Excellence Clusters

CMS employment lawyers from a range of specialist areas work together within our excellence clusters. These clusters combine the specialist and industry knowledge relating to specific legal issues or particular practice groups and sectors.

Overview of our excellence clusters and their areas of focus


  • Structuring, introducing, modifying and closing occupational pension schemes
  • Structuring company pension systems
  • Drafting pension commitments
  • Developing/introducing new forms of pension system

Restructuring and Insolvency

  • National and international personnel measures (large-scale redundancies, business closures, business relocations), including in the event of imminent or actual insolvency
  • Negotiations with trade unions, employee representative committees and government agencies
  • Special works council structures
  • Reconciliation of interests and social compensation plans, accompanying works agreements and semi-formal works agreements
  • Representation at conciliation boards and in court proceedings, as well as support for individual employment law implementation

Outsourcing, Co-Determination and M&A

  • Transactional advice on employment law and co-determination
    • Clarification of the co-determination regime
    • Development of corporate structures that do not require co-determination
    • Structuring a Societas Europaea
    • Outsourcing and restructuring projects, including negotiations with works councils, staff committees and trade unions
    • National and cross-border transactions, as well as restructuring within a corporate group and supervisory board elections
  • M&A transactions

Compliance and Data Privacy

  • Implementation of national and international whistleblowing systems
  • Employee monitoring/staff surveillance
  • Individual and collective aspects of a code of conduct
  • Internal investigations, penalties in the event of compliance violations
  • Reducing risk and avoiding liability, creating compliance structures, introducing compliance instruments and delegation structures
  • Advice on preventing white-collar crime, protection of trade and business secrets, defence against industrial espionage; compliance due diligence on acquisitions
  • Protection of personal information, data transfer to other countries outside Europe, safe harbour process
  • Using social media

Energy and Utilities

  • Specialist knowledge and issues relating to the energy supply sector
    • Employment law aspects of implementing unbundling regulations
    • Specific employment law issues in the event of network acquisitions/concession changes
  • Many years of advisory experience

Financial Institutions

  • Access to specialist and industry knowledge regarding financial services providers such as banks, savings banks, insurance companies and funds
  • Regulatory and compliance requirements, e.g. when structuring remuneration for senior executives, implementing compliance systems, etc.


  • Knowledge of sector-specific factors within health care (hospitals, clinics, medical centres), in the pharmaceutical field (drug manufacturers) and in the care industry (operators, investors and owners)
  • Consideration of the many relevant public-law provisions and the special features of church-related employment law

Hotels & Leisure

  • Structures involving property owners, investors, operators and management in a field where international players predominate
  • Specific features of employment law relating to property transactions
  • National statutory requirements (such as the German Posted Workers Act [Arbeitnehmerentsendegesetz, AEntG]) and the sector-specific action required as a result

Metal and Chemicals Industry

  • Negotiation of company-internal and restructuring-related collective bargaining agreements, taking account of industry-specific aspects
  • Introduction of new production or IT systems in accordance with the specific company environment and (collective) regulations on co-determination
  • Introduction of new shift patterns, working time models and remuneration systems for production and office staff

Directors and Benefits

  • Legal and tactical support for a company or its corporate organs (board members, directors) with regard to appointments and dismissals and the conclusion and termination of service contracts
    • Management board remuneration in accordance with regulatory requirements and stock corporation law
    • Management remuneration systems and variable remuneration
    • Liability issues and protection via D&O insurance policies
  • Management incentives, share options, carried interest and similar incentive systems


  • Conducting conciliation and dispute procedures under employment law – from protection against dismissal to decree proceedings and cases involving conciliation boards
  • Litigation throughout Germany before employment courts at all levels, and before the European Court of Justice
  • Litigation before the regular courts in matters relating to directors and board members, as well as liability of company organs

Industrial Relations and Collective Bargaining

  • Legal and strategic advice on issues relating to the founding of associations, industrial action and collective bargaining law:
    • Company-internal and restructuring-related collective bargaining agreements
    • Collective bargaining agreements signed with an employers’ association and transitional collective bargaining agreements – in both the public and private sectors
    • Avoiding industrial action and reviewing the legality of such action
    • Contingency plans (drawing up of contingency strategies, protective pleadings, temporary injunctions, communication and strategies)
  • Dealing with pay rates in the temporary employment sector, e.g. in connection with the invalidity of CGZP collective agreements, consequence management
  • Dealing with sector supplements

TMC – Technology, Media & Communications

  • Many years of experience in advising/representing companies in the media sector; consideration of employment law exemptions designed to protect the editorial ethos and of the use of freelance service providers
  • Advising leading communication service providers on the particular features of employment law relating to call centres and associated services (customer services)

Transport and Logistics

  • Employment law advice for leading international logistics and transport companies (post and parcel delivery service providers, regional goods transport and public transport, leading manufacturers of rail vehicles)
  • Transactions, logistics outsourcing projects
  • Conclusion of service level agreements
  • Working on software and data protection agreements
  • Negotiation of collective agreement matters or cross-company operational structures and works council structures
  • Restructuring of working time and remuneration models 
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Annika Vanessa Kemna
Annika Vanessa Kemna
Rechtsanwältin | Fachanwältin für Arbeitsrecht (Certified lawyer for labor and employment law)
Germany, Hamburg
Annika Vanessa Kemna advises German and international companies on all aspects of individual and collective employment law. She focuses on the preparation and implementation of reorganisations, on negotiations...
Richard Lauer
Dr. Richard Lauer
Seni­or As­so­ci­ate
Germany, Cologne
Richard Lauer advises large and medium-sized German and international companies on all aspects of individual and collective employment law, in particular reorganisation, outsourcing and staff reduction...