GAR 100 - 16th Edition

Gorrissen Federspiel

Gorrissen Federspiel

Professional notice

The Danish firm is representing a private equity firm in an M&A dispute

People in Who’s Who Legal1
People in Future Leaders1
Pending cases as counsel9
Value of pending counsel workUS$1.1 billion
Treaty cases as counsel0
Third-party funded cases0
Current arbitrator appointments19 (6 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator7

Gorrissen Federspiel was opened in 1869 by a Danish Supreme Court attorney and has since undergone a number of mergers to become one of the country’s largest firms.

The foundations for its international arbitration practice were laid in the 1930s, when legacy firm NJ Gorrissen began working on commercial disputes in the maritime insurance and energy sectors. NJ Gorrissen would later merge with another firm that opened that decade, Per Federspiel, which is said to have been the first Danish practice targeted at international clients.

Today, the firm’s almost 40-strong disputes practice is led by Henriette Gernaa, a dual-qualified lawyer who acts as counsel and arbitrator and is a board member of the Danish Arbitration Association. Lotte Eskesen anchors the practice in the Danish city of Aarhus.

Another name to know is Jacob Skude Rasmussen, a former Danish diplomat who acts in banking and finance, IT and professional liability disputes. Louise Celia Korpela and Kenneth Hvelplund Pedersen specialise in M&A disputes.

Who uses it?

Gorrissen Federspiel has represented several clients in the financial sector, including Carnegie Investment Bank, Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley. It has also represented accountancy firms Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Other users include HBO Nordic and Maersk Oil. The firm also reports advising the Danish Institute of Arbitration and the Danish Institute for Human Rights.

Track record

Much of Gorrissen Federspiel’s casework cannot be disclosed, but previous instructions include acting for a client in a gas pricing arbitration worth over US$300 million.

The firm acted for private equity firm FSN Capital in two international arbitrations arising out of a share purchase. The first case was settled to the client’s full benefit and the second had an award handed down in 2020.

It represented a well-known energy company in two post-M&A UNCITRAL arbitrations worth a combined US$38 million.

Other past work includes representing a construction company in a dispute over a UK project, a transport company settling an arbitration over delivery of faulty equipment and a client in a FIDIC arbitration with a state.

Recent events

The firm is representing several companies in the renewable energy sector concerning insurance arbitration and construction arbitration, respectively, amounting to a total of US$228 million.

A major tech company is using it in a US$303 million arbitration over the delivery of an IT system; and it is also acting in a dispute between an IT developer and subcontractor regarding a public sector educational platform.

Gorrissen Federspiel partner Korpela joined the dispute resolution team, having previously worked in the firm’s corporate practice.

Client comment

One client said the firm “provided first-class advice” and that it gave its “full attention addressing all matters professionally, timely and adequately, always applying its commercial acumen and a high level of integrity”. The client commends partner Skude Rasmussen and managing counsel Søren Henriksen in particular.

Another client describes partners Gernaa and Hvelplund Pedersen as “outstanding”, providing a “superb understanding of both tactical and commercial aspects” of a matter for a Danish design company.

Gorrissen Federspiel is a leading Danish law firm with longstanding experience advising companies, financial institutions and public authorities across all aspects of corporate and business law.

We were the first major law firm in Denmark to establish a standalone dispute resolution group – a team that has firmly established itself as the preeminent disputes practice in Denmark, as well as the largest. The team has an unrivalled track record and reputation in international arbitration, which has long been a mainstay of the team’s work leaning on the firm’s deep-rooted international outlook and relations.

Our team has longstanding experience handling complex commercial and business disputes before recognised national and international arbitration tribunals including with institutions such as the ICC, SCC, DIA, FAI and LCIA, as well as ad hoc arbitration and arbitration-related proceedings before national courts and the European Court of Justice.

With market-leading experience across a range of rules and market segments, clients benefit from highly skilled practitioners who are not only attuned to their needs but also able to understand and cooperate with commercial and technical experts and to communicate commercial and technical information to the courts and arbitration tribunals.

The team has successfully represented clients in large scale arbitrations from across the shipping & transport, life sciences, energy & infrastructure, construction, finance and professional services sectors, with a focus on commercial cases regarding contract issues and post-M&A as well as construction matters, professional consultants’ liability and insurance.

Several of our international arbitration practitioners hold leadership position within the arbitration community, including group head Henriette Gernaa who was recently appointed to the Board of The Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce (SCC), which builds on her membership of the ICC Court of International Arbitration for Denmark.

Our standing as a leading dispute resolution practice is evidenced by our top-tier rankings in the international legal directories and other market surveys, which in addition to being recognised by GAR 100 includes the Prospera ‘Tier 1 Law Firm Review’ in which Danish corporates and institutions consistently rate Gorrissen Federspiel as having the #1 dispute resolution team in Denmark.

Key contacts


Henriette Gernaa

Partner, Practice Group Head

+45 33 41 41 02

[email protected]


Jacob Skude Rasmussen


+45 33 41 43 88

[email protected]


Kenneth Hvelplund Pedersen


+45 33 41 43 48

[email protected]


Lotte Eskesen


+45 86 20 74 09

[email protected]


Louise Celia Korpela


+45 33 41 41 98

[email protected]


Søren Henriksen


+45 33 41 42 51

[email protected]


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