Our partners and associates are able to provide advice on wide range of issues and frequently represent their clients before the courts. Our partners have extensive experience in advising international clients and safeguarding their interests in Iceland

Partners

Gizur Bergsteinsson

Supreme Court Attorney

Gizur´s focus is on competition, regulatory and public law. He is widely regarded as one of the Bar´s leading specialists in these areas and a talented litigator. Gizur also advises and company and tax related issues. In recent years, Gizur has specialized in professional negligence in the financial sector, and has advised on insurance related issues, including D&O policy coverage.

In terms of non-contentious experience, Gizur is recognised as an outstandin regulatory lawyer and frequently advises both private and public clients on regulatory issues. From the public sector Gizur´s clients include the Competition Authority, the Central Bank of Iceland and the Housing Financing Fund.

On the contentious side, Gizur regulary appears in the Courts for regulators in judicial review challanges. He´s standing Counsel to the Competition Authority as well as the Capital Controls Surveillance Unit of the Central Bank. Recently, Gizur has acted for the the Central Bank and the Competition Authority in the EFTA Court in Luxembourg.

In recent years, Gizur has acted in numerous cases before the Surpreme Court, including:

2014 – The Competition Autority et al v Vifilfell Ltd. – alleged market abuse by Iceland´s leading soft drinks manufacturer.

2014 – SPB Ltd. v National Archives of Iceland et al – disclosue of documents.

2014 – Samherji Ltd. Iceland – reverse merger taxation.

2013 – Lyf og heilsa v. the Competition Authority – market abuse by Iceland´s leading pharmacy chain.

2012 – Síminn hf. v the Competition Authority – Iceland´s largest telecom operator´s violation of the CA´s decision in a merger case.

2012 – The Central Bank v. Samherji Ltd. et al – legality of the Capital Controls Surveillance Unit´s seizure of electronic documents.

2012 – The Housing Financing Fund v Estated of Norðurvik – validity of the HFF´s decision to require debtors to provide bank guarantee.

2012 – Stjörnugris and Arion Bank v the Competition Authority et al – Failing firm defence.

2012 – The Competition Authority v Icelandair – market abuse by Iceland´s leading airline.

2011 – The Competition Authority v ERGN Holdings & Valitor (VISA) validity of the CA´s decision to declare a conglomerate merger incompatible with the Icelandic market.

2010 -Hagar hf. v the Competition Authority – market abuse by Iceland´s leading groceries chain.

In Reykjavík´s District Court, Gizur´s cases include:

2013 – Lilliendahl v Arion bank and Gunnarsdóttir – alleged negligence by Kaupthing Asset Management´s personnel.

2011 – Palsson v. Kaupthing – validity of a Kaupthing´s claim in respect of it´s employees´stock option plan.

2010 – Sigurdsson et al v Arion Bank and Gunnarsson – alleged negligence by Kaupthing Asset Management´s personnel.

2009 – Lundur rekstrarfélag v Arion Bank – validity of a FX Swap Contract.

Gizur has also acted in numerous CAT appeal cases, including:

Gizur was called to the Icelandic Bar in 1998. Prior to his work as an Attorney, Gizur was a Law Clerk with the Justices og the Surpreme Court of Iceland. Gizur holds an LL.M degree in Commercial and Corporate Law from University College London.

 

 

 

 

Guðmundur Óli Björgvinsson

Supreme Court Attorney

Born in Reykjavík August 2nd 1970.

Legal career:

A legal assistant at the Vestfjord District Court 1998.
Has been in private practice since 1998.
One of two founders of B&B Law Firm ehf. (later Backman & Björgvinsson Law Firm) in October 1998.
One of the founders and partners of Lagastod Legal Services ehf.

Education and certifications:

Undergraduate degree from Breidholt College in May 1992.
Cand. Juris degree, 1 st. grade, from University of Iceland in February 1998.
Admitted to the Bar as a Supreme Court Attorney in February 2007.

Experience and some notable achievements:

Many years of experience as a board member of both Icelandic and foreign companies/associations, in various fields of operation. Involvement and/or leading role in setting up numerous companies and corporations.
Has wide ranging experience in issuing legal opinions and conducting due diligence.
Involvement and material contribution in relation to in various court proceedings in international or foreign jurisdictions, such as before the EUCJ and the EFTA courts, in England, in Scotland, in France, in the Netherlands and in the United States of America.
Almost two decades of experience in a leading role and management of a significant number of court cases before the Icelandic courts, both district courts and the Supreme Court of Iceland.
Managed projects for the Resolution Committee and the Winding-up Board og Landsbanki Islands (now LBI ehf.) from December 2008. Continues to advise the board of LBI to the present day. LBI was one of the largest banks in Iceland and one of the largest insolvency events in history with eventual value of assets in excess of 14 bn USD equivalent and liabilities at or around 30 bn USD equivalent.
Leading role in the restructuring of LBI through a composition of creditors and complex negotiations resulting in the issuance and structuring of a +2bn EUR global bond of LBI in 2016.
Involvement and /or material role in various global mergers and acquisitions during the last 4 years, including Aurum Holdings in the UK, House of Fraiser in the UK, Actavis (Global) and Iceland Foods in the UK.
Involvement and/or material role in various restructuring projects in Iceland and abroad most notable the restructuring of the finances of Björgólfur Thor Björgólfsson and related companies including Actavis.
Sits on the board of various companies including being the chairman of Nox Medical ehf.

Additional languages:

Writes, reads and speaks English fluently.
Reads and understands Danish and Swedish.
Reads, writes and speaks Norwegian fluently.

Kristinn Bjarnason

Supreme Court Attorney

Fæddur 24. mars 1964.

 

“Í vinnslu”

Jónas Jóhannsson

Supreme Court Attorney

Born in Akureyri on 7 November 1962.

Jónas gratuated from The University of Iceland´s law faculty in 1988 and served as associate to the head of the District Criminal Court in Reykjavík from June 1988 to 1 August 1991 when he was appointed temporarily as district court judge to the municipalities of all five District Commissioners in Vestfirðir, entrusted inter alia with preparing the seperation between the executive and judiciary in those municipalities. Appointed head of the newly established District Court of Vestfirðir from 1 July 1992. Jónas resigned from office in August 1998, moved to Hafnarfjörður with his family, and was appointed judge at the District Court of Reykjanes. During 1998 – 2006, he specialized in family law and criminal law. Jónas moved to the District Court of Reykjavík in February 2006, focusing mainly on criminal law until late 2011 when he resigned from office due to dual residency in Iceland and Brussel where his wife, a legal expert with EFTA, was posted at that time. Jónas has been living solely in Iceland since May 2016.

Jónas became a member of the legal team of Lagastoð legal services in January 2012. He is a Supreme Court Attorney, specializing in family law, criminal law, human rights, administrative law, torts, labour law.

Career:

Associate to the District Criminal Court in Reykjavík 1988 – 1991.

District Court judge 1991 – 2011.

Supreme Court Attorney from 2012.

Education and qualifications:

Graduation from high school (Mennatskólinn í Reykjavík) 1982.

Law Degree (master´s degree) from University of Iceland 1988.

Licensed to be a district court attorney in April 2000.

Studied EU law at Lund University, Sweden, 2004-2005.

Supreme Court Attorney from January 2012.

Tutoring and other trusted appointments:

Has tutored and written articles on family law.

Representative of the Icelandic Judical Council to The Hague Conferrence on Private International Law in the field of family law 2002-1012.

Tutor in private international law at University of Reykjavík 2006.

President of The Icelandic Association in Belgium 2010-2015.

Chairman of the Icelandic Legal Aid Board from 1 September 2017.

Languages:

Speaks English as first language.

Fair understanding in written Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.

Associates
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