Philippe Thomas

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T: +33 1 57 57 80 91
F: +33 1 57 57 80 81

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Philippe Thomas focuses his practice on labor and employment matters. Mr. Thomas has extensive experience in transfer of personnel and other employment law aspects of national and international mergers and acquisitions. He regularly advises on restructuring issues and assists clients with their reductions in headcount, works councils consultations, harmonization of employee status as well as senior employee terminations and post termination issues.

Mr. Thomas and his team have a particular expertise in handling sensitive and crisis cases (including plant closures, executive departures, health and safety issues at work, and strikes). Through its work with other teams of Dechert, the team approaches crisis issues not solely from an employment law perspective but from a business point of view as well.

Mr. Thomas is recognized as strongly able to provide expert advice on strategic projects such as reorganizations and for advising and coordinating projects requiring implementation in various countries. His expertise and knowledge of foreign legal systems and requirements of cross-border projects allows us to provide advice focused on the most relevant issues and deliver projects on time.

In addition, Mr. Thomas advises on recent legislation such as the new rules applicable to working time, incentives and employee benefits, health and safety, discrimination, directors’ liabilities, stock option plans and collective agreements. He regularly teams up with the client’s teams to improve the management of day-to-day employment law issues. He has recently assisted clients on cross-border projects - and appears before the labor courts on individual and collective employment issues.

In 2014, Mr. Thomas was ranked in Band 1 by Chambers Europe and recommended by Legal 500 EMEA for his employment practice in France. Legal 500 noted that Mr. Thomas is a "top lawyer" who has "an impressive knowledge of labour law."

Prior to joining Dechert in 2011, Mr. Thomas spent fourteen years at Hogan Lovells having already spent seven years working within various French law firms.

Significant Representations

  • Advised a leading US Provider of Semiconductor Technologies and assistance on all matters related to two reorganizations of activities in France, including downsizing of a manufactory with 517 terminations out of the 540 employees present on site, from the drafting of the documentation to the management of all incidents (works council) and advice on all strategic aspects of the projects;
  • Assistance to a leading US Provider of Translation Services and a leader in Global Food Ingredients and Flavors Markets with their French sites reorganizations and implementation of related social plans. Representing these companies in various litigations that have arisen further to the implementation of social plans;
  • Assistance to a global leader in Material Handling in the context of the reorganization of a joint venture further to the end of its partnership with an Automaker, and dealt with the question of subsequent reclassification of the staff to other sites/subsidiaries, as well as advised on projects such as relocation of staff and outsourcing, and in the changes that occurred at the top management level of the group;
  • Global assistance to a US Major Industrial Manufacturer on all employment related issues such as reorganization, performance, elections and relationships with employee representatives, international employment contracts;
  • Advised a Modular Construction Company on the implementation of an ethic code in Europe;
  • Represented a Manufacturer of Automotive Fluid Storage & Delivery Products in a criminal case for occupational accident (death of an employee);
  • Represented an HR Management Company in a criminal case of moral harassment;
  • Assistance to several Private Equity Funds on terminations of managers with complex negotiations, with all the sophisticated incentive mechanisms existing in this industry;
  • Advised a Real Estate Services and Investment Management Firm for a transfer of part of its personnel to the Purchaser of one of its French activities;
  • Closing of a plant of a Medical Device Group, representation of this group before administrative and civil tribunals and conclusion of settlement agreements with 104 employees;
  • Advised a US Processor and Semiconductor Manufacturer on all employment law issues, including two successive restructurings with negotiation of social plans (310 people) and termination of contractual relationships with sub-contractors - including representation in courts;
  • Regular advisor to a Global Online Retailer for sensitive international issues;


Université Panthéon Assas (Paris II), M.A., 1986
Georgetown University, LL.M., 1990

Bar Admissions/Qualifications



European Employment Lawyer’s Association
The International Bar Association
Cercle Magellan