Next Generation Partners

Fishing and aquaculture in Norway

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS

Hailed by clients for its ‘very extensive’ industry knowledge, the fisheries and aquaculture team at Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS acts for an impressive roster of high-profile clients across the sector, including industry bodies, government ministries, and leading corporations. Bjørn Sørgård and Ida Espolin Johnson jointly oversee the practice; Sørgård advises commercial parties and trade associations on corporate and regulatory matters, while Johnson takes point on contentious matters. The team has recently seen an increase in instructions relating to the proposed new ground rent tax for the aquaculture industry as well as an uptick in transactional mandates. In 2023, the team also strengthened its west coast offering with the arrival of aquaculture expert Torbjørn Gjelsvik, who splits his time between Bergen and Oslo.

Practice head(s):

Bjørn Sørgård; Ida Espolin Johnson

Other key lawyers:

Torbjørn Gjelsvik


‘High status in the field and recognised in the industry.’

‘Very extensive industry knowledge of several of the lawyers.’

‘Competent. Available, deep industry knowledge.’

Key clients

Sjømat Norge

Nordlaks Oppdrett AS

Nova Sea AS

Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS

Sporbarhet AS

Jarle Bergs Sønner AS


Gildeskål Forskningsstasjon

Sinkaberg-Hansen AS

Benchmark Genetics Norway AS

Gigante Salmon AS

Norcod AS

Skår og Østervold Invest AS

Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS

Work highlights

  • Assisting the Norwegian Seafood Federation in several cases, including advising on several principal regulatory matters.
  • Representing STIM, a leading supplier of veterinary and aquamedical services to the Norwegian fish farming industry, with high-stakes patent litigation within the aquacture industry.
  • Assisting several salmon farming companies with handling the consequences of the new resource rent tax introduced by the government.


With several offices along the Norwegian coast, SANDS’ full-service and specialised fishing and aquaculture team maintains a market-leading offering, advising leading industry players on the full range of regulatory, transactional and contentious work in the sector. Regulatory advice is a particular strength of the team, and practice head Halfdan Mellbye has a solid track record advising on regulatory frameworks relating to fisheries and fish farming, including environmental issues and sales regulations, from the Bergen office. Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen in Tromsø handles coastal zone planning and aquaculture concessions work for cod farming clients. Transactional mandates are handled by Eirik Edvardsen, while Frode Henning Antonsen is hailed by clients as ‘supremely the best’ in industry-related construction matters; both are based in Trondheim.

Practice head(s):

Halfdan Mellbye

Other key lawyers:

Frode Henning Antonsen; Bjørn-Ivar Bendiksen; Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen; Eirik Edvardsen


‘The team is made up of people with different skills who complement each other very well. They are forward-thinking and aggressive and are able to combine their legal skills with a great understanding of the purpose and processes in the aquaculture industry.’

‘Frode Henning Antonsen is a highly skilled lawyer. His strength is his expertise in the field combined with extensive experience with construction projects. He is very service-minded and stands up when we need his support. He is supremely the best in the market from our point of view.’

‘Halfdan Melbye stands out.’

‘Sands has many employees with heavy experience on legal issues concerning fishery legislations.’

‘I recommend Ole-Martin Lund Andreassen and Bjørn-Ivar Bendiksen.’

‘To the point understanding of our needs and very clear on this in their advice to us.’

‘The experience and insight Halfdan Melbye has from the sector is outstanding and has been most valuable for our company. Also has his ability to read and understand our needs.’

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

  • Acted as legal consultant for Sjømatbedriftenes’ activities regarding the Norwegian government’s introduction of ground rent tax on the aquaculture industry, to reduce the negative impact of this new tax regime.
  • Advised Oddvar Nes AS, one of the largest companies within white fish in Northern Norway, on its purchase of 100% of the shares in Vesterhav AS.
  • Assisted Lofoten Sjøprodukter with re-establishing a permit from the authorities to use a fish-farming location.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig

With offices in Oslo, Bergen, Tromsø and Trondheim, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig is well-placed to serve seafood, aquaculture, and fisheries sector clients, both domestic and international, on all matters related to the industry. Led by seasoned practitioner Arthur Duus in Bergen, the group’s expertise spans regulatory, contentious and corporate advisory work; Duus works mostly on contracts, corporate, and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Arthur Duus

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 (a subsidiary of Alsaker Fjordbruk AS) with the delivery and post-delivery process following the building of one of the world’s largest well- boats at Astilleros Murureta, a shipyard in Bilbao, Spain, with a value of approx. NOK500m.
  • Leading negotiations on behalf of Bjølve Bruk AS for a contract securing rights of access to freshwater, following successful litigation for damages against Statkraft ASA.
  • Assisted Alsaker Fjordbruk AS and its subsidiaries with the 2023/2024 round of applications for growth under the Norwegian regime for growth regulation in the aquaculture industry (also called ‘the traffic light system’).

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

Fielding a ‘highly skilled‘, large and cross-disciplinary team with extensive industry experience, Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS leverages its strength across several legal disciplines to provide a full-service offering that stands out for its ability to handle high-value and complex contentious and non-contentious mandates. Mons Alfred Paulsen oversees the group and has extensive experience advising clients on corporate and tax matters relating to the industry, with a recent area of focus being the new proposed ground rent tax. Trond Hatland takes point on contentious mandates, while Rune Ulriksen Steinsland is also recommended as the key contact for contracts, project developments, and financing mandates.

Practice head(s):

Mons Alfred Paulsen

Other key lawyers:

Rune Ulriksen Steinsland; Trond Hatland


‘Our view is that Thommessen has a strong team with in-depth knowledge about our industry.’

‘The individuals we work with have very good knowledge about the industry.’

‘Mons Paulsen and Rune Steinsland are trusted and have a high degree of integrity. Competence of the industry sector.’

‘Highly skilled team, with in-depth industry knowledge.’

‘The combination of legal experience and industry knowledge is excellent. They also appear dedicated and polite in their work. If there are challenges, they are able to look for compromises which makes sense for all involved. In general, a very solution-oriented team.’

‘Extensive experience and knowledge of the aquaculture and fisheries industry.’

‘Mons Alfred Paulsen has a very good understanding of the industry and has extensive experience from having followed the development of the industry over several decades.’

Key clients

Mowi ASA

Lerøy Vest AS

Marø Havbruk A/S

Steinvik Fiskefarm AS

Kobbevik og Furuholmen Oppdrett AS

Erko Seafood AS

Flokenes Fiskefarm AS

Sulefisk AS

Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS

Svanøy Havbruk AS

Austevoll Melaks AS

E. Karstensen Fiskeoppdrett AS

Firda Sjøfarmer AS

Troland Lakseoppdrett AS

Eide Fjorbruk AS

Landøy Fiskeoppdrett AS

Sjøtroll Havbruk AS

Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS

Tombre Fiskeanlegg AS

Sandnes Fiskeoppdrett AS

Nordfjord Laks AS

Fjord Drift AS

Osland Havbruk AS


Pelagia Holding AS


MSD Animal Health


NCE Seafood/The Seafood Innovation Cluster

DNB Bank

Nordea Bank

Hav Line Gruppen

Austevoll Seafood/ Br. Birkeland

Måsøval Fiskeoppdrett



Firda Seafood Group

Lingalaks AS



Langevåg Slakteri


Bluewild AS

Proximar Seafood

Ice Fish farm

Salmones Camanchaca

Polarsmolt AS

Work highlights

  • Advised a majority of the shareholders of NTS ASA on the successful sale of 50.1% of the shares in NTS to SalMar ASA, and advised NTS on the related voluntary offer made by SalMar for all shares in NTS.
  • Assisted Troland Lakseoppdrett AS, Austevoll Melaks AS and Langøylaks AS in the appeal to the Norwegian High Court in a case against the Norwegian Authorities regarding the withdrawal of pollution permits because of the discovery of cauliflower corals beneath an aquaculture site.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs Asset Management when funds it managed acquired the majority ownership stake in Frøy ASA.

Wikborg Rein

Noted for its ‘superior industry knowledge’, Wikborg Rein remains a market-leading presence in the fisheries and aquaculture industry. Counting some of Norway’s largest seafood companies among its impressive roster of clients, the ‘very dedicated‘ team has particular strength in complex regulatory issues and is routinely instructed to advise on licensing issues, emerging regulations, and project development work; Martin Bryde is a key contact here. Under the leadership of regulatory expert Grunde Bruland, the team also works closely with the firm’s litigation and M&A departments to advise on seafood transactions and disputes. At associate level, the ‘highly competent and dedicatedHeidi Ann Vestvik-Bruknapp is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Grunde Bruland

Other key lawyers:

Heidi Ann Vestvik-Bruknapp; Martin Bryde


‘The combination of solid expertise within the sector’s legislation, knowledge of the administration’s national and regional expertise, understanding of the industry and accessibility.’

‘Grunde Bruland – Impressive knowledge of the seafood industry and legislation.’

‘Martin Bryde – Unique understanding of the administration’s practice of the legislation and its significance for practitioners in the industry.’

‘Ability to use a wide range of competence in complex matters.’

‘Grunde Bruland is excellent.’

‘Superior industry knowledge. Deep, diverse industry network with strong relationships.’

‘Specialised knowledge about the industry and strong network within the industry and relevant authorities. Very dedicated team showing availability and quick response to our requests.’

‘The company has several highly competent and dedicated lawyers such as Heidi Ann Vestvik-Bruknapp. Martin Bryde is a very dedicated lawyer and a strong discussion partner in complicated matters. Understands how our business works and knows our company well and has contributed to our success as a company.’

Key clients

Grieg Seafood ASA

SalMar Aker Ocean AS

Liegruppen Fiskeri AS

Norway Royal Salmon AS (NRS)


Eide Fjordbruk and Tombre Fiskeanlegg

AS Bolaks

Work highlights

  • Advising Grieg Seafood ASA, Tombre Fiskeanlegg AS, Eidsfjord Sjøfarm AS, Lovundlaks AS, Emildsen Fisk AS and AS Bolaks on the restructuring of their business due to the new resource tax regime.
  • Successfully representing Eide Fjordbruk AS and Tombre Fiskeanlegg in an appeals court and Supreme Court lawsuit granting the clients a larger exception from the reduction in the traffic light system.
  • Assisting Salmar Aker Ocean AS with its efforts to establish offshore aquaculture at an industrial scale beyond the territorial waters of Norway.


Drawing on the firm’s strength in transactional work, BAHR’s practice stands out for its solid track record in advising on high-value mergers and transactions in the industry. Lisa Marie Opdahl leads the group and is the key contact for contractual and regulatory matters, including framework regulations and administrative law matters. Stig Engelhart acts for global and domestic salmon farming companies, handling M&A and corporate matters. Silje Remøy joined the team from an in-house position in August 2023, while Ingvild Halsnes attracts praise for her ‘highly relevant and valuable‘ industry expertise.

Practice head(s):

Lisa Marie Opdahl

Other key lawyers:

Stig Engelhart; Ingvild Halsnes; Silje Remøy


‘Strong domain knowledge.’

‘Passion for aquaculture, high capacity, wide network. Good understanding of how the governmental processes work.’

‘Positive, constructive, to the point, professional and highly competent.’

‘Extensive regulatory knowledge regarding aquaculture and aquaculture business. Good insight and multidisciplinary teams.’

‘Good discussion partner in regulatory understanding and strategic approach. Extensive knowledge regarding regulatory work and development.’

‘Friendly, high competence across industries and services, energetic.’

‘Well on top of recent developments in the industry and can offer both legal, strategic and tactical advice for companies.’

‘Especially Ingvild Hasnes has demonstrated a passion for the industry and a drive to move things forward. Her unique background makes her contributions into legal as well as strategic discussions highly relevant and valuable.’

Key clients

SalMar ASA

Frøy ASA


DNV Business Assurance Group AS

Cermaq Group AS / Cermaq Norway AS

Aker Capital AS

Ocean Aquafarms 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

EnFlow AS

Coast Seafood AS

Work highlights

  • Advised SalMar on a transaction involving five listed companies in Norway’s salmon farming sector. The transaction included SalMar’s acquisition of NTS shares, a merger with Norway Royal Salmon (NRS), and the prior sale of SalmoNor to NRS.
  • Advised DNV Business Assurance Group AS on its acquisition of Åkerblå Group AS, a leader in knowledge-based marine advice and verification.
  • Acting for Coast Seafood AS on various disputes against Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS, Blom Gruppen AS and Firda Seafood Group AS, including disagreements over a purchase agreement for fish as well as a potential breach of shareholders’ agreement.

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt AS

Hailed by clients for its ‘extensive’ industry expertise and insight, Advokatfirmaet Schjødt recently expanded its west coast offering with the January 2023 arrival of Erik Staurset Andresen, based in the firm’s Ålesund office. Andresen, whose practice covers all regulatory aspects of both onshore and offshore aquaculture, now co-heads the practice alongside Oslo-based Tore Fjørtoft, who takes point on administrative and corporate matters. Also in the core team is the ‘strongSigrid Ratvik Østvik, who has in-house experience from the aquaculture industry.

Practice head(s):

Tore Fjørtoft; Erik Staurset Andresen

Other key lawyers:

Sigrid Ratvik Østvik


‘Professional team in a firm which is very responsive and agile.’

‘High level of knowledge and multidisciplinary team. Always available with high working capacity.’

‘Extensive insight and knowledge in and of the fishing and aquaculture business.’

‘Erik Staurset Andresen is an independent lawyer with high competence in the aquaculture sector.’

‘A good team for aquaculture with broad experience within the government areas of management.’ 

‘Sigrid Ratvik Østvik is a strong resource specialised to the industry.’

‘Our biggest source of regulatory knowledge about aquaculture. Enormous ability to see solutions, and ability to see opportunities.’

Key clients

Cermaq Norway AS / Cermaq Norway Salmon AS

Hofseth Aqua AS

Aker BioMarine ASA

Salaks AS

Salfjord AS

Losna Seafood AS

Gratanglaks AS

Austevoll Melaks AS

Ode AS

Ava Ocean AS

Viewpoint Seafood AS

Engesund Fiskeoppdrett AS

Kleiva Fiskefarm AS

Bremnes Seashore AS

Blom Fiskeoppdrett AS

Solhaug AS

Andfjord Salmon ASA

Norcod AS

Eco Seafood AS

Work highlights

  • Provided regulatory advice and advised on all other legal matters in connection with the restructuring of the Norwegian part of Cermaq Group.
  • Successfully assisted Losna Seafood AS in a lawsuit against the Norwegian government – the Directorate of Fisheries had withdrawn Losna Seafood AS’ license to produce land-based salmon.
  • Advised a consortium of mid-sized fish farmers in accordance to maximise their productivity within the regulatory framework, and to simplify the collaboration agreements between the parties.

Arntzen de Besche

Working closely with the firm’s M&A and litigation departments, Arntzen de Besche has particular strength in aquaculture and fishery sector acquisitions, investments, and share purchases. The group also handles large-scale offshore construction projects as well as contentious matters, an area of significant recent activity for the team. Ole Skeidsvoll Moe and Anders Dyrseth jointly head the practice from the firm’s Trondheim office.

Key clients


Salmar ASA

Frøy ASA

Nordlaks AS


Wilsgård Fiskeoppdrett AS

Midt-Norsk Havbruk AS

Norwegian Fishfarming Technologies AS

Nutreco B.V


Bluegrove AS

Aqualoop AS

Gaia Salmon Holding AS

Work highlights

  • Advising Gaia Salmon Holding AS on the process of developing a state-of-the-art land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility.
  • Advising Fishfarming Technologies AS (NOFITECH) as the trusted adviser on all projects for Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) facilities.
  • Advising newly-established investment company, Frøy Kapital AS, on several matters, including day-to-day corporate matters and its investments.

Kvale Advokatfirma DA

Under the leadership of the ‘extraordinary’  Rode S. Rønning-Hansen, Kvale Advokatfirma DA routinely handles the full spectrum of issues relating to the industry from its offices in Oslo, Tromsø and Ålesund. Henrik Grung is the key name for corporate and M&A matters, while Monica Gjerde Sperre handles aquaculture and fishery-related shipping and maritime matters. Senior associate Jørgen Blix Nicolaysen is also recommended for regulatory frameworks relating to wild-caught fish.

Practice head(s):

Rode S. Rønning-Hansen

Other key lawyers:

Monica Sperre; Henrik Grung; Jørgen Blix Nikolaysen


‘Highly skilled with knowledge of the industries in the area.’

‘Henrik Grung is a dedicated lawyer, with excellent understanding of the legal and business aspects of the industry. A skilled negotiator and a superb lawyer.’

‘Monica Sperre – very attentive to customer needs, takes her work and the client very serious, well prepared.’

‘Rode S. Rønning-Hansen has a unique combination of experience and skills needed for our operation. The combination of legal knowledge of a complex regulatory industry, the understanding of fishing boats and their operation, together with good understanding of our business, and how it all comes together, is most likely unmatched by his competitors.’

Jørgen Blix Nikolaysen’s in-depth knowledge on the legal framework for “wild catch”, enables him to quickly respond to our requests. The level of his knowledge, how he responds and communicates, is highly valued and the recommendation is well deserved.’

‘Rode S. Rønning-Hansen is extraordinary. His combination of legal, financial, commercial, and strategic skills must be unrivalled.’

‘Hands on team. Skilled. Know the industries in the area.’

‘Very strong business acumen beyond the legal issues. Great knowledge of and relationships in local business environment in relevant communities where we are involved.’

Key clients

Andfjord Salmon

Nordlaks group

Nergård group

Insula group

Myre Fiskemottak


Polar Seafood Norway

Eco Seafood

Fiskernes Agnforsyning

Kråkøy Holding

Normar IV

MMC First Process

Coldwater Prawns of Norway






Nordic Wildfish

Ervik Sævik

Nils Sperre

Nye Giske Havfiske






Krikar (Grimsholm Holding)

Berg Partner Havbruk



West Atlantic

Lofoten Viking

Bergtun Fiskeriselskap

Smart Fishing

Nor Seafoods


Andenes fiskeriselskap

Work highlights

  • Advising listed company Andfjord Salmon on the development of its land-based salmon aquaculture plant, for which the company has successfully secured circa NOK1.3bn in financing.


Svein-Helge Hanken leads the aquaculture and fisheries practice at Wiersholm, which maintains a strong track record in advising on high-value transactions in the industry. The interdisciplinary team also has notable experience handling operational issues, as well as framework conditions and tax matters. Also in the core group is Harald Hellebust, who clients single out for his ‘invaluable’ expertise.

Practice head(s):

Svein-Helge Hanken

Other key lawyers:

Harald Hellebust


‘Deep knowledge of the aquaculture-sector, which is a complex industry, particularly Svein-Helge Hanken.’

‘They have an overall competence that is impressive.’

‘We have worked together with Harald Hellebust for many years. For us, with his competence and demeanour, he has been absolutely invaluable to us. Without his advice, we would not have come close to achieving the goals we have set ourselves.’

Key clients

Mowi ASA

Norway Royal Salmon ASA

Kverva AS

Scale Aquaculture AS

Insula AS

Salmar ASA

Milarex AS

Benchmark Holdings plc

Summa Equity AB


Samherji hf

Kistefos AS

Lumarine AS

Rimfrost AS

Alltech Norway AS

Artic Fish ehf

Norcod AS

Gigante Salmon AS

Statt Torsk AS

Proximar Seafood AS

Work highlights

  • Advised the minority shareholders of Sinkaberg-Hansen on the sale of their joint stake of 44.4% of the shares in Sinkaberg-Hansen AS to BEWI Invest AS for an consideration of NOK2.2bn.
  • Advised Benchmark Holdings plc on its listing of its shares on Euronext Growth, Oslo.
  • Advised Scale Aquaculture AS on its acquisition of Skala Maskon AS.