Banking and finance (including shipping finance) in Norway

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt

The practice at Advokatfirmaet Schjødt stands out for its private equity expertise, with notable experience in LBOs and sponsor side financings, and counts multiple private equity houses, banks and financial institutions as clients. The group also attracts praise for its rig and ship finance work, high-yield bond market knowledge (particularly regarding international offerings) and refinancing project proficiency. Viggo Bang-Hansen and Bjarne Rogdaberg jointly lead the team, which also fields debt capital specialist Anders Gullåsen, shipping expert Camilla Skøie Mørkve, and Bergen-based cross-border financing leader Thomas Dale. The department also has a substantial banking and finance regulatory practice, which is led by Rogdaberg and was recently bolstered by the recruitments of Knut Bergo and Andreas Lowzow from Wiersholm and BAHR, respectively. Erlend Brun Bakken also joined following the firm’s merger with Michelet & Co, expanding the team’s oil and gas financing capabilities.

Other key lawyers:

Camilla Skøie Mørkve

Testimonials

Exceptional capacity to follow up extensive projects and multiple workstreams at the same time. Working well with counterparties to close several refinancings and new financings at the same time. The team also shows a high degree of sector knowledge and has a good network of foreign lawyers to participate in international transactions.

Work highlights

  • Advised Nordic Trustee on a $300m Norwegian secured bond issuance and DNB Bank on a $30m super secured revolving credit facility agreement with Chilean aquaculture company, Nova Austral as issuer and borrower.
  • Assisted Danske Bank and Citigroup Global Markets with the refinancing of four jack-up drilling units for Borr Drilling.
  • Acted for Ocean Yield on the financing of several vessels.

BAHR

As ‘one of the top firms in Norway’, BAHR is a key name in the market for banking transactional work, regularly handling international transactions and innovative issues; the team recently assisted several major savings banks with the establishment of clearing platforms and acted on the first issuance of green covered bonds in Norway. The group also fields a highly regarded funds practice and the team’s lender and borrower client base draws in notable regulatory work. Richard Sjøqvist heads up the department, which also counts ship and offshore finance expert Rolf Johan Ringdal, asset management and regulatory specialist Peter Hammerich, Audun Nedrelid, go-to financial instruments name Arne Tjaum and Erik Langseth, who handles real estate financing matters, as key practitioners. Markus Nilssen and Magnus Tønseth were promoted to the partnership in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Richard Sjøqvist

Other key lawyers:

Rolf Johan Ringdal

Key clients

Nordea Bank AB including its Norwegian branch

DNB Bank ASA

Sparebank 1 Gruppen (including Sparebank 1 Nord-Norge, Sparebank 1 SMN, Sparebank 1 SR-Bank)

Danske Bank A/S

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

ING Bank N.V.

Norvestor Equity (and affiliated companies and funds)

Aker Group (including Aker Solutions, Akastor and Kværner)

HitecVision Advisory  (and affiliated companies and funds)

Argentum Asset Management

Work highlights

  • Advising Sparebank 1 Boligkreditt on updating its €25bn global MTN programme and acting on Norway’s first ever issuance of green covered bonds.
  • Assisting Nordea Bank and other secured lenders with a $385m senior secured credit facility provided to Hoegh LNG Partners for the refinancing of two of its vessels.
  • Acting for Noreco on a new seven-year $900m reserve-based lending facility agreement with a group of lenders for part of the financing for its acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell’s upstream assets in Denmark.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

Ellen Teresa Heyerdahl and Tore Mydske jointly lead Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS’ banking group, heading up the debt financing and financial regulatory teams, respectively. Other key practitioners include Hans Haugstad, who is a key name for cross-border financings; debt capital markets specialists Einar Grette and Halvor Mansåker, and insolvency and restructuring expert Kristoffer Hegdahl. The practice’s expertise encompasses syndicated corporate financings, acquisition finance work, project finance issues, asset financings and real estate-related matters, alongside substantial knowledge of cross-border work, renewable and infrastructure projects, and debt restructuring issues. Jan J Greve and Bjørn Sande Urtegaard are the key contacts in the Bergen office.

Other key lawyers:

Hans Haugstad

Key clients

DNB Bank ASA

Nordea Bank

Danske Bank

Svenska Handelsbanken

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken

GIEK (Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency)

Pareto Securities

ABG Sundal Collier

Nordic Trustee AS

Nordic Credit Rating AS

Vipps AS

Pareto Alternative Investments AS

Storebrand ASA

Sparebank1 Gruppen AS

Work highlights

  • Acted for Pareto Securities and Fearnely Securities as global lead arrangers and SEB Enskilda and Swedbank as joint lead managers on a senior secured $475m bond issuance by Floatel International.
  • Advised Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken and Danish Export Finance as lenders on the €260m secured project financing for Midgard Vind Holding, a joint venture between Stadtwerke Munchen and TrønderEnergi.
  • Assisting multiple clearing members of Nasdaq OMX, including international financial institutions, with the fallout of a member defaulting on derivatives trades.

Wiersholm

Wiersholm’s roster of Norwegian and international banking institution clients leverage the firm’s expertise across the full spectrum of finance work, which is notably strong in project financing work, shipping finance mandates and issues in the energy, offshore and real estate sectors. Practice co-heads Kaare P Sverdrup and Kristine Hasle Øverby specialise in project and acquisition financing work, and ship finance matters, respectively. The group’s debt financing experience was also expanded following the recruitment of Atle Gabrielsen from Arntzen de Besche in early 2019, and managing associate Petter Thomren Moltu focuses on project financing, acquisition financing and exploration and production financing work.

Other key lawyers:

Petter Thomren Moltu

Key clients

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB

Handelsbanken, Norwegian Branch of Svenska Handelsbanken AB

SpareBank 1 SR-Bank ASA

DNB Bank ASA

Nordea Bank Abp

Altor

Maritime & Merchant Bank ASA

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

Work highlights

  • Advised SpareBank 1 SR-Bank on an amended and restated multicurrency overdraft, term loan, guarantee and revolving facilities agreement with Holding Cage.
  • Assisting Svenska Handelsbanken with the provision of a construction financing facility to Miklagard Properties for the construction of a conference and spa hotel in Ullensaker.
  • Advising Danske Bank as agent on a $100m revolving credit facility agreement for TGS Nopec Geophysical Company.

Wikborg Rein

With ‘one of the most thorough and hardworking teams in the Nordics’, Wikborg Rein has a strong banking client base which it advises on shipping and offshore finance work, acquisition financing issues, Norwegian bond transactions, corporate and asset finance matters, and financial regulatory mandates. The group is also recognised for its energy and maritime sector expertise; it recently advised DNB Bank on the $325m financing of Shearwater Geoservices' acquisition of the marine seismic acquisition assets and operations of WesternGeco. Johan Rasmussen leads the financing practice, Lars-Erik Østerbø is the key contact in Bergen, and Stian Tande Mortensen focuses on debt financing work. Clients also single out ‘top-notch lawyerAlexander W Owesen, who is an acquisition finance specialist. Bernhard Haukali retired.

Testimonials

The most thorough and hardworking legal team in the Nordics.

One of the top law firms in Norway. Broad partnership with deep understanding of our loans business.

Alexander Owesen is a top-notch lawyer, and one the best I have worked with. He always delivers on time and above my expectations. All his work is very thorough and he has a good, solution-oriented mind. Furthermore, he ensures a positive sentiment in negotiations with my clients, and a good drive throughout the process.

Johan Rasmussen is a highly experienced lawyer, with outstanding negotiating skills.

We have primarily used Alex Owesen and Andreas Kjensli Lund. Alex is enthusiastic, competent, eager to learn and easy to reach when needed. His sidekick Andreas complements Alex in a good way. He is rock solid. They probably have the shortest turnaround time in the city.

Key clients

ABN AMRO Bank N.V.

BNP Paribas

Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank

Credit Suisse AG

Danske Bank A/S

DNB Bank ASA

KfW IPEX-Bank GmbH

Maritime & Merchant Bank ASA

NIBC Bank N.V.

Nordea Bank Abp

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB

Svenska Handelsbanken AB

Storebrand ASA/Storebrand Livsforsikring AS

Work highlights

  • Advised DNB Bank as agent on the £325m financing of Shearwater Geoservices’ acquisition of the marine seismic acquisition assets and operations of WesternGeco.
  • Assisted Nordea Bank with the provision of a $325m term loan facility to Viken Shuttle for the refinancing of five shuttle tankers.
  • Acted for Söderberg & Partner Holding on its acquisition of a 35% stake in Forvaltningshuset.

Arntzen de Besche

Arntzen de Besche’s ‘always available’ team has ‘strong industry insight in the oil and gas sector’ and regularly handles exploration and production financing work. The group is also singled out for its notable expertise in cross-border financings, aviation finance work, shipping and offshore financing matters and regulatory knowledge. Trond Kildal heads up the practice and is a specialist in debt financing work. Paul Sveinsson is a key name for aircraft financing mandates and Sven Iver Steen focuses on regulatory issues. The group also saw substantial change in 2019 with regulatory specialist Karl Rosén and oil and gas expert Vidar Løhre joining from Advokatfirmaet Grette AS and Wikborg Rein respectively, and Atle Gabrielsen departing to Wiersholm.

Practice head(s):

Trond Kildal

Other key lawyers:

Vidar Løhre

Testimonials

Vidar Løhre is very available and comprehensive in his advice, giving commercial and client focused advice to clients on a range of finance matters.

Always available and coordinated. Creates a solid foundation, balancing creativity and market terms.

The team is flexible and delivers what we need on time.

Ingeborg Moen Borgerud and Sven Iver Steen. They are both outstanding in the fields they give us advice.

Karl Rosén has good business knowledge and understanding of the financial sector, is service minded, and has a trustworthy approach.

Vidar Løhre is a great partner to work with, very available and switched on, focused on ensuring clients get practical and commercial advice. He is always good to work with.

Karl Rosén is a commercially and solution-oriented person. He is also cost efficient and sees the necessary work needed without pulling in too many resources.

Manage to create a positive and friendly atmosphere, which I very much appreciate in our relationship. Tough when it needs to be.

Key clients

Swedbank AB

Danske Bank A/S

Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS)

Widerøe’s Flyveselskap AS

Sparebank 1 Markets

Eksportkreditt Norge AS

Citibank N.A., London Branch

Palmarium Group

GE Capital Solutions AB/AS

Work highlights

  • Advising Citibank as security agent to the secured creditors on Oceanwood’s sale and purchase agreement to buy the entire issued share capital of Norkse Skog.
  • Assisted Nordea Bank with Oris Dental Holding’s capital raising for its acquisition of future companies, working capital and expenditure.
  • Acted for Norfund on the financing, refinancing and restructuring of Green Resources.

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS

The practice at Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS is ‘practical, with a no-nonsense approach’ and focuses its efforts on three core areas of expertise spanning asset-based financings, corporate finance work and financial regulatory matters. The group also enhances the firm’s key strengths assisting with M&A, energy and real estate transactions. Practice head Hans-Christian Donjem has a particular focus on acquisition financing, corporate financing and bond financing work and regularly acts for private equity firms, financial institutions and public and private corporations. Other key individuals include Peter L Brechan, who has extensive experience in regulatory matters and product development issues; and restructuring specialist Ellen Schult Ulriksen. Halvor Klingenberg joined Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig in late 2018.

Practice head(s):

Hans-Christian Donjem

Testimonials

Very easy to work with, practical no-nonsense approach, and gives clear advice.

Hans-Christian Donjem really stands out in the market.

Key clients

Santander Consumer Bank AS

Swedbank

Bank2 ASA

DNB Markets

Sparebank1 SMN

Jyske Bank A/S

Danske Bank A/S

Axactor SE

ABN Amro Bank N.V.

BlackRock Investment Management

Work highlights

  • Advised BlackRock Real Assets on the refinancing of Tellenes Vindpark, which was BlackRock’s first renewable investment in Norway.
  • Assisted Axactor with the amendment and restatement of its facilities agreement with DNB and Nordea as lenders.
  • Acted for Santander Consumer Bank on the development of a car subscription service.

SANDS

Continuing the notable growth the firm has seen over recent years, SANDS’ banking and finance group recruited cross-border financing specialist Jørn Snorre Øvstedal from Advokatfirmaet Schjødt in late 2018, and further expanded in 2019 following the recruitment of Ylva Cornelia Axelsen, who is experienced in the shipping, offshore, oil services and cruise sectors, from an in-house position at Nordea. Stein Hegdal remains active for bank clients. Marit Kirkhusmo and Oddbjorn Slinning are also key contacts for shipping finance work, with other key sectors for the team spanning the real estate, energy, natural resources and maritime industries. Former group head Hillevi Torngren Myhre joined Kvale Advokatfirma DA in 2020.

Testimonials

High partner focus with highly experienced people. Partner’s with in-house experience from leading banks which is a great asset.

Key clients

Wallenius Wilhelmsen

Helaba

Sparebanken Møre

SpareBank 1 SMN

DHT Holdings

ING Capital LLC

Macquarie Bank

ABN Amro Capital USA LLC

BNP Paribas

Work highlights

  • Advising Helaba as lender on the financing of a DNB-led syndicate’s purchase of an office building in downtown Oslo.
  • Assisted ABN Amro Capital and Macquarie Bank as Norwegian counsel with the provision of a $414m senior secured pre- and post-delivery financing to Teekay Offshore.
  • Acting for ING Capital on the provision of senior secured financing to Teekay Offshore.

Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS

Bernt Olav Steinland heads the practice at Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS, which excels in banking and finance transactions including debt restructurings and shipping finance issues, and financial services regulatory work. The group’s shipping, oil and offshore-related work was also recently bolstered by the addition of Christian Steen Eriksen and senior associate Andreas Kyllingstad, who joined the group as part of the firm’s merger with Kyllingstad Kleveland Advokatfirma DA in early 2019. Tor Herdlevær is a key name for distressed debt restructuring transactions, Christopher Jensen specialises in bank and bond financings, and Per Morten Christiansen regularly handles export, acquisition and real estate financing work.

Practice head(s):

Bernt Olav Steinland

Key clients

DNB Bank

Nordea Bank

SEB

Danske Bank

Kommunalbanken

Pareto Securities

Fearnley Securities

Aberdeen Asset Management

GIEK

Eksportkreditt Norge

Axactor Capital

Orkla

Borregaard

Kleven Maritime

Broadnet

Lowell

Nemaska Lithium

Gjensidige Forsikring

The Eika Alliance

Sparebanken Telemark

SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge

SpareBank 1 Østfold Akershus

SpareBank 1 Østlandet

SpareBank 1 SMN

SpareBank 1 SR Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Gjensidige Forsikring on its implementation of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II).
  • Assisting Eika Gruppen with the development of a new governance model.
  • Acted for Danske Bank on the provision of an acquisition and bridge loan facility to NRC Group for its acquisition of VR Track.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig

With substantial expertise in shipping, offshore and project finance mandates, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig acts for a broad range of lenders and borrower clients encompassing Norwegian banks, private companies, arrangers and trustees. The practice is also active in general financing work including syndicated lending matters, leveraged lending issues and refinancings; export financing work, aviation financings and financial services regulation. Vessel and rig financing expert Peter Aall Simonsen heads up the Oslo team, while Eivind Eliassen leads the Bergen-based group. Christine Rødsæther and Erlend Lous are also recommended for shipping and offshore transactions, and Halvor Klingenberg joined from Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS in 2019.

Other key lawyers:

Halvor Klingenberg

Testimonials

We have used Simonsen Vogt Wiig for many years on various financings. They have strong and experienced banking and financing teams, both in Oslo and in Bergen.

The group is always available and proactive, and a good commercial mindset is something that you can always expect from the SVW team.

SVW have many experienced lawyers but we would like to highlight partner Halvor Klingenberg from their Oslo office. Halvor is truly an up and coming lawyer and we were very pleased when he returned to SVW. He is extremely committed, trustworthy and efficient.

Halvor Klingenberg is a very pleasant personality and strong discussion partner. Strong commercial understanding which combined with a strong understanding of the renewable industry means that Halvor can provide excellent legal advice. Ability to explain legal considerations in a way which gives us a good foundation to take decisions.

Key clients

DNB Bank ASA

Nordea Bank Abp

Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken

Swedbank

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA

ING Bank N.V.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation London Branch

The Norwegian State Export Credit Agency

Katapult

Prime Capital AG

Work highlights

  • Handled multiple ship finance deals including assisting ING, SMBC, SEB and NIBC with five separate bilateral financings of 13 vessels owned by Ship Finance International.
  • Advised Songa Container as issuer on its issuance of $130m high-yield secured bond loan for the refinancing of three separate credit facilities.
  • Assisting Prime Capital, Siemens Financial Services and Green Capital Evolution and the funds they advise on the financing of the Raudfjell and Kvitfjell wind farms.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper excels in handling large project and construction finance mandates in Norway, while also leveraging the firm’s wider global network to act for international banking clients including Danske Bank, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse and SEB. Other key areas of expertise for the practice include bilateral and syndicated bank lending transactions, asset finance work, acquisition financings, debt capital markets issues and bond matters. The team is also noted for its financial regulatory expertise. Key practitioners in the team include the well-regarded Erik Ramm and regulatory and compliance specialist Camilla Wollan. Fredrik Lindblom moved to the firm’s London office, new practice head Børge A Grøttjord joined from Advokatfirmaet Grette AS and Dag Thomas Hansson moved to Kluge Advokatfirma AS.

Practice head(s):

Børge A Grøttjord

Testimonials

The group has strong compliance skills and industry knowledge.

Key clients

DekaBank

Danske Bank

Royal Bank of Scotland/NatWest

DNB Bank

Credit Suisse

Norfund

Nordea Bank

SEB

Bank Norwegian

Handelsbanken

Salmar

Work highlights

  • Advised Credit Suisse Energy Infrastructure Partners and E.ON as joint sponsors on the €400m project financing of Nysaeter, an on-shore wind farm project in Sweden.
  • Assisted DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale as lender with BlackRock’s acquisition of a wind farm in Western Norway from Zephyr.
  • Acted for Landesbank Baden Wuertemberg on the project financing of Tonstad, an on-shore wind farm project in Southwest Norway.

Advokatfirmaet Grette AS

The ‘dedicated’ team at Advokatfirmaet Grette AS is singled out in the market for its expertise in handling the SMB financing of real estate via bonds and bank loans, public private partnership financing work and payment services issues. The practice is also a notable contact for government-owned infrastructure companies and counts Avinor, Statens Vegvesen and Norske Tog as key clients. The team also has expertise in bilateral and syndicated lending, bond and derivatives work. Erik Alsvik Skogsbakken and Johan Christian Kongsli were both promoted to associate partner in 2019 and focus on real estate finance issues and regulatory work, respectively. Karl Rosén departed to Arntzen de Besche in 2019 and Børge A Grøttjord departed to DLA Piper in 2020.

Testimonials

The Grette team I work with have a deep understanding of clients in the Norwegian infrastructure market. As such, they give pragmatic, commercial advice that recognises the need to combine Norwegian legal requirements with international market standards. Grette work well with international counsel. They are very accessible as a firm – I can always just pick up the phone to speak with them which makes it much easier to resolve the inevitable complex issue that has to be dealt with on deals. In short, they’re a great team to work with.

Grette did an excellent job for us. Their professionalism was also appreciated by lawyers and others involved in the client side.

The team has strong competency within banking and finance, and provides solid advice of great value to us.

This practice has the expertise and knowledge required for our business. The team is as complete as the whole practice, giving us the certainty of the best advice at all times. The flexibility and ability to include other parties within the practice is outstanding.

I have worked directly with Børge Grøttjord and Erik Skogsbakken on debt capital markets work for a client operating in the transport sector. Both showed a deep understanding of our joint client’s business that they used to ensure the transaction was run in a way that worked for the client. They are both highly professional and very responsive to client demands. They are very personable and work well as part of a multi-counsel team.

Erik Skogsbakken has strong legal capabilities within banking and finance, and his deliveries holds high quality.

They are dedicated. They always deliver on time. They are always available. If they need extra time and resources they are informing and explaining prior to action, putting us as their client in the leading position at all times.

Key clients

Avinor AS

Pareto Bank ASA

HSBC Bank Plc

Ing Bank N.V.

Mitsui Banking Corporation Europe Limited

JOOL Markets AS

Kommunal Landspensjonskasse Gjensidig Forsikringsselskap (KLP)

Norske tog AS

BN Bank

Danske Bank

Goldman Sachs International

Work highlights

  • Assisted Aprila Bank with the development and roll out of an online payment and credit solution for online market places targeting the SMB-market.
  • Advised Avinor on the update of its €3bn Euro medium term note programme.
  • Assisted Norske Tog with three issuances of notes under its €1.8bn Euro medium term note programme.

Kvale Advokatfirma DA

Kvale Advokatfirma DA’s client roster spans a range of Norwegian financial institutions including DNB, GIEK and Bank2, and has also recently been active handling bankruptcy-related work, including assisting the bankruptcy estate of Norske Skog. Under the leadership of restructuring specialist Stine Snertingdalen, the group leverages its transactional, banking regulatory and banking litigation expertise to also stand out for shipping finance matters and financial restructuring work. Christian Stang Våland regularly handles corporate transactions for banks and Jostein Moen focuses on shipping transactions. Hillevi Torngren Myhre joined from SANDS in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Stine Snertingdalen

Testimonials

Hillevi Myhre is always on point with great commercial understanding and ability to drive processes forward.

Key clients

Arctic Securities

Bank2

Collector Bank

Danske Bank

DNB Bank

Finans 2

GIEK

SpareBank 1 Østlandet

Pareto Securities

Skue Sparebank

Sparebank 1 SR-Bank

Romsdal Sparebank

Valdres Sparebank

Colligent

Norske Skog bankruptcy estate

Indre Sogn Sparebank

Aurland Sparebank

Vik Sparebank

Work highlights

  • Advising on the merger of Vang and Vestre Slidre, two of Norway’s leading savings banks, which formed to create Valdres Sparebank.
  • Acting for the bankruptcy estates of several companies of Norske Skog.
  • Assisting DNB Bank and Sparebank 1 with the securing and recovery of outstanding amounts under credit facilities, swaps and guarantees.