Wikborg Rein > London, England > Firm Profile

Wikborg Rein
30 Cannon Street
EC4M 6XH
England

Dispute resolution > Commodities disputes Tier 3

Wikborg Rein is 'a delight to work with at every level', with clients praising its 'proactive, bright and commercial partners who are supported by excellent and diligent associates'. Strong in both shipping and commodities matters, the firm is best known for its LNG expertise, covering its physical trading, transportation and storage, as well as contractual matters and disputes. Practice head Chris Grieveson is 'a tough litigator with a very strong strategic eye'.  The 'extremely capable and bright' Eleanor Midwinter is now a partner and leads on commodity contract disputes with shipping partner Rob Jardine-Brown.

Practice head(s):

Chris Grieveson

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Wikborg Rein is a delight to work with at every level. It is staffed by proactive, bright and commercial partners who are supported by excellent and diligent associates. They are experienced and good strategic litigators who are driven to obtain the best results for their clients.’

‘The firm is highly recommended as it is a wonderful mixture of well renowned professionals in the main jurisdictions where the maritime law disputes arise and are settled – Norway and England – The are always one step forward in the study of cases, technologies and diversity.’

‘Chris Grieveson is an excellent and tough litigator with a very strong strategic eye. Rob Jardine-Brown is a strong and experienced partner and very commercial in his approach. Eleanor Midwinter has recently made partner and is extremely capable and bright. In terms of associates, Fiona Rafla is a pleasure to deal with – very bright, hard working and enthusiastic.’

‘Personally, I have had the privilege to know the human quality and sharp professional skills of Eleanor Midwinter. Her level in maritime law and disputes is outstanding.’

Key clients

Golar LNG

BW LNG

Gard AS

PPD Global

Mitsui OSK

Elkem ASA

Yara International

Hydro

Met Group

Transport > Shipping Tier 3

Wikborg Rein continues to expand its share of the London shipping market, acting for clients across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious work. Practice head Chris Grieveson excels in handling both wet and dry shipping disputes, while Rob Jardine-Brown specialises in shipbuilding matters. Nick Shepherd's practice covers litigation and commercial transactions, and he has a strong client following among Greek shipowners. Eleanor Midwinter , who made partner in April 2021, is 'extremely capable and bright'.

Practice head(s):

Chris Grieveson

Testimonials

‘Wikborg Rein has a very strong shipping practice particularly in the offshore sector. It is staffed by excellent and commercial partners who are supported by bright and diligent associates. They are experienced and good strategic litigators with deep knowledge in this industry.’

‘Chris Grieveson is an excellent and tough litigator with a very strong strategic eye. Nick Shepherd is extremely diligent and able to both master the detail and also keep a broad view of strategy. Rob Jardine-Brown is a strong and experienced partner and very commercial in his approach. Eleanor Midwinter has recently made partner and is extremely capable and bright.’

‘A very commercially-oriented team with great experience and expertise. The lawyers are always on top and the response times are incredible.’

‘Nick Shepherd is absolutely astonishing. Nick’s perspective on charterparty interpretation is unique and he has the ability to view it holistically and not in isolation. If the matter is complex then Nick is the person to go to. Rob Jardine-Brown has been a very good lawyer and we worked very well together.’

Key clients

AVIC Financial Leasing

APL

Belships ASA

Bonheur ASA / Fred Olsen

Britannia Steamship P&I

BW LNG

China Navigation

CMB Financial Leasing

Dolphin Drilling

Eastern Pacific Shipping Pte Ltd

Exmar NV

Fincantieri

Floatel International Ltd

Gard AS

GasLog

George Economou group companies (TMS Group, Dryships, Cardiff Marine)

Golar LNG

Höegh LNG Ltd

ICBC Financial Leasing Co., Ltd

IMC Group

Marine Trust Ltd / Centrofin

Marmaris Navigation

Maersk Drilling

Navigation Maritime Bulgare

Navios Maritime Holdings and its group companies

Noble Corp

North of England P&I

Oando plc

Pareto

Seajacks International Ltd

The London Club

The Standard Club

The UK Club

Transocean

Vard Group AS

West of England P&I

Fjord Line AS

Havila Phoenix

Solstad

Work highlights

  • Provided crew support and cooperation with authorities to “MV Kaami” (Gard AS, Misje Bulk AS, Misje Rederi AS) using the firm’s remote admiralty service. The firm also assisted with the first ever ship recycling at Kishorn in Scotland for this vessel.
  • Advising Samherji on the so-called “Fish Rot” matter in which the company is facing allegations that millions of dollars were paid to Namibian government officials to illegally obtain Namibian fishing quotas.
  • Advised the listed company Awilco LNG on a multijurisdictional transaction on the $350m repurchase of two 156,000 cbm LNG carriers out of existing sale and purchase arrangements.

Projects, energy and natural resources > Oil and gas Tier 4

Wikborg Rein offers clients ‘excellent insights’ into a wide array of international oil and gas matters, including in relation to offshore drilling. It particularly distinguishes itself in the LNG sector, where its team adeptly covers all facets of the value chain, such as finance, project tendering and EPCIC. Jonathan Goldfarb jointly leads the team with Renaud Barbier-Emery, who is a specialist in offshore energy projects. Special counsel Matt Berry joined the firm from Ince.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Goldfarb; Renaud Barbier-Emery

Other key lawyers:

Chris Grieveson; Matt Berry

Testimonials

‘Jon Goldfarb is a warm, principled person, with whom one can enjoy working even under stressful conditions. He takes an holistic approach to a client’s issues, and ensures that a proper balance is struck between defending one’s interests, and reaching a timely and efficient conclusion to a matter.’

’Renaud and his team at Wikborg Rein are the go-to lawyers in the offshore energy M&A and related commercial transactions. Their effective advocacy and attention to to detail are key strengths.’

‘Renaud Barbier-Emery is a tremendous asset to Wikborg Rein.’

Key clients

Transocean

GasLog Ltd

BW LNG

Golar LNG

Noble Corp

Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL)

Awilco Drilling

Bonheur ASA / Fred Olsen

Höegh LNG Ltd

Dolphin Drilling

Maersk Drilling

GSP Holding SA

Exmar NV

Naftogaz of Ukraine

Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção (QGEP)

George Economou group companies (Ocean Rig)

Awilco LNG

Work highlights

  • Advised BW Gas Ltd on the major LNG project for the provision of a Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) as part of the first integrated Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)-to-Power project at the Port of Acajutla in the Department of Sonsonate in El Salvador.
  • Acted for Tokyo-listed MOL on the project which would be Germany’s first LNG import facility. The FSRU construction cost is circa $340m as part of a wider total project value which was anticipated to be in excess of $725m.

Real estate > Construction: contentious Tier 5

Wikborg Rein's London team offers its energy, projects and infrastructure clients support across all major forms of dispute resolution. While it primarily works internationally, it is also involved in a number of English High Court cases. Rob Jardine-Brown heads the team following Mike Stewart's departure to Gowling WLG in January 2021, and brings significant offshore projects experience to the table.

Practice head(s):

Rob Jardine-Brown

Other key lawyers:

Shawn Kirby; Mary Lindsay

Testimonials

‘They have provided a tailored response to a number of different scenarios, all met with good sound advice and results.’

Key clients

BW Gas

GSP Offshore

Mitsui OSK

Golar

Finance > Transport finance and leasing

Despite being more visible across Europe and Asia, the Norwegian-based shipping heavyweight Wikborg Rein derives a not inconsiderable deal flow handling the UK law financing needs of its strong Norwegian-based operator client base.

Norway > Maritime law

Wikborg Rein has ‘an impressive group of lawyers working on maritime law matters‘. The ‘excellent‘ team is highly regarded for its capabilities in handling contentious work; practice head Gaute Gjelsten is well known for being ‘very experienced in marine and offshore insurance related issues and complex claims‘. Deputy head Øyvind Axe, who is based in the Bergen office, is sought out for his expertise in restructurings, financings and transactional matters. Additionally, the group has noted strength in offshore and maritime emergencies – this sub-team is led by Morten Lund Mathisen, who garners praise as ‘one of the most experienced casualty response lawyers globally‘. The ‘very ableHerman Steen advises on international maritime disputes pertaining to maritime casualties, and, in Oslo, Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen is the key contact for shipping offshore transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Gaute Gjelsten; Øyvind Axe

Testimonials

‘ Broad, diverse specialist knowledge.’

‘Herman Steen is exceptionally swift.’ 

‘Wikborg Rein’s maritime team has a great knowledge of all matters related to ship-owning practice. They are very responsive and have an impressive commercial understanding.’

‘Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen is absolutely outstanding and his work is really impressive. He always understands the legal implications quickly and delivers a solution the same night. Not only is he an excellent lawyer, he is an excellent person.’

‘The firm has partners with deep and long experience in maritime and offshore contractual, liability regimes and insurance solutions.’

‘The best “wet” admiralty practice in Norway – outstanding quality and knowledge base. The global offices make it truly an international practice with a Norwegian flavour, harnessing cross-jurisdictional knowledge and capabilities. World leader in wreck removals, in particular with an offshore connection.’

‘Always available at short notice and provide immediate practical solutions.’

Key clients

Assuranceforeningen Gard

Assuranceforeningen Skuld

BKK

DNB Bank

Fearnley Securities

Floatel International

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier

Nordea

Norwegian Hull Club

Odfjell Drilling

Pareto

Solstad Offshore

Stolt Tankers

The Swedish Club

Transocean

Work highlights

  • Acted for Solstad Offshore ASA on the successful restructuring of the group’s NOK34bn debt liabilities.
  • Advising both BKK AS and a potential joint venture to be established by BKK AS, Equinor ASA and Air Liquide AS, on a project regarding the establishment of a new value chain for liquid hydrogen on the western coast of Norway.
  • Acting on behalf of the owners and insurers of chemical tanker ‘Stolt Commitment’ in ongoing litigation arising from its collision with cargo ship ‘Thorco Cloud’ in the Singapore Strait in Indonesian territorial waters in 2015.

The firm: We are a full-service international law firm with over 230 lawyers  internationally. With our roots in Norway and over 30 years in London, our clients receive top tier London advice combined with a no-nonsense Nordic approach. The London office is home to a large specialised shipping and offshore team, supported by our colleagues in Norway, Singapore and Shanghai. The London team is sector-focussed, and the majority of our lawyers have commercial experience in-house. Our clients come to us for strategic, sector-specific advice, and clear, creative solutions. That is what we deliver. We do not aim to be the biggest, but we do aim to hire the best.

Our lawyers are leaders in the transport, shipping, infrastructure, construction, energy, trade, commodities, and insurance sectors. Within those sectors, we have unique experience with projects, finance, commercial contracts, alternative dispute resolution, commercial litigation, fraud and asset recovery. We are closely aligned with many of the sector’s major participants and have an excellent understanding of the commercial dynamics that drive the industries we work with. Further details and case examples can be found on our lawyer profiles on our firm’s website.

Types of work undertaken
Shipping and transport: We have a full-service shipping team for commercial shipping. We have an international emergency-response team to deal with collisions, groundings, fires, piracy and other casualties with mariner support on hand – key contacts in London are Chris Grieveson, Matt Illingworth and Nick Shepherd. All of our London team have significant experience in handling ‘dry shipping’ disputes and deals. This includes finance, shipbuilding, logistics, charters and bills of lading. We also have supporting expertise in areas such as sanctions, data and regulatory matters. We have particular expertise in the Greek and Singaporean markets.

Superyachts: This is an important and growing area for our firm, with a team bolstered by lateral hires from other highly regarded teams. The yacht team comprises Rob Jardine-Brown, Mike Stewart, Jonathan Page, Eleanor Midwinter, Mary Lindsay, Joanna Kinross and Camilla Burton. This team has extensive experience in providing “project counsel” advice for ongoing builds and conversions of super-yachts, as well as in relation to high value, complex disputes.

Commodities / LNG: We are cover the trading lifecycle, including projects, finance, production, sale & purchase, storage and transportation. We work with traders, shippers, financiers and insurers for energy commodities, chemicals, metals and softs. Over the years, we have intentionally built up a highly specialised team of experts for LNG work, and we have stand-out experience in FLNG projects in particular. Our projects and finance team in London includes Renaud Barbier-Emery; Jonathan Goldfarb; Jonathan Page; Ina Lutchmiah; Sebastian Lea and Mads Ødeskaug. Our shipping, trade and disputes team includes Chris Grieveson; Nick Shepherd, Eleanor Midwinter; Baptiste Weijburg.

Offshore: Offshore work remains central to our London practice, notwithstanding a challenging market. The offshore team in London is led by Rob Jardine-Brown, supported by his partners Chris Grieveson, Nick Shepherd and Shawn Kirby on the disputes side, and by Renaud Barbier-Emery; Jonathan Goldfarb; Jonathan Page; and Ina Lutchmiah on the transactional side. The team in London provides advice which covers the entire life cycle of shipping and offshore assets.

Litigation, alternative dispute resolution, enforcement and asset recovery: Our disputes team are highly effective and have a strong focus on enforcement and asset recovery. Our advice in this area is realistic, creative and focused on commercial results. We have close connections with insolvency practitioners and foreign lawyers across the world. We have this year (and in previous years) had enforcement work referred to us that seemed “impossible” and have received praise from clients for using inventive strategies and local connections to achieve major recoveries.

Foreign specialists
Greece: Nick Shepherd is a market-leading shipping lawyer in Greece, having acted for the largest Greek shipping groups. Nick is one of Wikborg Rein’s superstar signings, and the trade press notes that his “list of clients reads like a who’s who of Greek shipping.” Other lawyers active in the Greek market are Matt Illingworth, Chris Grieveson, Baptiste Weijburg and Eleanor Midwinter.

Singapore: Chris Grieveson and Lesley Tan have an in-depth commercial understanding of the Singaporean market. Chris worked in Singapore for many years, where he was highly ranked. Lesley is Singaporean and has special expertise in sale and leaseback work. Supported by the wider team, Chris and Lesley advise international clients on their in-bound South East Asian operations, using Singapore as a hub for the region.

Norway: We have offices in Oslo and Bergen offering a full Norwegian law service. Based in these offices are a number of “London office alumni” who have built up the UK-Norway connection, including Finn Bjørnstad, Birgitte Karlsen, Andreas Fjærvoll-Larsen, Ole Henrik Wille, Mari Berg Rindahl, Mads Ødeskaug and Julia Skisaker. In addition, our London office is home to Norwegian speaking senior associate, Bård Breda Bjerken. We are able to provide a unique nexus between the London market and clients with Norwegian and North Sea based business.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Main contact Chris Grievesoncjg@wrco.co.uk02073670308
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Renaud Barbier-Emery photo Renaud Barbier-EmeryRenaud Barbier Emery is a Partner in Wikborg Rein’s London office and…
Mr Matt Berry photo Mr Matt BerryMatt Berry is a Specialist Counsel and Admiralty Manager at Wikborg Rein’s…
Jonathan Goldfarb photo Jonathan GoldfarbJonathan Goldfarb is a Partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office and is…
Chris Grieveson photo Chris GrievesonChris Grieveson is a partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office and is…
Alex Hookway photo Alex HookwayAlex is a Senior Lawyer at Wikborg Rein’s London office and is…
Matt Illingworth photo Matt IllingworthMatt works extensively with ship owners and insurers on dry and wet…
Rob Jardine-Brown photo Rob Jardine-BrownRob Jardine-Brown is a partner based in the firm’s London office. His…
Shawn Kirby photo Shawn KirbyShawn Kirby is a Partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office with a…
Mary Lindsay photo Mary LindsayMary Lindsay is a Senior Lawyer at Wikborg Rein’s London office. Lindsay…
Eleanor Midwinter photo Eleanor MidwinterEleanor Midwinter is a Partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office. She works…
Jonathan Page photo Jonathan PageJonathan Page is a Partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office and is…
Nick Shepherd photo Nick ShepherdNick Shepherd is a Partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office. He specialises…
Baptiste Weijburg photo Baptiste WeijburgBaptiste Wreijburg is a Partner at Wikborg Rein’s London office and is…
Number of resident fee-earners : 34
English
French
Russian
and the Scandinavian languages