Jan Fougner is a specialist on litigation and employment law and has extensive experience from a number of high-profile cases involving legal, political and reputational risk. He has litigated approximately 20 cases before the Supreme Court. In addition, Mr. Fougner works with contract law, petroleum law, administrative law, environmental law and the law of damages. He is Professor II of Employment Law at BI Norwegian Business School and the author of several textbooks. He gives lectures on a regular basis and has vast experience from public and private boards, councils and committees. He has also been the head of several major investigations.

Mr. Fougner has extensive experience with management and change processes in which the framework conditions of collective employment law and the restoration of the employer's managerial prerogative are of vital importance. He is also leading in Norway on compliance, anti-corruption, corporate penalty, conflict and crisis management, and subsequent clear-up processes under both Norwegian and international legislation, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Mr. Fougner is ranked as Norway's leading expert investigations in the Norwegian Financial Daily’s annual lawyers survey, and as a leading lawyer on employment law by ChaChambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Jan Fougner leads the Wiersholm employment practice and is a top practitioner in the market. One client reports: "He has an extraordinary combination of understanding the individual approach and then managing to go from there to the strategic level, and moving up and down that path, combining the strategic and the individual elements."

Chambers Europe, 2018


  • The Supreme Court found in favour of Jan Fougner's client in that lawyers' investigation work is, as the clear main rule, subject to a duty of confidentiality and thus exempt from disclosure just like other legal work.
  • Mr. Fougner held a central position as an external advisor in the restructuring of a substantial Norwegian manufacturing business.
  • Mr. Fougner held a central position as an external advisor in several replacements of top executives in major Norwegian businesses.
  • Mr. Fougner held a central position as an external advisor in the change of a tariff agreement regime in a major Norwegian manufacturing business.
  • Mr. Fougner has held a central position in the Supreme Court's clarification of the scope of employers' management prerogative. In 2014, the Supreme Court found in favour of Fougner's client in that it takes a lot to disregard the employer's discretion in employment matters, even if allegations of discrimination have been made.

Professional Experience

  • Professor II, BI Norwegian Business Schoool, 2015-
  • Partner, Wiersholm, 1994
  • Lawyer, Wiersholm, 1993
  • Lawyer, the Attorney General (Civil Affairs), 1988-1993
  • Editor, "Arbeidsrett", Universitetsforlaget, 2004–2013
  • Main Editor, "EasyFind Arbeidsrett", 1999-
  • Censor, the Faculty of Law, University of Oslo, 1988-1994
  • Scientific Assistant, the Department of Public Law, University of Oslo, 1986-1987


  • Ph.D, Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, 2007
  • Admitted to the Supreme Court, 1993
  • Cand. jur., University of Oslo, 1988

Board Memberships

  • Head of the legislative committee for employment law of the Norwegian Bar Association