The Nordics

The Nordics comprise some of the most prosperous and developed countries in the world. The region accounts for a significant list of companies that are global leaders from biotech, shipping and drinks in Denmark through engineering and retail in Sweden, electronic gaming in Finland to oil extraction and fishing in Norway.  It is a group of nations with overlapping historical associations each with a system of law characterised by a down to earth approach to problem solving.

Collyer Bristow’s Nordic team is headed by William Hancock from the Private Client Services division who has worked with Nordic clients and Nordic law firms for over 20 years and travels to the region regularly.  Other members of the team include lawyers drawn from the Business Services division also with established associations within the region in the field intellectual property and employment law.

Our commitment to international business is reflected in our membership of more than 30 international associations, including regular participation in Nordic Chambers of Commerce events.

How we can help you


Nordic businesses investing in the UK may need legal assistance for a variety of reasons. The firm is very experienced in advising inbound investors, in particular in high technology. Our work includes mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures and shareholder investment. Nordic inward investment can often involve intellectual property aspects. We negotiate and draft commercial agreements including IP agreements (patents, trademarks, design and copyright and technology transfer) and pursue protection of rights. Our IP work includes conducting IP audits and advising on competition law compliance procedures. We are also experienced in the areas of manufacture and supply agreements, distribution and agency, advertising, franchising and merchandising. We advise on employment law matters, both non-contentious and contentious. We are well known for our litigation work for business clients and this includes handling a wide range of contractual and commercial disputes and arbitration.


We understand the estate planning and taxation issues which affect Nordic citizens and residents. More importantly, we understand how these matters interact with UK taxation and estate planning and we advise on how to mitigate tax for cross-border clients whether moving to England, or married to someone from, England or vice versa. 

On arrival in this country from the Nordics there may be an inheritance to contend with or matrimonial property issues on a divorce. There may be Wills that need to be prepared, perhaps required to cater for children born in a former marriage, and a house to rent or house acquisition to finance. These things often require a familiarity with how English law interacts with the local rules on joint property, marriage contracts, community of property, testamentary capacity, probate and the way that different types of assets may be tied up locally (e.g. under foundations).  We regularly prepare Wills and trusts for clients which dramatically reduce the tax they would otherwise face in both the UK and the Nordics.  We can also provide, reputation management, and matrimonial advice including the preparation of pre-nuptial agreements and have considerable experience in working and sharing sector specific expertise with local Nordic lawyers, accountants, wealth managers and investment advisers.

Nordic law firms

We work with Nordic law firms to pursue their clients’ interests in England – in particular law firms in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Oslo.  We work together in helping clients understand English concepts, such as how different types of trust will extend to them here and be interpreted at home. The summer house is an important aspect of Nordic life; it is where families like to return for long vacations. Often there are questions about how they can retain their properties in a manner which is tax efficient (from both a UK and local perspective). The differences between the Nordic systems of law and those within the UK almost invariably necessitate working closely with local specialist contacts in the provision of fiscal and estate planning products including overseas administered wills, life insurance, trusts and remittance planning and expatriation strategies.

Additional information