Whether restructuring measures or negotiations with trade unions and works councils, remuneration systems, company pensions, working time arrangements, or termination agreements – Gleiss Lutz has long been recognised as one of Germany’s leading firms for employment law. We advise and represent national and international companies in all areas of labour and employment law, in complex projects and negotiations, before the courts, and in ongoing legal issues. Clients benefit from our high quality standards, unrivalled experience, pragmatic attitude and our extensive specialisation and interdisciplinary approach.
“… a longstanding market leader in the German employment law field.”
Restructurings and reorganisations
A key strength of our practice is advising on the employment law aspects of all types of company or group restructurings and reorganisations. We provide advice and support in the transformation of enterprises. We also develop practical, tailored solutions for business transfers, outsourcings, and corporate acquisitions.
Where required, we implement staff reduction programmes and the closure or relocation of production sites, and set up job creation companies together with our clients.
In-court representation of clients is an inseparable part of our work. We protect and advance clients’ interests at all levels of the German court system, as well as before the ECJ.
Cases typically include landmark proceedings, disputes with individual employees and conflicts with works councils regarding the scope of co-determination rights, and disputes on the permissibility of industrial action by trade unions.
Negotiations with trade unions and works councils
Negotiating reconciliations of interest and social plans or (company) collective agreements demands profound legal knowledge and extensive experience.
We are renowned for our negotiating skills, bringing practical know-how, industry knowledge and a feel for the negotiation situation to the table in critical talks with works councils or trade unions.
Whether clients need to introduce innovative remuneration systems or more flexible working arrangements, or require assistance with complex provisions on other working conditions, we offer solutions tailored to their specific requirements.
We also draft all the relevant employment contracts, guidelines and agreements with employee representatives. Where subject areas are complex, we prepare legal opinions as a basis for making key decisions, providing in-depth legal assessments that are both clear and geared towards our clients’ needs.
The continuing digitalisation and automation of business processes has already changed the work culture in many areas. Work 4.0 demands increased flexibility and agility of operations and staff to keep businesses competitive. Please find more information here.
An important focus of our work is the structuring, closing, amendment or restriction of pension funds. We conduct test cases on the existence and amount of pension claims. In M&A transactions we perform pension-related due diligence audits and advise on the drafting of contracts.
We also set up, amend, and transfer contractual trust arrangements (CTA) and other forms of intra-corporate insolvency protection. When necessary, we can draw on our proven networks and our strong, long-term cooperation with pension reviewers, expert pension advisors, and major German life insurance providers.
We advise both enterprises and managers on the conclusion and termination of service contracts for top managers. Both sides can benefit from our experience and negotiating skills in putting their cooperation on a sound contractual basis or ending it by means of a severance agreement.
We advise German clients on employment-related aspects of international projects, such as the opening of new plants abroad, cross-border compliance investigations, or the worldwide implementation of key requirements regarding compliance or management contracts, etc. We draft secondment guidelines and sample contracts for expats.
We are the first point of contact for international clients experiencing problems in Europe. In M&A transactions we globally manage the participation of employee representatives, relying on a flexible and proven international network; we maintain close contacts with leading labour and employment law firms worldwide. This gives us the flexibility to put together hand-picked, multi-jurisdictional teams best suited to both the client’s needs and the task at hand.