KPMG-linked KLegal has earned millions of pounds for employment law advice on the huge SwissAir/CrossAir restructuring
The international employment relations division provided CrossAir with advice in 67 jurisdictions, bringing work to several other divisions of KPMG. A team led by the head of international employment relations Tim Johnson was appointed by CrossAir corporate counsel Gabriele Hoffman last November over possible competitors such as Baker & McKenzie and PricewaterhouseCoopers. The team made a speculative approach to CrossAir on the back of work it carried out for Reuters last year, managing the employment law of the media giant's internal restructuring. KLegal has just finished the CrossAir project, but Johnson expects to retain it as a client. CrossAir has instr-ucted it on several ongoing employment law matters. KLegal was operating in a sensitive political environment. CrossAir was bought from SwissAir last year by UBS Warburg and Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), but SwissAir was later put into administration, leaving Switzerland without a national airline. The Swiss government made CrossAir the national airline, allowing it to take over SwissAir's assets. This led to allegations that UBS and CSFB picked up SwissAir on the cheap. Johnson said: "This is the biggest job the employment relations department has ever undertaken." Although work normally flows from KPMG to KLegal, the employment team this time referred work over to KPMG, using it to provide advice on pay and benefits, pensions, project management, consulting and financial management.