Firm Profile > Wiersholm > Oslo, Norway

0115 OSLO

Banking and finance (including shipping finance) Tier 1

Wiersholm's client base encompasses domestic and international clients including Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Handelsbanken, SpareBank 1 SR-Bank and Nordea Bank. Kaare Sverdrup and Kristine Hasle Øverby jointly lead the group; Øverby is recognised for her ship finance and shipping transaction expertise and Sverdrup handles project financing, refinancing and acquisition financing mandates. Other key individuals include Ståle Gjengset, managing associate Henrik Hafstad and senior associates Petter Thomren Moltu and Pia Sporstøl, who specialise in the petroleum sector, and the shipping and real estate industries respectively. Leif Moltke-Hansen retired. Atle Gabrielsen was a new arrival from Arntzen de Besche.

Capital markets Tier 1

Wiersholm handles the full spectrum of capital markets work including derivatives, structured products and regulatory issues and has notable experience in IPOs and acting for investment banks and issuers; clients include ABG Sundal Collier, DNB Markets and Carnegie. Group co-head Tone Østensen recently acted for Borr Drilling on its private placement totalling $800m to finance its acquisition of Transocean's jack-up fleet and assisted Marine Harvest with its €200m bond issuance, and fellow co-head Sverre Sandvik advised Fjordkraft Holding and Komplett Bank on their individual IPOs. Simen Mejlænder is also a name to note.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

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 Thøgersen. Nils Thommessen moved in-house.

Construction Tier 1

As a key name in the market for construction projects, Wiersholm also excels in construction litigation and public procurement-related work. In a recent highlight, practice head Ronny Lund represented Veidekke in claims against its subcontractor Alf Brekken og Sønner relating to the construction of part of the transnational E10 highway in Lofoten. Other clients include AF Gruppen Norge, Skanska Norge, Multiconsult, Thales Norway and Equinor (previously Statoil). Helge Morten Svarva, petroleum expert Sondre Dyrland and litigator Christian Hauge are also key practitioners.

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Wiersholm 'handles big lawsuits in an impressive way' for a client roster that includes AIG Europe and IBM; the team acted for the latter in a dispute against the Norwegian Public Roads Administration relating to its cancellation of a contract for the delivery of a new IT solution for toll road payments. Other work includes representing CHC Helikopter Service in two Supreme Court cases relating to the application of seniority in redundancies and a compensation claim relating to a previous judgment relating to its compulsory retirement age, and acting for AF Gruppen Norge in a final account dispute with the municipality of Oslo regarding the construction of an underground water storage facility. Ronny Lund, the 'very skilledOlav Perland and Christian Hauge jointly lead the group, which also includes public procurement expert Morten Goller and the highly regarded Magnus Hellesylt.

Electricity and renewable energy Tier 1

Inge Ekker Bartnes and Jon Rabben jointly lead the practice at Wiersholm, which handles issues across the full spectrum of the electricity, renewables and infrastructure sectors including regulatory matters, restructurings and project financings. Clients include Nord-Trøndelag Electrisitetsverk Holding, which Bartnes assisted with its restructuring process; Norsk Hydro, which Rabben advised on its investment in Njordr; and Statnett, which Stephan L Jervell defended in a claim relating to a tender process. The Hafslund Group and TrønderEnergi are other clients. Contract specialist Helge Morten Svarva and environmental law expert Thomas Skjelbred are also key names to note.

Employment Tier 1

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 Søreide.

EU and competition Tier 1

Wiersholm 'has unique expertise in the field' and 'always takes a business approach to legal issues' under the leadership of Håkon Cosma Størdal for competition and antitrust work and managing partner Morten Goller for public procurement mandates. The firm's practice comprises four areas: M&A work, antitrust, public procurement issues and state aid, and EU and EEA law. Recent highlights include assisting Widerøe's Flyveselskap with an antitrust investigation and abuse of dominance issues relating to its refusal to supply a competitor with equipment, acting for Sector Alarm on the competition aspects of its proposed acquisition of Prevent 360, and advising Hurtigruten on the public procurement and state aid elements of its successful tender for a new coastal agreement. Vipps, Coop Norge and Telenor are also clients. Stephan L Jervell is 'a very experienced lawyer with a key understanding of his clients' commercial and competitive position in the market', and Thomas G Naalsund is a key name for EU and EEA law, state aid matters and public procurement work.

Insurance Tier 1

With 'a strong regulatory sense and practical understanding of the insurance sector', clients praise Wiersholm as 'among the best in the field'. The department assists with non-marine insurance, marine insurance and regulatory mandates, with recent examples including its defence of CHC Helikopter Service in claims relating to a helicopter accident in Bergen and acting for AIG as liability insurer in claims relating to the bankruptcy of Terra Securities. Team head Hans Kenneth Viga-Gerhardsen 'has good insight into the industry and how it operates', Erik Blaker has 'valuable strategic capabilities', and Kjersti Trøbråten is a key name for regulatory work.

Intellectual property Tier 1

Wiersholm handles the full spectrum of IP issues with notable expertise in the media, retail and technology industries. Key names in the group include broadcast, media and sport sector expert Hans Erik JohnsenRune Opdahl, who handles copyright, patent and trade mark issues; and litigator Magnus Hellesylt. Recent highlights include Opdahl acting for Telenor in the Norwegian Appeal Court in a copyright issue relating to access to IP addresses as evidence for copyright infringement, Opdahl and Hellesylt representing PetroMarker in a copyright infringement dispute against ORG Geophysical, and Johnsen defending Orkla in a case in which a competitor alleges that Orkla's marketing campaign breaches the prohibition against unlawful comparative advertisement. Visma, Monster and Schibsted Media are also clients.

Maritime law Tier 1

Wiersholm is 'efficient and experienced when it comes to shipping transactions' and 'provides sound and professional advice' to a client base of ship owners, rig owners, shipping banks, financial advisers and service companies; examples include Hurtigruten, Siem Industries and Golden Ocean Group. Karl Even Rygh and Kristine Hasle Øverby jointly lead the group; Øverby recently assisted Ship Finance International with its acquisition of four container vessels on long-term charters and advised Hurtigruten on a bond issuance to repurchase and upgrade two vessels. Christian Hauge focuses on contentious work and Erik Blaker handles insurance-related matters. Atle Gabrielsen was a new arrival from Arntzen de Besche.

Oil and gas Tier 1

Wiersholm handles the full spectrum of transactional, contentious and regulatory matters for a client roster including ConocoPhillips and Equinor (formerly Statoil); the group is representing the latter in a dispute relating to a cancelled contract. Other recent mandates include assisting VNG with the sale of its subsidiary, VNG Norge, to Neptune Energy Norge; advising on the combination of Bayerngas Norge and the North Sea exploration and production (E&P) business of Centrica to create Spirit Energy; and acting for the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy on a carbon capture and storage project. Sondre Dyrland leads the department and regularly handles petroleum and contract law issues; Jon RabbenKristian Martin Lund and Thomas Naalsund are also key names to note.

Real estate Tier 1

Wiersholm 'outperforms most other teams by a clear margin' and 'meets the needs of its clients and delivers in a constructive, timely and to-the-point manner' thanks to 'a very dedicated team, which provides the best legal advice in a professional way'. Tom Rune Lian and Ståle Meleng jointly lead the practice; Lian recently advised Deka Immobilien on its acquisition of the SPV that holds the Cort Adelers Gate 33, a combined new-build and renovated property in Oslo, and Meleng assisted Værste with a combined shopping centre and housing development project in Fredrikstad.

Tax Tier 1

Wiersholm fields a team of 'technically very strong' lawyers, which includes highly regarded practice head Bettina Banoun, the 'service-mindedAndreas 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.

TMT Tier 1

Recent highlights for Wiersholm's TMT group include acting for Telenor in a Supreme Court dispute relating to subscriber data and illegal file sharing, representing IBM in an IT contract dispute against the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, and advising MBL (the organisation for media enterprises) on issues relating to Norwegian media houses and their ad-tech and data privacy discussions with Google and the Norwegian Data Protection Authority. Key practitioners include Hans Erik JohnsenRune Opdahl, who specialises in IT, data protection, media and ecommerce work for clients in the media and technology sectors, Kai Thøgersen and litigator Magnus Hellesylt. IT and technology contract specialist and senior associate Theresa Schumacher Walberg is also a name to note.

Fishing and aquaculture Tier 2

Nicolas Brun-Lie leads the practice at Wiersholm, which is noted for its transactional strength; Jarle Kvam advised Kverva Technology on its acquisition of 20% of the shares of Patogen Holding, a fish health company, and assisted Insula with its acquisitions of Nordic Group and Båtsfjordbruket. Other clients include Marine Harvest, Salmar, Milarex, Summa Equity and Lumarine. Tone ØstensenGunhild Dugstad and senior associate Svein-Helge Hanken are also active in the space.

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Ståle Gjengset heads the department at Wiersholm, which focuses on restructuring work at a national and international level with substantial experience in shipping and offshore matters. In a recent highlight, Gjengset assisted Nordic Trustee with a bond restructuring; other mandates include Sverre Sandvik advising Viking Supply Ships and its subsidiaries on its restructuring, and Kristine Hasle Øverby acting for Archer on the restructuring of its credit facilities. Kaare Sverdrup is a key name for insolvency work and financing issues. Leif Moltke-Hansen retired. Atle Gabrielsen was a new arrival from Arntzen de Besche.

Offshore construction and shipbuilding Tier 2

Wiersholm excels in the offshore construction space, particularly contentious mandates; it recently defended DNV in a claim brought by Grieg relating to defective rudders for new-build ships. Hurtigruten, Avance Gas and Golden Ocean Group are also clients. Litigator Helge Morten Svarva leads the department, which also counts Christian Hauge, contract specialist Ronny Lund and Karl Even Rygh, who joined from an in-house position in 2018, as key practitioners. Erling Lind and Lynne Skajaa joined Ro Sommernes Advokatfirma DA in 2018.

Wiersholm is an internationally oriented firm of lawyers, dedicated to covering the needs of the business community for strategic advice on business law, operational legal assistance and legal proceedings. The firm’s services are based on top legal competence combined with efficiency and understanding of how business works. 180 lawyers and 50 other employees work in a focused and determined way to perform beyond the client’s expectations.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance (including shipping finance) Kristine Hasle Øverby
Commercial, Corporate and M&A Harald Hellebust
Dispute resolution Ronny Lund
EU and competition Håkon Cosma Størdal
Electricity and renewable energy Inge E Bartnes
Employment Eli Aasheim
Insolvency and corporate responsibilities Ståle Gjengset
Intellectual property Rune Opdahl
Maritime law and offshore constructions Karl Even Rygh
Oil and gas Stephan L Jervell
Real estate and construction Tom Rune Lian
Securities and stock exchange Tone Østensen
TMT Hans Erik Johnsen
Tax Bettina Banoun
Fishing and aquaculture Tone Østensen
Insurance Hans Kenneth Viga-Gerhardsen
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Eli Aasheim  photo Ms Eli Aasheim
Ms Bettina Banoun  photo Ms Bettina Banoun
Mr Erik Blaker  photo Mr Erik Blaker
Mr Andreas Bullen  photo Mr Andreas Bullen
Mr Håkon Cosma Størdal  photo Mr Håkon Cosma Størdal
Ms Gunhild Dugstad  photo Ms Gunhild Dugstad
Mr Sondre Dyrland  photo Mr Sondre Dyrland
Mr Inge Ekker Bartnes  photo Mr Inge Ekker Bartnes
 Georg Abusdal Engebretsen  photo Georg Abusdal Engebretsen
Mr Jan Fougner  photo Mr Jan Fougner
 Atle Gabrielsen photo Atle Gabrielsen
Mr Ståle Gjengset  photo Mr Ståle Gjengset
Mr Morten Goller  photo Mr Morten Goller
Mr Christian Hauge  photo Mr Christian Hauge
Mr Harald Hellebust  photo Mr Harald Hellebust
Mr Magnus Hellesylt  photo Mr Magnus Hellesylt
Mr Stephan L Jervell  photo Mr Stephan L Jervell
Mr Hans Erik Johnsen  photo Mr Hans Erik Johnsen
Mr Jarle Kvam  photo Mr Jarle Kvam
Mr Tom Rune Lian  photo Mr Tom Rune Lian
Mr Ronny Lund  photo Mr Ronny Lund
Mr Simen Mejlænder  photo Mr Simen Mejlænder
Mr Andreas Mellbye  photo Mr Andreas Mellbye
Mr Thomas G Naalsund  photo Mr Thomas G Naalsund
Mr Rune Opdahl  photo Mr Rune Opdahl
 Hans Augun Parmann  photo Hans Augun Parmann
Mr Olav Fr Perland  photo Mr Olav Fr Perland
 Ingjerd Røynås  photo Ingjerd Røynås
 Karl Even Rygh photo Karl Even Rygh
Ms Christel Søreide  photo Ms Christel Søreide
Mr Sverre Sandvik  photo Mr Sverre Sandvik
Mr Helge Morten Svarva  photo Mr Helge Morten Svarva
Mr Kaare P Sverdrup  photo Mr Kaare P Sverdrup
Mr Kai Thøgersen  photo Mr Kai Thøgersen
Ms Kjersti T Trøbråten  photo Ms Kjersti T Trøbråten
Mr Hans Kenneth Viga-Gerhardsen  photo Mr Hans Kenneth Viga-Gerhardsen
Mr Nicolay Vold  photo Mr Nicolay Vold
Mr Harald Willumsen  photo Mr Harald Willumsen
Ms Tone Østensen  photo Ms Tone Østensen
Number of lawyers : 180
and the Scandinavian languages
IBA (International Bar Association)
Norwegian Bar Association
Chair : Kjersti Trøbråten
Managing partner : Morten Goller

Wiersholm | Recruitment, diversity and inclusion

We consider the diversity of our employees to be one of our firm’s most important assets. The unique experiences each person brings to the firm, allow us to better serve our clients. Also, seeing our differences as strengths gives us a better understanding of one another as human beings.

This contributes to our working environment. We have fun together and appreciate spending time with each other in social settings. In October, we even won the “most prestigious trophies of the business”, when both our male and female football-team kicked all contestants off the field in the annual Lawyer’s Cup.

Brief Facts

  • 59% of our employees are female and 52% of our associates are female.
  • Six of our seven female partners were recruited from within the company. Our lawyers come from 10 different countries, speaking 14 different languages. We have lawyers licensed to practice in the UK, Denmark and Sweden.


  • Mino.jur: Wiersholm has a strong collaboration with Mino.jur, a student-run organisation for minorities at the faculty of law. The aim of the organisation is to create networks and contacts among minorities, and contribute to their professional development. We hope the initiative will attract to our company more legal talent that have a minority background.
  • Female forum: In March, we invited a select group of Norwegian business women to the first annual female forum. Our aim is to create an informal network where we can discuss current events and developments, and also to be inspired by some amazing women. Keynote speaker in 2017 was Jeanette Dyhre Kvisvik – one of Norway’s most exciting entrepreneurs. Together with Alexa Chung, she founded the e-commerce company Villoid.
  • Other initiatives: We also participated in the #itshertreat campaign in August, organised by the non-profit organization #shesgotit, addressing unconscious bias and gender stereotypes. We always support and encourage those who make an effort to build a better future.

Wiersholm | Pro Bono and CSR

We acknowledge our duty to the society we are a part of – as individuals – and all of us together as Wiersholm.

It is the duty of lawyers “to promote justice and to prevent injustice”; this very pledge is an expression of the presence of an inherent social responsibility.

As a business, we base ourselves on paying clients. However, not everyone is able to buy first-rate legal advice. This is why we would like to give something back to organisations in need of our assistance, of which our cooperation with the Norwegian Organisation for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) is a good example. Since 2012, Wiersholm has assisted NOAS in the judicial review of asylum cases and in so doing worked to ensure the legal protection of asylum seekers.

Key figures

  • 13 218 hours spent on pro bono work
  • 101 lawyers, accounting for
  • 55% of the legal staff, have worked on pro bono cases (in the last three years)