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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


Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1
    • Georg Annuß - Linklaters
    • Christian Arnold - Gleiss Lutz
    • Frauke Biester-Junker - vangard
    • Björn Gaul - CMS
    • Burkard Göpfert - Kliemt.Arbeitsrecht
    • Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
    • Michael Kliemt - Kliemt.Arbeitsrecht
    • Hans-Peter Löw - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Stefan Lunk - Latham & Watkins LLP
    • Ulrike Schweibert - Schweibert Leßmann & Partner
    • Thomas Ubber - Allen & Overy LLP
    • Gerlind Wisskirchen - CMS

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Timon Grau - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Praised for its ‘direct strategic approach’ and ‘to-the-point advice’ which ‘includes practical solutions rather than theoretical analysis’, CMS’ broad practice covers the full spectrum of employment law, including trend topics such as data protection and the employment of external personnel. The team acts for well-known clients from various industries and was recently instructed by Audi to assist with issues arising from dieselgate and with a compliance and governance review. In other work, the team advised E.ON on employment law and worker participation issues pertaining to the separation of E.ON business operations, and assisted Hewlett Packard with a large outsourcing project as part of HPE Enterprise Service business’ international restructuring. Clients single out Antje-Kathrin Uhl for her ‘pragmatic approach’, while Christopher Jordan ‘works strategically’ and ‘focuses on the overall outcome and not only on the legal implications’. ‘Goal-oriented’ and ‘strong negotiator’ Eckhard Schmid co-heads the team with Oliver Simon. Björn Gaul and Gerlind Wisskirchen are also recommended.

Consistently delivering top results for a good value’, Gleiss Lutz’s renowned and broad practice frequently deals with new topics such as digitalisation and personnel leasing and acts for a number of well-known companies including BASF, Deutsche Börse and Nokia Solutions and Networks. The team represented TUI in a prominent landmark proceeding on the compatibility of the German Co-Determination Act with EU law before the European Court of Justice, and acted for Volkswagen’s and Audi’s supervisory boards in diesel emission matters. In other significant work, the practice successfully represented Daimler before the Federal Labour Court in a procedure on temporary employment. Christian Arnold ‘is always available and provides a very high service level’. Thomas Winzer heads the team.

Highly recommended’ employment law boutique Kliemt.Arbeitsrecht demonstrates its commitment to sustainable growth with the opening of an office in Munich which includes the prominent employment lawyer Burkard Göpfert, who joined in November 2017 from Baker McKenzie. The firm’s growth course is also characterised by an increasing number of large cross-border mandates, which are partly acquired through its network Ius Laboris but are controlled from Germany. Providing ‘legally undisputed advice’ and receiving ‘excellent support from its global network’, the team advises companies, management boards and institutions from various industries, including key names such as Xerox, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Hewlett-Packard and Vodafone, on restructurings, outsourcing projects and pension matters while also handling D&O work. Apart from the renowned Michael Kliemt and Oliver Vollstädt, clients frequently recommend Peter Hoppenstaedt, who is ‘pleasant to work with’, and the ‘business-oriented’ Philipp Wiesenecker.

Allen & Overy LLP impresses clients with its ‘exceptional reliability and availability’ as well as its ‘high-quality and in-depth advisory work’. Key areas of expertise include advising clients on compliance and restructurings as well as representing companies in collective bargaining proceedings, with Deutsche Lufthansa routinely instructing the team with the latter. In other work, the team represented Commerzbank in reconciliation board hearings on the reconciliation of interests and social plans pertaining to company-wide operational changes, and assisted DB Cargo with general works council negotiations on the implementation of the project Zukunft Bahn@DB Cargo. Global employment law head Tobias Neufeld is lauded for his ‘deep expertise in company pension schemes and for handling complex international matters’. Other key individuals include the ‘very well-connected’Markulf Behrendt, who ‘provides quick, unbureaucratic and solution-oriented’ advice, and counsel Bettina Scharff, who is noted as ‘finding a good balance between a pragmatic and theoretical approach’ and for her ‘instinct for business concerns’. Thomas Ubber and German employment law practice head Hans-Peter Löw are also highly recommended.

Baker McKenzie excels at restructuring and transaction-related employment law work but also demonstrates notable expertise in employment data protection and compliance matters. The team advised Adient on the closure of five German production sites, and assisted Etihad with matters pertaining to the restructuring of its subsidiary Air Berlin. Other clients include Osram, Opel and SAP. Steffen Scheuer and Christian Reichel co-head the practice, while Reichel also heads the newly established European pension law team, which constitutes another key area of the team’s expertise. The renowned Burkard Göpfert moved to Kliemt.Arbeitsrecht in November 2017.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringerprovides excellent support to international clients and finds unique ways to apply its legal knowledge, always leading to the desired result’. Recent instructions include internal investigations alongside assistance with occupational pension matters and banking sector remuneration systems; a large German bank received recent advice on the restructuring of the latter. In a complex matter relating to antitrust law, the team advised REWE on employment law matters pertaining to EDEKA’s merger with Kaiser’s Tengelmann. René Döring is ‘remarkably good at advising on transactional and pension law matters’, while Elmar Schnitker ‘has great negotiation skills’ and ‘provides practical solutions’. ‘Very experienced’ team head Boris Dzida, who ‘always finds the right solution’, and Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt are also recommended.

Noerr’s ‘exceptionally good’ employment law team demonstrates ‘deep economic understanding’ and is noted for its ‘partner-focused approach with fair hourly rates’. Having specialist expertise in the aviation, food, financial, insurance, health, automotive and technology industries, the team advised ERGO Versicherungsgruppe on a major restructuring project, and assisted a technology company with the co-ordination of an employee participation procedure in several countries as part of a Societas Europaea (SE) transformation. Team head Andreas Butz has ‘a good sense for feasible solutions, which he then implements with a high degree of assertiveness’. Other key individuals include the ‘objective, competent and target-orientedHans-Christoph Schimmelpfennig, Patrick Mückl, who ‘always goes the extra mile to find practical solutions’, and the ‘reliable, quick and very experienced’ Tillmann Hecht. Apart from having a strong team at partner level, the practice also expanded its junior level significantly.

Beiten Burkhardt’s large and ‘experienced’ employment team continues to grow and, due to its size, is able to cover a wide range of topics. Key areas of expertise include advising on restructurings and occupational pensions. The team acted for its new client Sky Deutschland in a proceeding pertaining to equal supervisory board representation, and assisted Synlab with the negotiation and completion of overall labour and remuneration agreements for the first-time tariffing of the group. Other clients include Abercrombie & Fitch, Dachser and Erdinger Weißbräu. Christopher Melms heads the team, which includes Thomas Puffe and the ‘solution-oriented’ Hans-Peter Mechlem.

Covering a broad field of employment law, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s ‘strong team’ stands out for its ‘quick and good quality advice’, provided across its various office locations, but also demonstrates localised expertise such as the Hamburg team’s sweet spot for employment law work in the sports industry, which leads to regular instructions from the German Football League (DFL) and FSV Mainz 05. In other work, the practice advised RTL Mediengruppe on restructuring matters, while Aquila receives regular assistance with international employment law issues and with remuneration structures. Bernd Weller ‘has detailed knowledge of niche areas and a good understanding for company processes’, while the ‘solution-oriented’Andreas Urban is praised as ‘being easy to work with’. Astrid Wellhöner and Andreas Walle co-head the practice.

Specialised in employment law, Küttner Rechtsanwälte provides a ‘very good service level’, ‘professional advice’ and is praised for its ‘goal-oriented approach avoiding any delaying and cost-producing detours’. Covering a broad spectrum, the team’s strength lies in dealing with matters from the media, insurance, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. Most notably, the practice advised Zurich Gruppe Deutschland on reorganising the structure of its works councils and on matters arising from various merger projects. In other significant work, WDR Mediengruppe instructed the team with restructuring and reorganisation issues. The ‘pragmatic and competent’ Gerd Schwamborn, the ‘very knowledgeable, practical and solution-oriented’ Wolfgang Rebel and ‘dedicated litigator’ Karl-Dietmar Cohnen are key members of the team.

Latham & Watkins LLP’s steadily growing team puts significant focus on assisting pharmaceutical industry players with restructuring matters, while also advising and representing executives and managing directors. Other key areas of expertise include company pension provision issues and providing transaction-related advice. Recently, the team advised Astellas Pharma on employment law issues arising from its reorganisation following the acquisition of Ganymed Pharmaceuticals, and routinely provides Dow Chemical with general employment law advice. Airbus is another long-term client, who frequently instructs the team with cross-border issues. Stefan Lunk and the ‘solution-orientedClaudia Heins are recommended.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is considered to be well connected in the healthcare market and also demonstrates expertise in handling collective bargaining and right-to-strike matters alongside restructuring-related employment law issues. Recently, the team represented Deutsche Bahn in a proceeding on collective bargaining law matters before the Federal Constitutional Court. Metro Cash & Carry instructed the practice with issues arising from its introduction of a new framework fee agreement, while Amazon continues to receive advice on individual employment law and, most recently, also on industrial constitution law. Robert von Steinau-Steinrück is ‘knowledgeable’ and ‘reliable’ and Axel Braun heads the team.

Best known for advising senior executives, vangardprovides good value for money’ and has significant expertise in the IT sector. As a member of the network Littler Global, the team is committed to drive its internationalisation forward and continues to grow at partner and associate level, having announced the opening of a new office in Frankfurt besides the already existing ones in Hamburg, Berlin, Düsseldorf and Munich. Regular instructions include advising the C&A Group and SIXT on various issues, including recent personnel leasing mandates. Jan-Ove Becker, who was made partner in April 2017, is noted as being ‘quick and solution-oriented’ and the ‘very good’ Frauke Biester-Junker as ‘very competent and visible’, while the ‘practical’ Sebastian Maiß is singled out for his ‘confident litigation style’ and ‘strong industry knowledge’.

DLA Piper’s employment law team has impressive international reach and frequently works across various departments, which made it well equipped to guide Qualcomm through collective employment and pension law alongside data protection issues following its joint venture with TDK to integrate the German TDK corporations. In other work, the practice acted for a client from the steel industry in transfer of undertaking matters, which were handled by the Frankfurt team in co-operation with eight of its international offices. Led by ‘very good’ team head Kai Bodenstedt, the practice remains on a growth path, having elevated Eva Einfeldt, who is ‘reliable’ and noted for her ‘sound industry knowledge’, and Sascha Morgenroth from counsel to the partnership in May 2017. The renowned Michael Magotsch, however, moved to Bryan Cave LLP’s Frankfurt office in April 2017. Volker von Alvensleben is also recommended.

Greenfort’s team consists of ‘proven experts’ and acts for a number of long-term clients, most prominently in litigation and reorganisation mandates. Degussa Bank instructed the team to assist with works council negotiations covering the restructuring of the company’s pension scheme and remuneration issues, while Coty retained the practice to advise on reorganisation matters following its acquisition of Procter & Gamble’s Specialty Beauty Business, including advice on corporate co-determination and organisational Works Constitution Act matters. Mark Lembke is ‘exceptionally clever and an outstanding employment lawyer’, while Daniela Hangarter, who was made partner in early 2017, is praised as ‘providing a good service’ and ‘quick answers’ and ‘preserving a good overview’. Jens-Wilhelm Oberwinter is frequently recommended.

Hogan Lovells International LLP has impressive international reach and in-depth expertise in handling matters relating to data protection on one hand and banking, pharmaceutical and insurance sector work on the other. The team continues to advise long-term client British American Tobacco on the restructuring and transfer of production capacity abroad, and assisted Dell with employment law matters pertaining to the sale of its global consulting division to the NTT Data Group. Kerstin Neighbour heads the practice, which includes the renowned Ingrid Ohmann-Sauer. The ‘practical and assertiveTim Wybitul is frequently recommended for matters connected to employment law and data protection, while Hendrik Kornbichler is best known for his insurance sector expertise.

Employment law boutique Laborius is particularly experienced in industrial constitution law work and, in addition to regular instructions from a number of well-known clients, is also routinely retained for contentious issues, the latter being a primary focus for Jens Siebert. The firm, which maintains a co-operation with Staudacher Annuß Arbeitsrecht., regularly acts for well-known companies including Bahlsen, KONE and the Expert Group but also for executives. Peter Schrader is highly recommended.

Recognised for its broad offering including cross-border work, Linklaters acts for international companies and has recently handled an increasing number of remuneration issues in the banking sector. The team advised Cerberus on various global employment law matters pertaining to the acquisition of Staples’ entire European business, and assisted Fast Retailing with the global implementation of a cloud-based HR management system. Georg Annuß is ‘simply brilliant’, demonstrates ‘good judgement’ and is considered as ‘the employment lawyer for the very difficult cases’. The team’s second partner Matthew Devey recently gained significant visibility in the market.

Pusch Wahlig Legal’s ‘first-class’ employment law team ‘strives to find business and industry-specific solutions’ and is ‘more needs-oriented, pragmatic and acts with far more foresight than others’. The ever-growing boutique has recently received a number of large instructions from prominent clients including Sky UK and new client McDonald’s, while the team also advised a major construction sector company on reorganisation issues. Dirk Freihube is ‘very experienced, reliable and a strong negotiator’ and Britta Alscher is noted as being ‘very good at representing company interests in works council negotiations and as having a style that contributes to a pragmatic way of working’. Counsel Holger Faust ‘is quick to adapt to new circumstances and clients’. Tobias Pusch heads the team, which includes Verena Braeckeler-Kogel, who joined the Düsseldorf office from Simmons & Simmons LLP in January 2018.

Schweibert Leßmann & Partner advises on a ‘case-by-case basis’ and offers ‘significantly better value for money than large law firms’. With a strong client base in the banking sector, the team is best known for its expertise in restructuring matters, which is also an area of significant growth for the practice. The team advised United Internet on employment law matters pertaining to the establishment of a strategic partnership with Warburg Pincus, and, in a separate matter, acted for Aviation Passage Service Berlin in the closure of its operations in Berlin including related litigation. Ulla Rupp has ‘excellent legal knowledge’ and provides ‘very precise advice including timely risk assessments’. Ulrike Schweibert, Nicole Engesser Means and Jochen Leßmann are also recommended.

The ‘fantastic team’ at Seitz Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater continued to grow at associate level and is recognised for handling ‘high-profile employment law work’, which includes ‘large projects’. Osram instructed the team with various large and complex international restructuring projects, while the team assisted Karstadt with the conclusion of a future collective bargaining agreement with the trade union ver.di, coming into effect for approximately 20,000 employees, and PwC received advice on issues pertaining to the joint venture with Euler Hermes, including remuneration matters. Stefan Seitz is the main contact but the ‘very experienced’ Joachim Trebeck is also recommended.

Taylor Wessingconsistently provides high-quality results’, utilising its ‘broad and cutting-edge expertise’ in various employment law matters including human resources, as demonstrated by the team advising Michael Page, among others, on reorganisation matters following the reform of the German Employee Lending Law. Other key areas of expertise include handling matters in connection with data protection for a number of IT sector players. In the transactional space, which constitutes another key focus, the team acted for REWE following the acquisition of Coop shares. The ‘very prudent’ Marc Müller is an ‘extremely fast thinker and demonstrates exceptional dedication’. ‘Excellent, reliable and pragmatic’ team head Marc André Gimmy provides ‘legally watertight advice’. Jörg Bausch is also recommended.

Boutique Altenburg Fachanwälte für Arbeitsrecht acts nationwide and, most recently, handled various compliance and restructuring mandates. The team advised ADAC on staff adjustment measures, including contentious issues, and assisted Escada with restructuring work. Bavaria Filmstudios received compliance advice, while ProSiebenSat.1 Media is a long-term client of the team led by Stephan Altenburg, who is ‘competent and target-oriented’. In December 2017, Manteo Heikki Eisenlohr and Nicolas Roggel joined the Berlin office from K&L Gates LLP.

Clients consider Arqis Rechtsanwälte’s team as ‘faster, less complicated and more practice-oriented than others’, while it also gained considerable market visibility as a result of its involvement in a number of the market’s most prominent deals including its advice to Kaiser’s Tengelmann on its takeover by Edeka, and its assistance to the Volkswagen supervisory board with dieselgate issues; the team also advised the latter on reorganisation and remuneration issues. Acting across various industries, the practice handled instructions from L’Oréal Gemany, UNIQLO and HUK Coburg, among others. ‘Renowned employment lawyer’ Andrea Panzer-Heemeier heads the ‘strong practice’ and provides ‘competent and quick answers’.

Providing a high service level’, Clifford Chance’s ‘experienced and competent’ team is best known for its expertise in transactional employment law, having advised two major auto leasing companies on employment law aspects pertaining to a corporate merger. In other work, the team advised the supervisory board of Westdeutschen Spielbanken, as a new client, on early retirement scheme compliance. Counsel Ines Keitel demonstrates an ‘excellent understanding for group-internal processes’ and ‘a high intercultural competence’, while also ensuring a ‘smooth co-operation with in-house teams’. Thomas Hey heads the practice.

Eversheds Sutherland is particularly well established in Munich but also increasingly able to utilise its extensive global network, resulting in new client relationships. A leading food manufacturer is among the new clients and received advice on outsourcing options for pension obligations. Traditionally strong at advising executives, the team also receives an increasing amount of employee data protection mandates with a focus on the industrial, commercial, non-profit and healthcare sectors. As a highlight, the practice acted for an international printer and photocopier group in a large restructuring programme. Stefan Kursawe heads the practice, which includes the recommended Frank Achilles and Susanne Giesecke.

Görg Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB handles a broad range of employment law work but is particularly well known for its expertise in dealing with matters related to restructuring and insolvency law. Dannemann Cigarrenfabrik instructed the team with matters pertaining to closing down operations of a subsidiary, while Veolia Industriereinigung received assistance with the conclusion of a collective restructuring agreement. Marcus Richter heads the practice, which includes the recommended Lars Nevian and Ralf Hottgenroth.

With ‘flexible and short turnaround times’, Jones Day provides ‘appropriate employment law advice’ including ‘the right amount of detail’. Involved in a number of major transactions, the team advised Plastic Omnium on the sale of its subsidiary SULO Emballagen to PE-Haus Fields, and General Electric on the sale of its financial operations to Wells Fargo. Advice provided by team head Friederike Göbbels is ‘perfectly tailored to the respective company’; she is also praised as ‘considering several approaches instead of following a defined pattern’.

Justem Rechtsanwälte’s employment law advice is ‘comprehensive and of very high quality’, while the team is also praised as ‘communicating matters quickly and avoiding any unnecessary delays’. Traditionally strong in banking sector advisory work, which include regular instructions from ABN AMRO, the team has also been able to win new clients from other sectors: recent work includes assisting Emerson Process Management with the negotiation of an operational split, and representing UPS in a proceeding on corporate governance matters. Thilo Mahnhold demonstrates ‘a brilliant sense for possible procedural turns’ and Caroline Bitsch has ‘encyclopedic knowledge’ and the ability to ‘solve even complicated matters with amazingly practical and creative ideas’, while Henning Reitz is noted for his ‘special feel for practical solutions’ and ‘excellent meditation skills’.

Mayer Brown LLP’s employment law team benefits from its close interdisciplinary collaboration alongside its global network, and focuses on reorganisation and company pension schemes. With clients typically drawn from the aviation, automotive, chemical and financial sectors, the team advised Albemarle on employment and pension law matters following the sale of Chemetall to BASF, and Drew Marine received assistance with a plant closure alongside a merger as part its restructuring process. Other key clients receiving regular advice include Goodyear and Macquarie Bank. Team head Guido Zeppenfeld and Nicolas Rößler are recommended.

McDermott Will & Emery Rechtsanwälte Steuerberater LLP frequently acts for international clients in restructuring and compliance-related matters. The team advised Fujifilm Imaging on the closure of its sites in Munich and Rostock, and assisted Mitsubishi Power Systems Europe with redundancy measures following the turnaround in energy policy. United Internet is among the team’s long term clients. Paul Melot de Beauregard is ‘smart, internationally minded and competent’ and team head Volker Teigelkötter is also recommended.

Based in Gütersloh, the team at T/S/C Fachanwälte für Arbeitsrecht is experienced in handling industrial constitution law and restructuring-related matters alongside litigation. Key clients include RWE and E-Plus. Johannes Schipp and Susanne Clemenz are recommended.

Frequently working in conjunction with the firm’s restructuring and insolvency departments, White & Case LLP is particularly well versed in handling restructuring-related work: recent work includes advising Air Berlin on its group restructuring. In other work, the team assisted the supervisory board of the Cologne Bonn Airport with managing director remuneration issues, among others, and advised LBBW on Cum-Ex-related employment law aspects. Frank-Karl Heuchemer and Hendrik Röger are the key contacts.

With a focus on restructuring-related work, AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte’s clients are typically drawn from the German SME sector, while the team continues to expand its international employment law client base. The practice advised GFKL on several restructuring projects, and assisted CBRE with matters relating to employment law and data protection. The ‘excellent’ Thomas Block is ‘highly service-oriented’ and provides ‘pragmatic solutions’, while Stephan Schwilden is described as being a ‘competent and pragmatic negotiator’. Sven Tischendorf is frequently recommended.

Buse Heberer Fromm’s growing team provides ‘good value for money’ and ‘a good service level’ and was also able to expand its cross-border work. The team advised a London-based private equity fund on the creation of an employment law concept for the acquisition and post-acquisition restructuring of target companies in Germany, and assisted a DAX company from the financial services sector with matters pertaining to an internal investigation for alleged breach of the US Foreign Corruption Practices Act. Ines Heydasch is recommended and Sabine Feindura heads the team.

CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner provides ‘reliable and highly competent advice’ and is particularly known for its strong employment law litigation practice as well as for advising and representing various public institutions and organisations. Recently, the team advised Kölner Bank on various employment law aspects pertaining to its merger with Volksbank Bonn Rhein-Sieg, and assisted Immofinanz Deutschland with contentious and non-contentious matters arising from the restructuring of its German headquarters. The ‘reliable and precise’ Werner Mues and Ernst Eisenbeis are recommended.

Dentons provides a ‘a very high service level’ and has particular expertise in the healthcare sector and in church labour law. Benefiting from its global network, the team acts for a number of national and international clients; this includes an international conglomerate from the metal and electrical industries, which received advice on matters pertaining to decision procedures initiated by employee representatives, while the practice also assisted a logistics company with wage and contract negotiations with two competing unions. Utz Andelewski heads the team, whose junior members are frequently recommended by clients. Markus Diepold has deep restructuring expertise.

The team at boutique Fringspartners is led by renowned founding partner Arno Frings and has a fine reputation for representing companies. Ulrich Wahlers focuses on restructuring and transactional advisory work and Michael Bogati is well versed in handling collective bargaining and industrial constitutional law matters alongside redundancy issues. Notable clients include Coca-Cola and Gothaer Insurance. The German branch of Mitsubishi Electric Europe retained the team with staff adjustment issues.

Hengeler Mueller has restructuring, regulated industries remuneration, corporate co-determination and senior executive issues at its core and benefits from the firm’s robust transactional team. Bosch Solar CISTech instructed the team with issues pertaining to a site closure, and Hugo Boss receives regular advice on various matters, including, most recently, on dismissal protection proceedings and litigation before the labour court. Hans-Joachim Liebers and Christian Hoefs are recommended. Christian Häußer was made counsel.

Providing an ‘excellent service level’ and ‘sound and easily understandable advice’, Hoffmann Liebs Fritsch & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB has a strong focus on the SME sector. The team advised an international chemical company on its resignation from the employers’ association, and the Rheinisch-Westfälischen Genossenschaftsverband on matters concerning the merger with the Genossenschaftsverband in Frankfurt. The ‘excellent’ Julia Reinsch is ‘always available and knows precisely what level of detail is appropriate’. In early 2017, counsel Andreas Fülbier joined the team, which is co-headed by Wolfgang Bucksch and Heiko Langer, from WGZ Bank.

Based in Stuttgart, Kasper Knacke is particularly well known in southern Germany and can build on a number of long-term clients including Lidl and dm Drogeriemärkte. As well as its expertise in the retail industry, the team also acts for clients from other sectors including Yves Rocher and fashion brand s.Oliver. Frank Hahn is recommended.

Munich-based employment law boutique maat Rechtsanwälte focuses on company pension schemes and restructuring work. Recent examples include advising ERGO on several restructurings, and assisting a private equity investor with the intended acquisition of Osram’s lamp business, which included advice on possible restructuring issues. The team comprises nine partners including the highly recommended Raimund Lange.

Young Cologne-based boutique michels.pmks Rechtsanwälte is becoming an established market player and acts for a number of well-known clients. Recent work includes acting for Dachser on national contract and personnel leasing matters, advising Kone on merging two of its divisions, assisting Schenker Deutschland with a site closure, and Der Grüne Punkt Duales System Deutschland with a group reorganisation. Marcus Michels and Gunther Mävers are frequently recommended, while the team also increased its bench strength by adding Tilman Isenhardt from Küttner Rechtsanwälte in October 2016.

Clients rate Naegele Kanzlei für Arbeitsrecht’s service level to be ‘very positive in every respect’ and state they ‘have only had very good experiences with the team’. Its key strength lies in dealing with management and executive staff advisory work and stage employment law which leads to a steady flow of instructions from theatres. Recently, the team acted in two restructurings for Chinese investors, while at the same time increasing its number of long-term advisory instructions for SMEs. The ‘extremely competent’ Meike Kuckuk has substantial expertise in false self-employment work and renowned founding partner Stefan Nägele frequently handles executive board matters.

Norton Rose Fulbright provides ‘concise’ employment law advice including ‘concrete recommendations for action’. Utilising its international network when advising US companies, among others, the team has significant expertise in the life sciences, technology and financial industries, which is frequently called upon by clients such as AIG Europe, Bilfinger and Beiersdorf. The ‘solution-orientedKatrin Scheicht provides ‘quick and precise answers to complex questions’ and ‘adheres to the highest standards’. The team led by Cornelia Marquardt was further strengthened by the arrival of counsel Claudia Posluschny from Reed Smith in July 2016.

Oppenhoff & Partner focuses on providing restructuring-related employment law and corporate co-determination advice. Among other work highlights, the steadily growing team advised Ford-Werke on extending two contractual trust arrangement structures to other group companies, and advised Deutsche Post and Neue Verlagsgesellschaft on the sale of the Güll Group. The team led by the renowned Gilbert Wurth increased its bench strength by adding Anja Dombrowsky from Graf von Westphalen in July 2017. Kathrin Vossen is noted for her expertise in handling contentious work and disability employment law matters.

The ‘highly recommended’ employment law team at Osborne Clarke is known for advising technology sector players and has substantial data protection expertise. The team assisted Sodexo with the strategic implementation of restructuring measures and with works council negotiations pertaining to an IT framework agreement, and advised Huntsman on the reorganisation of group companies in Germany, France and Italy. Anke Freckmann heads the practice, which includes the recommended Annabel Lehnen and David Plitt.

Raue LLP is best known for its expertise in corporate co-determination law and its litigation capabilities. The practice assisted BVG Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe with collective agreement negotiations for the lump sum compensation for so-called escort times, and handles regular instructions from Hochland Deutschland on collective agreements. Other long-term clients include Daimler and various companies affiliated with the group. Team head Gernod Meinel and Judith Heyn are names to note.

The strength of Hamburg-based employment law boutique Schramm Meyer Kuhnke lies in dealing with matters relating to employment and restructuring law alongside transaction-related matters. Colgate Palmolive retained the team to advise on restructuring issues; other key clients include Continental, BSN Medical and Bilfinger. Key contacts Nils Schramm, Holger Meyer and Michael Kuhnke are recommended.

Simmons & Simmons LLP is recognised for advising financial sector clients on various employment law matters and is particularly well versed in handling cross-border projects, which frequently include restructuring elements. The team continues to advise Ferrostaal on various employment law issues, and recently assisted a major international investment bank with the implementation of the remuneration ordinance. Other clients include Allianz Global Investors, Electrolux and VISA Europe. The team includes the renowned Hans-Hermann Aldenhoff but lost practice head Verena Braeckeler-Kogel to Pusch Wahlig Legal in January 2018.

Providing ‘a good service level’, ‘renowned firmStaudacher Annuß Arbeitsrecht. is a firmly established player in southern Germany and is noted for its ‘short response times and rich experience’. Advising executive personnel and public sector companies constitutes a key areas of expertise but the team also acts for a number of banks, including UniCredit Bank, and well-known insurance companies. The ‘very experiencedPeter Staudacher is recommended ‘without any hesitation’ and noted for his ‘confident appearance before courts’ and his ‘expertise in representing senior executives’. Oliver Deeg is reputed for his ‘in-depth knowledge and precise working manners’.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s growing practice is recognised for its ‘strong and beneficial efforts to develop the team further’, which is driven forward by renowned practice head Nikolaus Krienke. The team was able to expand its advisory and representation work for Apple Retail Germany, while also advising Vonovia on new works council structures. Long-term client Audi regularly instructs the practice with managing directors matters. Anne Kleffmann is also recommended.

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