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


Testimonials

‘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


STIM 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


Testimonials

‘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


Eimskip


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


Testimonials

‘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


AquaShip


Austevoll Melaks AS


Austevoll Seafood/ Br. Birkeland


BEWI Iceland


Biomar


Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS


Bluewild AS


Bolaks


DNB Bank


E. Karstensen Fiskeoppdrett AS


Eide Fjorbruk AS


Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS


Erko Seafood AS


EWOS/Cargill


Firda Seafood Group


Firda Sjøfarmer AS


Fjord Drift AS


Flokenes Fiskefarm AS


Hav Line Gruppen


Ice Fish farm


Idun Vesta AS


Isqueen


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


NTS ASA


Osland Havbruk AS


Pelagia


Polarsmolt AS


Proximar Seafood


Salmones Camanchaca


Salmonor


Samlaks


Sandnes Fiskeoppdrett AS


Sealaska Foods International (Alaska)


Sjøtroll Havbruk AS


Steinvik Fiskefarm AS


Sulefisk AS


Svanøy Havbruk AS


Tombre Fiskeanlegg AS


Troland Lakseoppdrett AS


Viewpoint


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


Testimonials

‘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’.

BAHR

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


Testimonials

‘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


Norvestor


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


EWOS 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.

SANDS

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


Testimonials

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

Key clients

SalMar


Osland Havbruk


Nofima


Grøntvedt Pelagic


Langøylaks – Troland Fiskeoppdrett – Austevoll Melaks


Skjerneset Fisk – Mork Rensefisk


Sjømatbedriftene


Nergård


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


Testimonials

‘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

NTS ASA


Norway Royal Salmon ASA


Frøy ASA


Nordlaks AS


SINTEF OceanAS


Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS


Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS


Norwegian Fishfarming Technologies AS


Nutreco B.V


Ecofisk


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

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


Testimonials

‘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.