Philippe Thomas


Philippe Thomas


Paris | 32 rue de Monceau, Paris, France 75008
+33 1 57 57 80 91 | +33 1 57 57 80 81


Philippe Thomas focuses his practice on employment matters. He has extensive experience in the transfer of personnel and other employment law aspects of national and international mergers and acquisitions. He regularly advises on restructuring issues with or without reductions in headcount. He assists clients with collective agreements, harmonization of employee status as well as with consultations of employee representatives. He litigates regularly on collective matters (bonuses, profitsharing, employee representatives issues, etc.) and on employment termination issues (including following reductions in force). Mr. Thomas also advises clients in relation to Brexit planning.

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 Dechert teams, 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 for providing expert advice on strategic projects and for his experience managing projects requiring implementation in multiple countries. His expertise and knowledge of foreign legal systems and requirements of cross-border projects allows him to provide innovative advice focused on the most relevant issues.

In addition, Mr. Thomas advises on recent legislation such as the new rules applicable to collective bargaining agreements, health and safety, discrimination, directors' liabilities and compensation plans. He regularly teams up with the client’s teams to improve the management of day-to-day employment law issues.

Philippe Thomas is recognized as a leading lawyer in France by Best Lawyers 2019. He is also recommended in Chambers Europe 2019 and in The Legal 500 EMEA 2019. 

Prior to joining Dechert in 2011, Mr. Thomas spent fourteen years at another international law firm having already spent seven years working within various French law firms. He is fluent in French and English.

  • Representing a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company in relation to all their employment needs in France, including individual and collective issues, employment aspects of acquisitions and divestitures, and litigation.
  • Advising a multinational telecommunications company on its reorganization and post-reorganization matters (information/consultation process of the works council, communication with the employee representative bodies, representing in a litigation case against a union).
  • Advising a leading provider of finance software solutions on potential legal issues and an action plan to put in place a new compensation policy in compliance with local laws. Coordinated the client project in four jurisdictions of implementation.
  • Advising an Italian fashion company on negotiations with staff delegates, as well as with French labor administration, and dealing with discrimination, working time, health and safety at work and discipline issues.
  • Assisting a Canadian wood transformation company on chemical/psychological and social risks related to a plant in France, further to an alert made by an expert of their Health and Safety Committee. Day-to-day assistance in this respect, including communication with French labor administration and staff representative bodies.
  • Advised a leading U.S. provider of semiconductor technologies 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.
  • Advised a global specialty biopharmaceutical company on the reorganization of their French subsidiary, including collective redundancy proceedings, as well as on the various issues arising out of their acquisition of a company.
  • Assisted a leading U.S. provider of translation services and a leader in global food ingredients and flavors markets with their French site reorganizations and implementation of related social plans. Representing these companies in various litigations that have arisen further to the implementation of social plans.
  • Assisted 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 at the top management level of the group.
  • Assisted several private equity funds on terminations of managers with complex negotiations, with all the sophisticated incentive mechanisms existing in this industry.
  • Advised a modular construction company on the implementation of an ethics code in Europe.Represented a manufacturer of automotive fluid storage and delivery products in a criminal case for an occupational accident (death of an employee).
  • 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.
  • Assisted with the 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.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

  • Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas, M.A., 1986
  • Georgetown University, LL.M., 1990
  • Paris
  • French
  • English
  • European Employment Lawyer’s Association
  • The International Bar Association
  • Avosial
  • C.N.A.T (National Centre of Arbitration at Work) Board of Directors
Speaking Engagements
  • GDPR: The First Six Months — New York, NY (October 11, 2018) 
  • Brexit for Fund Managers Seminar Series - Session Three: Attracting and Retaining Talent After Brexit — London (October 4, 2018) 
  • Changing Labor and Employment Law in France, Germany and the UK — An Update , Lionbridge, Waltham (May 2, 2018)
  • French Labor Code Ordinances - Dechert Roundtable, London (December 5, 2017)
  • How the French Labor Code Ordinances of 22 September 2017 could impact you - Paris (October 25, 2017)
  • Loi Travail: ce qui va changer - Paris (October 11, 2016)
  • Loi Travail: ce qui va changer - Paris (September 29, 2016)
  • Adoption de la Loi Travail: ce qui va changer - Paris (September 13, 2016)
  • La QVT au Service de vos Obligations de Sécurité de Résultat — Organized by Le Point magazine, Paris (September 24, 2015)
  • Séminaire en Ligne — Licenciements collectifs et santé des salariés, (March 6, 2014)
  • Social -Les experts du CE et du CHSCT — Campus 2012 - L'université d'été des Avocats Parisiens, Paris (July 5, 2012)
  • Coping with Heightened Regulations and the Need for Better Dispute Resolution — Third Annual Corporate Counsel Institute -Europe, Madrid (May 24, 2012)
  • Good Practices to Monitor the Applicable Law in Case of International Mobility — Organised by Cercle Magellan, Paris (September 23, 2011)
  • The Changing World of Work: Responding to the Challenges of the 21st Century From a Global and an EU Perspective — Organised by the International Bar Association, Brussels (April 14, 2011)