The Co-Governance team focuses on employee co-governance law within businesses and assists both employers/directors and Works Councils in the field of, inter alia:
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Collective redundancy
- Job evaluation and job assessment
- Working hours
- Study opportunities
- All topics that are subject to the Works Council’s advice and consent
- Implementation of and compliance with the Dutch Works Councils Act
If the advice of a Works Council is sought, for example in the event of a projected reorganization of a company, it is of crucial importance that this advisory process is designed well, because it may affect the tenability of a decision. In principle, it is the primary responsibility of the employer/director that a careful advisory process is followed. The team has the in-depth legal knowledge to guide the director and the Works Council through this process smoothly. If the employer/director and the Works Council are unable to reach agreement, our team may, of course, also provide advice and assistance in legal proceedings before the Enterprise Section of the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam.
The Right to Consent
A right to consent exists if, for instance, a holiday scheme or remuneration scheme needs to be amended. If the Works Council withholds its consent, the employer/director will have to apply for substitute consent to the Subdistrict Court. In this process we naturally offer you advice and, if necessary, assistance in conducting legal proceedings.
Method of Operation
The method of operation of the Co-Governance team is characterized by a practical approach. Its expertise in these and other sectors allows the Competition team to give clients practical advice on how to limit competition-law risks and how to resolve disputes with competition authorities. The team does not shun legal proceedings, but always bears in mind that to make a correct design of co-governance possible in an enterprise, it is very important to have good relations. Sometimes, not sticking doggidly to a particular position but looking for a compromise to which all parties concerned can agree is the right way to go.
Chambers Europe 2016 – Employment – Band 3
What the team is known for Experienced in employee participation issues, advising both employers and works councils. Also strong in matters relating to governance and flexible workforces. Notable for a strong sector focus in technology and healthcare, representing numerous hospitals.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“I have a very good opinion of the firm. Its value for money is amazing, the lawyers are very responsive and their work is excellent because you get what you need, on time.”
“The lawyers maintain the young and bold energy the firm stands for. They are highly qualified and the partners are very distinguished lawyers.”
What’s new? Exact Software and Rabobank are new clients.
Work highlights Advised UWV on union and works council issues, internal policies and several dismissals.
Assisted IBM’s Central Works Council with employee participation issues and privacy matters.
Eva Knipschild is an expert in flexible workforces, including matters related to freelance and on-call workers. Clients say she is “quick at responding, very on target with her support and advice and very strategic.” She acted for VLM on dismissals, internal policies and negotiations with unions and works councils.
Department head Chris Nekeman specialises in co-determination advising both employers and works councils. A client enthuses: “He is one of a kind and always delivers. He is a brilliant man and an outstanding organiser.”
Significant clients Liberty Global, Microsoft, Nike, PepsiCo, Reed Business/Elsevier.
Legal 500 EMEA 2016 – Employment – Tier 3
Practice head Chris Nekeman of Kennedy Van der Laan represented UWV in various dismissal cases, as well as in dealing with labour unions and works councils. The department also advised Spaarne Gasthuis, VLM, Nike and Rochdale. Eva Knipschild is praised for her ‘strong international focus’ and ‘reliable, comprehensive advice’.
Chambers Europe 2015 – Employment – Band 2
What the team is known for Renowned employment practice advising on standalone works council issues, dismissals and non-compete agreements, while also supporting clients in transaction-related matters, such as reorganisations. Active in a wide range of sectors, notably healthcare and technology.
Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
“I am impressed by the lawyers – they are fresh and modern.”
“The team has a good balance of the legal and practical approach.”
Work highlights Assisted Reed Business with works council consultation, transfer of employees, dismissals and privacy matters.
Advised NS on all employment matters, including dismissals, discrimination cases, drafting of internal policies and negotiations with the works council and trade unions.
* Inge De Laat “is highly experienced, to-the-point and responsive.” She focuses on employment-related privacy and healthcare law, and recently advised VLM Airlines on dismissals and works council and unions strategy.
Eva Knipschild is praised for being “really hands-on,” with “a knowledgeable attitude to complicated cases.” Clients further value her intelligence and creativity. Knipschild’s particular area of focus is mediation and the employment aspects of a flexible workforce.
Department head Chris Nekeman is valued for his pragmatism and deal-making ability. His experience with a versatile clientele is appreciated by interviewees, who say:“He doesn’t just work for employers, but employees and works councils as well. He knows all sides.”
Significant clients Liberty Global, Martinair, Microsoft, Nike, Port of Amsterdam.
Legal 500 EMEA 2015 – Employment – Tier 3
Within Employment, Kennedy Van der Laan is a third tier firm, Kennedy Van der Laan’s expertise takes in discrimination, dismissals, employee transfer and reorganisations. Chris Nekeman heads the team, which includes recommended partners Inge de Laat* and Eva Knipschild and associate Marjolein Westerbeek.
*Inge de Laat is longer working for Kennedy Van der Laan.
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