BAHR’s Public Sector expert group is composed of partners and attorneys with special expertise within the fields of Company Law, Contract Law, Competition Law, EU/EEA, Tax and fees, as well as Corporate M&A. The group also draws on the expertise of BAHR’s other expert groups.
Enterprises in the public sector currently account for a relatively large part of BAHR’s client base. Historically, this originates from the fact that, from the mid-1980s, BAHR was a legal advisor for what was then the Ministry of Industry (subsequently the Ministry of Trade). We assisted in demanding cases for clients including Horten Verft (shipyard), Kongsberg Våpenfabrikk (defence contractor), Sulitjelma Bergverk (quarry) and Norsk Jernverk (ironworks).
BAHR also assisted in several of the processes to deregulate previous directorates and state enterprises in the late 1990s. This deregulation gradually also included aviation, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, NSB (Norwegian State Railways), Statskog (national forestry), Vinmonopolet (state-owned liquor stores), Postverket (postal service), Statens medisinaldepot (Norwegian Medical Depot) and the pharmacies. In the same period, BAHR assisted in a number of other major cases and projects; examples include the Gardermobanen railway and the final settlement for the Oslofjord tunnel.
Within the public sector, we assist several ministries, public bodies, agencies, municipalities, state enterprises, as well as companies that are partially or wholly owned by the state. We are involved in a significant share of the major transactions, restructuring processes and other legal projects and assignments for the public sector. This experience facilitates inclusion of strategic and overarching assessments across various fields in those situations where this may be relevant. We also have extremely good insight into the special considerations that apply for enterprises that are closely linked to the public sector through ownership.
The combination of experience from both public and private activity on the part of the attorneys that provide this assistance is a clear advantage when it comes to utilising experience across sectors, not least in those situations where the state acts in a commercial capacity. This applies for example in connection with entering into contracts and follow-up, where the frame of reference for the discussion often presumes extensive experience.