Rising Stars

Fishing and aquaculture in Norway

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS

The fishing and aquaculture practice at Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS is noted by clients for its ‘unique knowledge’ of the industry. Acting for a high-profile client list, the team advises on a wide spectrum of matters related to the aquaculture and fishing industries, utilising specialist expertise in conjunction with colleagues from the dispute resolution, intellectual property, tax, and competition groups. The practice is co-led by Bjørn Sørgård, who is a regulatory expert and is sought out for his experience countering public authorities, and Ida Espolin Johnson, who is a key name for contentious mandates.

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Grøvdal Rønbeck; Oda Elvemo Myhrer; Håkon Austdal; Tone Grivi


‘Unique knowledge to the seafood industry. Legal, practical and personal knowledge, as well as a contact network in the industry.’

‘Competence, appearance and availability.’

‘Work experience from governmental institutions.’

Key clients

Sjømat Norge

Nordlaks Oppdrett AS

Nova Sea AS

Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS

Sporbarhet AS

Jarle Bergs Sønner AS


Salten Aqua Group

Gildeskål Forskningsstasjon AS

Sinkaberg-Hansen AS

Benchmark Genetics Norway AS

Gigante Salmon AS

Norcod AS

Flokenes Fiskefarm AS

Work highlights

  • Represented Sjømat Norge in litigation against Norges Sildesalgslag before the Gulating appeal court in a matter concerning sales organisations practice for disclosing detailed price information.
  • Represented STIM in high-stakes patent litigation involving fish feed before Borgarting Appeal Court.
  • Represented a group of shareholders in a large fishing company in a contentious dispute involving principal questions of ownership and control of fishing vessels.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig

The fishing and aquaculture group at Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig advises on the full spectrum of matters across both industries, acting for small-scale to industrial-sized businesses. Core areas of expertise for the team include corporate M&A and regulatory mandates, as well as contracts and dispute resolution. The practice is co-led by Arthur Duus and Kenneth Mikkelsen; Duus is noted for his corporate and regulatory expertise and is trusted by some of the region's largest salmon farmers, while Mikkelsen maintains a strong track-record in fishing litigation.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Duus; Kenneth Mikkelsen


‘We are very happy with the team, their capabilities and knowledge.’

‘After working closely with Arthur Duus for several years, we are very confident with his performance.’

‘They have a practical team.’

‘Arthur Duus, he has a lot of experience in court, but he is not that kind of lawyer that says ‘let’s go to court’, but more ‘let’s find a solution out of court.’’

Key clients

Alliance Seafoods Inc

Alsaker Group

Nergård Havfiske AS

Norges Sildesalgslag SA

Andreassen Rederi ANS

Arctic Pioneer AS

Berg Fiskeriselskap AS

Bjølve Bruk AS

Eidsvaag AS


Fjon Bruk AS

Fosen Yard AS

Grimsholm Fiskedrift AS

Hermann Export AS

Hermes AS

Karls Fisk og Skalldyr AS

Kvitungen AS

Lenangen Fiskeriselskap AS

Lerøy Norway Seafoods AS

Midsund Fiskebåtrederi AS

Work highlights

  • Assisting Alsaker LFC Holding AS with the delivery and post-delivery process following the building of well-boats at Astilleros Murureta, a shipyard in Bilbao, Spain, with a value of approx. NOK500m.
  • Assisting Bjølve Bruk AS with negotiations regarding securing rights of access to freshwater for the production of smolts and juvenile Atlantic Salmon.
  • Assisted Alsaker Fjordbruk AS and its subsidiaries with a round of applications for growth under industry regulations also known as ‘the traffic light system’.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

Considered by clients as ‘among the best in Norway’, Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS‘ fishing and aquaculture practice is singled out for its handling of high-value, complex mandates. Employing a cross-practice approach, the team advises on a mixture of corporate M&A, regulatory, capital markets, financing and intellectual property matters. Industry specialist Mons Alfred Paulsen spearheads ‘solution-oriented’ group, which advises a broad client base of seafood companies, fish-farmers, and banks. Rune Ulriksen Steinsland is also recommended, and is a key contact for commercial and transactional matters.

Practice head(s):

Mons Alfred Paulsen

Other key lawyers:

Rune Ulriksen Steinland


‘I consider Thommessen’s Fishing and aquaculture team to be among the best in Norway. They have specific competence in a complex regulatory industry. The team is down to earth, competent with unique skills related to fishing boats and aqua culture legal issues.’

‘They provide a very good service, when you tell them about the problem and what you want, they understand the problem and help find solutions.’

‘Understanding, solution-oriented, helpful. High competence, always with the view to find solutions/solve problems.’

‘They understand industry dynamics, which makes discussions and collaboration easier. Strong team of associates to support when necessary.’

‘Unique knowledge to the seafood industry, both legal, practical and personal knowledge and contact network in the industry.’

‘Thommessen’s fishing and aquaculture department has extensive experience advising the industry, which covers all areas of law with a deep and good understanding of the clients’ practices.’

‘Mons Alfred Paulsen knows the industry and has extensive experience from both fisheries and aquaculture. Mons has a broad background and is able to advise his clients on most relevant areas, which we value highly.’

‘Their knowledge of the aquaculture sector is unrivalled. Always come up with a commercial solution to problems. A great problem-solving attitude. They are greatly appreciated by their counterparts as well, which shows how proactive and pro-deal they are.’

Key clients

Abyss Group AS

AKVA Group


Austevoll Melaks AS

Austevoll Seafood/ Br. Birkeland

BEWI Iceland


Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS

Bluewild AS


DNB Bank

E. Karstensen Fiskeoppdrett AS

Eide Fjorbruk AS

Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS

Erko Seafood AS


Firda Seafood Group

Firda Sjøfarmer AS

Fjord Drift AS

Flokenes Fiskefarm AS

Hav Line Gruppen

Ice Fish farm

Idun Vesta AS


Jerónimo Martins – Agro-Alimentar, S.A. (Portugal)

Kobbevik og Furuholmen Oppdrett AS

Landøy Fiskeoppdrett AS

Langevåg Slakteri

Langøylaks AS

Laxar (Iceland)

Lerøy Vest AS

Lingalaks AS

Marø Havbruk A/S

Mowi ASA

MSD Animal Health

Måsøval AS

NCE Seafood/The Seafood Innovation Cluster

Nordea Bank

Nordfjord Laks AS


Osland Havbruk AS


Polarsmolt AS

Proximar Seafood

Salmones Camanchaca



Sandnes Fiskeoppdrett AS

Sealaska Foods International (Alaska)

Sjøtroll Havbruk AS

Steinvik Fiskefarm AS

Sulefisk AS

Svanøy Havbruk AS

Tombre Fiskeanlegg AS

Troland Lakseoppdrett AS


Work highlights

  • Advising Salmar and NTS on their restructuring/consolidation as majority shareholder.
  • Advising Ice Fishfarm on its merger with Laxar.

Wikborg Rein

The ‘excellent’ team at Wikborg Rein advises some of Norway’s largest seafood companies across the spectrum of aquaculture matters. Particularly strong at complex regulatory matters and licensing issues, the team is adept at assisting with development and R&D licenses, as well as high-value mergers and disputes. Grunde Bruland helms the group and is a regulatory expert. Martin Bryde is also a key contact in the team and leverages his previous experience as a director for the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries. At a non-partner level, senior associate Heidi Ann Vestvik-Bruknapp is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Grunde Bruland

Other key lawyers:

Martin Bryde; Heidi Ann Vestvik-Bruknapp


‘Excellent team in particular, they were able to involve lawyers from several fields of law as the case progressed.’

‘Experience and knowledge within the field of aquaculture. Quick responses. They present alternative strategies for solving the issues at hand. Have the feeling that they do not complicate situations in order to bill more, which is a good feeling to have.’

‘Knowledge in general, commercial knowledge and experience. Good at making strategies and efficiency in delivering the legal product. I recommend Grunde Bruland and Martin Bryde.’

‘Leading industry knowledge.’

‘Proactive approach to achieve highest possible value for the client.’

‘The team has several highly competent lawyers and do not depend on one individual to deliver services.’

‘The ability to respond quickly, and understanding of the client’s limitations on understanding of legal issues.’

Key clients

PO 3/ 4 Kunnskapsinkubator

SalMar Aker Ocean AS

Mowi ASA

Lerøy Seafood Group ASA

Lerøy Havfisk AS

Tytlandsvik Aqua AS and Årdal Aqua AS (Grieg Seafood)

Norway Royal Salmon ASA (NRS)

Eide Fjordbruk AS and Tombre Fiskeanlegg AS

SinkaBerg-Hansen AS

Laxar eignarhaldsfélag ehf.

Eidesvik Laks AS

Bjørøya AS

Eidfjord Sjøfarm AS and Prestfjord AS

Lingalaks AS

DnB Markets

Benchmark Holding (UK), Benchmark Genetics and Benchmark Animal Health (Norway)

Work highlights

  • Assisting Salmar Aker Ocean AS (SAO) on its efforts to establish offshore aquaculture at an industrial scale beyond the territorial waters of Norway.
  • Assisted Laxar eignarhaldsfélag ehf. with the sale of Laxar Fiskeldi ehf. and Búlandstindur ehf. to Ice Fish Farm AS.
  • Acting for PO3/4 Kunnskapsinkubator, an organisation for all fish farming companies in Western Norway, in an appeal to the Supreme Court regarding the legalities of the ‘traffic light system’.


Lisa Marie Opdahl leads BAHR‘s fishing and aquaculture practice, which maintains a strong track record in advising on high-value mergers and transactions. Recent highlights for the team include advising on several large offshore fishery construction projects. Opdahl is trusted by many high-profile seafood industry players on contractual and regulatory mandates, and Stig Engelhart is also noted within the team, particularly for regulatory work.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Marie Opdahl

Other key lawyers:

Stig Engelhart


‘They are responsive and know the topics well. Quick action and a strong support team of many specialists.’

‘Overall very good team with broad expertise.’

Key clients

SalMar ASA

Cermaq Group AS / Cermaq Norway AS

Aker Capital AS

Ocean Aquafarms AS

Aker BioMarine AS / Aker Biomarine Antarctic AS

PG Flow Solutions AS


SalmoClinic SpA / Salmoclinic Norway AS

Cargill Inc.

Bluefront Equity AS

Cflow Fish Handling AS / Cflow Fish Handling S.p.A

Salmon Evolution ASA

DNB Bank ASA/ DNB Markets

Arctic Securities AS


Pareto Securities AS

Norsal AS

Arion Banki hf.

EnFlow AS

ABG Sundal Collier

Framo Fusa AS

Israel Corp.

Coast Seafood AS

Work highlights

  • Acting for Aker Capital AS (a subsidiary of Aker ASA) in relation to the creation of a strategic partnership with SalMar ASA to establish a global offshore aquaculture company.
  • Acting as legal adviser to SalMar ASA in connection with its voluntary NOK15.1bn offer to purchase all outstanding shares in NTS ASA.
  • Assisted Israel Corp., a listed Israeli company, in connection with its investment in AKVA group ASA, one of the world’s largest providers of solutions and services to the aquaculture industry.


The aquaculture and fisheries practice at SANDS is spearheaded by the ‘calm and thorough’ Halfdan Mellbye. With a strong presence along Norway’s coast, the team is trusted by large-scale operations and companies on negotiations and disputes with the government and other regulatory authorities. Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen and Lars Alsaker are recognised for their coastal zone planning, concession and transactional expertise. Eirik Edvardsen is a go-to name in the team for transactional matters, including contracts and acquisitions.

Practice head(s):

Halfdan Mellbye

Other key lawyers:

Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen; Lars Alsaker; Eirik Edvardsen


‘Halfdan Mellbye is calm, a good listener, and thorough. He is always there when needed.’

Key clients


Osland Havbruk


Grøntvedt Pelagic

Langøylaks – Troland Fiskeoppdrett – Austevoll Melaks

Skjerneset Fisk – Mork Rensefisk



Akvaplan Niva

Driva Aquaculture

Lofoten Sjøprodukter

Kime Aqua

Work highlights

  • Advised Oddvar Nes AS, on its purchase of 100% of the shares in Vesterhav AS,  valued at NOK730m.
  • Assisted Lofoten Sjøprodukter with re-establishing a permit from the authorities to use a fish-farming location.
  • Represented Langøylaks, Troland Lakseoppdrett and Austevoll Melaks in a court case against the authorities after withdrawal of a permit to use a fish-farming location.

Arntzen de Besche

The aquaculture and fisheries group at Arntzen de Besche regularly advises on transactional and contentious matters, leveraging the strength of the wider firm’s dispute resolution and capital markets practices. Recent highlights for the team include high-profile and large-scale offshore construction projects, IPOs and M&A transactions. The practice is co-led by dispute resolution expert Ole Skeidsvoll Moe and Anders Dyrseth, who is a real estate specialist. Jon Martin Atkinson left the firm to join Wiersholm in mid-2022.

Practice head(s):

Ole Skeidsvoll Moe; Anders Dyrseth


‘They have very strong team within fishing and aquaculture, both in terms of regulatory matters and construction projects.’

‘I use Ole Skeidvoll Moe as my go-to trusted adviser. He is excellent in understanding the business. Anders Dyrseth is strong in regulatory matters.’

Key clients


Norway Royal Salmon ASA

Frøy ASA

Nordlaks AS


Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS

Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS

Norwegian Fishfarming Technologies AS

Nutreco B.V


Bluegrove AS

Gaia Salmon AS

Work highlights

  • Assisted NTS and its board in connection with several bids for the company.
  • Advised Norway Royal Salmon in the process of building a new hatchery that can produce around 8-9 million units a year.
  • Assisting Nordlaks Oppdrett with developing and constructing large offshore aquaculture farms.

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt‘s fishing and aquaculture practice handles a wide range of related matters, including capital markets transactions, M&A, and dispute resolution; the team is also particularly strong advising on regulatory matters. The practice is co-led by Tore Fjørtoft and Tord Fondevik, with Fjørtoft noted for his regulatory expertise and Fondevik praised as an M&A expert. Stian Tennfjord is also recommended, and is a go-to person for corporate and contract law issues in the industry.

Practice head(s):

Tore Fjørtoft; Tord Fondevik

Other key lawyers:

Stian Tennfjord

Key clients

Cermaq Group AS / Cermaq Norway AS

Mowi ASA

Aker BioMarine ASA

Ocean Harvest AS

AKVA group ASA

Hofseth Europe and Hofseth International

Andfjord Salmon

Bremnes Seashore

Vista Seafood Ltd.

Offshore Salmon AS

Norcod AS

Stingray Marine Solutions AS

Mørenot Group

Arteq Aqua AS

Olav E. Fiskerstrand AS

Intership AS

Vard Group AS

Optimar AS

Brunvoll AS

Leppefisk AS

Refsnes Laks AS

Tau Tech AS

Work highlights

  • Advised Cermaq on its tender process for the acquisition of fish feed for its production facilities worldwide and provided subsequent assistance in connection with contracts entered with the suppliers.
  • Assisted Mowi ASA with its bid process for the shares in NTS Group.
  • Assisted AKVA Group ASA with negotiating and securing a contract for the delivery of a recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) facility in Maryland for AquaCon.


Wiersholm’s fishing and aquaculture team ‘know how the market works’, advising medium and large-sized businesses across a range of matters, including cross-border M&A, IPOs, licensing matters, financings and operational issues. Following the opening of the new Trondheim office to better serve seafood clients, the group’s expertise is praised as ‘priceless’ by clients. Svein-Helge Hanken leads the team following his promotion to partner, and has strong commercial and transactional experience. Sverre Sandvik is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Svein-Helge Hanken

Other key lawyers:

Sverre Sandvik


‘I think the team is strong and has been very constructive in our recent engagements.’

‘Sverre Sandvik is very solution-oriented, more than competitors. Svein-Helge Hanken is calm in critical situations.’

‘They provide rational and commercial advice as the team are very close to the industry and know how the market works, which is priceless from a client perspective as it smooths the process.’

‘Their availability, professionalism, experience and knowledge of the aquaculture market.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Salmar ASA on entering into a partnership with Aker ASA to create world leading offshore farming operations.
  • Advised Norway Royal Salmon (NRS) on the offers from each of Salmar ASA and NTS ASA to acquire all the shares of NRS, the completion of NTS’ acquisition of a majority of the shares in NRS, as well as NRS’ subsequent acquisition of all shares in Salmonor AS.
  • Represented the European ship owners affected by the Norwegian cod quota regulation for 2021, which granted the ship owners a smaller quota in the waters off Svalbard than what has customarily been given since the Fisheries Protection Zone around Svalbard was established.