its power exchange operations.
Wikborg Rein's 'excellent industry knowledge' covers transactional and M&A support, real estate-related work and VAT issues, with notable experience in the offshore, shipping and petroleum sectors; clients include Gard, Aberdeen and Sevan Marine. Anders Myklebust leads the department; he recently assisted NSB with the tax aspects of the restructuring of the Norwegian rail sector, and worked with litigator Ola Haugen acting for EDF Trading in a tax dispute relating to its exit from Norway. The 'effective' Are Zachariassen and Kaare Andreas Shetelig are also active in the space.
Advokatfirmaet Grette AS saw notable growth in 2018 following the recruitment of new group head Marius Sollund from an in-house position at Evry; he focuses on corporate tax issues. Thomas Alnæs is also a name to note and recently advised Oceanteam on the tax aspects of its merger with a Dutch company. Senior attorney Kari-Ann Mosti is the key name for VAT matters, she joined the team from EY Norway in 2018.
Harboe & Co AS
At Kluge Advokatfirma AS, Frode Olsen and Amund Noss lead the tax advisory and tax litigation groups respectively. Olsen advised Akershus Fylkeskommune on the tax aspects of the structuring of the ownership of its transportation infrastructure and Noss represented Total E&P Norge in a tax dispute relating to the delayed delivery of LNG from the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Eirik Jensen retired and Anders Heieren joined from Arntzen de Besche in 2019.
SANDS 'has the skills to combine knowledge of the law generally and tax specifically' to handle global tax mandates, with notable expertise in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. In a recent highlight, Stig Nordal advised Huddly on the tax issues relating to its series A and series B funding rounds. Other key practitioners include group leader Ulf Sørdal, Ernst Ravnaas, Torgeri Fjeldskaar and John Olav Auran.
Key names at Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig include department head Christian Svensen, Alf Nielsen, Vidar Kleppe, Eldar Nesset and Tor Olaf Espeland. The group primarily handles transactional work; it recently advised Castelar Corporate Finance on the tax aspects of its acquisition of several real estate companies and assisted Aerospace Industrial Maintenance with its sale of a development project. Telia, Norwegian Air Shuttle and chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen are also clients.
Advokatfirmaet Ræder AS's 'great tax team' attracts praise for its 'hands-on service from its partners and senior lawyers', 'very quick response times' and 'specialised knowledge'. The group handles the full spectrum of tax work at a domestic and international level; it recently advised Oslo Red Cross on the cross-border tax issues associated with a property sale in Spain. The 'highly experienced' Hans Olav Hemnes leads the practice and focuses on transactional work and the 'impressive' Einar Heiberg handles tax litigation; Jan Fjellestad is also a name to note and senior lawyer Biljana Nedimovic 'stands out for her expert knowledge of VAT law'.
Brækhus Advokatfirma DA's team of 'highly competent professionals' has 'a hands-on and practical approach' with Antonio Holstad leading the tax group and Nils Eriksen heading the indirect tax team; clients praise Eriksen as 'an extremely competent and humble individual who is pragmatic, straight to the point and technically skilled'. John Spissøy is also recommended for corporate tax work. Nasdaq, Total E&P Norge, Meridian, Ubisoft and OX2 are clients.
With a focus on M&A-related work, DLA Piper leverages its global network to handle cross-border mandates; it recently advised Oso Hotwater Group on the Norwegian interest deduction limitation rules and assisted Skanska Group with various tax and VAT issues relating to real estate sales and purchases. Preben Aas leads the practice and associate partner Jonas Aartun focuses on corporate tax work, tax audits and disputes.