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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Germany > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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    • Timon Grau - Linklaters

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CMS has an impressive client portfolio including several well-known national and international financial services providers alongside IT and energy companies. The team around Oliver Simon and Martina Hidalgo, which also includes the renowned Björn Gaul and Gerlind Wisskirchen, covers the full spectrum of employment law. It assisted Savills Investment Management with redundancy measures and negotiations with the works council to reach a reconciliation of interests combined with a social compensation plan, and, in cross-departmental co-operation, the practice advised Commerzbank on terminating a joint venture with BNP Paribas including the transfer of operations and staff adjustment measures. In other work, it advised a bank on the restructuring of its remuneration systems and also regularly assists Volkswagen and Audi with dieselgate-related compliance advice. In early 2018, Andreas Hofelich was made partner. Bernd Roock and Reiner Kurschat retired in late 2017.

Known for its broad offering and international experience, Gleiss Lutz’s team including the ‘excellent’ Stefan Lingemann, Steffen Krieger and Doris-Maria Schuster is also praised for its ‘very quick processing and response times’ as well as its ‘high-quality advice’. Frequently acting for car manufacturers and financial services providers, the renowned Christian Arnold advised Audi on matters pertaining to the departure of four executive board members, while DZ Bank retained the team to advise on employment law issues concerning the merger with WGZ BANK, and Thomas Winzer assisted the shareholders of ZKW with employment law matters pertaining to the sale of the group to the South Korean LG Corporation and its subsidiary LG Electronics. Rut Steinhauser made partner in January 2019, while Muriel Kaufmann and Tobias Abend were appointed counsel.

Boutique firm KLIEMT.Arbeitsrecht is one of the top contacts for national and international employment law matters and has particular expertise in restructuring-related work. In a recent example of its work in this area, the group assisted new client GE Power with redundancy measures alongside collective bargaining and works council constitution law matters. Other areas of expertise include data protection, occupational pensions and D&O liability issues which leads to regular instructions from prominent clients including companies, executives and authorities such as Allianz, Redknee, Rheinmetall and Santander-Bank. Key individuals include renowned name partner Michael Kliemt and founding partner Oliver Vollstädt, alongside Burkard Göpfert and Barbara Reinhard, who is well versed in handling collective bargaining matters and industrial disputes. At the end of 2018, Peter Hoppenstaedt and Christoph Crisolli left the firm to open vangard’s new Frankfurt office; they were followed by associate Frank Zaumseil, who joined as partner. The firm opened a new and fifth office in Hamburg in February 2018, where Markus Bohnau will now be based.

Allen & Overy LLP stands out for its ‘high-quality and business-oriented approach’, its ‘broad and deep expertise’ as well as its ‘very good and friendly communication’. The team advises national and international clients on occupational pension schemes, the deployment of external personnel and industrial disputes as well as compliance, collective bargaining, remuneration and employee participation matters. In a cross-border mandate, Markulf Behrendt and team head Hans-Peter Löw advised Cerberus on all employment law issues pertaining to the acquisition of HSH Nordbank. Counsel Bettina Scharff, who is known for her ‘high level of expertise and pragmatic approach’, and the ‘very experienced and unpretentious’ Thomas Ubber are noted; Scharff acted for a global logistics company in contesting several works council elections, and Ubber advised Thomson Reuters on restructuring matters preceding the sale of the majority of its financial market division. Other clients include Barclays, Deutsche Telekom and Huawei. Global employment practice head Tobias Neufeld left the firm in November 2018 to work independently.

Baker McKenzie handles a wide range of national and cross-border employment law matters including the deployment of external personnel and employee data protection, which leads to a steady flow of mandates from clients from various industries including Fiducia & GAD IT and Baxter Deutschland. The practice represented SAP in co-determination proceedings against IG-Metall and Ver.di, and acted for Dentsply Syrona in a cross-border restructuring including collective redundancies and the relocation of operations. In another significant matter, the team assists The Walt Disney Company Germany with the negotiation of a reconciliation of interests agreement and a social plan to relocate operations within Germany. Christian Reichel and Steffen Scheuer are the key figures.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, clients benefit from the firm’s ‘international reach’ and ‘global network’ and highlight its ‘outstanding technical advice’ and ‘pleasant co-operation’. The team, which is led by Boris Dzida (‘provides good pragmatic advice on a variety of complex issues’), routinely acts for companies in restructurings and SE transformations alongside data protection, compliance, remuneration and company pension matters. In recent highlights, the team assisted a leading foreign telecoms company with its Germany-wide restructuring and associated negotiations of reconciliation of interests, and advised a global pharmaceutical company on the implementation of data loss prevention systems. In other work, Thomas Müller-Bonanni assisted Volkswagen with dieselgate-related employment law matters. The team also includes the renowned Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt. Timon Grau joined Linklaters in March 2018.

The ‘very strong and pragmatic’ team at Noerr is praised for its ‘deep economic understanding’ and its ‘extremely competent lawyers’, who ‘find very good and workable solutions even in the most difficult situations’. The practice acts for clients across various industries including aviation, automotive, logistics, e-commerce and retail as well as finance and insurance, and successfully represented Air Berlin before the labour court in Berlin and Hamburg in collective bargaining-related proceedings. Team head Andreas Butz assisted a well known German food company with restructuring matters including redundancy, collective bargaining and industrial constitution law matters as well as on co-determination structures. In other work, Stefan Schwab assisted service provider ISS Facility Services with employment law issues concerning the conclusion of a contract package with Deutsche Telekom outlining the client’s provision of facility services to the latter company, due to start in 2019. Hans-Christoph Schimmelpfennig and Nicole Heider are also noted; both demonstrate ‘a very high level of expertise’ and are ‘experienced in airline business-related matters’. Charlotte Sander made partner in January 2018.

‘Providing an excellent service’, Beiten Burkhardt’s ‘strong’ team has ‘extensive knowledge and very broad experience in employment law’ and is also praised for ‘understanding the practical needs of businesses’. Wolfgang Lipinski acts for Sky Deutschland in proceedings concerning equal representation on supervisory boards, and team head Christopher Melms assisted Swissport with the formation of a special negotiating body. Metzler Pension Management and Pandora Jewelry are also clients. Personnel changes include the departure of Katja Hinz to vangard in January 2018 and Ralf Symhardt leaving the firm for an unknown destination; Thomas Lambrich and Benjamin Butz joined the firm from Prinz, Neidhardt, Engelschall in early 2018 and Maike Pflästerer was a new arrival from HWW Hermann Wienberg Wilhelm in August 2017. Daniel Hund and Johannes Allmendinger were promoted to the partnership in January 2018.

Outstanding’ Cologne-based boutique Küttner Rechtsanwälte receives praise for its ‘very short response times’ and ‘high level of expertise’. Its strength lies in dealing with restructuring-related employment law matters but the practice has also been increasingly active in providing compliance and data protection advice. The ‘creative’ Thomas Faas, who made partner in January 2018, advised Bruker on collective and individual employment law issues pertaining to the outsourcing of its finance operations to Poland, including negotiations of reconciliation of interests, social plans and works agreements. The team also advises broadcaster WDR on various employment law matters pertaining to allegations of sexual harassment brought against some of its employees, and represented Commerzbank in several proceedings regarding the adjustment of company pensions. Tim Wißmann is also singled out.

With particular expertise in the pharmaceutical and chemical sectors, Latham & Watkins LLP focuses on restructuring-related and transactional employment law work alongside company pensions. Stefan Lunk advised Dow Chemical on collective bargaining issues and on negotiations concerning the partial sale of the company, while also representing the client before conciliation committees and the Federal Labour Court. The team also provides regular collective employment law advice to Airbus Group on negotiations with works councils and represents the client in court proceedings. Claudia Heins and team head Tobias Leder advised long-term client Siemens on employment law matters pertaining to the client’s merger with French transport company Alstom.

Rated for its ‘speedy response times’, Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH stands out for its expertise in collective bargaining law, particularly in the restructuring context and in healthcare industry-related matters. The team recently assisted a financial services provider with nationwide restructuring issues and advises Metro Cash & Carry on a complex reorganisation. In other work, the practice assisted a telecoms company, a new client of the firm, with employment law matters pertaining to the re-tendering of building management contracts. Paul Schreiner heads the practice, which includes Klaus Thönißen, who was promoted to the partnership in summer 2018.

Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law is recognised for its ‘reliable, efficient and direct consulting approach’ alongside its ‘competent conduct of negotiations’ and ‘practical solutions’, while clients also praise the team’s ‘customer orientation’ and ‘responsiveness’. It focuses on restructurings, SE formations, disputes and the termination of employment relationships with executives. The ‘excellent’ Kara Preedy and the ‘very knowledgeable’ Thomas Wahlig advised insurance group Chubb on its Europe-wide change of legal form to an SE and its Brexit-related relocation. Team head and ‘brilliant negotiator’ Tobias Pusch, who ‘has the courage to find creative solutions’, represented a mobility services provider in contentious matters concerning terminating the employment of a manager. Holger Thomas and Jochen Keilich are other key members of the team, which increased its bench strength significantly in 2018: in February, Verena Braeckeler-Kogel joined from Simmons & Simmons, followed by Katrin Scheicht from Norton Rose Fulbright in May and counsel Philipp Schäuble from Clifford Chance in September; Schleicht and Schäuble subsequently opened the firm’s Munich office. In January 2018, Eva Wißler was made partner.

Employment law boutique vangard handles a wide range of employment law work for employers. In January 2018, its Berlin office was bolstered by the addition of Katja Hinz from Beiten Burkhardt. In significant work, the team acted for Evangelisches Werk für Diakonie und Entwicklung in ECJ proceedings concerning the rejection of secular job applicants, and advised Abercrombie & Fitch on extensive collective and individual employment law matters. In another noteworthy matter, it is acting for easyjet in the restructuring of its operations in Germany and the development of a post-Brexit strategy. Düsseldorf-based Frauke Biester-Junker is another key individual. At the end of 2018, Peter Hoppenstaedt and Christoph Crisolli joined from KLIEMT.Arbeitsrecht to open the firm’s new Frankfurt office. Frank Zaumseil followed suit and joined as partner.

The ‘excellent and proactive’ team at DLA Piperachieves good results’ for its clients, who appreciate the firm’s ‘personalised service’. The ‘direct, honest and emphaticJens Kirchner is frequently singled out and advises BorgWarner on restructuring matters alongside company law and collective bargaining law issues, while team head Kai Bodenstedt assisted Etihad Airways with various collective and individual employment law matters, most notably those pertaining to restructurings and negotiations with works councils. Cisco Systems instructed the team to assist with the negotiation of reconciliation of interests and social plans as part of a major restructuring including redundancies. Eva Einfeldt is also recommended.

Greenfort’s three-strong team is jointly led by Jens-Wilhelm Oberwinter and Mark Lembke and is best known for providing restructuring-related employment law advice and for its litigation capabilities, but the practice also has notable expertise in matters pertaining to the employment of company executives and data protection. The team advises long-term client ING-DiBa on a wide range of collective and individual employment law matters; recently, this included remuneration structures, the termination of employee relationships and collective agreement negotiations. The practice is also assisting Coty with integration and reorganisation measures concerning the acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s Specialty Beauty Business and also handled the closure of a production facility for Warner Chilcott Deutschland.

The ‘very good’ team at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek PartGmbB receives praise for its ‘precise and comprehensive’ advice alongside its ‘timely and tailor-made service’ and has particular expertise in sports industry matters; recently, Johan-Michel Menke acted for FSV Mainz 05 in appeal proceedings against Heinz Müller with regards to fixed-term contracts for players. Andreas Walle and the ‘very clear, helpful and extensively experienced’ Astrid Wellhöner are the main contacts; together with Eva Kettner, who made partner in January 2018, Walle represented Lübecker HafenGesellschaft in class actions brought by employees of insolvent Hafenbetriebsverein Lübeck (HBV), while Wellhöner Hugendubel received assistance with the implementation of GDPR. Volker Voth and Alexander Bork were promoted to the partnership in early 2018.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s ‘very reliable and competent’ team provides ‘high-quality and well thought-through advice’ on a wide range of employment law matters including data protection and IT. In a cross-border mandate, the team advised Standard Industries on the implementation of GDPR, and, in the transactional space, which constitutes another key area of expertise for the practice, main contact Kerstin Neighbour and colleagues from various other departments assisted Woodward with employment law matters pertaining to the acquisition of L’Orange from Rolls-Royce.The team also advised Daimler on the formation of a joint venture with BMW. Other key individuals include the ‘solution-oriented’ and ‘competent negotiator’ Eckard Schwarz and the ‘practical and readily availableBernd Klemm. Counsel Leif Hansen left the firm in September 2018 to work independently. In January 2019, Lars Mohnke was elevated to the partnership and Silvia Lang was appointed counsel.

Providing full-service employment law advice, Hanover-based boutique Laborius receives regular instructions involving restructurings and personnel leasing issues alongside collective bargaining and remuneration matters, and has been increasingly active for executives. Clients include Concordia Versicherungen, Bisquiva and Silgan WhiteCap Deutschland.

In addition to its transactional expertise, Linklaters’ employment law practice handles Brexit-related matters, remuneration issues, and management and executive staff-related work, which constitute an increasingly significant portion of its workload. It acts for national and international clients; it recent work it advised Porsche Automobil on changes to the Executive Board, and assisted J. Safra Sarasin Deutschland with various employment law matters including, among others, mass redundancies and unfair dismissal proceedings as well as labour court proceedings. In other work, team head Matthew Devey advised Macquarie Group on the acquisition of real estate fund manager GLL Real Estate. Timon Grau joined the Düsseldorf office from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Georg Annuß’ joined Staudacher Annuss Arbeitsrecht. in April 2018,

Schweibert Leßmann & Partner focuses on collective employment law matters alongside transactions, restructurings and management issues. The team ‘is pleasant to work with’ and has ‘excellent knowledge’, but suffered a loss when Ulla Rupp moved to MAINWERK Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB in March 2018. The ‘pragmatic and technically excellent’ Nicole Engesser Means represented Stefan Hans in unfair dismissal proceedings against the German Football Association (DFB) and in disputes with FIFA, while the ‘very creative and quick thinker’ Ulrike Schweibert, who ‘has a good feel for whats economically and politically feasible and provides solutions with immense speed’, acted for Fresenius in complex collective bargaining negotiations. In another noteworthy matter, the group advised the insolvent Basler Fashion Group on employment law matters concerning its nationwide closure of operations. With the addition of Anja Mengel from Altenburg Fachanwälte für Arbeitsrecht in July 2018, the firm opened a new office in Berlin. Rüdiger Hopfe and Jochen Leßmann are also recommended.

Seitz Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater is best known for its restructuring expertise, covering both national and international work. Recent highlights include assisting insurance company R+V with restructuring issues following ongoing digitalisation measures, and advising PSA-Opel on restructuring negotiations with IG Metall and the general works council including new collective agreements. Stefan Seitz is recommended. Joachim Trebeck and Stefan von Broich left the firm in July 2018 to found Trebeck & von Broich Rechtsanwaelte PartG mbB.

Taylor Wessing has a strong profile for HR services sector work and frequently handles matters pertaining to the deployment of external personnel, personnel leasing and data protection as well as transactions. The team advised Boston Air Recruitment on the use of outside staff and personnel leasing in Germany and freelance-related matters and assisted River Rock with the acquisition of assets from insolvent kitchen manufacturer Alno and with its subsequent restructuring and job creation measures. Marc André Gimmy’s team includes Jan-Patrick Vogel, Christiane Richter-Wienke, Kerstin Albers-Mohlitz, Jan Grawe and Jonas Warnken, who all made salary partner in 2017. The practice also increased its bench strength by adding several associates. Susanne Lüddecke joined Graf von Westphalen in August 2017; she has since moved to Covington. Sascha Grosjean announced his move to Dentons in April 2019 to open a new office in Düsseldorf.

Employment-focused law firm Altenburg Fachanwälte für Arbeitsrecht specialises in transactional employment law work but has also been increasingly active in company pension and compliance matters. The group advises Foodora on social security issues including disputes, while, in equally significant work, the practice advised a technology company on restructuring-related matters, and assisted ROB Cemtrex Automotive with the negotiation of a reconciliation of interest agreement and social plans, while also representing the client in court proceedings over mass dismissals. Stephan Altenburg is a key figure in the practice, which increased its bench strength by adding Manteo Heikki Eisenlohr and Nicolas Roggel from K&L Gates LLP in early 2018. Anja Mengel is now with Schweibert Leßmann & Partner.

Arqis Rechtsanwälte’s team, which is led by Andrea Panzer-Heemeier, has ‘a good business sense’ and delivers ‘very good innovative solutions’. It has a focus on remuneration, restructuring and data protection matters as recently demonstrated by its advice to Pago Etikettiersysteme on restructuring issues following changes made to its business model and by representing the client in class actions. The group also assists Uniqlo Germany with the foundation of a works council, co-determination matters and procedures before conciliation committees and handles data protection issues for HUK Coburg Versicherung.

With ‘high-quality standards and fair pricing policies’, Dentons is an attractive choice for national and international clients, which require support with cross-border matters at the intersection with various other practice areas. The team, which is jointly headed by Utz Andelewski and Markus Diepold, is particularly active in transactions, restructurings and the deployment of external personnel, leading to regular instructions from a global aviation and rail industry company to advise on collective employment law matters; it recently advised the same client on the relocation of various construction contracts. In the transactional space, the team assisted a financial services provider with the sale of its digital division to a media company. Fidelio Healthcare and Paracelsus-Kliniken are new clients. The ‘pragmatic’ Frank Lenzen, who ‘concludes negotiations constructively and in a timely manner’, and the ‘very accurate and prompt’ counsel Matthias Stelzer are also noted. The firm announced plans to open a new office in Düsseldorf by April 2019, which will be augmented by the addition of Sascha Grosjean from Taylor Wessing.

Eversheds Sutherland’s practice increased its bench strength significantly recently, most notably boosting its capabilities in restructuring-related employment law and collective bargaining law by adding Marco Ferme and Nina Springer and six other lawyers from BEITEN BURKHARDT in July 2018. The practice, which is co-led by Stefan Kursawe and Frank Achilles, is well versed in handling executive-related issues and company pension matters. Kursawe successfully represented new client Heckler & Koch in a dispute with a former CEO, and assisted Achilles Avery Dennison with the closure of a production site and its relocation abroad.

The ‘reliable and committed’ team at Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB attracts praise for providing ‘comprehensive and helpful advice’; led by Marcus Richter, the group is particularly adept at handling matters at the interface between employment, restructuring and insolvency law. In recent work, it advised Saltus on redundancies and the relocation of various sites abroad, and, in the transactional sphere, the team assisted Zeitfracht and Nayak with employment law issues concerning the acquisition of various AirBerlin assets. Frank Wilke, who ‘finds practical solutions even in the most difficult situations’, and Thomas Bezani, whose ‘knowledge is always up-to-date’, are noted. Ulrich Fülbier was made partner in April 2018.

With transactional employment law work at its core, the ‘responsive and flexible’ team at Jones Day advised long-term client Plastic Omnium Group on employment law matters pertaining to the acquisition of Swiss Hydrogen and Belgium company Optimum CPV BVBA. The practice also assisted Emeram Capital Partners with the acquisition of Meona and E.care bvba. Team head Friederike Steininger is ‘an outstanding negotiator’ and ‘picks up the subject matter quickly and has a precise understanding of the client’s situation’.

Handling the full spectrum of employment law, boutique firm Justem Rechtsanwälte is best known for its banking sector expertise. Caroline Bitsch routinely advises banks on remuneration matters and recently assisted Bethmann Bank with remuneration system adjustments alongside negotiations with the general works council. Thilo Mahnhold is another key figure in the team and stands out for ‘presenting complex matters comprehensibly and for providing strategically excellent solutions to complex disputes’; he advised Mobotix on restructuring and employee data protection issues. Julia Schweitzer joined the team as associated partner in early 2018 from Taylor Wessing and Daniel Klösel made associated partner in September 2017.

Frequently working in conjunction with various other departments, Mayer Brown LLP has a strong focus on cross-border work in the aviation, automotive, chemical and finance sectors. In a recent highlight, the team acted for Federal-Mogul Bremsbelag in restructuring its Honeywell business including staff adjustment measures and co-determination procedures. In other work, Guido Zeppenfeld’s team assisted Albemarle with the introduction of a new remuneration system, and advised Goodyear on data protection matters.

The ‘very reliable and always available’ team at McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP utilises its ‘excellent expertise’ when assisting clients with national and cross-border matters and ‘applies strategies, that usually lead to a successful outcome’. Team head Volker Teigelkötter is advising Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe on the restructuring of Babcock Fertigungszentrum, and United Internet Group on the integration of Strato and Drillisch, and also assists long-term client DMG Mori with personnel leasing, data protection and transactional matters as well as contentious issues. The ‘friendly and technically excellent’ Paul Melot de Beauregard and the ‘precise’ Gudrun Germakowski are also recommended.

White & Case LLP is best known for its expertise in handling employment law work at the interface with restructuring and insolvency law. In evidence of this, Hendrik Röger advised Asklepios on its attempt to acquire the insolvent Paracelsus clinic group, while Deutsche Telekom instructed Frank-Karl Heuchemer’s team with matters pertaining to the global restructuring of its senior management including overseas assignments. In other work, the team acted for a leading transport system operator in disputes with a former managing director.

Buse Heberer Fromm advises German and international SMEs and executives on collective and individual employment law matters. The team, which is led by Sabine Feindura, acts for a DAX-listed company on employment law and data protection issues arising from an internal investigation for alleged violations of the US Foreign Corruption Practices Act, and assisted an automotive sector company with reconciliation of interest and social plan negotiations following the sale of the company to an Asian private equity firm.

Acting for employers and employees, the team at CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner frequently handles restructuring-related work, wage and contract negotiations alongside works constitution matters, while the practice also has considerable clout in the contentious arena. Ernst Eisenbeis acted for DuMont Media Group in negotiations with the German Pension Insurance Association and the Cologne Public Prosecutor’s Office concerning the employment of falsely self-employed journalists. The group also advises clinic in southern Germany on the implementation of the reformed Temporary Employment Act concerning emergency practices.

FRAHM KUCKUK HAHN Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB handles a wide range of employment law work and has particular expertise in restructuring-related matters and company pension schemes as well as issues at the intersection with corporate law and compliance. In a noteworthy contentious mandate, the team represented Fibro in pursuing claims against Allianz Pensionsmanagement regarding the adjustment of occupational pensions, and, on the non-contentious side, acted for ATB Schorch in restructuring issues and the negotiation of a supplementary bargaining agreement. The group also advised Kärcher on matters pertaining to its relocation of production and the implementation of new data protection rules. Key individuals include name partner Stefan Nägele, Meike Kuckuk and Sebastian Frahm.

Hendrik Bockenheimer and Christian Hoefs jointly head the ‘very good’ team at Hengeler Mueller, which routinely handles restructuring work alongside remuneration, transactional and senior management-related matters. It advised French PSA Group on cross-border employment law aspects concerning the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall, and assisted Tata Steel Group with its merger with thyssenkrupp. The team also advised technology group Linde on remuneration matters and company pensions. Adidas and Metro are also clients.

The ‘very good’ team at Herbert Smith Freehills Germany LLP is led by the ‘practical’ Moritz Kunz and receives regular instructions from German and international clients including Bank Crédit Agricole, which received assistance with GDPR matters. The team also advised the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on employment law issues pertaining to its operational restructuring in Germany and the termination of the employment relationship with its CEO, and assisted Panasonic Healthcare with collective bargaining and industrial constitution law matters following the transfer of undertakings.

Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB’s client base includes several SMEs from various industries. The team recently expanded its roster with the addition of Märkische Bank, which it advised on the adjustment of employment contracts, including executive board employment contracts, and works agreements in accordance with the new remuneration system. The group also assisted technotrans with matters pertaining to its cross-border change of legal form to an SE. Other work includes acting for an AirBerlin pilot in dismissal protection proceedings. Wolfgang Bucksch and ‘good negotiator’ Heiko Langer jointly head the team, which includes Jana Riech, who made partner in 2018. The group expanded with the addition of Jörg Podehl and two associates from Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in November 2018.

Acting for SMEs and executives alike, Frank Hahn and Wolfram Sitzenfrei’s team at Kasper Knacke recently advised several managers of The Walt Disney Company on the termination of their employment contracts, and assisted Volkswagen CEO Matthias Müller with exit negotiations. The team also acted for Kärcher’s works council in several proceedings concerning the replacement of the consent of the council.

Firmly rooted in Germany’s SME sector, Lutz Abel Rechtsanwalts PartG mbB works with ‘speed and efficiency’ and provides clients with ‘high-quality advice’ on a wide range of employment law matters but has a core focus on employee data protection issues and the deployment of external personnel. Team head Philipp Byers, praised for his ‘structured approach and extensive negotiating skills’ alongside his ‘understanding of client requirements’, acts for the Sky Deutschland works council in a status proceeding with its parent company, which deals with co-determination rights within the supervisory board. The team also assisted the group and the general works council of HSH Nordbank with the privatisation of the company.

Employment law boutique maat Rechtsanwälte has substantial expertise in occupational pensions and predominately acts for companies in the financial services and healthcare industries. Clients include Deutsche Telekom, Ergo, Iveco, PlanetHome, Clarins and Amundi. The firm opened a new office in Frankfurt with Rainer Thum’s arrival from Stockum & Partner mbB in July 2018.

The seven-strong team at Cologne-based firm michels.pmks Rechtsanwälte advises clients on a wide range of individual and collective employment law issues. Marcus Michels assists Duisburger Hafen with employment law matters pertaining to the transfer of various subsidiaries’ operations, and Dachser with the deployment of external personnel. The group also advised Reuter Gruppe on the deployment of external personnel, in addition to handling data protection and contentious matters. Gunther Mävers is also recommended.

Providing quick and in-depth advice’, Norton Rose Fulbright’s ‘reliable and always available’ team receives regular instructions from national and international clients, most notably from the healthcare, technology, transport and finance sectors. Team head Cornelia Marquardt is the key name.

With a focus on collective employment law, Oppenhoff & Partner’s team, which is led by Gilbert Wurth, advised Senvion on a restructuring including the relocation of its production division and the closure of sites, and assisted Beta Systems Software with employment law matters arising from the acquisition of insolvent companies Auconet and Auconet Technologies. In another highlight, the team acted for Siemens on the sale of assets to DiaSorin. Anja Dombrowsky and Kathrin Vossen are also recommended.

Clients appreciate Osborne Clarke’s ‘efficient, reliable and pragmatic’ way of working and its ‘high-quality advice’ and recommend Anke Freckmann and ‘excellent’ team head Thomas Leister in particular. The group assists Sodexo with collective bargaining and works council negotiations. In other work it advised insolvency administrator AlixPartners on cross-border employment law matters arising from Agent Provocateur’s bankruptcy, and BNP Paribas Factor on outsourcing a department, which included redundancy matters and negotiations with the works council.

Raue PartmbB frequently acts for employers from the pharmaceutical, automotive and media sectors and is recognised for its ‘high-quality advice and practical solutions’. The highly regarded Gernod Meinel acted for Mundipharma in restructuring matters including redundancies and the negotiation of the reconciliation of interests and social plans before a conciliation committee. Other work includes advising Paragon Partners on employment law matters arising from the acquisition of Unicepta Medienanalyse, and representing Deutsche Bank’s former CFO in contentious remuneration proceedings.

Acting exclusively for employers, AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte has restructuring and company pensions work at its core and, with the formation of a partnership alliance with act legal in May 2017, the team’s workload has become increasingly international. The group assisted new client Agaplesion with outsourcing issues and the centralisation of its canteen services, and advised Scania on collective bargaining issues alongside restructuring matters including staff cuts. Other clients include Acciona Airport Services and Douglas. Sven Tischendorf and Stephan Schwilden jointly head the team.

Boutique firm SCHRAMM MEYER KUHNKE places significant emphasis on restructuring-related employment law and senior management matters. The team recently advised a provider of sports betting and casinos on the termination of employment contracts for members of the management board as well as remuneration issues. Michael Kuhnke assisted a British rail company with restructuring matters, and Holger Meyer advised Höganäs on the acquisition of a H. C. Starck division via a bidding process.

Rated for its cross-border work, Simmons & Simmons focuses on employment law work in the financial services sector, which frequently includes restructuring-related matters. In a recent highlight, counsel Alexander Greth advised M7 Real Estate as part of a joint venture with Blackstone on employment law matters arising from the acquisition of a German and Dutch real estate portfolio. Key contact Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff assisted Volkswagen monitor Larry Thompson with various employment law and data protection matters, while, in the transactional space, the team advised Doncasters Group on the sale of Nelson Group to Stanley Black & Decker. Former team head Verena Braeckeler-Kogel moved to Pusch Wahlig Workplace Law in late 2017.

Staudacher Annuss Arbeitsrecht.’s employment law practice remains on a growth path and increased its bench strength significantly by adding the highly regarded Georg Annuß together with three associates from Linklaters in May 2018. The team advises employers and employees alike, including public sector players, on restructurings and transactions alongside company pension and remuneration matters and has particular expertise in finance and insurance sector work. The practice, which includes Peter Staudacher, also handles contentious work.

Based in Gütersloh, the six-strong team at boutique law firm T/S/C Fachanwälte für Arbeitsrecht has expertise in assisting executives with various employment law matters but also advises employers on restructurings and company pension schemes.

Nikolaus Krienke’s team at Watson Farley & Williams LLP is sought out for advice on restructurings and general collective employment law matters. Clients include Apple Retail Germany, BNP Paribas Deutschland and Audi. The team recently assisted Adac with restructuring matters including the negotiation of reconciliation of interests and social plans in light of redundancies. Other work includes advising Hamm Reno Group on restructuring-related employment law advice.

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Legal Developments in Germany for Employment

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    - GRP Rainer LLP

Legal Developments in Germany

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