Arntzen de Besche is one of the leading Norwegian business law firms, whose tax department is specialised in assistance on large cross-border M&A and restructuring matters, as well as offering expertise in tax disputes. The team focuses its expertise on assisting clients within the shipping, oil and gas, real estate and financial sectors. It is led by partners Anders Heieren, Eyvind Sandvik and Rune Tjomsås Andersen.
The tax department recently advised Shearwater GeoServices on its publicised acquisition of WesternGeco's marine seismic department, including all vessels, steamers and technology. The cross-border acquisition has resulted in a $600 million cash consideration, along with a complex share split between Schlumberger, GC Rieber Shipping and RASMUSSENGRUPPEN.
One notable departure from the practice during the research period was partner Ulf Werner Andersen, who retired from practice.
Norwegian law firm BAHR is widely recognised as one of the leading firms for all areas of corporate taxation. Its tax department is made of five partners, as well as a group of more junior professionals. The team includes department head Joachim Bjerke, as well as the head of oil and gas practice Jan Jansen and Peter Hammerich, head of the asset management and private equity market group.
The firm currently advises a number of oil companies operating on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The Norwegian Oil Taxation Office argued that the previously tax-deductible costs of joint public and private sector research conducted on the shelf should be invoiced to the Norwegian's related companies in other jurisdictions, rather than made tax deductible , as they argue that the related companies will benefit from the research.
Brækhus's tax department has a strong focus on providing indirect tax advice to clients. Nils Eriksen heads the indirect division of the team and is supported by a small team of associates. Antonio Holstad is head of the whole tax department, which advises on real estate, international taxation and tax litigation.
The firm is currently advising a number of MNEs on VAT matters in Norway, including a global financial services group, a global electronic services provider and an international airline. It is also assisting a multinational real estate group on aspects of Norwegian VAT and corporate tax relating to a new development project.
Deloitte operates one of the largest tax and legal departments in Norway, with 27 partners and 190 professionals serving Norwegian clients, as well as network-wide clients, on an array of tax matters. The firm shares a close connection with other Nordic Deloitte offices, offering an integrated regional approach for clients. The team is led by managing partner Rolf Saastad, who is supported by a wider team that includes seven department heads.
“We are extremely satisfied with the work performed by our team at Deloitte. Their strength is that they know our company inside out and they use this information to help us adjust and act rapidly when things change.”
“The work performed by Deloitte is great. They are easy to deal with, deliver on time with the required quality, and at the agreed price. They are also proactive in terms of alerting us of issues outside the agreed scope.”
DLA Piper operates a cross-border Nordic tax department, with a focus on cross-border taxation work. The Norway team is specialised in assisting domestic and multinational corporations and real estate clients. Partner Preben Aas leads the department. He is supported by associate partner Jonas Aartun and associate Simen Stokka.
The firm is currently advising the Skanska Group on the direct and indirect taxes associated with a number of sales and acquisitions within Norway, as well as on Norwegian real estate tax. The firm has also represented former board of directors at AS Kraftsgate 2 in a court case alleging tax fraud against the directors, as well as business misconduct.
Dr K Olsen Global Tax is a tax boutique, offering advice and representation across all areas of tax law. Knut Olsen, the sole practitioner at the firm, advises clients from a wide variety of industries with indirect and direct taxation.
The firm is currently assisting a number of large corporate clients in Norway with the documentation and assessment necessary to achieve the ISO 9001:2015 certification throughout all of the 164 countries where the client operates.
The tax and legal services division of PwC in Norway is widely recognised as one of the best in Norway. It has dedicated experts for an array of tax matters, including specialists in petroleum tax, energy tax and oil and gas taxation, as well as corporate restructurings and M&A deals. It operates in seven cities across the country and regularly works with fellow Nordic offices, as well as with worldwide offices.
The firm recently advised Kongsberg Gruppen on its £500 million acquisition of Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine. Each group has a presence in numerous countries across the world. As such, the transaction involved 13 PwC offices, led by the team in Oslo. The team also advised Helly Hansen on its recent sale to Canadian Tire.
Ræder is a local law firm, with a sizeable tax department. This includes 11 practitioners, including seven specialising in a variety of practice areas. The team is led by partner Hans Olav Hemnes, who is a specialist tax litigator. It advises clients in all areas of taxation, focusing on internationals as well as medium-and-large Norwegian companies. It is especially capable within tax litigation and corporate transactions and reorganisations.
The firm currently acts as the retained adviser for one of the largest Nordic shipping businesses, advising on all aspects of corporate tax and special taxations schemes, including Norwegian tonnage tax. The firm recently finished advising Black Bricks on its $11 million property acquisition and immediate forward transaction sale of the property through a structural model agreed with the authorities during an advanced ruling.
“Very detailed information for us to act on and very good understanding of the case.”
Selmer is strong Norwegian law firm, with a tax department of four partners, as well as a small team of associates. Sverre Hveding is the practice head, as well as being the co-head of the venture capital division. The department acts as a full-service tax counsel, with special expertise covering transactions, reorganisations and indirect taxation. The firm has also been active in a number of tax litigation cases, as well as pre-litigation discussions with the authorities.
The firm has also represented clients in the energy sector, including advising SKS Produksjon on its eligibility for tax deductions on the Natural Resource Rent Tax as well as advising Statnett on an appeal following the demand for information on the value of its power transmission lines by 65 municipalities.
“Very solution-oriented, yet thorough. Commercial mind-set.”
“High quality legal advice understanding of the power sector, which was to our benefit. They are service-minded and provided the requested advice within tight timeframes.”
Thommessen holds the largest tax department in Norway, outside of the Big Four audit firms. The team is led by eight partners, who are managed by department head Finn Backer-Grøndahl. A team of 14 other practitioners, including managing associates, senior associates and associates, supports the partners. The firm advises clients in all areas of corporate taxation while also advising on special tax regimes such as shipping and energy tax, indirect taxation and tax disputes.
The firm represent Skangas LNG Production in its District Court case regarding the client’s right to reduce the rate of excise duties on electrical power purchases through business coding. It also represented Orange Business Services in a transfer pricing controversy, regarding the profit split method employed by Orange Business Services on a global level.
“The firm is very responsive and thorough in their answers. They have been very helpful in the work they've done on our audits and are able to provide technical advice in an easy to understand manner.”