The Legal 500

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Cerha Hempel

PARKRING 2, 1010 VIENNA, AUSTRIA
Tel:
Work +43 1 51 43 50
Fax:
Fax +43 1 514 35 35
Email:
Web:
www.chsh.com

Austria

Administrative law and public sector
Administrative law and public sector - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel is noted for its wide-ranging practice, covering environmental, state aid, planning and zoning, energy, air traffic, education, product regulation and healthcare law. Hans Kristoferitsch, who is 'hands on and understands the client's needs', represented the Republic of Austria before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in litigation regarding the awarding of state aid for nuclear power plants in the UK and Hungary; he also acted for the Austrian Power Grid in proceedings before the Board of Appeal of the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators and the ECJ. Stefan Huber, who jointly heads the practice with Kristoferitsch, is advising food retailer Spar on a variety of regulatory issues, as well as acting for a number of higher education bodies, such as the Institute of Science and Technology. Other clients include Vienna International Airport and Philip Morris.

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

Praised for its 'outstanding expertise', Cerha Hempel acts for lenders and borrowers on various finance transactions and has a strong profile for banking regulatory and compliance work. As an expert for regulatory and compliance issues, the 'outstanding' Peter Knobl frequently advises clients, including Spar-Finanz Bank and Commerzbank, on MiFID II matters, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and banking secrecy issues. In the financing space, Volker Glas is advising Sberbank Europe on various LMA financings, including a guarantee facility agreement for Euro-Asfalt and a transfer of loan portfolios from Sberbank Hungary to Sberbank Europe and Thomas Zivny assisted Erste Group Bank with the refinancing of Immofinanz's Stop Shop portfolio. Edith Hlawati heads the team.

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Cerha Hempel

Working in close co-operation with its banking and corporate finance teams, Cerha Hempel¬†routinely assists Austrian real estate holding companies with capital market transactions but also acts for several other Austrian-listed companies, banks and investment firms. In recent highlights, Thomas Zivny¬†and Volker Glas¬†advised Buwog on its ‚ā¨300m rights offering, while Glas also handled S Immo's issuance of two fixed-coupon bonds totalling ‚ā¨150m, and assisted Voestalpine with the set-up of a base prospectus for a ‚ā¨1bn bond issuance programme and an inaugural issuance of ‚ā¨500m 1.375% senior notes. The group, which also includes¬†Edith Hlawati, Clemens Hasenauer¬†and 'go-to lawyer for regulatory matters' Peter Knobl,¬†also handles delistings.

Leading individuals

Volker Glas - Cerha Hempel

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

The 'responsive, professional and well-connected' team at Cerha Hempel has a strong profile for cross-border M&A, reorganisations and restructurings and has handled an increasing amount of corporate work for family offices. 'Quick, polite and creative' co-head Clemens Hasenauer advised General Electric on the sale of its distributed power business to Advent International, and assisted Fosun Industrial with the takeover of the textile group Wolford, and 'excellent negotiator' and 'very experienced, hardworking and extremely smart' co-head Albert Birkner, who 'always thinks two steps ahead, preventing potential problems', advised disposal and recycling company Saubermacher on setting up the joint venture Pink Robin with French company Veolia Environnement. Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein heads the Brazilian desk. Counsel Sarah Wared joined Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG as a partner in September 2018, while Lorenz Pracht was promoted to the partnership in January 2019.

Leading individuals

Albert Birkner - Cerha Hempel

Clemens Hasenauer - Cerha Hempel

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Construction
Construction - ranked: tier 3

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel’s construction department advises clients on every stage of the project, from the initial acquisition of land to project development and the drafting of planning and construction agreements. Department head Peter Vcelouch is handling several contentious and non-contentious matters for long-standing client Vienna International Airport pertaining to planning and construction contracts, and is acting for SES Spar European Shopping Centers in litigation and on the re-drafting of its model planning, engineering and construction contracts. In addition, he advised new client Aberdeen Standard Investments, one of the largest asset managers in Europe, on an investment into a residential development project in close proximity to Vienna’s main railway station. Matthias Nödl, who was promoted to counsel in 2017, assisted Vcelouch on numerous matters.

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Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation
Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

Acting in energy and construction sector disputes is a central pillar of Cerha Hempel's arbitration practice. Benedikt Spiegelfeld and Irene Welser are the main contacts and also act as arbitrators. Susanne Molitoris was appointed senior counsel in October 2017 and Bernhard Wychera made counsel in January 2018.

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Dispute resolution: commercial litigation
Dispute resolution: commercial litigation - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel has a strong profile for contentious construction and trust-related matters alongside shareholder and post-M&A disputes. Practice head and 'excellent negotiator' Irene Welser represented Asfinag in three separate but connected proceedings against a construction conglomerate pertaining to insolvency-related and commercial issues. Michaela Siegwart, who was appointed senior counsel alongside Susanne Molitoris in October 2017, acted for Wiener Linien in a dispute with a contractor. Other clients include Immovate, Die Erste Leasing Immobilienverwaltungs- und vermietungsgesellschaft and Spar.

Leading individuals

Irene Welser - Cerha Hempel

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Dispute resolution: white-collar crime (including fraud)
Dispute resolution: white-collar crime (including fraud) - ranked: tier 1

Cerha Hempel

With superb reputation in the space, Cerha Hempel acts for companies and individuals in criminal proceedings and internal investigations, while also providing assistance with compliance matters. Team co-heads Hans Kristoferitsch and Stefan Huber represented a construction company in criminal investigations against circa 50 companies and over 150 individuals for alleged bid-rigging, fraud and corruption, and, together with highly regarded co-head Peter Lewisch, Kristoferitsch is acting for Wiener Stadtwerke and its subsidiary Wien Energie in various criminal proceedings pertaining to allegations of fraud, corruption and the manipulation of several tender proceedings.

Leading individuals

Peter Lewisch - Cerha Hempel

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EU and competition
EU and competition - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel handles state aid and cartel investigation proceedings, as well as advising clients on their compliance measures. The team has also been involved in a series of high-profile merger control cases: it represented OMV before the European Commission in merger control proceedings relating to its acquisition of joint control of Smatrics; acted for the sellers of Hali and Svoboda in proceedings that involved the four largest manufacturers of office furniture in the Austrian market; and represented Austria Asphalt before the Court of Justice of the European Union in proceedings concerning the merger control aspects relating to a joint venture with Teerag-Asdag. Bernhard Kofler-Senoner heads the team, which also includes Anna Wolf-Posch, who joined as a partner from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in January 2018, and counsel Michael Mayer .

Leading individuals

Bernhard Kofler-Senoner - Cerha Hempel

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

The team at Cerha Hempel¬†counts many large national and international companies among its clients, including Spar √Ėsterreichische Warenhandels-AG, Booking.com, Primark and Flughafen Wien, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreements and social plans. Practice head Julian Feichtinger¬†successfully represented Honeywell in a case concerning parental leave and assisted¬†Unibail-Rodamco Austria Management with the negotiation of a company pension scheme. Senior counsel Susanne Molitoris¬†and senior attorney Christopher Peitsch¬†are also noted.

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

In cooperation with the firm‚Äôs corporate, finance and litigation departments, the ‚Äėvery responsive‚Äô team at Cerha Hempel¬†provides ‚Äėto-the-point and hands-on‚Äô advice to creditors and shareholders on insolvency law, including pre-insolvency debt collection and insolvency proceedings. Other areas of expertise include corporate structure and debt reorganisations, as well as distressed M&A. The ‚Äėalways friendly and speedy‚Äô department head Thomas Trettnak¬†‚Äėis a pleasure to work with‚Äô; he and¬†Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein¬†advised CNH over the course of the insolvency proceedings of goods supplier Fahrzeug- u. Maschinenbau-Prototypen.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 5

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel’s IP team handles a range of trade mark work, including trade mark opposition and cancellation as well as trade mark protection and portfolio management. Mark Krenn regularly advises McDonald’s on trade mark infringement matters, and also takes care of its entire Austrian trade mark portfolio. Senior attorney Katharina Majchrzak, who joined the firm in November 2017, has particular expertise in unfair competition, copyright and design right matters.

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Private client
Private client - ranked: tier 3

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel’s activities in the private client field include wealth management, especially asset structuring in relation to succession planning, as well as corporate law. The firm also assists family-owned businesses, trusts and private foundations, for example as board members, with disputes and restructuring issues. Name partner Benedikt Spiegelfeld, Albert Birkner, Johannes Aehrenthal and Benjamin Twardosz manage the team together. The team is advising long-standing client Franz Pichler Privatstiftung and the family on corporate and investment matters.

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 3

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel frequently draws on the expertise of its finance, corporate, M&A, public procurement and real estate teams to advise on energy, infrastructure and electronic tolling projects. Georg Konrad and Johannes Aehrenthal are assisting Vienna International Airport with various infrastructure projects, and Clemens Hasenauer provides regular advice to the Central European Gas Hub on various regulatory and energy law matters. Thomas Trettnak is another key member of the team.

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Public procurement
Public procurement - ranked: tier 4

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel handles various contentious and non-contentious public procurement law matters for predominately contracting authorities such as the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and Wien Energie but also acts for bidders including Traumatologische Gemeinschaft Burgenland. Irene Welser heads the team, which includes Michaela Siegwart, who made partner in January 2019.

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Real estate
Real estate - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel routinely guides international open-end and closed-end funds, real estate companies and retail chains through the full life cycle of real estate projects. Manfred Ton advised Kgal Group on the acquisition of various retail parks for its Austrian retail park portfolio and team head Peter Vcelouch provides regular advice to Lidl Austria on real estate development projects and various acquisitions. 'Confident negotiator' Mark Krenn is 'fast at analysing risks and opportunities' and Matthias Nödl was appointed counsel in October 2017.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

With an extensive blue-chip client base, Cerha Hempel covers a wide range of TMT sector work with a particular focus on data protection, IT and telecoms law. The 'very responsive and pragmatic' team, which is led by the 'excellent' Hans Kristoferitsch, advises Spar on all data protection, data security and IT matters and also assists Asfinag on various IT, data protection and GDPR compliance issues including traffic and toll-collection data matters alongside video surveillance issues.

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 2

Cerha Hempel

In January 2018, Cerha Hempel increased its bench strength by adding Benjamin Twardosz from Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG; he now jointly heads the 'prompt and professional' practice with Johannes Prinz. While this addition boosted the team's litigation capabilities, other key elements of expertise include corporate and transactional tax, investment tax and stamp duty law, real estate transfer tax and tax matters pertaining to wages. The Brazilian pulp producer Fibria Celulose and its Austrian subsidiary Fibria International Trade retained the team to advise on export prepayment facility and stamp duty matters and, in the contentious space, Twardosz successfully represented Concord Card Casino in various appeal proceedings before Austrian courts concerning gaming taxation.

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Legal Developments in Austria

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • THE NATIONAL REGULATION ON THE SECURITY OF "NIS" IN AUSTRIA SHOULD BE OF INTEREST TO YOU

    Good things come to those who wait? Finally, the main implementing regulation for the Austrian Law on Network and Information System Security ( Netz- und Informationssystemsicherheitsgesetz , " NISG ") was published last week. It serves primarily to define which companies are actually affected by the NISG. Now it is getting serious for the operators of " essential services ". What does that mean?
    - Dorda
  • "BLACK FRIDAY" - NOW FREELY USABLE FOR PROMOTIONS IN AUSTRIA

    Black Friday is unquestionable one of the most profitable and busiest days of the year for retail, particularly online. Worldwide almost all online store do offer sales or special promotions on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Already after this practice has established online, a trademark for " BLACK FRIDAY " was registered in Germany back in 2013. In 2016 a Chinese company acquired the trademark and then filed in 2017 for its extension to Austria. Based on the registered trademark, it granted exclusive rights to an Austrian company, which licensed usage rights to various partner stores against remuneration. Further, an exclusive " Black Friday-Cooperation Program " was established. Non-partners who used the event name or trademark were prosecuted and requested to either pay a license fee or refrain from running Black Friday promotions. Some followed the request and entered into license agreements. Some, however, did challenge the validity of the trademark. Finally, respective proceedings to check the actual protection of the trademark were initiated. Austrian courts now held that the trademark " BLACK FRIDAY " is not protected in Austria .
    - Dorda
  • AUSTRIA: ANONYMISATION ACCEPTED AS VALID DATA DELETION METHOD

    On 5th December 2018, the Austrian data protection authority ( Datenschutzbehörde , "DSB") issued a decision (DSB-D123.270/0009-DSB/2018) on data subject's right to data deletion according to Art 17 GDPR. In a nutshell, the DSB accepted consistent anonymisation as a valid alternative to physical and technical deletion. Beside the clear statement that anonymous data is not subject to the GDPR, the DSB provided detailed information on (technical) requirements of anonymisation methods:
    - Dorda
  • Consent or pay ‚Äď a valid scheme under the GDPR?

    Media companies throughout Europe struggle with a difficult economic environment: Shrinking sales figures for print products, the digitalisation and consumer demand force publishers to offer their content also on the internet. However, generating money for online publications is not quite easy as ‚Äď at least in Austria ‚Äď online subscription against renumeration has not been well accepted by customers. This partially has its root in the lack of suitable micropayment means in the past and users thus getting acquainted to online information being offered for free. Thus, publishers have instead focused on financing their platforms by online marketing activities such as placement of banners. Nowadays such digital advertisement is usually targeted to the specific user. For this purpose, cookies are stored on the user's computer upon his first visit of the website, which then collect data about his location, technical equipment used and online behaviour. This finally allows to display specific, user targeted advertisements. However, such cookies may cause issues with applicable consent requirements under the telecommunication and data protection regulations:
    - Dorda
  • fwp expands know-how thanks to new junior partner

    Vienna, March 2019. Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner GmbH (fwp) adds valuable competence and expertise to the team by welcoming Pavel Bachleda in its midst as a new attorney-at-law and junior partner.
  • fwp helps find a new mega arena location

    fwp helps find a new mega arena location
  • AUSTRIAN DATA PROTECTION AUTHORITY ISSUED THE "BLACK LIST"

    Processing operations subject to the requirement of a data protection impact assessment.
    - Dorda
  • Rien ne va plus!

     
    - Dorda
  • 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