Firm profile submitted by BBA
Chairman: Baldvin Björn Haraldsson
Managing Director: Elísabet Ingunn Einarsdóttir
Number of partners: 6
Number of lawyers: 19
Languages: Icelandic, English, French, Danish, German, Norwegian
BBA has established itself on the Icelandic market as a leading provider of legal services in the fields of M&A, project and corporate financing, energy and general corporate and commercial law. The firm works mainly consists in advising the largest local banks and corporations as well as acting on a continuous basis for foreign financial institutions, governments and companies when dealing with Icelandic interests. The firm has, through the years, earned a reputation for providing on-time top quality legal advice in its areas of expertise.
Mergers & Acquisitions:
Mergers and acquisitions are a crucial element of the firm’s practice. The firm has been entrusted with a key role in the majority of the largest and most complex M&A deals in Iceland in recent years, acting both for buyers, sellers and financing parties. Clients value the firm’s innovative and solution driven approach, as well as the high degree of personal attention of its partners to each feature of a transaction. BBA is a leader in the field of M&A in Iceland, and confirmed as such by the most respectable and reputable ranking companies.
Financial Services Regulation:
BBA has a strong team of experts in this field providing or clients with in-depth advice and assistance on regulatory issues and internal organisation. BBA advises and assists financial companies in obtaining operating licenses, handles necessary communication with the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority, and assists companies with structuring and set-up of internal rules and standardised terms and conditions.
Banking & Finance:
BBA has a team of influential and versatile experts in the field of banking and finance. With published authors on the topic of loan agreements between banks and companies, as well as seasoned practitioners with solid corporate banking background, BBA provides first class services to any type of client in this field. Be it a case of acquisition-, structured-, project- or real estate financing, for private or public companies, financial institutions or investment funds.
The capital markets in Iceland have undergone radical changes since the 2008 financial crash where the vast majority of the listed companies went bust. The Icelandic Stock Exchange is a part of the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Stock Exchange. BBA has advised on large portion of the listings of Icelandic companies on the Nasdaq OMX Iceland since 2008. BBA advises on all aspects of stock exchange law, including in connection with issue and offering of securities, verification, tender offers, delisting of companies as well as general regulatory advisory services and make sure that all its teams work together, often in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
Corporate & Commercial Law:
BBA is constantly ranked as leading in Iceland in corporate and commercial law. The firm is legal adviser to many of the largest companies in Iceland on all things corporate. The firm has extensive experience in providing advice on commercial law issues, and it specialises in all legal areas relevant to the corporate sector.
BBA has a commercial and transaction-based approach to advising clients in this field. This often results in the non-involvement of the courts, with owners and the creditors obtaining the best possible financial solution. BBA has handled a wide range of issues within the area of restructuring and insolvency and to the extent necessary, the firm involves different experts in other areas of its expertise in its work in this field to maximise the possibility of clients getting the best possible solution.
BBA has in recent years been active in the field of energy law. The firm has advised Icelandic firms in geothermal ventures in countries around the world, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, Djibouti and Ethiopia. As a result, the firm has gained substantial experience in dealing with foreign governments and energy authorities in matters concerning licenses and concessions. BBA has advised Icelandic energy companies in Iceland in securing terrain for hydro and geothermal development as well as providing advice on Power Purchase Agreements and Project Agreements. BBA was instructed by the Icelandic government to compose and develop the necessary regulatory framework and licensing documentations for harnessing of hydrocarbons on the Icelandic continental shelf.
BBA’s presence and strength in the field of competition law on the Icelandic market has increased in recent years. The firm has acted for various Icelandic and foreign companies in their communications and disputes with the ICA, often associated with its work on M&A related projects. Mr. Olafur Johannes Einarsson has joined BBA from the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Mr. Einarsson was previously Director of Internal Market Affairs at the EFTA Surveillance Authority and served there for over a decade in various roles. He has a wide ranging experience in EEA law, competition law, state aid and public law. With Mr. Einarsson´s arrival BBA further strengthens the service to its clients in these fields.
Litigation & Arbitration:
BBA has strong experience in legal proceedings before the Icelandic courts, both District and Supreme Court, as well in ad hoc arbitration and institutional arbitration. The litigation team represented HM Treasury and the UK FSA before the District Court and the Supreme Court in the dispute concerning the priority of claims of the UK depositors in the Icesave-accounts and the implementation of the deposit guarantee scheme in Iceland, which came heavily into play following the economic collapse in Iceland in 2008. From a perspective of monetary value and amounts, it is the single biggest case tried before the Icelandic courts, ever.
BBA has acted for a myriad of creditors in safeguarding their interest against bankrupt estates. It has also acted for major foreign banking institutions in various claims recovery against the Icelandic banks
The Icelandic legislative and regulatory framework has become more and more integrated with EU law since to entering into force of the EEA-agreement in 1994. This gives rise to many different and complex challenges, as well as opportunities, for the Icelandic business sector. Meeting these challenges requires both an in depth understanding of and experience in practicing European law, as well as a firm grasp on the forces at work between the EU/EEA framework and the Icelandic legal system. Mr. Olafur Johannes Einarsson has in the fall of 2017 joined BBA from the EFTA Surveillance Authority. Mr. Einarsson was previously Director of Internal Market Affairs at the EFTA Surveillance Authority and served there for over a decade in various roles. He has a wideranging experience in EEA law, competition law, state aid and public law. With Mr. Einarsson´s arrival BBA further strengthens the service to its clients in these fields
Employment & Labour:
BBA advises its corporate clients on all employment law related matters, such as negotiating employment contracts, set-up of options and bonus schemes, implementation of remuneration policies and assisting companies with lay-offs. BBA has an extensive experience in handling complex negotiations and drafting of employment contracts with senior managers.
PFI & PPP:
BBA has been heavily involved in advice to Icelandic authorities on PFI/PPP matters. The firm has advised the Icelandic government and the City of Reykjavik since 2005 in all matters concerning the design, construction and operations of Harpa, the Concert and Conference Hall on the Reykavik harbour. It has furthermore been active in matters concerning public procurement, advising among others the Icelandic State Trading Centre, as well as the Icelandic Government and the City of Reykjavik concerning a public procurement of terrain etc.