Lawyers outdo brokers on company party

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One of Oslo’s biggest law firms has managed to outdo a local real estate brokerage when it comes to fancy means of celebrating themselves.

It was just last week that one of Norway’s high-profile real estate firms confirmed it had spent around NOK 1.5 million flying its top performers to Los Angeles for  a week of fun in the sun, plus  conference to justify expenses. Now newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) has reported that law firm Bugge Arentz-Hansen & Rasmussen (BA-HR) invited all of its employees to Monaco, for a long weekend early last summer that cost the company around NOK 4.5 million (USD 820,000).

Around 180 BA-HR employees were sent by private jet to the five-star Fairmont Hotel in Monte Carlo, where the lowest room rate costs the equivalent of NOK 2,700 per night (around USD 500). The hotel is also known for its spa and champagne bar.

“It’s important to show that the employees are valued,” BA-HR partner Sam Erling Harris told DN. “Absolutely everyone in the firm was invited, from the youngest part-time employee working on the reception desk to the most senior partner.” Even newly employed lawyers who hadn’t started at BA-HR yet were included.

BA-HR reported gross revenues of NOK 447 million in 2010 and was celebrating its 45th anniversary. Its partners also top the ranking of Norway’s most highly paid lawyers.

BA-HR,  however, isn’t the only law firm treating its employees to lavish foreign trips. Schjødt flew 175 employees to the island of Hvar in Croatia last year, while Thommessen invited its staff to Dubai last week. Law firm officials believe the trips boost fellowship among employees and build up team morale.

Views and News staff