IEL Elite

Allen & Overy

Top-tier international firm



Markulf Behrendt leads Allen & Overys global employment and benefits department from Hamburg, with experts based across Europe, the US, Asia, and Africa.

Allen & Overy has a very strong, dynamic employment law offering.

Market commentators single the group out for the quality of its partners, and recognise its particular strengths in the financial services industry.

Notable names include the strong and driven” Silvia Bauzá – who leads the team in Spain – and the head of employment in France, Claire Toumieux, who were both recognised in the IEL 2022 Women Leaders survey.

The firm bolstered its offering in November 2022 with the lateral hire of partner Hanneke Bennaars to its Amsterdam office. Other key contacts at the firm include Brian Jebb in New York, who leads the firms US employment and benefits practice, and the highly reputed Sarah Henchoz in London.


The departments expertise spans the gamut of advisory and contentious issues impacting human resources. Knowledge extends to pensions and incentives matters, and the team is also able to pool expertise from other areas of the firms full-service offering (such as intellectual property or banking) to offer clients a complete service.

Notably, the firms global reach allows it to smoothly coordinate multi-country issues – including the harmonisation of multinational company-wide contracts or major workforce restructuring projects.

Advisory work includes disciplinary and grievance processes, workforce restructurings, the hiring and dismissal of senior employees, and remuneration, as well as the employment aspects of corporate transactions – including M&A, joint ventures, spin-offs, and IPOs, and the subsequent harmonisation processes.

The group is also well placed to represent clients in – and advise on – litigation before employment tribunals and national courts. The teams experience spans breaches of confidentiality, whistleblowing allegations, and discrimination claims. Meanwhile, the department also acts on disputes relating to pensions and has experience acting for trustees, employers, financial institutions, and representative beneficiaries.

A further area of prowess is in collective issues, and team members have extensive experience in negotiations or consultations with unions and works councils. Other notable areas of expertise include workplace investigations – including those relating to harassment or discrimination allegations.

Experts based in…

Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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