Baker McKenzie successfully represented the software company SAP SE in the legal dispute with the trade unions IG Metall and Ver.di regarding the size and composition of the company's supervisory board. In its decision of October 9, 2018, the Higher Labour Court of Baden-Wurttemberg dismissed the complaints lodged by the two unions against the decisions of the Mannheim Labor Court which were announced in the first instance in December 2017. The Higher Labor Court admitted the appeal to the Federal Labor Court.

The litigation concerns the right to reserved union seats on the supervisory board and the right of the management board to propose an amendment to the articles of association to reduce the size of the supervisory board, as a result of which such a right would lapse.

Baker McKenzie provided SAP with comprehensive legal advice in both instances of the proceedings and represented SAP in court.

“We were able to successfully support SAP in this exciting case”, comments Baker McKenzie's Munich Employment Partner Katja Häferer. “The disputed issues are of fundamental importance beyond the current legal dispute, which is why we expect them to be continued before the Federal Labor Court.”

In the course of the conversion of SAP AG into an SE in 2014, an agreement was negotiated according to which it is possible to reduce the size of the supervisory board from currently 18 to 12 members. The agreement no longer provides for reserved seats for union representatives on a 12-member supervisory board. The proceedings were initiated by IG Metall and Ver.di at the end of December 2016.

Legal advisor to SAP
Baker McKenzie

Lead: Employment: Katja Häferer (Partner, Munich)
Team: Employment: Dr. Bernhard Trappehl (Partner, Munich)

SAP: Matthias Faust, Head of International Labour Law
Dr. Michael Plötner, Head of Corporate and Capital Market Law
Sibylle Stöcker, Senior Legal Counsel International Labour Law
Dr. Daniela Leyh, Corporate and Capital Market Law

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