Plesner is specialised in foundation law and is very experienced in representing and advising commercial foundations, family foundations, charitable foundations, self-governing institutions and foundations with public bodies, including local authorities.

As a consequence of having focused on foundations and constructions resembling foundations for many years we have gained extensive theoretical and practical experience in foundation work and not least unique insight into the rules and the authorities' practice in the area.

Our team of foundation specialists

Our team of foundation specialists provide advice on all legal aspects of a foundation's various activities and we play an active role on behalf of and together with our clients in a result-oriented dialogue with the foundation authorities.

The team include Lars Bunch who previously worked with the Danish Business Authority for 15 years, most recently as a deputy chief executive. Before he joined Plesner, Lars was the head of both the foundation office and the corporate law office at the Danish Business Authority for a number of years. Lars was the prime force behind the new Danish Act on Commercial Foundations from 2014 and the subsequent implementation of the new Act. Lars is currently providing advice to both commercial foundations and non-commercial foundations on various foundation law aspects.

Christian Th. Kjølbye provides advice to some of the biggest commercial foundations in Denmark and he has deep insight into the rules applying to foundations because of his previous membership of Erhvervsfondsudvalget (the commercial foundations committee) where he assisted with the legislative material relating to the Danish Act on Commercial Foundations. Family foundations are also a large part of Christian's practice area.

In addition to a number of attorneys and partners providing regular advice on both corporate law and foundation law, the team also include the chairman of the Danish National Tax Board, Hanne Søgaard Hansen, who has special knowledge of the taxation of pensions and foundations.

Examples of our advice:

  • setting up a foundation, including drawing up the charter/the bylaws
  • the composition of the foundation's board of directors and what to consider in order to get the appropriate governance structure
  • planning the foundation's distribution policies
  • the ongoing work by the foundation's board of directors
  • questions about the foundation's board of directors' liability, including any litigation
  • merging and amalgamating foundations
  • closing foundations
  • amending the bylaws
  • the foundation's obligations as the ultimate owner in a group, including the interaction between the board of trustees and the underlying enterprises
  • changes in the ownership of the enterprises owned by foundations
  • public institutions' option to set up or collaborate with self-governing institutions
  • complying with all existing and new rules regarding foundations, including the new requirements as to the foundation registering the beneficial owners
  • complying with legislation when making extraordinary transactions
  • distributing foundation grants in compliance with the rules on loans, capital investments and provision of security
  • the tax treatment of foundations
  • assessing foreign constructions resembling foundations

Our specialists

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