Experience and expertise within employment law

Horten has a large and experienced employment and labour law team. Our expertise includes all areas within both individual agreements and collective agreements, and we have significant experience as litigators.

We have wide experience as an adviser to foreign companies. We know the special conditions and terms of Danish employment law which often cause problems to foreign companies having employees in Denmark. We often hold conferences on Danish employment and labour law in e.g. the UK and the Scandinavian countries, and we have a strong network with employment and labour law lawyers all over the world. We cooperate closely with experts in Norway, Sweden and Finland, with whom we arrange annual conferences on Scandinavian employment law.

We understand the various aspects of employment law and base our legal advice on a commercial, strategic and long-term perspective. We advise on all levels of the organisation and tailor our advice to the specific situation.

Employment and labour law affects all areas of both the business community and the public sector. We have therefore established thorough knowledge of a large number of business sectors and industries.

Our experts have written numerous books on a wide variety of employment law issues.

What we do

  • Executive service agreements

    Horten is specialised in negotiation and interpretation of executive service agreements. We also have wide experience in incentive programmes, severance agreements and sales contracts, etc. In case of a dispute arising in relation to the content of an executive service agreement or termination or violation thereof, we have wide experience conducting litigation and arbitration. Our many years of experience advising executives and boards of directors means that we have distinct knowledge of the "executive levels" in relation to not only remuneration, but also regulation in other areas.

    Executive service agreements are to an increasing extent an international matter. Foreign companies headhunt Danish executives and vice-versa. By virtue of our close international co-operation, we can provide valuable insight into international employment law and advise our clients on the executives' employment from a global perspective.

    We not only draft standard contracts, but also ensure that the executive service agreements and the contracts of key employees are adapted to the company's business, industry and market terms. Our attorneys have many years' experience developing solutions that meet the requirements of executives without weakening the company's navigation options.

  • Negotiation and interpretation of collective agreements

    Horten has detailed knowledge of collective labour law, including the special conditions applicable to companies covered by collective agreements.

    We have many years' experience negotiating and interpreting collective agreements and conducting litigation on such agreements before the Labour Court and by industrial arbitration. 

    We also have wide experience within termination of employment contracts covered by collective agreements, including negotiations with unions and litigation before industrial tribunals.

  • Protection of business secrets

    Horten has many years’ experience advising on the protection of business secrets by way of:

    • Secrecy agreements
    • Non-competition and non-solicitation clauses
    • Intellectual property rights
    • Employee inventions. 

    We also assist in cases where employees or executives violate the competitive duty of loyalty, e.g. by attempting to copy the company's products and/or steal the company's business secrets. In this situation, it is of vital importance to react promptly on the violation and implement a strategy to protect the company's secrets, including dismissal, the issue of a restraining injunction, preservation of evidence and damages.

    The protection of business secrets does not always respect borders. By virtue of our close international co-operation, we have easy and prompt access to local expertise in many countries across the world.

  • Disputes

    Our experts are experienced in the strategic and practical handling of disputes, including negotiations and settlement discussions. Our wide business experience contributes to creating permanent and custom-made solutions.

    Horten also has considerable experience in litigation before the Labour Court, arbitration tribunals and the ordinary courts.

    In addition, we are often appointed arbitrators both in relation to institutional and ad hoc arbitration.

  • Incentive pay

    Horten has detailed knowledge of incentive pay as part of the remuneration of executives, board members and key employees. We advise on the choice of remuneration form, including pros and cons compared to other programmes, and we assist with the drafting, implementation and updating and interpretation of chosen programmes.

    Common to these programmes is that the consequences in terms of employment and labour law, tax law and corporate law must be carefully assessed before introducing a programme.  We have the necessary experience and expertise both in relation to employment and labour law, tax law and corporate law.

  • Termination and summary dismissal

    Correct handling of termination or summary dismissal of one or more employees requires care, skill and experience. We aim at minimizing the emotional and financial costs in connection with termination of employment, and we draft strategies ensuring a satisfactory solution to all parties. If this is not possible, we may conduct litigation before the courts or arbitration tribunals.

  • Secondment/posting - international employment contracts

    Horten advises Danish and international companies on all legal aspects of national and international secondment/posting, including contracts, taxation and pension, social security and residence and work permits. We have wide experience interpreting and understanding EU law and the rules applicable in the rest of the world.

  • Discrimination and equal treatment

    Horten handles the challenges in relation to employees' pregnancy, maternity/parental leave, etc.

    Our attorneys are also specialised in advising employers on the specific challenges of prohibitions against discrimination due to age and disability, including the special adaptation obligations. We have wide experience handling e.g. termination and the adaptation obligations to be observed by the employer when an employee is functionally impaired due to a disability.

    We often hold conferences on these subjects, and if it is not possible to reach an amicable solution to a dispute, we also assist by bringing legal action before the courts or industrial tribunals.

  • Transfer of business

    Horten has in-depth experience as an adviser in connection with transfers of businesses. Our employment law experts assist with sparring, advice and due diligence in close co-operation with Horten's M&A team. Our experience is based on a large number of mergers, acquisitions and transfers within both the private and the public sector, including the supply sector.

  • Employment contracts and staff policies

    Horten provides advice in the employment phase, during employment and in connection with termination of employment. We have wide experience negotiating and interpreting employment contracts and drafting staff policies.

    Our expertise in relation to employment contracts and staff policies is not limited to Danish standards. Our experts have in-depth knowledge of international employment and develop permanent solutions to international companies in close co-operation with our foreign colleagues.

  • Working environment and industrial injuries

    Horten is the leading law firm within working environment and discrimination. Our experts have wide experience in issues relating to both the physical and the psychological working environment and assist clients understanding the working environment in order to create a basis for a good and healthy working climate.

    We assist by drafting compliance programmes and procedures ensuring observance of legal requirements thereby minimizing the risk of litigation on e.g. equal treatment and discrimination. We also have many years' experience conducting litigation on working environment.

    Horten has special expertise in industrial injuries. Our experience is based on a substantial number of cases concerning industrial injuries, acting as an adviser to primarily insurance companies, but also to municipalities, regions and private and public companies.

    We have special expertise within:

    • Assessment of liability, including liability for the psychological working environment and psychological injuries
    • Claims for damages
    • Industrial injuries caused by the employer's fitting up of the workplace, the organisation of the work or the lack of instruction and supervision.
    • Industrial injuries in connection with the use of machines, technical aids, protective equipment scaffolding, ladders and lifts.
    • Contributory negligence, limitation of actions and inactivity
    • Standard of evidence in relation to industrial injuries
    • Severance of claims for damages and municipalities' consequential claims with the possibility of recourse.
All individuals have been very professional in their responses. They answer quickly and are precise. They articulate the answer so it is understandable.

Legal 500, 2024

They answer questions on the spot and are very professional. They definitely know what they are talking about

Legal 500, 2024

The team has very broad and strong specialist competencies.

Chambers Europe, 2024

Horten always gives precise and practical advice. It doesn't overcomplicate things, and comes straight to the point with the needed context and awareness of the business needs.

Chambers Europe, 2024

The lawyers are thorough, quick and to the point.

Chambers Europe, 2024

“The lawyers give good explanations for complex matters. They have all the expertise and reply immediately.”

Chambers Europe, 2024

The team is extremely knowledgeable and provides creative, business-oriented advice to complex matters.

Chambers Europe, 2024

The practitioners are very capable and are specialists in their fields.

Chambers, 2023

The lawyers are aware of the trends in the market, and their advice is tailored to our level of risk.

Chambers, 2023

The law firm's understanding of our business really helps in the guidance of complex cases.

Chambers, 2023

Legal advice is clear and good for an international audience. A go-to firm for international clients in Denmark.

Legal 500, 2022

One of the best Danish firms, strong team, great expertise and very nice people! We have a very smooth relationship and clients can feel it.

Legal 500, 2022

Our employment law team

Thomas Christian Thune

Director, Attorney

Erik Wendelboe Christiansen

Attorney (H)

Signe Rydahl Werming

Specialist Attorney (L)

Sune Schmidt Jensen

Assistant Attorney

Marie Sylvest Fosbo

Assistant Attorney