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Our history

Gorrissen Federspiel’s roots date back to the late 19th century. The firm as we know it today is the result of many years of development and mergers between the founders of the firm.

In 1989, the law firms N.J. Gorrissen and Per Federspiel merged. This was the first in a number of mergers among the largest business law firms in Denmark. The new firm was named Gorrissen & Federspiel and moved into Dagmarhus in Copenhagen. In the years that followed, Kierkegaard & Malby, Løber & Lauritsen and many other highly talented colleagues joined us to form Gorrissen Federspiel as we know it today.

Over the years, we have grown steadily, in step with the increasing number of assignments from Danish and international clients, and from being a traditional firm of lawyers, we have developed into a modern and highly specialised knowledge-based firm.

150th anniversary

In connection with our 150th anniversary (1869-2019), Henrik Fode, MA in economic history, wrote the booklet ’Features of a law firm through 150 years’. It reviews the firm’s development from a traditional law firm to a modern knowledge-based firm.

1869 – The future Gorrissen Federspiel is established

On 6 February, Christian Ludvig Kier, a solicitor of the high court, establishes a law firm, which in 1936 becomes Kier & Løber and later in 1989 Løber & Lauritsen.

1935 to 1937 - N.J. Gorrissen and Per Federspiel establish themselves

In 1935 N.J. Gorrissen takes over a firm from solicitor of the high court Ivan Kondrup. One of the firm’s specialties since 1903 has been maritime law. In 1937, Per Federspiel starts the first Danish law firm targeting international clients.

Both the early focus on maritime law and international clients are areas that remain central to modern Gorrissen Federspiel today.

1989 - A merger creates Gorrissen & Federspiel

In 1989, N.J. Gorrissen and Per Federspiel merges. The new firm is named Gorrissen & Federspiel and moves into Dagmarhus in Copenhagen. It is the first of a major wave of mergers among the largest corporate law firms in Denmark. The new firm has 33 lawyers, including 12 partners. The firm has a turnover of DKK 43 million this year.

1996 to 1999 - Growth and more mergers

In 1996, Gorrissen & Federspiel merges with Kierkegaard & Malby. The new firm is named Gorrissen Federspiel Kierkegaard. The number of lawyers passes 50. At the end of the year, there are 53 lawyers, including 18 partners. In 1998, turnover exceeds DKK 100 million for the first time. In 1999, the firm merges with Løber & Lauritsen, which can be traced back to the 1869 lawyer Christian Ludvig Kier. By the end of 1999, the number of lawyers had passed 87, including 27 partners.

2001 to 2009 - Professionalisation of Gorrissen Federspiel as a firm

In the early 00s, the professionalisation of Gorrissen Federspiel Kierkegaard as a firm accelerates. In Aarhus we move into a newly built domicile, Prismet, an IT and HR department is established, a new management structure is introduced with the first Managing Partner Niels Heering and the lawyers are divided into specialised groups. By the end of 2008, the number of partners passes 41 and the firm now houses 171 lawyers.

2009 to 2019 - Growth and 150 years as a law firm

In 2009, Gorrissen Federspiel Kierkegaard becomes Gorrissen Federspiel through a re-branding with a new name, logo and visual identity. The following year, turnover passes DKK 500 million and Peter Appel takes over as Managing Partner. He is replaced in 2015 by Thomas Haagen, who hands over the position to Martin André Dittmer in 2018.

 

In 2016, Gorrissen Federspiel is transformed into a partner company by the name Gorrissen Federspiel Advokatpartnerselskab at end of 2018 the number of partners has passed 50 and the number of lawyers is over 250. In addition, the Copenhagen office has moved into the new Axel Towers office building.

In 2019, Gorrissen Federspiel celebrates its 150th anniversary.

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