act legal Germany’s Dr. Alexander Höpfner was appointed as trustee of Transfertex

Dr. Alexander Höpfner was appointed as trustee of Transfertex in self-administration proceedings (protective shield proceedings) by order of the Aschaffenburg Insolvency Court dated May 20, 2021

Transfertex GmbH & Co. Thermodruck KG has been producing environmentally friendly transfer paper for the textile industry since 1970 with the quality claim “Made in Germany” in digital printing and gravure printing and supplies customers worldwide. On the basis of the transfer paper, clothing for well-known fashion labels and sports jerseys, including those for participants in the Football Champions League, are produced from polyester fabrics. By combining digital printing and gravure printing, Transfertex is the only supplier in Germany capable of producing up to 1 million meters of transfer paper in a very short time. Transfertex currently employs 140 people.

The cancellation and postponement of sporting events, such as the Summer Olympics or the European Football Championships, triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive slump in shirt sales. In the apparel segment for fashion labels, there were serious declines in sales as a result of the textile retail closures caused by the lockdown. The aim of the protective shield and self-administration proceedings granted by the Aschaffenburg Insolvency Court is to safeguard Transfertex’s substance and bridge the lockdown.

After the successfully completed self-administration proceedings of Baden-Board, Picard, JMT, Hallhuber and Vossloh-Schwabe in the last six months alone, the successful insolvency and restructuring practice of act legal Germany led by partners Dr. Sven Tischendorf, MBA and Dr. Alexander Höpfner can further expand act legal Germany’s strong market position in well-known insolvency cases with the appointment of Dr. Alexander Höpfner as administrator of Transfertex.

Common labour law issues and misconceptions in the state of emergency

If the company’s sales have fallen due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus, can employees’ salaries be reduced or even employed in other jobs?

The employer may not unilaterally reduce the wages of employees or change their jobs. According to the Labour Code, the parties to the employment contract must agree on the employee’s basic salary and position. That is why wages and positions can only be changed by mutual agreement of the parties. Thus, a salary reduction or a change of job can be made by amending the employment contract, which requires the consent of the parties.

If the salary cannot be reduced and the job cannot be changed unilaterally, then how can the employer get rid of the overstaffing situation?

The employment may be terminated by the employer by notice, which is a unilateral act, i.e. it does not require the agreement of the parties. If the parties can agree on the termination of the employment, they may settle the matter of parting ways by mutual agreement. Thus, the rules for termination of employment have not been changed with regard to the coronavirus, employment can still be terminated by mutual agreement or termination if the employee cannot be provided with work.

Could the coronavirus be the reason for the termination?

The employer is required to give the reasons for the termination and the Labour Code requires the reasons for the termination be clearly stated. This requirement is not met if the justification for the termination is merely that “the termination is due to the coronavirus”.

The reason for the termination in this case will be a reason related to the operation of the employer, i.e. the loss of income due to the coronavirus and the resulting redundancies and/or reorganisations. However, these must be apparent from the statement of reasons, which must be clear, real and reasonable.

Of course, in an eventual labour lawsuit, the employer has to prove the fact that the income has decreased and as a result the number of employees has actually been reduced and the work processes have been reorganized. Thus, termination will be unlawful if, after the termination, another employee is hired for the same job instead of the employee who was terminated with reference to redundancies.

If the rules for terminating employment have not changed, what has changed because of the coronavirus? Although the Labour Code has not changed since January 1, 2020, the government has allowed deviations from certain rules of the law for a period lasting until thirtieth day following the end of the state of emergency. Thus, for example, the employer may unilaterally order the employee to work from home and telework, but the government decree also gives the opportunity for the parties of the employment to deviate from the rules of the Labour Code in a separate agreement.

Last Call – Be prepared for the possible shutdown!

Starting Sunday, nationwide curfews are threatened. Ensure the legally compliant work of your employees in the mobile office. The conclusion of appropriate agreements is very useful for this.
In addition to the framework conditions under labour law, above all data protection regulations must also be laid down, as is the case with office work.

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act legal Poland assists Adventum in purchase of Renaissance

Adventum International, a global property investment fund, has acquired Renaissance Plaza. The office building is located right next to Wola – the fastest-growing quarter of Warsaw. This is the fund’s second investment in Poland within just four months, following the June purchase of Poznań Financial Centre. 

Renaissance Plaza is a 7-storey B+ class building with a total area of 10,000 sqm, located in the Wola district of Warsaw, close to Rondo Daszyńskiego, the city’s most rapidly growing section. The building is fully occupied by Orange Polska S.A. It was extended in 1998 and underwent substantial renovation in 2016.

Adventum QUARTUM, a Maltese investment fund, acquired the building from REInvest Asset Management.

Under the Adventum QUARTUM fund we intend to utilise a further EUR 150 million in the forthcoming months for office and retail properties with special focus on Poland. We are glad to have undertaken our second such transaction with REInvest Asset Management,” says Andras Marton, Director at Adventum International.

act legal Poland (BSWW) was advising its client throughout the process of acquisition of Renaissance Plaza. The scope of services included a due diligence review of the property, preparation of transaction documents, as well as support in negotiations and transaction advisory.

The project team was led by Marek Wojnar (Managing Partner) and Marta Kosiedowska (Partner). They were supported by Michał Sołtyszewski (Partner).

It is the second out of several transactions on which we have advised Adventum International,” says Marta Kosiedowska.

We are pleased to have won the client’s trust and to take part in building our Client’s investment portfolio in Poland,” adds Marek Wojnar.

Deloitte supported the purchaser within the scope of financial advisory. The seller was supported by MFC Real Estate and CMS Cameron McKenna.

One of the 100 most attractive employers for lawyers

In the current azur Associate Survey “azur 100 Top Employers 2019”, act legal Germany (AC Tischendorf Rechtsanwälte) again scores excellently – due to the working atmosphere, the equal treatment, the internal communication and not least thanks to the short partner track – and is rewarded with being ranked among the top 100 employers in 2019.

The editors concluded: “Only in a few other law firms do lawyers feel as comfortable as at AC Tischendorf“.

Find the whole ranking description (in German only) here.

Every year, the industry press publisher JUVE presents its azur brand to the 100 top employers with good career prospects for lawyers. Through independent research, trainee lawyers, career starters and students receive valuable information, insights and evaluations on employers that the editorial staff considers to be the 100 most attractive in Germany this year. The decisive criteria are those that are important for young lawyers when assessing a desired employer: Employee satisfaction, training and development opportunities, opportunities for development and advancement, family friendliness, workload and number of new hires.