Banking and finance (including shipping finance) in Norway
BAHR stands out for its transactional strength, acting for a client base spanning a variety of lenders and borrowers; notable examples include ING Bank, Danske Bank and Hitecvision. Richard Sjøqvist leads the department; his recent work includes assisting the London branch of Nordea Bank with the restructuring of Seadrill and its subsidiaries including amendments to syndicated credit facilities and security packages, and advising Sparebank 1 Boligkreditt on an update to its €25bn global medium-term covered note programme. Rolf Johan Ringdal is a key name for ship and offshore finance work, Peter Hammerich focuses on regulatory and compliance matters, and Erik Langseth handles real estate financing work. Audun Nedrelid and Arne Tjaum are also names to note; Nedrelid recently acted for DNB Bank on the provision of a NOK1bn senior secured multi-currency revolving credit and overdraft facility to Kredinor and handled Aker BP's $1.5bn acquisition financing for the purchase of Hess Norge. The group also has an active funds practice; it recently established a €3bn euro medium-term note programme for SpareBank 1 SR-Bank.
Fielding a team of 'tough negotiators' who have 'a proactive approach towards clients', Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS has 'substantial market knowledge', which gives it 'an excellent tactical advantage for its work'. The practice is recognised for its private equity strength and also excels in rig and ship finance work, high-yield bond work and refinancing projects; recent highlights include acting for DNB Bank and Nordea Bank on a term and revolving credit facility agreement to Colosseum Dental Group for the acquisition of several dental clinics, assisting Nordic Trustee with a $300m Norwegian secured bond issue, and advising a bank syndicate led by Danske Bank on the financing of eight jack-up drilling units for Borr Drilling. Viggo Bang-Hansen and financial regulatory professional Bjarne Rogdaberg jointly lead the group, which also includes shipping and offshore financing expert Camilla Skøie Mørkve, debt finance specialist Anders Gullåsen, Thomas Dale, who handles cross-border financings; and Siv Sandvik, who has a key foreign bank client base. Corporate finance specialist Knut Bergo joined from Wikborg Rein and fund expert Andreas Lowzow joined from BAHR.
Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS divides its banking and finance department into debt financing and regulatory teams; the debt team acts for several banks and investment banks and has notable experience in debt restructurings and real estate bond financings, while the regulatory group handles framework conditions, licensing issues and transactions. Tor Herdlevær and Bernt Olav Steinland head debt work and regulatory mandates respectively; Herdlevær recently worked with Per Morten Christiansen to assist Seadrill with various issues relating to its debt restructuring plan and Steinland advised 15 independent savings banks with their acquisition of a 12% stake in Norwegian mobile payment app, Vipps. Other clients include Aberdeen Asset Management, Danske Bank, Eksportkreditt Norge and Orkla. Christopher Jensen is also a key name to note; he recently acted on a green bond issuance. The firm merged with Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA in 2019, gaining Christian Steen Eriksen and lawyer Andreas Kyllingstad; Kyllingstad handles oil and offshore projects.
With 'a meticulous yet pragmatic and business-minded approach' and 'a can-do attitude which fuels and transforms tricky situations into problem-solving sessions', Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig 'manages to serve its clients, not only to the highest of standards, but also with the highest results possible' and 'always exceeds expectations in the delivery-to-cost ratio'. Peter Aall Simonsen heads up the Oslo-based group and Eivind Eliassen leads the practice in Bergen; Simonsen focuses on vessel, rig, acquisition and real estate financings and Eliassen also has experience in insolvency matters. Simonsen's recent mandates include acting for Prime Capital on the financing of the Raudfjell and Kvitfjell wind farms and assisting Helly Hansen with the establishment of its corporate financing structure with DNB Bank. Other noteworthy names include Ingar Fuglevåg, who assisted Norwegian Air Shuttle with several aircraft financings; shipping specialists Christine Rødsæther and Erlend Lous, and regulatory expert Morten Wilhelm Winther.
Hans Haugstad leads the debt financing team at Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS and Tore Mydske heads up the financial regulatory group, both of which benefit from the firm's financial restructuring and insolvency department, led by newly promoted partner Kristoffer Hegdahl. Haugstad and Ellen Teresa Heyerdahl recently advised Seadrill on its debt structuring, Mydske assisted Nordic Credit Rating with its establishment as a credit rating agency under the supervision of the European Securities Markets Agency, Einar Grette and Halvor Mansåker handled a number of high-yield bond issuances for various financial advisers and issuers, and Bergen-based Jan J Greve advised Flex LNG on a term loan facility. Other clients include DNB Bank, Nordea Bank, Svenska Handelsbanken and Pareto Securities. Shipping and maritime industry expert Bjørn Sande Urtegaard made partner in 2018.
Wiersholm's client base encompasses domestic and international clients including Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken, Handelsbanken, SpareBank 1 SR-Bank and Nordea Bank. Kaare Sverdrup and Kristine Hasle Øverby jointly lead the group; Øverby is recognised for her ship finance and shipping transaction expertise and Sverdrup handles project financing, refinancing and acquisition financing mandates. Other key individuals include Ståle Gjengset, managing associate Henrik Hafstad and senior associates Petter Thomren Moltu and Pia Sporstøl, who specialise in the petroleum sector, and the shipping and real estate industries respectively. Leif Moltke-Hansen retired. Atle Gabrielsen was a new arrival from Arntzen de Besche.
Wikborg Rein's 'unique experience, problem-solving skills and solution-oriented approach' ensures 'an excellent service across the board' with substantial strength in financial regulatory work, ship, offshore, asset and acquisition financing matters, and high-yield bond mandates. Johan Rasmussen leads the finance department, Ketil E Bøe manages the regulatory department, Lars-Erik Østerbø heads up the team in Bergen, and Stian Tande Mortensen leads the bond practice; Østerbø and Mortensen were recently promoted to the partnership. Clients also single out shipping and offshore specialist Bernhard Haukali and the acquisition finance-focused Alexander W Owesen. Recent highlights include advising Storebrand on the winding up and acquisition of the portfolio of Silver Pensjonsforsikring, assisting payment system companies Vipps, BankAxept and BankID Norge with their combination, and acting for Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken on a secured tax-based exploration finance facility to a Norwegian exploration and production (E&P) company operating on the Norwegian continental shelf. BNP Paribas, Danske Bank and Nordea Bank are also clients.
Arntzen de Besche's 'extremely responsive and commercially focused' practice excels in the cross-border financing space alongside notable strength in E&P financing mandates in the oil and gas sector, aviation financings and shipping and offshore finance work. The team recently advised Danske Bank as facility agent on a $1.5bn credit facility to Aker BP, and assisted Pandion Energy with a high-yield bond issuance for the financing of its acquisition of interests in two oil fields. The 'highly professional, approachable and pragmatic' Paul Sveinsson is a key name for aircraft financing issues, Trond Kildal handles debt financings and Sven Iver Steen focuses on regulatory mandates; Kildal recently acted for Palmarium Group on the financing of its acquisition on Lebara Group. Vidar Løhre joined from Wikborg Rein in 2019. Atle Gabrielsen is now with Wiersholm.
DLA Piper's 'full-service banking and finance department has good commercial knowledge, is highly capable of handling large transactions' and benefits from 'a well-functioning network in international deals'. The 'skilled, service-minded, friendly and quick team provides good constructive advice' under the leadership of Fredrik Lindblom, who is a key project financing name; he recently advised DekaBank on the project financing of an onshore wind farm project. Other highlights for the group include associate partner Camilla Wollan advising Bank Norwegian on regulatory and compliance issues. The highly regarded Erik Ramm is also a key name to note. Dag Thomas Hansson joined Kluge Advokatfirma AS in 2019.
Advokatfirmaet Grette AS is a key name in the market for public-private partnership (PPP) financing matters; it also has notable expertise in the high-yield bond market for SMEs, property bond deals and financial services regulations. In a recent highlight, group co-head Børge A. Grøttjord advised Jool Markets as manager on multiple bond deals including a two tranche high-yield bond issuance in Flag Project Holding 1 and a high-yield bond issuance in Solnes Invest. Other recent work includes assisting EQT with a senior facilities agreement and an intercreditor agreement, and acting for a group of lenders on a €650m loan for the global funding of a private equity-owned company. Intertrust, HSBC Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe are also clients. Karl Rosén also leads the group and Andreas Myrstad is another name to note.
Associate partner Hans-Christian Donjem 'makes the difference in an issue' and heads the practice at Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS, which 'clearly understands the task at hand'. The department focuses its efforts on three key areas; asset-based financing, corporate financing and financial regulatory issues. The department is also active in the renewable and real estate sectors; the team recently advised BlackRock Renewable Energy on its investment into the project financing of a wind farm in Guleslettene. Other mandates include assisting Santander with the day-to-day operations of its Nordic business, handling Axactor's €350m corporate refinancing across five jurisdictions, and acting for Csam Health on its NOK100m refinancing with Cordet. Peter L Brechan is the key name for regulatory matters advising insurance companies, financial institutions and fund managers, and associate partner Halvor Klingenberg focuses on project financing, bond financing and asset-based financing work.
With notable experience in the project financing space, Kluge Advokatfirma AS' department is led by Atle Degré, Petter Schmidt and Thomas Rieber-Mohn in Oslo, Stavanger and Bergen respectively, and includes the highly regarded Snorre Haukali. The group's recent highlights include Linn Hoel Ringvoll acting for a consortium consisting of AF Gruppen and John Laing Group on the financing elements of a proposed road PPP; Degré and Ringvoll assisting Kameo with regulatory matters; and Degré advising Avinor and Sjømatterminalen on the financing and development of an entity owning a seafood terminal at Oslo Airport. Marine Harvest, Øglænd Industrier Holding and Faroe Petroleum Norge are also clients. Dag Thomas Hansson joined from DLA Piper in 2019.
Kvale Advokatfirma DA combines transactional, banking regulatory and banking litigation expertise to advise top financial institutions including Danske Bank, Bank 2 and Arctic Securities. In a recent highlight, practice head Stine D Snertingdalen advised DNB Bank and Sparebank 1 SR-Bank on securing and recovering outstanding debts under credit facilities, swaps and guarantees. Other work includes assisting the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency, GIEK, in its role as guarantor with providing syndicated credit facilities to Farstad Shipping, and acting for Collector Bank on its interactions with the Norwegian financial services regulatory authorities. Christian Stang Våland, who counts multiple savings banks as clients, and ship finance expert Jostein Moen are also names to note.
Under the leadership of Stein Hegdal, SANDS is noted for its strength in the shipping, maritime and oil and gas sectors alongside substantial experience in asset finance, energy finance, acquisition finance and syndications. Marit Kirkhusmo and Oddbjørn Slinning are also key names to note and Hillevi Myhre joined from an in-house position at Nordea. The team's recent work includes advising Helaba on various financing issues, assisting a client with a fleet financing, and acting for Solnes Invest on the structuring of a multi-currency bond loan.