Thomas Olsen is one of Norway's leading experts in data protection law.

Thomas has a doctorate degree in data protection law from the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and law at the University of Oslo and extensive experience in advising on issues related to data protection/GDPR, information security, digitization and marketing. He assists a number of international groups and key players within a wide range of industries, including IT/technology, telecoms, media, e-commerce, finance and health. In addition to extensive experience as a lawyer, he also has experience in supervisory work for the Norwegian Data Protection Authority, investigative work in European research projects and participation in large digitization projects for the Norwegian Tax Administration.

Thomas is a partner in SVW’s Technology and Media department and head of the firm’s privacy team, which for several years (2019-2022) has been voted the country’s best in Finansavisen’s annual lawyer survey. Thomas was named Norway’s best privacy lawyer in Finansavisen’s lawyer survey 2019 and 2022. He is also top-ranked in data privacy by the international rating agencies Chambers (Band 1) and Who is Who Legal (Global Leader).

His special expertise includes issues related to the transfer of personal data (Schrems II assessments, EU standard agreements, cloud services and assistance in more than 10 BCR/P projects), establishment of internal guidelines and routines (internal control), risk and impact assessments (DPIA ), identity management, data processor and data exchange agreements (incl. regarding joint controllers), deletion of personal data, privacy in the workplace, handling of data security breaches, transactions/due diligence and handling of disputes and appeals for the supervisory authorities.

Thomas has extensive experience as a lecturer/course leader, i.a. under the auspices of UiO, BI, JUS and the Norwegian Bar Association. He is the author of comments to the Personal Data Act and the General Data Protection Regulation in Gyldendal Rettsdata and co-author of a data protection handbook (Personvernhåndboken, Gyldendal). He has published several professional articles in Norwegian and international journals and carried out investigations and research work on behalf of the European Commission, the Privacy Commission, the Privacy Appels Board as well as a number of private and public enterprises.


Work experience

2021 - (today) Partner, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig
2018 - 2021 Associate Partner, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig
2011 - 2018 Senior Lawyer/Associate, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig
2009 - 2011 IT-Lawyer, Directorate of Taxes
2003 - 2009 Doctoral Research-Fellow, Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law (NRCCL), University of Oslo
2005 Researcher, EU-project Legal-IST
2003 Senior Executive Officer, the Norwegian Data Inspectorate


2003 - 2010 PhD, Faculty of Law, University of Oslo
2001 - 2002 LLM, Master in European Law, University of Southampton, UK
1996 - 2002 Cand.jur., University of Oslo


2016 - (today) Center for Continuing Legal Education (JUS), member of the data protection committee. Course leader and lecturer on the full-day courses "Data protection in practice" and "Introduction to privacy"
2012 - 2019 Leader of the Norwegian Bar Association’s committee for ICT and privacy
2013 - 2017 Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics


Legal commentary to the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Gyldendal Rettsdata
Advokatforeningens veileder om advokatvirksomheters etterlevelse av GDPR (GDPR guidance from the Norwegian Bar Association), Olsen, Thomas, Opdahl, Rune and Clausen, Christopher Sparre-Enger
"Personvernhåndboken – en praktisk bok om personvernregelverket" Tønseth, Stubø, Olsen and Ljostad, Gyldendal, 2016
"EU-domstolens Schrems II-avgjørelse: Privacy Shield kjent ugyldig og skjerpede krav til overføring av personopplysninger", Thomas et al, Lov & Data, 3/2020
"Personvernøkende identitetsforvaltning (book version of PhD thesis, 450 pages), Olsen, Thomas, Complex, 2/2015
"Norway – Data Protection in the Financial Sector", guidance note in OneTrust Dataguidance
"Utlevering av opplysninger til utenlandske myndigheter", Olsen, Thomas, Lov & Data, 3/2015
"Høyesteretts avgjørelse i GPS-/Avfallsservice-saken klargjør formålsbestemthetsprinsippet", Olsen, Thomas, Lov & Data, 2/2013
"Personvernøkende teknologi og identitetsforvaltning", Olsen, Thomas, Report on behalf of the Privacy Commission, published in NOU, 1/2009
"Identity management and data protection law: Risk, responsibility and compliance in "Circles of Trust", Olsen, Thomas and Mahler, Tobias, Computer Law & Security Report, 23(4) and 23(5), 2007
"Lovgivningsprosessen bak registreringsplikt for kontantkort til mobiltelefon", Report for the Privacy Appeals Board, Lov & Data, 1/2006

Individual winner in data protection in Finansavisen's 2019 and 2022 Norwegian lawyers' survey.

- Finansavisen

He's a privacy expert.

- Chambers and Partners

Thomas Olsen enters the new data protection rankings as he is widely considered one of Norway's top data protection experts.

- Chambers and Partners