It started with four heads and some cardboard boxes ...

The office before opening and one of our first articles in Finansavisen
The office before opening and one of our first articles in Finansavisen

The legal profession is conservative. Tired of putting on the industry's "straitjacket" on top of the blue suit, we wanted to do something new. We wanted to create a new environment for ourselves, one that clients and potential colleagues would also apire to. With cardboard boxes and a sublease agreement in hand, we pursued this idea in January 2020. In the beginning, we juggled assisting clients and getting settled in our premises at Tjuvholmen in Oslo (you do not have to move from the industry neighborhood to think new).

Almost two years later, we are proud of what we have built. Not only have we got the screen that was missing when Finansavisen visited the first month (ref. The picture above), but we have also grown our team. In the start-up phase, we (like all other companies) have faced small and large challenges, but as self-proclaimed challengers, we have of course not let ourselves be stopped by any challenges! In this text we have tried to summarize the experiences we have had along the way.

An industry characterized by long traditions

The tradition in the law industry is a standard setup with partner structures. There are many large, full-service law firms that have worked up a name for themselves and a well-deserved client base. If you are going to use a service, you often go for those who have a well-known brand and a long track record. Maybe you get a recommendation from an acquaintance or colleague. Being new requires building credibility, and gaining market recognition takes time. One of the reasons why we chose to set up a specialist company with a focus on transactions was not only that it was where our expertise and interest lay - we also saw an opportunity to do it in a way that is more efficient and appropriate for everyone involved. More partner involvement. Compact teams. Shorter distance internally, but also between client and lawyer. Project managers and teammates who are concerned with finding good solutions, taking care of and driving processes forward. If you have a heart attack, you want the best surgeon to operate on you. If you are going to complete a transaction or listing, you want to go to the ones who are best in that field. Without comparing the two 😉

What was important for us in the beginning?

Through a workshop in the start-up phase, we talked about ideas on how we could stand out through brand identity. To break through dark colors and hard lines, we went in a totally opposite direction - pink colors with soft lines and logo. Even though we are razor sharp in the work we do, we want to show that we are available and pleasant to work with!

Workshop in the start-up phase

A mantra at the establishment was that we should build a large family of dedicated employees where everyone is consulted in important decisions about the company's development. We have succeeded in this despite the corona, and we feel confident that involvement is a key word for success. Involvement in all stages, we have taken to the next level by inviting all employees to the owner side. Employees (who are not partners) currently own over 20% of the shares in the company. This is how we believe everyone puts in the extra gear for our clients, and at the same time benefits from the company doing well. We must also be dedicated and committed to our social responsibility and sustainability work, something we have worked on from the start. We all have a responsibility for our common future, and we will contribute in our own way. Our social commitment goes beyond being a lawyer.

Opening ceremony
AGP is open!

Recruitment and building culture in a pandemic

As newly established, recruitment is required at all levels. In the same way that clients may want the big and well-known companies, potential employees can think the same. It feels safer to go for a job at a place you have heard a lot about. With a small team, each employments counts and it is crucial that every person fits into the mix. You have to have an "entrepreneurial gene" an like to "get your hands dirty". In return, you get to be part of where the exciting things happen and are exposed to a wider range of tasks than you may get in larger companies. Not everyone dares to take that step, be it graduates or partners. But we who have done so have never looked back!

Partners at Arbeidslivsdagene
Arbeidslivsdagene 2020

Building culture in the workplace is essential and something you have to work with every day. The challenges present themselves in the home office without the usual talk by the coffee machine. Having to send new employees home with a laptop in hand and a "good luck" is a situation we had not imagined at the start. But, in many ways, we got closer to each other. We got to "come home" to each other. We met each others pets and children. Digital after work and birthday celebrations. Through a weekly Friday gathering "AGP TGIF" we had a quiz with a theme every week where everyone had to choose a personal background picture and tell a little about the picture. We learned where our colleagues have vacationed, what instruments they play and their favorite feature at the Melodi Grand Prix!

AGP employees at Teams meeting
One of many Teams meetings

The heads have outnumbered the cardboard boxes

Now we are back in the office, the cardboard boxes have long since been cleared away and 4 have become 18. We have completed national and international transactions, and a large proportion of our clients are regulars. Every day, we at AGP continue the work of showing that we are a relevant alternative to the large law firms - both for clients and future colleagues!

Contact us

Gard A. Skogstrøm


Ketil Enerstad Sauarlia


Lars André Gjerdrum


Nils Olav Aarseth