Monday, April 26, 2010

ILN-terviews: Tore Hjelseth, Hjelseth, Kilstad & Borgen DA

Welcome to ILN-terviews, a series of profiles of ILN member firm attorneys, designed to give a unique insight into the lawyers who make up our Network.
For our latest interview, we chose ILN member, Tore Hjelseth of Hjelseth, Kilstad & Borgen DA in Norway.

In one sentence, how would you describe your practice?
Our law firm, Advokatfirmaet Hjelseth, Kilstad & Borgen DA ("HKB") is a small firm having its specialisation in corporate law, particularly Mergers & Acquisitions (including cross-border transactions), stock exchange/securities law, tax, and general contract law.

Who would be your typical client?
Our typical client is a Norwegian mid-sized corporation acting in Norway and internationally, being owned either directly or ultimately by a larger foreign company and thus forms part in an international group. Our work will consist both of counselling for the Norwegian entity and for the owner (or ultimate parent), then relating to doing business in Norway through the Norwegian subsidiary.

What would you like clients and potential clients to know about you?
That we, as a small and expedient law firm, are known for providing efficient services with top quality, that the internal communication within HKB leads to quick deliveries not involving a number of lawyers pulverizing the responsibility to respond or enhancing of the legal fees.

What has been your most challenging case? Why?
Dealing with all legal aspects on behalf of a listed restructured company with an overseas management, carrying with it complicated inherited pre-restructuring issues, particularly related to erroneous accounts (in need of restating) dubious actions taken by the previous board of directors, hidden control mechanisms, loss making contracts and possible disloyalty.  The challenges in respect of clarifying historical facts from a regime under a management no longer in place, were numerous.

What has been your proudest moment as a lawyer?
Every time I can call a client late a night (when the client has gone to bed "knowing" that the deal was off), and say the following "we have solved it - they agreed."

What do you do when you're not practicing law?
Tennis, long cooking sessions accompanied with great wine, skiing/playing monopoly with my daughters, Wilma (8) and Andrea (6) in the mountains of "Norefjell" where I have a cottage.

What would surprise people most about you?
That I am an Ayn Rand libertarian, and the compatibility I feel this has with philanthropy and social consciousness (yes, actually!).

What has been your most memorable ILN experience?
I will never forget the first visit with ILN in San Francisco and the exceptionally friendly way in which we were met, and the positive energy this created.

What career would you have chosen if you weren't a lawyer?
Teacher - love to teach and the feeling of hitting the right string with pupils/students/audiences.

If a movie were made out of your life, who would you want to play you?
James Dean (alive!)

How would you like to be remembered?
Fair, friendly, helpful and with integrity to take on the burden to go against the majority and political correctness.

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