BBL advises on the restructuring of Kaufhof – a report from JUVE

On the 22nd of May 2019, Juve reported on the agreement between Kaufhof and the General Works Council with the support of Seitz, Küttner and BBL. Previously, both sides had negotiated a reconciliation of interests and a social plan, according to which only 1,000 full-time jobs will be cut and the Kaufhof head office will be closed with the exception of individual departments.

Originally, the management had announced its intention to cut at least 1,600 jobs in the branches alone. Part of the company’s agreement with the General Works Council is a volunteer programme to reduce the number of redundancies. Those who leave voluntarily will receive a higher severance payment. In addition, a model will be introduced whereby employees can volunteer for a transfer before the company announces a transfer or dismissal for variation of contract.

In labour law matters, both negotiating parties relied on the Cologne specialist law firms Seitz (Kaufhof) and Küttner (Betriebsrat), BBL advised the Works Council in the context of the restructuring. Juve reports: “With BBL partner Jark, who came from DLA Piper in 2016, the Works Council secured its own experts for the restructuring consultation. Jark is familiar with major retail restructuring and came on board with his team after a pitch”.

Currently, the BBL team is also involved in the implementation of the contractual agreements.

The BBL team includes: Peter Jark (lead; restructuring; Berlin), Dr. Stephan Kolmann (Munich), Ivica Dalic (Frankfurt; both corporate); Associates: Birgit Kurz (corporate; Munich), Dr. Nicole Riedemann (real estate law; Potsdam)