The Legal 500

Norway > Banking and finance (including shipping finance)

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  1. Banking and finance (including shipping finance)
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

Headed by the ‘vastly experienced’ Richard Sjøqvist, Advokatfirmaet BA-HR DA’s ten-partner team represents lenders and borrowers across the spectrum of big-ticket financings in many different industry sectors. The team is aided by regulatory specialist Peter Hammerich, and is a natural choice to advise on deals being negotiated in a period of significant market uncertainty. Sjøqvist and Anders Gullåsen represented a syndicate of banks on a $1.4bn ship financing for Hoegh Autoliners. Rolf Johan Ringdal, Anders Gullåsen and Terje Sommer are also recommended.

Led by Jon Kristian Sjåtil, Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS advises banks, corporates and private equity firms in the shipping and offshore markets. The ‘experienced and empathetic’ Jo Stokke and Viggo Bang-Hansen have been leading on financing matters for Cermaq following the firm’s appointment as its main legal supplier; recent work includes advising it on the $1.1bn sale of EWOS. On the bank side, as well as continuing to represent core clients such as Nordea and Swedbank, the team is picking up an increased flow of work from DNB Bank. Wilhelm Damm and the ‘very knowledgeable’ Anne Gro Sundby are also recommended.

Bolstered by the recent arrival of Per Morten Christiansen from Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig, Selmer occupies an elevated position in the market as a result of high-profile work for clients including Handelsbanken, Aberdeen Asset Management and JP Morgan. With strong banking ties and notable also for its deeply entrenched relationship with Norsk Tillitsmann, the team has the capability to handle both the bank and bond components of deals. Einar Grette advised Nordea Bank on the financing of Teachers Private Capital’s acquisition of a majority stake in Helly Hansen and the subsequent bond refinancing. Bernt Olav Steinland is ‘excellent in all aspects of banking and financial regulation’.

Although its team was weakened somewhat by the departure of Siri Wennevik and Berit Stokke to Wikborg Rein and The Central Bank of Norway respectively, Thommessen remains a real force in the market and has handled a number of new-money financings and restructurings. Halvor Mansåker and the ‘experienced and hands-on’ Hans Haugstad advised Ferd and Ratos on the NOK6.3bn financing of the acquisition of the Aibel Group.

Co-headed by Kaare Sverdrup and Leif Moltke-Hansen, Wiersholm is valued for its ‘strong technical legal skills and excellent business approach’, and advises banks such as DNB and Deutsche Bank. Erik Ramm recently advised Det norske odjeselskap on a NOK3.5bn revolving credit facility to finance exploration costs.

Wikborg Rein delivers a ‘high-quality service’, advising banks including DNB Bank, Handelsbanken and Nordea Bank. As well as its core strength in the shipping industry, the firm has successfully broadened its finance practice to include transactions in a number of other industry sectors. The ‘excellent’ Alexander Owesen advised Nordea on the NOK500m financing of Telio Holding’s acquisition of NextGen Tel. The ‘pragmatic’ Bernhard Haukali and Johan Rasmussen are also recommended.

Praised for its ‘strong knowledge about the development of international legal standards and issues related to loan agreements’, Arntzen de Besche has an excellent reputation for asset finance and corporate finance transactions. The ‘excellent’ Atle Gabrielsen advised DNB Bank on the $1bn multicurrency revolving credit facility provided to Det norske Oljeselskap. Team head Paul Sveinsson is also recommended.

At Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS, team head Trond Kildal is at the forefront of many of the team’s most significant transactions, and together with Peter Brechan recently advised Alimentation Couche-Tard on the refinancing associated with its recent acquisition of Statoil Fuel & Retail.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig’s ‘commercial and creative’ eight-partner team provides an ‘excellent’ service to lenders and borrowers engaged in shipping, project and real estate finance, as well as handling regulatory matters. Praised for his ‘sound legal judgement’, Thomas Dale advised DNB Bank as agent for the financing parties on a NOK1.5bn term loan facility agreement for the refinancing of Wilson Shipowning’s fleet of 81 dry bulk vessels. The ‘excellent’ Peter Aall Simonsen and Bergen-based Erik Solheim head a ‘strong team’ which acts for clients including Nordea Bank, ING Bank and Herkules Capital.

At Advokatfirmaet Steenstrup Stordrange DA, ‘strong negotiator’ Odd Moe is a regular adviser to Key Equipment Finance on Norwegian law matters. The arrival in February 2013 of Klaus Henrik Wiese-Hansen enhances the team’s financial regulatory expertise.

Brækhus Dege Advokatfirma DA handles working capital, project and acquisition financing. Bredo Stabell regularly advises Bank of America.

Headed by Fredrik Lindblom, DLA Piper’s ten-strong team is particularly accomplished in real estate, project and asset financing, and its capability on the shipping and offshore finance side was recently bolstered by the arrival of Marcus Indrevær and Jon Ansten from Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig. Clients include Danske Bank, Pareto Bank and BN Bank.

At Advokatfirmaet Grette DA, team head Børge Grøttjord’s ‘experience and level of competence are matched by very few people in the market’, and Karl Rosén is ‘responsive’ on regulatory matters. Highlights included advising Permira on a NOK815m financing agreement to part-fund its acquisition of Pharma Holding.

Kluge Advokatfirma DA has ‘good industry knowledge’ and provides a ‘solid’ service to lenders and borrowers active in the real estate and shipping sectors in particular. Team head Snorre Haukali handles financing work for Marine Harvest.

The ‘creative and solution-oriented’ team at Kvale Advokatfirma DA acts for a growing portfolio of clients including Danske Bank, Handelsbanken and SpareBank1. The ‘responsive’ Stine Snertingdalen is particularly accomplished in restructurings for banks.

Headed by Christian Steen Eriksen, Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA’s three-partner team advises clients including Bank of Nova Scotia, Lloyds TSB and BNP Paribas across a range of new-money financings and restructurings.

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