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Editorial

Legal market overview

Whereas the Hypo Group Alpe Adria case, which has been a prominent theme of the Austrian market, is slowly coming to a close, new state and EU-driven issues are looming on the horizon. Banking and capital markets practices are being kept busy with regulatory and compliance work following the introduction of the Market Abuse Regulation, which took effect across the EU on 3 July 2016. With the aim to protect investors, the new framework regulates insider dealing, unlawful disclosure of inside information and market manipulation.

Employment practices are preparing for changes to the Austrian Anti Wage Dumping Act to introduce minimum wages, which comes into force on 1 January 2017 and will give authorities more power to fight against these issues. Another prominent theme is the Federal Act concerning the Protection of Personal Data, which is set to be amended at the end of 2016.

In arbitration, the Austrian market has benefited from amendments made in 2014. Since then, the Austrian Supreme Court has become the court of first and final instance for challenging arbitral awards and Austria has become more attractive for arbitration proceedings as a result.

Notable changes in the market included Dorda’s EU and competition expert Stephan Polster moving to Becker Günther Polster Regner Rechtsanwälte GmbH, Schoenherr’s former head of tax Michaela Petritz-Klar joining Taylor Wessing Austria, and banking and capital markets lawyer Walter Gapp joining Rautner Rechtsanwälte GmbH from Schoenherr.

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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
  • Recast of the EU Regulation on Insolvency Law Applicable as of Today

    The EU Regulation on Insolvency Law 1346/2000 (EIR) was considered a milestone in the cross-border coordination of national insolvency proceedings. The recast of the EU Regulation on Insolvency Law 2015/848, applicable to insolvency proceedings opened after 26 June 2017, considers substantial developments in national insolvency laws. read more...
  • Lessons Learned over Three Years: Amendment of the Hungarian Trust Regulation

    The Hungarian Parliament passed an act in June 2017 with the aim of improving Hungary's business competitiveness. Among other things, the amendment has changed the regulation of trusts and their management, hopefully for the better, since the past three years have shown that a lack of such experience still exists. The legal concept of trust was introduced into Hungarian law in 2014, when the new Civil Code entered into force. Contrary to expectations, however, potential market players were hesitant to launch their businesses, mainly due to crippling bureaucracy and the vague regulation of trusts. read more...
  • Austria: Slightly Lower Fees, a Little More Liberalisation - The 2017 Amendments to the Austrian Tra

    Following a year of intense political discussion, the Austrian Parliament adopted numerous amendments to the Austrian Trade Act 1994 ( Gewerbeordnung 1994 , " GewO ") at the end of June. While the reform falls significantly short of the outgoing government's original announcements last July with the aim to liberalise market access and to cut red tape for businesses, it nevertheless introduces several material changes to business activity in Austria. read more...
  • Austria: Avoid Expensive Mistakes As Startup Employer

    As violations may lead to enormous liabilities, start-up employers are advised from the outset to comply with the applicable laws pertaining to their personnel. In addition to being an underestimated factor when it comes to financial liabilities, employment-law-related mistakes may also result in difficulties in the course of a company's sales process. For a better understanding of what can go wrong in employment relationships, three of the most common mistakes that employers make are listed below. read more...
  • Renewable Energy: Amendment of the Austrian Green Electricity Act Doubles Funding

    After four months of negotiations, the Austrian National Council has finally reached an agreement on the amendment of the Green Electricity Act (" Ă–kostromnovelle "). The required two-thirds majority was reached by a last minute agreement between the coalition parties and the Green Party. The aim of the new legislation is to increase the percentage of green electricity and to achieve an expansion of renewable energy in Austria. read more...
  • Austria: Major Changes in Personal Bankruptcy Law

    On 28 June 2017 the Austrian Parliament passed the government's legislative proposal on insolvency law ( Insolvenzrechtsänderungsesetz 2017 ). After lengthy negotiations, the government finally agreed to shorten personal insolvency proceedings to a maximum five years and to abolish the minimum insolvency quota of 10 % under certain conditions. The amendments will be applicable as of 1 November 2017. read more...
  • NEW AUSTRIAN DATA PROTECTION ACT IMPLEMENTING GDPR PASSED THE AUSTRIAN PARLIAMENT

    After some last-minute amendments, the new Austrian Data Protection Act, implementing and supplementing the EU General Data Protection Regulation, was finally adopted by the Austrian Parliament on 30 June 2017. The new provisions provide for some local specialties that must be considered by all companies active in Austria. All changes become applicable from May 2018 but the new obligations require complex internal amendments that should be reflected in the course of the GDRP implementation to avoid the increased penalties. [ read more  here ]
    - Dorda
  • Liability for "LSD"

    On 1 January 2017 the Austrian Wage and Social Dumping Prevention Act (Lohn- und Sozialdumping-Bekämpfungsgesetz – abbreviated to "LSD-BG") came into effect. An enhanced liability regime for the principal shall reduce and ultimately eliminate the undercutting of wages, in particular in the construction sector. The last six months have shown increased awareness of potential liabilities by principals and workers.
    - Dorda
  • Significant Amendments to the Romanian Competition Rules - What's New?

    The newly adopted Government Emergency Ordinance No. 39/2017 (the "Ordinance") introduces significant changes to Romanian competition rules. For example, it implements the provisions on actions for damages resulting from competition law infringements, as regulated under Directive 2014/104/EU (the "Damages Directive") and sets out new provisions impacting the food/non-food retail sector , as well as the dawn-raid procedure and fines applicable by the Romanian Competition Council (the "RCC") to non-resident undertakings. read more...
  • The Austrian Law on the Responsibility of Associations: New tendency to prosecution authorities to t

    The Austrian Law on the Responsibility of Associations ( Verbandsverantwortlichkeitsgesetz , " VbVG ") came into effect in 2006, stipulating that a company can be held criminally liable for certain criminal acts committed by its employees and decision-makers. According to new tendencies of prosecution authorities, the practical scope of the VbVG could expand in the future. read more...

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 Kärntner 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), Miloš Laković (partner, Moravčević, Vojnović & partneri OAD in cooperation with Schoenherr; Belgrade) and Marko Prušnik (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 KopeckĂ˝ joins Schoenherr as Counsel

    Leon KopeckĂ˝ has joined Schoenherr, a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as Counsel in March 2015. Mr KopeckĂ˝ 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...