EMPLOYMENT

Global Overview


Today’s increasingly global market is fast changing, competitive and pressurised, and for many in-house employment counsel and human resources teams within multinational businesses, it is becoming more important than ever to look for external support in managing global employment legal risks, and to build compliance strategies for both mature and developing markets.

Managing those risks becomes ever tougher for those overseeing multiple jurisdictions, who have to contend with not only myriad laws and regulatory requirements, but also distinct differences in cultural approach.

The Multilaw Advantage


Multilaw is a global network of international law firms, with 80 member firms operating across 100 countries globally. It has been ranked in the ‘Elite’ band of global legal networks by the 2017 Chambers Global Guide (one of only 10 networks internationally to have achieved such recognition) – and this is the third year running that Multilaw has achieved this top tier ranking.

Chambers highlights the ‘hands-on support’ that Multilaw provides to its members as well as its established practice area groups.

It can be tempting for a globally integrated business to look to develop a single, unified, solution to such challenges, but the danger with such an approach is that it may fail to take account of local cultural sensitivities and social expectations. Custom and practice does not always translate easily across borders.

A Multilaw team can help to avoid these pitfalls. Every Multilaw firm is embedded in its local market, and offers a wealth of experience in advising multinational clients regularly on just these sorts of issues. We work with clients of all sizes, from start-up businesses looking to expand internationally for the first time, to long-established multinationals looking for a trustworthy and reliable provider through whom to manage their ongoing employment legal risks.

The Multilaw employment law team provides fast, proactive and practical legal support. Approachable and commercially aware, our specialists across the globe have in-depth experience of the issues faced by businesses in their respective jurisdictions when managing staff.

Multilaw’s lawyers keep clients up to date with the constant developments in employment law and regulations across the continents, highlighting how these could impact on their overall strategy and helping to safeguard against the potentially huge costs of non-compliance. Since 2005, our employment law team has collaborated to produce an cross-jurisdictional handbook aimed at providing in-house counsel and HR specialists with an invaluable overview of employment laws around the world.

What we do


Our employment lawyers cover the whole spectrum of employment law issues, including contentious and non-contentious matters, across a wide variety of industries in both the public and the private sector, including not-for-profit organisations.

We offer expert advice on:

  • Contracts, Labour Agreements and Collective Bargaining Agreements
  • Industrial Relations
  • Human Rights
  • Strategic HR Planning (including Dismissals and Redundancies)
  • Business Sales and Acquisitions, and Corporate Restructuring
  • Boardroom Disputes
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Data Privacy and Confidential Information Protection
  • Disciplinary and Performance Management
  • Discrimination
  • Dispute Resolution (including Litigation and Mediation)
  • Pay and Benefits (including Pensions and Stock Options)

Work Examples


  • Games Workshop, the global games and miniatures manufacturer and retailer with a yearly turnover in excess of £100 million needed help with the provision of employment and immigration legal services in all of the countries in which they operate. They contacted UK member firm Shakespeare Martineau who were able to quickly put together a proposal covering all of the jurisdictions required. The proposal was successful against some stiff competition. The client was impressed by the combination of the UK firm providing the central key account management, the breadth of the Multilaw presence across the world and the capabilities of the network to provide a seamless service. The work is now being rolled out to 17 countries with expansion into other areas likely.

  • Provided co-ordinated strategic employment advice to a helicopter operating business following the loss of a commercial contract for the provision of transportation services to/from oil rigs in the Southern North Sea. Following a number of consequential job losses, litigation between management and a number of trade unions across the different jurisdictions (acting on behalf of various groups of employees) ensued.  Member firms in Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and the UK worked together to maintain close dialogue between the different countries to ensure that arguments being advanced in one case would not impact adversely on another. 

  • Assisted with the creation and establishment of a complex cross-border corporate group structure designed to ensure the appropriate protection of IP and know-how being developed by employees who would be physically based in the UK, but providing services to a Dublin-based operating company in the development of a new media platform conceived in Silicon Valley, USA. 

  • Advised a global telecommunications company on various labour and employment matters, including helping them to rationalise a broad range of global employment policies.

  • Advised an international logistics services company on employee transfer and retention issues arising from its acquisition of a new subsidiary.

  • Advised US-based multinational on the relocation of a manufacturing plant and collective redundancy.

  • Advised on employment implications arising from the acquisition of 3 smaller undertakings by a major international pharmaceutical company.

Practice Group Contacts




Jon Heuvel
Shakespeare Martineau
London, United Kingdom


Bart Duijs
Bosselaar & Strengers
The Netherlands


Carmo Sousa Machado
Abreu Advogados
Portugal


Stephen J. Vaughan
Gray Plant Mooty
Washington D.C., USA


Rikisuke Yamanaka
Ushijima & Partners
Japan