„Comment: With this highly recommended employment boutique, one could be forgiven for asking time and again when the pace will slow down. Despite limiting activities to direct employment law (no adjacent fields and no employees), the firm's volume of attractive work remains high. In recent work for Santander and NEC the structuring abilities of the lawyers were in high demand. Work for clients like Porsche and IKB and the associated media presence has also drawn the market's attention. There have been two partner appointments: Berlin was given a boost with the arrival of renowned Stefan Fischer from Heuking and Frankfurt welcomed Dr. Oliver Driver-Polke from Justem.
Development potential: With the growth seen in Berlin and Frankfurt these offices have finally gained the weight to stand up against the dominant office in Düsseldorf. However, in terms of the market's perception, the Düsseldorf office remains in a class of its own. A tight leadership for associates is becoming ever more important with the rapid personnel growth.
Recommended lawyers: Prof. Dr. Michael Kliemt ("excellent, well-grounded and quick results", competitor), Dr. Oliver Vollstädt ("professionally excellent and remarkable reaction time", client), Dr. Markus Bohnau ("very professional and down-to-earth", competitor), Dr. Alexander Ulrich ("professionally excellent and a pleasure to work with", client), Stefan Fischer ("professional", competitor).
Practice: Extensive advice and litigation for companies, executive boards, managers, works councils, professional athletes and local authorities, as well as charitable companies and sponsors on restructuring, outsourcing, internal pay structures, company pensions and deployment abroad (especially IT). D&O liability issues. (10 partners, 19 associates)
Clients: Ongoing advice to Dell, Olympus, Deutsche Welle, Xerox, Air Liquide, Lufthansa Cityline, Lanxess, MTV, Teekanne, Jamba, Rheinbahn, IKB; Deutsche Bahn/DB Logistics on share options; ongoing advice to Santander Bank and on acquisition and post-merger integration of GE Money Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland; E.on on deployment abroad; NEC on closure of Munich site; Johnson & Johnson on global standardization of corporate guidelines; Inbev on outsourcing of facility management.“
JUVE Awards 2007: "JUVE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR for employment law"
„Kliemt & Vollstädt has shown how rapidly boutiques can become established in employment law if they have the right strategy. Five years ago, the two name partners started out as a small seven-attorney firm in Düsseldorf that was a spin-off from Clifford Chance. Today, twenty-three attorneys work for the firm in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Berlin. ‘I take my hat off to them,’ says one competitor. Some commentators admire what the attorneys have built up, while others expressly emphasise the ‘excellent positioning’.
The dynamism they have shown in the past years is as strong as ever. Prof. Dr. Michael Kliemt is uncontestedly the dominant personality in the firm; the public face of Kliemt & Vollstädt is very much his. But clients and competitors constantly emphasise the professional qualities of the other attorneys too, above all the name partner Dr. Oliver Vollstädt. All in all, this is a team that acts as one and attaches particular value to quality assurance.
The team has now grown together and handles large reconstructions. To name only a few of the most recent matters: Air Liquide, Xerox, and E-Plus, where Dr. Markus Bohnau was in charge. Kliemt & Vollstädt profits from its current strength of numbers, from dwindling departments in other firms, and from the fact that employment law is its sole priority. This is supported by the personalities of the attorneys with experience in the work of large international law firms. One competitor even describes the boutique as a ‘leading specialist law firm’.“
German Commercial Law Firms 2006
"Comment: Recommended employment boutique, continuing its course of expansion with new additions to the Frankfurt office. Christoph Crisolli from Willkie Farr Gallagher is building up the office in Frankfurt. In Berlin, a further specialist joined the team in the form of Clifford partner Martin Wörle, with expertise in advice on restructuring, the drawing up of operating agreements, supply of temporary workers and issues relating to company decision-making bodies. The partners have a dynamic approach and considerable market presence.
Development potential: Before embarking on any further expansion, it may be wise for the firm to make time to concentrate on consolidation to ensure the long-term homogeneity of the practice.
Strategy: The firm aims to strengthen the Düsseldorf office trough further appointments. The Berlin and Frankfurt bases are also to be built up continuously
Recommended lawyers: Dr. Michael Kliemt ('knows his subject', 'top lawyer', competitor; 'excellent advisor with many years' experience', client), Dr. Oliver Vollstädt ('convincing', competitor), Elisabeth Müller.
Practice: Advice and litigation for companies, executive committees, managers, works councils, professional athletes and authorities, as well as charitable companies and sponsors on restructuring, outsourcing, internal pay structures, company pensions and deployment abroad (esp. IT). New: D&O liability. (6 partners, 11 associates)"
The Chambers Global Guide 2006 - Employment Germany
"The Firm: Originally a spin-off from Clifford Chance, this successful
employment boutique is continuing its steady process of expansion. Its
team of 'pleasant and constructive lawyers' now numbers six partners
spread throughout the firm's Düsseldorf and Berlin offices. The newly
opened Frankfurt office also houses a number of employment experts
following the arrival of two partners from Clifford Chance and Willkie
Farr & Gallagher. The firm offers comprehensive employment advice but
its main strengths lie in restructuring work, including redundancy
programme negotiations and post-merger integrations. This year the
group's workload has also included acting for a number of banks in cases
involving board of directors' liability - compensation in one lawsuit
amounted to €1.1 billion. The partners here also have extensive
publishing track records and have established niche employment expertise
in the sports industry.
The Lawyers: Michael Kliemt is an active and highly visible player in the field who has been
extensively involved in restructurings and outsourcing transactions. He
is a 'principled lawyer' who has attracted an impressive stable of
clients including (…) one of Europe's largest private banks. His
colleague Oliver Vollstädt
was also recommended to researchers for his advice on restructurings and
Clients/Work Highlights: In one of its key cases, the team advised on
the employment law aspects of Air Liquide's takeover of Messer
Griesheim. It also concentrates heavily on advising on management issues
such as severance packages and board member remuneration. It has a
strong following amongst companies based in Southern Germany and also
acts for: Santander; Xerox; Dell; Teekanne and Olympus."
Chambers & Partners Global – The World's Leading Lawyers 2004/2005
"The Firm: A specialised employment boutique that is fast gaining in prominence - 'a dynamic team with serious international aspirations.' Founded in Düsseldorf by two former Clifford Chance partners, the firm already has an office in Berlin with a further branch in Frankfurt expected by the end of 2004. Outsourcing, restructuring, insolvency and post-merger integration form the core of the team's activity. In Berlin, the team has particular expertise in European and international employment law. The group has managed to establish itself quickly in the market through a number of lateral hires, such as a recent one from Lovells that is expected to boost its capabilities in sports-related employment law. A recent highlight includes advice provided to AKB Privat and Handelsbank on the merger with CC-Bank, a subsidiary of Banco Santander.
The Lawyers: Founding partner Michael Kliemt was recommended for his experience and general employment practice, although he does pay particular attention to company restructurings, pension plans and the use of internet in the workplace.
The Clients: Directors and executives from the manufacturing, trade, media, IT, financial, governmental and charitable sectors are clients."
JUVE handbook 2004/2005
"Comment: A recommended firm which began as a spinoff from Clifford Chance
in Düsseldorf and now has a successful and expansive first year behind
it. The firm aims to have offices nationwide - the only other specialist
employment firm with such a presence is Ulrich Weber & Partners.
Elisabeth Müller, who came from Heuking with one other employment lawyer,
has already opened a Berlin office for Kliemt & Vollstädt.
Strategy: A Frankfurt office is in the works.
Recommended lawyers: Dr. Michael Kliemt, Elisabeth Müller
Practice: Provides full service in employment law (with particular expertise
in sports and church law) to some leading companies from various industries,
as well as executives, departments and authorities. The firm is sometimes
consulted by accounting / tax-consulting firms, major law firms, and
management consultants on employment matters. (4 partners, 11 associates)"
Handbook "Kanzleien in Deutschland 2004"
"One of the leading law firms in Germany specializing in employment law is Kliemt & Vollstädt. The firm has a high degree of expertise and professional competence and offers advice on all questions of employment law and associated practice areas, such as the law of social security, the law of commercial agents and the law of contracts of employment. Clients include not only businesses, but also tax consultants, non-profit-making enterprises and organizations, ministries and authorities, boards of management and managing directors.
Kliemt & Vollstädt's main office is in Düsseldorf. There is also a Berlin office. The firm has fifteen lawyers in all, eight of whom are certified specialists; its practice is nationwide, and it has contacts with international corresponding law firms. Clients' interests are represented through all judicial instances up to the level of the European Court of Justice, where questions are submitted for a preliminary ruling.
Kliemt & Vollstädt has particular expertise in the restructuring of enterprises, in outsourcing, in particular in solving problems in the transfer of companies (under section 613a of the German Civil Code), in collective bargaining law, in occupational pension plans and in questions of the use of the Internet in the workplace. Throughout Germany, it advises enterprises of all sizes and in all sectors, including four listed on the German stock market. (...)
Lawyers from Kliemt & Vollstädt, as experts on employment law, are consulted by international law firms, tax consultants and management consultancies.
The firm's lawyers are greatly in demand as speakers nationwide. Dr. Kliemt also lectures on employment law at the University of the Saarland; and Dr. Bohnau lectures on employment law, at Münster University."
JUVE handbook 2003/2004
"Comment: This respected Düsseldorf employment firm was formed
last year as a spinoff by 2 name partners from the local
Clifford Chance Pünder office. They were joined by Dr. Nikolaus
Bross (from Kiwitz Korioth von Korff in Duisburg), Dr. Tobias Hausch
(University of Cologne), and Dr. Jessica Ohle (from Heuking Kühn),
as well as 3 other specialists. It also gained Elisabeth Müller at
the beginning of 2003 (also from Heuking), who together with Ohle
has opened a Berlin office. (JUVE Firm of the Year)
Recommended lawyers: Dr. Michael Kliemt, Dr. Oliver Vollstädt.
Practice: The full-service employment practice covers restructuring,
outsourcing, pension plans (esp. in connection with transactions),
and employee stock options, as well as advice to executives. The
firm has special expertise in Internet / e-mail (employee monitoring)
and employment aspects of corporate rescue. (2 partners, 10 associates)"
Handbook "Kanzleien in Deutschland 2003"
"Since spring 2002, the boutique firm of Kliemt & Vollstädt in Düsseldorf has been offering a full employment-law service for companies. The two well-known name partners, both from Clifford Chance Pünder, consult with their team, now consisting of nine members, in outsourcing projects and corporate restructuring. The firm has initiated several test cases relating to occupational old-age pensions, advises on post-merger integration and personnel adjustments, and draws up business plans. In addition, part of the firm's consultancy work consists of negotiating company pay agreements and drafting agreements with works councils. At the interface of employment law and data protection law, Dr. Michael Kliemt also specialises in the problems of employees' private use of email."
CHOSEN AS JUVE LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR for employment law
"A new firm that has attracted a great deal of attention: it was founded
at the end of March, when the name partners Dr. Michael Kliemt and
Dr. Oliver Vollstädt [...] left Clifford Chance Pünder in Düsseldorf, and is at present the
largest and most interesting specialised law firm of the younger generation
of employment-law specialists.
Kliemt started his career in employment law and then built up Clifford Chance's
employment-law practice in Düsseldorf before the merger with Pünder. The ambitious goal of his spin-off is an employment-law boutique firm operating and present throughout Germany. [...]
Main interests of the firm, whose major clients include Xerox and other IT and
software companies, well-known private banks, foreign insurance companies
and fashion designers, are corporate reorganisation, spin-offs, occupational
pension and payment systems, advising executive staff and specialist know-how,
for example on supervising employees' use of computers and reorganisation
management with regard to employment law."