Dr. Michael Kuhnke

Partner, Certified Lawyer for German
Employment and Labour Law

T +49 40 27 88 537 10
F +49 40 27 88 537 20


Michael Kuhnke completed his legal education at the University of Konstanz and the McGill University Montreal, Canada. After his legal training, he joined the leading international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as a lawyer and worked there from 2005 until 2010 in the employment, pensions and benefits practice group in Hamburg. Michael Kuhnke has worked since 2010 for SCHRAMM MEYER KUHNKE and is a founding and active partner of this firm. Michael is the author of several publications on aspects of employment and corporate law.


Legal 500 recommends Michael Kuhnke as a lawyer for employment and labour law in Germany. The German business newspaper Handelsblatt and Best Lawyers International list Michael Kuhnke in their ranking of the best German business lawyers.


Areas of expertise

Michael Kuhnke specializes in individual and collective employment law, particularly in the context of mergers and acquisitions, outsourcings, corporate restructurings and the foundation of European Companies (SE). His advice focuses on all topics in relation to board level and senior executive service agreements and compensation structures as well as company pension schemes and flexible remuneration systems.



Member of the Employment and Labour Law Section of the German Bar Association
Member of the FFA Fachanwalt Forum Arbeitsrecht
Member of the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA)
Member of the Hamburg Employment Lawyers Association (Hamburger Verein für Arbeitsrecht e.V.)



Michael Kuhnke advises in German and English. He also speaks French and Spanish.


Employee data protection (annotation to sec. 32 of the German Data Protection Act) in Plath (ed.) German Data Protection Act and General Data Protection Regulation, 2nd ed. 2016 (with Katrin Stamer)

Employee data protection (annotation to sec. 32 of the German Data Protection Act) in Plath (ed.) German Data Protection Act, 1st ed. 2013 (with Katrin Stamer)

Chapter for Germany, in: Global Legal Insights - Employment & Labour Law, 1. Ed. 2012, Publ. Global Legal Group Ltd. (London), Page 35 et seqq. (with Holger Meyer)

Employee participation in the SE and labour law issues regarding cross-border mergers, in International Company Acquisitions (Ed. Göthel), 4th ed. 2014

The co-determination agreement of the SE, in: European Rights of Co-Determination (Ed. Gaul/Ludwig/Forst), 1st ed. 2014 (with Antje Hoops)

Insider compliance policies as an element of a general compliance concept (Insider Compliance-Richtinien als Bausein eines umfassenden Compliance-Konzeptes), Betriebsberater (BB) 2012, Page 143 (with Stephan Schulz) 

The German Federal Labour Court sets new rules on overtime payment (Neue Grundsätze des BAG zur Überstundenvergütung), NZA 2012, Page 127 (with Nils Schramm)

The relationship between the implementation agreement and the mass redundancy information procedure (Das Zusammenspiel von Interessenausgleichs- und Massenentlassungsanzeigeverfahren), in: NZA 2011, Page 1071 (with Nils Schramm)

Remuneration structure and variable remuneration models for board members (Vergütungsstruktur und variable Vergütungsmodelle für Vorstandsmitglieder), ZIP 2009, Page 1981 (with Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt)

Comments on the decision of the Federal Labour Court dated 28 May 2009 (2 AZR 282/08), BB 2009, Page 2486

Content and scope of an amnesty in the context of internal investigations (Inhalte und Grenzen von Amnestien bei Internal Investigations), NZG 2009, Page 721 (with Steffen Bressler, Stephan Schulz and Roland Stein)

Reference clauses on collective bargaining agreements in the context of a transfer of parts of a business (Bezugnahme auf Tarifverträge beim Betriebs(teil)übergang) RdA 2009, Page 107  (with Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt)

Legal release from pension liabilities  - Lesson 6 of the management training seminar regarding the outsourcing of pension liabilities (Rechtliche Enthaftung von Pensionsverbindlichkeiten - lektion Nr. 6 zum schriftlichen managementlehrgang zum Outsourcing von Pensionsverpflichtungen) Euroforum, 2009 (with René Döring)

Harmonisation of private law in the European Union and in Canada - A comparative study using the example of company law and consumer protection law (Privatrechtsangleichung in der Europäischen Union und in Kanada - Ein Vergleich am Beispiel des Gesellschaftsrechts und des Verbrauchervertragsrechts) Dissertation, 2007

American Codes of Conduct break European Law (Amerikanische Verhaltensregeln brechen europäisches Recht), FAZ dated 27 July 2005, No. 172, Page 23 (with Philipp Räther)

Reform on Collective Dismissals in France, in: Employment and Industrial Relations Law, Newsletter of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division, Vol. 15, No. 1, Page 33, 2005

Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB
Valentinskamp 70 / EMPORIO
20355 Hamburg, Germany

T +49 40 2788 537-0