EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE PROFILE
TLA [Tree of Life Associates], founded in May 2009, is a boutique law firm with depth of understanding and domain expertise in Labour & Employment matters, apart from Technology, Outsourcing, IP, Privacy law and Start-Up legal offerings. Mr. Sheahan Verghese, with over 17 years of experience, heads the Employment Law practice at TLA. TLA is amongst the few firms in India with a focused and specialized employment law practice, with pure-play employment law clients.
TLA’s employment law practice comprises extensive advice to trans-border IT and other employers, including leading players in the wireless, chip and telecom software space on their HR and employment legal infrastructure, covering all stages of the HR and employment life cycle. Key advisory areas include:
- Recruitment and Hiring – agreements with manpower consultants, data privacy issues in job application, pre-employment NDAs, legal streamlining of the interview and hiring process.
- Employment Documentation – including offer letters, appointment letters/employment contracts, NDAs, IP assignment agreements, Key management (executive) contracts, and HR policy as well as legal viability of non-compete, non-solicit employee covenants and employment bonds.
- Wages, Benefits and Compensation – including leave encashment, structuring flexible benefits, statutory benefits, PF and international workers, social security and totalisation agreements, employee stock incentives structuring advice by way of ESOP, ESPP, RSA, RSU, phantom stock, etc.
- Talent Retention, Rewards and Incentives – assisting in legal structuring and associated tax issues.
- Industrial and Employment Relations – policy drafting, advice on sexual harassment, discrimination (including relating to the LGBT community) and disciplinary proceedings, lay-offs, termination and closure, conducting ER investigations.
- Transition Management in Domestic & Cross-border M&A – advice on related employment issues, including transfer of undertaking, employee transfers and impact on wages, benefits and compensation and HR culture and policy.
- Contingent Workforce Management – contracts with manpower/staffing vendors,advice on legal issues arising from contingent work force, including under contract labour law.
- Labour Audit and Compliance – TLA has a strong labour audit and compliance practice that works in tandem with client compliance ethos and is pre-emptive. The firm also conducts staffing vendor audits to minimize client exposure. TLA assesses labour issues in terms of legal risk mapping and risk analysis and then evolves risk mitigation strategies that synergise with client business and HR environments. The labour compliance support is ongoing and ensures early warning systems to achieve optimal compliance.
- Employment IP – TLA’s employment lawyers in tandem with the IP team, extensively advise on employment IP, IP audit and management in an employment environment, trade secrets and data protection in India, and protection of confidential information at the employee and corporate level.
- Data Privacy – The firm’s privacy practice group work with the firm’s employment lawyers to advise clients on the implications of India’s recent data privacy regulations in the workplace and conduct compliance audits to align employer practices with these regulations, specifically in terms of external data transfers.
- Collective Bargaining – TLA’s special counsel for labour and employment matters regularly advises on trade union matters, collective bargaining situations and industrial relations in the manufacturing sector.
TLA’s labour and employment law advice is pre-emptive, proactive, most often strategic and ensures synergy between client global HR ethos, policy and strategic imperatives and Indian employment law and practice.
As a consequence of TLA’s lawyers’ constant advisory interaction with cross-border clients,their knowledge and exposure to global labour regulatory environments and perspectives have grown and in turn honed the global and strategic nature of their advice.
Mr. Sheahan Verghese, Practice Head, Employment Law at TLA, has been ranked as one of the leading employment lawyers in India by Chambers & Partners, a leading global legal ranking and publication house in their annual ‘Chambers Asia Pacific 2014, 2015 and 2016′ leading individual rankings.