Helgi Jóhannesson

Iceland

LEX Law Offices
Borgartúni 26
105 Reykjavík
Iceland

Tel: +354 590 2600
Fax: +354 590 2606

Email: helgi@lex.is
Web: www.lex.is

Helgi Jóhannesson is among Iceland’s most experienced attorneys in the fields of corporate law, contract law and bankruptcy law. Helgi has worked at LEX since 1988 and holds an LL.M. degree from the University of Miami School of Law.

In addition to general legal practice, Helgi has been a lecturer in law at the Reykjavík University School of Business for about a decade. Helgi has since 1991 been chairman of the Vehicle Insurance Recovery Commission pursuant to the Act on Traffic and he has served as chairman of the Assessment Committee on Compensation for Expropriation since 1993. Moreover, Helgi was a member of the Icelandic Student Loan Fund’s Appeals Committee from 1997-2009.

Helgi is active in social affairs. He sat on the board of the Icelandic Lawyers Association from 1992-1999, serving as chairman from 1997-1999. Furthermore, he was a board member of the Icelandic Bar Association from 2001-2003 and chairman of the association from 2005-2008. He has also served on the board of the Icelandic Adoption Society. Helgi now sits on the tribunal of the Motorcycle and Snowmobile Sports Association of Iceland.

Helgi has three children. He is living with Þórný Jónsdóttir, marketing manager. Helgi is a qualified hiking guide from the Iceland Tourist Guide School. He enjoys hiking, skiing and riding motorcycles as well as salmon fishing and hunting.

Following the collapse of the Icelandic banking system during the global financial crisis of 2008, almost every aspect of Icelandic bankruptcy law has been tested before the Icelandic courts. The lawyers at LEX have played an active role in testing the limits of this field, by trying cases before the Icelandic courts and also advising most of the Winding-up Boards that oversee the winding-up of the collapsed Icelandic banks.

The winding-up proceedings have resulted in thousands of claims being filed against the collapsed Icelandic banks on practically every conceivable basis, testing the claims procedure in place and Icelandic bankruptcy law. In the years since the collapse in 2008, Icelandic insolvency law has been amended and supplemented a number of times. In light of this, further amendments to Icelandic insolvency law are expected, including the frameworks for bankruptcy and liquidation proceedings, moratoria, cessation of payments, composition and forced agreements with creditors financial restructuring etc. LEX closely monitors any developments in this field to ensure that its clients are provided with accurate and comprehensive legal advice.

LEX has advised on a number of high profile restructurings in recent years, e.g. Toyota Iceland.
The close cooperation between LEX’s different practice areas provides an undenialbe advantage when addressing insolvency related issues, as experts in Banking, Capital Markets and Finance, Real Estate and Property, IP, Collateral security Arrangements , Competition and Tax law are readily available for advice and support as may be needed.

LEX Law Offices in its present form has strong roots dating back over half a century. In 1959, Mr. Sveinn Snorrason, Supreme Court Attorney, founded his law firm and soon three Supreme Court Attorneys joined him, Mr. Jónas Aðalsteinsson, who still acts as of counsel to the firm, Mr. Guðmundur Ingvi Sigurðsson and Mr. Jóhannes L.L. Helgason. As the years passed the firm grew and was branded with the name LEX Law Offices in 1987. In 2000, LEX merged with KPMG LAW in Iceland under the LEX brand name. Then in 2005 LEX and Nestor Law Offices also merged.

The story of Nestor began in 1977 when Mr. Jón Steinar Gunnlaugsson, a former Supreme Court Judge, founded a law firm in his own name. Later Mr. Karl Axelsson, Supreme Court Attorney, assistant professor and current chairman of the board at LEX joined him and, in cooperation with others, they formed Nestor Law Offices.
Based on its strong historical roots and solid foundation, LEX has become one of Iceland’s largest law firms with 45 lawyers and two offices, the headquarters at Borgartún 26 in Reykjavik and an office at Hafnarstræti 94 in Akureyri, in the north of Iceland.

 
Clients admire Helgi Jóhannesson for his business-oriented approach, with one stating: “His main quality is pragmatism: he is a straight-to-the-point lawyer.”
Chambers Europe, 2015