The Legal 500



Legal market overview

While post-crisis fiscal pressure persists, Austria’s economy is performing comparatively well; GDP expanded marginally in the third quarter of 2013, and further growth is forecast for 2014.

Law firms’ banking and finance practices are becoming increasingly broad, covering issues including financial restructurings, bank and investor liability, and regulatory advice. With the ECM side remaining very quiet, debt products remain the focus of capital markets practices. In the corporate area, a sense of optimism is prevailing, based on a modest but steady increase in M&A activity. IP lawyers, however, are less optimistic; they fear that the arrival of the EU patent regime will further diminish Austria’s already small market for patent work, with Germany dominating European Patent Office work. In terms of international work, Austria remains an entry point to Eastern Europe, and a number of firms have also recently opened offices in Turkey. Some firms are also increasingly looking beyond CEE, to economies such as Brazil, India and China.

A continued trend is the establishment of smaller practices alongside the larger international firms, with spin-offs such as Grama Schwaighofer Vondrak Rechtsanwälte, Aigner Buzanich Rechtsanwälte, Jank Weiler Rechtsanwaelte OG and finance boutique Rautner Huber Rechtsanwälte OG successfully making their mark on the Austrian legal landscape over the past few years. Among notable recent partner moves, labour law expert Franz Marhold and M&A specialist Phillip Dubsky left DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach for Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte GmbH, and renowned corporate lawyer Stephan Frotz left Schoenherr with plans to open his own firm. After ten years in the market Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP closed its Vienna office, with managing partner Rainer Wachter joining CMS’ corporate transactions practice.

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

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: Heidemarie Paulitsch promoted to counsel at Schoenherr

    Heidemarie Paulitsch has been promoted to counsel at Schoenherr, one of the leading full service corporate law firms in Central and Eastern Europe, as of February 2015. Paulitsch has been specialised in the fields of White Collar Crime and Compliance for many years. She advises both national and international companies on compliance management systems and has wide-ranging experience in providing counsel on the handling of business crime matters. read more...
  • SEE/AT: HETA - Schoenherr assists in first resolution pursuant to the European framework

    Schoenherr is assisting Heta Asset Resolution (HETA) in the preparation of the first European resolution pursuant to the European framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions on the basis of Directive 2014/59/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing a framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions (BRRD). read more...
  • Slovenia: Schoenherr advises Telekom Slovenije on its acquisiton of Debitel

    Schoenherr advised Telekom Slovenije, d.d. on its acquisition of Slovenian mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Debitel telekomunikacije, d.d. (Debitel) from the sellers ACH, d.d., Adria Mobil, d.o.o., and Svema Trade, d.o.o. The deal, which was announced on 27 February 2015, will be concluded after obtaining required merger control approvals. The parties agreed not to disclose further details, including the purchase price amount, until the completion of the transaction. read more...
  • Hungary: Better economic and operating environment ahead for banks

    On 9 February 2015, Erste Bank Hungary entered into an agreement with the Hungarian Government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Pursuant to the agreement, both the Hungarian Government and the EBRD will participate in Erste Bank Hungary’s capital increase and will each acquire a 15% of the share capital of the bank, which is part of the Vienna-based Erste Group. With the planned increased capital, Erste Bank Hungary has committed to increasing its lending activity in certain sectors (public, energy, and agricultural sectors) that the Hungarian Government views as strategically important. It is envisaged that Erste Bank Hungary will provide credit facilities in the aggregate amount of approximately EUR 550 million for the above-mentioned sectors.  read more...
  • Schoenherr presents roadmap15: Beauty, both in art and in law

    Schoenherr has just published the newest edition of roadmap, its renowned annual legal publication providing an overview of the most topical business law topics and developments in the CEE region, as well as insights and analyses. read more
  • Austria: Thomas Kulnigg promoted to partner at Schoenherr

    Thomas Kulnigg  has been promoted to partner at Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, as of the start of February 2015. A specialist for M&A transactions and corporate law matters, Kulnigg has worked for Schoenherr in its Vienna head office since 2006, advising clients primarily from the IT, technology, industrial and financial sectors on their national and international transactions.  read more...
  • AT/USA: Schoenherr advises AIM Software Group on investment by Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

    Schoenherr advised AIM Software Group ("AIM") on the receipt of an investment from and transfer of a majority interest to U.S.-based private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe ("WCAS"). AIM is a leading provider of data management software products to the financial services industry. Under the terms of the transaction, which was announced on 14 January 2015, AIM's existing management team will continue to operate the business and maintain a significant ownership stake in the company. WCAS is also investing primary capital in the business which will be used to further accelerate AIM's expansion.  read more...
  • AT: Christian Herbst appointed as Co-chair of the IBA Corporate/M&A law committee

    Schoenherr partner Christian Herbst has been appointed Co-chair of the Corporate and M&A Law Committee of the International Bar Association (IBA). Herbst will serve in this top function for a two-year period starting 1 January 2015. The committee's other Co-Chair is Jocelyn Kelley from the Vancouver-based law firm Blakes.  read more...
  • SEE/ Austria: Schoenherr advises HETA on sale of Hypo Group's SEE Banking Network

    Schoenherr advised Heta Asset Resolution (HETA) on the agreement over the purchase of Hypo Group Alpe Adria, the South-Eastern European (SEE) banking network of the former Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International (SEE Network). The US-fund Advent International and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed an agreement on 22 December 2014 to acquire the SEE Network. read more
  • Schoenherr Corporate/M&A partner Florian Kusznier joins firm’s equity

    Schoenherr, a leading corporate law firm in Central and Eastern Europe, has invited its experienced Corporate/M&A specialist Florian Kusznier into the firm's equity. Kusznier has extensive know-how in advising Austrian and international clients on M&A and private equity transactions, public takeovers, and general corporate law matters. read more