Norwegian firm builds up London office capacity

Norwegian firm Wikborg Rein & Co has tripled the number of lawyers in its London office from one to three.

Wikborgs' partner Morton Lund Mathisen, a maritime law specialist, has moved to London from the firm's Japanese office in Kobe and will join Ketil Boe, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer who recently arrived from Wikborgs' Oslo headquarters.

Mathisen will be replaced at his firm's one-lawyer Kobe office by Per Ristvedt, a partner from the Oslo office. He said his firm had no intention of following the recent trend of international firms pulling out of Japan.

The move brings Wikborgs' London branch, which was set up in 1984 and is the longest established Norwegian office in London, up to three fee earners including one partner. Wikborg Rein & Co is one of Norway's largest firms with over 60 lawyers worldwide.

Mathisen said: “As well as concentrating on key maritime and marine insurance work, we also hope to strengthen our core business of handling sale and purchase and ship finance transactions. Mr Boe will help us expand our London practice in securities and M&A work.”

Knut Hogne Engedal, a lawyer at the London office of Norwegian firm Thommessen Krefting Greve Lund, said it made sense for Wikborgs to expand its London base considering its strong international shipping practice.