Schjødt is internationally recognized and respected as one of Scandinavia's top tier law firms, with a reputation for legal excellence. We combine this with commercial skills, a commitment to service, innovative solutions and producing excellent results for our clients.
There are literally hundreds of rankings and awards trying to rate lawyers and law firms. Obviously, we cannot respond to all the requests to participate in rankings, and we follow certain principles in defining our participation in such activities. We believe that serious ratings can assist potential clients in navigating the market, while we do not believe in "pay to play" publications.
From the full-firm rankings, we provide information to the established lists from Chambers Global / Chambers Europe and Legal 500. You can follow the links to read more about these rankings for the Norwegian legal market. All these publications perform actual client and lawyer interviews, review case work and have dedicated resources analysing local markets.
- the "editorial-model", where we expect an independent analysis based on our actual results and references
- integrity and quality, coupled with an established and transparent method based on actual client/lawyer interviews and case reviews
- not participating in "pay to play" rankings or awards, directly or through related advertisements, diplomas, plaques etc. The Wall Street Journal has written about lawyer rankings.
Schjødt is a leading Scandinavian full service business law firm with a team of 245 lawyers in Oslo, Stavanger, Ålesund, Bergen, Stockholm and London. We tailor our legal advice to our clients’ professional and geographical business objectives and needs.
- We have a long and proud tradition as an important player in Norway’s most recognised transactions, disputes and legal developments.
- Schjødt has an unparalleled track record in the courts and in arbitration. Sixteen of our lawyers are Supreme Court litigators, and we have represented clients in 26 Supreme Court disputes over the last two years.
- Our lawyers have published several books and publications that are recognised as leading legal sources within different disciplines.
- We regularly act on the largest and most complex transactions in the market and has over the last ten years advised on more transactions than any other Norwegian law firm. (Source: Mergermarket)
- We advise on a substantial amount of the IPOs in Norway, and have advised on more than 50 completed listings since 2006.
Our strong market share and extensive portfolio of foreign clients and matters are an important strategic advantage for Schjødt and every day we work to further improve our insight, skills and services as we work with foreign clients doing business in Norway, Sweden and UK, and with Norwegian and Swedish clients with activities or interests abroad.
We have lawyers from several nationalities. Norway is not a member of the EU but, due to its membership of the European Economic Area, it is legally bound by EEA Law as regards the freedom of goods, services, people and financial resources. To ensure focus, specialist skills and quality client services, we have established German, Chinese, Indian, UK and US desks.
We also have excellent relationships with law firms on all continents. Schjødt has a London office, strategically placed in one of the most important financial centres in the world, and an important business hub for a wide range of industries.
Schjødt should be the first choice when high values are at stake. We want to be a clear contributor to the development of our society. The mission statement expresses our level of ambition. The aim is to develop and maintain a culture of excellence based on common shared values, team work and a determination to succeed. Therefore, our standards are high when it comes to professional expertise, business understanding and client service. Our ambitions for the future motivate us to always do the best we can for our clients.
Our aim is to be the preferred commercial law firm in Norway and Sweden. We believe and experience that our people, based on this approach, find their work meaningful and stimulating. In Schjødt we have inherited and maintained "a fearless tradition". This means that we are used to making bold decisions and taking a stand for our clients when necessary, supporting legal positions and pursuing processes that we view as important, even though they may not commercially benefit our firm.
How we work
Schjødt is truly committed to a one firm, client-oriented philosophy. This greatly influences the way we approach client work, to ensure full client satisfaction. Our clients set high expectations for themselves, and should expect nothing less from us. To ensure the best qualified and most suited lawyers for any given matter all assignments are allocated and staffed by department heads.
Based on the client's needs, their expressed wishes and the particulars of the case, each new assignment is delegated to the lawyer best qualified to be responsible for the matter. We strive to maintain a continuous high level of knowledge amongst our colleagues therefore we have an internal educational institution, Schjødt Academy, that is continuously tailored to develop the skills of our legal professionals and staff.
As expressed in our mission statement we wish to contribute to the evolvement and development of our society. Primarily, we achieve this through influencing legislation and its interpretation, taking part in ground breaking litigation and advising governmental and private clients on matters of major importance to Norwegian and Swedish business. However, we have also made it a priority to perform pro bono work, seek to prevent or correct injustice and contribute to selected community or charitable services.
We strive for success, including sound partner profitability, yet at the same time many of our lawyers entered the legal profession to "make a difference" and promote justice, a sentiment not based on financial rewards.
Many of our partners are involved with charitable institutions. As a firm we accept certain appointments on a non-commercial basis and, as such, many of our lawyers are involved with charitable organizations, cultural institutions etc. and other non-profit activities.
Our lawyers, including our partners, take pride in providing pro bono counselling. We dedicate significant resources to pro bono work each year, and have established guidelines for the selection and follow up of pro bono cases. Schjødt has for many years given priority to cases involving freedom of speech or human rights. Currently, the lawyer in charge of our pro bono programme is partner Vidar Strømme.
For several years, Schjødt has also actively participated in a scheme that provides free legal advice and representation to refugees and immigrants who have received notice of deportation. In several instances, our efforts have led to a reversal of the expulsion rulings, including successful appeals to court judgments.
Schjødt can look back on a long and proud heritage, characterized by fascinating and talented individuals, ground-breaking proceedings and innovative cross border transactions for some of the most prestigious Norwegian and international corporations and financial institutions. These events, personalities, clients and assignments have, together, formed our culture; a platform of strong ethics and individual integrity, combined with a practical and client-oriented attitude, making us a firm our clients can depend on to achieve results.
THE EARLY DAYS
The firm carries the name of Annæus Schjødt (1888-1972), who in 1920 was admitted as a partner in the firm of Supreme Court attorney Johan Bredal which had been established in Christiania (now Oslo) in 1894. Annæus Schjødt left the firm in 1936 to establish his own law firm. He was one of the key pre- and post-war attorneys and had a number of ground-breaking cases before the Norwegian courts, inter alia, in connection with the post World War II judicial settlements (including by acting as government appointed prosecutor in the trial against Quisling). Later Annæus Schjødt jr. (1920) joined the firm, which during the 1950s and '60s developed to be one of the leading law firms in the country, renowned for their leading position in litigation.
Another protegy of Johan Bredal was Herman Christiansen (1878-1950) who was admitted as a partner in 1911 but who left in 1920 to start his own law firm, in the same year that Annæus Schjødt joined the firm. Herman Christiansen was one of the great industry lawyers of his time and his firm represented large American corporations that participated in the industrialization of Norway. Later, his son, Erling Christiansen (1920-1982) joined the firm, building further on their reputation as a commercial law firm with extensive cross-border work for foreign clients.
A decisive step in the firm's development was the merger between the dispute resolution focused Schjødt firm and the commercial law based Christiansen firm. This happened in 1968 and the firm took the name Supreme Court Attorneys Schjødt, Dahl-Hansen, Christiansen and Schjødt. Later the name was changed several times in connection with partner admissions and expansions. During the 1970s and '80s the firm's commercial law portfolio became more prominent, including significant transaction work, thereby creating the basis for today's excellent balance between corporate advisory, transactions and dispute resloution. New partners were admitted in these years and in 1983 it was decided that the firm's name be changed to Schjødt. In 1989 a cooperation with Martens Law Firm in Bergen was started. This was a law firm with long traditions in the west coast region, with Bergen renowned for shipping, European trade and a strong financial industry. Later the firm was further expanded with offices both in Stavanger and Ålesund in 1999 and 2000 respectively. While Stavanger is the centre of the Norwegian oil & gas industry, Ålesund is an important centre for Norwegian fish farming and fishing, in addition to maritime and petroleum-related technology.
Today, Schjødt is one of Norway's largest, and fastest growing top tier commercial law firms, working closely with clients and other law firms globally. We are proud of our history and the cultural heritage it provides for our firm and for our employees.
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Our terms & conditions
Updated January 2020
ADVOKATFIRMAET SCHJØDT AS
These Standard Terms and Conditions (the "Terms") apply to all services provided to clients by Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS, including through its Swedish branch Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS, filial ("Schjødt" or "we"). The Codes of Conduct of the Norwegian and Swedish Bar Associations, or as set out in regulations, also apply to the services provided by Schjødt. By engaging Schjødt, the client is deemed to have agreed and accepted the Terms.
1. THE ENGAGEMENT
Our engagements and the provision of our services shall be governed by the Terms. Where a separate engagement letter ("Engagement Letter") has been sent to the client, the terms of such Engagement Letter, if deviating with these Terms, shall prevail.
In the event of several engagements for the same client, the previously sent Engagement Letter as well as the Terms will apply, unless a new Engagement Letter is sent or as otherwise agreed in writing for the new assignment.
All engagements are considered to have been given to Schjødt, even when the work is carried out by one or more specified persons. This applies even if the client has expressly requested that the work be carried out by a specific person.
An appointed lawyer has the overall responsibility for each individual engagement. Other lawyers, associate lawyers and other personnel will be engaged in the matter whenever this is found to be appropriate. The execution of the engagement is regulated by Norwegian or Swedish law, depending on which office the lawyer responsible for the engagement works from.
Schjødt's assistance only includes legal issues subject to Norwegian and Swedish law, and consequently we do not give advice on the legal position of any other jurisdiction. Associated issues relating to tax law are not included, unless specifically stated in the Engagement Letter or otherwise agreed in writing. Unless otherwise agreed, we do not undertake to update the advice we have provided to take account of subsequent changes in the legal position.
For the purposes of these Terms, all aspects of a transaction or a business arrangement will be considered to be one engagement, irrespective of whether the engagement involves several legal entities or private individuals, is dealt with by separate teams within Schjødt or addresses separate legal areas, and irrespective of whether separate invoices are issued, or whether we act for several separate legal entities and/or individuals.
2. FEES, EXPENSES AND DISBURSEMENTS
Fees are normally calculated on the basis of the time used based on the hourly rates of our lawyers and the use of Schjødt's standard legal documents, if applicable. Hourly rates for personnel involved will be specified in our Engagement Letter or will be sent upon request. Hourly rates may be adjusted, which will also apply to on‐going engagements. The rates will normally be adjusted as of 1 January each year. Value added tax (VAT) will be charged in addition when required.
When calculating fees, the scope of the engagement, complexity, intensity, the need for specialist expertise, the values involved and the result achieved may also be taken into account. The client will be invoiced for our expenses and disbursements. VAT will be charged in addition when required. Schjødt's fees are not conditional upon the outcome of cases, and are payable irrespective of whether the engagement is completed or not.
An estimate of our overall fees for an engagement is for guidance and budgeting purposes only and must not be perceived as a fixed price, unless otherwise is agreed in writing. Where a fixed price has been quoted for an engagement, but where the engagement, irrespective of reason, is not completed by Schjødt, we reserve the right to issue an invoice up to the agreed amount based on the principles of the Terms.
If prosecution in criminal proceedings ends with acquittal or stay, the charged/accused may be entitled to compensation from the State for necessary expenses for his/her defense. The assessment by the Court of the size of the compensation for the defense shall not, however, affect the client's obligation to settle in relation to Schjødt in accordance with the terms of the engagement.
A complaint against the size of our invoiced fee must be made before the due date of the respective invoice.
3. INSURANCE COVERAGE
The client is responsible for investigating whether there are insurance schemes that will cover all or part of our fees or possible liability for the opposing party’s expenses. We ask to be informed if the client has insurance coverage or if the client wants Schjødt to investigate whether existing insurance coverage applies in connection with the matter in question.
If Schjødt's fees and expenses are to be financed by making use of any insurance coverage the client must still pay our fees and expenses to the extent they exceed whatever is paid out under the insurance.
4. COSTS OF LEGAL DISPUTES
The client is obliged to pay our invoices in full, irrespective of the claim for legal costs submitted against the opposing party and/or is awarded by the court. This also applies if a lower amount is claimed awarded from an opposing party than what the actual legal costs amount to. Schjødt reserves the right to claim an amount that is lower than Schjødt's claim for fees, on behalf of the client if warranted by the circumstances.
Even if legal action is successful, it is not certain that the opposing party can be ordered, or is in a position to pay legal costs. Hence, the client must be prepared to pay our invoices in full. If the action is unsuccessful, the client may be ordered to pay the legal costs of the opposing party in addition to own legal costs.
The client must also be prepared to cover public fees in litigation matters and fees related to arbitration, including court fees, fees for arbitrators, arbitration institute fees, as well as expenses for lay judges and witnesses, cf. section 2 above.
In litigation matters, Schjødt has to dedicate resources both for matter preparation and the main hearing. In the event of the matter being rescheduled or settled after the main hearing has been scheduled, we reserve the right to invoice fees, dependent on the extent of resources that would have been utilized during the main hearing and how close to the main hearing the dispute was rescheduled or settled.
5. ADVANCE PAYMENT
We reserve the right to request advance payment in respect of estimated fees, expenses and disbursements (including expenses and disbursements to third parties) with the addition of VAT. Unless otherwise explicitly agreed in writing, a request for or agreement on advance payment must not be construed as an estimate or cap of our fees, expenses or VAT.
Advance payment shall always be made to Schjødt's client account. Advance payments can be used to cover any invoice that is issued by us to the client for work performed, expenses and/or disbursements, unless the payment has been made for another specific purpose. This provision does not affect the client's access to question the amount of our invoice.
Payments made in connection with performed and invoiced work pursuant to an agreed payment plan are not categorized as advance payment of estimated fees.
6. CLIENT FUNDS
Any funds we receive and hold on behalf of our clients will be held on a client account, unless otherwise specifically agreed. If the amount exceeds NOK/SEK 150,000 and is not to be sent on without delay, it will be deposited on a separate client account marked "client account" and the name of the client.
The banks used by Schjødt are members of the Norwegian Banks' Guarantee Fund (the "Fund") or the Swedish Deposit Insurance Scheme (the "Scheme"), which each guarantees deposits with each bank being a member of the Fund or the Scheme. Funds deposited on our joint client account may only to a limited extent be regarded as secured by the Fund or the Scheme. Funds deposited on a separate client account are, however, secured individually in accordance with the Fund's or the Scheme's respective regulations – which also mean that funds on a separate client account will be counted together with any other deposits that the client may have with the same bank.
We do not accept liability for funds held on any of our client accounts that may be lost as a consequence of the relevant bank not meeting its obligations.
Invoices are normally issued on a monthly basis and/or upon completion of the individual engagement. We reserve the right to charge interest if an invoice is not paid within the specified due date, which is normally 30 days. Interest will be calculated pursuant to the applicable act relating to interest on overdue payment under the engagement.
In some cases, we are required by law to provide information to the tax authorities on the VAT (value added tax) registration number of a client and the value of the services we have provided.
We will normally communicate with the client’s staff, cooperating partners or advisors as appropriate in each individual matter. We therefore ask to be informed if the matter is subject to special confidentiality or if only certain personnel are authorized to discuss the matter or communicate with us.
We normally communicate with our clients using e‐mail, also for the transmission of confidential information, which may involve security and confidentiality risks for which we cannot accept any responsibility, unless otherwise required by mandatory law. Schjødt will normally use encrypted e‐mail if the recipient's e‐ mail system uses and accepts this. However, e‐mail is not a secure form of communication. If special precautions are to be taken concerning security, we ask that this be communicated in writing to the lawyer responsible for the matter. Schjødt accepts no liability if our security system rejects or filters legitimate e‐mails. If the client has not received a response to an e‐mail within a reasonable time, the client should follow up the e‐mail with a phone call to the responsible lawyer.
9. CLIENT IDENTIFICATION AND ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING PROCEDURES
Schjødt is subject to laws and regulations on anti‐money laundering. Accordingly, we are required to apply customer due diligence measures on all new clients in connection with the establishment of client relationships on the basis of an assessment of the risk of money laundering and financing of terrorism. This includes inter alia verification of the customer and any beneficial owners. In some instances we may also be required to verify origin of funds or other assets. The client is responsible for ensuring that the information we receive from the client is correct. Moreover, the client is obligated to inform us of any relevant changes.
10. PERSONAL DATA
11. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY
Our advisory services are provided only to the client named in the Engagement Letter and we accept no liability in relation to any third parties that may have obtained access to our advice to the client.
If we engage consultants, experts, foreign lawyers or other third parties on the client's behalf, we do so as the client's representative and the client is responsible for third parties' fees, other expenses and any taxes. This applies irrespective of whether the third parties' fees and expenses are invoiced directly or through us. We accept no liability for services or advice provided by consultants, experts, foreign lawyers or other third parties as subcontractors or independent advisors in relation to our services, whether or not such parties have been selected and/or instructed by us. Our liability will be reduced by any amount that may be obtained under any insurance maintained by or for you or under any contract or indemnity to which you are a party or a beneficiary, unless it is contrary to your agreement with the insurance provider or third party or your rights against the insurance provider or third party are thereby prejudiced.
If one or several advisers are liable to you in relation to a single instance of loss or damage caused to you, our liability damage will be limited to the proportion that our share of the total fees payable to all advisers bears to the sum of the fees to all advisers (regardless of whether such other advisers have excluded or limited their liability or would have been unable to pay their part of the total claim).
Schjødt and those lawyers carrying out the engagement have no liability in excess of NOK 50 million for any loss that may arise resulting from the relevant engagement. Neither do we accept any liability which is regarded as indirect (including loss of earnings) or unforeseen loss, or loss suffered by third parties.
Claims involving liability for damages due to a performed engagement must immediately be submitted in writing to Schjødt, in which the reason for your claim must be stated. No claim may be made more than six months after the later of (i) the date when the last invoice was issued for the engagement to which the claim refers or (ii) the date when the relevant circumstances were known to you or could have become known to you after reasonable investigations. In no circumstances can a claim be presented later than ten years after the advice to which the claim relates was given.
12. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Before undertaking an engagement, Schjødt will make sure that there is no conflict of interest in accordance with the Codes of Conduct of the Norwegian and/or Swedish Bar Association, or regulations, as applicable. If the client for the purpose of conflicts of interest wants all or several companies in the client’s group to be registered as clients, this must be agreed separately.
If Schjødt, due to conflict of interest or other circumstances, is prevented from proceeding an already commenced engagement, we are nevertheless entitled to compensation for work already carried out (and accrued expenses), unless Schjødt due to its own failure initiated the engagement.
13. CONFIDENTIALITY AND PUBLIC ACCESS
Schjødt and the individual employee have a duty of confidentiality as provided for in applicable legislation. Unless otherwise agreed in writing or prescribed by mandatory statutory provisions or applicable Codes of Conduct, Schjødt's clients are still considered to have agreed that confidential information may be shared with other employees in Schjødt than those working on the matter. The same applies in relation to external advisors engaged in connection with the matter, although the advisor is established outside the EU/EEA. Where we agree to carry out an engagement for more than one client, we have the right to disclose such materials and other information that one of the clients has imparted to us to the other clients. In some cases we also have a professional obligation to disclose such materials and information to the other clients.
Our duty of confidentiality and discretion will not normally prevent disclosing of information that is already common knowledge in the relevant industry or business concerning the parties involved, the business area, the nature of the matter or the value of the transactions and when it was completed.
Additionally, we may provide information as to which party we have assisted, unless we understand that in the specific matter concerned the information is confidential.
14. CASE DOCUMENTS
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, case documents will be destroyed after a certain amount of time and then stored digitally for a minimum of 10 years after completion of the work. Documents that are deposited with us on behalf of clients are not included in routine destruction.
We retain copyright to documents prepared by Schjødt and our employees. The client has the right to use the documents for the purpose for which they are intended.
15. COMPLETION OF THE ENGAGEMENT
Unless otherwise agreed, or unless there are still valid commitments in respect of other parties, the client may terminate the engagement at any time. We have the right to terminate our work on the matter in the instances specified in the Codes of Conduct of the Norwegian and/or Swedish Bar Association, as applicable. The client is obligated to pay our invoices irrespective of which party has terminated the engagement. To the extent permitted by law and/or the applicable Code of Conduct, we have a right of retention to all documents and any other assets in our possession pending payment of our invoices, unless there is a risk of the client losing a legal right.
Schjødt and our lawyers observe and are guided by the Codes of Conduct of the Norwegian and Swedish Bar Associations, and regulations.
Any complaints under the Code of Conduct of the Norwegian Bar Association or as set out in regulations may be submitted to the Disciplinary Committee of the Norwegian Bar Association or to the Disciplinary Council and any complaints under the Code of Conduct of the Swedish Bar Association may be submitted to the Disciplinary Committee of the Swedish Bar Association. More information is available at www.advokatforeningen.no and www.advokatsamfundet.se.
Schjødt reserves the right to amend or supplement the Terms from time to time. The latest version is available on our website: www.schjodt.no. Amendments to the Terms will become effective only in relation to engagements initiated after the amended version is published on our website. A copy of the latest version of the Terms will be sent to the client on request.
18. LANGUAGE VERSIONS
The Terms are produced in Norwegian, Swedish and English. If not agreed otherwise, the Norwegian version applies to clients domiciled in Norway, the Swedish version applies to clients domiciled in Sweden and the English version applies to all other clients.
19. GOVERNING LAW – ARBITRATION
All contractual relationships between Schjødt and our clients (including any appurtenant enterprises) concerning our services and any legal action or claims in this connection shall be governed by and construed in accordance with substantive Norwegian or Swedish law (depending on the office in which the responsible lawyer for relevant engagement is based).
The parties shall seek to resolve any disputes, controversy or claim in connection with Schjødt's engagement amicably. If the dispute, controversy or claim is not resolved amicably between the parties within a reasonable time, the dispute, controversy or claim shall be finally settled by arbitration under the Norwegian Arbitration Act, with the clarifications provided below as to place of arbitration and confidentiality, when Norwegian substantive law is applied, or in accordance with the Rules of the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, when Swedish substantive law is applied. The place of arbitration shall be Oslo, Norway, when Norwegian substantive law is applied, and Stockholm, Sweden, when Swedish substantive law is applied.
Arbitral proceedings and all information disclosed in the course of such arbitral proceedings, as well as any decision or award made or declared during the proceedings, shall be kept confidential and may not, in any form, be disclosed to a third party without the express consent of Schjødt or the client, as applicable. However, neither the client nor Schjødt shall be prevented from disclosing such information in order to preserve its rights against the other or an insurance policy underwriter or if the client or Schjødt is required to disclose the information pursuant to mandatory law or stock exchange rules and regulations or similar.
Notwithstanding the above, Schjødt has the right to pursue enforcement of overdue, undisputed payment of any sum due to us against the client in any court with jurisdiction over the client or any of the client’s assets.
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DAC 6 – EU Directive concerning automatic exchange of information that relates to reportable cross border tax arrangements
DAC 6 is a EU Directive which entails that advisers are subject to a duty to notify the relevant tax authorities concerning their client's cross border arrangements. The purpose of the information disclosure obligation is to combat tax evasion, tax fraud and tax avoidance.
The national legislation entered into force on 1 July 2020.
In order for an arrangement to be subject to the reporting duty, the arrangement must be cross border and have at least one of the "hallmarks" which indicate that there can be a risk of tax avoidance. These hallmarks are defined in the legislative proposal and have a broad scope of application. This means that an arrangement (for example a transaction) which is conducted without tax reasons can be subject to the reporting duty. It should also be specifically noted that the reporting duty relates to advisers who have participated in the transaction and in such event irrespective of whether they provided tax law advice or not.
Lawyers who are members of the Swedish Bar Association have a specifically regulated duty of confidentiality. The Swedish legislation thus includes an exemption for lawyers' reporting obligation. In light of the above, Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS, filial will not report any arrangements to the Swedish Tax Agency unless our client expressly instructs us to do so and in connection therewith releases us from our duty of confidentiality. In the event the client does not instruct us to report, then primarily the other advisers are responsible for ensuring that the transaction is reported (and ultimately the client).
In those cases where we do not report an arrangement to the Swedish Tax Agency, the legislation states that we should inform the client's other advisers that they should report. In the view of the Swedish Bar Association, however, we cannot do so without breaching our duty of confidentiality. This means that we will not inform other advisors of their obligation to report.
The new legislation (Swedish) is available here.
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