Labor and Employment

An accomplished employment law practice with global scope and experience

Because today’s workforce is more diverse and global, employers require experienced counsel to protect their interests and operations amid ever-changing domestic and international employment regulations. The practice is international, with Dechert lawyers located in major commercial centers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

As advisors and advocates, we protect the interests of companies of all sizes in virtually every industry. The team represents employers in complex disputes and litigation, advises on the workforce aspects of domestic and cross-border transactions and restructurings, and advises on workforce practices and policies that prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Recognized as a leading firm for employment

Dechert is recognized as a leading firm for employment law in the UK by Chambers 2017, in Pennsylvania by Chambers 2017, and in Russia and France by Legal 500 EMEA 2017.

The Dechert difference

Every client’s situation is unique. Our team partners with clients to assess their workplace challenges, legal needs and business considerations to determine the best strategic and tactical course of action. Clients with cross-border issues have access to team members located in the USA, the UK, Germany, France, China, Russia, and other jurisdictions. Our lawyers keep watch over recent and potential developments that may have implications for both international and national clients with overseas operations.


Major French Clothing Brand

Dechert represented a well-known French clothing company on a major restructuring project, which was conducted in conjunction with a corporate reorganization.

Our work included a strategic analysis for the purpose of structuring the reorganization in such a way that allowed the articulation of goals pursued in the corporate reorganization being led simultaneously. We assisted with the framework of the plant’s closure in France, which resulted in the redundancies of all personnel in that location.

Our role included the definition of the strategy, the drafting of documentation and assistance at all stages of negotiations with the unions, (at various stages involving the labor administration) as well as providing day-to-day support during the works council consultation process and during the implementation of the redundancies.

We also managed the closing down of our client’s Monaco subsidiary which required compliance with specific local laws, while at the same time applying the justification built for the reorganization in France. We acted as the interface between our client and the local lawyer.

By assisting this high end specialty brand we have set a new milestone for our presence in the fashion industry.

International Law Firm

Dechert represented an international law firm with offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia on a highly sensitive issue with regard to the long term absence of a partner, working closely with our client to ensure all legal, strategic and commercial objectives were met. Our work included handling Employment Tribunal proceedings and their resolution including a claim made by the partner of disability discrimination, a subject access request and witness statements and advising on the departure of the partner on agreed terms in relation to financial matters and public announcement. 

Litigation, arbitration proceedings and appellate advocacy
  • Individual and class action employment discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Wage and hour
  • Intellectual property and non-competition
  • Privacy and data protection
  • Wrongful discharge and termination
  • Employment torts
  • Employee contract, benefit disputes and ERISA litigation
  • WARN Act
Labor-management relations
  • Arbitrations and proceedings under collective bargaining agreements, and before the National Labor Relations Board
  • Union avoidance and election campaigns
  • Collective bargaining negotiations
  • Strikes, boycotts and other union activity
Business transactions and operations support
  • Negotiating and drafting employment contracts
  • Designing and implementing share option, bonus and other incentive arrangements, including executive and equity compensation arrangements
  • Advising on workforce restructuring and redundancy exercises
  • Drafting and enforcing restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations
  • Advising on employment aspects of corporate transactions
  • Handling data protection and privacy issues
  • Drafting separation agreements
Regulatory compliance and preventive counseling
  • Personnel management, including hiring practices, performance evaluations, discipline and discharge procedures
  • Internal investigations
  • Reductions in force
  • Affirmative action
  • Employee classifications and pay
  • Medical and other leaves of absence
  • Sexual harassment
  • Privacy rights
  • Employee handbooks
Financial Services Remuneration, Regulation and Structures

Asset managers, insurers and other financial services organizations must contend with employment issues unique to their industry. Dechert advises on remuneration structures (e.g., such as partnership profit waterfalls, deferral plans, LTIPs, carried interest plans, phantom plans and co-investment rights), the regulation of remuneration (e.g., including remuneration policies, remuneration committee terms of reference, guarantees and ex post risk adjustment policies), regulatory references and the Senior Manager and Certification Regime applying in the UK.

Life sciences HR issues

In support of the firm’s life sciences clients and with knowledge of industry norms and standards, we counsel on the full range of employment matters, including non-compete and non-disclosure agreements, equity packages and executive employment contracts covering term of employment, termination and severance.

Cross-Border Projects, including Multijurisdictional Reductions in Force and Restructurings

Dechert is particularly well qualified to advise multijurisdictional companies on planning for and executing restructurings involving reductions in headcount and/or the transfer of personnel in one or more countries, including complying with TUPE regulations.

Sensitive Terminations and High Value Disputes

Dechert advises businesses on employment problems and disputes with senior executives during the employment relationship. We help negotiate and draft settlement and severance agreements and, if necessary, resolve disputes before courts and tribunals.

Business protection

The labor and employment team helps the firm’s many corporate, M&A, private equity and financial services clients protect the value their business. The team advises on identifying, mitigating and managing risks posed by the employer-employee relationship, including restrictive covenants and non-competes, protection of intellectual property and know-how, confidentiality and risk and compliance.


Our lawyers work with employers on privacy and security policies and procedures, compliance matters, national and international privacy rules and regulations, industry standards, security breach notifications, and medical privacy. We also provide employee and compliance training.