Restructuring and insolvency in Iceland

BBA//Fjeldco

BBA//Fjeldco advises its roster of clients including Sports Direct, Turkish Development Bank and major Icelandic banks on corporate restructurings, workouts and insolvency matters, both contentious and transactional in nature. ‘Pragmatic’ practitioner Einar Baldvin Árnason, who has experience in advising financial institutions, large retailers, oil companies and airlines on restructuring projects, jointly leads the practice group alongside London-based Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson, whose practice is focused on financial restructuring matters. Thorir Júlíusson and Baldvin Björn Haraldsson are also key members of the team.

Other key lawyers:

Thorir Júlíusson; Baldvin Björn Haraldsson

Testimonials

‘Einar Baldvin Árnason has a deep knowledge of the market and pragmatic approach. Gunnar Thor Thorarinsson is very client friendly and tales a hands-on approach to work.’

Key clients

Íslandsbanki

Landsbankinn

Eaton Vance Management

KEA Hotels

TBJ Group

Turkish Development Bank, World Bank

Nox Holding ehf.

Diversis Capital

Kvika bank hf.

ODDEG – Office Djiboutien de Développementde l’Energie Géothermique

SportsDirect.com Retail Limited

The Collectivié de Strasbourg Metropole

Glitnir hf.

Arion Bank hf.

LBI ehf.

Kaupthing ehf.

Lex Law Offices

Praised for its ‘deep understanding and experience’, the team at Lex Law Offices excels in handling bankruptcy proceedings and financial restructurings, acting as both court-appointed liquidators and legal advisers. Elsewhere, the practice group is acting as outside counsel for a group of 40 bondholders against the airline Wow Air in its €50m insolvency proceedings. Practice co-leader Þórhallur Bergmann is noted for his experience in bankruptcy cases, while ‘sharp’ team co-leader Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson has a track record in financial restructurings. Newly promoted partner Birgir Már Björnsson also assists in leading the team and Arnar Þór Stefánsson is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Þórhallur Bergmann; Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson; Birgir Már Björnsson

Other key lawyers:

Arnar Þór Stefánsson

Testimonials

‘Deep understanding and experience in the matter.’

‘We have been working with Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson. Very experienced, sharp and pleasant to work with.’

Key clients

Bankruptcy Estate of Jötunn Vélar ehf.

Central Bank of Iceland Asset Holding ehf.

Bondholder Group of WOW Air hf.

Bankruptcy Estate of B230 ehf. (Previously Helicopter Services of Iceland hf.)

Bankruptcy Estate of Stólpavík ehf.

Bankruptcy Estate of B230 ehf. (Previously Helicopter Service of Iceland hf.)

Bankruptcy Estate of Hafnarskeid 6 ehf. (previously Frostfiskur ehf.)

Bankruptcy Estate of GS Gluggar ehf. (previously Gluggasmiðjan ehf.)

Bankruptcy Estate of Betonorte ehf.

Bankruptcy Estate of Hjá Jóa Fel – brauð og kökulist ehf.

Work highlights

  • Acting as the liquidator of Jötunn Vélar ehf., a commercial distributor of agricultural machines.
  • Acting as outside counsel for a group of 40 bondholders against the airline WOW Air hf. in its €50m insolvency proceedings.
  • Acting as liquidator of GS Gluggar ehf., one of Iceland’s oldest retailer of windows and window installations in Iceland.

LOGOS

LOGOS‘ ‘substantial practice’ is noted for its capabilities in financial restructurings, in addition to matters pertaining to payment suspensions, bankruptcy proceedings and the implementation of voluntary and compulsory arrangements with creditors. Key clients include international banks, financial institutions, municipalities and airlines, including Icelandair Group; the team advised the latter and its subsidiaries on a €201.5m financial restructuring. Heiðar Ásberg Atlason, who handles bankruptcy proceedings, leads the group, which includes Ólafur Arinbjörn Sigurðsson, Ólafur Eiríksson and Benedikt Egill Árnason.

Practice head(s):

Heiðar Ásberg Atlason

Other key lawyers:

Ólafur Arinbjörn Sigurðsson; Ólafur Eiríksson; Benedikt Egill Árnason

Testimonials

‘LOGOS has a substantial practice in Iceland. They are unique in the depth and breadth of their practice. They are well connected in the business and political communities and are excellent colleagues to work with.’

Key clients

Icelandair hf.

Siminn hf.

Lyf og heilsa hf.

Gildi

VR

Pension Fund of State Employees

Arion Bank

Reykjanesbaer

Estate of SS Hus ehf.

Baugur Group Estate

Origo hf.

Landsbankinn hf.

HSBC plc.

Barclays Bank plc.w

1912 ehf.

Frumtak Ventures ehf.

Work highlights

  • Advised on the financial restructuring of Icelandair Group hf. and its subsidiaries, inter alia via an equity offering, for the value of €201.5m.
  • Assisted the municipality of Reykjanesbaer in respect to its financial restructuring, valued at €130m.
  • Represented HSBC Milan Branch in litigation against LBI ehf. in relation to close out of a 1992 ISDA Master Agreement.

ADVEL Attorneys at Law

ADVEL Attorneys at Law handles company reorganisations, distressed funding issues and financial restructuring matters, in addition to bankruptcy proceedings, and acts a key adviser to Arion Bank. The team also counts Festi and leading Nordic IT company Advania on its key roster of clients. Litigator Guðmundur Siemsen jointly leads the practice group alongside attorney-at-law Svanhildur Anna Magnúsdóttir.

Practice head(s):

Guðmundur Siemsen; Svanhildur Anna Magnúsdóttir

Testimonials

‘Experience and ability to think outside of the box.’

Key clients

Festi hf.

Advania Ísland ehf.

Festing hf.

Arion Bank hf.

Juris

Juris handles collapse-related insolvency cases, including rescission and asset recovery litigation, as well as winding-up proceedings and also advises domestic clients on issues relating to financial restructurings. The team also acts for distressed companies and their liquidators in disputes and non-contentious matters. Andri Árnason and Halldór Jónsson jointly lead the practice group, and Stefán A. Svensson has experience in insolvency rescission cases.

Practice head(s):

Andri Árnason; Halldór Jónsson

Other key lawyers:

Stefán A. Svensson

Testimonials

‘In our view Juris is a very competent and professional practice which offers good value for money. Their service is personal and they focus on their customers‘ needs. They have strong partners with depth of knowledge both on a practical and theoretical legal level. They have a diverse workforce, male, female, and Icelandic and international lawyers. They have been creative in relation to restructuring and insolvency matters and have the ability to foresee roadblocks well ahead of time.’

Key clients

Kaupþing ehf.

Bakkastakkur slhf.

Summa rekstrarfélag hf.

Sunnuvellir slhf.

Work highlights

  • Advising Bakkastakkur on an ongoing basis in relation to its debt and equity investment in PCC BakkiSilicon hf.
  • Advising on Sunnuvellir’s interest in Silicor’s proposed solar silicon plant in Iceland.
  • Represented and advised Kaupþing in relation to various disputes.

Réttur – Adalsteinsson & Partners

Réttur – Adalsteinsson & Partners focuses on acting for creditors in domestic and cross-border insolvency proceedings, and handles contentious bankruptcy matters and corporate restructurings. The team counts Icelandic Water Holdings, BNP Paribas and Landesbank on its key list of clients. Sigurður Örn Hilmarsson, who has experience in acting for international clients in rescission cases, jointly leads the practice alongside Kári Hólmar Ragnarsson, who handles winding-up proceedings. Sigrún Ingibjörg Gísladóttir is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Sigurður Örn Hilmarsson; Kári Hólmar Ragnarsson

Other key lawyers:

Sigrún Ingibjörg Gísladóttir

Key clients

Icelandic Water Holdings hf.

BNP Paribas, Landesbank, Commerzbank and Raiffeisen Bank International

RSM Restructuring Advisory LLP

Work highlights

  • Assisted Icelandic Water Holdings hf. with a proposed sale of a majority of its shares and a refinancing.
  • Acted as council for the appointed trustees in relation to the £327m bankruptcy proceedings of a high-profile UK businessperson’s estate.
  • Advised and litigated for joint trustees of an individual’s estate in a £2.5m bankruptcy case.