IUS LABORIS Q&A
The chairman and executive director of the Ius Laboris employment law network explains
what makes Ius Laboris different from other legal alliances.
WHAT IS THE MAIN FUNCTION OF THE IUS LABORIS
THE function of Ius Laboris is manifold but it is primarily an alliance of law firms focused on labor and employment law. The alliance brings together more labor and employment law
specialists than any other network or organisation, so
at a fundamental level the alliance is about uniting the
experience and knowledge of those experts to provide
a seamless cross-border service to multinational
companies in labor and employment issues.
One of the main features of labor and employment
law is how all-embracing it is; so when companies are
looking for a service in this area they often require the
full breadth of related skills and specialisms.
Unfortunately for clients, many firms will focus on one
particular area, or even if they do have broader
experience, the scale of their limited offering in
employment means that they will not able to provide
the sheer range of skills that we can offer by bringing
together the leading independent practices in the field
from around the world.
The full scope of employment and labor law
obviously covers a wide remit so to ensure that we can
provide the appropriate advice we divide our sector
knowledge into various practice groups including
individual dismissals, occupational health and safety,
data and privacy, pensions and so on. We have eight
practice groups in all and we have individuals across all
of our member offices that are active in advising in
IUS LABORIS WAS FOUNDED IN 2001 BY FIVE EUROPEAN
We go through a process of
NICHE EMPLOYMENT LAW FIRMS, HOW FAR HAS THE
ORGANISATION COME IN THAT TIME?
We launched our offering ten years ago from five
countries across Europe. We had a vision to create an
international network that was more than just a loose
identifying the geographic
priorities for our members and
our clients and then we go
through a process of working out
who we consider our potential
members might be in that country.
collection of firms. The nature of employment law
dictates that you need a strong grounding in local law
so we understood that to provide the best service to
our multinational clients we needed to exclusively
approach firms with the best reputation locally – it is
very different from establishing an international
transactional network as employment is usually driven
by domestic regulation.
In the first eight years the alliance grew rapidly,
firstly in Europe and then the Americas. We now have
2500 lawyers across 40 countries around the world.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN ADVANTAGES OF INSTRUCTING A
FIRM IN THE IUS LABORIS ALLIANCE?
Firstly, our network is entirely comprised of specialist
employment law firms and this is evident if you look at
any firm in our network. For example our firm in
Brussels, Claeys & Engels, is a human resources niche
firm that fields 15 partners, and a total of more than
60 lawyers, that exclusively practice in such areas as
individual employment and labor law, individual and
collective negotiations, Belgian & European works
councils and transfer of undertakings – among other
areas. These lawyers have access to knowledge for
every area of employment law because they are