We understand the complexity of dealing with climate change

No one can fail to notice that our climate is changing. Climate change leads to extreme weather, which creates a greater need for securing our infrastructure, homes and neighbourhoods.

Therefore, climate protection projects are necessary to deal with the changing weather phenomena we will experience more often.

The increased need for climate protection projects places demands on the state, municipalities and utilities, which are among the most important players in the area.

The climate area is constantly evolving

Climate protection projects typically touch on different laws that are not always harmonised, and it is often beneficial to determine the different legal areas that the projects may come into contact with early on in the process.

To handle climate protection projects safely from start to finish, it is therefore important to handle the many legal issues along the way. This can be in the areas of procurement law, environmental law, utility law and construction law.

It is necessary to consult with experts who are familiar with the interaction between the various regulations, have a holistic perspective and are used to working with stakeholders in various climate adaptation projects. This applies to landowners, project managers, technical advisers, etc.

Horten has specialised in the respective legal areas for many years and can provide cross-disciplinary advice. We are involved from the idea and planning phases to the realisation phase and the subsequent operation.

Our advisory services include:

  • Advice on all regulatory and contractual matters in connection with the establishment, operation and maintenance of climate adaptation projects, including the drafting of contracts and assessment of questions regarding the authorisation of the state, municipalities and utilities to participate in climate adaptation projects.
  • Advice on all aspects of procurement law, including the organisation of climate adaptation projects and the planning and implementation of tender procedures.
  • Environmental law advice on climate adaptation, including planning law, construction law, EU law, environmental assessments, land and rights issues, land registration, waterway legislation and road law.
  • Utility law clarification of issues relating to wastewater companies' legal authority and advice on the co-financing rules, the Executive Order on costs, the Executive Order on service levels, the framework for the exercise of related activities and the financial framework.
  • Contract law issues in connection with the completion of projects.
  • Litigation, complaints and other dispute resolution. We have particular experience in handling disputes in connection with climate adaptation projects.

Climate adaptation of cities

With expertise in wastewater infrastructure, we advise municipalities and wastewater companies on changes needed to handle increased water volumes and reduce the risk of flooding and environmental damage. This can involve replacing old pipes, adapting capacity and implementing new technologies to optimise water drainage systems.

For example, projects where a wastewater company replaces the old pipe network with an up-to-date network that is dimensioned according to current standards. In this context, we advise municipalities and wastewater companies on e.g. (wastewater) planning, legal authority, discharge licences, the Executive Order on costs, contracting and project implementation.

We also advise municipalities and wastewater companies on all aspects of roof and surface water management in connection with urban development.

Coastal protection projects

Coasts are at an increasing risk of flooding and erosion, threatening homes and infrastructure. To address these challenges, coastal protection projects need to protect against flooding and preserve the coastline.

These projects can include the construction of dikes, locks and other types of defences that protect against wave action and flooding. In addition, methods such as sand feeding, where sand is transported to beaches and coastal areas to rebuild or maintain the coastline, are also used.

Financing coastal protection projects is often a complex challenge. The cost of constructing and maintaining these structures can be significant, and a balance may need to be struck between public funds, private funding and possibly international funding sources, especially in the case of regional or cross-border projects.

When it comes to sharing the costs between the potential stakeholders involved, disagreements easily arise as to who should pay what.

At Horten, we provide holistic advice covering both the financial and regulatory aspects of coastal protection projects. Our expertise spans multiple areas to ensure that projects are planned, financed and implemented in an efficient and sustainable way.

Waterway projects

Waterways play a crucial role as natural rainwater drainage systems, but with increasing rainfall, changes to the structure of waterways are often required to deal with these challenges effectively.

Horten provides advice to municipalities and wastewater companies in connection with planning and completion of projects at waterways. This may include changes to the course of the waterway, installation of locks or other technical solutions that enable better regulation of the water flow.

We advise on the complex regulatory framework that regulates activities in and around waterways, including the Waterway Act and the requirements of the national water plans. Our expertise in waterway legislation ensures that projects are carried out in accordance with existing rules and regulations.

Climate projects in road areas

When climate projects take place in areas where roads have been built, a new aspect of the law comes into play. This is because road areas are regulated by, among other things, the Private Roads Act and the Road Act, which set a special framework for this type of work. Climate projects in road areas can, for example, be the so-called LDR projects (Local Drainage of Rainwater).

Horten has been working in this area for a long time and has experience in establishing climate projects in road areas and also in working with interfaces to other legal areas.

Cloudburst projects

Cloudburst projects can consist of so-called cloudburst tunnels, which are designed to collect and store cloudburst water until the connected wastewater treatment plants have the capacity to treat the water.

In these cases, it is relevant to clarify how agreements that regulate the cooperation between the municipality and the wastewater company should be designed.

As the tunnels are underground and may interfere with existing privately owned underground utility lines, issues relating to the right of way may arise. Ultimately, expropriation may be required if agreement cannot be reached with the utility owners.

Horten has experts who deal with right of way and expropriation issues, and we are therefore well equipped to prepare municipalities and wastewater treatment plants.

Our team

Rikke Munk Rye Andersen

Director, Attorney

Tue Trier

Director, Attorney (L)

Henriette Soja

Partner (H)

Line Markert

Partner (L), Co-Chair of the Board

Niels Jørgen Oggesen


Marie Bockhahn

Specialist Attorney (H)

Mads Peter Rosenius Olsen


Signe Eggert Bojesen-Koefoed


Mathias Grønkjær

Trainee Attorney