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Awarded annually, the Claes Isacson Scholarship aims to help young students finance an education at university level and to start a career within shipping or marine insurance. Every year Gard sees a high standard of applications, and this year was no different: the jury received more than 60 applications from around the world.

Worthy winners

The two winners are both accomplished students with an impressive track-record despite their young age:

Aybuke Naz Durmus from Ankara, Turkey, is in her first year as a PhD student at the University of Reading. In parallel with studying both law and economics, she has held internships with leading law firms in Istanbul and Ankara, and was a trainee at the Supreme Court of Turkey. She is also a lawyer admitted to Ankara Bar Association. Aybuke’s master thesis on commercial law was published as a book this year, and based on her merits, she received a scholarship for postgraduate education from the Republic of Turkey. Her PhD thesis will focus on Subrogation and Immunity in Marine Insurance Law.

Sebastian Kjærnli Aguirre from Oslo, Norway, will start his PhD project at the University of Cambridge this fall. A law graduate with degrees from Norway, the UK, and Singapore, he recently completed his LL.M. in Maritime Law at the National University of Singapore (NUS) with support from the Jebsen and Jantzen scholarship. He has interned at leading Norwegian law firms, worked as a research assistant at the NUS Center for International Law and interned at the United Nations in New York (OIOS) and South Korea (UNCITRAL). He currently works for Schjødt law firm in Oslo. Sebastian’s PhD will focus on conflict of laws issues in areas beyond national jurisdiction and in areas subject to limited sovereign rights.

Inspiring talent

Gard’s Chairman of the Board, Morten W. Høegh, said the quality of applications for the scholarship had made for a tough competition this year.


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This bodes very well for the future of our industry – it is inspiring to such a wide pool of talents wanting to pursue a career in marine insurance. Our warmest congratulations to both winners, whom we are sure will go on to do great things, both academically and professionally.           
Morten W. Høegh


Gard’s CEO Rolf Thore Roppestad highlighted that ‘expertise and knowledge-sharing are vital parts of the Gard group. Supporting this scholarship is tangible evidence of our continued commitment to the education and training of the next generation, and we are proud to see such worthy winners as Aybuke and Sebastian.’