The sector just now

In these years, there is great focus on making the public sector more effective and professional; and it is expensive - very expensive - to make mistakes. Intensified pressure must be expected in relation to increased focus on not only the legal quality, but also on choosing the correct solutions.

For this reason, the public and semi-public sector is undergoing significant changes. In this connection, it is very important to determine the legal framework of the requirements and needs of the specific authority or company as early in the process as possible.

The sector is characterised by an increasing number of tasks being outsourced to the private sector, e.g. to public or private limited companies. 

Further, the sector is increasingly aware of the economies of scale and natural synergies achieved by cooperating on the performance of tasks both across the sector and/or in cooperation with private enterprises.

In connection with the adoption of the new Public Administration Act, the organisational scope of the Act is expanded with the result that not only public authorities, but also municipally owned companies and institutions, enterprises, etc. making decisions on behalf of a public authority will be directly covered by the rules of the Public Administration Act, e.g. the rules on access to documents. Further, private enterprises solving tasks on behalf of a public authority will be obligated to keep the authority informed on a regular basis about the performance of the task. The information provided to the public authority may then subsequently become subject to access to documents.

How we can help

The increasing professionalism of the public and semi-public sector makes heavy demands on the sector's cooperation partners, including the advisers. For many years, Horten has focused on and been one of the leading Danish law firms advising within this sector.

We have in-depth knowledge of the public and semi-public sector, and we understand the requirements to which the sector is subject. Many of our public law experts have worked in central government, municipalities and other politically managed organisations, thus ensuring a basic understanding of the work in politically managed organisations.

We consider ourselves a strategic sparring partner. We advise not only on disputes which have already arisen - we also advise proactively on how to prevent disputes. We participate in discussions with the management of the individual clients concerning all possible strategic issues, including the basic organisation of the tasks.

In the specific case, we contribute to the actual case management. We have wide experience in project management of cases involving several advisers. It is our opinion that we contribute to the progress of the individual case ensuring an aggregate and useful solution.

  • Municipalities and other administrative authorities

    Municipalities are becoming more and more aware of the advantages of cooperating on the performance of municipal tasks across municipal boundaries by way of cooperation agreements, joint-municipal enterprises or inter-municipal enterprises. In the emergency area in particular, many municipalities are planning to coordinate the performance of operational tasks of joint emergency management agencies in inter-municipal enterprises.

    In this connection, there are a number of issues of which municipalities must be aware depending on the desired organisational model of the cooperation, e.g. in relation to ownership shares, in-house advantages, drafting of articles of association, employee matters, etc.

    Our assistance:

    Horten's expertise within administrative law is based on many years' experience with a large number of fundamental cases in the area. Our expertise includes all types of questions on case handling, authority and review and litigation before appeals bodies, supervisory authorities and the courts.

    We assist in connection with:

    • Preparation of regulatory frameworks, guidelines and standard letters
    • Practical arrangement of the case handling, including in relation to examination of the parties involved, duty of disclosure, motivation, etc.
    • Questions concerning authority, including objective criteria and general legal principles of balancing
    • Questions on review of administrative decisions etc., including litigation
    • Access to documents
    • Impartiality
    • IT within administration - ensuring observance of the rules concerning administrative law and personal data law
    • Right of reversion
    • Administrative and regulatory issues within the financial sector and the pharmaceutical and food sectors
    • Assistance in connection with investigation commissions
    • Litigation and complaints
    • Training of employees.

    Our municipal law experts have access to the municipal 'engine room' and provide proactive and strategic advice also on the political level.

    We assist in connection with:

    • The limits of the local government mandate, including lawful municipal tasks
    • Municipal commercial enterprises, including ancillary services, secondary output and excess capacity
    • Organisation of municipal tasks
    • Municipal public limited companies
    • PPP and PPC
    • Administrative issues
    • Inter-municipal enterprises
    • Objective criteria
    • Financially responsible administration
    • Handling of cases before the regional state administration/the municipal board
    • Municipal actions for damages
    • Social clauses
    • Impartiality and access to documents.
  • Regions

    The scope of the regions is regulated by the Danish Regional Government Act and covers e.g. hospitals, development plans, certain offers within the social area, regional bus services and local and suburban railways, etc.

    Further, the regions are responsible for promoting trade and industry in the regions laying down the regional growth fora where trade organisations, educational institutions, municipalities and other players cooperate on a regional development strategy.

    Common to the regions' tasks is that they are regulated in detail under national as well as EU law.

    Our assistance:

    Horten has many years' experience advising on complex regulatory areas, also on the conflicting interests of administrative law and the principles of EU law.

    We assist in connection with:

    • Lawful regional tasks
    • Organisation of regional tasks
    • Strategic planning of procurement in connection with construction and building works
    • Promotion of trade and industry
    • Cooperation with private parties
    • Actions for damages
    • Matters relating to social law
    • Litigation and complaints
    • Training of employees
    • PPP and PPC
    • Administrative issues.
  • Municipal and other public companies and other semi-public entities

    Companies and semi-public entities will be facing major changes when the new Public Administration Act comes into force. In the future, municipal companies will be covered by the new rules on access to documents. Companies must thereby ensure that they possess the necessary knowledge to make decisions on access to documents.

    We assist with:

    • The rules on access to documents, including the new Public Administration Act
    • Regulatory issues
    • Issues pertaining to company law and private law
    • Consumer choices
    • Organisation, including mergers
    • Actions for damages
    • Questions on personal data law
    • Impartiality
    • Litigation and complaints
    • Training of employees.

Our team

Andreas Christensen

Partner (H)

Anne Sophie Kierkegaard Vilsbøll

Partner (H)

Henriette Soja

Partner (H)

Jesper Petersen Bach


Rikke Søgaard Berth


Klavs Gravesen

Partner (L)

Line Markert

Partner (L), Co-Chair of the Board

Erik Wendelboe Christiansen

Attorney (H)

Poul Hvilsted

Attorney (H)

Emma Hougaard Jensen

Assistant Attorney