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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Austria > Banking and finance > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Binder Grösswang’s ‘excellent’ and ‘very professional’ team handles the full spread of financing transactions, including syndicated loans, real estate and project finance and banking supervisory law, which makes it a ‘go-to-firm’ for many national and international financial institutions, corporates and Austrian infrastructure companies. The ‘very competent and pragmatic’ Emanuel Welten advised the New York-based Greenbriar Equity Group on the refinancing of its acquisition of Frauscher Sensor Technology. Stefan Tiefenthaler, who has ‘profound knowledge in project finance’ and co-heads the team with Michael Binder, assisted Raiffeisen-Leasing with the securitistion of lease receivables supported by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund with a deal volume of €440m.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has impressive international reach and frequently works in conjunction with the firm’s well-regarded real estate, corporate and tax departments, handling banking, project finance and structured finance work. As a highlight at the corporate intersection, the team advised UniCredit on its take-over of the CEE business owned by its subsidiary UniCredit Bank Austria, including shareholdings in 13 banks in the SEE and CEE region and a loan portfolio of €6bn. The ‘very talented’ Florian Klimscha advised Novomatic on various issues pertaining to the amendment of its existing revolving loan agreements. Other key figures include ‘top banking regulatory expert’ Friedrich Jergitsch and Stephan Pachinger.

Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte)’s ‘very responsive’ team has excellent capabilities in the CEE and SEE region and frequently works in close co-operation with the firm’s regulatory, real estate and restructuring departments. Advising on a wide range of banking and finance law matters, the team has specialist expertise in dealing with regulatory issues, derivatives and securitisation as well as structured finance mandates. Recent highlights include acting for the European Investment Bank (EIB) as investor in 150m Class A floating rate notes issued by Raiffeisen securitisation SPV ROOF Leasing Austria, and acting for the European Investment Fund (EIF) as guarantor of a €250m tranche subscribed for by ING Bank. In other work, Peter Feyl advised Raiffeisen Bank International on the merger with Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich, which included a number of regulatory finance issues. Team head Martin Ebner is ‘excellent’ and ‘constructive’.

The ‘very competent’ and ‘strong’ team at Wolf Theiss is also ‘very responsive’ and provides ‘very thorough and detailed’ advice on commercial lending, project finance and private equity alongside regulatory and securitisation matters. The ‘very solution-oriented and experiencedAndreas Schmid has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and together with Marcell Nemeth, who made partner in April 2017, he advised a consortium of Allianz Capital Partner and Snam on the financing of the acquisition of a 49% stake in Gas Connect Austria. In another highlight, Schmid and ‘very quick and client-oriented’ counsel Michaela Zakharian assisted Erste Group Bank with the refinancing of a portfolio of six OBI stores in Austria and three in Slovakia following Accelerate Property Fund Europe’s acquisition of these OBI stores via a share deal from Supernova. Markus Heidinger heads the team.

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati represents lenders and borrowers in financing transactions and is experienced in regulatory and compliance work. Volker Glas continues to advise Sberbank Europe on various financing matters, including a guarantee facility agreement and a loan portfolio transfer from Sberbank Hungary to Sberbank Europe, while Thomas Zivny advised Erste Group Bank on matters arising from the refinancing of Immofinanz’s Stop Shop retail park portfolio. On the regulatory side, the team advised Spar-Finanz Bank on the implementation of the Common Reporting Standard Act (CRS) and other regulations alongside tax compliance issues. Edith Hlawati heads the team.

CMSfinds fast solutions’ and provides ‘high-quality advice’ on a broad range of banking and financing matters. This includes acquisitions, real estate and project finance, corporate lending and structured finance as well as regulatory and compliance mandates. Alexander Rakosi advised UniCredit Bank Austria alongside its credit institutions in four CEE countries on the sale of loan portfolios in Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia and Bulgaria; in a separate matter, team head Günther Hanslik, who is a ‘very experienced lawyer with excellent industry knowledge’, acted for the same client in real estate financing matters in Austria and the CEE region, while also advising a consortium of international lenders on the approval of a €1bn revolving credit facility to Novomatic.

Dorda’s team is ‘always available’ and praised for its ‘short response times’. National and international banks, funds, corporates and public entities regularly instruct the team with financial transactions, regulatory and bank contract law issues as well as litigation. In a notable highlight, a team led by ‘client-oriented and approachable’ practice co-head Andreas Zahradnik acted as Austrian counsel for Montagu Equity Fund in the acquisition of Universal-Investment including regulatory approval work. Practice co-head Tibor Varga is ‘very experienced’.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners’s ‘reliable’ team is best known for its strength in restructuring and banking litigation; other areas of expertise include compliance, portfolio sales and refinancing work. Team head and ‘very tough negotiatorMarkus Fellner advised BAWAG P.S.K. on the sale of a mortgage loan portfolio to a special securitisation vehicle in a public securitisation transaction. Together with Christian Thaler, he also acted for Snam and several members of the Allianz Group as sponsors and indirect shareholders in refinancing matters related to the acquisition financing for Gas Connect Austria. On the contentious side, Gregor Schett advised Raiffeisenbank Niederösterreich-Wien in litigation brought by a number of investors pertaining to faulty investment advice.

Frequently working in conjunction with the firm’s corporate department, Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG puts significant emphasis on acquisition finance, having recently advised asset management company Amundi on the acquisition of Pioneer Investments from UniCredit, while also handling regulatory and contentious work. Key individuals include Georg Diwok and Dieter Buchberger.

Cross-border financing transactions are Barnert Egermann Illigasch Rechtsanwälte GmbH’s core strength, having recently advised Constantia Flexibles on the repricing of acquisition financing, but the group is also adept at assisting clients with bonded loans, investment structuring and facility agreements. Michael Raninger heads the team.

The ‘high-quality’ team at Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH stands out for its regulatory, compliance and litigation expertise, acting for a number of Austrian banks and international financial services providers, insurance companies and investment funds. Team head Ernst Brandl, who is ‘extremely pleasant to work with’, advised Erste Group Bank on various marketing and licensing matters pertaining to its online banking platform.

Co-led by Oskar Winkler and ‘fierce litigatorClaudine Vartian, DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach’s ‘experienced and professional’ team also includes Armin Hendrich, who was elevated to the partnership in May 2017. Key elements of the practice include project finance, banking regulatory and banking litigation work. Christoph Urbanek advised Heta Asset Resolution Germany on the refinancing of a renewable energy photovoltaic park. Country managing partner David Christian Bauer is ‘flexible, responsive and solution-oriented’.

Eisenberger & Herzog’s team is able to call on colleagues from the firm’s corporate and public law departments, thereby generating a steady flow of transactional, regulatory and contentious work. Peter Winkler advised Wiener Netze on the refinancing of pension liabilities, and Marcus Benes acted as local counsel for a lender group on financing issues. Other clients include HIL Real Estate alpha and Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG). Josef Schmidt returned to the firm’s Vienna office in September 2017 after two years at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.

Financing work, including project finance, and banking litigation constitute key elements of Graf & Pitkowitz’s practice led by Otto Wächter. Clients include a number of Austrian banks, international financial institutions and corporate entities.

Hausmaninger Kletter Rechtsanwälte GmbH draws on a wealth of experience in advising banks, alternative investment funds and financial services providers on regulatory, licensing and compliance matters and also handles contentious work, including the representation of banks in FMA proceedings. Manfred Ketzer heads the team.

The ‘solution-oriented’ team at Rautner Rechtsanwälte GmbH covers the full spectrum of finance law, advising on syndicated lending, project and real estate finance and financial regulations, but puts a significant emphasis on domestic and cross-border transactional work involving CEE countries. ‘Commercially-minded’ practice head Uwe Rautner advised UniCredit Bank Austria on the real estate financing for a shopping mall in the Czech Republic by a German corporate, and assisted Kommunalkredit Austria with the project financing for a wind park located in Lower Austria by an Austrian corporate. Walter Gapp is another key member of the team.

Corporate, project and real estate finance work make up the majority of Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners (SCWP Schindhelm)’s workload along with regulatory advice. Practice head Immanuel Gerstner assisted a subsidiary of UBM Development with a loan facility from Raiffeisenlandesbank Oberösterreich for the acquisition of two real estate SPVs. Thomas Podlesak left the firm in January 2017 to work in-house.

Taylor Wessing Austria has substantial experience in advising borrowers on cross-border syndicated loan and bond financings as well as in providing assistance with financing structures as part of M&A transactions and private equity deals. As another key element, financial services providers routinely seek the group’s advice on regulatory matters. Claudia Steegmüller heads the practice.

Having expanded its geographical reach by opening a new office in Salzburg in July 2016, Benn-Ibler Rechtsanwälte GmbH provides advice on corporate and project finance as well as banking law matters. Stefan Eder and Martin Geiger are the key individuals.

With a focus on acquisition finance, corporate funding and regulatory work, Graf Patsch Taucher Rechtsanwälte’s ‘knowledgeable and highly skilled’ team acts for borrowers, banks and other credit providers. The ‘very professional’ Bernd Taucher assisted the sports and clothing company Head with matters arising from a corporate funding transaction under a promissory notes agreement.

Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte GmbH’s strength lies in domestic and cross-border financing and refinancing work with a niche in aviation and rail financing matters. MRHG Holding instructed the ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ team as lead counsel for the refinancing of existing loan liabilities, while the investment company Invest retained the group to advise on a mezzanine loan to RadarServices Smart IT-Security. Christoph Herbst and the ‘very smart’ Christoph Wildmoser are the main contacts.

Jank Weiler Operenyi, which joined international legal network Deloitte Legal in July 2017, has a strong project finance and financial restructuring team including banking litigation capabilities, which are regularly called upon by banks and corporates. Team head Andreas Jank advised Aviso Zeta on issues arising from mass investor litigation, while Maximilian Weiler assisted an Austrian real estate development group with various project finance matters. Gabriele Etzl joined from Wolf Theiss in November 2017.

PHH Rechtsanwälte is ‘very responsive and efficient’ and deals with a wide range of financing and regulatory matters. ‘Pragmatic’ practice head Wolfram Huber acted as the Austrian counsel for the lender VTB Bank on its aircraft financing for SunExpress and advised the same client on the refinancing of Villa Eden Luxury Resort in Italy. BNP Paribas Austria retained the team to advise on banking regulation issues. Annika Wolf is ‘dedicated and hard-working’.

Schindler Attorneys’s corporate prominence translates into a steady flow of transactional and corporate finance work alongside project finance instructions. Martin Abram, who co-heads the team with Florian Philipp Cvak, advised several funds managed by the private equity investment firm Kennet Partners on financing rounds, and assisted BackWerk with a facility agreement.

Transactional and regulatory work are central pillars of Weber & Co. Attorneys-At-Law’s ‘fast and reliable’ practice, which acts for a number of financial institutions and regularly co-operates with the real estate department when handling real estate financings. The ‘creative and commercially-mindedChristoph Moser, who co-heads the team with Stefan Weber, advised TPG Global on several regulatory issues pertaining to the Austrian investment fund and investment fund manager laws.

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Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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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 for Banking and finance

  • 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.
    - Schönherr

Legal Developments in Austria

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • DORDA advises on the acquisition of Austrian office properties Denk Drei

    Stefan Artner , Partner and Head of the Real Estate Practice Group, and real estate attorney Klaus Pfeiffer of DORDA advised Austrian Real Estate Development GmbH ( ARE , a subsidiary of Bundesimmobilien-Gesellschaft, the Austrian privatization agency) on the acquisition of the Denk Drei office properties from IC Development . The successful closing of the forward purchase transaction took place on April 30, 2018. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
    - Dorda
  • 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

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 Albéa 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 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...