EEA and competition in Iceland

Lex Law Offices

Lex Law Offices has demonstrable experience in representing domestic and foreign clients before the EU and EEA courts, as well as the EFTA Surveillance Authority, and is well placed to advise on merger control issues, including the preparation and filing of notifications and providing representation before the Icelandic Competition Authority. The team acts for key clients, including Arion Bank, National Power Company of Iceland and Íslandsbanki, on general competition matters. Víðir Smári Petersen leads the practice and focuses on contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Víðir Smári Petersen

Other key lawyers:

Lára Herborg Ólafsdóttir

Key clients

MS Iceland Dairies (Mjólkursamsalan ehf.)

Reykjavik Energy (Orkuveita Reykjavíkur)

ON Power

Alfa Framtak hf.

Arion Bank hf.

Olíuverzlun Íslands hf. (Iceland Oil Ltd.)

The National Power Company of Iceland

Reginn hf.

Íslandsbanki hf.

Ísmar hf.

Work highlights

  • Advised Íslandsbanki hf. on the successful notification to the Icelandic Competition Authority of the merger between Norðlenska matborðið ehf., Kjarnafæði hf. and SAH afurðir hf.
  • Assisting the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs with defending the Icelandic state against a Reasoned Opinion issued by the European Surveillance Authority (ESA) regarding the implementation of Protocol 35 to the EEA Agreement and Article 3 of the EEA Agreement.
  • Advised AU5 ehf., a subsidiary of Alfa Framtak hf., on its purchase of shares in construction company Grafa and Grjót ehf.

LOGOS

LOGOS handles high-profile cases, including alleged abuse of market dominance claims and unlawful cooperation of undertakings issues, and advises on domestic and international merger control work. Praised as ‘an expert in EEA and competition law matters’, Helga Ottarsdottir heads up the practice group alongside Gunnar Sturluson, who has experience in handling cases before the competition authorities. The team’s caseload also includes mandates involving dawn raids, horizontal and vertical agreements, state aid issues, private enforcement work and cartel allegations. Another key contact in the practice is Halldor Brynjar Halldorsson, who is a ‘steady rock’ when representing clients in competition disputes.

Practice head(s):

Helga Óttarsdóttir; Gunnar Sturluson

Other key lawyers:

Halldór Brynjar Halldórsson

Testimonials

‘What makes this team unique is the broad experience and in-depth knowledge, along with the capabilities to take on large assignments. LOGOS also has strong international contacts. Gunnar Sturluson is a leading figure in this field along with Helga Óttarsdóttir.’ 

‘The Logos team always seems to be ready to provide great advice in any fields necessary for our business. They have a wide range of expertise and are quick to adapt to new fields.’ 

‘I have worked with many law firms in Iceland and Helga Óttarsdóttir is one of the best lawyers to work with. She’s easy to communicate with and very professional. She is an expert in EEA and competition law matters, and I trust her advice.’ 

‘Halldór Brynjar Halldórsson has been the steady rock in handling our legal affairs and his wide range of expertise has been very useful in our business for the last few years. He always seems to be able to provide quick feedback and trustworthy advice.’ 

‘Experienced team with practical and hands-on approach. Solution driven.’ 

‘Gunnar Sturluson has put real effort into knowing what our business is about and has put forward good, reliable information to help us when dealing with authorities, suppliers and customers.’ 

‘LOGOS has a very broad level of service, which is of great importance for a company like ours. Their services are very professional, flexible and response times are low.’ 

‘Helga Óttarsdóttir is highly professional, thorough, knowledgeable and committed towards her customers.’ 

Key clients

Siminn hf.

Norvik hf.

Byko ehf.

Valitor hf.

Eimskipafelag Islands hf.

Brim hf.

Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson hf.

Icelandair ehf.

1912 ehf.

Origo hf.

Storytel AB

Lyf og heilsa hf.

Rio Tinto á Íslandi hf.

Work highlights

  • Acted for Síminn hf. in various competition cases, including a case where a fine imposed by the Competition Authority was lowered from ISK500m to ISK200m.
  • Represented Norvik hf. and Byko hf. in a cartel case before the competition authorities and the courts.
  • Acted as legal adviser to Storytel Sweden during its planned acquisition of a majority interest in Iceland’s leading publishing house.

ADVEL Attorneys at Law

ADVEL Attorneys at Law’s EEA and competition team counts domestic and multinational companies, including Vodafone, as well as employees and public institutions among its key list of clients. The team has experience before the Icelandic Competition Authority, Icelandic courts and the EFTA Surveillance authority, and handles a range of matters, notably state aid issues and competition disputes. Praised for her ‘intimate knowledge of EU law’, Dóra Sif Tynes leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Dóra Sif Tynes

Testimonials

‘Very strong Icelandic practice with a good understanding of international aspects.’

‘Dóra Sif Tynes is very knowledgeable and responsive with intimate knowledge of EU law.’

Key clients

The Icelandic Government

Arion bank

Advania Group

Reitir Real Estate

N1 hf.

Mannvit Engineering

Stræto bs.

City of Reykjavik

Vodafone

Work highlights

  • Engaged as counsel by Sýn hf. (Vodafone Iceland) to appeal a decision of the EFTA Surveillance Authority concerning state aid to Farice for the roll-out of a third submarine cable for international connectivity in electronic communications.
  • Acting as counsel to Arion Bank in a state aid complaint case, related to debated bank tax, lodged with the EFTA Surveillance Authority.
  • Assisted numerous clients, including the insurance company VÍS and the First North listed Klappir Grænar Lausnir, in preparations for the implementation of MiFID II and MAR in Iceland.

Juris

Juris advises its roster of corporate and commercial clients on the EEA aspects of project finance matters, often involving a cross-border element, as well as state aid work and merger issues, and provides representation before the Icelandic Competition Authority. Experienced partners Andri Árnason and Stefán A. Svensson, who focuses on contentious competition cases, jointly lead the group. Hólmfríður Björk Sigurðardóttir is another key contact in the team and is noted for her expertise in this space, leveraging her time at the Icelandic Competition Authority.

Practice head(s):

Andri Árnason; Stefán A. Svensson

Other key lawyers:

Hólmfríður Björk Sigurðardóttir

Key clients

Eimskip Ísland hf.

Síminn hf.

Já hf.

Work highlights

  • Represented Eimskip Ísland regarding an exemption it obtained from the Icelandic Competition Committee in 2019, in respect of a share vessel agreement between Eimskip and Royal Arctic Line.
  • Acted for Já hf. in various competition cases.
  • Represented Síminn in two cases that were previously before the Post and Telecommunications Authority and the Competition Appeals Commission.