Edith Nordmann

Edith Nordmann has recently made managing partner at ACG International. Prior to that she has worked for fifteen years as an attorney for international clients. In this interview we meet her.

New as managing partner at ACG International. What is your specialization?

I practice employment law as well as commercial and corporate law and litigation. I have built up fifteen years of expertise in cross-border business transactions. People often think that cross border business transactions only apply to transactions with business partners far away from home, but any transaction involving parties that are not located in the same country is a “cross-border” transaction. Therefore also transactions with countries nearby, such as Belgium, Germany, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom need utmost diligence and attention in order to avoid unexpected expensive mistakes.

I focus on long-term relationships with clients. Building and maintaining a relationship is important for best serving the interests of a client. In practice, I find that clients appreciate this and I feel very lucky to have been working for many of them for a long time. Particularly in Asian countries, earning the trust of your potential business partner comes before engaging in actual business.

It is important to realize that not only regulations are different in each country, there is often also a significant difference in mentality and expectations. For example, in France, everybody knows that a tenant can not be removed from his house between October and April. Not even if the tenant does not pay his rent. As of April tenants may be evicted, which means that in France April and May is generally a busy time with a lot of evictions. Here in the Netherlands we do not know this principle, but in France, every child knows this figuratively speaking. If you consider to invest in residential property in France, this is important to know. Another example: in the Netherlands we love conviviality and a joke, even during business transactions. The German business partner however, is very serious in his approach and sees the jokes of the Dutch as rude and as a sign of not being serious about the transaction at hand. If you are not aware of this, closing your deal will be at serious danger. I once witnessed this looming situation and could luckily intervene on both sides on time.

ACG International positions itself as a modern and cost-effective law firm. How does ACG differ from the competitors?

The ‘billable hour’ in law is outdated and does no longer fit the client’s needs and expectations. The entrepreneur wants to know where he stands, including the budget for his legal costs.

The traditional lawyer sells time. A lawyer at a large law firm must make 1600 billable hours per year. These are hours to be paid by clients. Large offices employ dozens of lawyers who all have to make sure that they reach the amount of billable hours according to the firm’stargets. At ACG we keep the fixed core small for a purpose. We look at the current needs of the client and look for the appropriate solution. We add specialists to the team where they are needed. Entrepreneurs are well aware that the complexity of regulations in international transactions is increasing. That’s why they want a trusted legal advisor who helps them avoid pitfalls and shows them the legal challenges without slowing down their business. ACG provides their clients with those trusted legal advisors. ACG does not employ dozens of lawyers who all have to turn their sales. Instead we provide tailor made solutions to fit the needs of the client. This means that our clients can concentrate on their core business while being assured that ACG’s specialist cover their legal challenges and pitfalls. In addition, we not only focus on specialization but also on complexity and costs. In some cases a super specialist – or even multiple – is needed and sometimes a cheap simple solution is enough or even preferable. We discuss these options with our clients. As we don’t have to sell the hours of dozens of lawyers, ACG can adapt quickly to deliver the perfect fit to the differing needs of our clients. We know all the specialists that we engage personally and know how they work, both nationally and internationally.

Do you notice that clients appreciate this approach? And how do you notice this?

They appreciate that for several reasons: budgets are considered in advance, so the invoice is never a surprise. In addition, they appreciate that they get a specialist for their problem and not someone who happens to work with us. We do however always remain the direct contact point for the convenience of our clients.

Why do other offices not use the same approach? is this solely due to the earnings? Or is a culture change what is mostly necessary?

Both; All employees at a large law firm need to earn themselves back.

In addition, culture plays a major role. Until 2008 charging clients based on billable hours was normal in the legal profession. Because this was known to and accepted by most companies, there was no need for adjustment. However, nowadayscompanies are critically considering their expenses, including the costs of their lawyer. And they are absolutely right in doing so! In the past, companies sent anything that was somewhat legal to their lawyer. As of 2008, companies took care of their legal matters themselves as far as possible; due to the financial crisis it was important to take heed of costs. Since the financial crisis has lasted a considerable time, this changed approach has currently been adapted bymany companies. Clients want to know upfront how much the legal service is going to cost. At ACG we give that clarity.

Apart from the clarity of costs, how do I know if ACG International’s work brings added value to my company?

A good (personal) match between the client and his legal service provider is very important. Therefore I hereby gladly invite entrepreneurs locally and abroad to present their challenges to us by means of a short (telephone) conversation without any obligation. This allows them to assess whether ACG International can offer what they are looking for. We can be reached on +31 20 800 64 00 or info@acginter.com.

 

Joydeep Hor

Joydeep Hor is a Graduate of Harvard Business School’s Owner-President Management Program and one of Australia’s most high-profile lawyers and legal entrepreneurs.

Having completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney where he majored in English literature together with his Bachelor of Laws (with Honours) degree, Joydeep went on to complete a Master of Laws at the same institution, focusing on labour and employment law. Joydeep has been ranked as a leading lawyer in Chambers every year since 2010 and also in Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Profession.

Joydeep started his career at Freehill Hollingdale & Page (as it then was), before moving to another specialist workplace relations firm where he was made an equity partner at the early age of 28. He was managing partner of that firm from 2005 to 2010. Joydeep’s first book “Inside Employee Screening” was published in 1999 and he has authored several books since that time, including “Managing Workplace Behaviour”, “Managing Termination of Employment” and “Finders Keepers: A Guide to Attracting and Retaining Great Employees”. He has been a keynote speaker at countless conventions and industry events and for many years has been appearing on television programs for Channel 7, the ABC and Sky News as a thought leader and commentator in his areas of expertise. In 2016 Joydeep represented Australia at the International Forum on Employment Law in Portugal and he has been an invited speaker at multiple International Bar Association conferences.

In July 2010, Joydeep founded a groundbreaking practice in the legal industry, People + Culture Strategies. PCS was established to be unlike any other legal firm given its emphasis on working with its clients to prevent disputation and legal problems arising within their organisations, as opposed to a mere “reactive” provider. PCS now services over 1000 employers (with a strong reputation particularly in handling sensitive employee separation issues, matters of workplace bullying and harassment and developing strategic solutions to organisation’s people management challenges). Clients of the firm include Mars, Coca-Cola, Yum! Restaurants, Cochlear, 7-Eleven, Starbucks, Tesla, Coles, Sony Universal, Mercer and many other household name businesses. The firm has sustained revenue growth in excess of 20% every year due to the strength of its value proposition and its “partnership-based” approach to clients and billing. PCS is a member of Innangard, a global alliance of specialist Labour and Employment law firms, giving its clients access to some of the best labour and employment lawyers around the world.

 

Jalilova Ummi

Education:
  • Ummi Jalilova received her LL.B and Master of Civil and Commercial law degrees from Baku State University.
  • She graduated from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law with LL.M. degree in December 2011.
Practice:
  • Labour Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Contract Law
  • Administrative Law
  • International Law
Practice Focus:
  • Ummi has extensive experience in matters of labour law, corporate law, commercial law, contract law, administrative law and international law. Ummi has a significant experience in establishing international cooperation as well as analyzing and reporting on the implementation of international human rights standards.
Membership:
  • American Bar Association

Languages:

  • Azeri
  • Russian
  • English
  • Turkish

Chris Van Olmen

Chris Van Olmen is founding partner of the law firm Van Olmen & Wynant and head of the employment law practice. He is also chairman of L&E Global, an integrated alliance of premier employment law boutique firms.

Chris covers all aspects of employment and industrial relations, including employment-related issues connected to reorganisation and restructuring processes, collective dismissals and closures and individual and collective employment disputes, including litigation for the Belgian Labour Courts. His clients include national and international companies and top executives.

Chris regularly writes and lectures on a variety of employment law topics. Most recently he contributed the Belgian Chapter in ‘Employment and Labour Law’, published in: The European Lawyer 2017, and ‘The Employment Law Review’, published in: Law Business Research 2017.

Chris is listed as a leading individual in The Legal 500 (2017), in Chambers Europe (2017), in The International Who’s Who of Management Labour & Employment Lawyers 2017 and in Best Lawyers (2017).

Chris has been a speaker or moderator at numerous national and international seminars and conferences such as the IBA Conferences in Rome (April 2015), Vienna (October 2015) and Mexico (April 2016), at seminars organised by the Institute of Company Lawyers (November 2016), at seminars organised by FEB (Federation of Enterprises in Belgium) (November 2015 and September 2016), and by the World Bank Group in Washington (December 2015).

Chris is National correspondent of “European Employment Law cases”.

Chris served as a member of the Brussels Bar Council, and is Board Member of the ‘Association for Social Law’. Since 1999, he has been lecturing on social law in the traineeship programme organised by the Brussels Bar.

Chris was Co-Chair of the IBA Employment and Industrial Relations Law Committee in 2014-2015 and is now Vice Chair of the Global Employment Institute. Chris is also a member of EELA (European Employment Lawyers Association) and of the American Bar Association (Labour and Employment Law Section).

Employment Law Practice:

The employment practice is headed by Chris Van Olmen. Our client peer group is essentially composed of large and medium corporations. We also act for top executives.

Our attorneys cover the full spectrum of employment law:

  • Individual employment law, including employment agreements, service agreements, individual dismissals, self-employment and discrimination;
  • Collective labour law, including company restructuring, transfer of businesses, collective dismissals, outsourcing, collective bargaining agreements and complex employment issues connected with M&A;
  • Compensation and benefits, including executive remuneration and benefits and international compensations schemes;
  • International employment, including expatriation and secondments;
  • Social security;
  • Internal policies and codes of conduct.

We have a substantial litigation practice in these areas, before all Belgian labour courts.

Acting for the three largest public companies in Belgium, we have developed a specific expertise in civil servants law and litigation before the Belgian administrative courts, including the Raad van State / Conseil d’Etat.

Van Olmen & Wynant is one of the driving forces behind L&E Global, giving the firm a distinctive international dimension in employment law.

Van Olmen & Wynant:

Van Olmen & Wynant is an independent law firm offering quality services with a personal touch.

A dedicated team of experienced, multilingual professionals serves business clients in employment and corporate law. We have developed distinctive expertise in the areas of private equity and venture capital, and civil servants law.

We value empathy, trust and long-term, personal relationships. Our size matters, because it allows us to combine professionalism with a personal and pragmatic touch.

Based in Brussels, the firm enjoys outstanding international contacts and has developed close working relationships with high quality law firms across the globe.

 

Laurel G. Bellows

President of the American Bar Association 2012-2013

Managing Principal, 2009 to present.

The Bellows Law Group, P.C. is an internationally recognized firm that provides transactional, counseling, and litigation services to entrepreneurs, small and medium sized businesses, and large corporations.  Located in the historic Rookery Building, the Bellows Law Group is known for its expert knowledge of how to develop strategic, pragmatic answers for individuals and business enterprises worldwide. The firm prides itself in delivering services with recognized quality and long-standing credibility.

The Bellows Law Group was founded by Laurel G. Bellows, past president of the American Bar Association (nearly 400,000 members). With more than 30 years of experience, Ms. Bellows is a preeminent business lawyer recently named as America’s Top 100 attorneys. She counsels senior executives and corporations in connection with executive compensation issues, employment contracts, severance agreements and employee benefits matters. Her firm represents businesses of all sizes in commercial litigation, business organization and strategy, and employment disputes.

EMPLOYMENT LAW / EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION:

Employment counseling is a unique area of experience at The Bellows Law Group, P.C. Corporate clients benefit from practical counseling regarding attraction, retention, separation, and retirement of senior executives given the increasingly regulated environment.  Individual executives benefit from sound guidance and valuable strategies to preserve earnings, benefits, and bonuses as they embark on new employment ventures or transition outside their organization. We diligently guard our clients’ professional reputations as they reposition themselves in the marketplace. We pride ourselves on being knowledgeable counselors who can diffuse sensitive situations with the utmost confidentiality. Because crises arise unpredictably, our attorneys are accessible, every day and outside business hours. When you find out your company is reorganizing, your position has been eliminated, or you encounter any other circumstance that threaten your continued career prospects, you need a difference maker. Our law firm can help you navigate delicate issues and fully understand your options.

Laurel G. Bellows, heads the team of attorneys in eradicating the uncertainty and guesswork for corporate and individual clients facing ever changing workplace and business opportunities.

Ms. Bellows is highly regarded for her many contributions to Chicago and the international community. She is admitted and qualified as an Attorney and Counselor of the Supreme Court of the United States and is a mediator, certified through the Institute for Conflict Management. Laurel became a member of the Federal Trial Bar for the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois in 1974. Ms. Bellows is licensed to practice in California, Florida, and Illinois

INTERNATIONAL SUPPLY CHAIN INSTITUTE

The International Supply Chain Initiative provides guidance to multinational corporations with regard to anti-human trafficking and supply chain management. Driven by the demand for cheap goods, services and labor, companies have often looked-for ways to increase production and decrease employment costs. This has led to problematic supply chain management practices, with multinational organizations turning to less desirable offshore labor forces that engage in such practices.

While president of the American Bar Association, Ms. Bellows notably used her platform to raise awareness about and combat the global practice of modern day slavery.  Bellows Law Group currently focuses on the unique ability of business enterprises to impact the market by eliminating goods produced by forced labor from supply chains.  Ms. Bellows offers business counseling services within her practice to advise corporations on how to avoid the stigma of slavery and appeal to a consumer market that values corporate responsibility.   In April 2016, Laurel gave a Ted talk about specific ways for business to eradicate modern day slavery and comply with increasing regulations in the United States and internationally.

http://www.intlsupplychaininitiative.com/

Green and Spiegel, LLC, is pleased to announce the creation of the International Supply Chain Initiative. In partnership with Laurel Bellows, founding principal of The Bellows Law Group, P.C., the International Supply Chain Initiative provides guidance to multinational corporations with regard to anti-human trafficking and supply chain management.

It is well known that human rights issues within supply chains have increasingly drawn the ire of legislators and members of the public alike, with disastrous incidents (such as the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh) as well as increasing press coverage of related practices, serving to highlight ongoing problems within virtually all areas of the global marketplace. Driven by the demand for cheap goods, services and labor, companies have often looked-for ways to increase production and decrease employment costs. This has led to problematic supply chain management practices, with multinational organizations turning to less desirable offshore labor forces that engage in such practices.

 

Juan José Díaz Mirón Salcedo

Juan Jose Diaz Mirón Salcedo is one of three partners at Diaz Mirón which is one of Mexico´s foremost labor and employment boutique firms. Currently renowned in chambers and partners international and the legal 500 for Latin America this third generation family firm prides itself in tradition and up keeping the highest standards in labor and employment counseling.

As partner of the firm, Juan Jose specializes in advising and counseling international businesses with investments or interests in Mexico throughout the firm’s offices in Mexico City, Cancun, Guadalajara and Leon.  With background in psychology and human resource management preventing labor risks and helping clients reach optimal working and productivity conditions is always the goal. In advising international clients, he focuses on permanently preventing while maintaining international compliance standards and fulfilling important acts such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act whilst taking advantage of all the competitive edges that Mexico has to offer. In accordance with his work, Mexico is fertile grounds for investing, producing, manufacturing and or providing goods and services competitively with large profit margins due to the great conditions that the country offers.

In his work, the aim is always maintaining the highest legal labor and employment knowledge and strategies, combined with the understanding of people, government, and worker unions to be able to reach optimal conditions for employers and employees Nationwide.

A graduate of Escuela Libre de Derecho, considered a top Law School in Mexico (just over 3,000 attorneys in over 100 years) he also studied business in the Pan-American institute of Administration IPADE and is now also concluding another master’s degree in labor and employment law.

Beginning his practice as a trial attorney and then as a business labor and HR advisor has given Juan Jose a broad outlook and understating to prevent, strategize, correct and litigate anything related to workplace issues.

He is a member of the Mexican Association of Business Lawyers ANADE and is the exclusive contributor for Mexico in the Lexology Navigator International Employment and Labor.

Languages: 

  • Spanish
  • English
  • French

 

Angelo Zambelli

Angelo Zambelli is a member of the Executive Committee and head of the Employment and Industrial Relations Department of the Firm. Mr. Zambelli amassed an outstanding reputation in employment and labor law, industrial relations and issues relating to agency contracts and labor law disputes acquiring in-depth knowledge of the planning and implementation of extraordinary finance operations and restructuring plans, including the reorganization and downsizing of subsidiaries of Italian and international groups.

Mr Zambelli amassed an outstanding reputation in employment and labour law, industrial relations and issues relating to agency contracts and labour law disputes acquiring in-depth knowledge of the planning and implementation of extraordinary finance operations and restructuring plans, including the reorganisation and downsizing of subsidiaries of Italian and international groups. Mr Zambelli works side by side with clients advising them on handling complicated industrial relations matters and often represents companies during negotiations.

After earning his JD magna cum laude at the Università degli Studi of Milan in 1987, Angelo Zambelli became a member of the Milan Bar Association in 1992. Since 2004, Mr Zambelli is qualified to plead before the higher courts as well as the Italian Supreme Court (Corte di Cassazione).

He is also a member of AGI, of AIDP, member of EELA and representant for Italy for ELA, as well as member of ABA and IBA.

He is an established lecturer at many conferences organised by Il Sole 24 Ore, Synergia, AIDP (Associazione Italiana per la Direzione del Personale), AGI (Associazione Giuslavoristi Italiani), EELA (European Employment Lawyers Association), IBA (International Bar Association), ELA (Employment Law Alliance) and ABA (American Bar Association).

Prior to joining Grimaldi Studio Legale, Angelo Zambelli was a founding member and managing partner of LabLaw Studio Legale. He was also partner at the law firms of McDermott Will & Emery/Carnelutti Studio Legale Associato and Toffoletto e Soci.

Grimaldi Studio Legale:

Grimaldi Studio Legale has been one of the most significant law firms in the Italian legal scenario for over 20 years, initially as the Italian partner of the firm Clifford Chance and subsequently as an independent law firm. Situated in Milan, Rome, Brussels and London, with 26 partners and more than 100 highly qualified lawyers and trainees, the Firm is a leader in the legal services marketplace.

 

Charis Chairopoulos

Charis Chairopoulos is a member of Nikolaos Ch. Chairopoulos & Associates Law Offices.
His main area of practice is labour, civil and banking law cases.   He is specialised in handling labour law issues, providing both advice to companies and support during litigation.  He advises HR departments of a variety of companies on an ongoing basis in all areas of Labour Law.  He has handled cases concerning all types of non-performing debts ranging from consumer credit to business/commercial financing via open accounts, corporate bonds and factoring, compulsory enforcement and securing and collecting debts.
Charis Chairopoulos is a graduate of the National and Capodistrian University of Athens Law School.  He also holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Labour Law from the National and Capodistrian University of Athens Law School and a LL.M. in International Business Law from King’s College London.  He is a member of Athens Bar Association.

Dalia Foigt-Norvaišienė

Dr. Dalia Foigt-Norvaišienė chairs the Labor and Employment Law Practice Group at COBALT Lithuania. She has an extensive over 23 years of experience in advising clients on Employment, Corporate Law issues, and is a recognized expert on international and domestic arbitration. She provides both day-to-day counselling, as well as assists clients in more extensive projects and cross-border transactions. She has assisted numerous local and international clients upon choosing the best solution for establishing a business in Lithuania and upon setting up and operating these businesses including but not limited to employment matters. Dalia is frequently invited to share her experience and knowledge in international publications, conferences, seminars and trainings.

Before starting a private practice Dalia gained her PhD in the area of Environmental Law and continued her career as Senior Researcher and Associated Professor of Vilnius University. Dalia has also taken part in legislative work in Lithuania in the areas of Environmental Law and Litigation.

Dalia is active member of business community and maintains regular contacts with municipal and central government institutions while representing business community and seeking to improve business environment.

COBALT’s employment law practice is one of the leading players in employment-related legal matters, with years of relevant experience in providing a full range of counselling, litigation and compliance services to international and local clients.

Key services include:

  • Planning and establishing local employment structures
  • Drafting workplace policies
  • Negotiating and drafting individual employment contracts
  • Assisting in the implementation of disciplinary actions
  • Assisting with individual and collective dismissals
  • Drafting and negotiating collective bargaining agreements
  • Providing advice on compensation, benefits and taxes
  • Providing employment and labour law advice in relation to mergers and acquisitions
  • Drafting confidentiality, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements
  • Representing clients in employment and labour disputes
  • Advising clients on immigration matters

COBALT Law Firm:

COBALT is a closely integrated alliance of top-tier law offices across the Baltics and Belarus uniting more than 180 attorneys and lawyers.

The firm’s legal professionals offer leading-edge legal solutions in all key areas of business law: mergers & acquisitions, banking and finance, capital markets, EU law and competition law, dispute resolution, tax law, restructuring and bankruptcy, real estate & construction, energy and infrastructure, environmental law, IP & IT and employment law.

 

Michala Roepstorff

Michala Roepstorff is a partner in our Insolvency Law and Restructuring team. She has extensive experience in advising on financial restructuring, including arrangements with the creditors of ailing companies.

Michala is a specialist in the administration of estates in bankruptcy, including the uncovering of voidable transactions, the continuation of operations as well as complete or partial transfers of bankrupt businesses. She also advises banks and other financial institutions on insolvency matters.

Michala also has extensive experience in advising on employment and labour law.

Michala is a member of and certified by Foreningen af Danske Insolvensadvokater (Association of Danish insolvency lawyers) and also of IWIRC, International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. Michala teaches insolvency law on supplementary courses under the auspices of the Association of Danish Law Firms (Danske Advokater).

 

Employment Law Practice:

It is important for an employer to know the restrictions that apply to his or her room for manoeuvre in an employment relationship and it has not become any easier due to the increasing regulation of the legal relationship between the employer and the employee that has taken place.

Plesner’s labour and employment law department provides advice on all aspects of labour and employment law. We assist our clients with specialist advice, focusing on providing solution-oriented advice that enables our clients to act quickly, efficiently and legally correct when faced with big or small challenges.

We particularly provide legal services to Danish and international businesses, but we also provide legal services to public authorities, institutions and individuals, including managers and executives in particular.

Flexible types of employment

Not only are we very experienced in providing advice on traditional employment issues between the employer and the employee, we also advise on the more flexible types of employment that have evolved as the need for flexibility has increased. Some examples are fixed-term employment, part-time employment, secondment/hiring-out of employees, consultancy issues and teleworking