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Administrative Law

Thorough knowledge of general administrative law is a basic prerequisite for being able to offer advice to clients within the public sector, regardless of whether the issue is decisions, procurement, entering into agreements or general business procedures in the public sector. Impartiality and proper case procedure are important principles in the entire public sector. Thorough knowledge of administrative law is also imperative to our advisory services to private companies and individuals who are in contact with public authorities.

We assist the public sector with legislation- and research work, assessment of legal authority and negotiations. We advice on organisation of operations, contractual issues and in connection with complaints or lawsuits from private individuals.

We also offer assistance to private individuals and privately owned companies in application procedures, complaint issues, processes for the courts and dialogue with the authorities. The assistance includes legal areas such as planning and building, public procurement, social security, immigration law, child welfare etc.

Our attorneys have background from among other the Attorney General’s office, the Office of the Prime Minister, the office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, the government offices and ESA. Several of our attorneys are recognised as the foremost administrative law experts in Norway.

Selected areas of expertise

Contact with public authorities

Private companies and individuals meet the public authorities in a number of settings. Hjort assists with legal and strategic advise in all issues where contact with public authorities are necessary. Hjort has extensive experience in assisting both businesses and individuals with contact towards public authorities.

Public regulations and constraints

All businesses must relate to various types of public legal constraints set out by the authorities. These regulations requires adherence, action and reporting. Hjort assists both small and large private businesses in a number of sectors with adhering to the regulations. We assist businesses within the telecom, oil- and gas, energy, life science and consumables sectors. Our assistance includes among other application processes, tender processes, public inquiries, lobbying and strategic advice, complaints to public authorities and dispute resolutions before the courts.

Public access and confidentiality

Everyone has the right to inspect the authorities’ case documents. This right is principal, but it also has limits. A particular issue is what kind of information is subject to confidentiality, and which the authorities consequently are not allowed to disclose to others.

Our assistance includes application/requests for disclosure, complaints to public authorities and the Ombudsman, and assistance to the authorities with preparing guidelines and routines for handling requests for disclosure. We are also frequently used as lecturers on the topic of public access/disclosure.

Our attorneys are experts on the Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova), parties’ right to information and confidentiality issues, and assists both private and public enterprises with assessment of which information the public and the parties in a case have access right to. Hjort Partner Kristian Brandt is co-author of the commentary issue to the Freedom of Information Act (Universitetsforlaget/Juridika).

Organisation of public operations

The way that public authorities organise their operations are constantly changing to ensure that public tasks are handled in the best possible way.

The organisation of public operations requires thorough knowledge of the public sector and the framework and constrictions the public sector is subject to. In addition, knowledge of company law, government subsidy regulations, tender regulations, employment law and tax- and duties regulations is important.

We can offer public sector clients assistance in the complete spectrum of legal issues which may arise when choosing to organise the whole or part of the operations in for example a shareholding. Hjort’s broad experience and multidisciplinary practice makes us the ideal adviser for our clients from the start of an idea until the new company is established.

Subsidy management

Hjort has for a number of years assisted various public bodies and enterprises in the subsidy management sector. This type of enterprise is subject to a number of issues in connection with terms for receiving subsidies, follow-up, control etc.