It is time to get to know our member, Gowling WLG, a bit better! We had a chat with Julian Heywood Partner at Gowling WLG and Head of European Business Development.
Hi Julian! Thank you for taking the time so we can get to know you and the firm better. Can you tell us a bit about Gowling?
Gowling WLG is one of the largest law firms in the world, with over 1,500 lawyers based in nine countries. Its roots were established in the UK in 1730 and in Canada in 1887. As well as its own offices, it had a large number of travelling country desk teams, which act as the travelling ambassadors for Gowling WLG in countries where it doesn’t have an office. One of the largest of those teams is the Nordic Desk (headed up by me), whose members regularly visit the major business cities in the five Nordic countries. The firm has a long and happy history of advising many Nordic-headquartered companies on local law issues in the countries where it has offices.
Could you expand upon the role of the Nordic team?
The role of Gowling WLG’s Nordic team is two-fold. Outbound, our role is to assist our clients from outside of the Nordic Region in selecting the most suitable legal advisers in the area to help them with their Nordic business. Our comprehensive knowledge of the region’s law firms, and legal market will ensure you get the advice you need.
Inbound, our role is to apply our extensive experience to assist clients headquartered in the Nordic Region with establishing their business operations internationally – whether through an acquisition or by establishing a greenfield operation – and looking after their ongoing legal needs.
Sounds like your Nordic clients are in very good hands indeed! Do you have any examples of Nordic Clients you have assisted?
I have some, although, there’s not all I can disclose. For instance, we assisted Kongsberg Automotive, a leading Tier 1 Norwegian automotive manufacturer, in a multi-million-dollar dispute with BRP. Additionally, we acted for Norwegian State-owned renewable energy producer Statkraft on its power purchase agreement with Seagreen Wind Energy, relating to what will be the largest offshore wind farm in Scotland, comprising 114 wind turbines.
Why did you choose to become a member of NBCC?
To play an active role in promoting closer ties between the Norwegian and British business communities – and of course to meet with Norwegian companies which might in future entrust us with their legal advice.
What exciting/innovative/new project are you working on, or about to start with?
A lot of the legal advice we provide to clients is obviously confidential, but some of the more interesting projects we’ve been involved within the last few months are:
- We advised Aurrigo International plc, a leading international provider of transport technology solutions, on its successful placing and admission to trading on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange. Aurrigo, which was formed 29 years ago by brothers David and Graham Keene, has raised £8 million to fund strategic expansion plans that will see the continued development and future roll-out of its Auto-Dolly product, an autonomous vehicle for carrying cargo and luggage at airports around the world. The new investment will be used to scale up future production and build on successful trials at Changi International Airport in Singapore and Gerald R Ford International Airport in North America.
Major transport technology AIM admission | Gowling WLG
- We acted for the shareholders of FI1 Limited on the sale of their stake in the project companies that will construct and operate the first ever UK-Germany Transmission Link – the NeuConnect Interconnector Project (NeuConnect) – to TEPCO Power Grid (TEPCO PG). The shareholders of FI1 founded and originated NeuConnect through their development vehicle Greenage Power Limited and, together with Frontier Power, provided early-stage development support to NeuConnect. NeuConnect has a transmission capacity of 1.4GW and will see two new HVDC Converter Stations built on the Isle of Grain in the UK and the Wilhelmshaven in Germany, connected by over 700km of subsea cables through the UK, Netherlands and Germany. Work will begin this year with major construction to lay subsea HVDC cables and build HVDC converter stations. The NeuConnect Interconnector will create the first direct power link between Germany and the UK, connecting two of Europe’s largest energy markets for the first time. Energy team advises FI1 shareholders on sale | Gowling WLG
- We advised Halma, a global group of life-saving technology companies, on its acquisition of Deep Trekker Inc. for cash consideration of $60 million on a cash and debt free basis.Headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, Deep Trekker is a market-leading manufacturer of remotely operated underwater robots used for inspection, surveying, analysis and maintenance. It serves markets including aquaculture, renewable energy and ocean science and research. Halma acquires Deep Trekker | Gowling WLG
Where do you think trade between Norway and UK will be in 10 years?
Brexit has meant that the UK is now much more actively promoting even deeper relationships with other countries around the world. Norway and the UK have very long-established cultural and business ties, and I see those as getting even stronger. Among the key industries for collaboration will be renewable energy, aquaculture and marine engineering technology.
Do you have views on the importance of technology, insight, ingenuity and talent, as we aim to make a better future for everyone?
Those four things are crucial, but too big a topic to say more concisely :)
Thank you very much for your time! If you Want to know more about Gowling WLG? Have a look at their brochure here.