Axel Springer wins status proceedings with Hengeler Mueller

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The Berlin Regional Court has rejected a claim on the
appointment of employee representatives to the supervisory board of Axel
Springer SE, brought by Konrad Erzberger with support of members of the works
council and the labour union ver.di. In its decision, which has not yet become
final, the court has come to the conclusion that the supervisory board of Axel
Springer SE is correctly composed, since it consisted only of shareholder
representatives before the conversion into a European Stock Corporation (SE) in
order to protect the journalistic activities of the publishing house. The
decisive factor was the non-co-determination practised at the time of
conversion (actual vs. legally required state). This issue is of great
relevance when establishing an SE and is much contested amongst Regional
Courts. Although it was not crucial for the case at bar, the court indicated
that Axel Springer had rightly made use of the freedom from co-determination as
a result of the journalistic autonomy ("Tendenzschutz") at the time
of conversion, i.e. all legal requirements had been fulfilled. Freedom from
co-determination is perpetuated in the SE.

Hengeler Mueller advises Axel Springer SE. The team
includes partner Andreas Austmann as well as associate Gerrit Forst (both Corporate,

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