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Understanding the industry’s commercial reality

In 2019, Johan Casper Hennings, attorney in the practice group Shipping / Offshore / Transportation, was seconded to the product tanker company Hafnia in Singapore.

In late 2018, Hafnia had completed a complex merger with the BW Group assisted by Gorrissen Federspiel. After the merger, the next step was to prepare a private placement and listing of the company’s shares in Norway, which called for an experienced senior shipping attorney with understanding of a modern tanker company and the ability to understand and describe the company’s processes and structure.

The choice was Johan Casper Hennings, attorney in the practice group Shipping / Offshore / Transportation.

“I knew Hafnia from a number of previous cases, so I was called aside on a Monday morning, and on Wednesday evening I was on a plane to Singapore. It was merely a matter of “hitting the ground running” and then full steam ahead from day one, which is what we’re used to from “back home” in Copenhagen”, he says.

When Johan was offered to go to Singapore, his girlfriend was expecting the couple’s second child, but a good solution was found to accommodate the situation.

“We agreed that after two months in Singapore, I would return to Denmark and be there for the birth, and in the meantime I would work from Hafnia’s office in Hellerup.” Following a successful birth, the entire family returned to Singapore.

The work as an in-house attorney in one of the world’s leading tanker companies has given him a deeper level of specialisation in an industry that is constantly evolving as a result of the rapidly increasing regulation.

“As an in-house attorney, you follow the process from beginning to end and you’re involved in the kick-off meetings and the execution, and this has increased my understanding of the industry’s commercial reality. And it’s been interesting to work together with international attorneys and to see how they address the issues”, he says.

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