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Legal market overview
The Danish legal market is dominated by a ‘Big Four’ of Copenhagen-based firms: Kromann Reumert, Bech-Bruun, Plesner, and Gorrissen Federspiel. Kromann Reumert is larger than its competitors, although it downsized in 2012. Each of the four except Plesner has offices in Aarhus in Jutland, Denmark’s industrial heartland. Leading Aarhus firms, such as Delacour Law Firm, also maintain offices in Copenhagen and Lett Law Firm has offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus. In January 2013, the former Kolding office of Lett Law Firm re-launched as Andersen Partners.
Two significant foreign firms have offices in Copenhagen as part of a strong Nordic presence and are differentiated by their areas of expertise. Nordic region law firm Hannes Snellman Attorneys at Law Ltd focuses on transactional work and Bird & Bird has particular strength in information technology and related matters.
Denmark’s economic recovery has been reflected in a recent increase in transactional activity, although there were few big-ticket deals and insolvencies remain an ongoing reality, notably in real estate and construction. The legal market has been contracting, particularly in the mid-market space, although the Big Four have also reduced their numbers. At the same time, intense competition for standalone legal work fuelled the battle to recruit key talent and, together with pricing pressure, is supporting the emergence of specialist boutiques offering competitive rates.