Lawyers accused of hiking their fees

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Some major law firms in Oslo reportedly have raised their fees to as much as NOK 5,200 (USD 611) per hour since New Year, just as hard-hit oil and offshore companies need legal advice in the midst of a major downturn.

“Jacking up fees right when the (oil) industry is on its knees is wrong,” Andreas Slettvoll, a lawyer at Oslo firm Steenstrup Stordrange told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) this week. “This is an industry that’s experiencing enormous cutbacks, and then it’s both out of touch with reality and wrong to raise fees.” He recently left the oil business himself.

DN reported last weekend that the highest legal fees in Norway have been around NOK 4,500 an hour, but they’d gone up. “That’s correct,” confirmed managing partner Finn Bjørnstad at law firm Wikborg Rein, “but our average honorarium is much lower.” Now some firms have boosted fees to NOK 5,200, according to some sources who contacted DN.

Dag S Kaada of law firm Schjødt confirmed it had raised fees this year but refused to say how high. “That’s a matter between us and our clients,” Kaada told DN.

newsinenglish.no staff