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Wikborg Rein

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Wikborg Rein's ranking in Legal500 2008

December 2008

Wikborg Rein’s traditional shipping business has promoted an international outlook and the full-service firm now has offices in Oslo, Bergen, London, Singapore and Shanghai.

Banking and finance (including Shipping finance)
Wikborg Rein's 18-lawyer group is praised for ‘excellent performance and commercial skill'. Johan Rasmussen is assisting a syndicate led by Nordea Bank as arranger and agent in a $1bn financing of Awilco. Bernhard Haukali is dealing with the banking syndicates financing the new shipbuilding programme for Color Line. Clients include Deutsche Bank, DnB NOR and Fortis Bank. Wikborg Rein also deals with capital market borrowing, securitisation and other finance matters, including regulation.

Corporate and M&A
Susanne Munch Thore heads Wikborg Rein's corporate group, which continues to impress. On the transactional side, Haakon Blaauw assisted Nammo in the acquisition of Talley Defence Systems. Ketil Bøe and Arne Didrik Kjørnæs are widely respected as skilled and experienced corporate lawyers and, amongst the younger partners, Sigurd Opedal is recommended for regulatory matters.

Dispute resolution
Wikborg Rein's Sven Eriksrud has been representing Tractebel in a construction dispute totalling NOK2.5bn over the delivery of an LNG Plant to Statoil at Melkøya in Hammerfest. The court case ended in September 2007 after over a year in court; judgment is expected in the autumn of 2008. Other members of the group, which has nearly 20 Supreme Court attorneys, include Per Ristvedt, who is handling various arbitration cases for Gjensidige, and Dag Steinfeld, a labour law specialist.

Electricity, nuclear and renewables
Wikborg Rein acts as international counsel to Statkraft Norfund Power Invest, one of the world's largest developers of independent hydroelectric projects; a current instruction relates to a $380m cross-border financing in the Philippines.

EU and competition
Wikborg Rein's Morten Goller, highly recommended for public procurement and competition matters, has been joined by Mads Magnussen, former legal director of the Norwegian Competition Authority. Recent instructions include assistance to Odjfell Group in connection with cartel allegations made by the European Commission, and representation of Lemminkäinen Norge in a cartel case brought by the Public Prosecutor for Economic Crimes.

Wikborg Rein's Dag Steinfeld leads the labour law team whose clients include national railway company NSB, Odfjell Drilling and Travel Retail Norway. Wikborg Rein provides a broad business-orientated practice, although, in an exception to the rule, recently advised a naval officer facing dismissal for alleged financial irregularities.

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Wikborg Rein's Marius M Gisvold handled the complex and long-running efforts to refinance Norsk Lotteridrift on behalf of the lending syndicate. Leif Petter Madsen has administered some of the major insolvencies of the last decade.

Intellectual property
Wikborg Rein has represented Ratiopharm, one of the leading international generic producers of pharmaceuticals, in several important patent litigations. Other patent clients include Actavis Group PTC. The firm also acts on patent matters for National Oilwell.

Maritime and offshore construction (excluding finance)
The Wikborg Rein group comprises some 40 lawyers deployed across six offices. The breadth and strength of Wikborg Rein's shipping practice cannot be overstated. Finn Bjørnstad leads the commercial shipping practice; Haakon Stang Lund specialises in insurance. Morten Lund Mathisen, who has returned from London to Oslo, heads the casualty team. In transactions, the team acts for BW Offshore in respect of FPSO projects and for the Skeie Group on new building projects and JV arrangements. Clients include Eitzen group, Odfjell Drilling, Transocean, and Farstad Shipping.

Oil and gas
Wikborg Rein's Jarle Erik Sandvik heads the practice. The firm advises on gas contracts and licence acquisition on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for major European utilities and medium-sized oil companies. The firm also represents European gas utilities on their contracts with Norwegian gas producers and acts as international counsel to several offshore drilling contractors. Kelly Malone specialises in the development and financing of cross-border renewable energy projects.

Real estate and construction
Wikborg Rein's real estate team is involved in major transactional work, including work for leading property developers and owners, such as DnB NOR, Vital Forsikring, and Eiendomsspar. The firm is recommended for large project and complex property company work. Anne Sofie Bjørkholt assisted Tschudi Shipping Company in acquiring Sydvaranger, the owner of a former mining site in northern Norway, to be used for oil industry facilities, homes, retail property and hotels.

Wikborg Rein's Marianne Iversen and Haakon Blaauw handled a precedent-setting tax case in the Supreme Court on behalf of Westfal-Larsen Shipping. Are Zachariassen, highly recommended for international tax, is now based in the firm's Singapore office. Wikborg Rein has advised BW Gas and BW Offshore on a number of structural issues and helped Prosafe SE, a Norwegian listed offshore company, to migrate to Cyprus.

Wikborg Rein's Torleif Dahl and his team act for Yahoo! and Sun Microsystems in Norway. Other clients include Fronter and Net Trans Services. Wikborg Rein acts as legal counsel for Brønnøysundregistrene project, the major public sector IT platform.

Areas of expertise Ranking: 2007 / Ranking: 2008

Banking and finance (including Shipping finance) 1 / 1
Corporate and M&A 1  / 1
Dispute resolution 1  / 1
Electricity, nuclear and renewables 2 / 2 
EU and competition 1 / 1

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Legal Developments by:
Wikborg Rein

  • Changes to the Norwegian prospectus rules

    On 11 May 2012 certain changes to the Norwegian prospectus rules were proposed to the Norwegian parliament to ensure compliance with Directive 2010/73 EU.
    - Wikborg Rein

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