SANDS > Oslo, Norway > Firm Profile

SANDS
CORT ADELERS GATE 33
0254 OSLO
PO BOX 1829 VIKA
Norway

Norway > Banking and finance (including shipping finance) Tier 2

The banking and finance practice at SANDS fields expertise in real estate and maritime sector financing work, with syndicated lending issues, high-value bond transactions and investment mandates prominent in the team’s workload. The department is also well known for its niche focus on assisting with investments and projects into Africa. Christian Berg Meland heads up the team, and advises investment banks and financial institutions; senior associate Ole Christian Sandnes Jenssen is another name to note. Ylva Cornelia Axelsen departed to an in-house position in May 2021.

Practice head(s):

Christian Berg Meland

Testimonials

‘Very pragmatic and solution oriented, can see a transaction holistically.’

‘Very close to their clients and knowledgeable. Always available.’

Key clients

Helaba

Sparebanken Møre

SpareBank 1 SMN

ING Capital

Macquarie Bank

ABN Amro Capital USA

Intertrust (Norway)

Arctic Securities AS

Work highlights

  • Assisted Arctic Securities, Pareto Securities and Swedbank Norge as managers with Lakers Group’s NOK2bn senior secured sustainability-linked bond issuance.
  • Assisted Arctic Securities as manager for Frigaard Property Group AS’ NOK500mn senior secured bond issuance.
  • Represented Sparebank 1 SMN as facility agent, security agent and lender in a NOK140m senior secured syndicated financing for an infrastructure project in Norway.

Norway > Construction Tier 2

Alf Johan Knag heads up SANDS‘ ‘goal-oriented and pragmatic‘ team, which is praised for its ‘great knowledge of construction contracts in the Norwegian market‘. The group has solid expertise in handling large-scale air, road and rail infrastructure projects, and is also singled out for its strength in advising on public-private partnerships. Tor Anthon Christiansen ‘stands out with his great knowledge and communication skills‘, and is a key contact for cross-border work. Senior associate Anne-Lovise Christensen Nybakk assists builders and contractors with dispute resolution. In December 2021, Geir Frøholm left the firm to take up an in-house role.

Practice head(s):

Alf Johan Knag

Testimonials

‘The team demonstrates good understanding of construction contracts, and laws relating to construction contracts including those executed as part of a PPP project.’

‘Tor Anthon Christiansen’s in-depth knowledge of Norwegian construction law combined with the thoroughness of his approach is very much appreciated.’

‘Alf-Johan Knag understands the commercial needs and requirements of the business. His detailed approach is a necessity in complex disputes.’

‘Alf-Johan Knag is an excellent business partner. Anne-Lovise Christensen Nybakk is an associate to watch.’

Key clients

Acciona

Asplan Viak

Cloudberry Develop

Rambøll

Sandefjord Lufthavn

Leonhard Weiss

Krüger Kaldnes

LAB Entreprenør

HS Bygg

YIT Infra

BMO Elektro

Baneservice

AF Gruppen

Ålesund Municipality

Vedal Entreprenør

SV Betong

IHI Corporation

Kleiven Sogn

Impresa Pizzarotti

Norway > Dispute resolution Tier 2

The dispute resolution team at SANDS has a wide range of expertise, with particular strengths in the insurance, real estate, aquaculture, media, construction, natural resources and finance sectors. Senior partner Morten Steenstrup, who is well known for his ‘comprehensive experience‘ in appearing before the Supreme Court, leads the practice. Other key names include the firm’s managing partner Oddbjørn Slinning, who focuses on maritime litigation; Bjørn Stordrange, who advises on white-collar crime cases, an area in which Hege Birkeland Ersdal also has expertise; construction and contractual expert Morten Hugo Berger; and senior associate Anders Lund, who is ‘a very talented lawyer and legal adviser‘.

Practice head(s):

Morten Steenstrup

Testimonials

‘The Sands team is constituted of very knowledgeable, professional and pleasant lawyers and legal advisers. Our experience with the Sands team is that they are very good in the court room and find the best way in dispute resolutions for us.’

‘Morten Steenstrup has a very high capacity and work ethic, which helps us handle disputes in the most efficient way every time. Mr. Steenstrup is always energetic and pleasant, and he works well under pressure.’

‘Anders Lund is a very talented lawyer and legal adviser. Very well prepared every time. Very skilled in the court room and he works extremely well with us and Mr. Steenstrup.’

‘Bjørn Stordrange is a particularly skilled lawyer with strong legal knowledge, experience and business understanding. He is also good at negotiations. At the same time, he is down to earth and understands people.’

‘The SANDS team is very strong in all respects. Key capabilities are academic record, industry insights and political knowledge/insight.’

‘Hege Ersdal and Bjørn Stordrange are both very experienced in conflict solving and legal dispute handling.’

Key clients

A-K Maskiner

AF Gruppen

AKVA Group

Allianz

American Steamship Owners Mutual Protection & Indemnity Association

CNH Industrial

Havkraft

Hybrid Minds

Høegh Eiendom

IKT-Norge

Johnson Controls

LB Samarbeidet AS

National Association of Private Kindergartens

Norsk Stein AS

OOIOT AS/Cypod Solutions AS/George Ezzat

Protector Insurance

Retriever Norge

SGMT

Stendi

Trechow-Fritzoe

Norway > Fishing and aquaculture Tier 2

Regulatory expert Halfdan Mellbye heads up the practice at SANDS, where he is particularly active in advising fish farming and fishery clients on administrative regulatory matters. Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen is a highly regarded practitioner in the space, with an established track record in handling aquaculture concessions, coastal zone planning matters and the transfer of fishing concessions. Lars Alsaker is a key name in the practice for administrative and public law matters.

Practice head(s):

Halfdan Mellbye

Norway > Maritime law Tier 2

At SANDS, the ‘experienced‘ team reports an uptick in restructuring mandates, and continues to handle matters pertaining to offshore construction issues, LNG carriers, and support and cargo vessels. Practice co-head Marit Kirkhusmo‘s advice regularly relates to disputes, financings and M&A matters, while co-head Oddbjørn Slinning has extensive experience in offshore installation work, ship sales and purchases, and project finance for rigs, ships and other assets. Guy Leonard counts LNG and regasification projects as a key area of expertise. Associate Ingvild Nordtveit is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Marit Kirkhusmo; Oddbjørn Slinning

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Oddbjørn Slinning is service-minded, available, mild-mannered but tough when needed.’

‘Responsive and efficient service.’

‘They think outside the box in order to solve challenges.’

Key clients

Base Marine Norway

Bulk Loaders

DHT Holdings

P&O Maritime

Ocean Farming

AROS Marine

Höegh LNG

Deep Ocean

Stema Shipping

Green Yard Group / Green Yard Kleven

Kanfer Shipping

Norway > Electricity and renewable energy Tier 3

The energy department at SANDS has a strong cross-practice offering, with a team that advises on restructurings, energy transactions and regulatory issues, to name a few areas of expertise. Hydro, wind and solar sector mandates form the backbone of the practice, and department head Alf Øystein Skudal is very experienced in representing grid and hydropower sector clients. Senior associate Mathilda Bergman specialises in energy law, and is a key contact for transactional mandates.

Practice head(s):

Alf Øystein Skudal

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They quickly understand what you need assistance with and get the job done efficiently.’

‘The individuals we have worked with at SANDS have been very flexible in terms of turning work around quickly in accordance with our needs, and have had excellent subject matter knowledge.’

‘Alf Øystein Skudal has strong capabilities in the fields of M&A transactions, great in managing and coordinating projects, responds timely with quality. Exceptional market knowledge.’

Key clients

Ren Røros

Vesterålskraft

Cloudberry

NTE Energi

Tensio

Gudbrandsdal Energi

Dønnesfjord Vindkraft

Vento Ludens

Sandøy Energi

Aventus Green Technology

Scanvind2

Sira-Kvina Kraftselskap

Captiva Capital

Småkraft

Midtkraft

Magnora ASA

Norway > Employment Tier 3

The ‘solution-oriented‘ team at SANDS counts employment disputes and investigations as core areas of strength, and has been kept busy acting for clients in the energy, retail, construction and healthcare sectors. Per Ragnar Bronken, who heads up the practice, regularly advises clients on large restructurings, downsizings and senior management dismissals. Other key individuals include Espen Johannessen and Henning Heitmann, who garners praise for his ‘deep knowledge of employment law‘.

Practice head(s):

Per Ragnar Bronken

Testimonials

‘They are always available and collaborate extremely well across the whole team, involving other relevant competence when relevant for the case, and they are well-coordinated across their different offices throughout the whole country of Norway.’

‘Henning M. Heitmann is outstanding with regard to efficiency and strategic skills. in addition to his deep knowledge of employment law and related subjects. We always receive advice in due time and with relevant explanations if needed.’

Henning M. Heitmann is always solution-oriented and helps us reach our commercial goals as efficiently as possible without ending up in long discussions or proceedings.’

Key clients

AstraZeneca Norway

Aleris

Stokke

Rambøll

Asplan Viak

Norway > EU and competition Tier 3

The team at SANDS is notable for providing ‘specialised Norwegian competition law advice‘ to a client roster of public and private companies drawn from, among others, the transport, automotive, fisheries and aquaculture, construction and healthcare industries. Department head Thomas Sando has ‘great knowledge of competition law‘ and specialises in high-profile merger control matters. Aksel Joachim Hageler is regularly instructed in infringement cases and is an expert on state aid, EU and EEA law. Special counsel Lennart Garnes is also a key name to note.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Sando

Testimonials

‘Thomas Sando is the lawyer we work with in SANDS. Thomas handles all aspects of competition law matters for us, as well as matters concerning contract law and public procurement. Thomas is extremely service-minded and he always responds quickly. In addition to his outstanding legal and commercial skills we should also highlight his work capacity, and his ability to make us feel like the most preferred customer.’

‘Thomas Sando – very efficient, structured and friendly.’

Thomas Sando is a particularly competent and innovative lawyer.’

‘SANDS: professional company, with good insight and understanding, that ensures the most optimal solutions. High quality at all levels. Efficient processes and many resources in the company.’

‘Thomas Sando is an expert and provides pragmatic advice in relation to complex competition law matters.’

Key clients

Aleris Helse

AC Nielsen

Elretur

CNH Industrial

Iveco/Iveco Magirus

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

Ministry of Local Government & Regional Development

Stendi AS

Norlandia Health & Care Group

Norway > Intellectual property Tier 3

Katrine Malmer-Høvik leads the IP practice at SANDS, which is well known for its solid track record in assisting clients drawn from the aquaculture and fisheries, media, entertainment and technology sectors with a wide spectrum of non-contentious and contentious IP issues. Global trade mark protection work is another core pillar of expertise for the team. Ketil Sellæg Ramberg is sought out for his experience in litigation, and assists Norwegian and international clients with license and development agreements.

Practice head(s):

Katrine Malmer-Høvik

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Nofima

Loen Skylift

Retriever Norge

Gyldendal Norsk Forlag

The Life Science Cluster

Highasakite

No Isolation

She Community

Motion Pictures Licensing Company Norge

Lydbokforlaget

Norway > Oil and gas Tier 3

SANDS‘ practice garners praise for its ‘in-depth knowledge of the Norwegian and Scandinavian upstream and downstream energy market‘, and has an excellent reputation for its strength in handling cross-border mandates. Practice head Lars Berge Andersen is an ‘expert in the oil and gas services segment‘, and managing partner Oddbjørn Slinning regularly handles restructuring, offshore and maritime work. Guy Leonard is a key contact for LNG projects.

Practice head(s):

Lars Berge Andersen

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Lars Berge Andersen – highly competent, pragmatic, problem solver, and very personable. A pleasure to work with.’

‘Superb client service.’

‘Lars Berge Andersen is an outstanding lawyer, who provides fantastic client service. He has a huge breadth of experience in the global energy market, including first-hand knowledge of the Norwegian, US and Far Eastern markets, and he knows everything and everyone. So the teams he builds for a case include leading experts to advise on any aspect of a case. Technical expertise is allied with penetrating strategic thinking, which looks far beyond a case to the future business and market position of the client.’

‘Heavy oil and gas experience.’

‘A very competent and solution oriented team.’

Key clients

Frydenbø Industri

Safelink

PSW Technology

Aarbakke

Helix Oilfield Services

Oceanteam

Wellis Mpcd

Archer

Bunker Oil

Offshore Simulation Centre

Pipeotech

Borealis/Australis Maritime

Biomarine

Jets AS

MHWirth AS

Akastor ASA

DeepOcean Group

Magnora ASA

Umoe Group

Empower Oilfield Solutions (India)

Atlantica Tender Drilling

Managed Pressure Operations (Aker Group)

Global Green Capital AS

Altezza LLP (Kazakhstan)

Sensorlink AS

Norway > Public procurement Tier 3

The ‘very skilled‘ team at SANDS has a solid track record in advising on procurement processes pertaining to healthcare, construction, software and infrastructure projects. Åshild Fløisand ‘is extremely knowledgeable in public procurement law and practices‘, and heads up the practice from the Bergen office. Tromsø-based Kjersti Holum Karlstrøm and senior associate Eirik Rise, also based in Bergen, are key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Åshild Fløisand

Testimonials

‘Åshild Fløisand is very skilled with a high level of expertise in the field. She gives good advice based on the right risk. She is one of the most skilled in the field in Norway.’

Good professional knowledge. Great work capacity.’

‘Åshild is very competent when it comes to procurement processes and documents, also negotiating with contractors.’

‘The lawyers in SANDS have broad experience and a good understanding of our needs. They provide quick and to-the-point advice of excellent quality.’

‘SANDS’ team of public procurement experts excel in especially two areas that are important to us: great legal skills and high efficiency. The team offers exceptional availability and access to partner resources, compared to other firms that we have used in the past. The team is always highly prepared in all matters, and they always give informed options and potential courses of action, both in terms of legal and commercial strategy.’

‘SANDS has outstanding commercial intuition and knowledge, and is always able to provide useful insights, good advice and develop the best strategies for us. Kjersti Holum Karlstrøm is a leading expert in Norway in the field of public procurement law. Her background as a district court judge, and her position on the Norwegian Public Procurement Complaints Board, gives her an unique experience in contentious processes, which gives us extra certainty that we are in capable hands.’

‘The team is solution-oriented and to-the-point. In addition to knowing the law inside out, the team has solid knowledge of the industry’s dynamics and challenges and is therefore a valuable adviser for our company’

‘The procurement team is led by partner Åshild Fløisand, who is a very experienced lawyer with a key understanding of our commercial position in the market. She is extremely knowledgeable in public procurement law and practices and not afraid of fighting tricky cases. She provides high-quality advice, and it is our impression that she is genuinely engaged in her clients and cases. She is known to provide clear answers and this is a quality that we strongly appreciate. In recent years we have also worked with associate Eirik Rise who is up and coming. He seems to have an encyclopaedic knowledge. He is technically strong but also pragmatic and creative if needed. He combines professionalism with friendliness, and it is a delight to work with him.’

Key clients

Helse Bergen

Helse Stavanger

Helse Vest IKT

Haugesund kommune

HS Bygg

Consto Bergen

Høgskulen på Vestlandet (Western Norway University of Applied Services)

Perpetuum Miljø

Romarheim

Alternativ Data

El-Installatøren

Volue Market Services

Ishavskraft

Rambøll Norge

Norway > Real estate Tier 3

Led by Christian Hartmann, the real estate team at SANDS advises real estate funds, investors and private companies on a range of real estate transactions and development mandates. Sofia Bjørck focuses on property development work and planning and building law, and Jens Aas is very experienced in handling tax and VAT matters and lease agreements. Clients praise Roger Engebretsen‘s ‘outstanding knowledge‘ of corporate restructurings and tax issues.

Practice head(s):

Christian Hartmann

Testimonials

‘Very knowledgeable, efficient, quick response, hard working.’

‘Christian Hartmann is highly competent.’

‘Christian Hartmann is efficient and delivers fast and well. He has a good ability to assess and analyse our needs as a client.’

‘Christian Hartman is highly competent and a warm and inclusive figure.’

‘We really appreciate working with Roger Engebretsen, who has outstanding knowledge despite his young age. His advice around tax, company structure and business details makes him a really appreciated “wing man”.’

Key clients

Oslo Finans

Taraldset Eiendom

Fearnley Project Finance

Fauna Eiendom

Loe Utvikling

Sofiemyr Utvikling

Pecunia

Angelo Gordon

Greverud Utvikling/Kruse Smith

Det Norske Diakonhjem

Nordic Investment

Cibora Eiendom

Ferd Eiendom

HAV Eiendom

Breivika Utvikling Bodø

Norlandia

E & G Bygg/Eiendomsgruppen

Pilares Eiendom

Norway > Tax Tier 3

At SANDS, the ‘very skilled‘ team is well known for handling high-end cross-border tax instructions, with a core focus on litigation and transfer pricing mandates. Department head Ulf Sørdal is notably active in advising aquaculture and fishing clients on a range of tax matters. John Olav Auran‘s practice focuses on VAT work, and the ‘absolutely superbTorgeir Fjeldskaar specialises in tax litigation and international tax matters, as well as corporate tax issues.

Practice head(s):

Ulf Sørdal

Testimonials

‘Efficient people. High quality on the work they deliver.’

‘Our experience is that these individuals are able to turn around on a short notice to assist us in relation to our needs.’

‘Torgeir Fjeldskaar is very commercial and technically excellent, with an ability to communicate complex issues very clearly.’

Key clients

Allianz Funds

MAN Bus & Truck Norge

SPEAR Africa Funds

Aller Aqua

Dräger Safety

First Hotels

Foyer International

Kongsberg Gruppen

Kvevra (SalMar)

Osram

Pelagia

Siemens

Stokke Gruppen

ToCircle Industries

Ytterstad Fiskeriselskap

GEA Group

Electrolux

Normet Oy

Voisey Entertainment

TÜV Rail

Norway > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 4

SANDS‘ corporate team has ‘a solid commercial awareness, thinks creatively outside the box and has a keen eye for detail‘. The group reports an increase in M&A transactions with a particular focus on the energy, fishing, healthcare and technology sectors. Department head Espen Furuholt specialises in assisting investment banks and private equity funds with private M&A work. Erik Lind focuses on the healthcare sector, and Terje Gulbrandsen is an M&A specialist.

Practice head(s):

Espen Furuholt

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Dedicated, skilled, on time, trustworthy.’

‘Strong interpersonal skills and a consistent ability to quickly grasp the essence of the legal issue at hand.’

‘Erik Lind has great people skills, ensuring constructive communication and processes with both clients and counterparties.’

‘Highly competent and skilled professionals with high degree of customer orientation, providing good solutions.’

‘Partner Espen Furuholt – extremely responsive, strong analytical and advocacy skills.’

Key clients

The Norwegian State

Bonnier Group

Scope Capital Advisory AB

Wright Group Holding

Aleris – Sirela Sweden

Abax

Bauda (Toyota)

Ambea Norge

Arcus

K Strømmen

Artec Holding

Volvat Medisinske Senter

Asplan Viak

Scanhold Norge

Pelagia

UniMicro Holdco

Next Generation Lotteries and its shareholders

Tysse Industrier

Stord Innkvartering

Korell Invest (Oasen Ressurssenter)

Work highlights

  • Advised the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries on the sale of a NOK2.35bn stake in Entra ASA.
  • Advised the shareholders of Artec Aqua on its NOK690m sale to Endúr ASA.
  • Advised Scanhold Norge on its sale of Holdbart to Summa Equity and a subsequent reinvestment in the buyer.

Norway > TMT Tier 4

SANDS is a major and leading law firm, serving global clients from offices in Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, Ålesund, Tromsø and Tønsberg. The firm has achieved impressive growth since 2015, especially in our transactions, capital markets and finance practices, including insurance. International business in Norway is dominated by key sectors and SANDS have highly specialised and seamless national practices in energy, shipping, onshore and offshore technology, real estate and infrastructure. We have a 30 year reputation as leading litigators and a large number of our lawyers are admitted to the Supreme Court.

We are a truly international firm, working with projects in Europe, Asia, the US, South America and Africa. Many of our lawyers have legal training and experience abroad and a significant number have broader commercial and technical skills through additional graduate degrees in business, economics and other non-legal fields. Quality, service, enthusiasm and commitment define our client relationships. We are innovative and result driven, continuously seeking best practice solutions and the most effective legal and commercial strategies for our clients.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Maritime Law Oddbjørn Slinning | Managing Partnerosl@sands.no+47 481 21 650
Banking and Finance Christian Berg Melandcbm@sands.no+47 922 05 049
Construction Alf Johan Knagajk@sands.no+47 419 16 709
Fishing and aquaculture Halfdan Mellbyehme@sands.no+47 419 16 731
Insurance Christian Kjellby Nessetckn@sands.no+47 419 16 656
Employment Per Ragnar Bronkenprb@sands.no+47 480 16 528
Electricity and renewable energy Alf Øystein Skudalaos@sands.no+ 47 450 23 927
EU and competition Thomas Sandotsa@sands.no+ 47 951 26 344
Intellectual property Katrine Malmer-Høvikkmh@sands.no+47 480 16 587
Oil and gas Lars berge Andersenlba@sands.no+47 908 79 896
Public procurement Åshild Fløisandaaf@sands.no+47 419 16 745
Real estate Christian Hartmanncoh@sands.no+47 938 81 855
Tax Ulf Sørdaluso@sands.no+47 419 16 717
Commercial, corporate and M&A Espen Furuholtefu@sands.no+47 986 00 011
TMT Stig Nordalsn@sands.no+47 480 16 562
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