JUVE Law Firm of the year

Employment

Employment law is booming

The economy is flourishing, but everybody is talking about employment law: the revised German Act on Temporary Employment means high demand for advice to companies and extends into the field of compliance – the fear of hefty fines and criminal prosecution is substantial. Compliance also plays a major role when it comes to advising decision-making bodies and managers: the emissions scandal long ago reached the highest echelons of major corporates, leading them to seek advice from employment law specialists, often in conjunction with corporate lawyers.

Specialists are also called on in other areas: the low-interest phase is leading to a great deal of work in restructuring company pension models, while the Act on the Strengthening of Company Pensions is providing a taste of things to come, as is the European General Data Protection Regulation.

In addition to this, the still-vague buzzword “Work 4.0” is doing the rounds. A number of employment lawyers note that this is causing familiar discussions such as the concept of “working time” to flare up again. Many experts are calling on policymakers to provide an answer, as they consider the solutions provided by the Work 4.0 white paper to be insufficient. The courts also had to provide clarification in other equally difficult matters. The ECJ, for example, adjudicated in two important cases involving reference provisions and codetermination in supervisory boards.

Law firm brand takes precedence

Most firms now have their strategically motivated reorganizations behind them. Only the Munich employment market is still simmering: the departures of Prof. Dr. Georg Annuß from Linklaters (unknown destination) and Dr. Burkard Göpfert from Baker & McKenzie to Kliemt raise the question of how much scope notable advisors with high-end work will be allowed in large international firms in the future. Even large outfits that traditionally give plenty of space to the individual development of its partners, such as CMS Hasche Sigle, are turning their attention to advancing the brand as a whole and not banking exclusively on business development by individual partners.

Large firms are the pioneers in legal tech

The use of technologies will also determine how firms structure their activity going forward. CMS Hasche Sigle in particular, but also other large international firms, are the pioneers: they have both the interest and the budget to optimize internal value creation. A number of specialist employment matters, such as the supply of temporary workers and redundancy plans, are ideally suited to this. Because of their lower budgets and lack of infrastructure, boutiques have greater problems with legal tech and as a result are focusing more on interoffice activity: at Kliemt in Munich and Naegele in Berlin, there were two new office openings. It is no secret that Vangard has its sights set on Frankfurt.

 

The firms featured in this chapter specialize in employment advice to companies as employers. An overview of firms specializing in advice to employees can be found in the table “Firms recommended for advice to works councils, trade unions and employees”.


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