Your most important membership benefit

As a member of Forskerforbundet (the Norwegian Association of Researchers – NAR), you are entitled to legal assistance in matters of employment law. Our experienced attorneys are ready to help you on the day you need it.

Article Image

Head of our legal department, attorney Mariann Helen Olsen

It can happen to all of us: One day you run into problems in your employment and need help. If you are in need of a lawyer, good legal advice is expensive. One of the biggest advantages of being a member of Forskerforbundet is the possibility of free legal assistance. Our team of five experienced attorneys and a trainee lawyer are ready to help. Head of our legal department, Mariann Helen Olsen, explains what it takes to get help.

– Free legal assistance is a significant benefit for members. Forskerforbundet's members can get help in legal matters related to their main employment relationship. There may be cases related to, for example, termination, dismissal, conflicts, restructuring, or the like.

However, it is important to note that there is a qualifying period of three months after you have become a member. Our working methodology is also such that all matters are first submitted to the local union representative, as we have good experience that most matters are best resolved locally, says Olsen.

If a solution is not reached, fortunately we have experienced attorneys who can prosecute cases all the way to the Supreme Court.

When Forskerforbundet assists with lawsuits, the members have the opportunity to have all legal costs covered, including imposed legal costs. The attorneys assess whether the case is suitable for proceedings and whether there is an opportunity to win the case.

Sometimes, good advice come costly. There's also a difference between being right and getting right. In this sense, a good advice can actually be that you don't have a case. Otherwise, this could easily become a "disservice" to the members, Olsen continues.

She tells of a steady increase in the number of inquiries from members.

2023 was a hectic year that was characterized by restructuring, redundancies and downsizing. Nevertheless, the lawyers achieved good solutions for the members and prevented many dismissals. They have also been successful in winning cases about illegal temporary employment. New in 2024 is that the state has had to cover legal costs where our cases about dismissals have led to victory.

Legal assistance in Forskerforbundet

  • Forskerforbundet has a legal department consisting of five experienced attorneys and one trainee lawyer. One of the lawyers has the right to appear before the Norwegian Supreme Court.
  • The legal department takes care of the members in employment law matters. The attorneys prosecute the cases before the court and have had cases before the Supreme Court. Legal assistance is mainly provided by Forskerforbundet's own lawyers.
  • Forskerforbundet's legal assistance is regulated by guidelines adopted by the Executive Board, but also by the Lawyers Act.
  • The Lawyers Act stipulates, among other things, that lawyers cannot be instructed about the professional execution of a case, and have a strict duty of confidentiality. The ethical principles state that it is the member's best interest that is decisive for the handling of a case. The lawyers are obliged to have good knowledge of the subject area in which advice is given, and to follow up with compulsory further education.
  • Forskerforbundet also has a cooperation agreement with the law firm Ness Lundin DA in matters of occupational injury, and a cooperation agreement with the law firm Stray Vyrje & co DA in matters of intellectual property rights and research ethics.
  • It is Forskerforbundet that assesses whether the cases should be handed over to one of these law firms, and the expenses are then covered by us.
  • We also have discount agreements with law firms in areas where Forskerforbundet does not assist, such as e.g. tax or inheritance, or where members are not entitled to assistance (e.g. due to the three month qualifying period). Members have to contact these firms themselves, and cover the costs.