IEL Elite

Herbert Smith Freehills

Esteemed international practice



Herbert Smith Freehills’ global employment and labour group draws particular praise for its abilities in Australia and Europe. Experts are also based in the US, the Middle East, and South Africa.

The “fantastic” Europe, Middle East and Africa regional practice head Emma Röhsler, based in Paris, and Christine Young in London, were both highlighted in IEL’s 2022 Women Leaders survey. For Asia matters, regional head Fatim Jambhoy, in Singapore, is a key point of contact.

The firm promoted several new names to partner in April 2022, boosting its bench strength. These include Nick Wright in London, Rachel Dawson and Olga Klimczak in Perth, Wendy Fauvel in Melbourne, and health and safety specialist Nerida Jessup in Sydney.

Clients include multinationals, financial institutions, and public sector entities.


The department is well placed to act on both contentious and advisory issues impacting employers in one or more jurisdictions.

On the advisory side, expertise includes the employment aspects of transactions. The team is also adept at advising on restructuring processes and employee transfers.

On the contentious side, experience includes discrimination claims and those resulting from M&A or restructuring operations, as well as disputes with trade unions.

Notably, the department is well-versed in acting on disputes in regulated sectors, and is able to pool expertise from other practice areas within the firm to support with complex litigation involving international remuneration or corporate governance.

The team’s broad working knowledge of managing industrial relations includes liaising with trade unions and works councils in the context of restructuring processes, industrial action (including picketing), and implementing collective agreements.

In addition, the department has considerable expertise in remuneration and incentives. As part of its offering, the group has specialist expertise in listed companies and the specifics of remuneration in the financial services sector.

Further areas of expertise include D&I, and health and safety, within which the team is able to support with training through to workplace accidents and related investigations.

Other key names

  • Steve Bell (Australia)
  • Moritz Kunz (Germany)
  • Sophie Brézin (France)
  • Barbara Roth (US)
  • José Ignacio Jiménez Poyato
  • Andrew Taggart

Experts based in...

Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

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