Bernhard Mueller has more than 12 years of experience in handling employment and immigration matters for corporations. He represents companies throughout the world in developing global mobility policies and obtaining necessary employment visas for employees. As a full-time member of Ogletree Deakins' International Practice Group, Bernhard is a part of a growing team of international attorneys based in three countries with unique experience handling employment-law matters worldwide. In addition, Bernhard assists U.S. companies in preparing employment eligibility compliance programs and related corporate policies, such as improved compliance with I-9 verification requirements and federal or state E-Verify rules. He represents companies in government audits and in litigation arising out of immigration law compliance matters, such as I-9 investigations, allegations of discrimination in the I-9 verification process (including pattern-or-ratice claims), and regulatory enforcement cases initiated by the Labor Department's Wage & Hour Division in connection with an employers compliance obligations in the H-1B visa sponsorship context Bernhard is known for finding creative, efficient and simple solutions for clients' employment and immigration law compliance concerns.
Bernhard has been selected for inclusion in Chambers USA as a top immigration attorney every year since 2007, and he has been named as a North Carolina Super Lawyer's Outstanding Young Lawyers - Rising Stars in 2009 and 2011.* He is a frequent lecturer on business immigration law and global mobility topics before trade associations, industry groups and professional organizations. He has authored various newsletters and articles on these subjects.
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A native of Germany, Bernhard focuses his international employment practice on Europe, Canada, Latin America and Africa, where he has handled matters involving global sales incentive pay plans, employment and expatriate assignment contracts, employer policies and handbooks, and immigration options for short term international assignments and technical assistance projects.
Some recent representative projects of the International Practice Group, working when necessary with our own network of affiliated local practitioners, include: global restructuring projects (UK, Germany, UAE, France, Switzerland, Malaysia, Philippines, Japan, Canada); overtime and wage/hour compliance in multiple jurisdictions (Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Philippines, Canada, France); investigating allegations of sexual harassment and criminal assault (Australia, Thailand, Mexico, Chile); investigating allegations of abuse of financial protocols, including benefits fraud, unauthorized discounting and alleged kickbacks (Japan, France, Brazil); drafting and coordinating the rollout of global sales compensation plans, retention bonus plans, codes of conduct and electronic communications policies; review and updating employment contracts (Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, China, South Korea, Singapore, Bangladesh, Palestine, Philippines, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Mexico); mitigating the multi-disciplinary risks associated with engaging independent contractors in foreign jurisdictions (China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Philippines, Taiwan, UK, Spain, India, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela); preparing employment handbooks and “work rules” (China, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, Angola, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina); advising concerning choice of law issues and the enforceability of US judgments overseas (China, Switzerland, Guinea) and the applicability of US employment laws to foreign decision makers (Switzerland, Germany, Thailand, Mexico, Angola); response to data privacy breaches (Germany, the Netherlands, Singapore, China); managing disability issues (Germany, Switzerland, Canada); preparing comparative anti-harassment trainings (Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Uruguay, France, Germany, UK, Switzerland); establishing Global Employment Companies and other measures to mitigate the multidisciplinary risks associated with Global Mobility assignments (Bangladesh, Malta, the Netherlands, UK, China, Singapore, Canada); negotiating executive terminations (China, the Netherlands, Denmark, Mexico, Portugal, UK, Germany, Russia, Canada) as well as handling performance and conduct-based terminations (Trinidad, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, UK); special considerations for high-risk jurisdictions and government contractors (Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Libya); preparing sales agency and distributorship agreements (Puerto Rico, Colombia); and managing employment litigation (France, Brazil, Dominican Republic, China, Canada). The International Practice Group consists of lawyers with in-house experience working for multinationals, lawyers experienced in cross-disciplinary matters such as white collar crime, M&A, immigration and tax, lawyers with educational and language experience in a multitude of foreign countries including China, Cuba, Brazil, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Austria, Ireland; and German, Japanese, Chinese and Korean lawyers experienced working in the United States.
Education and Honors
J.D., cum laude, University of South Carolina School of Law, 2001
MIBS, cum laude, (Master in International Business Studies) University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business, 2001
B.A., summa cum laude, University of South Carolina, 1995
- Order of the Coif
- Order of the Wig and Robe
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Chambers USA (2013)
- Super Lawyers Rising Star
- South Carolina Bar
- North Carolina Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
- Wake County Bar Association
- American Immigration Lawyers Association
- ABA International Law Section
In The News
- April 5, 2013 - - "5 Tips for Employers On A Smooth Transition To The New I-9"
- October 10, 2010 - - "Immigration Audits are Increasing Against Employers"
- October 22, 2009 - - "Obama's Policy on Illegal Immigration Worries Some Companies"