Walter Ahrens counsels employers on labor and employment law issues, including workforce changes, mergers and acquisitions, European and German works councils, employment contracts, terminations, pensions and benefits, and data privacy. He also represents employers in labor courts against employees, works councils, and trade unions. Walter is part of Morgan Lewis’s cross-practice global workforce team, which provides integrated cross-border advice, counseling, and strategic planning on labor, employment, benefits, and immigration. Walter is also the leader of the labor and employment practice for the Frankfurt office.
Walter is an author on several publications, including serving as a contributing author and editor for Getting the Deal Through—Labour and Employment 2006–2018, an annual series of deskbooks on international employment law and policy, and co-author of the Germany chapter in International Labor and Employment Laws 2006–2017, published by the Section of Labor and Employment Law of the American Bar Association.
Walter is fluent in both English and German.
Advising a global consumer goods manufacturer on the restructuring of its IT operations in 24 jurisdictions worldwide.
Advising Sun Capital on the acquisition of certain chemical businesses from a global chemical company. Together, the acquired businesses generate revenues of approximately $1.3 billion, operate from 25 facilities around the world, and employ about 3,000 employees.
Advising a German healthcare company on the labor, employment and benefits aspects of the acquisition of two pharmacology business units from a global chemical and healthcare company.
Advising a US private equity investor on the labor, employment and pension aspects of the acquisition of a healthcare business.
Advising Ferro on the acquisition of a business division from a German specialty chemicals company.
Advising One Equity Partners on the labor, employment and pension aspects of the acquisition of an automotive emissions control business.
Advising Sun Capital on the labor, employment and pension aspects of the acquisition of an automotive friction business.
Advising a German private equity investor on the labor, employment and benefits aspects of the acquisition of a German automotive manufacturer with more than 300 employees.
Advising Jefferies on the German employment, pension and benefits aspects of its USD 430 million acquisition of a commodities business from a US insurance group.
Advising a Spanish industrial group on the acquisition and restructuring of two aluminum recycling businesses.
Advising SK Capital on the acquisition of a global chemical company’s textile chemicals, paper specialties, and emulsions businesses.
Advising BASF on German pension issues in connection with its acquisition of Chemetall.
Advising Integra on the acquisition of a healthcare business from a global pharmaceutical company.
Advising two IT service providers for the banking industry on the labor and employment aspects of their merger.
Advising an IT business on a substantial reduction in force.
Advising a pharmaceutical business on a substantial reduction in force.
Advising a global consumer goods manufacturer on the EUR 617 million external funding of its pension liabilities through a pension fund (Pensionsfonds).
Defending a chemical company against more than 90 severance claims based on the company’s works council’s alleged lack of jurisdiction in connection with the close-down of a factory.
Defending a global consumer goods manufacturer against more than 50 claims for higher pensions under the company’s defined benefit plan.
Defending a client in the Court of Justice of the European Union against claims alleging discrimination due to part-time work, gender, and age.
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (University of Freiburg), Germany, 1999, DR.JUR.
Hamburg, Germany, 1993, Second State Examination
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg (University of Freiburg), Germany, 1989, First State Examination
Awards and Affiliations
Recognized, Germany’s Best Lawyers, Employee Benefits Law, Handelsblatt (2012–2022)
Member, Practice Group of the Year, Employment, Law360 (2017, 2019)
Recognized, Top Labor and Employment Lawyer, Germany, The European Legal 500 (2007)