Arbitration and litigation

The basic assumption in Danish law is that civil disputes will be decided by the ordinary law courts. However, having the courts decide a dispute may be a long, expensive process, so it is good idea to check whether the problem can be solved in other ways – e.g. through negotiation and/or arbitration (further details below).

If a lawsuit is unavoidable in order to solve a conflict, a lawyer will be required. Lexsos Advokater will be able to assist you. The following is an outline of the typical proceedings of a lawsuit; in addition, an indication is given of the (lengthy) process for which you have to be prepared.

Proceedings of a lawsuit:

  • A conflict arises between two parties
  • The parties typically approach their lawyers, who will assist them with advancing claims towards the other party – often the threat of a lawsuit is involved if the case cannot be solved in other ways.
  • The plaintiff hands in a writ of summons to the court
  • As a response to the writ of summons, the defendant hands in a statement of defence
  • There may be an exchange of further pleadings – statement of reply and statement of rejoinder
  • If required, an expert appraisal will be held
  • The parties and their lawyers meet in court for the main hearing of the case
  • Judgment is passed
  • A party who has lost the case, wholly or in part, may choose to appeal
  • In case of an appeal, additional pleadings have to be exchanged, there is a new main hearing and an appeal case judgment will be passed

As mentioned, the basic assumption in Danish law is that civil disputes will be decided by the law courts.  However, there is another way of having the dispute solved – arbitration. However, for this to happen, both parties must agree that the dispute is to be solved by arbitration. If the parties have concluded an arbitration agreement, a possible dispute is to be solved by the arbitration tribunal, which consists of one or more arbitration judges chosen by the parties themselves.

At Lexsos Advokater, a number of our lawyers have qualified to be authorised arbitration judges, so they may enter into a case in that capacity if this is the most appropriate choice.

A number of reasons may exist for preferring arbitration rather than the ordinary law courts. Firstly, arbitration often results in a decision being reached more quickly. In addition, there is basically no appeal against an arbitration award. Secondly, arbitration involves discretion, since the case is processed outside of the public realm, which may not be the case in a lawsuit. Thirdly, arbitration may contribute to a situation in which the parties stay in contact after the case has been finalised, since this type of process is typically seen to present less of a conflict.

Lexsos Advokater provides assistance in court cases and in arbitration cases. In addition, we provide consulting services when it comes to concluding a contract/agreement with – often appropriate – specification of the body that will hear any disputes arising from the contract/agreement.

Get in touch with our lawyers to hear more.