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Darren Gardner

Partner | Seyfarth Shaw

San Francisco, California, United States

Leading international employment lawyer. Undertaken more than 200 multi-jurisdictional strategic, transactional and compliance-related employment projects, covering 170 different countries.

Practice Description

Darren chairs Seyfarth Shaw’s international practice and is recognized globally as a pioneer in the area of international employment law. He is a trusted advisor to many of the world's largest companies in respect of complex international employment matters – both on a single-country basis, and multi-jurisdictional projects.

He leads a dedicated team of international employment lawyers - the largest team of its type globally and acknowledged as one of the world’s leading practices in the area - which assists multinational companies with the full range of employment law matters on a global basis. Work falls into three main areas: multi-jurisdictional strategic projects; compliance projects; and international transactional assistance.

Darren has worked on some of the world’s largest transactions, strategic projects and compliance projects. The works areas covered include: terminations - individual and large-scale reductions in force; employment and contingent workforce arrangements and documentation; employment-related privacy and data protection; protection of employers' proprietary and confidential information; structuring and implementing employment-related strategic initiatives on a multi-jurisdictional basis; mergers and acquisitions; outsourcing arrangements; workplace harassment, anti-discrimination and equal opportunity law matters; workplace policies and handbooks; international workplace investigations.

In the transactional area, the team has worked on 100+ major international acquisitions. Often the team partners with major global M&A firms to advise on and assist with the global employment components (diligence, transition structuring and employee integration) of the deal.


Industry sector expertise

Work covers a wide range of industries, involving companies with large numbers of employees in multiple locations and jurisdictions. Typically, sectors of activity are technology, finance, pharmaceutical, healthcare, retail and manufacturing.

Overseas expertise

Darren is Australian by birth and started his professional career with the leading Australian firm, Minter Ellison, after qualifying as an Australian lawyer. Initially he worked for the firm in Australia, later moving to New York and California. Darren is also qualified as an English solicitor, and registered in California as a foreign legal consultant.

A quintessential international lawyer, Darren has undertaken more than 200 multi-jurisdictional strategic, compliance and transactional employment-related projects, covering more than 170 different countries, including projects covering more than 150 countries at one time.


Matters

  • International strategic and compliance-related employment law projects:
  • Assisted clients with numerous global restructures, including projects covering more than 150 countries at one time.
  • Devised and assisted in implementing a global HR-related data privacy compliance strategy for one of the world’s largest technology companies to facilitate its lawful collection, use, movement and retention of its 90,000 workers’ personal information around the world in more than 100 countries. This was one of the largest and most complex projects of its type ever completed.
  • Designed the strategy, drafted the documents and assisted with the implementation of the global employment structure and country-specific arrangements covering operations in more than 75 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America for a pharmaceutical research business.
  • Advised about the local language and documentation requirements for HR-related documents for employees in 47 countries in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.
  • Advised about the health and safety legal obligations across Europe, including providing face-to-face pan-European training for European plant managers.
  • Advised about the options, strategy and structure for employees going on international assignments on a global basis.
  • Advised about hours rounding practices and legal requirements for hours of work recording across one of the world’s largest retailers’ international operations in Asia, Latin America and Canada.
  • Advised about the collective labor rules and processes across one of the world’s largest logistics company’s international operations in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
  • Analyzed the requirements, advised about the options, developed the implementation strategy, drafted the documents and assisted with the implementation of the global employment structure and country-specific arrangements covering a medical device company’s operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
  • Advised about the obligations and requirements for conducting various types of background checks in select international locations in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
  • Advised about the issues with long-term individual contractors across Latin America, including risk minimization strategies.
  • International transactions and workforce integrations:
  • Assisted with all of the international employment aspects of a $5.7 billion acquisition of a biotech/pharmaceutical company with operations in over 30 countries. We conducted due diligence and advised the client regarding employment integration matters, including works council and employee representative consultations. We prepared and managed the roll out process for non-competition agreements for high-level executives in 16 countries.
  • Assisted with a $3.3 billion post-acquisition employee integration of employees into the acquirer’s existing entities across Asia, including developing strategies for integration, redundancies and harmonization of conditions of employment.
  • Assisted with the international employment aspects of the sale of a large aerospace unit, including the mandatory works council and employee representative consultations which preceded the sale and the transition of employees to the buyer. We also managed the employee transition process in 10 countries, including the preparation of employment and termination agreements, consultation documents and employee transfer notifications.
  • Assisted with the $3.2 billion post-acquisition employee integration of employees across Asia, including developing strategies for integration, redundancies and harmonization of conditions of employment.
  • Assisted with the $2.9 billion post-acquisition employee integration of employees across Asia, including developing strategies for integration, redundancies and harmonization of conditions of employment.
  • Assisted with all international employment aspects of its acquisition of a global software company. We conducted due diligence and advised the client regarding purchase agreement provisions, employment integration matters and prepared and managed the employee transition in Europe, Asia and Canada.
  • Assisted with the $1.2 billion post-acquisition global employee integration of employees across Europe and Asia, including developing strategies for integration, redundancies and harmonization of conditions of employment.
  • Assisted with the $1.3 billion international employment aspects of its acquisition of a global internet security business. We advised the client regarding purchase agreement provisions and integration strategies for employees on a global basis.
  • Assisted with all of its international employment law issues as part of a multi-billion joint venture, including employment transfer and consultation issues and transaction structure and deal documents, to create a global consumer business in over 30 countries.

Client list

  • A broad spectrum of leading, multinational companies from industries and business sectors such as: biotech/pharmaceuticals, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, medical device, manufacturing, retail, software and technology.

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