The Legal 500

Austria

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Editorial

Legal market overview

According to OeNB and IMF forecasts, Austria’s economy is expected to pick up gradually throughout 2015. The aftermath of the financial crisis continues to provide law firms with a steady flow of mandates, especially on banking regulatory, white-collar crime and financial issues. Matters relating to the restructuring of Hypo Group Alpe Adria remain a dominant theme in the larger banking practices. The effects of the EU sanctions against Russia are already being felt in the real estate, construction, banking and private client practices. Equity capital markets have been quiet but there remains investor appetite for debt products. M&A has been dominated by strategic deals with low private equity participation as corporates sell non-core assets and merge. Austria remains a popular venue for arbitration and, significantly, a stepping stone into Eastern Europe. Readers seeking guidance on law firms with good experience in Central and Eastern Europe should refer to the relevant Regional Summary chapter.

Generally, the greater cost-sensitivity of clients has led to a rise in instructions for smaller, more flexible law firms on increasingly complex mandates. Reflecting this trend, the Austrian legal market witnessed a number of significant developments. Perhaps the most significant was the establishment of Geistwert, an IP and IT boutique founded by former partners of Baker & McKenzie Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG, Gassauer-Fleissner and TaylorWessing e|n|w|c Attorneys at Law; the firms from which those lawyers departed now have to rebuild their practice groups. Other notable moves included Gerold Zeiler, a prominent arbitration and employment law expert, leaving Schoenherr to found zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH. Ex-Wolf Theiss partners Clemens Schindler and Christoph Liebscher both left to establish their own firms. Rautner Huber Rechtsanwälte split up, with the two former partners going separate ways, and several partners have moved on from Gassauer-Fleissner.

Firms in the spotlight

Lugger | Bankler
www.lugger-bankler.at

Lugger | Bankler is a modern, independent Austrian business law firm. The firm provides clients with personal, individual and efficient legal advice to the highest professional standards. The firm advises national and international commercial entities, as well as public institutions in the areas of business and commercial law. It also advises private clients on commercial issues. The firm’s major practice areas are corporate, M&A, commercial, banking and finance, and dispute resolution. Further it focuses on environmental law and energy law.

Binder Grösswang
www.bindergroesswang.at

Binder Grösswang’s successful strategy is based on outstanding professional expertise combined with a teamwork approach. More than 80 highly specialised professionals work together in teams to give the firm’s clients outstanding support in international and domestic mergers and acquisitions, financing, and capital market transactions, and to preserve their interests in court proceedings and arbitrations. Binder Grösswang’s top priority is to act as a partner to its clients. The firm has gained an excellent reputation for its sophisticated and business-oriented approach and individually tailored solutions.

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
  • Serbia: Draft for New Trademark Act Introduces Trademark Opposition System and Various Other Changes

    The draft of Serbia's new Trademark Act strives to remove shortcomings in the existing trademark legislation and further harmonize Serbian laws with those of the European Union. Read more...
  • Transparency International Releases its new Corruption Perceptions Index

    On 27 January 2016, Transparency International released its 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). ), which covers perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 countries. The CPI can be found under the following link . read more...
  • Hungary: The value of information – highest fine ever imposed on an association of undertakings

    On 11 January 2016, the Hungarian Competition Authority (Authority) announced the highest fine it has ever imposed on an association on account of horizontal information exchange. The fine of ca. EUR 12.7 million (HUF 4 billion) was imposed on the Hungarian Banking Association (Association) for the Association's database, which included not only strategically relevant, but also confidential data. Undoubtedly, the continuous flow of information is one of the key drivers of business and economic growth. The more unconstrained the flow of information becomes, the more conscious undertakings must be in order to identify the inherent legal risks of information exchange and its lawful limits. The Authority's decision is one of the most recent indicators of the relevance of such considerations. read more...
  • EU: New Information Obligations for Online Traders

    1. The EU Regulation
  • Croatia: Consumer Bankruptcy Act Introduces Consumer Bankruptcy into the Legal System

    The Croatian Consumer Bankruptcy Act ( Zakon o stečaju potrošača ; " ZSP ") [1] , which entered into force on 1 January 2016, for the first time introduces the legal concept of consumer bankruptcy into the legal system. The intention of the legislator was to release honest consumers from those obligations that remain after their assets have been sold and after the proceeds obtained therefrom have been distributed to their creditors. read more...
  • Hungary: VAT rates slashed for newly constructed residential buildings

    On 15 December 2015, the Hungarian Parliament introduced a new act amending the VAT rates currently applied on newly constructed residential real estate. With the start of 2016, the standard VAT rate of 27% will be reduced to 5% for the sale of newly constructed residences. Market experts anticipate a boom on the residential real estate market as a direct consequence. read more...
  • Hungary: Restrictions on use of temporary staff agency workers

    The use of temporary staff agencies and agency workers has increased steadily in Hungary over the past two decades. The legal relationship in this context is usually referred to as 'workforce lending', as it is understood that the agency's assignment of workers to the undertaking that uses them constitutes lending. Although the basic concept of workforce lending and detailed regulations on this tripartite legal relationship were officially adopted in 2001 as part of the harmonisation of Hungarian law with EU law, the concept had actually been in use much earlier. read more...
  • Poland: Letters of consent once again effective in Patent Office proceedings

    In Poland, procedures related to granting protection to international trade mark are regulated by The Industrial Property Law of 30 June 2000 (" IPL "). read more...
  • Poland: Amendments to the Polish Civil Code and Civil Procedure Code Coming into Force in 2016

    In 2016 important amendments to the Civil Code and the Civil Procedure Code in Poland will come into force. Most of the amendments aim to modernise Polish civil law and procedure. Consequently, the new provisions are said to constitute a series of facilitating measures for civil law relations and disputes governed by Polish law.
  • Hungary wants to become creditor-friendly

    The Hungarian Ministry of Justice acknowledged the recent criticism aimed at the difficulties regarding the enforcement of monetary claims in the country and plans to amend the relevant laws to make creditors' lives easier. As currently envisaged, these amendments will in the near future change such fundamental laws as the Civil Code, the act on court enforcement, and the act on insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings. This article provides a summary of the envisaged amendments. 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
  • 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 Kopecký joins Schoenherr as Counsel

    Leon Kopecký has joined Schoenherr, a leading full-service law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as Counsel in March 2015. Mr Kopecký 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...
  • fwp advises HETA on individual applications for review of special Hypo legislation

    Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner Rechtsanwaelte GmbH (fwp) represents HETA Asset Resolution AG (formerly HYPO Alpe-Adria Bank International AG) in connection with the judicial review proceedings before the Austrian Constitutional Court following the implementation of special Hypo legislation. The Constitutional Court has now rejected all individual applications filed by Austrian and international investors as inadmissible. Read more...
  • fwp advises on stabilising Pfandbriefbank after HETA debt moratorium

    Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) successfully provided legal advice to HYPO NOE, the association of mortgage banks of the Austrian Provinces and Pfandbriefbank in connection with financing repayments to be made for specific bond issues, thus ensuring the stability of both Pfandbriefbank and the mortgage banks guaranteeing such repayments.