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Kluge and social responsibility

Kluge has high ethical standards, and our goal is to promote our social responsibility through our work. Our profession is subject to strict ethical guidelines, which are regulated by Chapter 11 of the Courts of Justice Act and the Norwegian Bar Association’s Code of Practice for Lawyers.

Photo: NRC's Secretary General Jan Egeland

When we recruit to Kluge, we often consider the attitudes displayed in the candidates' theses. We look for an overall perspective and the ability to find a balance point between the parties in the law. This is a basic attitude that can be found in works and papers authored by us at Kluge. And that probably explains why we are often requested to write such in areas of the law, for the guidance of others.

Our authors are also lawyers

Kluge's lawyers are generous with the insight they have acquired. A solid number of books and commentaries on imports areas of the law are evidence of this claim. Some individuals would perhaps think that it was unwise of a law firm to share such knowledge to individuals other than their own clients. A deal is a deal of course – a published text on the law must provide in-depth and supplementary knowledge – you cannot hold back if you want to show the way.

Managing a law firm involves both social responsibility and good business. Making the law more accessible to more people is a good way of fulfilling both aims. All the departments at Kluge are responsible for significant publications that have increased the comprehension of complex laws. Many of them have become reference works, and are often on the syllabus at the university level, also in areas beyond pure law.

Over time, it has been satisfying to experience how this part of our business has shown the way, for us and others. Some works are the further development of dissertations after the completion of a law degree. Others are the result of the fact that the firm's lawyers have become authorities in their areas.

For example, the Internet and digital media have put pressure on traditional copyright law due to a new reality and new issues. When Thomas Rieber-Mohn published "Digital Private Copying" through Gyldendal Akademisk, the book from Kluge received a lot of attention. Due to the amount of interest in advance, it was launched at a seminar arranged by the publisher, which was attended by 400 individuals from the public sector, business sector and academic community. Several national newspapers covered the seminar, and Rieber-Mohn's statement that the Norwegian Copyright Act had to be adjusted in step with the technological opportunities was fodder for debate in the newspapers.

There was far from as much commotion when Morten Karlsen's "Removal Contracts in the Petroleum Activities" was published in 2012. Nevertheless, the book is important now that many of these installations have reached the end of their useful life. Karlsen discusses whether a provider of removal services may demand a variation order if the condition of the installation deviates from what was stipulated when the contract was signed. Clear guidelines based on maritime law increase the probability that a proper job will be done, which is something that will benefit society at large.

Norwegian Refugee Council and Kluge

Kluge and the Norwegian Refugee Council have entered into cooperation to help displaced people with the necessary legal guidance and advice. What we usually take for granted, is often a chaotic reality for a refugee. What happens in connection with the loss of papers, identity, abandoned property, civil rights, finances and social rights when you are displaced due to war or natural disaster?

These important questions are part of the agenda of the Norwegian Refugee Council, and they have extensive legal activities. Kluge can contribute to strengthening the level of legal expertise by being an active contributor and partner. The agreement is a milestone that forms a model for the future with regard to cooperation between private enterprises and a humanitarian organisation.

Joint efforts

For Kluge, this means new insight and development in areas such as human rights and humanitarian work. For the Norwegian Refugee Council, it means that the organisation will gain new expertise and broader legal knowledge. This cooperation is in other words a win-win situation in which the staff in both camps are eager to contribute.

At Kluge we would like to take social responsibility seriously, and it is important for us to do something beyond solely providing financial support. We want to use of profession to do good. Cooperation with the Norwegian Refugee Council is thus a gift to us.