Solicitors governing body: Det Danske Advokatsamfund
Competition authority: Konkurrence- og Forbrugerstyrelsen
Financial regulator: Finanstlsynet
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Energy and infrastructure (published June) – Energy and infrastructure
Financial and corporate (published October) – Banking and finance, Capital markets, M&A, Restructuring and insolvency
Denmark is a civil law jurisdiction that is consistently ranked by the World Bank as one of the best countries in which to do business. It is considered to have one of the lowest levels of income disparity – yet interestingly has no government-mandated minimum wage – among the highest levels of social mobility, one of the highest per capita income rates and very high levels of democracy and transparency, not to mention consistently ranking as the country with the lowest level of corruption in the world.
The country maintains a diverse economy with a strong services industry backed up by significant industrial and agricultural sectors. Energy production makes up a sizable chunk of the nation’s output and it is renowned as one of the leading centres for wind technology in the world. There are also considerable deposits of natural gas and oil reserves in its North Sea territory, the exploitation of which remains an important industry. On the agricultural side, it is a net food exporter and is renowned as one of the world leaders in pork meat production.
The Danish legal market stands out from most other developed nations’ in that it is almost entirely populated by domestic firms. There are very few international or regional firms operating in Copenhagen – where all the major practices are located – and none that make any significant impact on the market.
Lawyers tend to be fairly specialised in their fields, though will often work in several related practice areas. For instance, most debt capital markets work will be done by banking and finance specialists rather than capital markets experts, while equity capital markets work will more often than not be carried out by M&A teams. While the market is well developed and relatively sophisticated, there remains little appetite for complex financial products or services so there are few instances of these on a regular basis.
Jonathan Moore – Journalist - EMEA
Accura is best known for its M&A practice but has also gained traction in the banking and finance area in recent years.
In banking, a clear highlight saw the firm advise Tryg on the acquisition of Alka Forsikring, in the largest transaction in the Danish insurance industry for twenty years. A further mandate for pension fund PFA, saw Accura represent it on the largest acquisition of unlisted shares by institutional investors in Denmark.
On the equity side of the capital markets, a clear highlight saw the firm advise on the listing of IT services group, Netcompany. On the debt side, Accura represented Jyske Bank on establishing an EMTN programme.
During the research period, the M&A team advised on some of the biggest deals in the market, with fintech and retail companies figuring prominently among its clients. The highlights include advising the buyers on the acquisition of Peak Performance, as well as mandates for Scandinavian and international private equity houses such as Lone Star Capital.
In the projects space, the team notably advised on the first ever extension of a production license in Denmark beyond the regular 30 years license period. Other mandates included public procurement advice to the City of Copenhagen on issues related to the collection of waste and the implementation of a programme to collect bio-waste.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advised on bankruptcy proceedings and debt restructuring matters for the likes of Herlev Eagles. The firm also regularly represented Danske Bank and Realkredit Danmark as creditors in cases.
Staffing changes include the additions of directors Nina Riisgaard Lauritsen and Louise Studstrup Muurholm from Danske Bank, to reinforce the banking practice.
Further key clients of the firm include Chevron, EON, General Electric and Thales.
“It offers a very professional and competent service regarding M&A, acquisition financing and bond issuing. The team is very service oriented and pleasant to work with.” – Banking, M&A
“It's very pragmatic and realistic. The firm's not afraid to prioritise which battles in negotiations are worth taking and which are not.” – Banking, M&A
“The firm's very commercial. It's first class.” – Banking, M&A
“Accura possesses a unique combination of in-depth legal knowledge, pragmatic advice and a second-to-none business acumen. Within the areas we have worked with them, they have shown an ability to advise both on the legal and strategic side, while still being able to execute and deliver.” – Capital markets, M&A
“Accura is a very strong M&A law firm and have skilled people and is very well-reputed.” – M&A
“Great team - good cooperation between the financing team and the CRE team. Always flexible focusing on important parts of a deal and they always have the commercial view.” – Restructuring and insolvency
Mads Kjellerup Dambæk
“Extremely knowledgeable within financing and very pragmatic - negotiated most parts of our financing package on our behalf and reported back to us on an ongoing basis the major issues without going into every little detail.”
“Has solid experience, fantastic legal knowledge and a unique business and strategic understanding.”
Kristian Lykkeholm Klausen
“Perfect side kick to Thomas Weincke.”
Jakob Henning Anker Sørensen
“Energetic, service minded, good at following up.”
“Talented deal-maker and very good at negotiating without losing the pragmatic approach to closing.”
“Only good words - always available, flexible and focused. Very commercial oriented and well connected.”
“Very good ability to execute and fantastic legal knowledge within real estate finance.”
“He is very pragmatic, experienced and extremely skilled in his area.”
“Pragmatic. Calm. Strategic in what's important and what is not. Helps you reach a good result in an efficient and cost-effective way rather than having long dragged-out negotiations, where mistrust among the parties tend to build up and complicate also the post-closing relations. Solution-oriented.”
“Second to none.”
“Strong communicative and strategic skills. Very responsive and accessible.”
“Very commercial, high sense of urgency, strong team.”
In the Danish market, Bech-Bruun is best known for its M&A and projects work. It can also boast of a very strong restructuring and insolvency practice.
In M&A, clear highlights saw the firm advise private equity house Advent International on the acquisition of Færch Plast, and represent Nordex Group on the acquisition of an interest in Danish SSP Technology.
The firm is active in the projects space, notably advising on Danish aspects of the ongoing Nord Stream 2 project. In other mandates, the firm has assisted with the development of off-shore wind farms, and geothermal and hospital projects.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm worked on numerous restructurings with a debt element. A clear highlight saw the firm advise Passat Energy on its bankruptcy.
A key staffing change during the research period saw partner Jens Jerslev leave the M&A team after three decades at the firm.
Key recent clients of the firm have included CVC Capital Partners, Energinet and Modern Times Group.
“Bech-Bruun's quality is consistently outstanding. Across multiple different issues, with different lawyers, they are consistently approachable, quick to understand issues and quick and extremely competent in their advice. They are brilliant.” – Banking, M&A
“High quality lawyers providing advice with a business view.” – Banking, restructuring and insolvency
“It's professional, smart, experienced and knows M&A well. Its lawyers have good emotional intelligence and meet deadlines.” – M&A
“The work of Bech-Bruun is always promptly delivered and at a high quality. The lawyers are always challenging you and coming up with new and alternative angles and solutions.” – M&A
“We have been working with Bech-Bruun for many years and they have helped us with all different matters regarding our complex business as a luxury brand, including M&A. We have been extremely satisfied with Bech-Bruun.” – M&A
“Bech Bruun`s work is of a high standard. The firm is very well respected in the offshore wind market for their work which gives them an edge in negotiations with suppliers. They are extremely hard working and always deliver work in the time agreed, even if it involves working out of hours as required. They are strong negotiators.” – Project development
Tejs Dyrvig Ernst
“Good young and up-coming lawyer - hard working and always meets deadlines.”
“Intelligent and pleasant to work with. Always focused on the result and adding value to the business.”
“Extremely experienced and outstanding in cutting to the core in board matters, liability and regulatory issues. His advice is personal and comprehensive.”
Peter Østergaard Nielsen
“He is a leading lawyer in his field with a vast knowledge of the industry. Very helpful and responsive considering his position and workload.”
“Hard working and to-the-point lawyer with a wealth of experience. Always reachable and ready to assist.”
“He is a partner who provides brilliant cooperation. Apart from being an outstanding M&A lawyer, he is also simply a brilliant brain in any problem solving issue, and an exceptional, very constructive adviser in negotiations. Always client-oriented and responsive.”
“He is very reactive and very good at delivering high quality service quickly. At the same time, he is able to advise and help maintain complexity at a reasonable level. Moreover, he also knows our working methods and attitudes, which makes you feel comfortable in his hands.”
“He's professional, smart, experienced and knows M&A well.”
“We have always appreciated his ability to provide second to none legal services.”
The Danish office of international firm Bird & Bird is mostly recognised for its work in M&A, and the firm’s deals often involve a cross-border element.
In the banking area, a clear highlight saw the firm assist retail company Degrofa with the corporate restructuring and refinancing of debt.
In the capital markets area, the firm notably assisted marketing company Agillic on its listing on Nasdaq First North Copenhagen.
Recent M&A highlights included advising Addtech in connection with the acquisition of all shares in the Danish company Sensor ECS. Another deal, alongside its global offices, saw the team assist Hewlett-Packard with its spin-off and subsequent merger of its worldwide enterprise services business with Computer Sciences Corporation.
Other notable clients of the firm include Cheminova, Neye and Sony Music Entertainment.
Bruun & Hjejle has a good reputation for M&A and projects work but the firm also has credible banking and capital markets practices.
In banking, the firm has acted on significant acquisition and project financings. For example, the firm advised Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners in relation to the refinancing of its interest in two biomass power plants in the UK. Notable acquisition finance work included the firm’s advice to a consortium of Danish pension funds on financing the acquisition of Danish telecoms operator, TDC.
In the capital markets, the firm also advised shareholders on matters relating to the IPOs of Orphazyme and Boozt. On the debt side, the firm assisted Danish Ship Finance with its new base prospectus, as it sought to include a number of new types of bonds including CRR compliant covered bonds.
In M&A, a clear highlight saw the firm advise the founders of Muuto and Maj Invest Equity on its sale to Knoll. The firm also advised Moller Holding on its acquisition of Maersk Tankers and its strategic partnership with Mitsui & Co.
In the projects space, the firm advised sponsors/developers on the Copenhagen Cityringen Metro and the Stigsborg Waterfront projects.
In restructuring and insolvency, highlights for the team include work on the Hesalight bankruptcy, where it acted as the administrator, and representing GoBike on its bankruptcy.
A notable staffing change saw the departure of corporate partner Robin Philip, who moved in-house to become the lead counsel at DLG Group.
The firm rises to tier two in the restructuring and insolvency rankings.
The firm’s list of clients also include domestic banks such as Danske Bank, Realkredit Danmark and Spar Nord Bank.
The team at Dahl is primarily recognised for M&A work. In this space, the firm has worked across sectors including energy, entertainment, manufacturing and transport. Recent deals have seen the firm often act on the sellers’ side, with highlights including representing the owners of Cablecon, Poly-Control and Zen Entertainment on their respective sales.
Key clients of the firm include plastic packaging company, Toppac, and construction industry investor, Wood Invest.
Arguably the leading international firm on the market, DLA Piper has transactional strength across the board and a significant network for resources. Following the firm’s merger with Lett Law Firm in 2017, DLA Piper moved again to integrate with Delacour in June 2018, resulting in the increase of 200 more lawyers across its offices in Aarhus and Copenhagen.
In banking, the firm has acted on acquisition financings and refinancings for clients including Nest Capital and Visma. The firm has also consolidated its foothold in real estate financing, and worked for Svenska Enskilda Banken as lender on deals during the research period.
In the capital markets area, the firm has completed mandates for clients such as European Energy, which it assisted with its listing of floating rate bonds, and InterMail, which the firm advised on listing on Nasdaq Copenhagen.
Over the research period, the M&A team worked on notable deals including representing the buyer in the acquisition of Merus Audio by Infineon Technologies, and acting for the sellers in the divestment of agricultural equipment maker Skiold Group to Solix Group.
In the projects space, the firm was increasingly engaged by local governments, with the municipalities of Copenhagen, Hvidovre and Koege among the firm’s most recent clients. The firm has also worked on mandates in concern of the Royal Arena and the establishment of mining resources in Greenland.
In restructuring and insolvency, the firm was kept busy with bankruptcy matters and cross-border creditor rights.
Alongside the incoming teams from Lett Law Firm and Delacour, at partner level, the banking team brought in Ian Tokley from Lundgrens and Ulrich Hjejle from Njord Law Firm.
Basisbank, FB Gruppen and Sun Capital Partners are other clients who have recently worked with the firm.
“DLA Piper are generally our preferred lawyers for capital markets in 2018, as well as on assisting in the renegotiation of loans.” – Capital markets
“It has strong client management skills, a hands-on approach and provides good advice.” – M&A
“He has a great capacity in solving issues and making difficult processes smooth. He is a real problem solver and a very good sparring partner.”
“Excellent lawyer and good personality.”
Elmann is mostly recognised for its M&A and restructuring and insolvency work.
In the M&A space, the team has been active on a number of mandates in the technology sector, most notably advising client KMD on several transactions. A further deal saw the firm represent virtual fitness group Wexer on the purchase of Connected Fitness Labs from Fitness First, with the target company best known for its Customfit application.
The restructuring and insolvency team has also been busy, acting both for debtors and creditors on a range of matters including debt recovery, restructuring of companies, and winding-up procedures.
A notable staffing change at the firm saw M&A and insolvency partner Carsten Møllekilde join the Investment Fund for Developing Countries as a senior legal counsel.
Key clients of the firm include the likes of Danske Bank, Lina Medicals and Norvegus Fonden.
Gorrissen Federspiel’s strongest transactional practices are M&A and capital markets, with the firm generally maintaining a good share of the market’s significant deals in these areas. Infrastructure, private equity and transport are sectors where the firm has expertise.
In the banking and finance space, the firm has been involved in a variety of transaction types - syndicated loans, project financings and financial restructuring. Notably, the firm worked on the execution of a new capital plan for Vestjysk Bank to bring it out of financial difficulties.
In a stellar year, the firm’s capital markets team worked on a number of equity and debt transactions. Notably, the firm acted for Orphazyme in its IPO and admission to trading of its shares on Nasdaq Copenhagen. Other highlights included assisting Nissens Group on its listing of senior secured floating rate bonds, and acting for a syndicate of banks including Unicredit and JPMorgan as joint lead managers, in connection with Nykredit Realkredit’s bond issue.
In M&A, the firm sustained its stronghold in the Danish market by conducting market-leading work by value of transactions. A standout deal saw the firm represent Moller Maersk in its divestment of Maersk Oil to Total, marking the largest private M&A transaction in Denmark. It also advised Capviva in the acquisition of Scandinavia’s largest solar power park.
The firm’s project development highlights included advising Facebook on the development and construction of a data centre, and undertaking pioneering work in relation to Greenland-related exploitation licenses, during its work on the Tanbreez mining project.
The restructuring and insolvency team notably acted for financial creditors on the bankruptcies of furniture manufacturer, Tvilum, and renewable energy developer, Weiss.
Bain Capital, Carlsberg, KommuneKredit are among the firm’s key clients.
“They provide legal advice of the utmost quality and are highly accessible at all times.” – Banking, restructuring and insolvency
“The best there is.”
Horten is best known for its work in project development, with a market-leading specialism in the energy sector.
In banking, notable work during the research period included acting for Palmarium Holding on Danish aspects of financing its acquisition of telecoms company, Lebara. The firm also represented American multinational conglomerate GE in respect of the Danish aspects of financing the company’s purchase of LM Wind Power, a Denmark-based manufacturer.
In the M&A space, the firm worked on a number of private equity projects, representing the likes of Maj Invest Equity and Nordic Capital on highlight deals. In a further standout deal, Horten advised Statwerke München on the formation of a new oil and gas joint venture between its associated business, Bayerngas Norge, and Centrica. The move led to the creation of the new company, Spirit Energy, as a strong player in the North Sea.
In capital markets, the firm worked on rights issues and bond issues in various industries. Clients included digital payment provider Nets, Kapital Partner and Copenhagen Airports.
Within project development, Horten advises a significant portion of the players in the Danish North Sea market, such as Maersk Oil, Edison, and Hess Corporation, while it also assists the state owned Danish North Sea Fund on upstream oil and gas contracts, transactions and regulatory matters.
The firm worked on a number of restructuring and insolvency cases, including for Jutland-based furniture group, Tvilum, on its bankruptcy.
Staffing changes included the arrival of restructuring partners Flemming Bastholm, Michael Gregersen and Tanja Lykke Stougaard from the now-defunct Delacour. On the other side, capital markets partner Henning Aasmul-Olsen departed to join Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen.
The firm rises to tier two in the banking and finance rankings, after consolidating its strengths within the area.
Other key clients of the firm include BNP Paribas, RBS and Western Union.
“The firm is service minded.” – Banking
"Horten is a top-notch, full service market leading law firm. The Horten M&A-team consists of real deal-makers with a very pragmatic and solution-oriented approach.” – Banking, M&A
“Efficient, streamlined and quick service. High quality.” – M&A
“I have recently worked with Horten on a project regarding the sale of a majority stake in a company and I am currently cooperating with Horten on an active, confidential case.” – M&A
“The firm's very engaged and always available." – M&A
“I consider Horten to be a highly competent organisation and a serious legal partner who gives this company great value with its always focused advice." – M&A, project development
“The client service is always high, as is the quality of the advice. The firm is especially strong in M&A work in the energy sector and has an excellent track record. Client driven and very easy to work with. Very responsive and on the ball.” – M&A, project development
“He is service minded, fast and has a strong network.”
“A very effective lawyer.”
Mikkel Primdal Kæregaard
“General M&A practitioner. Great impression of him and his team. Provides solid feedback and helped on a major project for us.”
“He has a great overview and is excellent in handling clients. He has a strong commercial and pragmatic mindset and is very solution-oriented.”
Vibe Kongsager Klausen
“Very effective and responsive.”
“She is always available and willing to make extra effort. Her professional level is extremely high and her understanding of customer needs is remarkable. I only have the best experiences in collaboration with her.”
“Very good and engaged.”
“He is an energy expert providing creative solutions to complex questions.”
“Very pleasant to work with. Dedicated and clever lawyer, who delivers great work.”
Kromann Reumert is one of Denmark’s leading domestic firms and secures top tier rankings across all financial and corporate categories.
In banking and finance, the firm has advised on a number of acquisition finance matters in the private equity space, including for Procuritas’s purchase of sofa design company, Sofakompagniet.
In the capital markets area, the firm has been among the market’s leaders in dealing with IPOs, while the debt capital markets practice has also developed during the research period. Highlight deals included assisting Bavarian Nordic in connection with the issue of new shares to Johnson & Johnson Innovation by a direct placement. Moreover, the firm advised Ørsted in connection with its inaugural issue of a green hybrid bond and a green senior bond.
The M&A team advised on mergers, acquisitions and other corporate matters in the energy, banking and real estate industries. Highlights include work for private equity fund Altor on its acquisition of Tresu, and work for Ørsted on its agreement to divest its upstream oil and gas business to Ineos.
In the projects space, the firm has been a part of prominent ventures such as the Copenhagen Metro and renewable energy projects across Denmark, Germany, Uruguay and the UK.
Despite a relative slow-down in the Danish market for restructuring and insolvency work, the firm worked on bankruptcies and corporate restructurings.
Danske Bank, Nordea Bank and Sydbank are also among the firm’s key clients.
“Good, commercial, to-the-point.” – M&A
“I appreciate the firm's market knowledge and pragmatic approach. I give them my best recommendations.” – Project development
“The team are a pleasure to work with - providing high calibre commercial legal advice.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“We are very satisfied with the services rendered by Kromann Reumert.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“He is really good, both from a legal perspective and from a commercial perspective.”
Christian Jul Madsen
“Excellent. He has superb availability and knowledge on our business.”
“Excellent commercial lawyer who is efficient at managing transactions.”
Capital markets and M&A are Moalem Weitemeyer Bendtsen’s strongest areas, with its work for private equity firms being at the core of both practices.
The firm’s banking and finance practice is led by its acquisition and asset finance work, with a notable highlight being the firm’s work for Jool Capital Partners in a rare mortgage-backed bond issue in the jurisdiction.
In the capital markets area, the firm has undertaken significant regulatory and transactional work during the research period. The firm also notably represented Danish listed football club Aalborg FK in connection with its reverse stock split.
In the M&A space, the firm notably represented global private equity firms Bain Capital and Advent International in the public takeover of Nets. Further highlights included working for EQT in the acquisition of a Danish internet infrastructure company, and acting for TPG Capital in the divestment of its stake in Saxo Bank to China-based Geely Financial and Finnish company Sampo.
In the restructuring and insolvency space, the firm worked on cases involving bankruptcy estates, for creditor side clients such as Danske Bank and Nordea Bank.
A significant staffing change at the firm was the arrival of capital markets and M&A partner, Henning Aasmul-Olsen from Horten. Going the other way, banking partner Anders Kjær Dybdahl Pedersen joined Poul Schmith, and Signe Renée West departed to Labora Legal.
The firm’s other notable clients include 3i Infrastructure, Aalborg, Amazon and Intel.
“It's very attentive, easy to work with, provides to-the-point advice and is always available.” – Banking, capital markets
“Good services - highly competent staff.” – M&A
Lennart Meyer Østenfjeld
“Attentive, available, knowledgeable, and easy to work with.”
Plesner is one of Denmark’s largest and leading firms and has top tier rankings across a range of areas.
The banking team advised on acquisition financings, refinancings and on the project financing for the expansion of Rønne Habour. In a further complex project, the firm advised a consortium featuring Macquarie and pension funds, on the financing of a voluntary public takeover offer by DK Telekommunikation to the shareholders of TDC.
In capital markets, on the debt side, the firm advised on investment grade and high yield notes issues advising issuers including the likes of Altor and Norican. On the equity side, the team assisted clients with listing of new shares and on IPOs, with one highlight work for Zealand Pharma on a rare dual-listing of a Danish company.
The M&A team advised clients on several divestments in the energy and construction sectors. A highlight included advising private equity firm, Axcel Management, on the acquisition of Mountain Top Industries, a global leader in producing pick-up truck accessories.
The projects team advised on several of the biggest deals in the market including work for the developers of the Femern Link and Kalaallit Airport (the largest infrastructure project ever in Greenland).
The restructuring team advised on a number of high-profile financial restructurings and insolvencies, including acting for OW Bunker on its case.
Staffing changes during the research period include the addition of M&A and projects partner, Mikkel Falkenburg, from the in-house team of Maersk Oil & Gas, and capital markets partner, Anne Catherine Ingerslev, from the London office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. Going the other way, the capital market team’s co-head, Jørgen Permin, moved on after 31 years at the firm to begin his own advisory firm Permin & Tholstrup.
Among the firm’s key recent clients are AP Møller-Mærsk, Denmark’s Ministry of Finance, and a large number of domestic and international banks.
“It's one of the top firms in Denmark providing high quality work at a reasonable price. It has a couple of superstar lawyers supported by a strong bench of high quality partners and senior associates.” – Banking, capital markets, M&A
“It's very commercially oriented in its advice, and available at all times.” – Banking, M&A
“The firm is accessible, competent, and extremely professional.” – Project development
Lars Mygind Bojsen
“Quick to grasp concepts, efficient, amicable, charismatic and likable.”
Tue Ravnholt Frandsen
Thomas Holst Laursen
“Extremely pleasant to work with. Diligent, commercial and superior technical abilities.”
“Outstanding in all metrics - the best adviser you can have.”
Henrik Rossing Lønberg
Kammeradvokaten / Poul Schmith, the preferred legal adviser to the Danish government, has recently expanded its offering in the banking and M&A spaces to encompass a range of private and public clients.
The experience of the firm’s banking team grew recently as it actively took on more work during the research period. A clear highlight saw the team assist Vækstfonden, a state investment fund, in negotiating a substantial loan to restaurant chain Joe & The Juice.
In the M&A space the firm notably acted for Denmark’s Ministry of Finance in connection with sale of its majority of shares in Vestjysk Bank to a consortium led by Nykredit. In another significant transaction the firm assisted Aalborg University in the sale of Universal Foundations to the Norwegian conglomerate Fred Olsen.
Beyond those already mentioned, clients of the firm include BRF Kredit, Neupart and Universal Music.
The team at Skau Reipurth & Partnere is mostly recognised for its restructuring and insolvency work. The firm regularly represents creditors in this area while serving as the trustee in bankruptcy cases.
Recent work examples have included assisting Danske Bank with the compulsory sale of several properties owned by housing cooperatives and serving as the trustee for the bankrupt EuroAds group.
Significant clients of the firm include Jyske Bank, Nykredit Bank and Realkredit Danmark.
“It's very strong within real estate transactions and development, M&A, corporate/commercial law, insolvency and employment law.” – M&A, project development, restructuring and insolvency
“Outstanding theoretical skills matching the large tier one firms. Top-notch in trouble shooting and understands the situation from a client's perspective. It's one of the leaders in the market in reaching solutions.” – Restructuring and insolvency
“The firm is sympathetic and pragmatic.” – Restructuring and insolvency