Discover Germany | Issue 24 | March 2015

Page 69

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Page 69

Discover Germany | Special Theme | Legal Experts Germany


Christoph J. Hauptvogel, Vice Presidents of the Association of German Employment Lawyers and employment law expert at Graf von Westphalen law firm in Munich.

ployer. A few years ago, however, the German Federal Labour Court changed their opinion. Now they regard an employee as “new”in cases where he/she has not been employed by the same employer for just the last three years. This massive change in German jurisdiction has no basis at all in the change of any law or the like.Therefore, German Regional Labour Courts are currently stating that they regard this “new opinion” of the German Federal Labour Court as legally incorrect. What will the future bring regarding this question? From these two examples, you can see quite clearly that it is crucial for a lawyer in the Employment and Labour Law sector to be

always up-to-date with the newest legislation and jurisdiction. This implies continuous training courses and specialist work in order to be able to advise clients creatively and accurately. Only specialist lawyers who are spending most of their professional working time in the Employment and Labour Law sector are able to catch up with all these new developments. Lawyers who are working as “generalists” are – simply for reasons of having no time – not able to be updated like this. In particular in this field of law, it is therefore strongly recommended to choose a specialist lawyer. How can you find such “specialist lawyers”? Well, there is a specific

name in Germany for that: Lawyers who specialise in Employment Law can be identified by the title“Certified Specialist in Employment Law” (in German “Fachanwalt für Arbeitsrecht”). In order to be able to use this title, lawyers must undergo theory courses and must pass a specific exam at the end of these courses. In addition to that, they must prove to a specific committee that they have at least worked on 100 labour law cases before they are entitled to this title. A lot of these“Certified Specialists in Employment Law”are members of the“Association of German Employment Lawyers” (VdAA e.V.). This Association is a consortium of about 800 specialist labour lawyers all over Germany. So in case you are looking for a “Certified Specialist in Employment Law”, you may find him/her by visiting the website can look for specialist labour lawyers nearby by just entering the name of a German city or a postal code.

Issue 24 | March 2015 | 69