Lex Law Offices has a reputation as a pre-eminent firm in real estate and construction work and advises a variety of large companies, municipalities and natural resource owners, including the Federation of Icelandic Fishing Vessel Owners, Nýi Landsspítalinn and the municipality of Kópavogur, on a diverse range of mandates. Core disciplines for the real estate and construction group include advising on planning issues, structuring and implementing construction projects, handling public procurement mandates, tenders and the preparation of contracts, and acting in sector-specific disputes. ‘Powerhouse’ Óskar Sigurðsson and Arnar Þór Stefánsson jointly head up the department. Garðar Víðir Gunnarsson is another key name on the team, and Guðjón Ármannsson has notable experience advising municipalities.
Real estate and construction in Iceland
Óskar Sigurðsson; Arnar Þór Stefánsson
Other key lawyers:
Garðar Víðir Gunnarsson; Guðjón Ármannsson
‘We have worked with several partners at Lex for different issues. Our primary contact is Garðar Víðir Gunnarsson. Garðar is a truly exceptional lawyer: a sharp legal mind and a master of drafting and executing documents, often within impossible time restraints. He is respected by his peers which is a great asset for us as a client in contract negotiations.’
‘Garðar Víðir Gunnarsson can quickly identify the key items in a transaction and knows when legal issues should not complicate or stand in the way of the desired commercial outcome and the expectations of the client. No matter the time of day or the issue at hand, Garðar is ready, willing and able to provide the necessary assistance. He is willing to go the extra mile.’
‘Óskar Sigurðsson is a powerhouse when it comes to real estate and construction and in all matters related to zoning and urban planning. He is service minded and solution oriented and his services come highly recommended.’
- Advised Reginn on a deal where Reginn and Hagar concluded an agreement to each buy 1/3 of the shares in real estate developer Klasi from its owner KLS Holding Company.
- Defending a claim against EFLA, brought by Reykjavik Energy, concerning the building of Reykjavik Energy’s headquarters in 2001-2002.
- Provided Mosfellsbær, a municipality in the Capital Region, with legal advice in relation to a major planning, construction and infrastructure contract with Blikastaðaland.
At LOGOS, project development work, financings and transactions, permit issues, environmental mandates, public procurement processes, real estate insurance claims and litigation constitute the bulk of the team's workload. Fielding an experienced team, capable of handling both domestic and cross-border work, the group provides advice at every stage of the construction process to major Icelandic construction companies, including Istak and the Government Construction Contracting Agency. Practice group head and Supreme Court attorney Hjördís Halldórsdóttir regards construction and public procurement work among her specialisms; she is supported by experienced practitioners Erlendur Gíslason and Benedikt Egill Árnason.
Other key lawyers:
Benedikt Egill Árnason; Erlendur Gíslason
‘They are quick to react and work fast, they are responsible in working practices and have extensive knowledge of the environment of construction contractors.’
‘The lawyers we have worked with are well educated and are specialised in the laws and court cases they work on.’
‘We often need answers very fast and they are able to do that. I sometimes give the task with predefined time they may use on the issue and that is never any problem.’
‘Benedikt Egill Árnason has become a trusted partner to our management team. He has excellent knowledge and connects us with the relevant lawyers for any project or issue we might need to be addressed. He has an excellent ability to analyse and meet any need with understanding and appropriate responses. A great partner to work with!’
Rio Tinto Iceland
Government Construction Contracting Agency
- Advised Istak and its subsidiary on the procurement process for the implementation and financing of a public private partnership road.
- Advised Framkvaemdafelagid Arnarhvoll in respect to the construction of commercial and residential real estate on six land plots.
- Advised Geo salmo on negotiations with leading Norwegian aquaculture contractor regarding a $175m land-based salmon farming development and construction project.
The team at Juris is instructed on a diverse range of mandates, advising consistently on commercial property transactions, project financings, lease and planning issues, street vendor rights, conservation work and rural real estate matters. In line with the market's focus on green energy, the group further advises on the associated infrastructure developments and international investments that accompany the push toward sustainable energy. Contentious matters are another core tenet of the practice group’s work. Tax specialist Halldór Jónsson leads the team, with support from Edda Andradóttir.
Other key lawyers:
Ísloft blikk og stálsmiðja
Municipality of Ísafjörður
Icelandic Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs
Municipality of Garðabær
University of Iceland
- Advised Blær leigufélag and Bjarg íðúðafélag on a new model for the development of affordable rental property.
- Representing the Icelandic state in the ‘óbyggðamál’ series of cases, demarcating public and private land.
- Advised Olympus and Sikmas on their investments in the Skuggi 6 residential real estate development.
Landslog – Law Offices specialises in M&A deals, public tenders, PPP projects and the related disputes in the real estate sector. The practice group leverages the experience of key litigator and practice co-head Jóhannes Karl Sveinsson on contentious matters: he recently represented ON Power in litigation regarding the granting of concession to providers of electric car chargers. Joint co-head Jóhannes Bjarni Björnsson acts as lead counsel to key client, the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration, on the construction of large-scale traffic structures. Other important clients for the team include Icelandic Prime Contractors and Alma.
Jóhannes Karl Sveinsson; Jóhannes Bjarni Björnsson
The Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration
Icelandic Prime Contractors
Icelandic Regional Development
- Acting as legal counsel for the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration in connection with major traffic structures which are planned to be built on the basis of the newly approved law on Public-Private Partnerships.
- Litigated a number of cases in the field of public procurement and construction.
- Advised Syn (Vodafone Iceland) on the sale and lease-back of the company’s passive mobile phone infrastructure all around Iceland.