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Austria > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Legal market overview

In 2017, compliance and economic upturn have become central buzzwords to describe the Austrian legal market. The Hypo Alpe Adria case, which has been the overriding theme since 2014, has now been predominately closed, freeing up capacity in the legal market. With the economy gaining strength, and the year-on-year GDP rising to its highest level in six years in the first half of 2017, restructuring work is now replaced by big-ticket M&A transactions, keeping corporate, M&A and real estate teams busy; the real estate sector in particular has seen a lot of attention with investors looking for alternative assets and increasingly seeking out forward-purchase deals. This goes hand in hand with increasing construction activities, most notably in Vienna, where focus is put on affordable housing projects but also on student accommodations and micro apartments for young professionals.

The most significant change however is seen in the capital markets sector, which has been relatively quiet in the past few years. In October 2017, Austria’s fourth-biggest bank BAWAG sold €1.9bn of shares in the biggest initial public offering ever on the Vienna stock exchange, with more IPOs on the horizon, according to market observers. Additionally, on 3 January 2018 new de-listing rules will come into affect, allowing voluntary de-listings from the Vienna Stock Exchange for the first time.

On the compliance side, many employment practices receive a steady flow of advisory mandates pertaining to the Austrian Anti-Wage and Social Dumping Act, which was updated on 1 January 2017 and introduced high administrative fines for managing directors for non-compliance. Similarly, with continued digitalisation, IP and TMT practices report high levels of data protection compliance work. The same can be said about tax and white-collar crime practices, where much focus is put on preventive advisory work in order to avoid criminal proceedings. Currently under investigation and likely to become a dominant theme in the white-collar crime arena, the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and the multinational consortium developing the Eurofighter Typhoon is facing fraud allegations pertaining to a €2bn deal struck with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence and Sports in 2003 for 18 Eurofighter combat jets.

2017 also saw several significant team changes: most notably, Rainer Knyrim and Gerald Trieb left Preslmayr Attorneys at Law to co-found Knyrim Trieb RechtsanwĂ€lte OG in early 2017, and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s former employment practice head Stefan Köck co-founded Greindl & Köck RechtsanwĂ€lte GmbH. Wolf Theiss’ arbitration practice gained strength with the arrival of new practice head Stefan Riegler from Baker McKenzie ‱ Diwok Hermann Petsche RechtsanwĂ€lte LLP & Co KG in November 2017, while Dorda’s arbitrator Christoph Stippl left the firm for a career break in 2017.

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Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Austria

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Austrian "White List"

    Exceptions from the OBLIGATION TO CARRY OUT A data protection impact assessment
    - Dorda
  • Stop! Wait! Move! – No longer Stamp Duty for Residential Homes

    On 12 October 2017, right in a last minute attempt to win undecided voters for one of the political parties, the leaving members of parliament enacted a new tax law. While fundamental changes to the Austrian Tenancy Law had been vividly discussed between the socialist and the conservative parties in recent years, the new law on the abolition of stamp duty falls completely short of what could have been achieved.
    - Dorda
  • European Court of Human Rights: Employers have limited rights to monitor employee communications at

    A landmark decision was issued yesterday (Judgement Bărbulescu v. Romania), a source of debate in the media , in which the European Court of Human Rights clarified the restrictions on monitoring employees in the workplace.
  • Potential Hurdle for Acquisitions in Hungary by Non-EU and Non-EEA Investors

    The Hungarian Ministry of the Interior recently submitted a legislative proposal to the Hungarian Government to amend the Act on Hungarian National Security Services (the " Proposal "). The Proposal suggests an amendment pursuant to which investors from non-EU and non-EEA countries who wish to invest in Hungary would have to obtain prior permission from the minister responsible for national security (the " Minister .
  • EU: High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance delivers early recommendations

    On 13 July 2017, the High-Level Expert Group (" HLEG ") on Sustainable Finance published its interim report (" Interim Report ") setting out concrete steps to create a financial system that supports sustainable investments. This Legal Insight is part of our dedicated newsletter series on the European Capital Markets Union (" CMU "). Background The growing awareness of environmental challenges and sustainability risks as well as the adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda and the conclusion of the Paris Climate Agreement by the EU in 2015 call for an EU strategy on sustainable finance. Establishing an EU strategy on sustainable finance is a priority action of the CMU. In December 2016, the HLEG was established to advise on the development of such an EU strategy . The recently published HLEG Interim Report was recently presented in a public hearing on sustainable finance on 18 July 2017. At the same time, the HLEG presented an online questionnaire on the Interim Report aimed at obtaining targeted feedback until 20 September 2017, which would be reflected in the final report of the HLEG scheduled for publication by the end of 2017.
  • Serbian Competition Authority Steps Up Antritrust Enforcement

    The Serbian Commission for Protection of Competition (the " Commissio n") recently intensified its antitrust activities before the new Administrative Act came into effect. In one week alone the Commission initiated four antitrust cases and conducted two dawn raids. 1. What/who will be on the Commission's radar?
  • First Annual Privacy Shield Review to take place in September 2017

    One of the core principles of the EU-US Privacy Shield (" Privacy Shield ") is its Joint Review mechanism, which obliges the European Commission, the US Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission to jointly review the functioning of the Privacy Shield on an annual basis, together with its national security and law enforcement aspects. The very first Joint Review is scheduled for September 2017. This first review is considered especially important, as it will be the first opportunity for US and EU regulators to closely analyse the operation of the Privacy Shield, address possible concerns about its functioning, and seek to ensure that the Privacy Shield continues to be a valid legal basis for transfers of personal data from the EU to the US.
  • The role of the supervisory board in investor relations

    1.Abstract
    - Dorda
  • Constitutional Court's Recent Judgments on Rent in Austria

    The Constitutional Court has recently provided two judgments on 28 June 2017 on the rent control legislation in Austria ruling that the current system for flats complies with Austrian Constitutional Law and the European Convention on Human Rights. The Constitutional Court visibly failed to take the opportunity to initiate a change to the current legislation. Further appeals to the Constitutional Court are likely and worthwhile with the Austrian parties currently involved in their campaigns for the general election in October 2017.
    - Dorda
  • Buy-to-Let Schemes in Austria

    Buy-to-let schemes reached the Austrian market several years ago and have gained increased popularity in the scenic alpine regions of Tyrol, Vorarlberg or Salzburg. Investors acquire condominium ownership in newly constructed hotel facilities and rent out the properties to hotel operators at – ideally – attractive rates. While buy-to-let-schemes can be very lucrative investments, they also raise complex legal and tax questions. With the economic and financial crisis falling into oblivion, investors, however, have become more and more willing to sail these waters.
    - Dorda

Press Releases in Austria

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • Slovakia: Schoenherr advises AlbĂ©a on the acquisition of Scandolara Slovakia

    Schoenherr Bratislava has advised the Albéa group ("Albéa") on the acquisition of 100 % of the shares in SCANDOLARA TUB-EST, s.r.o. ("Scandolara"), a Slovak subsidiary of the Italian Scandolara Group, which produces laminate tubes. read more...
  • Schoenherr assists Republic of Austria in offer to HETA-creditors

    On Friday, 2 September 2016, the Austrian Finance Minister has given the green light to finance a public offer by KÀrntner Ausgleichszahlungs-Fonds (KAF) to HETA creditors pursuant to § 2a of the Austrian Financial Market Stability Act. The offer will implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) concluded in May 2016 between the Austrian Minister of Finance and a significant number of creditors of debt instruments issued by HETA ASSET RESOLUTION AG (HETA) that are subject to a regional law deficiency guarantee. The offer will be published by KAF on Tuesday, 6 September 2016.  read more...
  • Austria: Schoenherr advises banking consortium on issuance of EUR 500 million mortgage covered bond

    Schoenherr advised an international banking consortium comprising Commerzbank Ak-tiengesellschaft (technical lead), Barclays Bank plc, Crédit Agricole CIB and CaixaBank SA as Joint Lead Managers on the successful issuance of a EUR 500 million fixed-rate mortgage covered bond ( Pfandbrief ) by Vienna-based Erste Group Bank AG (closing date: 9 September 2015). The bond was placed with institutional investors and listed on the Second Regulated Market of the Vienna Stock Exchange.  read more...
  • Austria: JUVE confirms Schoenherr's leading role in Austrian legal market and among corporate/M&A pr

    JUVE, the premier German-language legal business publication, ranks Schoenherr as the  leading law firm in Austria  and recognises the firm's Corporate/M&A practice for being at the very  apex of the country's transactional practitioners . In the newly-released 2015 edition of its annual 150-page handbook on corporate law firms in Austria, JUVE identifies Schoenherr as having generated the highest revenues among the country’s 15 largest law firms, thanks not least to Schoenherr's advisory role in a large selection of the headline transactions and restructurings during 2014/15.  read more...
  • Austria: Schoenherr advises Allianz Capital Partners on its first acquisition of wind parks in Austr

    Schoenherr advised Allianz Capital Partners (ACP) on its acquisition of four wind parks in the Austrian state of Lower Austria from ImWind, one of the country’s largest wind farm operators, with a portfolio of 320 MW in operation. read more...
  • Austria: Schoenherr advises UNION Investment on prominent real estate transactions in Vienna

    Schoenherr has advised UNION Investment Real Estate GmbH, one of Europe's leading property investment management companies, on several prominent real estate acquisitions that the Hamburg-based group has made in Vienna. In addition to space2move, Schoenherr has also advised UNION Investment. read more...
  • Austria: Schoenherr advises Cimpress on its acquisition of Austria's Druck.at

    Schoenherr advised Cimpress N.V., a world leader in mass customization, on its acquisition of Druck.at, one of the leading web-to-print businesses in Austria. The transaction, which was announced on 18 March 2015, closed on 17 April 2015 following the successful achievement of various closing conditions including Austrian antitrust clearance. The acquisition supports Cimpress’ strategy of building a software-enabled operational platform that aggregates and optimizes the supply chain and production of mass customized products such as signage, printing, apparel and promotional products. read more...
  • CEE: Schoenherr named Leading Law Firm in South East Europe by Chambers

    Schoenherr has been recognized as " South East Europe Law Firm of the Year " (2015) by the renowned legal publisher Chambers and Partners . Schoenherr lawyers Monica Cojocaru (partner; Bucharest), Miloơ Laković (partner, Moravčević, Vojnović & partneri OAD in cooperation with Schoenherr; Belgrade) and Marko Pruơnik (partner; Ljubljana) accepted the award on behalf of the firm at the Chambers Europe Awards event held this past Friday evening at Amsterdam’s Hotel Okura. read more...
  • Austria: Arbitration expert Leon KopeckĂœ joins Schoenherr as Counsel

    Leon KopeckĂœ has joined Schoenherr, a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as Counsel in March 2015. Mr KopeckĂœ focuses on international commercial and investment arbitration, international litigation, and compliance matters. His clients are international firms in the construction, raw materials, infrastructure, finance, fashion and health care industries. He regularly advises clients on complex investment matters. read more...
  • fwp advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the sale of Immobilien Holding portfolio

    Vienna, 16 January 2015. Business law firm Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) advises UniCredit Bank Austria AG on the multi-stage structured sale of the real estate portfolio it holds via Immobilien Holding GmbH. read more...