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Our history from 1949

Our history

Ræder Wisløff Aasland ANS dates back to 1949, when two attorneys, Jacques F. Ræder and Einar Blanck, set themselves up in offices on Karl Johansgt. in Oslo. These two attorneys had a number of reasons for establishing this partnership: they were about the same age, both grew up in Oslo and they had a well-established network of contacts with larges sections of the city's business sector, including a number of commercial associations and organisations. Another factor was that Ræder and Blanck both had experience of being imprisoned by the Germans during the war, and they were both involved in the legal purges as part of their work with the Department of Enemy Property.

Since it was established, Ræder Wisløff Aasland (previously known as Ræder Blanck Wisløff Aasland) has mainly focused its activities on the commercial legal sector. This has provided us with a platform for developing extensive legal and practical expertise in most areas dealing with trade and commerce. Our clients have mainly been small and medium-sized businesses, but have included, and still do, an ever-increasing number of major companies which are leaders in their respective sectors. As a result of our work and the expertise we have demonstrated through it, we have also been involved for many years in carrying out administrative functions for various commercial associations, and we are currently acting as legal advisers to a number of associations and organisations, including both previous federations of Norwegian Commercial Associations, the Federation of Norwegian Wholesalers, Norwegian Textiles Federation, Federation of Norwegian Commercial Agents, Oslo Federation of Commercial Associations, Bokreditt and the Norwegian Federation of Credit Card Companies, among others.

As a result of working in a wide-ranging, varied area such as commerce, we have also had to expand and continually update our expertise in company and tax law, inheritance law and other disciplines. Also, the contacts we have made with people working for our many clients have resulted, down the years, in a number of assignments involving civil law. Some of these concern, in particular, inheritance, probate and family law issues.

Originating from the commercial sector, the firm has taken on assignments over the years acting as managing agents and advisers for a number of major developments, both residential and commercial. The biggest project of this kind so far was the development of the Rommen commercial area in Groruddalen here in Oslo, in partnership with the municipal development company Oslo Næringsselskap AS as the client. As a result of this type of assignment, we have developed considerable expertise in contract law and in dealing with the problems which actually crop up on a regular basis during the purchase and development of properties at every stage of the process, from planning and design right through to completion.

Thanks to our network of contacts, we managed to get involved early on in what is currently known as the ICT sector, an area which we have focused a great deal of effort in developing. We have been widely operating in this sector for a number of years, being involved in the process of setting up many of these companies, right through to their listing on the stock market.

Ottesen & Co. DA is continuing the activities of the legal firm that was started by the attorney Ingar Nilsen, (born 16.12.1848). He was the brother of Anthon B. Nilsen, a writer, who is perhaps better known under his pseudonym Elias Kræmmer. Ingar Nilsen ran what was considered to be a large legal practice for its time. He was chairman of a number of public committees, including committees dealing with the law concerning Treasury levies and for revising civil process legislation. His successor was Aage Schou, who ran a commercial legal practice which was taken over by Eivind M. Bade in 1946 and took on Jan Fredrik Ottesen as a partner in 1976.

Ottesen & Co. DA has, just like Ræder Wisløff Aasland ANS, mainly operated in the commercial legal field, dealing with small and medium-sized commercial companies. This legal firm helped to set up the C.C. (Cash & Carry) companies and AS Verkstedbygg – a company which helped small and medium-sized businesses who had their premises condemned in the centre of Oslo to move to nice new premises. The first major development it was involved in was the commercial premises in the Tveita commercial area and then, in what was known as the N 92/ Jerikoveien development in Furuset. This was followed later by the development of the N 214/Skovbakken in Holmlia, managed by Oslo Næringsselskap AS, which was a continuation of AS Verkstedbygg. This firm has also had a large number of clients handling the management of commercial premises and has acted as an adviser to family-owned property companies, etc. Ottesen & Co. DA has also dealt with civil law matters, involving inheritances and trusts. The firm was commissioned too by the Oslo bankruptcy court to deal with insolvency proceedings.

The merger of these two legal firms to become the new legal firm Ræder Wisløff Aasland Ottesen DA was prompted by the trend taking place in the economy, in other respects, towards larger, more efficient organisations. Although this merger is a response to current and hopefully, future challenges, we are still focusing on preserving and enhancing further the experience and expertise which we have developed in the areas we have been working until now, both in terms of clients and sectors. We still very much believe that, in our clients' best interests, it helps when we are providing assistance to get to know each other, both on a business and personal level. By doing this, it provides us with the opportunity to help develop business and avoid many problems which can occur. In our view, these historical traditions and experience we have acquired provide the best basis too for providing legal assistance now and in the future.