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Recent developments, including new US sanctions restricting imports of aluminium, copper and nickel and wind-down of General License on Venezuela

In this sanctions alert we seek to summarise recent developments relating to Norwegian, EU, UK and US sanctions, including US and UK prohibitions on import of certain Russian-origin metals, wind-down of transactions related to oil and gas sector operations in Venezuela, EU's minimum rules for prosecution of and penalties for violating EU sanctions, and the implementation of the EU's 12th and 13th package of sanctions against Russia into the Norwegian Ukraine Regulation.


WR ESG Alert: Shell appeals landmark climate ruling while EU members agree on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

In this month's ESG alert, we describe Shell's appeal against a landmark climate ruling, the approval by EU members of a revised version of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive as well as recent EU climate initiatives and proposals to align Norwegian climate regulations with EU standards


Wikborg Rein again top ranked across all 20 practice areas in Legal 500

We are particularly excited to note that as many as 79 of our lawyers have been commended for their outstanding contributions within their respective fields.


Wikborg Rein only Norwegian law firm in the GAR 100 survey

Global Arbitration Review has unveiled its annual ranking of the world’s leading international arbitration practices.


EU Council and Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament approves amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive

On 15 March 2024, the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) of the Council of the European Union (the "Council") surprisingly approved an amended draft of the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (the "CS3D"). On 19 March, the amended draft of the CS3D was approved by the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament.


Download our Crisis Management app

Wikborg Rein’s Crisis Management Tool is now ready for download. The tool provides practical, immediate and step-by[1]step guidance in case of various types of crises arising as a result of unannounced inspections and controls by the police or other public authorities.


Wikborg Rein top ranked in Chambers Europe

We are delighted to announce that we have once again achieved top rankings in Chambers Europe in a total of 19 categories, which is more than any other Norwegian law firm.


Sanctions issued following the two-year anniversary of the invasion

In this sanctions alert, we include updates on recent developments following the two-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.


PRIIPs proposal and likely timing of entry into force in Norway

Long overdue, the PRIIPs Regulation is proposed implemented into Norwegian law. In this newsletter, we have set out the details on how and when PRIIPs is expected to be implemented in Norway.


Wikborg Rein assisting Summa Equity with investment in Stim AS

We have assisted Summa Equity AB with an acquisition of a controlling stake in Stim AS. The investment sees Summa Equity partnering with Stim AS' founder and owner, Jim Roger Nordly.


WR Asset Management: AIF Manager – License or Just Registration?

When do you need to be authorised to manage alternative investment funds? When is it sufficient to be just "registered"? What are the differences?


WR ESG Alert: The EU Council fails to endorse the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, leaving the future of the Directive hanging in the balance

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight the EU Council's failure to endorse the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and the European Parliament's efforts to combat gender-based violence, and provide an update on various environmental developments at the EU and Norwegian levels.


Norwegian Chapter in the Chambers Life Sciences & Pharma IP Litigation 2024

Lars Erik Steinkjer, Nora Bratheim and Guro S. Kyrkjebø Nybø have contributed to the Norwegian chapter in the Chambers and Partners Life Sciences & Pharma IP Litigation 2024 Global Practice Guide.


New tax lawyers in Oslo

We are very pleased to welcome Harald Hauge and Jarle Schelander to Wikborg Rein. They both started this week as a partner and Specialist Counsel, respectively, in our tax department.


Wikborg Rein top ranked in Chambers Global 2024

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that once again we have been top-ranked in the annual Chambers Global ranking, strengthening our position as Norway's most international law firm.


Enforcing an award ­contrary to sanctions, an issue of ’public policy’?

The past few years have illustrated with a vast intensity the relevance of international sanctions for an ever expanding number of businesses and sectors. This backdrop has also led to a significant increase in sanctions related disputes, which in turn has led to discussions regarding enforcement of arbitral awards that contravene applicable sanctions.


Expansion of the UK’s corporate criminal liability regime

The UK Economic Crime and Corporate Transparency Act 2023 (“the ECCTA”) was formally approved on 26 October 2023. Among the most significant reforms introduced by the ECCTA are the establishment of ‘failure to prevent fraud’ as a new UK corporate criminal offence, and a reform of the UK identification doctrine expanding the extent of corporate criminal liability for economic crimes. In this article, we highlight the details of these two key aspects of the Act, and explain how they will affect Norwegian companies with operations or subsidiaries in the UK.


The Crackdown on Price Cap Evasion and the BIMCO Russian Oil Price Cap Scheme Clause for Charter Parties

The BIMCO Russian Oil Price Cap Scheme Clause was long-­anticipated when it was published on 2 June 2023. There has since been growing concern that the original Price Cap Measures were easy to circumvent, and in this article we examine the impact of the latest measures to combat such evasion.


Managing cyber risk

All companies face the risk of cyber-attacks. In general, the question is when and not if an attack will strike. Companies should therefore strengthen their cyber resilience and implement robust measures to be prepared to handle all aspects of an attack if/when it occurs.


Are all state-owned ­Russian ­companies controlled by ­President Putin?

This was a question many asked after a recent judgment from the English Court of Appeal. Sanctions target those designated as well as those owned or controlled by designated persons. Understanding the precise scope of what constitutes ‘control’ under UK sanctions can be challenging. In this article we shed some light on this analysis, based on recent case law.


Towards safe, ­reliable and human-centred AI

The EU’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Act marks a global first, introducing rules for the use and provision of AI systems. At the heart is a commitment to fostering trust in AI to unlock and maximise the vast social and ­economic possibilities offered by these technologies.


EU takes steps to ­empower consumers for the green transition

Shielding consumers from greenwashing and misleading environmental claims constitutes an important aspect of the European Union’s strategy to cultivate a more environmentally sustainable economy. A European Commission study in 2020 revealed that more than 50% of environmental claims within the EU were unclear or misleading, with 40% lacking substantiation.


China expands legislation for private sector corruption

China has amended its criminal law for the 12th time with effect from 1 March 2024 by increasing penalties and adding employees of private companies to some bribery and corruption offences that currently only apply to employees of state-owned enterprises.


Invites to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Day 2024

On February 15th, we open the doors for the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Day 2024 in Oslo- with speakers including American sanction authorities (OFAC), American export control authorities (BIS), and the EU Commission.


WR ESG Alert: Key decisions by Norwegian and French courts relating to the environment and crimes against humanity

In this month's ESG alert, we describe the recent decision by France's highest court which paves the way for charges to be brought against Lafarge for complicity in crimes against humanity and a decision by Oslo District Court which invalidates three Norwegian oil and gas field permits on environmental grounds.


WR Asset Management: Choice of fund structure – Norwegian limited company, limited partnership or foreign fund vehicle?

What type of fund structure should a Norwegian fund manager choose when establishing a new alternative investment fund? This depends, among other factors, on what the fund will invest in, the target investors, the required flexibility for capital contributions and distributions from the fund, the need for confidentiality, etc.


Working conditions at Turkish yards and the Norwegian Transparency Act

Norwegian media has recently published a number of stories on the alleged poor working conditions at Turkish shipyards. Norwegian shipowners contracting with foreign yards must be prepared to provide information on their efforts to ensure decent working conditions pursuant to the Norwegian Transparency Act.


EU ETS: New clarifications on the allocation of shipping companies to the administering authorities

On 31 January 2024 the EU Commission published their anticipated list showing which shipping companies shall be associated with the different administering authorities of the member states under the EU ETS.


EU recent developments

The EU Council established a new sanctions framework targeting Guatemala. A new framework is also established by the EU for imposing restrictive measures against those who support, facilitate or enable violent actions by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.


Challenge of Arbitral Awards in Norway – Where do we stand now?

Our partner Kaare Andreas Shetelig has together with Atle Skaldebø-Rød published an article about challenge of arbitral awards.


Key FSRU assets transferred by Dynagas to Energos Infrastructure

In a significant move within the LNG maritime sector, Wikborg Rein expertly guides Greek shipowner client Dynagas through its sale to Energos Infrastructure of two state-of-the-art Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRUs), Transgas Force and Transgas Power.


WR ESG Alert: EU agreement on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive and updates to and expansion of a range of environmental obligations

In this month's ESG alert, we highlight that political agreement has been reached at EU level with respect to the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive, the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation as well as new rules to strengthen the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. We also describe an expanded scope for sustainability disclosure obligations following a report by the European Supervisory Authorities and revisions to the Norwegian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Act.


EU agreement on corporate due diligence rules to safeguard human rights and environment

On 14 December 2023, the European Parliament and the European Council informally agreed on a new directive on corporate sustainability due diligence (the "CS3D" or the "directive") obliging firms to integrate their human rights and environmental impact into their management systems. The directive has been called a historic breakthrough in the way companies are now responsible for potential abuse in their value chain. Subsequent to the negotiations, the Lead MEP said that this was a starting point for shaping the economy of the future.


Your honour! (Ærede rett!) in new edition – ready for Christmas

In 2023, Kaare Andreas Shetelig and Ola Nisja, together with civil procedure expert Christian Reusch, have revised their book Ærede rett! Kræsjkurs i sakførsel (Your honour! Crash course in litigation).


EU adopts 12th package of sanctions against Russia

The long-awaited 12th package of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine was announced yesterday afternoon on the 18th of December. As expected, the package includes restrictions on additional goods of Russian origin, including diamonds, measures to strengthen the price cap on Russian oil and a significant amount of new designated individuals and entities.


Gender Quota Regulation for the board of directors of Norwegian private limited liability companies

New and extended gender quota regulations to the board of directors of Norwegian private limited liability companies are adopted. Until now, gender quota regulations have applied only for listed public limited liability companies and state owned companies. The newly adopted regulation, which shall also apply to inter alia certain partnerships, co-operatives and foundations, significantly broadens the scope of gender quota mandates.


Update following the 9 December 2023 agreement on the AI Act

On Friday 8 December, after 36 hours of trialogue negotiations, the European institutions finally reached agreement on the AI Act. A joint press conference was held on 9 December where the two lead MEPs, the Secretary of State for digitalisation and artificial intelligence, and the EU Commissioner in charge presented the key elements of the agreement.


Limitation of liability in light of the MSC Flaminia (No. 2) appeal decision.

The Court of Appeal in London has given further guidance on charterers’ ability to limit liability following the High Court decision in the MSC Flaminia (No. 2) reported in our December 2022 edition, giving some important clarification to the types of limitation claims charterers can make.


FuelEU Maritime Pooling – A new commercial opportunity for shipping companies?

The FuelEU Maritime Regulation introduces a voluntary pooling mechanism. If shipping companies choose to use the pooling mechanism, they may effectively use the over-performance of one ship to compensate for the under-performance of another ship. This could present new commercial opportunities for shipping companies.


The Hong Kong Convention finally set to enter into force – a gamechanger?

With the recent accessions by Liberia and Bangladesh, the Hong Kong Convention on ship recycling, which was adopted in 2009, will finally enter into force on 26 June 2025. On 30 November 2023 there was a further breakthrough by Pakistan’s accession, which means that all major recycling states have now committed to the Convention. What will be the practical implications? How will the Convention mesh with the existing regulations?


Suppose you went to ­arbitration and the ­opponent did not come?

In arbitration, you have to prove your case even if the opponent does not show up. The no-show creates some pitfalls to avoid.


Protection of private parties’ interests in investigations by the Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority

The Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority is tasked with conducting safety investigations into maritime accidents if they either involve Norwegian flagged ships, take place in Norwegian waters or involve significant Norwegian interests. Its reports may be important evidence in civil and criminal proceedings arising out of the casualty. The ability of private parties to protect their interests in respect of civil claims and criminal liability may therefore depend on the extent to which their interests are protected in connection with the investigation.


BIMCO Ship Sales Further Trading Clause 2023 – protecting the seller against unlawful recycling

On 11 October 2023 BIMCO adopted the Ship Sales Further Trading Clause 2023, which is designed to be included in memoranda of agreement for the sale and purchase of vessels, such as BIMCO’s Saleform and Shipsale standard form contracts. The clause is intended to provide protection for the seller against the buyer’s subsequent disposal of the vessel in contravention of any regulations related to ship recycling. It seeks to achieve this by imposing an obligation on the buyer to continue to trade the vessel within an agreed post-sale period. The clause is particularly relevant for the sale of older tonnage.


Safeguarding Your Trademark: Protecting Your Brand in China

Trademark registration plays a vital role in securing trademark protection in China. Over 7 million trademark applications were submitted for registration in China in 2022 according to an official report from China's Trademark Office ("CTMO"). As of the end of 2022, the total number of registered trademarks in China exceeded 42 million.