Fishing and aquaculture in Norway

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig

With large teams located in Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and Trondheim, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig is a well-established adviser to clients in the marine and shore-based elements of the fishing and aquaculture industry. The team handles the full range of transactional, regulatory and disputes work; Kenneth Mikkelsen has a strong track record in handling fishing-related cases, including litigation before the Norwegian Supreme Court. Mikkelsen jointly heads up the practice with Arthur Duus, who focuses on contractual, corporate and regulatory matters, and has extensive experience advising salmon producers.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Duus; Kenneth Mikkelsen

Key clients

Alliance Seafoods Inc

Alsaker Fjordbruk AS

Alsaker LFC Drift AS

Viking Fjord AS

Norges Sildesalgslag SA

Lerøy Norway Seafood AS

Grimsholm Fiskedrift AS

Polar Seafood Norway AS

Hermann Export AS

Optimar AS

Nergård Havfiske AS

Hermann Mehamn AS

Skjervøy Fiskeriselskap AS

Kvitbjørn AS

Fjon Bruk AS

Alsaker LFC Holding AS

Salar Bruk AS

Lyder Fisk AS

Arnøytind AS

Eimskip

Hermes AS

Midsund Fiskeriselskap AS

Arctic Poiner AS

Kvitungen AS

Polar Pioner AS

Royal Greenland AS

Karls Fisk og Skalldyr AS

Aksel Hansen AS

Berg Fiskeriselskap AS

Lavonjarg AS

Lenangen Fiskeriselskap AS

Andreassen Rederi ANS

Work highlights

  • Advised Norges Sildesalgslag SA, a nationwide fishermen-owned sales organisation for fishermen of pelagic fish, on several matters, including its sales/auction system and fishery sales regulations, and also acted in a lawsuit brought by the Norwegian Seafood Federation.
  • Assisted Alsaker Fjordbruk AS and its subsidiaries with the latest round of applications for growth under the Norwegian regime for growth regulation in the aquaculture industry.
  • Acting for Bjølve Bruk AS on a contract securing rights of access to freshwater.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS's aquaculture and fisheries group advises a range of clients including producers, transportation companies, banks and financiers. The full-service practice handles matters encompassing patent issues, negotiations and contracts, reorganisations, joint ventures, M&A, financing work, and administrative and criminal law mandates. The team is also strong in day-to-day regulatory advice and regulatory challenges. Practice head Mons Alfred Paulsen focuses on M&A, corporate and tax issues in the sector.

Practice head(s):

Mons Alfred Paulsen

Other key lawyers:

Rune Ulriksen Steinsland; Lars Eirik Gåseide Røsås; Bjørn Sande Urtegaard

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable, calm, solution-oriented and international team.’

‘Very skilled on the legal aspects of the industry. Very quick at responding and good answers. Come up with good solutions.’

‘I have worked with two teams with Thommessen in Bergen. I also paid them a visit not too long ago with two other colleagues, who were amazed by the energy of the people. The team is young and hungry, full of innovative and creative ideas. They are deal facilitators; they simply make things happen for the clients.’

‘Lars Eirik Gåseide Røsås was tremendously helpful in navigating us safely out of a very difficult and complex situation.’

‘Rune Ulriksen Steinsland and Bjørn Sande Urtegaard. They really make the difference in anything they touch. Complex deals are made easy by them. A real pleasure to work with. Importantly, they gather the finance knowledge with the industry knowledge. And that combination, with an outstanding delivery, is the best to have and the best offer to clients.’

Key clients

Sølvtrans

Pelagia

Biomar

MSD Animal Health

EWOS/Cargill

NCE Seafood/The Seafood Innovation Cluster

DNB Bank

Nordea Bank

Hav Line Gruppen

Austevoll Seafood/ Br. Birkeland

Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett

Bolaks

Isqueen

Firda Seafood Group

Lingalaks

Salmonor

Production Area 4

AquaShip

Langevåg Slakteri

Samlaks

Bluewild AS

Work highlights

  • Represented 25 fishfarmers in the Western region of Norway in a law suit against the Norwegian government in relation to the so-called ‘Traffic light system’.
  • Acted as counsel to DNB Markets and ABG Sundal Collier as bookrunners on the Merkur Market listing of Ice Fish Farm.
  • Advised Hav Line Gruppen on its innovation project, including acting in a dispute with the Norwegian Government.

Wikborg Rein

Possessing 'unique, in-depth knowledge', the team at Wikborg Rein covers a broad range of matters with specialist expertise in advising high-profile clients on complex regulatory and licensing matters. The group represents some of the largest seafood companies in Norway including Mowi, Lerøy Seafood Group and Cermaq Group. The 'fantastically good' Grunde Bruland heads up the practice from Bergen, with the group working closely alongside the firm's M&A and litigation departments, namely partners Jan Erik Clausen and Ketil E Bøe, based in Bergen and Oslo respectively. The practice has been bolstered by the arrival of Martin H Bryde, who joined the team from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries.

Practice head(s):

Grunde Bruland

Other key lawyers:

Jan Erik Clausen; Ketil E Bøe; Martin H Bryde

Testimonials

‘They have the strongest fish-farming team in the industry, and they have been good in recruiting new lawyers.’

‘Grunde Bruland sees holes in legislation and cases, and is fantastically good at finding the right solutions for specific problems.’

‘Very experienced with deep insight in industry practices.’

‘Unique knowledge and experience of aquaculture law and practice, broad contact network in the aquaculture industry.’

‘Unique knowledge and experience of aquaculture law and practice (overall). Broad contact network in the aquaculture industry (partners, in specific Grunde Bruland). Very proactive, hard working and available (associates).’

‘Unique, in-depth knowledge of the aquaculture industry combined with updated information about regulations from authorities.’

‘Combination of long experience and diversity of lawyers, providing sound legal advice. Extreme response capacity.’

‘Broad experience in both aquaculture and deep sea fishing. Especially important for us is expertise in Norwegian Fisheries laws and regulations.’

‘Good communication skills and quick to understand the issue at hand.’

Key clients

Mowi ASA

Lerøy Seafood Group ASA

Lerøy Havfisk AS

Nergård AS

DnB Markets

Cermaq AS

Nordic Wildfish AS

Grieg Seafood AS

Eide Fjordbruk AS

Sinkaberg-Hansen AS

Erko Seafood AS

Ervik Havfiske AS

Hofseth Aqua AS

Gratanglaks AS

Seacalx AS

Austevoll Seafood AS

Hardingsmolt AS

Tombre Fiskeanlegg AS

Work highlights

  • Assisted Grieg Kapital AS and Kvasshøgdi AS with the sale of Grieg Newfoundland AS to Grieg Seafood ASA.
  • Assisted Erko Seafood with submitting a complaint against a fine from the Food Safety Authority regarding sea lice levels.
  • Advised Mowi ASA on its application for a new site ‘Rørskjæran’ in Vega municipality including handling issues relating to the application’s subsequent withdrawal and later reinstatement by the Environmental Government.

BAHR

BAHR particularly stands out for expertise in transactional mandates; the practice also fields a strong regulatory team, which recently advised on the government's 'traffic light system' and development licensing issues. Other key areas of work include aquaculture construction projects and equity growth investments; it has also seen increased work in the services sector, in particular relating to the maintenance and mechanical treatment of stock to reduce or eliminate sea lice. Lisa Marie Opdahl, who handles financing and M&A transactions, heads up the team, which includes Stig Klausen Engelhart, who is noted for his regulatory expertise.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Marie Opdahl

Other key lawyers:

Stig Klausen Engelhart

Testimonials

‘Responsible partner has a hands-on approach, making him our main contact in all matters. The team have a good mix of regulatory knowledge and commercial sense.’

‘Stig Klausen Engelhart is very knowledgeable, is very focused on finding the solution on any issue and has a keen commercial sense.’

‘Stig Klausen Engelhart is a very intelligent adviser and clever listener, understanding client situations and applying the relevant legal framework diligently.’

‘Light-footed team with very quick response times and efficient solutions.’

‘They are very proactive and find solutions to problems. They are quick to respond and efficient in their answers.’

Key clients

Cermaq Group AS / Cermaq Norway AS

Aker ASA / Aker Solutions ASA

Ocean Aquafarms AS

Aker BioMarine AS / Aker Biomarine Antarctic AS

Domstein AS

PG Flow Solutions AS

Norvestor

SalmoClinic SpA / Salmoclinic Norway AS

Kværner ASA

Cargill Inc.

Broodstock Capital

Bluefront Equity AS

Solvay S.A

Cflow Fish Handling AS

Salmon Evolution AS

DNB Bank ASA/DNB Markets

Arctic Securities AS

Work highlights

  • Advised Cermaq on its innovative iFarm project, assisting with both regulatory issues and contract negotiations.
  • Represented Aker Biomarine in a dispute regarding the rights to a fisheries patent, which has been appealed to the Supreme Court.
  • Acted as legal counsel to the joint global coordinators DNB Markets and Arctic Securities on the listing of pioneer land-based salmon farming business, Atlantic Sapphire ASA, on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS stands out for its strong regulatory team, which leverages the experience of practice heads Bjørn Sørgård and Ida Espolin Johnson in representing corporate clients in cases against public authorities. In addition to regulatory work and transactions, the practice advises clients on a broad range of issues, including competition law, IP mandates, international trade issues, tax work and various corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Bjørn Sørgård; Ida Espolin Johnson

Testimonials

‘High qualification and insight in our production and in official regulation.’

‘Proactive communication. Finding solutions together with us. Short response times.’

‘We have experience with partner Bjørn Sørgård. Excellent insight into the salmon farming industry and the regulatory framework, as well as Fishery & Aquaculture politics.’

Key clients

Sjømat Norge

Nordlaks Oppdrett AS

Nova Sea AS

Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS

Sporbarhet AS

Work highlights

  • Acting as external counsel for the Norwegian Seafood Federation.
  • Represented Stim. AS in a number of disputes concerning IP rights relating to a method for smoltification of salmon and trout through the use of a special feed.
  • Assisted Nova Sea AS with all issues relating to its development project ‘Spidercage’, which is developing new technology for offshore fish farming, including regulatory, contractual and construction matters.

SANDS

SANDS is distinguished in the market for its focus on the catch and farming sectors, advising on the full supply chain and issues relating to supplier industries, with clients including fishtech, health, processing and sales companies and distributors. The practice's regulatory expertise is particularly highlighted, and the group also handles transactions, corporate advisory work and disputes. Department head Eirik Edvardsen advises on acquisitions, contracts and administrative sanctions across the fishing farming and aquaculture sector.

Practice head(s):

Eirik Edvardsen

Other key lawyers:

Halfdan Mellbye; Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen; Lars Alsaker

Testimonials

‘High knowledge in a wide range of problems related to fishing and aquaculture, and understanding of technical and biological issues related to aquaculture.’

‘Good understanding of our needs, competence and communication skills.’

‘Halfdan Mellbye has more than detailed knowledge about laws connected to fish farming, and he sees elements that other lawyers don’t see.’

Key clients

K Strømmen Holding

Romsdal Processing

Work highlights

  • Advising K Strømmen at every stage of the sale of its 100% stake in K Strømmen Lakseoppdrett for €82m to purchaser, Mowi.
  • Acting for Romsdal Processing in a court case at the Court of Appeal relating to alleged defects related to the processing of 150 tonnes of salmon fillets.

Wiersholm

Wiersholm's cross-departmental team is recommended for its M&A, contracting and financing work in the aquaculture and fisheries sector. The practice also has experience in advising on a wide range of operational issues, aquaculture licenses, competition work, tax issues, public regulations and framework conditions; it also regularly acts in disputes. Practice head Tone Østensen focuses on capital markets transactions, including stock exchange listings, public and private placements, and public to private transactions.

Practice head(s):

Tone Østensen

Other key lawyers:

Gunhild Dugstad; Jarle Kvam

Key clients

Mowi ASA

Norway Royal Salmon ASA

Kverva AS

Scale Aquaculture AS

Insula AS

Salmar ASA

Milarex AS

Dess Aquaculture Shipping AS

Benchmark Holdings plc

Summa Equity AB

Samherji hf

Kistefos AS

Lumarine AS

Rimfrost AS

Alltech Norway AS

Work highlights

  • Advised Norway Royal Salmon on the NOK1.24bn carve-out and sale of its southern operations to three local farming companies.
  • Advised Benchmark Holdings on its divestment of the Fish Vet Group, Benchmark’s aquaculture veterinary and diagnostic services activities with operations in UK, Ireland, Norway and Chile, to Pharmaq AS.
  • Assisted Kverva-owned Scale Aquaculture AS with its acquisition of 100% of the shares in Moen Marin AS.

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS

Working across the full spectrum of the fishing and aquaculture industry, Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS is well-placed to advise on mandates covering contractual work, transactional matters and dispute resolution for high-profile clients, including fish farmers, fisheries and vessel building companies. With specialist expertise in regulatory issues, the team regularly handles matters concerning the quota system, allocation criteria and concessions. Tore Fjørtoft and Tord Fondevik lead the team from Oslo, alongside Stian Tennfjord, who heads up the office in Ålesund.

Practice head(s):

Tore Fjørtoft; Tord Fondevik; Stian Tennfjord

Key clients

Cermaq

Aker BioMarine

Ocean Harvest

Hofseth Europe and Hofseth International

Andfjord Salmon

Nova Sea

Bremnes Seashore

Vista Seafood Ltd.

Intership AS

Vard Group AS

Optimar AS

Brunvoll AS

Offshore Salmon AS

Norcod AS

Epax AS

Olav E. Fiskerstrand AS

Work highlights

  • Assisted Aker BioMarine with its NOK2.25bn private placement and subsequent IPO of its shares on Merkur Market.
  • Advised Andfjord Salmon AS on a private placement of new shares raising gross proceeds of NOK150m, funding the construction of one of the world’s largest and most environmental friendly land-based fish farms.
  • Represented Hofseth Europe GmbH and Hofseth International AS in all parts of a dispute against a Lithuanian company concerning a big-scale project pertaining to the production and sale of salmon to the German market.

Arntzen de Besche

Anders Dyrseth heads up the practice at Arntzen de Besche, which handles general corporate and transactional work, as well as contentious matters, for clients including fish farming companies, processing companies and hatcheries. The group advises on public regulatory mandates, encompassing outbreak of disease and biomass control matters, and assists with R&D issues and compliance work.

Practice head(s):

Anders Dyrseth

Testimonials

‘Anders Dyrseth is always available and made an effort to know the company and its values. These values are promoted in his arguments and over time have been an influence to how we as a company is perceived from the sector governments.’

Key clients

Norway Royal Salmon ASA

NTS ASA

Cargill

Benchmark Holdings plc

Nordlaks AS

SINTEF Ocean AS

Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS

Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industries and Fisheries

Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS

Work highlights

  • Assisting Nordlaks Oppdrett AS with its project for developing and constructing large offshore aquaculture farms.
  • Assisting NTS ASA with its takeover of Frøy Gruppen AS, a leading supplier of marine services to the aquaculture industry, completed by means of a merger between Frøy and a subsidiary of NTS ASA.
  • Advised Norway Royal Salmon ASA on the process of building a new hatchery that can produce around 8-9 million units a year.