IEL Elite

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Global powerhouse



The employment group at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is spread across Asia, Europe, and the US, and holds an impressive reputation for its prowess in complicated cross-border projects.

Gwen Senlanne in Paris became the new global head of the team in July 2022. Senlanne replaced the Hamburg-based Boris Dzida, who remains a key member of the group.

It doesnt matter which office, whenever you deal with a partner from Freshfields they are always top of their game.

The groups abilities have been particularly strengthened this year through a number of promotions and lateral hires. Notably, Nicole Foster, who co-leads the firms US team from New York, joined from Cravath, Swaine & Moore in January 2022, followed by Brandon Gantus in August 2022. Gantus had previously been a partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati, and is now based in the firms Silicon Valley office.

In addition, Thomas Granetzny in Düsseldorf and Frank Schaer in Frankfurt were made up to partner on 1 May 2022.

Other highly reputed names within the group are Kathleen Healy in London, and Brechje Nollen in the Netherlands. Both featured in IELs 2022 Women Leaders survey.


The team demonstrates particular skill in strategic, business-critical mandates – from headline multi-jurisdictional transactions through to in-court representation on cutting-edge issues, and assistance with highly sensitive internal investigations.

Starting on the transactional side, Lori Goodman in New York and Christel Cacioppo in Paris led the departments multi-jurisdictional advice to Google on its acquisition of publicly traded cyber-security company Mandiant for $5.4bn, impacting employees in 33 countries. The teams advice comprised an initial review of compensation and benefits policies, and assistance with post-acquisition retention bonus agreements.

The department’s expertise extends to private equity deals. For example, a pan-European team assisted Ardian with its agreement to support the growth of Dutch manufacturer Deli Home. The groups advice comprised employment due diligence, management agreements, and management incentive plans. 

Another notable example is the advice provided by team members in Asia to insurance company FWD. The team assisted with structuring and amending equity incentives in the context of the insurer changing its listing venue from the US to Hong Kong. Among other matters, the teams support included co-ordinating with local counsel across Asia to meet regulatory requirements, and advising on the establishment of an employee benefits trust.

As mentioned, the teams discretion and business savvy are also reflected in its abilities in more contentious matters, including internal investigations resulting from #MeToo allegations. A particular area of expertise is in whistleblowing. The team regularly advises on investigations into whistleblower claims and represents clients in related litigation. In the past year, it has also been active in supporting companies with the implementation of the EU Whistleblowing Directive.

Other notable areas of activity include labour relations – both advising on the relationship with works councils or trade unions and assistance with disputes – and cross-border reorganisations and restructurings, either following a recent transaction or as a standalone exercise.


  • Ardian
  • Novartis
  • AUTO1
  • Solvay
  • DAZN 
  • Universal Music Group
  • Comcast
  • Western Union
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb – Celgene Integration
  • SumUp

Other key names

Experts based in...

Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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