Overview & Experience

Our Labour & Employee Benefits practice handles the full spectrum of employment mandates, such as:

  • drafting and negotiating individual and collective labour agreements, management contracts and internal regulations,
  • advising on labour matters in M&A projects, outsourcing, sensitive disciplinary proceedings, harassment and discrimination cases, downsizing, transfer of employees and strategic restructuring practices,
  • individual and collective dismissal cases,
  • executive immigration,
  • employee benefits and pensions, redundancy programs and voluntary retirement schemes, and
  • employment litigation, representing both employers and employees in cases such as overtime payment and benefits claims, harassment files, claims on cross-border pensions rights, challenging dismissals decisions.

Our team of specialists works with clients from a wide range of sectors to tackle local and cross-border issues. We take a commercial approach and aim to help our clients keep on top of the risks and opportunities arising from changes in this area of law.

Our expert team has considerable experience advising on contentious and non-contentious employment law issues, as we work with our clients to understand how employment issues arise in their organization and recommend strategies to deal with the cause of problems.

MIHAI POPA
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Mihai Popa_resize

Deputy Managing Partner

Areas of practice: Restructuring & Insolvency/ Bankruptcy, Dispute Resolution, Labour & Employee Benefits, Corporate & Commercial Law, Insurance

Phone: +40 21 202 59 00

Fax: +40 21 223 04 95

E-mail: mihai.popa@musat.ro

Address: 43 Aviatorilor Boulevard, 1st District, Code 011853, Bucharest, Romania

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Practice Highlights. A selection of our deal highlights includes advising:

  • Kaufland Romania (the leading retail company in Romania), in connection with numerous employment matters such as contractual relationship with top management employees, various salary claims lodged by its employees, disciplinary termination of individual employment agreement, as well as assisting in day-to-day employment issues during Kaufland’s continuous expansion in various municipalities in Romania.
  • The Ministry of Energy, on all labour and employment issues in connection with the restructuring of Termoelectrica S.A. (the largest electricity producer in Romania), including management restructuring, collective dismissals, individual dismissals, union consultations, drafting compensation plans, restructuring and business transfer, as well as labour-related disputes and day-to-day employment issues.
  • Enel S.p.A., a leading Italian energy and utilities group, in various labour and employment matters following Enel’s EUR 820,000,000 acquisition of Electrica Muntenia Sud and the EUR 112,000,000 acquisitions of Electrica Banat and Electrica Dobrogea, such as adjustment of the collective bargaining agreement and of individual employment agreements, review of all internal labour regulations and requirements, drafting the relevant amendment proposals. Various other employment matters included advice on: management restructuring, benefit plans, secondment matters, working permits necessary for and taxation applicable to foreign individuals.
  • Enel Electrica Banat, Electrica Dobrogea and Electrica Muntenia Sud, in one of the most complex labour mandates, on post-acquisition matters arising in connection with supply and distribution unbundling and integration into the group. Legal work included an extensive review of applicable personnel arrangements and internal organization structure, proposing possible employment integration and assistance.
  • Brookfield Business Partners L.P., the flagship listed business services and industrials company of Brookfield Asset Management Inc., in connection with the USD 13.2 billion acquisition of 100% of Johnson Controls’ Power Solutions (JCPS) business, including in connection with various employment issues related to revising and implementation of policies; issues related to the transfer of business; drafting transfer of employees documentation; implementation of the transfer of the employees and benefits issues.
  • Dr. Max, a major pharma retail chain in Central and Eastern Europe, on the employment legal aspects pertaining to the successful acquisition of the largest wholesale distributor of medicines in Romania (Mediplus) and a pharmacy chain of +600 pharmacies (Sensiblu) as well as with various post-transaction employment matters.
  • Amazon, a worldwide IT software development company, in relation to a complex variety of labour-related matters primarily consisting in: revision and adaption to business challenges of the collective bargaining agreement at the level of the company and assistance during the relevant negotiation process with employees representatives, identification of the most suitable content for an internal policy regulating on-call work by reference to the rather rigid legal framework regulating working and rest time, providing creative and customized solutions for managing a wide range of day-to-day challenges resulting from the use of temporary workers, including as regards the contractual relationship with the temporary work agency, close implication in the carrying out of disciplinary investigations procedures, identification of appropriate approach to manage professional unfitness dismissal process, customization of home based work policies, handling the implementation and adaptation of various hire/recruiting/professional evaluation policies etc.
  • Google, in connection with various sensitive employment matters, including day-to-day employment advice on sensitive issues such as the assessment of employment legal risks that may trigger the requalification of certain contractual relation into employment relationships. The confidence in our employment practice shown by such an internationally significant client is a clear demonstration of our market-leading expertise and ability to provide business-focused guidance on a wide range of employment law briefs. We have also been involved in providing employment legal assistance pertaining to the acquisition of one of the largest American digital health and fitness brand (Fitbit).
  • The Romanian subsidiary of Electrolux, one of the largest producers of home appliances in the world, for the negotiation of its collective bargaining agreement and the settlement of various labour disputes with the trade union, assistance in relation to the possibilities of the client to terminate the collective work conflict; customized advice during the employees strike, assistance related to the right to pension of foreign citizens working in different EU member states, including Romania, disciplinary investigations, the termination of individual employment agreements, non-competition and labour security matters, as well in labour disputes.
  • The Romanian subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories (USA), a global, broad-based healthcare company, on a number of labour-related issues, such as the transfer of employees following the spin-off of its operations in Romania, the conditions and procedures for terminating the individual employment agreements, disciplinary procedures and professional training, reviewing various labour-related agreements.
  • The Romanian National air transportation company, Tarom, in over 40 employment litigation files related to alleged salary rights and various other rights claimed by the trade unions and employees.
  • Unilever South Central Europe, a worldwide leader of FMCG industry, with respect to a broad array of employment-related issues, including termination of individual employment agreements for top-management and executive positions, reviewing the collective bargaining agreement at company level and ensuring compliance of the company’s internal set of policies and regulations with the requirements of Romanian laws.
  • Intel, a leading multinational IT company, with respect to the whole range of employment legal issues, including redeployment process, disciplinary investigations, review of the individual employment agreements and internal regulations, professional evaluation of the employees and termination of employment.
  • Gefco (a subsidiary of PSA Peugeot Citröen), one of Europe’s leading logistics groups and one of the top ten companies worldwide in the logistics industry, in relation to various high sensitivity employment matters primarily consisting in: identification of legal actions to be taken against a potential breach by client’s employees of the confidentiality and non-solicitation obligations, building the strategy for handling sensitive potential conflict of interest breaches by client employees, including by carrying out internal preliminary investigations with the scope of building up disciplinary sanctioning case, as well as identifying legal means for recovery of potential pecuniary damages resulting thereof, hand-on assistance during election of employee representatives process. Additionally, in conjunction with our employment litigation team, we have assisted the client throughout the various stages of labour litigations with former employees challenging the dismissal decision, customized advice with respect to certain discrimination issues; assistance on a potential transfer of business; advise on employees’ work from home working schedule tailored to client’s needs; assistance in case of reorganization of the activity and dismissal of the personnel, as well as related to temporary lay-off in case of reduction of the activity.
  • Monsanto, an American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation, on various matters pertaining to the operation of its Romanian entity in relation to sensitive employment legal issues primarily focused on the election of employees’ representatives and negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement, hands on guidance during customization of various employment agreement clauses, close implication in the carrying out of disciplinary investigations procedures, customization of disciplinary process towards certain management employees, assistance for implementing teleworking activity etc.
  • Transocean, the largest off-shore drilling contractor in the world, as concerns its prospective drilling operations in the Romanian exclusive economic zone of the Black Sea, on various immigration and labour-related matters regarding its off-shore and on-shore personnel.
  • Schneider, a global specialist in energy management, in connection with the transfer of employees from the representative office of American Power Conversion Europe to its Romanian subsidiary, following the transfer of business.
  • Petrofac, the international oil & gas facilities service provider, in relation to the transfer of over 1,000 employees involved in the operation of Țicleni oilfield and its satellites, in line with the TUPE Directive requirements, as well as in connection with disciplinary termination of employment agreements and with various labour disputes.

Other representative mandates of our practice includes advising:

  • Cerner, an American supplier of health information technology solutions, services, devices and hardware, hands on assistance for a wide variety of employment matters, with a focus on the implementation of a redundancy process, on customization of internal policies to local legal requirements, as well as in connection with drafting, revising and negotiation of the collective bargaining agreements or the internal regulations of the company.
  • Glenmark, a leading integrated, research-based, global pharmaceutical company, in relation to the performance of a disciplinary investigation concerning a high-level management employee; customized advice for the evaluation of the performance of management-level employees; drafting, revising and the implementing of internal policies; as well as assists the client with various other day-to-day employment matters.
  • HR Management Club, a local NGO active in the field of human resources and labour relations, with respect to the “Partnership for Human Resource Development” project, co-financed by the European Social Fund – the Human Resources Development Operational Programme for 2007-2013, aimed at proposing amendments to three labour enactments. We assisted the client with respect to the proposed amendments of the Labour Code, the Trade Union Law and the Collective Bargaining Agreement Law, and conducted an extensive report regarding the undeclared work, professional training and social dialogue, according to local laws and EU regulations.
  • Magneti Marelli, in relation to significant day-to-day employment matters, such as collective negotiations, salary adjustments following changes of fiscal legislation, amendment, suspension and termination of employment agreements, application for IT fiscal exemptions etc.
  • A major Canadian mining group, on various employment matters in relation to the exploration and exploitation of a large mining site in Romania, including drafting the collective employment agreement and negotiating the agreement with the trade union, extensive review of individual employment agreements.
  • Oracle, a leading international hardware systems and software producer, with regard to all legal aspects concerning the transfer of personnel in line with the TUPE Directive requirements, following the integration of the local business of Phase Forward, a leading provider of applications for life sciences companies and healthcare providers.
  • Ferring Pharmaceuticals Romania, in relation to a wide range of day-to-day matters, particularly pertaining to termination of employment agreements, disciplinary investigations, as well as amendment of employment contracts.
  • Idemia, a global leader in augmented identity, with assistance on a wide variety of employment matters. We have advised on the implementation of a termination process for key employees, on customization of internal policies to comply with local legal requirements, as well as in connection with day-to-day employment issues.
  • Otelinox, part of the multi-national conglomerate Samsung Corporation, in regard with the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement, restructuring of activity and collective dismissal procedure, implementation of voluntary termination schemes aimed to set up a new organizational structure mainly focused on production activity, as well as labour disputes.
  • Rompetrol, one of the largest gas and oil refining businesses in Romania, with respect to the termination of top management employment agreements, structuring the compensation packages.
  • Accenture, one of the world’s leading organizations providing management consulting, technology and outsourcing services, in relation to a wide variety of day-to-day labour-related matters of high complexity including customizing employment agreements for top management employees based on business demands, adaptation of working time related legal exigencies to work flow practical challenges, as well as practical advice in relation with the compensation of work performed during rest periods, tailoring professional evaluation local procedures based on the group level philosophies, implementation of cross-border secondments within the group, hiring foreign citizens, hands-on assistance throughout several disciplinary investigation processes, active involvement during the collective bargaining agreement negotiations etc.
  • Generali Societate de Administrare a Fondurilor de Pensii Private, part of Generali Group, in connection with the reorganization of the company and the dismissal of top management employees, as well as in several labour disputes.
  • Agrafood, a leading national company active in the FMCG sector, in relation to the reorganization of activity and termination of employment agreements, disciplinary dismissals, reviewing individual employment agreements, specific obligations of employees working in poultry farms, as well as in several labour litigations.
  • SOS Children’s Village, an international NGO active in 133 countries, in connection with the reorganization of activity and dismissals, the employment and working program of foster parents, fixed-term individual employment agreements, as well as in labour litigation related to dismissal and alleged discrimination claims.
  • Rail Cargo Austria A.G., a leading rail freight transportation company and its local subsidiary, Rail Cargo Romania, with regard to various employment matters, termination of employment agreements, as well as representing the client in several labour litigations related to dismissal and various salary rights alleged by its employees.
  • Marsh Broker de Asigurare Reasigurare, a subsidiary of Marsh Europe, on various labour-related topics, among which the termination of individual employment agreements, legal requirements and formalities related thereto.
  • Astellas Pharma, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies, in connection with various day-to-day employment-related matters, such as secondment, dismissal of top management employees, drafting individual employment agreements for top management.
  • Michelin, in connection with various employment issues following the take-over transaction concluded with Tofan Grup, as well as in connection with complex employment issues following the intra-group merger of the five different entities established in Romania as part of Michelin group.
  • Tibco, a global leader in integration and analytics software, with legal assistance focusing on the customization of the internal policies and fine tuning of the employment agreements used by the company.
  • CAF, a Spanish manufacturer of railway vehicles and equipment, hands on guidance throughout the process of implementing internal policies as per local standards. We have also been advising on sensitive aspects related to the termination of key employees’ employment contracts and assisting client to terminate employment contracts for employees working in several EU countries.
  • Molex, one of the world’s top electronic devices manufacturers, in relation to a restructuring process resulting, among others, in individual dismissals.
  • Nidec, a leading comprehensive motor manufacturer, employment legal advice in relation to sensitive matters like including potential business transfer; collective and individual dismissals; finding feasible solutions to terminate/to continue employment relationships for employees working in Romania and abroad, restructuring procedures; as well as on day-to-day employment matters.
  • Synexus, a multinational company specializing in clinical trials across the globe, in regard connection with various employment matters, particularly concerning aspects related to professional evaluations and identification of appropriate means of dealing with professional unfitness, as well as the reorganization of the activity, a potential transfer of business, and the termination of employment agreements.
  • Transfond S.A., the Romanian nationwide inter-banking payment and settlement operator, in relation to structuring and implementing a secondment scheme involving a large number of employees, reviewing individual employment agreements, as well as in connection with the termination of employment.
  • SBS Broadcasting Media S.R.L., the Romanian subsidiary of ProSiebenSat.1 Media A.G., in connection with the whole range of HR and employment-related matters, including business take-over and transfer following the acquisition of Prima T.V. and TV Klumea.
  • The Romanian subsidiary of L’Oreal on various employment matters, such as termination of individual employment agreements, the amendment of internal regulations in order to comply with the requirements of the Romanian law, social contributions regime applicable to expatriates, review of individual employment agreements.
  • Feral S.R.L. Tulcea, a Romanian electrometallurgical company, in a complex litigation case having as object the suspension of the strike initiated by the employees and the recovery of the damages incurred as a result of the strike.
  • Leumi Bank, in labour litigations initiated by former employees challenging the disciplinary dismissal and claiming various salary rights, as well as in connection with the termination of individual employment agreements for disciplinary reasons and professional unfitness.
  • Fortis Bank, a leading European financial services group, with respect to various employment matters, including the extensive review of individual employment agreements, drafting temporary individual employment agreements, as well as assisting the client with the registration procedures.
  • NovoNordisk Region Europe A/S (Denmark), in relation to reviewing employment agreements for top management positions, as well as the termination of the employment agreements concerning its Romanian affiliate, NovoNordisk Farma S.R.L.
  • Microfocus, one of the largest pure-play software companies in the world, and its local entity with customized advice on a wide range of employment matters, such as the implementation of teleworking policies, analysis of potential restructuring, election of employee representatives and collective negotiations. We have also been involved in sensitive labour litigations on behalf of the client related to, among other things, overtime payment and benefits.
  • PSI, one of the world’s leading clinical research organizations, in relation to sensitive employment legal issues primarily focused on teleworking implementation. We are assisting with the carrying out of a disciplinary investigation procedure and termination of employment agreements. Furthermore, we are also assisting and representing the client in connection with several litigation cases against former employees challenging dismissal decisions, claims on the recovery of alleged overtime hours, and harassment claims.
  • GlaxoSmithKline, in connection with drafting and negotiating the collective bargaining agreement to be concluded by its Romanian subsidiaries with their employees, non-competition rules and benefit plans.
  • Arcelor Mittal (former Mittal Steel), on various employment-related matters in connection with the negotiation and implementation of governmental severance payments granted to the employees affected by the restructuring process of Mittal Steel S.A. Galati (former Sidex S.A.), drafting extensive reports on the legislation applicable to pensions and its impact on the company’s personnel, pre-litigation negotiations and litigations in connection with various labour claims.
  • TI Sparkle, a global telecommunications company and the largest Italian telecommunications services provider in revenues and subscribers, in connection with a highly sensitive employment litigation entailing salary rights and discrimination allegations. We also assist the client with day-to-day employment matters.
  • Wilo Romania, the local subsidiary of a leading manufacturer in the field of pumps and pumping systems for heating, air conditioning, cooling, water supply and waste water evacuation, on various employment matters including the conclusion, revision or termination of individual employment agreements for top-management employees, benefits, negotiation and drafting of the collective labour agreement; sensitive restructuring process as well as day-to-day employment issues.
  • Paul Stricker, one of the world’s top international companies in the promotional products sector, in connection with various employment and telecommunications matters, among others, the transfer of telephone numbers from Romanian employees to foreign legal entities.
  • Rewordly, a Canadian-Romanian startup, on various labour and immigration related matters, as assistance in preparing the documentation and representation in front of General Inspectorate for Immigration in order to obtain work permits for various non-EU workers.
  • Embassy of Japan in Romania, in relation to a wide variety of day-to-day labour-related matters of high complexity including customized advice for bonuses granted to employees, retirement of certain employees, the possibility of cumulating pension with salary etc.
  • Ford Motor Company, one of the world’s top multinational automaker corporation, on various labour and immigration related matters, as issues generated by the regime of foreigners in Romania and cross-border related matters.
  • Automobile Bavaria, a BMW Motorrad dealer, in relation to sensitive employment legal issues. We are currently assisting and representing the client in connection with several litigation cases with former employees challenging the dismissal decisions.
  • Barrette, a company operating in the Engineering Services industry, in relation to sensitive employment legal issues, as temporary lay-off or reducing the work schedule of the employees due to reduction of activity. We are currently assisting and representing the client in connection with a litigation case with a former employee regarding salary rights and compensations.
  • Inditex, one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, legal assistance in relation to sensitive employment legal issues, as temporary lay-off.
  • Bucur Obor S.A., an important local player in the real estate and trade industry, in a broad range of employment issues, including reorganization of the activity and dismissal of the personnel, changing and improving the management structure, conducting due-diligence in connection with potential issues related to employment and labour safety, transfer of employees in line with TUPE Directive requirements, assistance in front of the labour authorities during labour inspections, as well as representing the client in various labour disputes related to the termination of individual employment agreements and alleged salary rights.

Accolades 


A satisfied client notes: "The lawyers always come up with good solutions." Source: Chambers Europe

Muşat & Asociaţii's team is ‘characterised by professionalism and a pro-active attitude’, providing ‘great support from the legal point of view’. Source: Legal 500

One clients highlights the team's "wide-ranging expertise." Source: Chambers Europe

An impressed interviewee remarks: "The quality of the service is at the highest level." Source: Chambers Europe

The group’s workload includes collective bargaining agreements and TUPE matters. Source: Legal 500

The team is praised for its prompt and enthusiastic attitude to problems, and depth of knowledge of employment issues on an international and local level: "The lawyers here have always shown willingness, seriousness, reliability and preparation." Source: Chambers Europe

"They are always attentive to deadlines and to meeting customer needs. I really appreciate their flexibility and interest in understanding how to facilitate the business organisation, and ability to support in international issues." Source: Chambers Europe

Muşat & Asociaţii’s ‘professional and proactive’ team is ‘empathetic of clients and understands their industries’. Source: Legal 500

“The lawyers quickly answer our requests and inform us about things we should be aware of. I think they basically covers all the bases.” Source: Chambers Europe

“I’m very positive about the team as it is always very good to work with it.” Source: Chambers Europe

Muşat & Asociaţii has “a dominant share of the country's business" and "garners much respect from its competitors and clients.” Source: IFLR 1000

“This growing team of 12 has been busy negotiating collective dismissals and redundancies of senior managers. ” Source: Chambers & Partners

“Strong domestic firm Muşat & Asociaţii continued to perform well, [as] the firm’s prominence endures.” Source: Legal 500

“Commentators cite the firm's excellent advice and experience in restructuring as its key strengths. Clients add that the group is “always available and highly competent.” Source: Chambers & Partners

“Muşat & Asociaţii is a Romanian brand, which has developed itself a formidable reputation on the market.” Source: IFLR 1000

Clients about the firm: "We choose Muşat & Asociaţii because of its impeccable service. Prompt, innovative and practical, it always suggests several solutions to fit our business strategy." Source: Chambers Europe

“This firm is involved in some of the biggest cases, which are often the first of their kind” say peers. Source: Chambers & Partners

Clients about Muşat & Asociaţii' lawyers:”High level of professionalism and involvement, innovative spirit and original solutions.” Source: Chambers & Partners

Clients appreciate the firm's “competence and timely manner”, acknowledging that the “service they provide is excellent and we always feel confident that what we ask from them will be delivered.” Source: Legal 500

“Muşat & Asociaţii - indefatigable Romanian giant [which] retains an impressive list of corporate clients and virtually unparalleled contacts with government: agencies.” Source: Chambers & Partners
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