Banking, finance and capital markets in Iceland

BBA//Fjeldco

Banking, finance and capital markets is a core practice at BBA//Fjeldco, where the team has considerable experience in financial structures; it is instructed by local banks, including Íslandsbanki, Kvika Banki and Landsbankinn, on multijurisdictional financing deals. Recent matters included advising Arctic Green Energy on a $200m debt refinancing of the company and its subsidiaries, where practice co-leader Halldór Karl Halldórsson acted as lead adviser. Elsewhere, the practice counts companies listed on Nasdaq OMX Iceland, as well as banking clients including Barclays, JP Morgan and HSBC, among its roster of clients. Team co-leader Ásgeir Ragnarsson is also a key contact in the practice, as is Bjarki Diego.

Other key lawyers:

Bjarki Diego

Testimonials

‘Driven team and excellent work.’

‘Halldór Karl Halldórsson is the best.’

Key clients

Kvika bank hf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Landsbanki hf.

Arctic Green Energy

DNB Bank

ABN AMRO

Danske Bank

Strengur Holding

DC Advisory

Asian Development Bank

RPC Group

Alvogen and Alvotech

Barclays Bank

JP Morgan

Citibank

HSBC

Nordic Investment bank

Japan Bank

Stefnir hf.

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel of Arctic Green Energy in the debt refinancing of the company and subsidiaries which resulted in the outstanding obligations towards Tor and AIMCO being repaid in full.
  • Acting as legal adviser to Íslandsbanki hf. and Landsbanki hf. in relation to €120m credit facilities to Icelandair hf. guaranteed by the Icelandic state.
  • Acted as lead counsel for KEA Hotels, one of the largest hotel operators in Iceland, and its principal shareholders in its restructuring.

Lex Law Offices

Praised for its ‘superb knowledge of banking, finance and capital markets’, Lex Law Offices counts domestic and international financial institutions among its key list of clients, including Landsbankinn and Síldarvinnslan; the team assisted the latter during its listing on the OMX Nasdaq market. The practice advises clients on derivatives, structured finance and refinancing matters, and acts for issuers of both debt and equity instruments. Team leader Ólafur Haraldsson specialises in corporate financing work, while Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson focuses on debt restructuring mandates and the ‘meticulousStefán Orri Ólafsson advises listed companies on the disclosure requirements for regulated securities markets.

Practice head(s):

Ólafur Haraldsson

Other key lawyers:

Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson; Stefán Orri Ólafsson; Fanney Frímannsdóttir

Testimonials

‘Fanney Frímannsdóttir is extremely thorough and organised. Ólafur Haraldsson is probably one of the most experienced lawyers when it comes to Icelandic financings and taking Icelandic law governed security for loans.’

‘Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson at LEX is an extremely capable lawyer in his field.’

‘Great team with superb knowledge in banking, finance and capital markets.’

‘Stefán Orri Ólafsson has been the partner working for us and has done an outstanding job. Very likeable and easy to work with, always made himself available when needed and very meticulous in all his work.’

Key clients

Arion Bank hf.

Landsbankinn hf.

Síldarvinnslan hf.

VEX ehf.

Arnarlax hf.

Nasdaq CSD

Iceland Seafood International hf.

The Icelandic Depositors’ and Directors’ Guarantee Fund

Central Bank Asset Management Company

Work highlights

  • Acting for Síldarvinnslan hf. during the listing and offering process of the company on the market of Nasdaq Iceland in May 2021.
  • Represented Arnalax hf., Iceland’s largest salmon farm, in its €56m total refinancing of its syndicated loans with Arion bank and DNB Bank Norway.
  • Provided general legal advice to Iceland Seafood International hf. regarding a €5.4m loan used to finance the client’s purchase of the remaining shares in Irish company Oceanpath Limited.

LOGOS

LOGOS excels in the field of capital markets and has recently handled significant transactions, including acting as local counsel to Citigroup, JP Morgan and Íslandsbanki on the €377m IPO of Íslandsbanki by the Icelandic State Financial Investments. Elsewhere, the practice acts for Icelandic and international banks, including Arion Bank, Landsbanki and Kvika Bank, in addition to other financial institutions. Thórólfur Jónsson, who has experience in financial restructurings and advises major venture capital funds in Iceland, jointly leads the team alongside Óttar Pálsson, who also heads up the firm's banking task force.

Practice head(s):

Thórólfur Jónsson; Óttar Pálsson

Other key lawyers:

Benedikt Egill Árnason; Guðbjörg Helga Hjartardóttir

Testimonials

‘Excellent overall capabilities. Been able to assist in most areas of business.’

‘Professional service, resourceful and excellent follow up.’

Key clients

Arion bank

Kaupthing

Goldman Sachs International

Deutsche Bank

Alfa Framtak

Crowberry Capital

Marel

Landsnet

Landsvirkjun

Icelandair

Novator Partners

Verne Global Data Centres

Origo

New Business Venture Fund

Kerecis

Barclays

Vordur Insurance

Ministry of Industry and Innovation

Frumtak ventures

Eyrir Ventures

Morgan Stanley

Blackrock Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acting as local legal counsel for Citigroup, JP Morgan and Islandsbanki regarding legal matters in connection with Islandsbanki’s €377m IPO.
  • Advised Icelandair in relation to the €201.5m financial restructuring of the company.
  • Assisted Landsvirkjun with the issuance of $150m senior unsecured notes in the USPP market.

ADVEL Attorneys at Law

Counting Arion Bank as one of its key clients, ADVEL Attorneys at Law continues to collaborate with international law firm Allen & Overy LLP and provides ongoing advice as local counsel to Arion Bank on its EMTN and covered bond programmes. The team, which is led by corporate partner Stefán Þór Ingimarsson, advises insurance companies and other financial institutions on reorganisations, loan agreements and financing matters. Other key members of the team include Ragnar Guðmundsson, Dóra Sif Tynes and Bjarni Þór Bjarnason, who joined the firm in mid-2021 from Deloitte Legal ehf..

Practice head(s):

Stefán Þór Ingimarsson

Other key lawyers:

Ragnar Guðmundsson; Dóra Sif Tynes; Bjarni Þór Bjarnason

Testimonials

‘Highly capable and thorough. Great market insight.’

‘I mostly rely on Dóra Sif Tynes in issues relating to capital markets. Given her extensive experience in EU/EEA regulations and compliance systems she can provide a service and advice built on deep understanding and skill. Ragnar Guðmundsson has advised us on banking and finance work. He has extensive overall experience in the field, which is very well complemented with his expertise in tax legislation. Stefán Þór Ingimarsson is also exceptionally knowledgeable, efficient, and thorough in drafting and advising on financing contracts and documentation.’

‘Every person at the firm has outstanding capabilities in their field and they seamlessly involve the best lawyer in each issue at hand, making sure that you always get the best possible service.’

Key clients

Arion bank

Hampidjan

Advania Group

Klappir Green Soulutions

VÍS

N1 hf.

Oryggismidstodin

atNorth: Sustainable Nordic Data Centers

Samskip

Reitir Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Providing ongoing advice to Arion Bank on its EMTN programme.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Arion Bank on its €1.5bn covered bond programme.
  • Providing ongoing advice to Arion Bank in relation to issuances under the EMTN programme, as local advisers to the issuer.

Juris

Juris handles top-end financing projects and transactions, often involving cross-border elements, across various industries, including the fishing, energy, hospitality, infrastructure, property development and financial services sectors, and has demonstrable experience in international investments and banking-related litigation. The ‘professional and solution-minded’ practice, which is jointly led by tax specialist Halldór Jónsson, Andri Árnason and Sigurbjörn Magnússon, counts commercial banks among its roster of long-standing clients, including Íslandsbanki and Landsbankinn. Other key members of the team include Simon Knight and Vífill Harðarson, who are both dual qualified in Iceland and England.

Practice head(s):

Halldór Jónsson; Andri Árnason; Sigurbjörn Magnússon

Other key lawyers:

Simon Knight; Vífill Harðarson; Finnur Magnússon

Testimonials

‘Excellent overall capabilities, able to assist in most areas of business. Great follow up and service.’ 

‘Very professional and solution-minded.’

‘Excellent attention to detail, resourceful and have been able to advise us well over the years. Work is done in a timely manner, constructive and helpful advice.’

‘The team at Juris is very experienced, and really understand our business and the fishing sector. They know the law, are professional and get results. Simon Knight is always able to advise us on banking and finance matters. He is detail-focused and straight-forward. Sigurbjörn Magnússon and Finnur Magnússon are both experts in fishing and everything else that comes up in our business. They provide a personal service and never let us down.’

‘We have mostly worked with Simon Knight, Finnur Magnússon, and Andri Árnason. Simon Knight is solid in finance and cross-border corporate matters. Simon is diligent, meticulous with great attention to detail, and swiftly responds to any inquiries. Finnur Magnússon is competent in EU/EEA matters and the interplay between Icelandic law and the EU Acquis. Finnur has also worked on issues related to investment law which have come up several times over the last 12 months, and has a depth of knowledge in investment law in general. Finally, Andri has proven to be very knowledgeable about Icelandic corporate law.’

Key clients

PPH ehf.

Kvika banki hf.

Bakkastakkur slhf.

Summa rekstrarfélag hf.

Kaupþing ehf.

Sunnuvellir slhf.

Rammi hf.

Eyja fjárfestingafélag III ehf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Landsbankinn hf.

New Business Venture Fund

BRP Bizzozero & Partners SA

Municipality of Garðabær

Megafone ehf. (formerly Aurora Stream ehf.)

Work highlights

  • Advising and representing Bakkastakkur in relation to its debt and equity investment in PCC BakkiSilicon hf.
  • Advised Íslandsbanki hf. regarding a term loan facility agreement, a revolving credit facility agreement and security arrangements with Míla hf.
  • Representing Landsbankinn hf. in a claim brought by Lífeyrissjóður bankamanna (the Bank Employees’ Pension Fund) regarding pension fund losses caused by alleged breaches of an underlying agreement dating from 1997.

Lagahvoll

Lagahvoll’s caseload includes bond issuances and corporate financing matters, as well as advising its list of corporate clients on the financial aspects of M&A transactions, investments, start-ups and venture agreements. Daði Bjarnason, who is ‘always ready and willing to assist’ banks, brokerage and securities companies with financial and restructuring issues, jointly leads the team alongside Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson. Key clients include travel tech company Dohop, Félagsbústaðir and Félag eldri borgara og nágrenni.

Practice head(s):

Daði Bjarnason; Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson

Testimonials

‘Daði Bjarnason is our contact at the firm. He is always ready and willing to assist, always does an excellent job and is someone who you can fully trust and count on.’

‘Really good in understanding the needs of the client and focus on correct targets’

‘Jóhann Tómas Sigurðsson is a really good corporate lawyer and we have used him on several cases regarding buyouts.’

‘Everyone is friendly and welcoming. There are no problems, only solutions and everything runs smoothly. Would easily recommend this firm to anyone who needs a good lawyer within this field.’

‘They act swiftly and are always available.’

Key clients

Dohop ehf.

Félagsbústaðir hf. (Reykjavík Social Housing)

Beka ehf.

Vistbyggð ehf.

Gleðipinnar ehf.

Múlakaffi ehf.

Carbon Iceland ehf.

Félag eldri borgara og nágrenni

Reon ehf.

Work highlights

  • Advising Dohop in relation to financing from a large foreign venture capitalist, Scottish Equity Partners Ltd.
  • Advised Félagsbústaðir on its bond issuances, with the issuances in 2019 and 2020 being the first social bonds issued by a domestic issuer under a Social Bond Framework based on ICMA Social Bond Principles.
  • Advised Gleðipinnar ehf. on its merger with Foodco ehf., creating a food and entertainment company in Iceland worth ISK6bn.