DFB victory with Heuking in Hanover: Referees are independent

The German Soccer Federation (DFB) achieved another legal victory with Dr. Johan-Michel Menke, sports employment law expert at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek in Hamburg.

By judgement of February 12, 2020 (2 Sa 172/19), the Second Chamber of Lower Saxony Labor Court, chaired by Judge Kreß, dismissed former referee Patrick Schult’s appeal against the lower court judgement dismissing the action. Lower Saxony Labor Court – like Verden Labor Court in the first instance – thus found that referees are not employees. Neither the referee agreements, which are limited to one year, nor the resulting orders to referee soccer games indicated an employment relationship. The limitation of referee agreements is therefore not subject to the Part-Time and Fixed-Term Contracts Act.

It is not clear yet whether Patrick Schult will appeal the ruling.

Dr. Johan-Michel Menke has been working on behalf of the DFB for a long time, successfully represented the Federation in past litigation.

Media coverage:

Counsel to Deutscher Fußball-Bund e.V. (DFB)
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
Dr. Johan-Michel Menke, LL.M. (Litigation)
Timo Daniel Trefzger (Employment), both Hamburg

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