Christian Ditlev Hindkjær was born on 5 June 1975. He obtained his Master of Laws degree (LLM) in 2002, and qualified as an attorney in 2005. He gained the right to appear before the Danish High Court in 2008, and the Danish Supreme Court in 2013. He served as an interim judge in the Danish Western High Court in 2016, and became a certified mediator and arbitrator in 2017. Christian Ditlev Hindkjær is a highly sought-after specialist in business litigation and arbitration cases, particularly larger and more complicated cases.
What inspired you to pursue a legal career and specialise in business and compensation litigation?
I have always had a preference for the law; and since I love tactical play and am rather skilled in this area, litigation was the obvious choice. I love the tactical chess play in the largest and most complicated cases, and that is also where I can actually make a difference.
In addition, in Denmark litigation is the only legal work that lawyers have the exclusive right to conduct. It is, in my opinion – other than working as a judge – the purest form of practising law.
How has your experience as an arbitrator enhanced your litigation practice?
My period as a high court judge (interim position) and my work as an arbitrator have given me a broader perspective, and made it easier for me to evaluate the cases and their most likely outcome. The experience has also given me clear knowledge about what works and what does not work when influencing the court, and about how to construe the cases strategically. It has also made me more competent in making advantageous settlements for the clients.
Why did you decide to set up your own firm?
I like to do things my own way, and in large law firms it can be difficult and time-consuming to make decisions – both when it comes to the operation of the firm itself and in larger cases with political elements, where several partners are involved and perhaps disagree on the case strategy.
I can make fast and firm decisions regarding both the direction/development of my firm and the conduct of the cases.
Because of the size of the firm, I also have very few conflicts of interest that prevent me from taking cases.
In addition I can reject cases that do not pique my interest, and I can accept cases that might not be the most profitable but that I find interesting.
How does your firm distinguish itself from competition?
My firm is more specialised than most, and if I accept a case, I will be hands-on during the entire process.
Also, I do not think of my clients or cases as cash cows that have to provide revenue for as long as possible – from day one I work solely in the client’s interest, so if a reasonable settlement is possible I will act on it.
One of my latest achievements, in one of the largest lawsuits in Denmark presently, is that I had the opponents drop the case against my client alone. That would not have been possible if it had not been for a great and very strategic plan from the beginning, as well as the will to do whatever it takes to secure the best possible outcome for the client.
How has the Danish litigation market changed in recent years and how has this affected your practice?
In recent years, the Danish litigation market has been characterised by more and larger cases, especially regarding management liability.
In Denmark, class actions have been possible since 2008 and the rules have now been put to use in several cases.
Also, as a new development in the Danish litigation market, we now see examples of litigation funding.
The development has brought more cases to my firm, and more experience regarding the new litigation possibilities in practice.
What are your main priorities for the firm’s development over the next five years?
To continue to attract the largest and most interesting cases.
Looking back over your career so far, what is the most interesting case you have been part of?
That would be a huge arbitration case, which I cannot comment on, but the case effectively illustrated how important the tactical play is in litigation and how it can profoundly affect the outcome of a case.
What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?
Work hard and always have just the client’s best interest at heart considering only what is best for the client.
Christian Ditlev Hindkjær is the founder of Advokatfirmaet Hindkjær, a Danish law firm founded in 2013 and highly specialised in business litigation and arbitration. The firm has acted in some of the biggest cases in Danish legal history, and is one of Denmark’s leading law firms in relation to cases regarding professional and management liability, prospectus liability, contractual breach, non-contractual liability and public authorities’ liability. It has also conducted several extrajudicial investigations into business law matters for assessing liability, typically to serve as the basis for a decision to initiate proceedings.
Christian Ditlev Hindkjær is a very experienced and tactical litigator who has spent the past two decades working primarily on litigation and arbitration cases, with an emphasis on business and compensation law. He has an extensive and unique body of experience, having acted in some of Denmark’s largest cases concerning management liability, including historical cases concerning bankrupt banks and stock scandals (where companies have gone bankrupt or experienced a massive reduction in value shortly after a listing). He has acted for and against lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, construction professionals, architects, engineers and investment associations.
Christian Ditlev Hindkjær is certified as both a mediator and an arbitrator, and works as arbitrator in several different contexts. He has also served as a High Court judge (interim position) in the Danish Western High Court, broadening experience in relation to his work as an arbitrator.