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Allen & Overy LLP
Kehrwieder 12

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  Markulf Behrendt

Partner, Global Head of Employment & Benefits


Markulf’s combination of extensive experience in employment law, regular advice to leading B2C companies on complex proceedings, and his lecturing and speaking engagements on human resources issues, keeps him at the cutting edge of his field.

Being known for his expertise in restructuring advice and all compliance-related issues, clients value his clear advice, ability to distil complex issues down to simple elements, and providing high quality, client first service. Markulf holds several key management roles such as Global Head of Employment & Benefits and Co-head of the German Comliance Group. His long-standing client relationships include nationally as well as internationally based companies.

With more than 13 years of professional experience as an employment lawyer and over 8 years of heading the Employment & Benefits group in Hamburg, Markulf’s clients profit of his depth of expertise. Being regarded by colleagues and clients as highly pragmatic, he helps his clients through challenges, including the difficulties of company wind-ups, negotiations and restructurings. Markulf is able to outline complex legal issues easily understandable and always delivers a clean answer. He provides his clients with the opportunity to access his wide personal network which often opens unexpected business opportunities to them.

Markulf is highly valued by his clients and peers alike, being described as “an excellent employment lawyer”, “fast, unbureaucratic and solution-oriented” and “excellently networked” (Legal 500 2018).

His experience and expertise has established many long-standing client relationships, particularly with international companies where his advice deals with multiple legal jurisdictions. Markulf is also widely recognised for his lecturing on human resources issues (Wismar University) and regular publishing and speaking engagements. Clients regard him as proactive and personal.

“Understanding the client is key to a successful on-going relationship. In today’s complex global business context they need straightforward, pragmatic advice from someone who is always reachable.”

Professional qualifications

Assessor, Germany, 2005

Referendar, Germany, 2002

Published work


European Commission proposes directive to protect whistleblowers – scandals necessitate reform (in collaboration with I. Vanderreken); in: International Law Office, 31/10/2018

Whistleblower protection (published in German); in: Human Resources Manager, October/November 2018, S. 86 ff.

Whistleblowing in the company - New legislation on dealing with whistleblowers (published in German); in: Personalführung 10/2018, S. 72 ff.

Dealing with Whistleblowers – Sanction Protection, Policy Clutter and Compliance Systems (published in German); in: Der Betrieb, 13/08/2018

EU Directive proposal for protecting whistleblowers (published in German); in: Handelsblatt, 28/05/2018

Digital HR organisation from a legal perspective (published in German); in: Digital HR Organisation – Where we are, what we need (Appel/Wahler); Personalwirtschaft, 29/03/2018, chapter in book pp. 87 ff.

Workplace harassment – #metoo?; (in collaboration with V. Witzke, published in German); in: Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht, 03/2018, pp. 136 ff.

Low transparency achieved by the German Law on Payment Transparency (published in German); in: Handelsblatt, 08/01/2018 

The German Law on Payment Transparency – “Zero Effect”? (in collaboration with V. Witzke, published in German); in: Betriebs-Berater, 51/52.2017, pp. 3060 ff.

Compliance in business travel (in collaboration with J. Zange, published in German); in: Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht, 12/2017, pp. 695 ff.

Preventative action with regard to avoiding compliance breaches in the context of bonus agreements (in collaboration with S. Pretzel, published in German); in: Compliance-Berater, 12/2017, pp. 454 ff.

The German Law on Payment Transparency – A clear view (published in German); in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, no. 277, 02‑03/12/2017

Compliance with the German Temporary Employment Act for foreign secondments (in collaboration with M. Weyhing, published in German); in: Betriebs-Berater, 42.2017, pp. 2485 ff.

Gap in the law (published in German); in: Der Spiegel, no. 37 09/09/2017, pp. 74 f.

Manager liability remains unclear (in collaboration with E. Braun, published in German); in: WirtschaftsWoche, 14/07/2017

The law requires communication (published in German); in: manager magazine, January 2017, p. 1

Employment and tax law in business practice e-cars in the company fleet? (published in German); in: Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht, 9/2016, pp. 556 ff.

When your boss suddenly appears on your doorstep (published in German); in: Human Resources Manager, October 2015, p. 15

Legal requirements for recruiting and in using social media (published in German); in: manager magazin, Board Edition 4/2015, p. 8

Illegitimate favours for works council members in everyday business – Where are the limits? (in collaboration with N. Lilienthal, published in German); in: Kölner Schrift zum Wirtschaftsrecht, 2014, pp. 277 ff.

Informing employees correctly (in collaboration with S. Seidel, published in German); in: Arbeit und Arbeitsrecht, 2011, pp. 704 ff.

Annual leave and long-term illness (published in German); in: Betriebs-Berater, 2011, p. 3059

Annual leave entitlement can indeed lapse (published in German); in: Financial Times Deutschland, 29/11/2011

Carrying over annual leave due to illness (published in German); in: Betriebs-Berater, 2011, p. 1907

German Federal Labour Court names managing directors as consumers (published in German); in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 07/09/2010

Comments on court rulings

Berlin Labour Court: Mass redundancies of ground handling staff at Tegel Airport – social plan ineffective (Comment on ruling by Berlin Labour Court dated 07/07/2015 – 13 BV 1848/15; published in German); in: Betriebs-Berater, 45.2015, pp. 2746 ff.

Managing directors as consumers (in collaboration with T. Neufeld; comment on ruling by German Federal Labour Court dated 19/05/2010 – 5 AZR 253/09, published in German); Betriebs-Berater, 2010, p. 2639

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