• Reorganization and restructuring

    We have extensive, in-depth experience of reorganization and restructuring, including cross-border projects, and in implementing operational changes. As your long-term partner in labor law matters, we start work well in advance. We analyze the legal framework, the interests of the negotiating partners and other stakeholders, and develop specific strategies for action, taking into account the external impact for your company. We also support you with our knowledge and experience in preparing a business plan that can stand up to scrutiny by the works council and a labor court.

    Together with you, we implement the necessary measures (particularly staff cuts, relocations or transfers of business). You receive support in negotiations on reconciliation of interests and social plans, structural agreement negotiations as well as labor court disputes, all from one source. We have co-developed legal-tech tools that can be used to limit the costs of a social plan and/or to enable you to make a legally sound selection, based on social criteria, that complies with the Federal Labor Court’s case law and corresponds most closely to your wish list.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Negotiations on reconciliation of interests and social plans
    • Collective bargaining social plan negotiations
    • Arbitration committee proceedings
    • Structural collective bargaining agreements
    • Restructuring-based collective agreements
    • Mass redundancy notifications
    • Works council hearings
    • Representation in litigation
  • Labor law advice on M&A transactions

    We advise on labor law aspects of M&A transactions from the design stage (e.g. carve-out/structuring of business units) to due diligence through post-merger integration. We cooperate closely with specialists from other fields of law. Thanks to our L&E Global alliance, we have a well-established international team and can provide you with advice from a single source, even for cross-border transactions.

    When drafting company purchase agreements, we safeguard your interests in relation to labor law.

    We have strong industry expertise and experience of designing retention programs for key employees, as well as matters relating to company pension schemes in the context of transactions. When seeking labor law advice on M&A matters, you can benefit from our comprehensive knowledge of labor law – for example in the drafting of service contracts for board members and CEOs, or in the context of restructuring, transfers of business or co-determination. In the post-merger phase, we advise you on changes to operational structures and on collective and individual agreements.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Design/structuring of the target company/business unit
    • Negotiation of reconciliation of interests/social plans
    • Due diligence, red flag report
    • Consideration of sector-specific aspects, such as for financial institutions, the life sciences, automotive and health care services sectors, and the energy industry
    • Effects of the transaction on the company pension scheme and its replacement
    • Drafting the labor law provisions of company purchase agreements such as SPAs, APAs, agreements under conversion law or TSAs
    • Retention/change of control/employee participation programs
    • Redrafting of key employees’ contracts
    • Development and implementation of labor law-compliant proposals for restructuring or post-merger integration, including support for negotiations with works councils and trade unions, as well as redesign of company pension schemes
  • Compliance and internal investigations

    We provide conceptual advice on implementing an efficient compliance structure and measures to prevent compliance incidents. As a preliminary step, we conduct compliance audits and screenings to comprehensively analyze existing structures and systems. This ensures optimum risk assessment and minimization of existing risks.

    Our advice includes the design and introduction of codes of ethics and whistleblower guidelines, taking into account the co-determination rights of the works council.

    Specialist advice in these areas often raises issues extending beyond labor law and data protection law, so we have established a compliance task force together with other specialists in antitrust, corporate and criminal law.

    In addition, we regularly advise on investigating compliance violations under labor law and the relevant penalties. To ensure optimum preparation for possible litigation, we conduct internal investigations with the required discretion and confidentiality, or support the internal organizational units responsible for such investigations. In doing so, we assess documents and data in accordance with data protection regulations, conduct interviews with the persons involved and secure evidence that can be used in court.

    Coordination of the communication strategy, both internally vis-à-vis supervisory bodies, employee representatives and employees, and externally, is also part of our range of advisory services.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Screening and compliance audit
    • Implementing compliance structures
    • Introducing compliance policies
    • Cooperation with specialists in antitrust, corporate and criminal law
    • Conducting internal investigations and providing support
    • Assessment of investigation results
    • Securing evidence that can be used in court
    • Coordinating internal and external communication strategies
    • Penalizing compliance violations
  • International assignment of employees

    The cross-border deployment of personnel poses a constant challenge for companies that operate internationally. From short business trips to long-term secondments, we support you with all labor and social security law issues that arise in relation to the international posting of your employees. In addition to adjustments to employment contracts, we can also advise you on making arrangements in compliance with social security legislation and on obtaining residence and work permits within Germany and abroad.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Drafting secondment agreements in accordance with labor law, particularly secondment conditions and early-recall clauses
    • Through our L&E Global network, we are also able to assist you in drawing up foreign employment and service contracts on a local basis
    • Examining and structuring the social security implications of a posting abroad
    • Issues relating to obtaining residence and work permits within Germany and abroad
  • Data protection law

    Data protection law plays an increasingly important role in everyday business and intersects with labor law in key areas.

    The entry into force of the GDPR has significantly increased sensitivity to the processing of personal employee data. The issues begin with the application process, when applications are assessed and processed. Further issues arise throughout everyday working life, especially when software and hardware is introduced and used, and continue even after employment is terminated. We can advise you on the legally compliant handling of employee data in all matters. Many of our lawyers specializing in data protection are also trained data protection officers.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Drafting contracts and policies related to data protection
    • Access to e-mail accounts
    • Transfer of data within the group
    • Data screening to detect criminal offenses
    • Legal status of data protection officers
    • Rights of the works council
    • Legal aspects of introducing IT systems
  • Litigation, complex & mass litigation

    In our Employment Litigation practice group, we bring together the expertise gathered by our litigation attorneys in thousands of court cases across all instances. Strong negotiation skills, outstanding rhetorical and analytical abilities, a passion for conducting litigation and the masterful handling of all lawsuit situations make us a strong partner and a highly regarded calling card before all German labor courts. We understand the pitfalls of procedural law and the typical opponent’s conduct in the proceedings, so we work with you to align our tactics accordingly.

    We are just as familiar with disputes of all kinds under works constitution law and relating to collective bargaining agreements, e.g. with regard to personnel-based and social co-determination, classification under collective bargaining agreements, etc., as we are with all proceedings under individual law, including complex liability lawsuits between companies and their legal representatives. We have particular expertise in advising on dismissal protection mass proceedings in the context of major restructuring measures. In this respect, we also relieve your administrative burden through our proactive litigation management. Constant knowledge transfer through our litigation school and particular experience in appeal and evidence law ensure your success across all instances.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Court proceedings across all instances
    • Disputes of any kind under works constitution law and relating to collective bargaining agreements
    • Proceedings under individual law
    • Dismissal protection mass proceedings
    • Particular experience in appeal and evidence law
  • Labor law advice for Managing Directors and Executives

    We advise both companies and executives in the drafting of their contractual provisions (employment contracts for managing directors and board members, employment contracts with senior executives) and in the protection and enforcement of their rights. Our attorneys specialized in this area are very experienced and familiar with finding solutions for complex questions regarding the legal position of executives in connection with service contract law, employment law and corporate law – often with international implications.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Drafting and negotiation of contracts of employment for managing directors and board members
    • Advice and litigation in connection with the dismissal of executives
    • Advice on and negotiation of termination agreements with executives
    • Competition rules and post-contractual non-compete obligations
    • Variable compensation arrangements, stock option plans, profit-sharing
    • Pension arrangements, pension commitments
    • Advice and litigation in liability cases
    • Involvement of D & O insurance companies 
    • Advice to supervisory boards
    • Representation in proceedings before the Regional Courts, Higher Regional Courts and Labor Courts
  • Negotiations with works councils, personnel councils and trade unions

    We represent companies in negotiations with works councils and trade unions. Contentious negotiations and arbitration committee proceedings with works councils often occur in matters of works constitution law that are subject to co-determination, particularly in the reconciliation of interests and social plan negotiations required in the context of restructuring. In these scenarios, companies need professional legal and practical support. We have decades of experience negotiating in arbitration committee proceedings and we can help you to enforce your business interests while observing co-determination. We work with you to develop the operational proposal, support you in implementing it and advise you on the right communication strategy for all relevant stakeholders. In addition, we can advise you on collective bargaining and imminent industrial disputes, while working with you to develop strategies for minimizing operational and entrepreneurial risks.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Arbitration committee proceedings
    • Company remuneration systems, working hours systems, reconciliation of interests and social plans
    • Implementation of communication strategies
    • Strategic preparation for collective bargaining negotiations and/or conducting these negotiations
  • Legal aspects of occupational health management

    Occupational health management is becoming increasingly important in companies. Both demographic trends and the safeguarding of competitiveness make promoting and maintaining the health of your employees a necessity.

    We advise clients on all legal issues relating to occupational health management, such as the co-determination rights of the works council, the employer’s scope for structuring working hours and remuneration, as well as measures for integrating sick employees. In addition, our advice covers the data protection aspects of occupational health management and questions of occupational health and safety, as well as cooperation with health insurance funds and company physicians.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Advice on all legal aspects of occupational health management
    • Co-determination rights of the works council
    • Options for structuring on the part of employers
    • Integration of sick employees
    • Cooperation with health insurance funds and company physicians
  • Labor law support for SE formation

    Establishing an SE (European stock corporation) raises a number of strategic and legal issues to be considered from a labor law point of view. We provide company management with comprehensive advice, from the beginning of employee involvement to registration of the SE in the commercial register, including preparation of all the required documentation.

    In particular, we conduct negotiations with the Special Negotiating Committee on behalf of company management and take the company’s specific interests into account when concluding participation agreements. We also register your newly formed SE in the European Company Database (ECDB).

    We can also offer employee training on the procedure for Special Negotiating Committee elections, as well as on the Committee’s duties and the duties of an SE works council.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Employee involvement procedure
    • Negotiations with the Special Negotiating Committee
    • Participation agreements
    • Special Negotiating Committee/SE works council training

  • Strategic workplace advice

    We see labor law as an important means of supporting your corporate strategy. For this reason, we can structure your labor relationships so as to ensure that you can achieve your goals in the best possible way, while maintaining your corporate culture and alignment with the corporate strategy. Labor law measures are also dependent on the economic environment. Strategic workplace advice is consequently more wide-ranging than labor law – it is legal advice on the structuring of working environments, taking these factors into account.

    We see ourselves as strategic advisors with regard to the development and structuring of your HR goals and HR concepts. As a result, it is important for us to know and understand you, your company and your strategy, and to focus our advice accordingly. We are not skeptics; instead, we want to make new approaches possible, together with you.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Strategic advice on HR issues
    • Implementation of entrepreneurial concepts in labor law
    • Support during conflicts in working life
    • Cooperation with works councils
    • Drafting of employment contracts in accordance with your employer brand
  • External personnel deployment and supply of temporary workers

    The different forms of external personnel are as diverse as the legal and practical challenges of making use of these resources in a legally compliant way. We can advise and represent you on the client and contractor side in all areas and stages of deploying external personnel: from strategic planning, implementation and realization through dealing with any legal infringements and liability issues.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Legal and strategic advice on all forms of external personnel deployment (service and work contracts, supply of temporary workers, freelancers, crowdworking, contracting, interim management, etc.)
    • Contract drafting, review and negotiation
    • In-court and out-of-court representation before labor, social and ordinary courts and authorities (e.g. in relation to status proceedings, equal pay, liability disputes or official permits)
    • Design and introduction of compliance management systems
    • Cooperation with specialists in criminal and tax law
  • Remuneration systems

    Remuneration systems are an important part of our advisory services. In addition to the legal requirements, the focus when designing remuneration systems is on incentives and recruiting talent. The classification of employees into these systems also plays a key role. Together with you, we also implement innovative remuneration ideas, dealing with the conflicting priorities of collective bargaining agreements, co-determination rights of the works council, legal requirements and individual employment contract design. We also do this for regulated companies, e.g. banks and asset management firms, taking into account the special legal requirements.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Joint development of the elements of your remuneration system
    • Legal implementation of remuneration systems
    • Negotiation of works agreements, e.g. for bonus systems, benefits, grading systems
    • Contractual design of remuneration systems
    • Legal representation in the event of disputes
  • Labor law 4.0

    We can support you with the labor law issues relevant to keeping pace with the major challenges of increasing digitalization and globalization. Complex structures, technical innovations and networked methods of working have a direct influence on the organization of companies and the deployment of employees. In order to find the best possible solution to these challenges, we provide advice and support on a range of subjects: the creation and implementation of flexible working time models, increasing the flexibility of workplaces and designing flexible collaboration models – such as crowdworking and scrum – as well as developing alternative employment models.

    In this context, we also conduct negotiations with employee representatives in order to facilitate and optimize implementation of these models.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Flexible working time models
    • Improving flexibility at the workplace
    • Designing flexible collaboration models
    • Alternative employment models
    • Negotiating with employee representatives
  • Corporate co-determination

    Employees’ influence on business and entrepreneurial decisions does not usually end with the works council’s co-determination rights. We also advise on corporate co-determination, i.e. the appointment of employee representatives to the supervisory board of a company. We are familiar with the one-third or equal composition of the supervisory board in accordance with the One-Third Participation Act (Drittelbeteiligungsgesetz), the Co-Determination Act (Mitbestimmungsgesetz) or the Coal and Steel Co-Determination Act (Montanmitbestimmungsgesetz).

    As companies are becoming more and more international in their outlook, many are already making use of the structuring opportunities offered by the legal form of the European stock corporation, the SE (Societas Europaea). We advise on the formation of an SE and support you in negotiations with employee representatives, especially because corporate co-determination can be tailored to meet your specific requirements. This can also lead to the complete and permanent exclusion of employee participation in the supervisory board, irrespective of the size of the company.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Holding supervisory board elections (e.g. drawing up the register of voters, training election board members)
    • Conducting the employee involvement procedure in the course of forming an SE
    • Drafting SE participation agreements
    • Arranging the assignment of employees in company groups
  • International labor law

    We not only assist you with your German labor law issues, we are also your trusted partner in international labor law matters, which we coordinate for you as a one-stop shop. International labor law issues are often complex and can lead to unexpected risks and costs for you. Together with our highly specialized labor law colleagues from the L&E Global alliance L&E Global, we can advise you worldwide and across borders, providing the same high-quality advice that you are accustomed to receiving from us.

    We are one of the few labor law firms in Germany to have extensive specialist expertise in establishing European stock corporations (SE).

    We can provide you with support for all labor law issues with an international dimension.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Cross-border projects such as restructuring, outsourcing or labor law aspects of M&A transactions
    • International remuneration systems
    • Cross-border matrix structures
    • Cross-border harmonization of working conditions
    • International policies
    • International data exchange
    • European works councils
    • Cross-border work by employees and international secondments
  • Drafting of contracts

    We can draft tailor-made service contracts, employment contracts for executives and standard employment contracts. We specifically consider the complex requirements relating to the review of terms and conditions, and we include your company-specific employer branding in the drafting of contracts.

    We also advise on the implementation of remuneration systems, such as employee stock option programs, bonus arrangements, commission agreements and partial retirement models.

    We draw up and modify collective bargaining agreements, group works agreements, company works agreements and local works agreements. We provide comprehensive support in strategic preparation and negotiations with employee representatives.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Reviewing the content of terms and conditions
    • Employer branding
    • Working time models
    • Post-contractual restrictive covenants
    • Target agreements
    • Remuneration arrangements
    • Retention programs
    • Employee participation programs (stock options, RSUs, virtual stock options, phantom shares, ESOP, etc.)
    • Collective bargaining agreements
    • Group works agreements, company works agreements and local works agreements
  • Occupational health and safety

    When occupational health and safety is concerned, breaches of legal obligations often have a particularly grave effect. There is a risk of both bodily harm and damage to property, which in turn can lead to a liability on the part of the company itself and its legal representatives or other responsible persons due to potential regulatory offences and/or even criminal offences. At the same time, a functioning occupational health and safety system in the company requires the correct knowledge and application of a large number of legal and sublegal standards, ordinances and technical rules.

    We provide advice on all legal issues relating to occupational health and safety and support you in the communication towards the competent regulatory authorities, in order to ensure that on-site appointments and regulatory procedures run as smoothly as possible for your company and do not impair your operational business.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Labor law support in regulatory proceedings including fine proceedings
    • Appeal against fine notices and representation in appeal proceedings and court proceedings
    • Review and evaluation of legal issues relating to occupational health and safety
    • Advice on preventive occupational health and safety measures
  • Public labor law

    Public labor law still has a special position within the field of labor law. We have extensive experience gained from advising public employers for many years and we are familiar with the individual and collective legal peculiarities of personnel representation law (at the level of the German federal government and the regional governments). This also includes issues relating to civil service law.

    We advise on all aspects of ongoing employment relationships (from establishment to termination). We also provide support during negotiations with employee and personnel representatives. Our activities also include advising public employers in connection with re-privatization and other change processes, as well as providing legal support during the implementation process.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Ongoing advice on all matters of public labor law
    • Drafting of employment contracts
    • Representation in negotiations with employee and personnel representatives
    • Advice in connection with privatization
    • Working hours systems
    • Supplementary pensions (Supplementary Pension Fund (Zusatzversorgungskasse, ZVK) and the Federal and State Government Employees Retirement Fund (Versorgungsanstalt des Bundes und der Länder, VBL))
  • Church labor law

    Church labor law still has a special position within the field of labor law. We have extensive experience gained from advising church employers for many years and we are familiar with the individual and collective legal peculiarities of employee representation law.

    We advise on all aspects of ongoing employment relationships (from establishment to termination). We provide support during negotiations with employee representatives. Our work also includes advising church employers in connection with re-privatization and other change processes, as well as providing legal support during the implementation process.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Ongoing advice on all matters of church labor law
    • Representation in negotiations with employee representatives
    • Advice in connection with the outsourcing of sub-areas
    • Supplementary pensions
  • Company pension schemes

    Company pension law is highly complex due to its links to numerous other areas of law (including tax, accounting, supervisory and insolvency law).

    We can provide comprehensive advice on establishing, ending and amending individual and collective pension commitments. We provide support for negotiations with works councils and trade unions and represent your interests in all instances before the courts. A further focus is advising CEOs and board members on company pension law. During corporate transactions, we analyze the legal risks of the existing pension systems. In addition, we have extensive experience with supplementary pension funds in the public and church sectors.

    Specifically, we focus on:

    • Establishing, ending and amending pension commitments
    • Pension commitments for CEOs and board members
    • Supplementary pensions
    • In-court representation
    • Advising on company pension schemes in the context of M&A transactions