Firms To Watch: Maritime law

Boutique firm Gjelsten Herlofsen Advokatfirma AS was established in late 2022 and leverages the expertise of name partners Frithjof Herlofsen and Gaute Gjelsten to focus on the maritime sector. Litigator Børge Alsvik joined the team in early 2023.

Maritime law in Norway


Praised as an ‘extremely strong team’ and a ‘go-to’ firm for many in the maritime space, BAHR fields a leading shipping practice, working with elite Norwegian blue-chip businesses operating in Norway and abroad. Shipping banks, marine insurers, brokers, ship-owners and ship operators all trust the broad ranging, full-service expertise of the group. The team also has a prominent dry shipping practice, which handles a wide range of equity capital market transactions in the maritime space, and leverages the firm's strong litigation practice. Geir Gustavsson and Anne Dahl Frisak co-lead the group; Gustavsson is praised for his ‘excellent commercial mindset while still delivering impeccable legal advice’, and the ‘reliable’ Frisak focuses on high-value shipping and offshore transactions, including sale and leaseback projects, shipbuilding contracts, vessel purchases and charterparties. Robin Bakken is a M&A and equity capital market expert, and Ida Marie Windrup focuses on sustainable financing within the maritime sector. Øystein Meland joined the firm’s Bergen office from Wikborg Rein, bolstering the firm’s dry shipping practice.

Practice head(s):

Geir Gustavsson; Anne Dahl Frisak

Other key lawyers:

André Ueland; Richard Sjøqvist; Ida Marie Windrup; Robin Bakken; Øystein Meland; Rolf Johan Ringdal;Lars Knem Christie


‘Geir Gustavsson has for a long time been my preferred partner for maritime law. He has a unique ability to see alternative solutions and provide solid advice on matters that go beyond what one expects from a lawyer. He has an excellent commercial mindset while still delivering impeccable legal advice.’

‘Our group works with Øystein Meland and have followed him since he got his new position in BAHR when they established in Bergen. Our team also has André Ueland. Our team is competent with social knowledge, and we collaborate easily.’

‘I consider Øystein Meland to be the most experienced and competent lawyer in Norway in legal matters regarding shipbuilding and shipbuilding contracts.’

‘An extremely strong team. Our go-to firm in Norway.’

‘On ship finance, team leader Richard Sjøqvist is very able and particularly well-connected and Partner Ida Marie Windrup is also extremely good and fantastically diligent – a very safe pair of hands. Partner Geir Gustavsson knows the shipping industry very well, is very commercial and communicates well. Partner Anne Dahl Frisak is also good and reliable.’

Key clients

Eastern Pacific

Cool Company



Østensjø Rederi

Color Line





The Aker Group

Assuranceforeningen Skuld (Gjensidig)

Norwegian Hull Club

Star Bulk

Philly Shipyard ASA

Edda Wind

Golden Energy Offshore

Fosen Namsos Sjø AS

Hurtigruten Group ASA


Solstad Offshore ASA


Work highlights

  • Advised Aker Capital, part of OSE-listed Aker ASA, on a strategic process relating to the sale of all of its shares (61.65%) in OSE-listed Ocean Yield ASA, a leading Norwegian maritime leasing company (taken private following the transaction), to KKR, resulting in a recommended voluntary offer by KKR on all shares in Ocean Yield ASA.
  • Advised Eastern Pacific in connection with its $150m investment and acquisition of a large equity stake in Cool Company Ltd.
  • Advised Edda Wind on its separation from its founder through its business combination with, and investment from, the Norwegian blue-chip ship-owning group, Wilh. Wilhelmsen.

Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig

With a ‘dedicated and hands-on team with strong commercial understanding and drive’, Advokatfirmaet Simonsen Vogt Wiig fields one of the largest and comprehensive shipping and maritime groups in Norway. With a strong presence in the coastal region, the group's expertise covers corporate and commercials mandates, shipping financings, offshore services matters, casualty claims and litigation. Oslo-based Erlend Lous and Bergen-based Hågen Hansen are both experts in complex financing and sale and leaseback structures. Christine Rødsæther is also a specialist in transactions and financing work, and Jan Vablum (also based in Bergen) has extensive expertise in marine insurance issues, and litigation and arbitration proceedings relating to cargo claims, casualty issues and arrests. Yannis Litinas specialises in cross-border shipping transactions, and clients benefit from his qualifications in England and Wales, Greece and Norway. Lars Inge Ørstavik is also recommended. Frithjof Herlofsen left to establish his own firm in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Erlend Lous; Jan Vablum

Other key lawyers:

Yannis Litinas; Christine Rødsæther; Hågen Hansen; Lars Inge Ørstavik


‘Dedicated and hands-on team with strong commercially understanding and drive.’

‘Erlend Lous is always available, and tackles all challenges. He has a strong commercial understanding and has the ability to strongly recommend one solution over another (most lawyers give you alternatives rather than one solution when it comes to “commercial” issues).’

‘Erlend Lous – Erlend stands out as being very experienced and knowledgeable. There is not much he has not seen before.’

‘Yannis Litinas – A pleasure to work with.’

‘Lars Inge Ørstavik – Clear and fearless in his advice and actions.’

‘Hågen Hansen – stands out for his good understanding of the market and his tactical nous.’

‘We mainly interact with Christine Rødsæther of SVW, and she is very attentive, responsive, highly qualified and has a practical approach to legal matters. She’s a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Blystad/Songa Group

Clarksons (Oslo)

DNB Bank

Eidsvaag AS

Fearnley Securities AS

Fosen Yard AS

GC Rieber Shipping

Gjensidige Forsikring ASA

Grieg Star

Maritime Asset Partners Limited

Ness Risan & Partners

Australis Maritime

Sterling Shipping Ltd

Pareto Maritime Services

RF Tankers


Westcon Yards AS

Uthalden Maritime

Seaway 7 ASA

Energifonden Maritime AS

Work highlights

  • Assisted Maritime Asset Partners Ltd with 14 transactions in which 19 vessels were acquired by the client’s fund.
  • Assisted Grieg Star with various lease-finance matters, sales, purchases, and financings of vessels.
  • Assisting GC Rieber Shipping AS with sale of its SURF/Construction Vessel to Dong Fang Offshore Co., Ltd, and Hung Hua Construction Co., Ltd (Taiwan).

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

Praised for its ‘exceptional qualities and excellent commercial understanding’, the shipping group at Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS draws on the firm's banking and finance, insolvency, and M&A departments to provide a cross-practice, multidisciplinary offering. Acting primarily for shipowners, banks and bank syndicates, the team advises on some of the largest transactions in the Norwegian shipping market; the group also has an active litigation practice. The team is co-led by shipping cross-border and dispute resolution expert Henrik Hagberg, and ‘exceptional professional’ Mads Haavardsholm. Andreas Meidell mainly focuses on commercial insurance claims and coverage issues, while Hans Olav Lindal has extensive experience in corporate restructurings and refinancings related to maritime organisations.

Practice head(s):

Mads Haavardsholm; Henrik Hagberg

Other key lawyers:

Ellen Teresa Heyerdahl; Andreas Meidell; Hans Olav Lindal


‘An incredibly diverse team, with exceptional qualities and excellent commercial understanding. Excelling across all disciplines from shipping to finance, they are the best team to navigate anything from minor charter disputes to complex shipping transactions.’

‘Mads Haavardsholm and Ellen Teresa Heyerdahl are exceptional professionals within shipping/maritime law and finance. They are always proactive, always in the forefront, and have an unprecedented understanding of their client’s needs.’

‘Reputable and knowledgeable.’

‘Very proactive, with a hands on approach.’

Key clients

Höegh Autoliners and Höegh LNG

Wilh Wilhelmsen Holding ASA/Wallenius Wilhelmsen ASA

Gard AS

Seaway 7 ASA

Pareto Securities AS

Island Offshore AS

Jo Tankers AS

Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers ASA

Norwegian Hull Club

BW Maritime/BW Offshore/BW LPG

Fearnley Advisors AS

TRF Ship Management AS

Amon Maritime AS

Belships ASA

Kongsberg Gruppen ASA

Gdansk Shiprepair Yard “Remontowa” SA

Tschudi Shipping Company

Hunter Group ASA

Odfjell SE



G2 Ocean




Viken Shipping

Arne Blystad AS

Western Bulk Charterering AS

Den Norske Krigsforsikring for Skib

Ocean Infinity

MPC Containerships ASA

Work highlights

  • Advised Bibby Transport Ltd. (owner) and its insurers in legal proceedings which Yara Asia Pte. Ltd. brought before Oslo District Court regarding a claim for damages against the carriers Bibby Transport Ltd. (owners) and J. Lauritzen Singapore Pte. Ltd. (charterers) for damage to the cargo of NPK fertiliser loaded onboard the MV Cheshire.
  • Advised Pareto Securities in connection with the establishment of several project companies, both acquiring and selling vessels across the container segment, bulkers segment, tankers segment and the offshore segment.
  • Advised OHT ASA in connection with its agreement to combine OHT with Subsea 7’s renewables business unit, creating Seaway 7 ASA.


Fielding a ‘professional team with devoted individuals’, the shipping practice at Wiersholm continues to be a pillar in the firm’s expertise. Ship and rig owners, banks, financial advisers, and service companies all trust the ‘skilled, service minded, and fast’ practitioners in the team. Straddling both transactional and contentious work, the team has extensive experience in vessel sales and purchases, building projects, other asset-based transactions, and marine insurance issues. The team is co-led by Kristine Hasle, who is a ship finance and offshore transactions expert, and Karl Even Rygh, who has extensive expertise in new build and conversion projects, sale and leaseback transactions, and M&A deals. Christian Hauge is also recommended, particularly for shipping and insurance dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Karl Even Rygh; Kristine Hasle

Other key lawyers:

Christian Hauge


‘Professional team with devoted individuals.’

‘Skilled, service minded and fast.’

Key clients

Hurtigruten AS

Siem Industries

SFL Corporation (previously Ship Finance International)


Golden Ocean Group

Frontline Limited

Archer Limited

Avance Gas Holding Ltd.

Viking Supply Ships


MPC Container Ships ASA

NYK Lines

Western Bulk Chartering AS

Polarcus Limited

Sinoceanic Shipping AS

Arendals Dampskibsselskab AS

OSM Maritime Group

Flex LNG

DESS Aquaculture Shipping

Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS)

Østensjø Rederi



Nordlys Forsikring

Bud og Hustad Forsikring

Wilh. Wilhelmsen

Lindblad Expeditions

Maersk Supply Service


ADS Crude Carriers

J. Lauritzen Singapore Pte

Statnett SF

Work highlights

  • Acted as lead counsel for SFL Corporation Ltd in connection with their purchase of three Suezmax oil carriers from Trafigura and four LR2 oil tankers from Frontline, and the subsequent chartering out of the vessels to Trafigura pursuant to time charterparties.
  • Successfully defended classification society DNV in a NOK15bn damages claim from the Norwegian state following the total loss of the frigate Helge Ingstad.
  • Represented Flex LNG Ltd. in a $320m sale and leaseback transaction for the financing of the vessels “Flex Courageous” and “Flex Constellation”.

Wikborg Rein

Wikborg Rein’s ‘high standard team of lawyers’ in the maritime field is praised for its ‘excellent coverage of both wet and dry shipping disputes’, where the group excels. The team also has strong ranks of commercial practitioners, advising on construction and conversion projects, equity and debt financings, chartering issues, and restructurings. Øyvind Axe focuses his practice on shipping and offshore transactions and is based in the Bergen office, while Oslo-based Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen has a broad international practice with ‘solid transaction and negotiating experience’. Herman Steen is the go-to person for international maritime disputes, specifically casualty claims and marine insurance issues, and of counsel Morten Lund Mathisen leads the firm’s global maritime and offshore emergency response team. Former SANDS practice head Oddbjørn Slinning joined the team in 2022, and Gaute Gjelsten left to establish his own firm.

Practice head(s):

Øyvind Axe; Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen; Herman Steen

Other key lawyers:

Morten Lund Mathisen; Jonathan Goldfarb; Mari Berg Rindahl; Cecilie Andersen Haadem; Oddbjørn Slinning


‘High knowledge on both legal and commercial issues in our industry. High degree of accessibility and easy going. It is a pleasure to work with Jonathan Goldfarb and with Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen.’

‘By far the strongest international organisation and footprint of all maritime law firms with its head office in Norway. Broad and strong team in both Norway and several other jurisdictions concerning maritime law. Shown ability to recruit high calibre maritime lawyers when needed. Due to its size and strength, it is our first choice of law firm to assist in maritime casualties and advice on maritime law.’

‘Morten Lund Mathisen: Very seasoned and practical maritime lawyer with special expertise and experience in dealing with maritime casualties. Well-known to most other stakeholders, e.g., correspondents and opponent lawyers. Strong strategic and tactical abilities, plus high availability and accessibility. Strong collaboration skills with us as client.’

‘Herman Steen: High calibre legal professional with deep knowledge of maritime law and maritime insurance law. Digs deep and more often than not gold appears. Strong stamina and good tactical skills. Good collaboration skills with us as client.’

‘Reliable and always high quality legal services. Their international reach, London, Singapore and Shanghai is an advantage for cases with multiple jurisdiction issues.’

‘Very good understanding of both commercial, legal, practical and cross-jurisdictional aspects of the maritime law field, and our transaction in particular.’

‘Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen – strong legal and practical competence, solid transaction and negotiating experience. Mari Berg Rindahl – very efficient and accurate, strong process management skills. Cecilie Andersen Haadem – solid legal and cross-jurisdictional understanding, efficient and accurate.’

‘Excellent coverage of both wet and dry shipping disputes. The only Norwegian headquartered firm with true international presence, and with particularly strong track record in casualty response and issues arising from this.’

Key clients

Assuranceforeningen Gard

DNB Bank

Floatel International

Fred. Olsen Windcarriers

Gram Car Carriers

Norwegian Hull Club

Odfjell Drilling

Swedish Club

Solstad Offshore



Yara International ASA

Golden Ocean

Codan Insurance

Norwegian Royal Navy

London P&I Club

BW Offshore


Odfjell SE

Work highlights

  • Assisted Fjord1 AS with the financing of NOK6.5bn provided by a small range of international green infrastructure investors.
  • Assisted Gram Car Carriers ASA in relation to a complex cross-border reorganisation involving a transfer of the ownership of a fleet of 16 car carrier vessels from Singapore to Norway.
  • Representing marine insurers in a Constructive Total Loss dispute, the “Champion Express”, in Norwegian courts.

Kvale Advokatfirma DA

Praised for its ‘creative and solution-oriented’ approach, and the ability to ‘think outside the box’, Kvale Advokatfirma DA’s cross-practice shipping group covers charterparties, maritime contracts and insurance and casualty issues; it also advises on pollution liability claims, sanctions, and other regulatory aspects of the shipping industry. The team, led by ‘legal maverick’ Kristian Lindhartsen, is also involved in a number of direct action disputes. Jostein Moen is a shipping transaction and restructuring expert, and Lilly Kathrin Relling is recommended for contractual and contentious work.

Practice head(s):

Kristian Lindhartsen

Other key lawyers:

Jostein Moen; Lilly Kathrin Relling


‘Very creative and solution oriented. Thinking outside the box.’

‘Kvale’s maritime practice thrives on creativity and efficiency. They stand out in the field for effective counsel with thorny issues both domestically and abroad.’

‘Kristian Lindhartsen has earned a reputation as a legal maverick and it suits his clients well. Lilly Kathrin Relling is a welcome new partner at the firm who provides advice on short timetables and with great skill.’

‘Efficiency and understanding of your business.’

‘I recommend Kristian Lindhartsen and Jostein Moen.’

‘The team is very experienced in enforcement of foreign judgments and awards. They are knowledgeable and responsive.’

‘Lilly Kathrin Relling: she is knowledgeable, on the ball, practical and provides commercially viable advice. It is a pleasure to work with her.’

Key clients


Fearnlys Offshore

Standard P&I

Bourbon Offshore Norway



First Marine

Brit Syndicate 2987

Nørresundby Rederi & Shipping af 2017

Vilma Oil


SANDS’ shipping group covers the full spectrum of shipping sector matters, including offshore construction projects, LNG carrier issues, and cargo and support vessel matters. The team also has strong corporate and M&A expertise, and benefits from the firm’s wider banking and finance, insurance and tax practices. The group is headed by Marit Kirkhusmo, who maintains a strong focus on financing, refinancing, restructuring and similar transactional work. Guy Leonard bolsters the firm’s international practice and is dual qualified in Norway and England and Wales; he particularly focuses on project developments. At the non-partner level, associate Ingvild Nordtveit and senior associate Hallvard Janbu Høyem are also recommended. Oddbjørn Slinning departed to Wikborg Rein in 2022.

Practice head(s):

Marit Kirkhusmo

Other key lawyers:

Guy Leonard; Ingvild Nordtveit; Hallvard Janbu Høyem

Key clients

Base Marine Norway

Gjensidige Insurance

DHT Holdings

Green Yard Group / Green Yard Kleven

Höegh LNG

Vard Group

Camillo Eitzen & Co AS

AKVA Group

Bulk Loaders

P&O Maritime

Ocean Farming

AROS Marine

Stema Shipping

Kanfer Shipping

Scanbio Marine Group

Moen Marine


Grands Espaces

Zurich Versicherungs-Gesellschaft

Work highlights

  • Advised Höegh LNG on a contact negotiation and structuring of a 10+ year time charterparty for the provision of a floating LNG storage and regasification unit for an LNG importation project in the Port of Santos.
  • Advised Vard Group on the restructuring of DOF Group.
  • Advised Gjensidige Insurance, together with AQS Rederi as well as certain other cargo interests, following the engine breakdown, heavy listing and salvage of the vessel, EEMSLIFT HENDRIKA.

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt

Advokatfirmaet Schjødt’s shipping practice advises on a number of high-value transactions, financings and contractual mandates, as well as providing advice on deep sea shipping issues, regulatory petroleum law, shipbuilding matters, construction projects, and management structures. The team is comprised of financing and transactions specialist Henrik Aadnesen, contract and corporate law expert and Ålesund office head Stian Tennfjord, and group co-head Rebecca Lund Nakkim, who focuses primarily on shipping finance. Trond Sollund is the key contact for litigation and co-head Sverre Bjelland is based in Stavanger. Norman Hansen Meyer joined the group in mid-2023.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Lund Nakkim; Sverre Bjelland

Other key lawyers:

Trond Sollund; Henrik Aadnesen; Stian Tennfjord; Norman Hansen Meyer

Key clients

Ocean Yield AS

Frontline Ltd.

Höegh LNG AS

Vard Group AS

Transocean Ltd.

GC Rieber Shipping ASA

Prosafe SE

Spar Shipping AS

Volstad Shipping AS

Intership AS

Work highlights

  • Adviding Frontline Ltd. on negotiations for a potential high-profile acquisition.
  • Assisted Ocean Yield AS with the purchase of six VLCCs with 10-year bareboat charters to International Seaways Inc.
  • Assisted Ocean Yield AS in connection with the sale of Ocean Yield AS from Aker ASA to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P.

Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS

The ‘skilled and available’ shipping practice at Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS is praised for its ‘small but efficient’ team. Covering commercial shipping and contractual issues, litigation and shipbuilding work, sales and purchases, marine insurance mandates and other related transactions, the team advises a client roster of market-leading bodies, operators and companies. Nicolai Myren leads the group, and is noted for his cross-border offshore project experience. Christian Steen Eriksen is also a key member of the team. Norman Hansen Meyer departed to Advokatfirmaet Schjødt in mid-2023.

Practice head(s):

Nicolai Myren

Other key lawyers:

Christian Steen Eriksen


‘Small but efficient team.’

‘Skilled and available, pleasant people.’

Key clients

Acta Marine

Eastern Bulk

Eidesvik Offshore



Reach Subsea

Havfram (formerly Ocean Installer)

Lorentzen & Stemoco

Westcon Yards

Air Liquide / Air Liquide Maritime

Saga Welco


Altera Infrastructure (formerly Teekay Offshore)

Western Bulk Chartering

DSV Air & Sea Norway

Awilco Drilling


COSL Drilling

Yinson Production

Tersan Shipyard

Deep C Solutions


Green Yard Kleven shipyard (former Kleven Verft)

Swire Energy Services


Brønnbåt Nord

Technip Energies Group

Magseis Fairfield

Work highlights

  • Advised Stove Shipping and Stove Friendship on the sale of two modern Supramax dry bulk vessels to Belships.
  • Advised COSL Drilling Europe in connection with a sale and subsequent recycling of its accommodation rig, Cosl Rival.
  • Assisted Eastern Bulk Carriers with various charterparty matters, including advising on several charterparty disputes with owners and/or sub-charterers.

Advokatfirmaet Ræder AS

The ‘professional’ and ‘experienced team’ at Advokatfirmaet Ræder AS excels in handling cargo-related matters. Trusted by many for handling collision, anchor damage and salvage claims, groundings and other marine insurance matters, the team has an expert maritime litigation and dispute resolution practice. The practice, which is praised for its ‘positive contribution to the industry’, is led by Kristian Østberg. Jon Andersen and Hanne Wessel-Aas are also key individuals in the team.

Practice head(s):

Kristian Østberg

Other key lawyers:

Jon Andersen; Hanne Wessel-Aas.


‘We have had long and good cooperation over many years, i.e. we have built up insight and understanding about each other as people and business. They are very professional and I find that we can trust their legal assistance and that is essential for us. They make a very positive contribution to the industry.’

‘I have been working with Jon Andersen and  Hanne Wessel-Aas. Their thoroughness and understanding of what we want and need, along with their interpersonal understanding makes me feel very safe and secure with their help.’

‘Experienced team and know the topic we need assistance in.’

‘Quick reply when we have contacted them with our problems.’

‘On the marine insurance and shipping side, if you want a law firm to represent the cargo or chartering interest there is no other choice – they are the best. With modern communications and a well supported team their speed of response is first rate,’

‘Jon Andersen is one of the leading maritime lawyers in Norway. he has successfully taken a number of leading cases to the Norwegian Supreme court and created important legal precedent. Technically and practically he is excellent and we and our clients keep going back to him for the clarity and commercial nature of his advice – we know he always has the client’s best outcome at the front of his thinking. Speed of response is first rate.’

‘Kristian Østberg is also an excellent maritime lawyer and the combination of his practical experience and knowledge of trading and insurance law (almost always relevant in maritime cases) makes him a go to lawyer for many of our clients.’ 

Key clients

ryg Forsikring NUF

W.R. Berkley Insurance Nordic NUF

Codan Forsikring NUF

Nemi Forsikring

MOWI Markets Norway AS

Gjensidige Forsikring ASA

AXA XL, Norway Branch

Zurich Insurance plc, Norway Branch

Norwegian Coastal Directorate

Clyde & Co