GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Denmark

10 January 2017

Denmark

Year in year out, the same four elite firms continue to dominate Denmark’s competition scene.

Elite

Former practice head Simon Evers Kalsmose-Hjelmborg became BECH-BRUUN’s managing partner in April 2014, leaving the firm in the capable hands of practice head Peter Stig Jakobsen. They work in a large, highly qualified team that includes well-established partners Michael Honoré and Jesper Kaltoft, three other partners and 14 associates.

Jakobsen acts for Citymail in a follow-on damages claim against Post Danmark, which had appealed an abuse of dominance ruling against it to Denmark’s Maritime and Commercial Court. While that case is still pending, the Danish court had made a preliminary reference to the European Court of Justice, which in October 2015 delivered a landmark judgment on how to interpret article 102 on retroactive rebates. Meanwhile, Kaltoft recently advised Energinet.dk on its acquisition of DONG Energy’s gas distribution facilities, and Dansk Supermarked on its acquisition of online retailer Wupti.com. Michael Honoré acts for clients on a range of state aid cases.

The all-star team also represented Lely Nordic and several of the dairy company’s franchises after the Danish enforcer found they agreed to fix prices and share markets for robotic milking systems. In recent years Bech-Bruun advised Aller Media when the company acquired Datagraf Communications and DG Media, successfully convincing the Danish competition enforcer not to narrowly delineate the market on the basis of magazine categories.

Martin André Dittmer leads GORRISSEN FEDERSPIEL’s bustling competition practice, working alongside partners Michael Meyer and Erik Kjær-Hansen – who joined from Bruun & Hjejle in 2015 – of counsel Morten Nissen and a full roster of associates and economists. The team provides top-level competition advice on all things Danish and EU competition law, especially when it comes to merger control. They say they also have a strong focus on competition litigation and are the only Danish competition team specialised in maritime competition law

Recently, the team advised TeliaSonera in its proposed merger with Telenor – a major telecoms deal that was abandoned after the companies were unable to agree on remedies with the European Commission – and Shell in the sale of its Danish retail fuels business to Couche-Tard. The firm also acted for Nets when the payment processing company bought Nordea’s business, and for Auriga when the company sold off its Cheminova business to its American rival FMC.

Gorrissen Federspiel’s competition practice also advised Booking.com and MasterCard in relation to the companies’ respective uses of rate parity clauses and interchange fees in Denmark, and the team currently acts for engine manufacturer Deutz AG in appeal against a Danish Competition Appeals Tribunal abuse of dominance ruling. Gorrissen Federspiel is also assisting road marking company LFK Vejmarkering in a challenge to a decision by the Danish Competition Council, the authority’s decision-making arm, that held joint bidding by way of a consortium was a by-object restriction.

KROMANN REUMERT’s competition group, one of the largest in the country, continues to be a market leader. Three partners – Jens Munk Plum, Morten Kofmann and Erik Bertelsen – are nominated to Who’s Who Legal: Competition. Bart Creve and Jeppe Lefevre Olsen came on board in January 2015. Fourteen associates and senior economist Søren Andersen, who recently joined from Copenhagen Economics, complete the team.

Bertelsen acted for Danish Crown during its takeover of Tican, which saw Denmark’s Competition and Consumer Authority start a rare Phase II investigation of the deal. Meanwhile, Plum assisted TDC in its acquisition of Norway-based cable operator Gets and the pending sale of TDC Sweden. Kofmann and new partner Creve have acted for LEO Pharma and Novo in several transactions, and Kofmann – working alongside litigation partner Jens Rostock Jensen – represented financial services company Nykredit before the Danish Supreme Court, which required the company to comply with the original undertakings attached to its 2003 acquisition of Totalkredit. Meanwhile, Plum advises KPMG’s Danish operations in Denmark’s first ever gun-jumping case; the competition authority found that Ernst & Young and KPMG Denmark had pre-implemented a merger. An appeal against that decision is currently pending before the Maritime and Commercial Court. Plum also assisted Elkjøp in its acquisition of parts of FONA, an electrical retailer that went into insolvency proceedings and eventually shut down.

On the behavioural side, Kromann Reumert, boosted by former prosecutor Hans Jakob Folker and his white-collar crime practice, is active in criminal enforcement matters. In a number of confidential cases, the firm has bagged acquittals for clients in files transferred from Denmark’s competition enforcer to prosecutors. Kofmann and Creve continue to represent NKT Cables in the European power cable cartel case and SAS Cargo in the global air cargo cartel case; the pair also coordinate the follow-on damage claims to those cases. Bertelsen also acts for DONG Energy in an excessive pricing case, which involves an appeal of the enforcer’s’ decision and follow-on damages cases.

PLESNER’s Danish competition practice enjoys an excellent reputation among its peers, largely thanks to practice head Gitte Holtsø and partner Christian Karhula Lauridsen. They work alongside partner Daniel Barry, senior consultant Bo Vesterdorf, nine associates and two economists; altogether they provide competition advice to a range of high-profile international and domestic clients.

Notably, the team represents DONG Energy, which is fighting a decision by the Danish Competition Council that said the company charged consumers excessive prices for electricity in western Denmark. The Maritime and Commercial Court upheld the enforcer ruling in August 2016, although DONG Energy has appealed against that decision to Denmark’s Supreme Court. The case has led to one of Denmark’s largest-ever follow-on damages claim, which the team also acts on.

Other high-profile work includes acting for Telenor in its high profile abandoned merger with TeliaSonera; Circle K (previously Statoil Fuel & Retail) when it acquired the Danish operations of Shell’s retail, commercial and aviation divisions; and DONG Energy again, when Goldman Sachs and others injected 13 billion kroner into the company in 2015. In 2016 the Danish state then obtained sole control of DONG Energy after the company was floated, which required a merger notification to the European Commission.

Olaf Koktvedgaard leads the much-admired competition team at BRUUN & HJEJLE. After Erik Kjær-Hansen joined Gorrissen Federspiel in September 2015, the firm made two strategic hires in 2016: Frederik André Bork and Søren Zinck, both of whom were previously partners at Lett Law Firm and competition heavyweights in their own right. With seven associates to assist them, the team is now back at full strength. All three partners are Who’s Who Legal: Competition nominees – and considering the quality of their work and burgeoning reputations, they are quickly becoming strong candidates to become Denmark’s newest elite competition team.

Koktvedgaard acts for TV2/Danmark in an array of state aid cases and in follow-on damage claims before Denmark’s High Court. While some of his antitrust cases are confidential, he also represents FIH Erhvervsbank in annulment proceedings before the General Court that relates to a 2014 commission state aid decision. Meanwhile, Bork and Zinck advise Post Danmark in a case before the Maritime and Commercial Court, which relates to the EU Court of Justice’s landmark Post Danmark II ruling. The pair also advise Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte in a damages case against Danfoss following DG Comp’s refrigeration compressors decision. Zinck recently advised Airport Terminal A in an essential facility case litigated before the Danish Supreme Court, and Bork took the lead in a case defending six scaffolding companies during a Danish cartel probe; the enforcer ultimately closed the case without imposing fines.

Partner Jesper Fabricius leads the team at ACCURA, working alongside associate partners Christina Heiberg-Grevy, Laurits Schmidt Christensen and two other lawyers. While perhaps better known for its public procurement work, the team advised DCC Energy when it acquired the majority of Shell’s non-retail and retail fuels business assets in Denmark. Accura also acted for Tican when the company sold its slaughterhouse business to German slaughterhouse Tönniesm. Both of those deals required EU notification and received unconditional clearance. In recent years, Fabricius defended construction company SH Enterprise in a bid-rigging case that settled after the company agreed to pay a small fine. Alongside King & Wood Mallesons, Fabricius also acted for Expedia in the Danish hotel booking proceedings, which closed in August 2015.

Michael Klöcker left Gorrissen Federspiel in January 2016 to spearhead LETT LAW FIRM’s competition team. A former special legal adviser at Denmark’s Competition and Consumer Authority, Klöcker is well-regarded among his peers. Some of his team’s most notable work is confidential; the firm advises a client in an alleged cartel matter that concerns the construction sector, and a client operating in the furniture and living sector regarding resale price maintenance. Klöcker also advises two complainants and two dominant undertakings on separate antitrust matters, and several public companies in state aid cases. Lett’s competition clients include Nykredit, PFA, MT Højgaard, the Municipality of Copenhagen, Municipality of Frederiksberg and BIOS.

Partners Henrik Peytz and Lotte Hummelshøj together lead NIELSEN NØRAGER’s EU, competition and public procurement practice. They work alongside associates Thomas Mygind, who has a large state aid practice, and Mia Gantzhorn, who joined the firm in 2014 after working for Denmark’s competition authority. Some of the firm’s recent competition work includes acting for Energi Danmark and other interveners in support of the Danish competition authority in litigation linked to alleged abuse of dominance by DONG Energy, and for Discovery Networks Denmark in follow-on claims against TV2 Danmark. The team has also recently handled separate merger filings on behalf of Mols-Linien and Discovery Communications, and acts for complainants in several state aid cases pending before the European Commission.

Firm

Head(s) of competition

Size

Who’s Who Legal nominees

Clients

Elite

Bech-Bruun

Peter Stig Jakobsen

7 partners

14 associates

Michael Honoré

Peter Stig Jakobsen

Simon Evers Kalsmose-Hjelmborg

Dansk Supermarked, Rockwool, Viasat, Schneider Electric Danmark, ABB, Danske Statsbaner, ECCO Sko, VKR Holding, E.ON, Fujitsu

Gorrissen Federspiel

Martin André Dittmer

3 partners

1 of counsel

11 associates

3 economists

Martin André Dittmer

Booking.com, MasterCard, Deutz AG, TeliaSonera, Shell, Danish Crown, Nestle, Danske Bank and Maersk, Tele-Post, CHR Hansen

Kromann Reumert

Jens Munk Plum

5 partners

14 associates

1 senior economist

Jens Munk Plum

Morten Kofmann

Erik Bertelsen

DONG Energy, Arla, SAS Cargo, NKT Cables, Syd Energi, Nykredit, Home A/S, AkzoNobel, LEO Pharma, NOVO, Unilever, Miele, Toyota, Danish Crown, TDC, LEGO, Pandora

Plesner

Gitte Holtsø

3 partners

1 senior consultant

9 lawyers

2 economists

Gitte Holtsø

Christian Karhula Lauridsen

DONG Energy, Circle K, Telenor, Femern Landanlæg, British American Tobacco, Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Novo, Pfizer, Siemens, LG Electronics, The Walt Disney Company

Highly recommended

Bruun & Hjejle

Olaf Koktvedgaard

3 partners

7 associates

Olaf Koktvedgaard

Søren Zinck

Frederik André Bork

TV2/Danmark, Post Danmark, FIH, Axcel, DONG Energy, HMN naturgas, Aalborg Portland, GN Store Nord, Nets, FIH Erhvervsbank

Recommended

Accura

Jesper Fabricius

3 partners

1 lawyer

1 assistant attorney

Jesper Fabricius

Tican, DCC Energy, Falck Danmark, Coor Service Management, Port of Frederikshavn, Medicoindustrien, William Demant Invest, Welltec, City of Copenhagen

Lett Law Firm

Michael Klöcker

2 partners

3 associates

None

Nykredit, PFA, MT Højgaard, Municipality of Copenhagen, Municipality of Frederiksberg, BIOS

Nielsen Nørager

Henrik Peytz

Lotte Hummelshøj

2 partners

2 associates

Henrik Peytz

Discovery Communications, Discovery Networks Denmark, Energi Danmark, Swedbank, Dagrofa, Nordisk Film Biografer, Panasonic  

Previous Chapter:Czech Republic

Next Chapter:Finland