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Friday, 20 May 2011

Wikborg Rein expands capabilities with Brazil alliance

LEADING international law firm Wikborg Rein has concluded an alliance with one of Brazil’s leading law firms, Vieira, Rezende, Barbosa e Guerreiro Advogados (VRBG), which will have significant benefits for the international clients of both firms.

The best friend alliance agreement between the two firms will include co-operation on client referrals and joint assignments, and will also involve the exchange of lawyers and competence building.

Wikborg Rein Global Managing Partner, Susanne Munch Thore, says, “Brazil has developed into a high-priority market for many of our clients, and it is important that, as a leading provider of international legal services, we have the capacity to support our clients wherever business takes them.

“This is the first time one of the top international shipping and offshore oil & gas firms has made a commitment like this. It demonstrates our understanding of the commercial realities of the market, and where growth will come from for our clients.”

Partner Finn Bjørnstad, who will shortly be taking up the role of managing partner in Wikborg Rein's London office, has considerable experience in supporting clients in Brazil. He says, “VRBG is internationally recognised as one of Brazil’s leading law firms, with an excellent track record in the offshore oil and gas sector. It is ideally placed to work with international clients looking to develop opportunities in a market with such great potential.”

For a number of years, Wikborg Rein has supported its clients as they have developed their Brazilian business interests, specifically in the offshore oil & gas sector. However, with an increase in offshore oil & gas investment in Brazil, it recognised that there was a need to provide high-quality ‘on the ground’ legal support.

From June 2011, Wikborg Rein will have one senior lawyer working out of the VRBG office in Rio de Janeiro, and VRBG will have one lawyer working out of the Wikborg Rein office in Shanghai.

The alliance will have major benefits for the international clients of both firms. Geir Sviggum, the partner who heads up Wikborg Rein’s Shanghai office, sees significant advantages in this relationship as links between China and Brazil develop. He says, “The transfer of skills, knowledge, and people will provide both firms’ clients with access to advisers who have extensive offshore oil and gas experience, and who really understand the key issues in two of the world’s most significant developing markets - China and Brazil.

"Our Shanghai office already provides support to Chinese clients looking to develop their interests in Brazil. This agreement cements our position as global leaders in this area.”

Chris Grieveson, a partner in Wikborg Rein’s Singapore office, meanwhile notes, “I believe we are now in a position to provide an unrivalled service. If you are based in wider Asia and are looking to develop your business in Brazil, come and discuss it with us. We have a Brazilian expert sitting in our offices.”

This agreement secures Wikborg Rein’s clients access to the best legal resources in Brazil, and will be a platform for Wikborg Rein to continue to add value to its clients’ business interests.

Read more about Wikborg Rein's Brazil team at http://www.wr.no/ and about VRBG at http://www.vrbg.com.br/

About Wikborg Rein

Established in 1923 with large offices in Oslo and Bergen, and employing 215 lawyers worldwide, Wikborg Rein is one of Norway’s leading full service commercial law firms. It is a pre-eminent law firm in the shipping and offshore sector, and a major player on the international scene. Services to the maritime industry include ship, project and lease finance, corporate, contract negotiation, offshore and construction projects, sale and purchase, ship registration, insurance, casualty response, carriage of goods, ship arrest and international dispute resolution. More information on the firm and its partners can be found at www.wr.no

For further information:

Susanne Munch Thore
Managing Partner, Wikborg Rein (Norway)
Tel: (+47) 22 82 76 18
Mobile: (+47) 911 36 899 Email: smt@wr.no

Geir Sviggum
Partner (Shanghai)
Tel: (+86) 21 6339
Mobile: (+86) 13 9186 13473 Email: gsv@wrco.com.cn

Chris Grieveson
Partner (Singapore)
Tel: (+65) 6438 4498Mobile: (+65) 9112 8445 Email: cjg@wr.com.sg

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