Legal Areas

Labour Law

"Reliable coordination within the team, every case is handled professionally and addressed and followed up in a structured manner. The team is always available"

(The Legal 500 Germany 2024 & The Legal 500 EMEA 2024)

With our highly specialised lawyers, we cover all areas of employment law across all sectors. Our experts can also assist you with international matters – in China and Russia and through our ADVANT Alliance. Moreover, we are the exclusive member of the Employment Law Alliance (ELA), a worldwide association of lawyers.

In Germany, we advise companies comprehensively on all individual employment matters (“from the very beginning until the end of the employment relationship”), on works constitution law and collective bargaining issues. Our team has acknowledged specialists in all areas of labour law - including transformation measures, foreign-related and  transactional labour law. If required, highly specialised lawyers from other areas of law are involved in the development of comprehensive solutions.

At a glance:

  • Individual labour law, from drafting the employment contract to the termination of the employment relationship
  • Works constitution law
  • Collective bargaining law
  • Restructuring and staff reduction
  • Occupational pension plans
  • Employee data protection
  • International labour law
  • Transactional labour law
  • Insolvency labour law
  • German labour law for international clients

Individual labour law – from drafting contracts to their termination

Individual labour law – the legal relationship between an employer and each individual employee – is a significant part of our work. We advise from the initiation of the employment process to the end of an employment relationship. Some examples: 

  • Drafting employment agreements with employees, management and other employees who are not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, as well as service agreements with board members and executive directors
  • Part-time and limited term contracts, parental leave and occupational health and safety law
  • Working time law, including the development of new working time models
  • Leasing of employees
  • Developing variable remuneration models
  • Anti-discrimination law
  • Developing and implementing compliance guidelines
  • Employment law in the case of the transfer of undertakings
  • Providing tactical and legal advice on the mutual termination of employment relationships through cancellation and settlement agreements
  • Advising on the law against unfair dismissal, such as preparing and executing the notice of termination of an employment contract and defending against actions for wrongful or unfair dismissal.

Works constitution law

Where works councils represent employees within the group, all issues related to works constitution law - from individual issues to large projects – will be a focus of our work. We have extensive expertise in this key area. Our work includes:

  • Advising companies on cooperation with works councils, joint works councils and group works councils
  • Preparing hearings and other correspondence with works councils
  • Negotiating works agreements (e.g. working time, flexible working time, introduction of digital personnel files, electronic data processing)
  • Negotiating a reconciliation of interests or social plan as part of operational changes
  • Negotiating guidelines for the selection of personnel
  • Advising on all issues related to the codetermination of employees in supervisory boards
  • Providing advice on European employee representation (European works council, codetermination of employees in an SE)
  • Providing comprehensive representation in litigation at all instances, including the enforcement of or defence against interim injunctions

Collective bargaining law

Collective bargaining law, including industrial action law, is a core element of our work in this field. We negotiate collective bargaining agreements on all possible issues, especially remuneration and framework agreements. In the case of strike action, we devise the defence strategy and take the necessary steps to protect the interests of the company. Our activities include, in particular:

  • Providing a defence against industrial action and advising during on-going action
  • Negotiating all types of collective agreements (company or restructuring collective bargaining agreements, etc.)
  • Developing and implementing collective bargaining strategies
  • Preparing and negotiating complex models to amend or replace collective bargaining agreements
  • Work alliance agreements (Bündnisse für Arbeit)
  • Collective social plans

Restructuring / redundancies

Circumstances can force companies to reduce costs and optimise internal processes. Our labour law team provides comprehensive support when analysing the existing situation and develops specific strategies for action. In addition, we assist with the implementation of any downsizing measures or the cessation of operations. We work closely with communications experts and oversee public relations work and internal communications when preparing and executing such projects. 

Core areas

  • Preparing restructuring measures
  • Negotiating the reconciliation of interests and social plans with existing works councils, even in conciliation procedures
  • Preparing hearing letters for works councils in preparation for dismissals
  • Termination of employment contracts as part of mass dismissals
  • Structuring processes for extensive exit interviews
  • Preparing and implementing the transfer of undertakings
  • Outsourcing of companies and divisions
  • Labour law due diligence in connection with the acquisition of companies
  • Introducing collective framework conditions for the promotion of health or a good work-life balance, or for long-term care for a relative

Occupational pension schemes

Our labour law team advises clients on all aspects of occupational pension schemes. Primarily located in our Düsseldorf office, our pension experts provide fundamental legal support on all aspects of occupational pensions law, including representing clients in court.


  • Restructuring occupational pension schemes to optimise the balance sheet
  • Drafting and negotiating occupational pension rules
  • Establishing and restructuring (shareholder) executive director pension schemes
  • Lifelong flex-time accounts
  • Due diligence as part of corporate transactions

Employee data protection

Our labour law team advises clients on all aspects of employee data protection. This includes: 

  • Advising on all issues related to the protection of employee data under German and European law
  • Drafting, adapting and negotiating works agreements and corporate guidelines concerning data protection
  • Providing advice on data protection law issues as part of labour law due diligence
  • The protection of health data
  • Advising on the use of social media at work, e.g. generating social media guidelines

International labour law

Globalisation multiplies the challenges facing our clients. International processing of orders, cross-border workforce deployment, and international projects continue to increase. The forms are multi-faceted. The difficulty lies in maintaining the necessary overview of the different areas that are affected. Cross-border workforce deployment, for example, raises labour law, social security, tax and possibly even immigration law issues. We support our clients in all of these aspects. Our international network of proven labour, social security and tax law specialists allows us to offer our clients the best advisory services within short periods of time, even internationally.

Our services include:

International workforce deployment

  • Labour, social security and tax law issues arising from cross-border workforce deployment
  • Generating standard documents (secondment agreements, corporate guidelines, etc.) and local employment agreements
  • Advising on and handling the strict administrative obligations in accordance with the law of the relevant destination country: this includes in particular the notification and registration requirements for secondment within the EU
  • Supervising the secondment process (from implementing preliminary discussions to the execution)
  • Providing support with the procurement of residency and work permits in Germany and abroad

International project management

  • Labour law management of international acquisitions
  • Cross-border relocation and transfer of operations
  • Cross-border posting of workers
  • International joint ventures
  • Cessation of operations
  • Providing comprehensive advice as part of outsourcing measures
  • Labour law due diligence in connection with the acquisition of undertakings

Transactional labour law

We oversee all aspects of M&A transactions, including corporate acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures, from a labour law perspective and assist with strategic planning, preparation and structuring, through to the implementation of the transaction and workforce integration.

This work includes:

  • Drafting the labour law provisions of transaction agreements, e.g. for company acquisitions, mergers and joint ventures
  • Conducting labour law due diligence
  • Assisting with pre-transaction preparations, such as optimising the framework conditions of employment law
  • Preparing and implementing the transfer of undertakings: separation in the case of a transfer of undertakings / functional successor, drafting the information notice, designing transfer agreements
  • Providing advice on alternatives to the transfer of undertakings
  • Negotiating with works councils and unions
  • Post-merger integration: aligning employment conditions (collective agreements, works agreements, employment contracts)
  • Managing all labour law aspects of international acquisitions

Insolvency labour law

We provide labour law advice and support to insolvency administrators during the restructuring and winding up of companies, but also to investors looking to acquire companies in insolvency. The following are core areas of our work:

  • Developing and negotiating the reconciliation of interests, insolvency social plans, collective agreements, works agreements, etc.
  • Advising on and implementing measures for the reduction of employee numbers (mass redundancy notifications, social selections, works council procedures, application procedures before the integration office or trade supervisory authority, notices of termination, garden leave, etc.)
  • Advising on all aspects of outplacement/placement, from design to implementation
  • Transfer companies: designing and negotiating tri-party transfer agreements and works agreements
  • Assisting potential investors with labour law issues and advising the insolvency administrator (preparing and performing labour law due diligence)
  • Helping shape acquisition concepts for the insolvency administrator to use as a basis for restructuring measures, negotiating and drafting the labour law aspects of the sale and purchase agreement, etc.

German labour law for international clients

We provide our international clients with information in English about recent developments in German or European labour law and with overviews of the most important topics in this area. Our articles are designed for international companies which have activities in Germany and therefore need to remain up-to-date German and EU labour law developments. 

You can find articles in English here.

Employment Law Alliance (ELA)

Logo Employment Law Alliance_German Member

Global Employer Handbook, free webinars, webcasts and podcasts, as well as articles on employer-relevant information with international relevance, can be found on the following page: