Firm Profile > SANDS > Oslo, Norway

0254 OSLO

Banking and finance (including shipping finance) Tier 2

Ylva Cornelia Axelsen heads up the banking and finance practice at SANDS, leveraging her considerable expertise in the shipping, offshore, oil services and cruise industries. In addition to its strong reputation in the maritime sector, the team has significant experience in real estate financing work; other key areas of work include loan transactions, trading agreements, investment products and treasury transactions, as well as financial services regulatory mandates. The group also has a niche in advisory work covering projects and investments into Africa.

Practice head(s):

Ylva Cornelia Axelsen

Other key lawyers:

Stein Hegdal; Marit Kirkhusmo; Oddbjorn Slinning

Key clients

Wallenius Wilhelmsen


Sparebanken Møre

SpareBank 1 SMN

ING Capital

Macquarie Bank

ABN Amro Capital USA

Fearnleys Business Management and Angelo Gordon

Eldon Holding

Intertrust (Norway)

Construction Tier 2

SANDS' construction team regularly advises on infrastructure projects in the  road, rail and air sectors, and also handles public-private partnerships as well as contractual issues and disputes, especially in the oil and gas industry. Practice head Alf Johan Knag advises a range of key construction companies and contractors in Norway, while Geir Frøholm is singled out for his PPP,  construction, infrastructure, planning and building law expertise.

Practice head(s):

Alf Johan Knag

Other key lawyers:

Geir Frøholm


‘They are easy to get in touch with and always respond. Solution oriented and understand us.’

Key clients


Webuild (formerly Salini Impregilo)

Asplan Viak

Cloudberry Develop


Sandefjord Lufthavn

Carl C. Fon

Krüger Kaldnes

LAB Entreprenør


YIT Infra

BMO Elektro


AF Gruppen

Ålesund Municipality

Vedal Entreprenør

SV Betong

Dispute resolution Tier 2

SANDS’ practice is ‘knowledgeable and constructively critical of both risk and expectations’, handling a range of domestic and cross-border litigation for clients across the insurance, aquaculture and energy sectors; clients include Chubb, AF Gruppen and Havkraft. With 14 practitioners admitted to appear before the Supreme Court, the group is led by Morten Steenstrup and includes contractual experts Bjørn Stordrange and Morten Hugo Berger, property litigator Hege Birkeland Ersdal and offshore specialist Oddbjørn Slinning.

Practice head(s):

Morten Steenstrup

Other key lawyers:

Bjørn Stordrange; Hege Birkeland Ersdal; Morten Hugo Berger; Oddbjørn Slinning


‘Very competent, very service-minded and great negotiators, both in court and outside the court.’

‘Always well prepared, they have a strong team around them to provide input, always serious in the work they deliver. They are great negotiators in court and outside.’

‘They see the client’s needs, are knowledgeable and constructively critical of both risk and expectations.’

Key clients

CNH Industrial

Johnson Controls




AF Gruppen

Retriever Norge



Alexela Sløvåg


AKVA Group




Hybrid Minds



DB Schenker

Fishing and aquaculture Tier 2

SANDS is distinguished in the market for its focus on the catch and farming sectors, advising on the full supply chain and issues relating to supplier industries, with clients including fishtech, health, processing and sales companies and distributors. The practice's regulatory expertise is particularly highlighted, and the group also handles transactions, corporate advisory work and disputes. Department head Eirik Edvardsen advises on acquisitions, contracts and administrative sanctions across the fishing farming and aquaculture sector.

Practice head(s):

Eirik Edvardsen

Other key lawyers:

Halfdan Mellbye; Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen; Lars Alsaker


‘High knowledge in a wide range of problems related to fishing and aquaculture, and understanding of technical and biological issues related to aquaculture.’

‘Good understanding of our needs, competence and communication skills.’

‘Halfdan Mellbye has more than detailed knowledge about laws connected to fish farming, and he sees elements that other lawyers don’t see.’

Key clients

K Strømmen Holding

Romsdal Processing

Insurance Tier 2

SANDS' insurance practice acts for both policyholders and insurers in the domestic and international insurance markets, with key examples including Generali, Chubb, Frende and Protector. Team leader Christian Kjellby Nesset has notable experience in reinsurance matters and regularly acts in product development claims. Recent highlights include representing Chubb in a product liability case and acting for Moen in two shipwreck claims.

Practice head(s):

Christian Kjellby Nesset

Other key lawyers:

Guy Leonard; Marit E. Kirkhusmo; Oddbjørn Slinning

Key clients


Zurich Insurance


Schenker and Schenker Ocean


Generali PanEurope Dac

Hansard Europe Dac

Johnson Controls captive


Norwegian Insurance Partner

Frende Forsikring


Tromstrygd Gjensidig Forsikringsselskap

W. R. Berkley Insurance (Europe)

Maritime law Tier 2

SANDS has a growing market share in the shipping arena, and its team is best known for advising on matters relating to LNG carriers and regasification units, cargo and support vessels as well as offshore construction mandates. The group also handles wider corporate and M&A, banking and finance, insurance, restructuring, tax and dispute work, which is coordinated by practice head Marit Kirkhusmo. Oddbjørn Slinning's advice regularly relates to new-build and conversion projects, ship sales and purchases, and offshore installations. Guy Leonard is another key name to note for project development work.

Practice head(s):

Marit Kirkhusmo

Other key lawyers:

Oddbjørn Slinning; Guy Leonard


‘The team is highly competent and skilled with deep insight into clients’ legal issues and in-depth knowledge of their industries and companies.’

‘Unequalled availability and access to resources even on very short notice at any time. The individuals have a strong customer orientation. SANDS is a valued business partner.’

Key clients

Base Marine Norway

Bulk Loaders

DHT Holdings

P&O Maritime

Ocean Farming

AROS Marine

Höegh LNG


Stema Shipping

Kleven Verft AS

Electricity and renewable energy Tier 3

Alf Øystein Skudal heads up the practice at SANDS, which utilises its cross-practice approach to assist with energy transactions, restructurings, regulatory issues, patent work and corporate governance mandates. Skudal is noted for his expertise in the hydropower and grid sectors, while Vidar Johnsen regularly handles cross-border development projects in the solar industry and is also recommended for mandates involving contractual, infrastructure and IP elements.

Practice head(s):

Alf Øystein Skudal

Other key lawyers:

Vidar Johnsen

Key clients

Ren Røros



NTE Energi


Gudbrandsdal Energi

Dønnesfjord Vindkraft

Vento Ludens

Sandøy Energi

Aventus Green Technology



Sira-Kvina Kraftselskap


Captiva Capital

Flesberg municipality

Employment Tier 3

SANDS fields ‘an established practice for employment agreements’, which advises large domestic and international corporations from various sectors including the life sciences, retail, sports apparel and chemical industries. The team, led by Per Ragnar Bronken, regularly advises clients on restructurings and the related dismissals, and acts in contentious matters regarding senior management dismissals, pension agreements and whistleblowing matters. Henning Heitmann acts for several corporate entities in Norway, Espen Johannessen has particular experience in the energy sector, and Torkel Tveit focuses on the retail sector.

Practice head(s):

Per Ragnar Bronken

Other key lawyers:

Henning Heitmann; Espen Johannessen; Torkel Tveit


‘SANDS have a solid insight into Norwegian employment law, an established practice for employment agreements and offer an excellent overview of the cultural aspects governing the employer/employee relationship. They have a proven track record in settling disputes and work to find good settlements, before and in court.’

‘I have used the services of Henning Heitmann on two occasions, and can highly recommend his efficient and solid advice. In settling disputes, I would absolutely have him represent me versus the other side – he is analytical, sharp, efficient and a strong negotiator.’

Key clients

AstraZeneca Norway

AF Gruppen

Stryker Norway





EU and competition Tier 3

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.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Sando

Key clients

Aleris Helse

Aurland Ressursutvikling


CNH Industrial

Iveco/Iveco Magirus

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development

Norsk Takst


Intellectual property Tier 3

SANDS advises clients from the media, arts, music and entertainment industries, and the aquaculture and fisheries, technology and IT sectors on various contentious and non-contentious IP matters, including copyrights, trade marks and patents. The team, which is headed up by Katrine Malmer-Høvik, is experienced in design law, marketing issues and rules on fair business practices; it also advises on global trade mark protection work. Vidar Johnsen and Ketil Sellæg Ramberg are experienced in IP litigation.

Practice head(s):

Katrine Malmer-Høvik

Other key lawyers:

Vidar Johnsen; Ketil Sellæg Ramberg; Aase Gundersen


They have skilled attorneys who also know the industries of their clients well and are therefore able to provide good and relevant advice.’

Vidar Johnsen always seems to find good solutions that often provide out-of-court settlements that the client is satisfied with.’

A unique team with extensive in-depth life sciences experience.’

Aase Gundersen has in-depth experience and a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare sector and pharmaceuticals industry.’

Key clients


Bohus AS

Retriever Norge

Powel AS

The Life Science Cluster


No Isolation

She Community AS

Noma Norge AS

Finexa AS

Oil and gas Tier 3

SANDS' multi-disciplinary group is recognised as a go-to name for cross-border work, including transactions and disputes. Lars Berge Andersen heads up the team and primarily advises on major oil and gas sector mandates, both in Norway and globally. Oddbjørn Slinning is also active in maritime and offshore matters with experience in litigation and restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Lars Berge Andersen

Other key lawyers:

Oddbjørn Slinning 

Key clients

Frydenbø Industri


PSW Technology


Helix Oilfield Services


Wellis Mpcd


Bunker Oil

Offshore Simulation Centre


Borealis/Australis Maritime

Helix Oilfield Services


Jets AS

MHWirth AS

Akastor ASA

Public procurement Tier 3

SANDS' recent public procurement highlights include projects involving hospitals and universities relating to construction works, software, goods and services. Headed up by Bergen-based Åshild Fløisand, the team includes  Kjersti Holum Karlstrøm , who was newly appointed as a member of the Public Procurement Complaints Board by the Norwegian Government.

Practice head(s):

Åshild Fløisand

Other key lawyers:

Kjersti Holum Karlstrøm


‘Partner Kjersti Holum Karlstrøm makes her team available 24/7 and makes sure they investigate all questions, legal dilemmas and and facts thoroughly. What makes SANDS stand out compared to other firms, is their strong belief, that facts are the foundation of success in legal disputes. All legal disputes are treated as the most important in the world.’

‘Kjersti Holum Karlstrøm has a warm personality, coupled with strong legal skills. She has also been a judge, which makes her very knowledgeable about both sides of the table. Karlstrøm provides useful insights to resolve the cases outside the court room. She provides high-quality advice and it is my impression that she is genuinely engaged in her cases.’

Key clients

Helse Bergen HF

Høgskulen på Vestlandet (Westernrway University of Applied Sciences)

Helse Stavanger HF

Svinø Entreprenør

AKO Anlegg





Energi Salgrge


Roald Madsen


El Installatøren

Real estate Tier 3

Acting for a range of investors, corporate occupiers and real estate funds, SANDS is highly recommended for property purchases and sales. Practice head Christian Hartmann focuses on commercial deals and development work, with other key areas of expertise including tax and VAT transactional issues along with corporate restructurings, which are handled by Jens Aas and special counsel Roger Engebretsen respectively.

Practice head(s):

Christian Hartmann

Other key lawyers:

Jens Aas; Roger Engebretsen

Key clients

Anders Opsahl Holding

Oslo Finans

Taraldset Eiendom

Fearnley Project Finance

Fauna Eiendom

Loe Utvikling

Sofiemyr Utvikling


Angelo Gordon

Greverud Utvikling/Kruse Smith

NMK Holding

Nordic Investment

TG Næringseiendom

Ferd Eiendom


Tax Tier 3

SANDS stands out for its expertise in high-end transfer pricing and litigation mandates, as well as industry-specific work for fishing and aquaculture clients. Other areas of strength include cross-border advice and acting for start-up clients, particularly in the technology sector. Ulf Sørdal heads up the team. Other key names include litigation and international tax specialist Torgeir Fjeldskaar and John Olav Auran, who is an expert in VAT mandates.

Practice head(s):

Ulf Sørdal

Other key lawyers:

Torgeir Fjeldskaar; John Olav Auran; Ernst Ravnaas; Stig Nordal


Comprehensive team of advocates and specialists in each field.’

To-the-point. Prompt feedback. Effective delivery.’

The team has broad experience working with not only larger companies, but also smaller start-ups. SANDS understands how a start-up operates. They know their common struggles when dealing with the authorities when it comes to modern growth-companies.’

‘John Olav’s experience from working within the Norwegian Tax Authority is simply a “deal-maker”.’

In-depth knowledge of transfer pricing issues.’

Key clients

Allianz Funds



Inter Eiendom

JM Norge

Korn Ferry

MAN Bus & Truck Norge

SPEAR Africa Funds

Aller Aqua

Dräger Safety

First Hotels

Foyer International

FTI Consulting Group

Generali PanEurope



Inmarsat Solutions


Kongsberg Gruppen


Ocean Pearl

Kvevra (SalMar)




Raise Gruppen


Stokke Gruppen

ToCircle Industries

Ytterstad Fiskeriselskap


GEA Refrigerators

Kraftanlage Munchen

Scilla Treschow








Normet Oy

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

The team at SANDS leverages strong sector-specific expertise across the healthcare, energy and natural resources, fishing, insurance and technology industries, and has a strong private equity practice. Andreas Fuglesang leads the group, which includes Espen Furuholt, who is noted for his expertise in private M&A transactions, regularly advising private equity funds and investment banks.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Fuglesang

Other key lawyers:

Terje Gulbrandsen; Erik Lind; Espen Furuholt

Key clients

Ambea Norge


K Strømmen

First Process


Aleris – Sirela Sweden

Asplan Viak



Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 4

SANDS is recognised for acting for companies in financial crises, with a particular focus on restructuring work, refinancings and creditor negotiations. Andreas Fuglesang, Stein Hegdal and Terje Bjørndahl are the key names.

Other key lawyers:

Andreas Fuglesang; Stein Hegdal; Terje Bjørndahl 

TMT Tier 4

The TMT department at SANDS is distinguished by its notable involvement with top Norwegian technology start-up incubators, as well as experience advising media and telecoms clients. Practice head Stig Nordal has substantial expertise in handling US-partnered cross-border matters. Another key area of strength for the group includes advising private equity investors in the TMT space.

Practice head(s):

Stig Nordal

Other key lawyers:

Gisle Edvard Årnes; Ketil Sellæg Ramberg

Key clients

Element Logic


Founders Fund I, II and III


Aleris Medical Group

Basic Internet Foundation

Bergen Teknologioverføring/VIS


Eye Networks


IKT Norge

No Isolation


Oslo Cancer Cluster

The firm: We are a full service law firm with offices in Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen, Stavanger, Ålesund, Tromsø and Tønsberg. We are a firm in strong growth – 55 new employees since September 2015, of which 18 are new partners – all from leading law firms. We have 12 partners with the right to attend the Supreme Court. Many of our lawyers have solid business experience and international expertise. Our internal organization ensures seamless work and competence flow across our offices. This allows our clients to gain the necessary expertise regardless of where in their country they are.

Department Name Email Telephone
Anti-corruption due diligence
Arve settlement/generation change
Banking and finance
Compliance, commercial advice and transaction support
Expropriation and discretion
Energy, shipping and offshore
EU, EEA and competition
Fisheries and aquaculture
Global construction desk
Intellectual property
Asset management and private equity
Capital markets
Conflict resolution and procedure
Commercial property
Public Private Partnership (OPS)
Public procurement
Restructuring and insolvency
Tax, fee and accounting
Transactions – M&A
Other offices : Aalesund
Other offices : Bergen
Other offices : Stavanger
Other offices : Tønsberg
Other offices : Tromsø
Other offices : Tronheim