Maria Fogdestam Agius

Leaders in Law endorses Maria Fogdestam Agius as our exclusively recommended expert in Sweden. If you wish to get in touch with Maria, please use the contact information provided above.

Maria Fogdestam Agius practice as part of the firm’s Dispute Resolution Group focuses on international dispute settlement. In particular, she advises and represent States and private entities in matters pertaining to public international law, treaty-based dispute settlement and international human rights.

Maria has expertise on a wide range of public international law topics, including inter alia the law of treaties, the law on State responsibility, the law on State and diplomatic immunity, international investment law, the law of the sea and Business & Human Rights. Maria Fogdestam Agius has experience of protecting foreign investments through international arbitration, advising individuals and companies on claims against governments and on the enforcement of awards against sovereign entities. She has equally assisted States defending against claims before international courts and tribunals and safeguarding sovereign and diplomatic immunities before national courts. Maria has represented corporate as well as sovereign clients in international arbitration and litigation and have appeared as an advocate before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the Swedish Supreme Court. She also practices in human rights, advising in particular on Business and Human Rights regulatory and guidance frameworks, corporate ESG responsibilities and human rights due diligence.

Maria holds a Master of Laws in Public International Law and Procedural Law and a Doctor of Laws in Public International Law, both from Uppsala University.

Prior to joining Westerberg & Partners in 2020, she practiced for six years at the public international law firm Volterra Fietta in London, where she primarily worked on State-to-State disputes and high-profile investor-State arbitration cases. Notable representations in the public domain include acting for the United Arab Emirates in Qatar v. United Arab Emirates (International Court of Justice), acting for the Federal Republic of Nigeria in Nigeria v. Interocean (ICSID), acting for the Arab Republic of Egypt in Al Jazeera v. Egypt (ICSID) and acting for Owens-Illinois EG on annulment in OIEG v. Venezuela (ICSID). Maria also provided advice to a number of governments on public international law matters, including inter alia the legality of military intervention and the use of force, international humanitarian law, international human rights, reservations to treaties and State and diplomatic immunities. She furthermore advised private parties on investor claims and Business and Human Rights issues.

Before entering into practice, Maria taught public international law at Uppsala University, acted as a clerk and junior judge at a Swedish district court and conducted an internship with the International Criminal Court.

Maria regularly speaks and publishes on public international law issues in various venues.

Areas of Expertise

  • International Arbitration Law
  • International Litigation Law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Public International Law
  • International Human Rights
  • International Investment Law
  • Procedural Law
  • Business Law

Firm Description:

Westerberg & Partners is a Swedish boutique law firm. We focus on what we do best. We assist our clients in identifying, analyzing, strengthening and protecting their rights – whether based on intellectual property (IP), contracts, treaties or regulatory frameworks. Our specialization and considerable experience in our focus areas also make us particularly well-suited to advise on transactions within these areas. Over the years, we have worked with everything from small start-ups to major multi-national companies and states, in virtually all industries.

We want to be a partner to our clients and the client’s business goals are always at the forefront of what we do. We offer our clients advisers who are truly interested in and knowledgeable of our clients’ industries.

Whenever appropriate, we seek to resolve conflicts without taking legal action, but we also take pride in our ability to manage legal proceedings, be it litigation or arbitration, efficiently and robustly. Our client base is largely international, and we work with many of the most discerning clients and law firms in the world.

For us, the client and its goals and needs are always at the forefront of our minds. Open mindedness, focus and flexibility, are three of our core values. This makes us well-suited to provide the best possible service for clients.

What brings us together at Westerberg are a few simple facts. We are top-ranked in intellectual property, and dispute resolution. We enjoy the work, and we like each other and our clients. We are friends sharing the same vision, and together, we aim to be the best at what we do.

To make this true today and in the long run, we believe that everyone at Westerberg must be given the opportunity to excel in an open and supportive environment. We believe that engaged and dedicated professionals that form a true team will always out perform a group of individuals.

We work with long-term plans to ensure that our co-workers and the firm develop in the right direction. By mixing senior and junior co-workers in our teams, we gain new insights and learn from each other.

Consequently, Westerberg is a true partnership. This ensures that clients always receive advice from the most qualified person. Our goal is to continue advising our clients on the most challenging legal issues, and always excelling at what we do. If we cannot validly claim to be one of the best choices for any given matter, we will not work on that matter, although we are always happy to recommend a better-suited colleague.


Mikael Wahlgren

Mikael Wahlgren is former general counsel, business lawyer, corporate lawyer, board member and arbitrator specialised in international and Swedish commercial law, company law, acquisition, dispute resolution, board work, arbitration and has lectured on Department of Commercial Law at Lund University and a number of international legal conferences. He helps his clients, based on their extensive experience, to ensure that companies have the legal support, strategy and risk awareness that they should have in order to ensure that they avoid the legal problems and make use of the legal opportunities that Their activities are facing. In this way, our customers get the right focus on the legal support they need and how they can achieve it in a cost-and time-efficient way.


– University of Lund, (Sweden) Master of Laws with specialisation on:

– Comparative Law (Anglo-Saxon Contract law v. Swedish Contract law).

– European Union Law (Studied at the Legal faculty at the University of Copenhagen).

– CEDR’s Mediator Skills Training -CEDR Accredited Mediator

– EFL’s Board Programme

Professional Experience

– Handling decisions and strategies connected with legal matters when doing business in e.g. Asia, Africa, Russia, China and USA

– Managing, supervising and delivering comprehensive legal business support to the management of several Swedish med tech and life science companies, e.g. relating to legal support in business and corporate legal matters, corporate governance matters and establishing the best internationalisation strategy.

– Managing, supervising and delivering adequate and comprehensive legal business support to the management and concerned employees of my employers, e.g. relating to the negotiations and performance of infrastructure- and energy projects in Asia and Africa, as well as international sales and purchases of manufactured goods.

– Providing legal strategy and support to the successful development and execution of major infrastructure projects, e.g. Uri Hydropower Project in Kashmir (India), the Öresund bridge, and the A2 Toll Motorway project in Poland.

– Handling about 20 acquisitions in Europe, Asia and the USA, ranging from 100 MUSD to 14 BnNOK

Professional Associations

– CEDR accredited mediator and member of the CEDR Exchange.

– Swiss Arbitration Association

– International Chamber of Commerce

– London Court of International Arbitration

– The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Arbitration Experience

– Having acted as Mediator in a Swedish generation shift dispute.

– Having acted as Arbitrator in one Swedish and one international case. Both case was settled before the delivery of any award.

– Managing and supervising arbitrations, litigations and other legal disputes relating to, e.g. international contracts and general international commercial laws issues, especially concerning the construction, energy and manufacturing business.

– Successfully managing the defence of a multimillion Euro claim from a joint venture partner in Singapore. The arbitration awarded us no liability for the claimed damage.

– Successfully managing and providing strategic advice regarding Alfa Laval’s asbestos claims in the US. Resulting in the avoidance of any payment of major damages and managing to fend of the most aggressive plaintiff lawyers.


– Vice President, Group General Counsel & Company Secretary; Alfa Laval Group (Lund, Sweden)

– Senior Legal Counsel; NCC Construction Sweden AB (Stockholm, Sweden)

– Senior Legal Counsel; Rolls-Royce Power Venture Ltd (London, England)

– Legal Counsel; Asea Brown Boveri Ltd, ABB Business Services Ltd and ABB Alstom Power N.V., (Baden, Switzerland)

– Legal Counsel; Skanska International Civil Engineering AB (Danderyd, Sweden)


– Vice-Chairman and Co-Chairman of the International Bar Association’s subcommittee for Financing Structures.

– Member of the European International Contractor’s Workgroup for Financing issues, focusing on contractual and financial issues connected with international construction projects.

– Legal advisor to the International Tunnelling Association, organising 73 Member Nations and 300 corporate or individual affiliate members and focusing on issues connected with International Tunnelling and Underground works.

– Lecturing, for several years, at the department of Business Law and The Faculty of Law at the Lund University “Agent and distribution agreements”, ”Dispute resolution in practice” and competition and intellectual property right matters.

– Speaking at a number of Swedish and international conferences, e.g. IBC Euroforum in-house counsel conference in Stockholm (about “Corporate Governance”), IBA’s Annual Conference in Prague and Durban (about “Multiparty proceedings in engineering projects” and “Project Alliances: (Why) do they work? – A Developer’s view”), The Stockholm Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm (about “NCC Partnering concept”) and King’s College in London (about “a developer’s view on FIDIC’s Standard forms and best practise regarding standard forms”).

Joakim Falkner

Joakim Falkner is a member of Baker McKenzie’s Securities Practice Group in Stockholm. He is listed as a leading lawyer for capital markets in Chambers Europe and IFLR1000 and is recognized by several other legal directories. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, he worked at another global law firm. In 2008, he was appointed national representative of Sweden by the International Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Committee. Mr. Falkner is qualified to practice in Sweden, England and Wales and has a US LLM from Boston, United States of America.

Practice Focus:

Mr. Falkner practices mainly in the fields of capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, corporate law and corporate governance. He represents clients in a wide range of transactions, including debt and equity capital markets transactions as well as public mergers and acquisitions. Mr. Falkner has advised clients in securities transactions under Swedish, US and English law.

The New Lawyers for the New World:

Volatility and uncertainty are the new norm. With events like Brexit in the UK and the new administration in the US just two examples of recent geopolitical upheaval, we need to be able to help our clients navigate a constantly changing and challenging market. And it requires a new type of thinking and a different mindset.

It requires lawyers who collaborate unusually well across borders, markets and industries around the globe. Lawyers who embrace new ideas and emerging technologies to give businesses confidence in these uncertain times.

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Christer A. Holm

NorelidHolm is a full-service international business law firm which provides legal services covering corporate and commercial law, insurance and reinsurance, marketing law, company law, EU and competition, dispute resolution, litigation and arbitration. The client stock comprises of a vast range of Swedish and international clients, including many of the largest insurance companies in the world.

Thus NorelidHolm is very experienced in dispute resolution, both domestic and international. The partners of NorelidHolm have more than 30 years’ experience of international business law and dispute resolution.

Commenting on the main advantages of mediation as opposed to litigation and arbitration, Christer A. Holm, partner, noted a significant lowering of legal costs and, normally, speed.

“If the concept of ADR also includes arbitration and not only mediation it is normally quick and secret but more costly than litigation,” commented Mr Holm. “It is sought mostly by big corporate clients, often in cross-border disputes.”

Mr Holm has witnessed a significant increase in litigation and commercial disputes in Sweden in the last ten years, which is continuing.

“In order to stop this trend the new law on mediation, the one-instance court procedure and the mandatory mediation before the district courts have been introduced,” said Mr Holm.

“The general trend is that prior to any meaningful mediation is initiated, the parties almost always initiate litigation first, this in order to try to clarify each others’ legal position. Another driving force is the existence of third party financing of legal costs, (normally by insurance cover), which is increasingly the case,” concluded Mr Holm.

Mr. Holm has more than 30 years of experience from international litigation/arbitration/mediation and the latter has been in increasing demand during the last ten years.

Mr. Holm represented AIG in Scandinavia during more than 25 years and handled numerous litigations and arbitrations on AIG´s behalf during “Hank” Greenbergs leadership of AIG.

In the insurance sector he has also represented such international players as Chubb, CNA, ACE and Willis. He has also handled numerous cases regarding re-insurance litigation.

In the general business sector he has represented BMW Group in Scandinavia for more than 20 years handling many EU-competition-law-related disputes in the motor vehicle distribution and services sector.

The law firm NorelidHolm is a member of the international network Insuralex, a world-wide network of law firms that all have special knowledge and skills within the international insurance sector.

In addition to this, his partner colleague and Managing Partner of NorelidHolm, Ms. Susanna Norelid is personally a member of the exclusive (by invitation only) lawyers-club International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), a Chicago-based organization whose members all are international top-lawyers, many with great experience from international arbitration/litigation.


Erik Andreasson

Leaders in Law endorses Erik Andreasson as our exclusively recommended Insolvency Law expert in Sweden. If you wish to get in touch with Erik please use the contact information provided above.

Erik Andreasson focuses on restructuring and insolvency. He has extensive experience from both formal bankruptcies and company restructurings. Erik is a member of the Swedish Bar Association and regularly acts as liquidator. He also has served as a legal counsel at a major Swedish finance company, focusing on commercial leasing and financing contracts.

Firm Description

DLA Piper’s restructuring lawyers have significant experience advising clients on investigation, enforcement, litigation and asset recovery on a multijurisdictional basis. We advise clients on all matters relating to public and private companies in underperforming and distressed situations.

We manage assignments from the mid-market to the largest national and international restructurings and insolvencies. Our experience also extends to any contentious issues arising from restructurings and insolvencies.

DLA Piper serves a diverse client base that includes debtors, lenders, government entities, trustees, shareholders, senior executives, as well as distressed debt and asset buyers and investors.

With dedicated restructuring lawyers across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, we have the knowledge, experience and resources to address our clients’ restructuring and insolvency needs on a national and international basis.

DLA Piper is a global law firm with lawyers located in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, positioning us to help companies with their legal needs anywhere in the world.

We strive to be the leading global business law firm by delivering quality and value to our clients.

We achieve this through practical and innovative legal solutions that help our clients succeed. We deliver consistent services across our platform of practices and sectors in all matters we undertake.

Our clients range from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies. They include more than half of the Fortune 250 and nearly half of the FTSE 350 or their subsidiaries. We also advise governments and public sector bodies.