Gaute Gjelsten


About Gaute Gjelsten

Gaute Gjelsten is a Partner at Wikborg Rein's Oslo office and Global Head of the firm's Shipping Offshore practice. Gjelsten specialises in international shipping and offshore law, including maritime, energy, insurance and conflict of laws. He has extensive litigation experience before Norwegian courts and in arbitration proceedings. Gjelsten is an examiner and lecturer for the Nordic Institute of Maritime Law and the Institute of Private Law in Oslo, Norway. He has worked at Wikborg Rein's office in London and later managed the firm's office in Kobe, Japan for three years, whilst also acting as Norwegian Consul General for Kobe/Osaka. Gjelsten is recommended by Legal 500 in Dispute Resolution and Maritime Law (including insurance); and Chambers and Partners as "Leaders in their field" in the category: Shipping, Litigation.

Work experience
  • 2005

    Partner, Wikborg Rein, Oslo

  • 2003 - 2004

    Senior Associate, Wikborg Rein, Oslo

  • 2000 - 2002

    Norwegian Consul-General, Kobe/Osaka, Japan

  • 2000 - 2002

    Japan Representative, Wikborg Rein, Kobe, Japan

  • 1998 - 1999

    Associate, Wikborg Rein, Oslo

  • 1995 - 1997

    Lecturer on sale of goods law, contract law and administrative law, University of Oslo, University of Oslo

  • 1994 - 1995

    Assistant Lecturer, Institute of Civil Law, University of Oslo

  • 2000

    Practising certificate

  • 1997

    Cand.jur., University of Oslo

  • The Norwegian Maritime Law Association, Member of the Board

Selected projects
  • Litigation, arbitration and dispute resolution, emergency responses and claims handling; in particular in relation to shipping and offshore matters, insurance law, public and private international law and conflicts of law, including i.a.

  • "Server" – bulk carrier grounding off Bergen, Norway; oil pollution and wreck removal. Litigation regarding oil clean-up operation, wreck removal, public procurement, VAT claims etc.

  • "Njord Bravo" – shuttle tanker c/w FSO in North Sea: litigation on i.a. collision liability, knock-for-knock, limitation of liability

  • Supreme Court case (Rt. 2012 s. 1486) on the enforcement of an Italian "decreto inguintino" under the Lugano Convention, hereunder successfully distinguished C-474/93 Hengst, and repelled enforcement

  • Appeal Court case (LB-2011-118983) on conflicts of laws in guarantee matters; i.a. issues related to choice of law, characterisation, rules on the applicability of the most closely connected law (further appeal was repelled by the Supreme Court).

  • "Normand Carrier" – Platform supply vessel c/w tuna purse-seine vessel: litigation on collision liability, damages, loss earnings fisheries

  • "Fjord Champion" – oil tanker grounding off Søgne, Norway; fire and salvage. Litigation regarding authorities right to claim compensation.

  • "Nordlys" – fire on coastal steamer with following flooding at Ålesund, Norway; salvage and claims handling towards authorities.

  • "Crete Cement" – cement carrier grounded in the Oslo fjord, Norway; oil pollution and wreck removal

  • "Bourbon Dolphin" – anchor handling tug supply vessel capsizing off Shetland; sinking, total loss and casualties

  • "Rocknes" – laden bulk carrier grounding and capsizing off Bergen, Norway; oil pollution, sinking, re-floating and casualties. Litigation regarding limitation of liability. Litigation regarding governments liability for mistakes made by Norwegian Coastal Administration, the Norwegian Chart Authorities

  • "Hual Europe" – laden car carrier grounding off Tokyo Bay, Japan; fire, oil pollution, wreck removal and cargo claims

  • "Amorgos" – bulk carrier grounding off Taiwan; sinking and oil pollution. Litigation regarding claim for alleged environmental damage to coral reef, tourist and fishery claims.

  • "Case notes for shipowners", World Shipping, Summer 2013

  • "Chartering the cause of grounding", article published in the Wire, March 2010

  • "Classification Society Liability", article published in the Intermediary, September 2006

  • "Court overturns ruling in tanker collision case", Tanker Shipping & Trade, December/January 2013/2014

  • "Gauging risk is key to domino dodging", Fairplay, 3 July 2014

  • "Getting the deal through" for Ship Finance 2014. Co-author with Henrik Hagberg and Solveig Frostad De Sousa

  • "Insurance of mobile offshore units under the Nordic Marine Insurance Plan 2013", Insuranceday, 10 July 2013

  • "Jurisdiction, actions in tort and contract", Norway's contribution to Extraterritorial survey, Norway",, September 2014

  • "Knock-for-knock carve-outs on the increase", Tanker Operator, May 2014

  • "Legal eagles offer 20/20 foresight", article published in Fairplay, January 2011

  • "Limitation of liability for pollution damage for offshore vessels and units in the North Sea (Norwegian Section)", Standard Bulletin, Offshore Special Edition, October 2010

  • "Maritime Law Handbook, Norway", Published by: Kluwer Law International, May 2014. Co-author with Henrik Hagberg, Oddbjørn Slinning and Torgeir Willumsen

  • "More scrutiny when Norwegian crews are involved", published in Tanker Shipping & Trade, October/November 2012

  • "New conventions increase direct action threat to P&I clubs", Insuranceday, 3 October 2014

  • "Norway adopts casualty investigation changes and ponders ratifying wreck removal convention", article published in Tanker Shipping & Trade, Norway feature, September 2012

  • "Norway ratifies the HNS Convention", Maritime Risk International, Mars 2005

  • "Norwegian Insurance Plan vies with Institute clauses for builders risks …", published in Insurance Day, October 2012

  • "Norwegian owners welcome court ruling on tonnage tax", Lloyd’s List, February 2010

  • "Owners: know your options if yard runs into cash problems", published in Lloyd's List, October 2008

  • "Rocknes – will the state be held ultimately liable", published in Lloyd's List, June 2007

  • "The arbitration exemption in the Lugano Convention – what rules govern which issues?" in Borgar H. Berg and Ola Ø. Nisja (red.), "Avtalt prosess - Voldgift i praksis ("Agreed Process - Arbitration in practice"), Universitetsforlaget 2015

  • "Understanding Fraud" – How Norwegian and English law differ in their handling of fraudulent marine insurance claims, published in Maritime Risk International, June 2006

  • Books:

  • Global Litigation Survey 2015: Norway's contribution to Allen & Overy Global Litigation Survey 2015

  • International jurisdiction clauses and formal requirements under the Lugano Convention and the Norwegian Civil Procedure Act, 1997

  • Norway ready to update country-old safety act, published in Lloyd's List, January 2008

  • Norway's contribution of Le Droit Maritime Marocain et comparé, 2014.

  • Norway's contribution to Limitation of Liabilities for Maritime Claims, Fourth Edition, 2005. Co-author with Haakon Stang Lund

  • Norway's National Summary in William Tetley's Marine Cargo Claims, Fourth Edition, 2008

  • Selected articles:

  • YAR 1994 v 2004, the Maritime Advocate, 2004