Mergers and Acquisitions
Mergers and Acquisitions have been an important part of BBA's legal services from the foundation of the firm. We have played a major role in a large majority of the biggest and most important M&A deals in Iceland in recent years, acting both for buyers, sellers and financing parties. BBA is a key player in M&A legal services in Iceland and is confirmed as leading in that field by all the major ranking firms.
Financial Services Regulation
BBA provides its clients with in-depth advice and assistance in relation to their regulatory issues and internal organisation. BBA has assisted local financial companies in obtaining operating licenses, handled communications with the Icelandic Financial Supervisory Authority, and assisted companies with structuring and set-up of internal rules and standardized terms and conditions. In 2007 BBA assisted number of local financial companies with implementing the MiFID regulation.
Capital Markets in Iceland have undergone radical changes since 2008 and the Icelandic Stock Exchange is now a part of the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Stock Exchange. BBA has advised on listings of Icelandic companies on the Icelandic Stock Exchange and advised, among others, on the listing of Bank Nordic on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Stock Exchange. We expect that activities in Capital Markets legal advise will increase in the coming months and years as a result of the stabilization of the financial sector and of stock markets in Iceland. BBA has strong capabilities in Capital Markets and its attorneys have the necessary know-how and experience to manage legal advice in relation to listing, de-listing, take-overs and general legal advice such as insider trading.
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, Nepal, Ethiopia. Furthermore, BBA has advised Icelandic energy companies in Iceland in securing terrain for geothermal research as well as advising on Power Purchase Agreements and Project Agreements. As a result of this, we have also gained substantial experience in dealing with foreign governments and energy authorities in matters concerning licenses for feasibility studies and exploration drilling, etc.
PFI and PPP
BBA has in recent years been heavily involved in advice to Icelandic authorities in PFI/PPP matters. We have 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. We have 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.
Corporate and Commercial Law
BBA is constantly ranked as leading in Iceland on the market of corporate and commercial law. We have advised the vast majority of the largest companies in Iceland on their various corporate issues. Our corporate activities represent the core of our focus and of our services to the businesses operating on the Icelandic market. Our key focus remains on the international aspects of our clients' operations.
BBA's presence and strength in the field of Competition Law on the Icelandic market has strengthened in recent years, especially through hiring of specialists from the Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA). We have acted for various Icelandic and foreign companies in their communications and/or disputes with the ICA. Furthermore, an important factor of our advice in many of our M&A deals, are Competition Law related issues, which we have successfully dealt with.
Our activities in corporate restructuring have substantially increased in the afterplay of the banking crash that took place in 2008. Some of our most high-profile corporate restructuring projects include the restructuring of Icelandair, Hagar, Icelandic Group, Bakkavor and Reitir. BBA's clients in the field of corporate restructuring have included Eurohypo AG, Bayerische Landesbank, Commerzbank, Nordea, DNB Norway, KBC Bank, Barclays, HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit Suisse etc.
Due to the economic turmoil after 2008 BBA's activities in the field of insolvency have increased substantially in recent years. We specialize in acting for creditors in safeguarding their interest against bankrupt estates. We successfully acted as main advisors to the largest creditors of the fallen Icelandic banks, being the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme and 16 Dutch municipalities, in securing the recovery of their Icesave claims. Alongside this, we have also acted for major foreign banking institutions in various claims recovery against the Icelandic banks.
Employment and Labour Law
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.
Litigation and Arbitration
BBA has in recent years focused increasingly on litigation and arbitration. Our clients value our expertise and experience in the fields of corporate and finance when choosing us to represent them in court. BBA acted as legal adviser to the UK Financial Services Compensation Scheme and 16 Dutch municipalities, in securing the recovery of their Icesave claims, the largest claim ever to be made in Icelandic courts.
Banking and Finance
BBA has vast experience in advising financial institutions on all aspects of banking and finance. BBA has an excellent track-record with complex financing structures and we are as a result regularly trusted by all the local banks to handle their more complex, multi-jurisdictional financing deals. Our reputable performance in banking and finance has secured BBA with a top-tier ranking in this field with all major ranking firms.
The Firm was founded in 1998 by Baldvin Bjorn Haraldsson and Asgeir A. Ragnarsson and was the first law firm in Iceland to build its practice exclusively on servicing the business sector.
This focus has allowed our lawyers to gain substantial experience and a level of expertise which is second to none in Iceland in, among other areas, corporate law, finance law and general business law.
In the recent economic turmoil BBA has however expanded its advisory activities, building on its corporate expertise, and taken an active role in advising both local and foreign clients, banks and public authorities, on debt restructuring and bankruptcy law.
Recently the firm has furthermore extended its activities in building up a substantial legal and practical know-how in the field of energy law, both as regards renewable energy, as well as oil and gas.