Insolvency and corporate recovery in Norway
Under the leadership of ‘one of the leading lawyers in the field’ Richard Sjøqvist, BAHR fields ‘a team of very skilled younger lawyers and provides top-class services’. The practice is a go-to name for bondholders and investment banks and counts DNB Bank, Nordic Trustee and Pareto Securities as clients; other key areas of expertise include handling international transactions and major insolvencies and restructurings, and acting for other financial institutions and private equity companies. Sjøqvist is singled out for his international finance and restructuring expertise, while Karstein Espelid and Atle Skaldebø-Rød focus on contentious work, Rolf Johan Ringdal handles debt restricting and refinancing work, and Audun Nedrelid is a financing expert. Magnus Tønseth was promoted to the partnership in 2019.
‘Richard Sjøquist is one of the very best amongst the top three leading lawyers within the field of international financing (in particular ship and offshore financing). Both Mr. Sjøquist and also Magnus Tønseth stand out as always delivering very high quality work.‘
‘Magnus Tønseth – Highly energetic and always with a positive attitude. Strong work capacity and professional attitude. Strong interpersonal skills. Makes complicated matters look easy.‘
‘Richard Sjøqvist – Industry expert, strong in his field, to-the-point communicator, professional and clear in negotiations and above all, very pleasant to work with.‘
‘Both Mr. Sjøquist and Mr Tønseth provide very good legal advice. They tend to have a very good view of the various transactions and have a practical approach to solving legal problems. They lead a team of very skilled younger lawyers and provide top-class services.‘
Nordea Bank Norge ASA
DNB Bank ASA
Skandinaviske Enskilda banken AB
Nordic Trustee ASA
Store Norske Spitsbergen Kullkompani
Norvestor VI L.P.
ING Bank NV
- Advising Nordic Trustee and bondholders on the restructuring of OSA Goliath.
- Acting for several Japanese ship owners represented by ITOCHU on the insolvency of Bulk Invest.
- Assisting Nordea Bank Norge as agent for a syndicate of lenders with the refinancing of Prosafe and its subsidiaries.
Kvale Advokatfirma DA’s ‘strong, hardworking team’ is a key name in the market for Nordic financial institutions and regularly handles bankruptcies, insolvencies, restructuring mandates and contentious work. The practice counts Danske Bank, Sparebank and DNB Bank as clients, and recently handled the bankruptcy estate of five companies in the Norske Skog group of companies; the group has also recently been involved in the bankruptcy proceedings of Top-Toy Norge, which owned and operated the Norwegian Toys 'R' Us stores. Department head Thomas Piro focuses on bankruptcy and insolvency work, Tom Hugo Ottesen and Stine Snertingdalen are noted for their insolvency expertise, and Espen Hamar handles restructuring issues. in 2020, the practice gained Jon Skjørshammer and Robert Jensen from SANDS.
‘A strong hardworking team built around senior individuals who allow space for young professionals.‘
‘Espen Hamar is excellent in court.‘
‘The best firm in Norway to handle big bankruptcies as they have a number of skilled people in different legal areas.’
‘Tom Hugo Ottesen focuses on getting fast and good solutions without complicating things unnecessarily, while Stine Snertingdalen is very effective at executing different solutions.‘
The bankruptcy estates of Norske Skogindustrier and other companies in the Norske Skog company group
The bankruptcy estates of the RenoNorden companies
The bankruptcy estate of Marsoft International
The bankruptcy estates of S‑Bygg, S-Bygg Eiendom, S‑Bygg Holding and Metallpro
The bankruptcy estates of Bandak Group, Bandak Holding and Bandak Risør
GIEK (The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency)
The bankruptcy estate of Oslo Vei
The bankruptcy estate of REC Wafer Norway
Sparebank 1 SR-Bank
The bankruptcy estate of Atlantic Offshore
The bankruptcy estate of Tribe Invest
The bankruptcy estate of IMSK SE
The bankruptcy estate of Top-Toy Norge
The bankruptcy estates of Holmsbu Spa & Resort, Nye Holmsbu and Nye Holmsbu Invest
The bankruptcy estates of the Norpost companies
Bourbon Management / Bourbon Offshore Norway
- Handling the bankruptcy estates of five companies in the Norske Skog group.
- Acting for the bankruptcy estate of Top-Toy Norge in bankruptcy proceedings; the client is the owner and operator of Toys ‘R’ Us stores in Norway.
- Assisting with the bankruptcy of Bandak Holding and two of its subsidiaries.
Ro Sommernes Advokatfirma DA is praised by clients for ‘having what few other firms have – a pragmatic view’ and has ‘an excellent combination of experience, legal skills, network and business understanding’. The group is notably active in the shipping and offshore sectors and advises a client roster which includes EMAS-AMC, Dolphin Group and Thule Drilling. Håvard Wiker leads the team and is experienced in restructuring issues, debt negotiations and bankruptcies. Other noteworthy individuals include the highly regarded Knut Ro, managing partner Erik Sandtrø and Nils Holger Koefoed, who ‘sees the opportunities when the client is losing sight’. Thomas Monsen and Linn Drejer-Dølvik were promoted to the partnership in 2019.
‘This team has what few other firms have ; a pragmatic view. No one over sells their experience! They respect the fact that you need help, without getting cocky about how they would have done things.‘
‘One of a couple of law firms in Norway with large insolvency teams. Particularly specialised within bankruptcy and judicial debt restructuring. Several of the strongest insolvency lawyers in Norway, including Knut Ro, Håvard Wiker, Nils Holger Koefoed and Erik Sandtrø¸. Skilled within the law yet pragmatic and business oriented.‘
‘The combination of experience, legal skills, network and business understanding.‘
‘Not only do they have in-depth insight in all legal aspects, they are also pragmatic and solution-oriented.‘
‘Mr. Holger Koefoed is an exceptionally well-connected, well-seasoned and socially smart partner.‘
‘Håvard Wiker is very skilled and experienced within bankruptcy work. Nils Holger Koefoed is very practical, commercial and solution-oriented.‘
‘They are easy going and have a huge network. Håvard Wiker also has outstanding legal skills and a well-developed gut feeling.‘
Dolphin Drilling ASA
K A Aurstad AS
PM Retail AS
Enklere Liv AS
Halvorsen Group AS
Dolphin Group ASA
Brødboksen TWD AS
Thule Drilling AS
Boa Offshore AS
Jotunfjell Partners AS
- Acting as administrator of the bankruptcy estate of EMAS-AMC.
- Acting as administrator of the bankruptcy estate of Dolphin Drilling.
- Assisting the Boa Offshore group with the restructuring of its bond and bank debt.
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS excels at a domestic and international level and handles the full breadth of work including financial restructurings, insolvencies, debt negotiations and foreign procedures including Chapter 11 issues and Scheme of Arrangements. The team is particularly recognised for its sector expertise in the oil and gas, offshore and shipping industries; it has been notably active assisting banks and loan syndicates with multiple restructuring projects in the oil services sector. Kristoffer Hegdahl heads up the practice and specialises in financial restructurings; Einar Grette focuses on the bank and bond markets, Halvor Mansåker handles financial restructurings in the bond market, and Ellen Teresa Heyerdahl is an expert in debt financing work.
Nordic Trustee (+ bondholders committees)
DNB Bank ASA
GIEK (The Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency)
DVB Bank SE
The Export-Import Bank of China (CEXIM)
Eksportkreditt (Export Credit Norway)
Danish Ship Finance
SpareBank 1 SR-Bank
Sparebank 1 Søre Sunnmøre
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB)
- Advising various banks, bank syndicates, creditors, ECAs, GIEK and debtors on various financial restructuring projects in the Norwegian oil service and supply sector.
- Acting as lead counsel to 18 secured lenders on the NOK31bn financial restructuring of Solstad.
- Assisting seven banks in various facilities with the restructuring of Solship Invest 3.
Leif Petter Madsen leads the practice at Wikborg Rein, which is recommended for cross-border restructurings thanks to its wider global network of offices; the team is also praised for its knowledge of the shipping and offshore markets and insolvency experience. In a recent highlight, the group advised Solstad Offshore and its subsidiaries on its financial restructuring and refinancing; other clients include DNB Bank, Nordic Trustee and Danske Bank. Kaare Christian Tapper and Stian Tande Mortensen are also key names to note for restructuring work, and Lars-Erik Østerbø is the main contact in Bergen.
Leif Petter Madsen
DNB Bank ASA
Nordea Bank AB, filial i Norge
Solstad Farstad ASA
Blue Water Energy / Blueday Technology AS
Norsk Gjenvinning AS
Sparebank 1 SMN
Havila Shipping ASA
Nordic Trustee AS
Dolphin Drilling ASA
- Advising Solstad Offshore and its subsidiaries with its financial restructuring and refinancing.
- Representing Brandment in a landmark Supreme Court case relating to jurisdictional issues surrounding a revocation claim.
- Assisting Blueday Technology and its parent company Blue Water Energy with initiating a court-administered compulsory composition/scheme with its creditors.
Advokatfirmaet Schjødt is recommended for restructuring and insolvency mandates, where it is particularly active in the offshore and energy sectors, and is also highly regarded for its cross-border experience. Managing partner Erling Ueland leads the practice and divides his time between Oslo and Stavanger; Johan Henrik Nossum and Siv Sandvik are also key names to note and are highly regarded for international mandates. The team’s client roster encompasses banks, financial institutions, corporates and bondholders; notable examples include Nordea Bank Norge, Aker Biomarine and SEB. Peter Bugge Hjorth is also singled out for his financing and restructuring expertise.
‘Very experienced and competent. Always available and ready to support.‘
‘Johan Henrik Nossum is very good at educating me on what to do and what options we have at all times, advising and making sure we do not forget any issues we need to consider. I would recommend him to anyone and work with him again any time.’
Nordea Bank Norge ASA
Investec Bank Plc.
Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB)
Songa Offshore SE
Proserv Operations Ltd.
Ocean Yield ASA
Aker Biomarine ASA
CFG Peru Investments Pte. Ltd and group companies (part of the China Fishery Group)
Nordic Trustee AS
Norvestor Equity AS
FSN Capital AS
Export Credit Norway
Scotch & Soda B.V.
Parfümerie Douglas GmbH
- Acting for the unsecured bondholders in the bankruptcy of Norke Skog.
- Acting for Investec Bank in the bankruptcy proceedings of Septem Offshore and its vessel-owning subsidiaries.
- Advising Nordic Trustee and the bondholders on the high-profile Oceanografia bankruptcy.
The ‘experienced team’ at Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS is ‘always searching for the best solutions’ and ‘has the right mind-set in terms of getting on top of arising issues quickly’. Ellen Schult Ulriksen is ‘experienced, skilled, commercial and solution-oriented’ and leads the department, which handles corporate and financial restructurings, bankruptcies, insolvencies and liability issues; the practice also has notable experience as trustee. Clients include Santander Consumer Bank, Sparebank 1 SMN, EMAS-AMC and the Norwegian Public Road Authority. Hans-Christian Donjem is also a key name to note for restructuring work.
Ellen Schult Ulriksen
‘Team can be described as skilful and always professional in their handling of issues. No beating around the bush, but heads right to the centre of the question.‘
‘An experienced team led by the very skilled Ellen Schult Ulriksen. Commercial and always searching for good solutions.‘
‘The Haavind practice consists of a small, but dedicated team of service-minded and highly qualified lawyers. They always respond swiftly in insolvency-situations, and have the right mindset in terms of “getting on top” of arising issues quickly.‘
‘Team head is Ellen Ulriksen, a direct and fearless counsel who is always looking for the best solution and is not afraid to think outside the box.’
‘Ellen Ulriksen is experienced and skilled, commercial and solution-oriented.‘
‘The team is led by Ellen Ulriksen, who I would describe as up and coming in terms of partners. Ellen is always easy to discuss complex insolvency issues with, and I appreciate her ability to break down the situation at hand quickly.‘
Santander Consumer Bank AS
Ahlsell Norge AS
Sparebank 1 SMN
Norwegian Public Road Authority (NPRA) – (Statens vegvesen)
Randstad Norway AS
Tronrud Eiendom AS
Aspelin Ramm Eiendom AS
EMAS AMC AS, its bankruptcy estate
- Assisting Santander Consumer Bank with its defaulting financial arrangements.
- Acting as trustee for Easy2You in its bankruptcy.
- Advised Soundgarden.no on its bankruptcy and restructuring including handling negotiations with secured lenders.
Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS’ practice leverages the firm’s wider shipping and offshore strength to handle oil, shipping and offshore financial restructurings; it recently advised Kleven Maritime Invest on two rounds of financial restructurings and also counts SpareBank 1 SMN, Nordic Trustee and Eidesvik Offshore as clients. Tor Herdlevær heads up the group, which also fields restructuring, insolvency and investigation expert Thomas Steen Brandi and Per Morten Christiansen, who has notable experience in the refinancing and restructuring of loan facilities.
SpareBank 1 SMN
SpareBank 1 Søre Sunnmøre
Kleven Maritime Invest
- Advised Kleven Maritime Invest on two rounds of financial restructurings.
- Assisting Sparebanken Vest as lender to the Sesam Group with negotiations following Sesam’s bankruptcy.
At Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig, Peter Aall Simonsen, who primarily acts for banks, bondholders and other creditors, heads up the group in Oslo; Bjørn Åge Hamre leads the Bergen team and handles restructuring proceedings, and Nils Håkon Risberg is the leader in Trondheim. Other key practitioners include Bergen-based Egil Horstad, who is a bankruptcy expert, Oslo-based shipping specialist Erlend Lous and Per Christian Eriksen in Bergen, who is regularly appointed as estate trustee and administrator. The practice is a key name in the shipping, oil and offshore industries and handles the full range of restructuring and bankruptcy issues.
Peter Aall Simonsen; Bjørn Åge Hamre; Nils Håkon Risberg
‘Excellent skilled team, relevant expertise and complimentary resources. Very good availability.‘
‘The Simonsen Vogt Wiig team is an established team with longstanding relationships with all the banks lending out of Norway, and with significant experience and expertise in the shipping and offshore industries beyond its asset finance expertise and focus, meaning that it can add significant value in any shipping and/or offshore enforcement or restructuring situation.’
‘Peter Aall Simonsen is very knowledgeable, with a succinct and commercial-solutions-led practical approach, close to and respected by key players in the Norwegian market.‘
Export Credit Norway
ABN AMRO Bank
- Advising Nordea Bank Singapore Branch as agent for several lenders and hedging banks on a defaulted loan facility and the enforcement of the lenders’ securities against Somargas II.
- Assisting three bank syndicates with the restructuring of Viking Supply Ships.
- Representing the administrator of the bankruptcy estate of Bergen Bunkers in several disputes.
Wiersholm is noted for its restructuring strength and handles financial restructurings, distressed asset issues and cross-border work. The practice is also active in the shipping and offshore sectors and counts Olympic Subsea, Polarcus and The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries as clients; it also recently assisted DNB Bank and Nordea Bank with the merger of AGR and First Geo and the related financial restructuring. Ståle Gjengset heads up the team, which also counts Kaare P Sverdrup, Kristine Hasle Øverby and Atle Gabrielsen, who joined from Arntzen de Besche in 2019, as key practitioners.
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries/The Kingdom of Norway
Norske Skog AS/Norske Skogindustrier ASA
DNB Bank ASA
Sparebank 1 SR-Bank ASA
Altor Equity Partners
Olympic Subsea ASA
Nordic Trustee ASA
Viking Supply Ships A/S
- Advised Nordea Bank and DNB Bank on the restructuring of AGR and First Geo following their merger.
- Assisted Norske Skog with its acquisition by Oceanwood in an enforcement sale of shares managed by Citibank as security agent.
Trondheim-based Joar Grimsbu leads the department at Arntzen de Besche, which focuses on restructuring and insolvency mandates with notable expertise in the oil and gas, offshore, banking, real estate, construction and media industries. Clients include Swedbank, EY and Norfund. Grimsbu handles debt settlements, restructurings and bankruptcy issues; Trond Kildal assists with restructurings and refinancings; and Trondheim-based Stein Knut Tonning focuses on corporate restructuring work and bankruptcy proceedings. Banking and debt capital markets specialist Vidar Løhre joined from Wikborg Rein in 2019, and Atle Gabrielsen departed to Wiersholm.
‘Service minded, valuable competence and knowledge of the relevant industry.‘
‘The team stands out for its competence and trustworthy approach.‘
Reinertsen AS, the bankruptcy estate
EY AS (Ernst & Young)
Sør-Trøndelag District Court
Inntrøndelag District Court
- Acting as administrator of the bankruptcy estate of Reinertsen including handling debt restructuring and bankruptcy proceedings.
- Advising Citibank London Branch as security agent to the secured creditors on Oceanwood’s purchase of the entire issued share capital of Norske Skog.
- Acting for Norfund on the financing, refinancing and restructuring of Green Resources.
DLA Piper is a key name in the market for cross-border mandates thanks to the firm’s global network of offices and is notably active in the Nordic region; clients include H&M, Subsea 7 and Marsoft International. The team regularly handles insolvency and restructuring proceedings and also assists with bankruptcy work. Egil Hatling leads the practice, which also fields Frode Finnøy, litigator and regulatory expert Johan Ratvik, who handles insolvencies; and restructuring specialist Erik Ramm.
‘The team is highly dedicated with 24/7 customer service.’
The Future Group
The former board of Krusesgate 3
- Acting for Indigo Finans on its administration.
- Appointed as trustee of the bankruptcy estate of Byggkompaniet.
- Advising Subsea 7 on its acquisition of Normand Oceanic and Normand Oceanic Chartering from Solstad Farstad.
Kluge Advokatfirma AS is increasingly involved in large restructuring mandates and the related contentious issues with expertise across the banking, oil and gas, energy, real estate and construction sectors. While active for companies experiencing financial distress, the team is also recommended for bondholder and creditor clients; it recently acted for Nordic Trustee as bond trustee for a bond loan to Solstad Offshore, which is in distress. Hans Ingvald Stensholdt leads the Oslo-based practice and Per Kristian Ramsland heads up the Stavanger team.
Hans Ingvald Stensholdt; Per Kristian Ramsland
‘Very effective at dealing with fast-changing situations. Very international in outlook.’
‘High-quality work from start to end. Not afraid to speak their mind and makes sure the client can do correct risk assessments.‘
‘Hans Ingvald Stensholdt displays excellent client handling skills.‘
‘Hans Ingvald Stensholt is very professional and easy to cooperate with.’
- Assisting Nordic Trustee as bond trustee for a bond loan to distressed company Solstad Offshore.
- Advising Bane Nor on the restructuring of Societa’ Italiana per Condotte d’Acqua.
- Acting for the bondholders in a dispute with Crudecorp and a senior creditor.
The department at SANDS handles bankruptcy, insolvency and restructuring issues in the financial services, energy and natural resources, shipping and real estate sectors. In a recent highlight, the group assisted Terra Securities with its bankruptcy proceedings; other clients include Storebrand Asset Management, Prima Invest and Extra Leker. Key contacts include Andreas Fuglesang and Stein Hegdal in Oslo, and Terje Bjørndahl in Trondheim. Jon Skjørshammer and Robert Jensen departed to Kvale Advokatfirma DA in 2020.
‘Senior personnel with different types of background. Good teamwork and dialogue. Open-minded discussions. Appropriate resources available.’
‘Good dialogue with clients and the attitude to “think” before “action”.‘
Storebrand Asset Management
- Representing Terra Securities in bankruptcy proceedings.
- Advised RXT on the winding-up of its subsidiaries in several jurisdictions including handling Chapter 11 proceedings in the US.
- Assisting Cecon with its bankruptcy.
Advokatfirmaet Ræder AS
Advokatfirmaet Ræder AS’ expertise encompasses bankruptcy, restructuring and asset recovery mandates and the team is increasingly involved in liability litigation arising from insolvency proceedings. The practice counts creditors, debtors, lenders and employees as clients. Anne Christine Wettre heads up the group and has notable experience in monetary claims, enforcement issues and property-related work; other key individuals include Erling Opdal, who ‘shows a high level of expertise’, and tax expert Anne Gro Enger.
Anne Christine Wettre
‘The partners I have worked with always deliver good quality work, follow up closely and are solution oriented.’
‘Erling Opdal always delivers high and good quality work, follows closely and is very structured. He shows a high level of expertise and level of service.‘
‘We have very good experience with Erling Opdal and Joar Heide. They are good listeners, efficient and analytical. They also have the social skills and that makes them different from others.‘
Oslo City Court
Euler Hermes Credit Insurance
Oslo Chambers of Commerce
Seksjonseierforeningen på Holtnes/ Holmsbu Hotel & Spa
Oslo Drosjeeieres innkjøpslag
Bo Klokt AS / BKH AS
Aman Finance AB NUF
Malmlaft Eiendom AS / CH Skog AS
Designers Remix A/S
Ilse Jacobsen A/S
- Acting as administrator of the bankruptcy estate of Soundgarden.no.
- Acting as administrator of the bankruptcy estate of Rett Bemanning.
- Representing the bankruptcy estate of Lise og Arnfinn Hejes Fond in bankruptcy proceedings against its board of directors.
Advokatfirmaet Grette AS assists borrowers in financial distress and lenders with restructuring and insolvency mandates and is notably active in contentious work including liability claims; it recently acted for If Skadeforsikring NUF as D&O insurer in a series of D&O proceedings relating to the bankruptcy of Reinertsen. Group head Thomas J. Fjell and managing partner Jacob S. Bjønness-Jacobsen focus on financial work-outs and restructuring issues. Associate partner Erik Alsvik Skogsbakken also contributes to the practice. Børge A Grøttjord joined DLA Piper in 2020.
Thomas J. Fjell
‘Hands-on, dedicated, competent and efficient.‘
‘Able to respond quickly and precisely.‘
Halcyon Capital Management LP
Adolfsen Gruppen AS
If Skadeforsikring NUF
Rana Gruber AS
Norwegian Institute for Water research
NILU – Norwegian Institute for Air Research
Recore Norway AS
- Representing If Skadeforsikring NUF as D&O insurers in several proceedings brought by the bankruptcy estate of Reinertsen against its board members and management.
- Acted for Rana Gruber in securing its claims for payment of shipment of iron ore to British Steel.
- Assisted Bohus with the restructuring of its operational and legal structure.