Jonsson & Hall > Reykjavik, Iceland > Firm Profile

Jonsson & Hall

Firm overview: Jonsson & Hall is a leading law firm in Iceland. The firm was established in 1975 by Gestur Jonsson, directly upon his graduation from law school. The Firm is now owned by Gunnar Jónsson (since 1992), Hörður Felix Harðarson (since 2001), Einar Þór Sverrisson (since 2005), Gísli Guðni Hall (since 2006), Geir Gestsson (since 2008), Almar Þór Möller (since 2016) and Hilmar Gunnarsson (since 2016). Gestur Jónsson and Ragnar Hall are ex-partners and current of-counsel attorneys at the Firm. There are five associates at the firm. All the firm’s attorneys are qualified litigators.
Jonsson & Hall’s clientele ranges from individuals to Fortune 500 companies, from unions to government entities and everything in between. The firm provides clients with a comprehensive range of services on a wide spectrum of financial, corporate, administrative and commercial issues. Among the firm’s attorneys are two former presidents of the Icelandic Bar Association, former board members of the Bar Association, the current chairman of the Legislation Committee of the Bar Association and the current chairman of the Board of Ethics for the Bar Association. Partners of the firm have also been extensively involved in academics with the the Law School of the University of Iceland.

Main areas of practice
Corporate and commercial: The firm offers a full range of services in relation to corporate and commercial law, including mergers and acquisitions, incorporation of companies and joint ventures, winding up and restructuring, corporate documentation, shareholders’ agreements, corporate governance and due diligence. Gunnar Jonsson counsels various international clients in mergers and acquisitions and provides legal due diligence services. Einar Thor Sverrisson counsels major media companies, companies in the travel and tourism sector and many of the largest fishing companies in Iceland. Hörður Felix Harðarson was previously the senior legal counsel for Glitnir Bank and specializes in banking and finance law.

Competition and antitrust: Hörður Felix Hardarson is an external examiner and adjunct at the Law School of the University of Iceland in competition law. He has acted as counsel in many of the leading competition law cases in Icelandic history, relating to oil markets, aviation markets, sea transport markets, postal markets, convenience store markets, waste management markets, media markets, credit card markets, financial services markets etc. Among his clients are also various undertakings that are obligated as a matter of competition law to follow rules on state aid and pricing to customers. Hörður has litigated competition law cases before both Icelandic and international courts. He is equally capable of providing services in English and Icelandic. Geir Gestsson recently acted as lead defence counsel in the first Icelandic criminal case for unlawful price collusion, before Icelandic courts and the European Court of Human Rights.

Insolvency and restructuring: Jonsson & Hall’s insolvency and restructuring team has been a major focus of the practice throughout the years. In particular, Ragnar Hall, is by many considered Iceland’s foremost bankruptcy law attorney. Gestur Jonsson and Ragnar Hall were liquidators of one of the largest bankruptcy estates in Icelandic legal history, the shipping company Hafskip. In 2009 Ragnar Hall and Hörður Felix Harðarson were appointed to the Winding-up Board of the credit undertaking Straumur Burdaras Investment Bank (later ALMC) and successfully managed the company’s composition process in 2010. This involved the creation of Straumur IB, which subsequently merged with Kvika Investment bank. The composition was the first of its kind in Iceland following the financial collapse in Iceland in 2008. The estates of the other fallen Icelandic banks followed a similar path years later. Gisli Hall was also heavily involved in the composition process and litigated a number of high profile cases on behalf of ALMC. Geir Gestsson was appointed liquidator of the silicon metal factory United Silicon in 2018. He was also engaged by creditors of the bankruptcy estates of Glitnir, Kaupthing and Landsbanki in several high profile bankruptcy dispute litigations between 2012 and 2017. Hilmar Gunnarsson has also acted as liquidator for dozens of bankruptcy estates in his career.

Energy, natural resources and environmental: Gunnar Jónsson specializes in Company Law with emphasis on energy law and has throughout his career represented major international companies. He has been the attorney for Alcoa/Fjarðaál from establishment and was involved in the negotiations for the company’s power contract and has also been involved in such contracts with other clients in power intensive industries. He has decades of experience in the field of energy law, as a legal advisor and litigator. Gunnar resided in the United States for five years and completed an LL.M while there and is equally capable of providing services in English and Icelandic. He has litigated cases in both languages.

Litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution: Jonsson & Hall have one of the most experienced litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution teams in Iceland. All of the firm’s attorneys are qualified litigators. The firm’s attorneys have litigated cases both before Icelandic and international courts, including courts of arbitration, the EFTA Court and the European Court of Human Rights. Jonsson & Hall were involved in nearly all the major criminal litigations after the Icelandic economic collapse in 2008 and were retained by many of the largest creditors of the bankruptcy estates of the fallen Icelandic banks. In October 2019, Geir Gestsson became the first Icelandic attorney to orally plead a case before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. From 2012, Geir Gestsson has devoted a large part of his practice to litigation for foreign clients and has pleaded cases in both English and Icelandic before courts.

Tax law: Almar Möller has extensive experience in handling tax law dispute cases, both on an administrative level and before courts. Jón Örn Árnason is his associate and is a former lawyer at the State Appeal Board for Taxation. They provide advice on tax matters, incl. VAT, employment tax, corporate tax, real estate tax, capital gains tax, tax evasion, tax planning, tax treaties, double taxation and international transfer pricing. They provide services to Icelandic and international clients alike.

Insurance and Tort law: Gestur Jónsson co-authored the Icelandic Tort Act, no. 50/1993 and has extensive litigation experience in the field of Tort Law. Gestur Jónsson and Geir Gestsson both have extensive experience in providing insurers and re-insurers with advice on cover under the the terms of insurance policies, for tortuous acts.

Employment and labour: Jonsson & Hall is a pre-eminent labour and employment law firm in Iceland. It has been the law firm of choice for various unions and public undertakings for decades. The firm also provides services the corporate side on various matters relating to employment and labour law, eg on the drafting of employment contracts, advice on salary schemes etc. Gestur Jónsson, Gísli Hall, Ragnar Hall and Hilmar Gunnarsson head the firm’s practice in the field.

Company and Commercial Gunnar Jó 414 4100
Competition and Antitrust Hörður Felix Harð 414 4100
Insolvency and Restructuring Gísli Guðni 414 4100
Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Gunnar Jó 414 4100
Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Geir 414 4100
Tax Law Almar Mö 414 4100
Insurance and Tort Law Gestur Jó 414 4100
Labour and Employment Gísli Guðni 414 4100
Number of lawyers : 14
the Scandinavian languages
SCG Legal