Our lawyers have extensive experience in these areas and may guide our clients efficiently through the regulatory framework. We are on top of the latest national and international legislative developments and case law. We also have in depth understanding of the EEA Agreement and several of our lawyers have work experience from the EFTA bodies, the Secretariat and the EFTA Surveillance Authority.

Public Procurement

Norway has an extensive public economy and the Norwegian official agencies and departments are important participants in many markets.

Public sector procurement constitutes a substantial part of the annual turnover for a large portion of our clients. Therefore a correct understanding of the legal framework in the field of public procurement is of essence. The fact that this legal framework is in constant change, makes it both challenging and expensive to ensure a correct application and enforcement. One must therefore have the necessary overview in order to identify the possibilities, the pitfalls and the possible mistakes which have occurred or may occur.

Our assistance to contracting authorities may for example cover:

  • on-going legal advice, knowledge sharing including seminars on different levels
  • planning, execution of and quality checks of tenders and tender documentation.
  • Assessment of the most suitable procurement strategy, including contract forms and negotiations.
  • Establish templates, checklists and procurement-routines.
  • Formulate contract documents, qualifications and the award-criteria.
  • Assistance in negotiations, including assessment of tenders.
  • Assessment on legal issues which may arise, such as exclusion, use of different competition forms, annulments etc.
  • Handling of complaints
  • Legal disputes, including interlocutory injunctions and lawsuits.

Assistance to tenderers may for example cover:

  • on-going consultation, knowledge sharing including seminars tailored to different business areas
  • Assistance in the tender-process, including:
  • Assessment of the contract documentation, the conditions, risks and assistance with questions to the contracting authority
  • Prepare or/and quality check of the tender
  • Assessment on possibilities and risks by taking reservations and in making derogations
  • Assistance in the competition phase, including negotiations
  • Assessment on legal issues such as exclusion from participation, use of different competition forms, annulments, etc.
  • Assistance in complaints processes
  • Legal disputes, including interlocutory injunctions and lawsuits.

EU/EEA and competition law

EU is Norway’s most important trade partner and the EEA Agreement is the largest and most extensive international legally binding agreement Norway has ever entered into. Our knowledge of the EEA Agreement, the Internal Market, and the Four Freedoms, including what limitations and possibilities the EEA Agreement entails is thus of great importance for your business. Through our understanding of the EEA Agreement we may secure legal rights and win contracts as well as point out errors and/or lacking conformity with the Norwegian government´s administration implementation of EEA relevant acts into domestic legal order and in general with EEA regulatory requirements.

Further, the state aid and competition rules are a very important part of the EEA Agreement. Many of our lawyers, with a background from the EFTA bodies, have hands on work experience with both State Aid and Competition law both from the public and private perspective. Thus, we understand the possibilities and limitations of the system and how it affects you.

In the area of competition law we regularly assist both national and international clients in order to clarify, and – if necessary – to avoid agreements entered into with price-, market-sharing and unlawful cooperation clauses. We assist on R&D agreements, specialisation agreements, project- and public procurement cooperation, distribution-, agent- and franchise- agreements. We regularly evaluate the legality of exclusive agreements, rebate structures, volume (off-take) commitments and other clauses with potential anti-competitive effect. Our services also entail a dialogue and clarification of cases with the relevant Competition Authorities; the Norwegian Competition Authority, the EFTA Surveillance Authority (ESA) and the EU Commission. For us in DLA Piper it is just as natural – and obvious – to work alongside/against the EU Commission and ESA as it is to work with the Norwegian Competition Authority.

We assist clients to understand their possibilities and limitation if they have a high market share – dominant position – in one or more market(s). Further we assist with the development of competition compliance manuals and also assist on dawn-raids and other investigations/sector enquiries, , hereunder also evaluations and assistance in relation to leniency applications and in private investigations.

An important part of our competition practise is related to transactions, that is mergers (including joint ventures) and acquisitions that take place in Norway. In 2014 the thresholds for notifications were increased, but the Norwegian Competition Authority is still competent to review transactions and impose a duty to notify the transaction even if the thresholds are not reached. A thorough risk assessment is thus still important for our clients, hereunder an early identification of potential problems and corrective measures. Our team has extensive experience from complex, demanding and high profiled competition matters both in the EU and Norway.

Our role is to resolve the challenges that arise in an objectve, discret, neutral and pragmatic manner.

Furthermore, we also assist in the clearance of merger notifications and regulatory issues towards sector authorities such as the Norwegian Competition Authority, Post- and Telecom Directorate, and the Media Authority. In addition we provide regulatory assistance vis-à-vis other supervisory authorities such as the national Civil Aviation Authority, Medicine Agency and other relevant public bodies and departments with regard to legislative- and regulatory exemptions, conditions, concessions and licenses.

Our Regulatory service is “seamless” and our team is a part of a greater EMEA-team. Our cooperation within Scandinavia and the Brussels office is particularly strong.