The works council has a single focus once the bankruptcy petition is filed:
Keep calm, stay cool, don't do anything rash, get informed, keep informed, and get seasoned professionals on your side!
When a company begins bankruptcy proceedings, it is vital for the works council to have reliable experts at its side to remain effective.
We provide a team of specialists who deliver the expertise necessary for the works council in a variety of disciplines during bankruptcy proceedings. In addition to labor law and bankruptcy law attorneys, the team consists of corporate and strategy consultants for works councils. Experienced and aware of the challenges arising in these exceptional situations, it identifies and assesses the available alternatives in close cooperation with the works council.
In a legal article (in German) downloadable as a PDF document, Dr. Thomas Koeppen and Dr. Christof Balkenhol explain which issues are vital for a works council to consider and describe how it can position itself optimally.
Works council members are confronted with a number of challenges in the event of an imminent corporate bankruptcy, given that
- the bankruptcy filing usually comes as a surprise
- contact persons, duties and game rules may change
- there is little time to react
- the members themselves are often the subject of staff cuts
Dr. Thomas Koeppen, KPN legal
LL.M. | LL.M. | Specialist Lawyer for Labor Law
Thomas Koeppen has been advising works councils in restructurings as an independent external expert for many years. Increasingly in demand by works councils for bankruptcy proceedings, he is particularly valued for his entrepreneurial understanding as well as his familiarity with bankruptcy proceedings. He advised all the works councils in the Thomas Cook insolvency as well as the central works council in the insolvency of the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof Group.
Anne Kämpfer, Krebühl Biere Attorneys PartG mbB
Specialist Lawyer for Labor Law
Anne Kämpfer has proven expertise in bankruptcy labor law through her many years of practice in the reorganization and restructuring law firm hww (hermann wienberg weilhelm), working on numerous projects with national significance. Attorneys Anne Kämpfer and Dr. Thomas Koeppen have collaborated to successfully advise works councils in a number of cases.kbr-arbeitsrecht.de
Dr. Christof Balkenhol, MatrixPartner Consulting GmbH
Dr. Christof Balkenkohl has been advising works councils on organizational and business management issues for over 20 years. Dr. Balkenkohl assists works councils in bankruptcy situations in gaining an accurate picture of the often complex financial and commercial circumstances. He has worked together with Dr. Thomas Koeppen on many restructuring projects over the past decade.
Strategic Advice to Works Councils
Philipp Schumann advises works councils in insolvency situations. As Chairman of the General Works Council of Thomas Cook GmbH, he gained extensive and valuable experience in insolvency situations. He supports works councils in organizing and developing negotiation strategies, as well as in public relations and trade union matters. He is an expert on insolvency issues and, due to his high profile in the Thomas Cook GmbH matter, is a much sought-after adviser for works councils and trade unions on insolvency issues.
Dr. Tobias Nägle
Business Advice to Works Councils
Dr. Tobias Nägle was the Chairman of the Works Council of Thomas Cook GmbH in Oberursel for many years. With a background in economics, he advises on and trains works councils in business issues. After the successful completion of the Thomas Cook GmbH insolvency, Dr. Nägle has been in demand from works councils throughout Germany whenever practical advice, especially of an economic nature, is needed in insolvency situations.
Training for works councils in the event of corporate bankruptcy
The works council has a right to be trained in the event of operational changes and bankruptcies in accordance with §37 (6) BetrVG. It is essential, though not always easy, to exercise this right. On the one hand there are hardly any seminars on offer, on the other each situation is unique.
Another thorny issue is the financing question. One short-term solution we offer is conducting in-house training courses, tailored to the specific needs of the company and the current status of the bankruptcy.
We recommend consulting external experts in the event of operational changes and bankruptcies
Outside experts see the big picture and can provide valuable input based on their experience. When selecting consultants, therefore, it is essential that they have experience with restructuring in a corporate crisis. Our team of experts is experienced in all relevant areas and is familiar with the various scenarios that can arise during corporate bankruptcies.