Gitte Holtsø

Attorney-at-Law, Partner

Gitte Holtsø is a specialist in EU competition law and public procurement law.

Gitte began her career at the Danish Ministry of Justice, which included working as a public prosecutor and as a deputy judge. She has a Master of Laws (L.LM.) from the University of Cambridge and she qualified as an English solicitor at BPP Law School in London in 2000 whilst working at Charles Russell's Solicitors, London, in their corporate and competition law division.

Gitte has been involved in a large number of high-profile anti-trust cases in Denmark and the EU, such as the Danish State's sale of shares in Ørsted to Goldman Sachs, ATP and PFA, and EY's acquisition of KPMG's Danish activities. She has vast experience specifically in M&A matters including representing clients in European and multi-jurisdictional merger notifications.

Another area of Gitte’s expertise is EU and Danish public procurement. She has assisted contracting authorities such as Sund & Bælt Holding in relation to the construction of the Femern Belt Fixed Link, as well as suppliers, in particular within the pharmaceutical sector, in relation to securing a positive outcome in several cases before the Danish Complaints Board for Public Procurement.

Gitte has been an expert judge for the Danish Complaints Board for Public Procurement and she is a member of the Danish Lawyers’ Association’s expert committee on Public Procurement law.

Highlights

  • EY International - assisting EY before the national court and the European Court of Justice in relation to the groundbreaking "gun-jumping-case" following  EY's acquisition of KPMG's Danish activities
  • Criminal law - ensured the acquittal before a Danish city court of a Danish wholesaler accused by the Public Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime of cartel activities (demand for fines as well as prison sentencing) 
  • The Danish Ministry of Finance and Ørsted - the Danish State’s sale of shares in DONG Energy (Ørsted) to Goldman Sachs, ATP and PFA, and the subsequent IPO, including state aid issues and the merger notification of both transactions to the EU Commission
  • Equinor Refining Norway (owned by the Norwegian state) - the acquisition of Danske Commodities notified to and cleared by the EU Commission
  • Circle K (Statoil Fuel & Retail) - the acquisition of Dansk Shell, notified to and cleared in a phase II by the EU Commission and in the subsequent divestment sale of certain assets to DCC also cleared by the EU Commission
  • DSV - Air Cargo and freight forwarding cartel cases
  • Telenor - the contemplated merger with Telia in Denmark notified to the EU Commission 
  • Nordic Capital - the sale of Unifeeder A/S to DP World notified to and cleared by the EU Commission
  • The Danish Ministry of Finance and Danish Ministry of Culture – the contemplated (partly) privatisation of TV2
  • Bonnier - assisting in the sale of 49.9 % of the shares in the media company Dagbladet Børsen to the media company JP/Politikens Hus
  • Sund & Bælt Holding - the construction of the Femern Belt Fixed Link
  • The Copenhagen Metro - acting on behalf of a German and Danish consortium in a complaint before the Danish Complaints Board for Public Procurement in one of the largest construction contracts in Denmark

Ratings

  • Gitte Holtsø is and has continuously for many years been ranked as a leading individual by Chambers, listed as a "Global Leader", "Thought Leader" and an expert by Who's Who Legal and recommended by Legal500 as regards Competition/European Law as well as Public Procurement/Government Contracts. Moreover, Gitte Holtsø is and has continuously for many years been listed as the only individual in Denmark within Competition and Antitrust in the category "Women in Business Law" by Expert Guides.

  • Department head Gitte Holtsø is active in both competition and public procurement cases. She often represents clients before the competition authorities. Interviewees emphasise her trustworthy advice, saying: "She is highly skilled and knows our business very well. You feel safe when she is advising." (2019)

     

  • Gitte Holtsø, who is "very practical, highly skilled and always available" (2019)

  • "Head of department Gitte Holtsø is lauded by clients as "very practical, highly skilled" and "always available". She practises in all areas of competition law and public procurement, including high-profile merger control and antitrust matters. Clients are impressed by her informed and tailored approach, with one source reporting: "She is energetic and interested in clients and how their businesses operate" (2018)

  • "Exceptionally specialized" Gitte Holtsø leads the group (2018) 

  • Gitte Holtsø handles a range of matters within the sector, including high-profile antitrust cases, public procurement and competition-related M&A matters. Clients say: "She is really good, very skilled and knowledgeable. Having worked with her for a while, you can tell that she really knows what she's doing". (2017)


  • Highly recommended group head Gitte Holtsø. (2017)

  • According to clients, "Gitte Holtsø is an excellent lawyer with good industry expertise and also good ability to be creative in the process." (2016)
  • Gitte Holtsø is highly regarded for her "stellar, solution-oriented approach". (2016)

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    "Gitte Holtsø applies a skilful hand to both competition and procurement matters." (2015)
  • According to sources, Gitte Holtsø "understands where your business is coming from, and does not just see things through the lens of the domestic law." She advises on merger control cases and cartel investigations, and is noted for her expertise on public procurement projects for private companies. (2014)
  • The "bright and precise" Gitte Holtsø stands out for her public procurement and merger control advice. Clients highlight her calm approach as well as her accessibility, flexibility and resourcefulness. (2013)
  • She "really understands the competition authorities". (2013)

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