The Danish firm won an arbitration plus costs for a pharmaceutical client this year
|Pending cases as counsel||7|
|Value of pending counsel work||US$312 million|
|Third-party funded cases||1|
|Current arbitrator appointments||2 (0 as chair or sole)|
|Lawyers sitting as arbitrator||1|
Copenhagen’s Plesner can trace its roots back to 1918. But it has existed in its current form since 2000, following a series of mergers in the second half of the twentieth century. The international arbitration practice was formally created in 2005, though by then the firm already had a name for this work thanks to working on several multimillion-dollar construction arbitrations that arose out Danish projects such as the Great Belt Bridge in the 1990s.
Jørgen Grønborg – then a partner, now of counsel – took the lead on these early cases alongside current partners Peter Fogh and Frants Dalgaard-Knudsen. The pair now work under head of arbitration Peter Schradieck, who joined the firm in 1999 and who has focused on increasing its profile overseas, which in turn has led to instructions from non-Danish parties in the transport, energy, food and pharmaceutical sectors. Schradieck and his fellow partners also take appointments as arbitrators.
Who uses it?
The firm is still popular among construction and engineering companies. Long-standing clients include Scottish sub-contractor James Howden, Italy’s Astaldi and Sweden’s Nordic Construction Company. Other clients include Campbell’s Soup, retailer Couche-Tard and jewellery maker Trollbeads.
Since 2013, Plesner has been acting as lead counsel to global Norwegian shipping company Skaugen Group in disputes both at the ICC and the Danish Institute of Arbitration, as well as in related litigation and administrative proceedings across four jurisdictions, against a German energy conglomerate and manufacturer. The firm clinched a major win in one of the cases, all of which hinge on allegedly defective marine engines, in 2017.
Also in 2017, the firm helped the oil and gas division of DONG Energy (since renamed Ørsted) to settle an ad hoc arbitration against a consortium of French and South Korean contractors over the building of an oil platform in the North Sea.
In 2016, Plesner secured a settlement for a well-known global corporation in a post-M&A arbitration worth more than 300 million kroner at the Danish Institute of Arbitration against the former owners of a company. The other side proposed settlement negotiations on the eve of the merits hearing.
The firm defended pharmaceutical company Novozymes against a US$41 million claim by a former joint venture partner over development of a drug. The claim was dismissed in full in 2018 and Novozymes was awarded costs (currently being enforced before the Danish courts).
Last year also saw Jimmy Skjold Hansen promoted to partner.