We are pleased to announce the launch of our monthly ESG alert service, where we will provide updates on topics of relevance under the ESG umbrella, including but not limited to:
With 17 new lawyers joining our London Office, we are expanding our English law capability for international dispute resolution and financing projects.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way we perform tasks, from diagnosing patients to driving cars or answering exam questions. The increasing use of AI holds immense potential and can simplify and improve basic everyday tasks or those more important or critical. However, AI can also have unintended consequences.
We are thrilled to announce that Wikborg Rein has once again been awarded Tier 1 status by the prestigious IFLR 1000 in all categories.
A permanent route for provision of investment services by third-country firms has been introduced.
In most instances, only transactions with an EU dimension - that is transactions where the parties involved exceed certain turnover thresholds - qualify for review by the European Commission ("the Commission") under the EU Merger Regulation ("the EUMR"). However one mechanism, found in Article 22 EUMR, allows one or more Member States to request the Commission to examine, on behalf of those Member States, any concentration that does not have an EU dimension but affects trade between Member States and threatens to significantly affect competition within the territory of the Member State(s) making the request.
The Foreign Subsidies Regulation ("FSR") (Regulation (EU) 2022/2560 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 December 2022 on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market) aims to expand EU/EEA state aid control to financial contributions from third countries, in order to prevent "foreign subsidies" from distorting the internal market.
Important changes to the procurement regulations – tightening requirements to consider climate and environmental concerns
The changes in the procurement regulations, rooted in the Hurdal Platform's ambitions for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly business sector, will have significant implications for both suppliers and contracting authorities. The clear message is that sustainability and innovation will become even more central competitive factors, while the burden on contracting authorities to ensure climate-friendly solutions in the design and implementation of their procurements will increase.
Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of developments in the Norwegian, EU, UK and US sanctions regimes relating to Russia. In this article, we summarise the following recent developments:
We are proud to announce that we alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP have assisted General Atlantic, the largest shareholder in Kahoot! ASA, in connection with the launch of a recommended, voluntary offer to acquire all shares in Kahoot! ASA.
Amendments to the Public Procurement Act - strengthened measures against labour market crime and social dumping
Recent amendments to the Public Procurement Act, which came into effect 16 June 2023, represent an important first step in the government's efforts to establish a "Norwegian model" for public procurement. These changes provide expanded regulatory powers to promote labour and social conditions, as well as combat labour market crime.
On 10 July 2023, the European Commission adopted its adequacy decision for the United States.
We are proud to announce that we have assisted The Kingfish Company with a EUR 32 million unsecured convertible loan.
On 1 July, the requirements for citizenship for board members and the CEO set forth in the Norwegian company legislation were removed. Now, only a residency (domicile) requirement applies. The requirement is that the CEO and at least half of the board members must reside in an EEA country, in the UK/Northern Ireland or in Switzerland.
Earlier today, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (the "MFA") published an updated guidance on asset freeze measures. The guidance was originally published in 2018, and today's update adds additional guidance and reflects recent developments in legislation.
EU adopts 11th package of sanctions against Russia. Developments in UK sanctions against Russia and Belarus
The long-awaited 11th package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine was announced earlier today, after EU ambassadors reached a consensus earlier this week. As expected, the package seeks to strengthen existing sanctions and crack down on circumvention.
The long-anticipated BIMCO Price Cap Clause was published on 2 June 2023, in response to the price caps on Russian origin crude-oil and petroleum products introduced by G7, EU and others. In this article we take a practical first look at the clause in context.
We have assisted Dwellop AS with its contemplated business combination with Phuel Oil Tools Limited. Dwellop is Norwegian-based supplier of well intervention solutions within the oil & gas sector and is listed on the NOTC. Phuel Oil Tools also provides solutions within the same sector, with its main base in Scotland and operations in Scotland, Norway, USA and Saudi Arabia.
Wikborg Rein receives strong feedback in Prospera's annual survey, where key purchasers of legal services rank the country's leading law firms.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine continues to cause uncertainty in the marine insurance market, in particular as a result of a potentially large number of total loss claims from owners of vessels that have been trapped beyond 24 February 2023, which marks the one-year anniversary of the full-scale invasion.
Following a long legal battle before the Norwegian courts, the Court of Appeal has dismissed a claim by the owners of the vessel “Champion Express” for a constructive total loss (“CTL”) under the Nordic Plan. Wikborg Rein acted for the insurers in what has been the first Norwegian judgment on CTL since the now 31 year old ND-1992-172 Berglift judgment.
In the first arbitration award known to have been rendered under the new procedural rules of the Nordic Offshore and Maritime Arbitration Association (NOMA), the tribunal clarified that the insurers’ right under Norwegian insurance law to deposit insurance payments with liberating effect, also applies to co-insurance pursuant to the Nordic Marine Insurance Plan (Nordic Plan).
The Nordic Marine Insurance Plan of 2013, now in its 2023 version, is the preferred choice of insurance conditions for vessels and mobile offshore units in the Nordic market for all standard non-P&I insurances. The Nordic Plan is also gaining popularity with insurers and owners outside the Nordic countries. Previously those insurers and owners would often turn to the Institute Time Clauses Hulls of 1983 (ITCH) developed by the London market. This article considers some of the key differences between the two sets of conditions.
The world relies heavily on China for its supply chains and access to strategic resources. Whilst the geopolitical risk may be increasing, a complete decoupling is still undesirable for most companies. Faced with mounting pressure to diversify out of China, many foreign companies are therefore exploring alternative de-risking strategies to help with effective supply chain diversification and key-asset distribution.
In a summary judgment relating to a dispute arising out of the charterers’ failure to make hire payments under bareboat charterparties, the Commercial Court provides guidance on the impact of sanctions on the parties’ obligations to make payment.
After several years of negotiations, an intergovernmental conference at the UN has reached an agreement on a draft treaty aimed at conserving marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. The treaty has a potential to significantly impact international shipping.
To meet the demand for the transportation and handling of live fish, fish farmers can either charter well-boats or enter into general contracts for carriage of goods. The type of contract used will determine the shipowners’ possibility to limit liability for loss or damage to live fish during transportation.
The European carbon market has grown substantially since its start in 2005. With the extension of the EU ETS to include the shipping sector, and an annual reduction of more than 4% of the overall number of emission allowances in the market, the price is expected to rise. This means an increased need and interest amongst stakeholders to understand how trading with emission allowances is regulated.
On 29 March 2023, the Norwegian Government announced the opening of Norway’s first offshore wind tenders in the areas Sørlige Nordsjø II and Utsira Nord.
Offshore wind power is a promising renewable energy source that can help the world achieve its carbon neutrality goals and China is one of the world’s largest offshore wind markets. However, the Chinese offshore wind sector is changing, especially after the government subsidies for offshore wind projects were phased out at the end of 2021.
In addition to complying with private contracts with fish farmers and general shipping regulations, well boat operators have to comply with certain aquacultural rules. For anyone operating in the well-boat market, basic knowledge of this regulatory framework is crucial.
We are proud to announce that we have assisted Gersemi Asset Management AS with obtaining its licence as an investment firm. Gersemi Asset Management is founded and led by Joakim Hannisdahl. Hannisdahl has been ranked the number one shipping equity analyst globally by Bloomberg for several consecutive years.
For ten years in a row, law students have ranked Wikborg Rein as the preferred law firm to work for, making it the most attractive employer in the industry.
Russia sanctions: further US and UK designations, expansion of US authorities, UK announces ban on Russian-origin diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel
On 19 May 2023, coinciding with the first day of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, both the US and the UK announced several new sanctions designations. In addition, the US has expanded sanctions authorities targeting certain sectors of the Russian economy and banned export of architecture and engineering services to Russia, and the UK has announced coming bans on Russian diamonds, copper, aluminium and nickel.
In recent weeks, the EU has established a new sanctions framework in response to the situation in Moldova, and the US has expanded the scope of its Sudan sanctions regime.
We are proud to announce that we have assisted Viking Venture AS and Viking Venture 30 AS in connection with an investment in Onix AS, a SaaS company based in Stavanger. Onix' business model is to develop and sell software solutions for equipment owners, inspectors and suppliers.
On June 1, 2023, certain amendments are being made to the Market Abuse Regulation ("MAR") as implemented in Norway. The amendments are caused by the enactment of the EU SME Growth Market Regulation (2019/2115).
In recent weeks, the UK has expanded on its existing trade restrictions on Russia, added further designations to the consolidated sanctions list, published and updated various sanctions related guidance documents, imposed trust services bans in respect of all persons already subject to asset freeze measures and published its Economic Crime Plan for 2023-2026.
We have assisted Norse Atlantic ASA ("Norse") with a successful "repair offering" of shares and subsequent uplisting of the company's shares the Oslo Børs market Euronext Expand.
The Singapore Court of Appeal (the "SGCA") recently established in Anupam Mittal v Westbridge Ventures II Investment Holdings  SGCA 1 that the law of the arbitration agreement will, in first instance, govern the arbitrability of a dispute. The judgment also confirms that in the absence of an express choice of law governing the arbitration agreement, the governing law of the main contract shall apply – the SGCA applied a three-stage test in reaching its decision, providing guidance as to when Singapore courts should find the governing law of the main contract will apply.
The High Court of Hong Kong has ruled that a party seeking a stay of proceedings in favour of arbitration must demonstrate at least a prima facie case that an arbitration agreement exists. This was in the case of Haller v Vestey International and CMC (overturned on other grounds on appeal), where the Plaintiff had argued that the tripartite agreement was a forgery. If a party cannot demonstrate this, the court may refuse to grant a stay and resolve the issue itself.
The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) has been reformed to include maritime emissions as from 1 January 2024.
Artificial intelligence, such as ChatGPT and GPT-4, is challenging the established state of the law. There are currently multiple ongoing law suits which should interest intellectual property lawyers.
This week, during One Ocean Week, the main focus has been on sustainable use of the ocean and many people have travelled to Bergen to attend important conferences.