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ReedSmith Labour and Employment
EMEA Labour and Employment Practice
Reed Smith’s EMEA Labour and Employment Group has over 45 members in the UK,
France, Germany, Hong Kong, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. We are entrusted with a full
range of employment matters for our clients, providing practical and solution focussed
legal and commercial advice for both day to day matters and sensitive, complex cases
and transactions. We appreciate that multi-jurisdictional issues are an increasingly
common issue for employers and our international reach and ability to operate as one
single platform is a key asset to our clients in these situations.
The Group has significant experience of acting for clients in a wide range of sectors
including financial services, telecommunications, sports, healthcare and pharma,
media, retail and executive search.
We can provide our clients with fast, cost-effective and commercially-focused advice,
with the ability to apply flexibility and ingenuity in finding solutions to the advantage of
our clients, adopting a policy that allows us to operate as an extension of their human
resources and in-house legal functions to provide strategic advice.
Our lawyers have knowledge and understanding of the latest policies, processes and
complexities concerning employment law in their jurisdictions. This local familiarity,
coupled with the firm’s network of lawyers around the world, guarantees that we can
meet the requirements of our clients wherever they are doing business.
Thomas Ince
Deputy Practice Group Leader
Partner, London
+44 (0) 203 116 2998
tince@reedsmith.com
Robin Jeffcott
European Vice Chair Litigation
Partner, London
+44 (0) 203 116 3403
rjeffcott@reedsmith.com
Severine Martel
Partner, Paris
+33 (0)1 76 70 40 42
smartel@reedsmith.com
Jan Weissgerber
Partner, Munich
+49 (0)89 20304 155
jweissgerber@reedsmith.com
Hugh Scogin
Partner, Beijing
+86 10 6535 9588
hscogin@reedsmith.com
Peter Michelmore
Partner, Middle East
+971 2 4185757
pmichelmore@reedsmith.com
United Kingdom – Key Strengths
Based in London comprised of 4 partners, 1 Counsel and 10 associates, our UK
Employment team offers full service capabilities including:
Strategic Advisory Service. Our London lawyers have significant experience of
dealing with strategic advisory matters and day-to-day employment issues. We provide
commercial, highly responsive advice in order to ensure that our clients remain in
control of their employment relationships.
Redundancy and Reorganisations. Expertise includes formulating, negotiating,
implementing and advising on often complex redundancy and workforce restructuring
programmes including individual and collective consultation and harmonising terms and
conditions.
Outsourcing and Corporate Support. Our UK lawyers have an extensive knowledge
of and experience in advising on all the employment aspects of assets transfers, share
sales, group re-organisations, outsourcing and offshoring.
Employment Tribunal Service. We provide a commercial and bespoke tailored
service, appreciating the importance of any claim to our clients. Our UK lawyers have
the skills and experience to work with our clients to manage key concerns such as
financial exposure, reputation and precedent setting.
High Court Employment Litigation. Our UK employment litigators have achieved
great success in cases concerning bonus disputes and the protection of employers’
business assets, including in enforcing garden leave, team moves and post-termination
restrictive covenants and dealing with the protection of confidential information.
France – Key Strengths
Based in Paris, our French employment law team advises and represents companies
and groups, both French and international, including in the following areas:
 Corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing operations and
collective redundancies.
 Investment and divestment of foreign companies operating in France.
 Collective working relationships: HR & social policy, trade unions, staff
representative bodies, collective-bargaining agreements and employee-saving
schemes.
 Individual working relationships: hiring procedures, employment contracts
(clauses, execution, modifications, termination, etc.), working-time issues,
working conditions, expatriation/repatriation, immigration and discrimination.
 New technological aspects of employment law: social media charters, IT
charters, disputes related to excessive Internet and electronic messaging use,
gathering evidence and court-appointed-IT-expert assessments.
Germany – Key Strengths
From its presence in Munich, Reed Smith has long represented global leading
businesses, German mid-tier companies and financial institutions, all over Germany,
including advising on:
 Employment documentation – contracts, termination notices, rescission
agreements.
 Benefits - stock options, company pension schemes.
 Drafting and negotiating – shop agreements, collective bargaining agreements
and negotiating with Works Councils.
 Cross-border activities – foreign assignment, multi-national employment
contract, cross-border remuneration.
 Restructuring – plant closures, reconciliation of interests, social plans, mass
lay-off.
 Transactions – employment-related due diligence, risk assessment, post-
merger management.
 Day-to-day employment matters – dismissal protection, sick pay, working time,
vacation, secondment arrangements and works council participation rights.
Asia (Hong Kong and China) – Key Strengths
Our Asia employment & labour team offer innovative legal advice, with a practical
understanding of local employment practices, business cultures, and the complex, ever-
changing regulatory environments in Asia. The team can help with:
 Drafting (and, as appropriate, negotiating) employment-related documents,
including employment agreements, stock option plans, employment termination
and reoffer letters, deeds of separation and release, employment secondment
agreements, confidentiality agreements, and intellectual property right and
invention assignments.
 Advising on employees' rights and protections, provident fund schemes,
dismissal, discrimination, confidentiality, non-competition, personal data privacy
and employee transfer issues.
 Advising on and assisting in employment visa applications and related
immigration matters as well as labour disputes and labour tribunal cases.
 Advising on the employment aspects of any contracting-out of services,
business or share sales.
 Compliance with new legislation, such as Hong Kong’s Race Discrimination
Ordinance.
 Advising on restructuring, including implementing changes to terms and
conditions of employment and/or redundancies.
 Conducting internal disciplinary proceedings.
 Attending disciplinary/termination meetings, advising employers on insurance
claims brought by employees.
 Advising on entitlements in respect of share option, bonus and pension
schemes.
Middle East (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) – Key Strengths
Our Middle Eastern employment team has advised clients on all aspects of the
employer-employee relationship both in the UAE and the wider Middle East region.
Non Contentious:
 Drafting all documents pertaining to the employment relationship, including
offer letters, employment agreements, consulting and secondment agreements.
 Advising on all employment-related subjects, including the applicability of the
UAE labour law to local employment relationships, appointment, grievance and
disciplinary procedures, remuneration, benefits and end of service gratuity,
termination and the UAE health insurance regime.
 Assisting human resources teams with the development of employee
handbooks to ensure that policies and procedures comply with UAE labour law.
 Managing the termination of employment relationships, such as preparing the
necessary documentation and, where appropriate, drafting post-termination
agreements.
 Advising on all aspects of UAE immigration law, including the procedure for
acquiring residence visas and work permits for expatriate employees, and
repatriation issues.
We also advise and represent clients in relation to all types of labour litigation,
mediation and dispute resolution before the UAE civil courts and labour courts. As
foreign qualified lawyers working in the UAE, and in common with other locally based
international law firms, we do not ourselves have rights of audience before the local
courts.
Representative Matters
London London London London
Defending a high value UK
employment tribunal claim
of unfair dismissal and
whistleblowing. Reed Smith
advised on the impact of
dismissal on a shareholding
worth in excess of £50m.
Leading the defence on the
deferral of bonuses by a
global financial services
institution across 46
jurisdictions worldwide.
Acting for a major UK
soccer team in the
settlement negotiations
relating to the departure of
its senior management
team.
Bringing urgent “without
notice” interim-injunction
proceedings in the UK High
Court, against a senior
consultant for breach of
express and implied
confidentiality obligations.
Paris Paris Paris Paris
Advised various French
companies on individual
and collective dismissal
(information and
consultation of the staff
representatives) labor
matters and represented
them before the French
Labor Court.
Advised a US manufacturer
client on a mass
redundancy procedure
(known in France as "Plan
de Sauvegarde de
l'Emploi").
Represented a German
manufacturer client and an
Asian technology company
before the French Courts
as employees of one of
their affiliates challenge
validity of their dismissal for
redundancy.
Conducted a data
protection assessment
across 25 EU and Eastern
European client entities and
provided compliance
recommendations for each
concerning compliance with
local and international data
protection laws.
Munich Munich Munich Munich
Advising a foamglas
manufacturer on the
closure of production lines
including negotiations with
the works council and
litigation.
Advising on the major
restructuring of a Russian
airline, including
negotiations with the works
council and litigation.
Advising on a data audit
run by German authorities
on the implementation of a
global IT system.
Advising on a major
restructuring of a U.S.-
based consulting company
in Germany, including
litigation.
Beijing Beijing UAE UAE
Advising and representing
various parties in a highly
contentious boardroom and
shareholders dispute.
Advising a large multi-
national chemicals and
pharmaceutical company,
in multiple litigations
against the former
managing director and a
former employee, involving
claims for fraud and
breaches of fiduciary duty.
Assisting human resources
teams with the
development of employee
handbooks to ensure that
policies and procedures
comply with UAE labour
law.
Advising on all aspects of
UAE immigration law,
including the procedure for
acquiring residence visas
and work permits for
expatriate employees, and
repatriation issues.
Outsourcing Outsourcing Outsourcing Outsourcing
Advising a major
multinational telecoms
provider on the
employment aspects of a
complex £700m
outsourcing transaction
with a major UK bank.
Advising a major financial
institution on a multi-billion
pound outsourcing of its IT
functions across 47
jurisdictions
Advising a multi-
jurisdictional company on
the employment aspects of
an outsourcing transaction
with employees in 39
jurisdictions.
Advising a major insurance
company on the
outsourcing of various in-
house functions, including
security, reception and IT
assistance.
Global Projects Global Projects Global Projects Global Projects
Advising a multinational
communications and
information technology
company on an acquisition
spanning 52 different
jurisdictions.
Advising a major
international client on its
global business protection
arrangements, including
confidentiality provisions,
post-termination restrictive
covenants, garden leave
provisions,
Advising a major global
financial institution on
sensitive and high-profile
bonus issues. Including the
handling of grievances by
employees, creating and
implementing bonus
policies and contract terms
across 23 countries
Reviewing a major financial
institution’s business
protection provisions
including restrictive
covenants and garden
leave arrangements in
respect of managerial and
executive-grade
employees.
Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services
Acting for a major financial
institution in bringing
“without notice” interim-
injunction proceedings
against a former consultant
for breach of express and
implied confidentiality
obligations. An interim-
injunction was obtained and
all of our client’s
confidential information was
recovered.
Acting for a global financial
services business in
defending a number of
Employment Tribunal
claims, including issues
relating to unfair dismissal,
discrimination and
whistleblowing claims.
Acting for a global financial
institution in obtaining ex
parte injunctive
proceedings against a
former managing director
involving obtaining a UK
High Court “door-step”
order for delivery-up of
confidential information and
other company property.
Advising a global foreign
exchange organisation on
the employment aspects of
the closure of its worldwide
operations, and an
international marketing
communications and
marketing service business
on the significant
downsizing of its global
workforce.
Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services
Advising a large insurance
broker on defending
allegations of a breach of
post-termination restrictions
by an employee based in
Singapore, including advice
regarding jurisdictional
issues.
Conducting a review of
disciplinary and dismissal
law in 46 jurisdictions for a
major financial institution in
order to establish a
‘knowledge bank’ e-room
service.
.
Conducting a review of the
service agreements of a
large banking group’s
global executive population,
with a particular focus on
entitlements on severance
and the legal and financial
implications of such
entitlements.
Advising a large provider of
financial services in relation
to multi-party litigation
involving 25 claimants in
the Employment Tribunal
for breach of contract
arising from redundancies
made in consequence of
the closure of one of the
client’s business units.
Reed Smith LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in
England and Wales with registered number OC303620 with its
registered office at The Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street,
London EC2A 2RS. Reed Smith LLP is authorised and
regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and
Wales. Reed Smith offices are also regulated or licensed in the
jurisdictions in which they are based, if required by law or
regulation.
Reed Smith LLP is associated with Reed Smith LLP of
Delaware, USA.
Reed Smith’s office in Singapore is a private Singapore
registered company, Reed Smith Pte. Ltd.
The offices listed opposite are offices of Reed Smith LLP of
England and Wales or Reed Smith LLP of Delaware, USA, with
the exceptions of Hong Kong, which trades as Reed Smith
Richards Butler, and Singapore.
All rights reserved.
www.reedsmith.com

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EMEA L&E Capabilities

  • 1. ReedSmith Labour and Employment EMEA Labour and Employment Practice Reed Smith’s EMEA Labour and Employment Group has over 45 members in the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Beijing and Abu Dhabi. We are entrusted with a full range of employment matters for our clients, providing practical and solution focussed legal and commercial advice for both day to day matters and sensitive, complex cases and transactions. We appreciate that multi-jurisdictional issues are an increasingly common issue for employers and our international reach and ability to operate as one single platform is a key asset to our clients in these situations. The Group has significant experience of acting for clients in a wide range of sectors including financial services, telecommunications, sports, healthcare and pharma, media, retail and executive search. We can provide our clients with fast, cost-effective and commercially-focused advice, with the ability to apply flexibility and ingenuity in finding solutions to the advantage of our clients, adopting a policy that allows us to operate as an extension of their human resources and in-house legal functions to provide strategic advice. Our lawyers have knowledge and understanding of the latest policies, processes and complexities concerning employment law in their jurisdictions. This local familiarity, coupled with the firm’s network of lawyers around the world, guarantees that we can meet the requirements of our clients wherever they are doing business. Thomas Ince Deputy Practice Group Leader Partner, London +44 (0) 203 116 2998 tince@reedsmith.com Robin Jeffcott European Vice Chair Litigation Partner, London +44 (0) 203 116 3403 rjeffcott@reedsmith.com Severine Martel Partner, Paris +33 (0)1 76 70 40 42 smartel@reedsmith.com Jan Weissgerber Partner, Munich +49 (0)89 20304 155 jweissgerber@reedsmith.com Hugh Scogin Partner, Beijing +86 10 6535 9588 hscogin@reedsmith.com Peter Michelmore Partner, Middle East +971 2 4185757 pmichelmore@reedsmith.com
  • 2. United Kingdom – Key Strengths Based in London comprised of 4 partners, 1 Counsel and 10 associates, our UK Employment team offers full service capabilities including: Strategic Advisory Service. Our London lawyers have significant experience of dealing with strategic advisory matters and day-to-day employment issues. We provide commercial, highly responsive advice in order to ensure that our clients remain in control of their employment relationships. Redundancy and Reorganisations. Expertise includes formulating, negotiating, implementing and advising on often complex redundancy and workforce restructuring programmes including individual and collective consultation and harmonising terms and conditions. Outsourcing and Corporate Support. Our UK lawyers have an extensive knowledge of and experience in advising on all the employment aspects of assets transfers, share sales, group re-organisations, outsourcing and offshoring. Employment Tribunal Service. We provide a commercial and bespoke tailored service, appreciating the importance of any claim to our clients. Our UK lawyers have the skills and experience to work with our clients to manage key concerns such as financial exposure, reputation and precedent setting. High Court Employment Litigation. Our UK employment litigators have achieved great success in cases concerning bonus disputes and the protection of employers’ business assets, including in enforcing garden leave, team moves and post-termination restrictive covenants and dealing with the protection of confidential information. France – Key Strengths Based in Paris, our French employment law team advises and represents companies and groups, both French and international, including in the following areas:  Corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, outsourcing operations and collective redundancies.  Investment and divestment of foreign companies operating in France.  Collective working relationships: HR & social policy, trade unions, staff representative bodies, collective-bargaining agreements and employee-saving schemes.
  • 3.  Individual working relationships: hiring procedures, employment contracts (clauses, execution, modifications, termination, etc.), working-time issues, working conditions, expatriation/repatriation, immigration and discrimination.  New technological aspects of employment law: social media charters, IT charters, disputes related to excessive Internet and electronic messaging use, gathering evidence and court-appointed-IT-expert assessments. Germany – Key Strengths From its presence in Munich, Reed Smith has long represented global leading businesses, German mid-tier companies and financial institutions, all over Germany, including advising on:  Employment documentation – contracts, termination notices, rescission agreements.  Benefits - stock options, company pension schemes.  Drafting and negotiating – shop agreements, collective bargaining agreements and negotiating with Works Councils.  Cross-border activities – foreign assignment, multi-national employment contract, cross-border remuneration.  Restructuring – plant closures, reconciliation of interests, social plans, mass lay-off.  Transactions – employment-related due diligence, risk assessment, post- merger management.  Day-to-day employment matters – dismissal protection, sick pay, working time, vacation, secondment arrangements and works council participation rights. Asia (Hong Kong and China) – Key Strengths Our Asia employment & labour team offer innovative legal advice, with a practical understanding of local employment practices, business cultures, and the complex, ever- changing regulatory environments in Asia. The team can help with:
  • 4.  Drafting (and, as appropriate, negotiating) employment-related documents, including employment agreements, stock option plans, employment termination and reoffer letters, deeds of separation and release, employment secondment agreements, confidentiality agreements, and intellectual property right and invention assignments.  Advising on employees' rights and protections, provident fund schemes, dismissal, discrimination, confidentiality, non-competition, personal data privacy and employee transfer issues.  Advising on and assisting in employment visa applications and related immigration matters as well as labour disputes and labour tribunal cases.  Advising on the employment aspects of any contracting-out of services, business or share sales.  Compliance with new legislation, such as Hong Kong’s Race Discrimination Ordinance.  Advising on restructuring, including implementing changes to terms and conditions of employment and/or redundancies.  Conducting internal disciplinary proceedings.  Attending disciplinary/termination meetings, advising employers on insurance claims brought by employees.  Advising on entitlements in respect of share option, bonus and pension schemes. Middle East (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) – Key Strengths Our Middle Eastern employment team has advised clients on all aspects of the employer-employee relationship both in the UAE and the wider Middle East region. Non Contentious:  Drafting all documents pertaining to the employment relationship, including offer letters, employment agreements, consulting and secondment agreements.  Advising on all employment-related subjects, including the applicability of the UAE labour law to local employment relationships, appointment, grievance and
  • 5. disciplinary procedures, remuneration, benefits and end of service gratuity, termination and the UAE health insurance regime.  Assisting human resources teams with the development of employee handbooks to ensure that policies and procedures comply with UAE labour law.  Managing the termination of employment relationships, such as preparing the necessary documentation and, where appropriate, drafting post-termination agreements.  Advising on all aspects of UAE immigration law, including the procedure for acquiring residence visas and work permits for expatriate employees, and repatriation issues. We also advise and represent clients in relation to all types of labour litigation, mediation and dispute resolution before the UAE civil courts and labour courts. As foreign qualified lawyers working in the UAE, and in common with other locally based international law firms, we do not ourselves have rights of audience before the local courts.
  • 6. Representative Matters London London London London Defending a high value UK employment tribunal claim of unfair dismissal and whistleblowing. Reed Smith advised on the impact of dismissal on a shareholding worth in excess of £50m. Leading the defence on the deferral of bonuses by a global financial services institution across 46 jurisdictions worldwide. Acting for a major UK soccer team in the settlement negotiations relating to the departure of its senior management team. Bringing urgent “without notice” interim-injunction proceedings in the UK High Court, against a senior consultant for breach of express and implied confidentiality obligations. Paris Paris Paris Paris Advised various French companies on individual and collective dismissal (information and consultation of the staff representatives) labor matters and represented them before the French Labor Court. Advised a US manufacturer client on a mass redundancy procedure (known in France as "Plan de Sauvegarde de l'Emploi"). Represented a German manufacturer client and an Asian technology company before the French Courts as employees of one of their affiliates challenge validity of their dismissal for redundancy. Conducted a data protection assessment across 25 EU and Eastern European client entities and provided compliance recommendations for each concerning compliance with local and international data protection laws. Munich Munich Munich Munich Advising a foamglas manufacturer on the closure of production lines including negotiations with the works council and litigation. Advising on the major restructuring of a Russian airline, including negotiations with the works council and litigation. Advising on a data audit run by German authorities on the implementation of a global IT system. Advising on a major restructuring of a U.S.- based consulting company in Germany, including litigation. Beijing Beijing UAE UAE Advising and representing various parties in a highly contentious boardroom and shareholders dispute. Advising a large multi- national chemicals and pharmaceutical company, in multiple litigations against the former managing director and a former employee, involving claims for fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. Assisting human resources teams with the development of employee handbooks to ensure that policies and procedures comply with UAE labour law. Advising on all aspects of UAE immigration law, including the procedure for acquiring residence visas and work permits for expatriate employees, and repatriation issues.
  • 7. Outsourcing Outsourcing Outsourcing Outsourcing Advising a major multinational telecoms provider on the employment aspects of a complex £700m outsourcing transaction with a major UK bank. Advising a major financial institution on a multi-billion pound outsourcing of its IT functions across 47 jurisdictions Advising a multi- jurisdictional company on the employment aspects of an outsourcing transaction with employees in 39 jurisdictions. Advising a major insurance company on the outsourcing of various in- house functions, including security, reception and IT assistance. Global Projects Global Projects Global Projects Global Projects Advising a multinational communications and information technology company on an acquisition spanning 52 different jurisdictions. Advising a major international client on its global business protection arrangements, including confidentiality provisions, post-termination restrictive covenants, garden leave provisions, Advising a major global financial institution on sensitive and high-profile bonus issues. Including the handling of grievances by employees, creating and implementing bonus policies and contract terms across 23 countries Reviewing a major financial institution’s business protection provisions including restrictive covenants and garden leave arrangements in respect of managerial and executive-grade employees. Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services Acting for a major financial institution in bringing “without notice” interim- injunction proceedings against a former consultant for breach of express and implied confidentiality obligations. An interim- injunction was obtained and all of our client’s confidential information was recovered. Acting for a global financial services business in defending a number of Employment Tribunal claims, including issues relating to unfair dismissal, discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Acting for a global financial institution in obtaining ex parte injunctive proceedings against a former managing director involving obtaining a UK High Court “door-step” order for delivery-up of confidential information and other company property. Advising a global foreign exchange organisation on the employment aspects of the closure of its worldwide operations, and an international marketing communications and marketing service business on the significant downsizing of its global workforce. Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services Financial Services Advising a large insurance broker on defending allegations of a breach of post-termination restrictions by an employee based in Singapore, including advice regarding jurisdictional issues. Conducting a review of disciplinary and dismissal law in 46 jurisdictions for a major financial institution in order to establish a ‘knowledge bank’ e-room service. . Conducting a review of the service agreements of a large banking group’s global executive population, with a particular focus on entitlements on severance and the legal and financial implications of such entitlements. Advising a large provider of financial services in relation to multi-party litigation involving 25 claimants in the Employment Tribunal for breach of contract arising from redundancies made in consequence of the closure of one of the client’s business units.
  • 8. Reed Smith LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303620 with its registered office at The Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street, London EC2A 2RS. Reed Smith LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority of England and Wales. Reed Smith offices are also regulated or licensed in the jurisdictions in which they are based, if required by law or regulation. Reed Smith LLP is associated with Reed Smith LLP of Delaware, USA. Reed Smith’s office in Singapore is a private Singapore registered company, Reed Smith Pte. Ltd. The offices listed opposite are offices of Reed Smith LLP of England and Wales or Reed Smith LLP of Delaware, USA, with the exceptions of Hong Kong, which trades as Reed Smith Richards Butler, and Singapore. All rights reserved. www.reedsmith.com