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Landslög Law Offices

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Contact: Mr. Vidar Ludviksson, LL.M. (Stanford Law School), Supreme Court Attorney, Partner ([email protected])
Number of partners: 13
Number of lawyers: 20
Languages:Danish, English, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish

Firm Overview:

The origins of Landslög – Law Offices can be traced back to 1971. Landslög – Law Offices has an extremely strong presence in Iceland and is among the largest and most respected firms in Iceland. The firm’s ambition is to provide cutting edge legal services in a boutique fashion while working personally and closely with the clients, placing emphasis on providing its clientele with high level ‘one-stop’ legal services.

Main Areas of Practice:
Banking & Finance
Capital Markets
Mergers & Acquisitions
Data Protection
IT Law – Data Protection
Competition/Antitrust & State Aid
Dispute Resolution - Litigation - Arbitration
Restructuring & Insolvency
Real Estate
Zoning & Planning

Banking, Finance & Capital Markets:
Landslög currently does work for all the major banks in Iceland on various assignments:
■ Landslög continues to advise Kaupthing bank hf. on issues relating to the bank’s winding-up, regarding bankruptcy law, derivatives, set-off and other issues
■ Landslög have continued to advise the Financial Supervisory Authority on various issues
■ Johannes Karl Sveinsson, partner at Landslög, was outside counsel to Islandsbanki on a regular basis on regulatory measures and litigation strategies
■ Vidar Ludviksson is currently managing the issuance of a prospectus and legal issues in relation to Hagar hf.‘s (which is listed on the Icelandic Nasdaq stock exchange and which is Iceland’s largest retailer) bond issue in the amount of 5.5 bn ISK, with an authorization to increase the bond issue up to 15 bn ISK (110m GBP)
Key Clients: Islandsbanki, Kaupthing Bank and the Financial Supervisory Authority.

Commercial, Corporate & M&A:
■ Vidar Ludviksson, partner at Landslög, was SMI ehf.‘s sole legal advisor in the summer of 2016 when SMI ehf. purchased and later sold the Korputorg Shopping Center, which were the largest single real-estate deals in Iceland in 2016
■ In 2017 Vidar Ludviksson advised Vodafone Iceland (i.e. Fjarskipti hf., which is listed on the Icelandic Nasdaq stock exchange) on the purchase of telecom, Internet, TV and radio broadcasting operations from 365 midlar hf. This is the largest telecom and broadcasting asset purchase transaction ever in Iceland, with a value of around 69 million Euros
■ In April 2017 Vidar Ludviksson, partner at Landslög, advised Hagar hf. (Iceland’s largest retailer, listed on the Icelandic Nasdaq) on the purchase of all shares in the oil company Oliuverzlun Islands hf. The value of the deal is around 133 million Euros
■ In 2017 Jona Bjork Helgadottir advised Hagar hf. on the purchase of Lyfja hf., one of Iceland’s largest retailers in pharmaceuticals and beauty care products
■ In February 2017 Hordur Helgason advised the Central Bank of Iceland on a deal which furnished Iceland with a new payment settlement system (RTGS system)
■ Vidar Ludviksson, partner at Landslög, was the sole legal advisor to FAST-1 slhf. when the company signed a purchase agreement in May 2018 for its sale to Reginn hf. (a listed company) of real-estate subsidiaries, which owned a significant number of real-estate in Iceland, among them one of the largest office buildings in Iceland. Landslög also handled the vendor’s due diligence review. The transaction was finalised in September 2018. The enterprise value of the transaction is EUR 185,000,000, which is the largest single real-estate transaction in Iceland in 2018
Key Clients: Hagar hf. (the largest retailer in Iceland, for example in groceries, household items and clothing), IPC (Iceland Prime Contractors), SMI ehf., Vodafone, Norvik Group, Lyfja hf., various ministries in Iceland, The National Power Company in Iceland (Landsvirkjun), Bauhaus, HB Grandi and various municipalities in Iceland, including the capital Reykjavik.

Dispute Resolution:
■ Landslög were hired by HS Orka power company to handle arbitration proceedings before the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. The case was ranked among the largest and most complex ever litigated in Iceland.
Contact: Vidar Ludviksson ([email protected])
■ UK based insurers hired Vidar Ludviksson to handle claims against them under D&O policies purchased by Landsbanki Íslands hf. The ongoing cases are landmark cases with regard to D&O insurance practice in Iceland and are among the largest and most complex in Icelandic civil procedure
■ Grimur Sigurdsson represents Kaupthing’s Winding-Up Committee in more than 30 rescission cases against numerous international financial corporations
■ Johannes Karl Sveinsson was legal counsel in 14 cases decided by the Supreme Court of Iceland in addition to several representations for the Icelandic Government in the EFTA Court (advisory opinions and direct action cases) during the same period
■ On behalf of Kaupthing’s Winding-up Committee, Grimur Sigurdsson litigated a rescission case against the Swiss bank UBS, pertaining to a bond buy-back scheme initiated by Kaupthing prior to the 2008 crisis Insurance:
■ Vidar Ludviksson represents UK based insurers under D&O policies purchased by Landsbanki Islands hf. These landmark cases are among the largest and most complex in Icelandic civil procedure
■ Landslög advises a large number of entities and individuals on all issues pertaining to insurance and tort

EEA, Competition & State Aid:
■ Landslög advises a number of large corporations, institutions and municipalities in competition-related cases:
- Lyfja, Iceland’s leading pharmaceutical and health shop retailer - Hagar, the largest retailer in Iceland - Several municipalities in Iceland - Gámaþjónustan
– one of the largest firms in Iceland in waste management
- Kortaþjónustan
– an Icelandic card acquirer
Contact: Jona Bjork Helgadottir ([email protected]), leading competition attorney in Iceland and former boardmember of the Icelandic Competition Authority.
■ In the M&A deals referred to above, Landslög handled all notifications and communications with the competition authorities
■ Johannes Karl Sveinsson, partner at Landslög, Chair of the Appeals Committee of Competition Matters, has advised the subsidiaries of Reykjavik Energy and governmental institutes on State Aid matters
■ Landslög represents Gagnaveita Reykjavikur (a telecom company owned by the Reykjavik Power Company) in a state aid case before the EFTA Surveillance Authority
■ Hlynur Halldorsson advises ISAVIA ohf. (a public undertaking operating all air navigation systems and airports in Iceland) on a large scale competition case regarding investigation of the Icelandic Competition Authority into allocation of airport slots at Keflavík International Airport

TMT & IP - Data Protection & IT:
■ Landslög is the leading Icelandic law firm on issues relating to processing of personal data and the EU Data Protection Directive. Landslög also specialises in the field of IT related legal issues, IP, telecommunications, software procurement contracts, electronic forensics, etc., where few other law firms in Iceland seem to have any presence at all. Hordur Helgi Helgason, partner at Landslög (and Commissioner of the Icelandic Data Protection Authority 2013-14) is probably the leading expert in Iceland on data protection.
Accomplishments include:
- Directs to EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance efforts of one of Iceland’s three major banks, one of the largest current GDPR compliance effort undertaken in Iceland
- Actively guides many of the country’s companies and governmental institutions in their ongoing GDPR compliance efforts, including Iceland’s largest retailer, premier IT services supplier, leading insurance companies, municipalities, the National Registry and the National Hospita
l - Advised the Ministry of Justice on implementation of the new EU data protection regime
- Assisted foreign client, e.g. by performing privacy reviews, including a review for a major American health sector company
- Drafted a number of privacy policies and similar documents for Icelandic companies, in compliance with EU and US privacy requirements
- Secures Landslög as the No. 1 leading law firm in Iceland providing advice on compliance with the GDPR, which will enter into force in May 2018
Key Clients: Advania, Iceland Post and the Icelandic Data Protection Authority.

Real Estate & Construction:
■ Landslög advises the municipality Nordurthing in relation to the development of heavy industry in the area, including a silicon metal production plant in the Industrial zone of Bakki. The cost for the first phase of the plant is estimated to be close to 300 million USD. Production is expected to begin at the end of 2017
Contact: Gardar Gardarsson ([email protected])

Restructuring & Insolvency:
Landslög specialises in bankruptcy and reconstruction law. After the collapse of the Icelandic financial system in 2008 the Icelandic courts repeatedly appointed attorneys to manage many of the largest bankruptcy and reconstruction cases:
■ Legal counsel for Kaupthing in a dispute rising out of Credit Suisse’s claim towards Kaupthing (around 200 million Euros)
■ Legal counsel for the Central Bank of Iceland’s Holding Company
■ Receiver of the bankruptcy estate of Milestone ehf., one of Iceland’s largest holding companies
■ Composition agent for Eimskip hf., Iceland’s largest shipping company