Nordic Trustee ASA secures a victory in São Paulo Court


Felsberg Advogados, Holland & Knight, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Pedro Calmon Filho and Basch & Rameh advised on the case

The court in São Paulo decided on the appeal by Nordic Trustee ASA to overturn a February ruling that the $500 million mortgage registered in Liberia is invalid for the OSX3 floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or FPSO, owned by a subsidiary of OSX Brasil SA.

The lower court’s ruling favors investment bank Grupo BTG Pactual SA in an effort to recover a $28 million loan from OSX3. BTG Pactual has a lien on the FPSO and wants immediate repayment of the loan.

International law would normally give precedence to the mortgage holders in bankruptcy proceedings. In this case, the mortgage was given as collateral to OSX bondholders, represented in this case by Nordic Trustee.

Liberia is not a member of a 1926 global treaty on ship mortgages. If the appeals court upholds the lower court’s decision that the mortgage agreement is invalid in Brazil because it was registered in Liberia, it would put BTG Pactual ahead of bondholders in the queue for repayment.

BTG Pactual argues the mortgage contract is invalid because there are no links between the ship and Liberia, where it is flagged. Nordic Trustee alleges that none of the 142 Liberian-flagged ships that operate in Brazilian waters have locally registered mortgages.

Felsberg Advogados advised Nordic Trustee ASA with Thomas Benes Felsberg (Picture), Marcus Matteucci, Fabiana Solano and Pedro Valle.

Holland & Knight advised Nordic Trustee ASA with James Hohenstein, Jovi Tenev, John Monaghan, Andrea Buff, Claire Tan and Leonie Huang.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld advised Nordic Trustee ASA with James Terry and Liz Osborne

Pedro Calmon Filho e Associados advised International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and The Liberian Registry (amicus curiae) with Pedro Calmon Neto.

Basch & Rameh advised International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and The Liberian Registry (amicus curiae) with Carlos Rameh, Renata Iezzi and Larissa Paganelli.

Involved fees earner: Carlos Rameh – Basch & Rameh; Renata Duarte Iezzi – Basch & Rameh; Larissa Paganelli – Basch & Rameh; Pedro Calmon Neto – Pedro Calmon Filho & Associados; Thomas Benes Felsberg – Felsberg Advogados; Marcus Alexandre Matteucci Gomes – Felsberg Advogados; Fabiana Solano – Felsberg Advogados; Pedro Butti do Valle – Felsberg Advogados; James Terry – Akin Gump; Liz Osborne – Akin Gump; James Hohenstein – Holland & Knight; Leonie Huang – Holland & Knight; Jovi Tenev – Holland & Knight; Andrea Buff – Holland & Knight; Claire Tan – Holland & Knight; John Monaghan – Holland & Knight;

Law Firms: Basch & Rameh; Pedro Calmon Filho & Associados; Felsberg Advogados; Akin Gump; Holland & Knight;

Clients: Nordic Trustee; International Chamber of Shipping; Liberian Registry;

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Author: Ambrogio Visconti.