Denmark updates

Competition & Antitrust

Contributed by Gorrissen Federspiel
Competition authorities given power to fine companies for breach of competition law
  • Denmark
  • 18 February 2021

Parliament recently voted to pass a bill amending the Competition Act. The new legislation has led to substantial changes to Danish procedural and criminal competition law, including an unprecedented right for administrative authorities to fine companies for competition law infringements. The amendment of the Competition Act is a result of the implementation of the ECN+ Directive, which aims to ensure that national competition authorities have sufficient independence, resources and enforcement tools.

Digital companies under increased scrutiny
  • Denmark
  • 17 September 2020

As digital platforms become increasingly popular, new competition law concerns are arising both nationally and globally. Denmark has seen several recent cases in which the competition authorities have found that digital platforms infringed competition law. Providers of services acquired via digital platforms (eg, cleaning or accounting) risk infringing competition law if they are not wary of the general terms and conditions used by the platform.

Pharmaceutical distributor found guilty of excessive pricing
  • Denmark
  • 16 July 2020

The Maritime and Commercial High Court recently found that a pharmaceutical distributor had abused its dominant position in Denmark by charging excessive prices (a price increase of 2,000%). The pharmaceutical sector has received increased scrutiny from the competition authorities in recent years. The case is particularly relevant to the application of competition law during the COVID-19 crisis, as even short periods of dominance are sufficient to establish abuse of a dominant position.

Western High Court judgment on simplified notifications in merger control
  • Denmark
  • 14 May 2020

The Western High Court recently upheld a Danish Competition and Consumer Authority (DCCA) decision on merger notification forms. As a result of this ruling, even if a merger meets the criteria for simplified notification, the DCCA can require a standard notification if it cannot determine that no competition concerns will arise based solely on the simplified notification.

Merger control time limit suspension extended
  • Denmark
  • 30 April 2020

On 16 March 2020 significant parts of Denmark's public administration were shut down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the shutdown has begun to ease up, the merger control time limit suspension remains and has been extended by executive order until 10 May 2020.


Employment & Immigration

Contributed by Norrbom Vinding
Employee dismissed because she went behind employer's back and worked with business partner
  • Denmark
  • 03 March 2021

In a recent case, a court ruled that an employer's summary dismissal of a manager was justified, since the manager had entered into a contract with one of the employer's business partners without the employer's approval. The case highlights the difficult considerations regarding evidence that employers must make before making a choice of disciplinary action – especially in situations where the course of events can be proven only through witness statements.

Amendment to Posting of Workers Act enters into force
  • Denmark
  • 03 February 2021

In order to implement the amended EU Posted Workers Directive into Danish law (ie, with regard to workers posted to Denmark), a bill amending the Posting of Workers Act recently entered into force. This article highlights some of the key amendments, including with regard to the payment of travel expenses, accommodation rights, the reimbursement of expenses relating to posting and employment rights after 12 or 18 months.

New executive order on psychological working environment
  • Denmark
  • 09 December 2020

Following consultation in 2019, an executive order on the psychological working environment has been issued by the Working Environment Authority. The executive order aims to clarify the psychological working environment rules for employers and employees in order to facilitate the prevention of mental wellbeing issues. The executive order entered into force on 1 November 2020.

Employees' duty to provide information on inventions
  • Denmark
  • 25 November 2020

If an employee makes an invention as part of an employment relationship and if the exploitation of the invention falls within their employer's field of work, the employee must inform their employer. The Maritime and Commercial Court recently found that an engineer had not duly informed his employer of an invention and had therefore failed to discharge his duty to provide information under the Act on Employee Inventions.

Legislative programme for 2020/2021 parliamentary year: impact on employment law
  • Denmark
  • 18 November 2020

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has published the legislative programme for the 2020/2021 parliamentary year, which includes bills relating to, among other things, maternity leave and sickness benefits, the reporting of occupational accidents, the state retirement age, compensation in regard to workplace violence and protection against discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people.


Energy & Natural Resources

Increased focus on geothermal energy
  • Denmark
  • 02 March 2020

Geothermal energy has long been used for district heating in Denmark, but lately political and industry interest therein has been on the rise. This has resulted in an increase in applications to explore for and produce geothermal energy. Since 2017, five new exploration licences have been granted and five additional licences are currently being assessed by the Danish Energy Agency. Geothermal energy will help to fulfil the political goal of a carbon-neutral Denmark by 2050.

Uncertainties regarding eighth tender for oil and gas exploration in Danish North Sea
  • Denmark
  • 25 November 2019

The Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities recently invited companies to take part in the eighth Danish licensing round for oil and gas exploration and production in the Danish North Sea. Licences were expected to be issued this summer, but political pressure on the government elected in June 2019 means that the eighth licensing round's future is uncertain.

New government announces climate and energy plan
  • Denmark
  • 05 August 2019

The new government has raised the bar for climate and environmental goals with the aim of making Denmark the world leader in the transition to renewable energy. The government's climate plan calls for a significant focus on the use of wind energy and a new agreement goes even further than the 2018 energy agreement, with plans for an offshore energy island with a capacity of at least 10GW.


Insurance

Contributed by WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
Does the EU directive regarding 'large risks' include vessels bought for private use?
  • Denmark
  • 23 February 2021

In two previous verdicts a district court found that prorogation of jurisdiction can be validly agreed in a yacht insurance contract, even where consumer interests are concerned and the contract requires that legal proceedings be brought in a court in the insurer's home country. In a recent decision, a high court found that the European Court of Justice (ECJ) should be asked for a preliminary ruling. The question for the ECJ is does the EU directive regarding 'large risks' include vessels bought for private use?

Recharge of sum insured: whose duty and what are the consequences of failing to do so?
  • Denmark
  • 06 October 2020

In a recent ruling on the recharge of the sum insured in a project liability insurance policy, the Danish Building and Construction Arbitration Board ruled that the obligation to recharge was incumbent on the policyholder (adviser), regardless of whether the client had requested it or not. This article examines the ruling and highlights the conditions that parties should be aware of when refilling.

What should companies do if they have claims against a bankrupt tortfeasor?
  • Denmark
  • 18 August 2020

This article provides options for companies which have a claim against a bankrupt tortfeasor and discusses Section 95 of the Insurance Contracts Act, which gives creditors the right to raise a claim directly against a tortfeasor's insurer. However, this right is forfeited if the applicable deadlines are not met.

Putting out fires: hot work and insurance coverage for fire damage
  • Denmark
  • 30 June 2020

The execution of 'hot work' (ie, work which carries the risk of fire) often results in fires. Therefore, anyone who executes or arranges for the execution of hot work should be aware of how damages and possible liability for damages can be avoided. Hot work insurance policies should also be thoroughly examined. This article highlights the rules that craftspeople, contractors and clients must consider before and during the execution of hot work, as well as the associated liability issues.

Smooth sailing? Jurisdiction agreements in yacht insurance contracts
  • Denmark
  • 23 June 2020

A new ruling determines that prorogation of jurisdiction can be validly agreed in a yacht insurance contract, even where consumer interests are concerned and the contract requires that legal proceedings be brought in a court in the insurer's home country. Pursuant to the ruling, a private policyholder who is an EU citizen and purchases boat insurance in another EU country is bound by the jurisdiction agreement in the insurance contract.


Shipping & Transport

Contributed by WSCO Advokatpartnerselskab
Court rules that parking of goods trailer on lit roadside constitutes gross negligence
  • Denmark
  • 27 January 2021

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently determined whether a Danish carrier was liable for the theft of €172,000 worth of toys which had been stolen from a subcarrier's trailer while it was parked at night. In its decision, the court considered whether the parking spot complied with the safety arrangements set out in the transport agreement.

Court finds that charter agreement was binding despite failure to perform conditional test of vessel
  • Denmark
  • 20 January 2021

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently ruled that a charter agreement was binding on a charter even though a conditional test of the vessel was not performed. This decision shows that a party which wishes to enter into a conditional chartering agreement must formulate the condition clearly and, in negotiations on the conclusion of the agreement, maintain the reservation in question.

Time limitation for recourse claim against sea carrier cannot be more than two years from cargo delivery date
  • Denmark
  • 23 December 2020

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently held that there is no basis for an interpretation that the time limit for a recourse claim can be extended beyond the total time limit of two years. Thus, the time limit for a recourse claim between sea carriers for damage to cargo which falls under the Merchant Shipping Act is, as a general rule, a maximum of two years from the date on which the damaged cargo was delivered.

Claim for unlawful arrest could not be heard before court at creditor's domicile
  • Denmark
  • 07 October 2020

The Danish Maritime and Commercial Court recently rejected a jurisdictional claim in a dispute between a Danish shipowner and a Spanish shipyard. It follows from the judgment that a jurisdiction clause in a repair contract in some instances requires that the party which receives the other party's general terms and conditions must accept the jurisdiction clause in writing in order for it to be binding between the parties.

Court decides whether CMR carrier was grossly negligent for theft of branded champagne during carriage
  • Denmark
  • 30 September 2020

The Maritime and Commercial Court recently examined a compensation claim for stolen champagne. The customer argued that the carrier should have taken precautions to protect the goods against theft. However, the court decided that the carrier could limit its liability for the theft. The judgment is in line with Danish court practice concerning liability for the theft of high-value and exposed goods.