Schjødt is internationally recognized and respected as one of Norway'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 Norwegian full service business law firm with a team of over 180 lawyers in Oslo, Stavanger, Ålesund, Bergen and London. From October 9, 2019, Schjødt has announced its expansion to Sweden through a merger with Hamilton, a Swedish law firm consisting of 65 lawyers. Together 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.
- We have nine lawyers with a Ph.D. and more than 50 % of our lawyers have international education and/or experience.
- 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 and with Norwegian 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. We believe and experience that our people, based on this approach, find their work meaningful and stimulating. In Schjødt we have a saying; we have inherited and maintain "a fearless tradition". For us, this means that we, when necessary, are willing to advance and support legal positions and pursue processes that, in our view are important, even though they may not commercially beneficial for 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 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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