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Legal market overview
The financial crisis is affecting Austria more than in previous years. The country’s economy is sluggish, and while unemployment, at 4.5%, is less than half the EU average, the country lost its triple-A credit rating in January 2012 in view of its exposure to the eurozone’s difficulties.
Law firms in the country saw increased activity in areas such as corporate restructuring and liability management, while areas hit included capital markets, with financial institutions looking to alternative debt products as a source of cashflow. The country remains attractive as a traditional gateway to the CEE region, despite the downturn in investment opportunities in the area.
The Austrian legal market is small, but Vienna is an attractive centre for global firms. The more seasoned players include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach, CMS, Baker & McKenzie Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte GmbH and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, and recent mergers have added Eversheds Austria and TaylorWessing e|n|w|c Attorneys at Law to the pack. A steady flow of new boutiques has also been arriving on the market, with recent examples including Rautner Huber, Markus P. Fellner Rechtsanwalt, and Weinrauch Rechtsanwälte.