About Me

I am head of our Employment group in Stockholm, as well as co-head of Bird & Bird's International Employee Incentives & Benefits Group. With more than 25 years' experience in the employment law field, the advice I provide covers the full range of HR services.

My team of experienced lawyers often works on international projects covering a large number of countries, such as post acquisition restructurings. A common issue in the last year has been around managing remote-working workforces. We provide advice on executive/management contracts, incentives and benefit programmes, pension and insurance, employee data, collective employment issues, restrictive covenants, trade secrets and other loyalty issues. As the global workforce becomes more mobile, we've developed a practice where business migration is managed in the most efficient way.

When it comes to litigation, I have in-depth experience in the employment and benefits field, advising our clients in court disputes as well as arbitration.

I also advise on the key issue of workplace safety, from the development of policies and procedures designed to prevent health hazards in the workplace, to managing disputes arising from workplace injuries and accidents.
  • With many of our clients having global presence, I am experienced in analysing project plans (restructurings, acquisitions with following mergers or divestments etc) and advising the client on what is possible, what is connected with risks and what is a 'no go'. Together with our colleagues in Bird & Bird's international HR Services team, we have closed many complex projects in a way that has been much appreciated by our clients.
  • Performance related issues are challenging from a Swedish employment law point of view and this has given me lots of experience, not only in solving conflicts out of court but finding a solution both parties can accept. For my clients, it is important that the company's values are not compromised. At the same time, an efficient solution is often best for both parties so finding the solution is key.
  • Finding the right incentives for those key to the business is challenging in itself. My part of the work is normally to make sure the plans (and their enforcement) are clear, both while they are in force and with regard to the effect of the employee's departure (for whatever reason).
  • I've successfully represented a client (tech company) in court procedures regarding a claim relating to a pension promise.
  • A successful win was a court case relating to company secrets, summary dismissal and an LTIP in the US parent company.
  • On the arbitration side, I have won cases relating to dismissal of senior management as well as relating to incentives.


  • Stockholm University, LLM


  • Swedish Bar Association
  • Danish Bar Association
  • The Law Society
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Karina Ã…hlberg is always hands-on, effective, and provides reasonable and practical advice and suggestions. Very easy to work with.'

Legal 500 2023

Our project involved many jurisdictions in different continents and B&B showed a great capacity of coordination of the different input received from B&B offices or corresponding law firms; B&B also showed great teamwork spirit with our company's stakeholders involved in the project; they understood our needs well and how to approach them in an objective way without losing quality.

Legal 500 2023

Advice to clients encompasses the full range of human resources (HR) services; Katarina is a trusted advisor on management contracts, incentives and benefit programmes, pension and insurance, collective employment issues, restrictive covenants, trade secrets and other loyalty issues. Advising international corporations with mobile workforces, she has further developed a practice where all aspects of business migration are managed in an efficient way.

Legal 500 Hall of Fame 2018

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