Experience and expertise within environmental, planning and construction law

Horten is one of few Danish law firms providing full-service advice within environmental, planning and construction law. We have wide experience advising foreign companies and provide honest and objective advice on Danish law in the area and on the distinct legal differences between jurisdictions. We cooperate closely with an international network of environmental law experts, which means that we can provide prompt and efficient advice on all relevant aspects.  Our wide experience within due diligence - covering the period in which due diligence has been applied in Denmark - also includes the largest and most complex transactions within environmental law. 

Our special expertise derives from previous employment at relevant ministries with responsibility for legislation, case administration and service to ministers and decentralised authorities. In addition, we have many years' experience providing specific advice by way of responses to consultation papers and bills, advice in connection with drafting of applications, decisions and political recommendations. We have conducted some of the largest and most leading cases in Denmark within environmental, planning and construction law. We also have many years' experience in project and process management and legal and commercial advice based on numerous due diligence examinations, compliance programmes and transfers of undertakings and properties.

We have broad international experience and advise on the consequences of EU regulations, global climate agreements and special rules in the individual jurisdictions. Our international advice is provided in close co-operation with environmental experts across the world.

What we do

  • Ensuring that companies are only subject to legal government requirements as regards conduct and set-up
  • Ensuring that governmental regulation of companies' conduct and set-up meets the administrative requirements for e.g. examination of the parties involved and access to documents
  • Approvals, permits and exemptions
  • Ensuring that additional self-elected regulation safeguards and pursues the company's strategy and objectives
  • Supervisory, enforcement and criminal cases
  • Issues in relation to environmental, planning and construction law in connection with property and construction projects
  • Environmental due diligence in connection with transfers of undertakings and purchase/sale of properties
  • Screening of companies' environmental risks as a management tool together with strategies, investments and plans
  • Drafting of environmental clauses
  • Drafting of contract terms in relation to all environmental aspects, including contamination and planning
  • Complaints and claims for damages before valuation commissions
  • Litigation and arbitration
  • Planning

    Horten has comprehensive and unique experience advising on planning law. As an advisor to both Danish municipalities and private companies in a large number of planning cases, we have built up in-depth expertise in the area.

    We assist with:

    • Local plans, including local plan exemptions
    • Preservative local plans
    • Local climate plans
    • Cases concerning prohibitions under sections 12 and 14 of the Planning Act
    • Project phases in connection with EIA's (Environmental Impact Assessments)
    • Environmental assessments
    • Actions for damages
    • Legal and/or physical building compliance

    Our experts have wide experience conducting cases for and against public authorities. This applies to, among other things, compliance with construction requirements, the scope of planning legislation in cases concerning expropriation and compulsory acquisition against compensation.

  • Construction law

    Horten has many years' experience advising on matters subject to construction legislation, including the Building Regulations. In this connection, we also assist by handling the complex link between construction, planning and soil contamination legislation, including enforcement and compliance.

    Types of cases:

    • The concept of construction
    • Case administration as regards applications, permits and exemptions under construction legislation
    • Supervision, enforcement and legalisation of illegal buildings and penalties
    • Orders and prohibitions
    • Complaints before the State Administration
    • Litigation
  • Nature protection and habitat regulation

    Horten has special expertise within nature protection and habitat regulation. We advise companies and public authorities on the interpretation of and compliance with Danish as well as EU and international nature protection and habitat rules.

    We have special expertise within the specific rules ensuring the protection of specially protected species applicable to building projects and planning of raw material extraction.

    We also advise on the more traditional elements of nature protection, including:

    • Preservation
    • Lines of protection
    • Access rules
    • Signage
    • National protected areas
  • Soil contamination

    Horten has strong competencies within soil contamination advice. Our expertise is based on representation in numerous cases concerning various soil contamination issues, including:

    • Liability for contamination
    • The legal relationship between buyers and sellers of contaminated land
    • Authorities’ regulation of contaminated land and its owners/users

    The areas contaminated include a very substantial part of industrial and urban areas in Denmark. Construction on contaminated land is therefore quite common, but causes rather specific problems which have to be handled. We advise businesses and private individuals on their rights and navigation options in such situations.

    We help our clients by giving expert advice on how to act when a property is charted as contaminated on Knowledge Level 1 (suspicion) or Knowledge Level 2 (established soil contamination). If the soil is classified under the Soil Contamination Act, we also advise on recycling of the contaminated soil.

  • Waste

    Horten has many years' experience advising on waste. Our experts have in-depth knowledge of the comprehensive regulation of waste and thorough insight into the affairs of waste companies. We participate in PPP and PPC projects representing both municipalities and companies, and we conduct cases for both parties.

    We assist with:

    • Collection of waste charges and fees
    • Waste disposal
    • Drafting and interpreting waste regulations
    • Environmental requirements and waste charges
    • Regulatory affairs

    We also have wide experience within waste incineration and conversion of inter-municipal and municipal waste incineration plants.

  • Waterways, water supply and water plans

    The regulation of water plans, waterways and water supply must form a synthesis - together with the other plans.

    In addition to advising Danish municipalities (and previously also the counties) on the many initiatives within the water plan area, we have for many years also navigated municipalities, municipal supply companies, private companies and landowners through these complex and interesting areas.

    We have assisted municipalities in commenting on state-controlled water plans, the many stakeholders in waterway cases, including drafting of regulations, and in cases concerning maintenance, restoration and regulation. As regards water supply, we have advised municipalities in cases concerning extraction permits and major contamination cases where the special interfaces to the municipal supply utilities come into play and must be administered in due time and correctly.

Our team within environmental planning and construction law

Henriette Soja

Partner (H)

Anne Sophie Kierkegaard Vilsbøll

Partner (H)

Tue Trier

Director, Attorney (L)

Poul Hvilsted

Attorney (H)

Eigil Worm

Senior Attorney (H)

Marie Bockhahn

Specialist Attorney (H)

Andrea Hilt Dyrby


Karen Sofie Gehl Hove


Mads Peter Rosenius Olsen


Signe Eggert Bojesen-Koefoed


Sofie Dehlholm Skovgaard

Senior Attorney

Emma Hougaard Jensen

Assistant Attorney

Janne Bach Stisen

Assistant Attorney

Julie Ingemann Pedersen

Assistant Attorney

Horten has a continuous focus on optimising their advice to their clients. They are adaptable and responsive to the client’s needs.

Legal 500, 2024

Experienced and with a strong focus on solutions. The team understands the nature of the organization they consult and what may be needed. Transparent and informative.

Legal 500, 2022