Shipping & offshore
The shipping and offshore department frequently works across national borders, where very expensive ships continually move from one jurisdiction to another. This entails a number of issues that are unique within the shipping segment. Several of our lawyers have worked at shipping companies and therefore have in-depth knowledge of the industry. We always endeavour to understand our clients’ needs and contribute to finding good legal and commercial solutions.
Purchase, sale and registration of ships
We assist both buyers and sellers in connection with the purchase and sale of ships. This includes assistance during the drafting of sales contracts and follow-up of these, as well as assistance in closing transactions. It is very common that ship purchases are financed through loans and/or by issuing bonds. Our lawyers assist shipping companies with these types of financing. We also have extensive experience with the challenges that may arise in connection with transferring ships from one ship register to another.
For new builds and ship repairs, the shipbuilding contract will set the framework for the delivery. A focus on precise and realistic contractual provisions is vital for ensuring contractual compliance at the agreed time. Deficiencies and delays on delivery can often be extremely costly for both shipyards and shipping companies. Our lawyers have extensive experience with these types of contract negotiations, as well as follow-up during the construction period, to ensure that new builds are constructed as agreed. Our lawyers also assist with dispute cases if the parties are unable to reach an agreement, including with litigation before the ordinary courts and arbitral tribunals.
Arrest and securing of claims
Security in ships and securing claims against ships or owners are more complex than, for example, real estate. This has a clear connection to the ship’s freedom of movement and thereby the opportunity to avoid the claim being secured. Incorrect arrests can also result in major losses for the ship’s owner. Our lawyers have assisted shipping companies and finance institutions in connection with such arrests, both in Norway and in other jurisdictions.
Many ships and offshore installations have long-term operational and maintenance agreements. Our shipping department regularly assists both owners and management in drafting such agreements.
Offshore construction involves a number of challenges in which high demands are set for delivering the right quality at the right time, in cooperation with other operators, and often in difficult maritime conditions. Consideration must be given to strict safety requirements and extensive documentation must often be supplied. We have lawyers with wide-ranging industry experience from projects on both the Norwegian and international continental shelves relating to maritime seismic activities, surveying the seafloor for drilling/installations, platform positioning, well inspection, ROV assignments and various supply and support functions.
We can assist with reviewing tender documents, contract negotiations and advice relating to the use of the contract as a tool for executing the assignment. We place emphasis on understanding the assignment’s operative and technical challenges to determine solutions that are both practical and commercially sound. This applies irrespective of whether the assignment is to occur outside of West Africa, Brazil, the Black Sea or the west coast of Norway.
Protection of technology
The Norwegian maritime industry is among the global leaders in technological solutions. Protecting own technology (intellectual property rights) can be of major importance in terms of competition. It is decisive for some companies that they have control over the use of solutions they have developed themselves. We can provide advice and practical assistance relating to the protection of own technology, including for patent applications, illegal exploitation of own technology by other parties, and questions concerning rights in relation to employee inventions.
Procurement/sale of goods and services
We know that it is important to be aware that a contract is a tool for buying and selling goods and services within the maritime industry. This is to ensure successful negotiations, good deliveries and leeway if there are problems/deficiencies associated with deliveries. We offer the assessment and development of contracts and standard agreements, as well as our involvement in contract negotiations, the execution of contracts, and contractual disputes.