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CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

Work +43 1 51 43 50
Fax +43 1 514 35 35

Hon-ProfDr Irene Welser

Work +43/1/514 35-121
CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

Work Department

Contentious Business


Head of Department Contentious Business
Contact Person of LEX MUNDI - The World's Leading Association of Independent Law Firms
Lex Mundi Global Chair Litigation Arbitration Dispute Resolution
Areas of practice: Litigation and Arbitration, Liability of management and control bodies, Tort and liability law, Shareholder disputes, Insurance law, International and domestic arbitration, Law of inheritence and succession, General contract and company law


Admitted 1992, (Attorney at Law), Austria

  • Member of the scientific advisory council of ÖGEBAU
  • Since 2003, Honorary Professor of Private Law (Civil and Commercial Law), Institute of Economics and Law, Faculty of Economics and Information Technology, University of Vienna 
  • Since 1995, Member of the board of examiners for the bar examination in Vienna
  • Board member of CELA - Chinese European Legal Association
  • Arbitrator on international cases at the Arbitration Court at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Lecturing at the University of Vienna since 2001, at present on the subject of "Civil Law" and "Liability of Management and Control Boards"
  • Since 1988, Prof. Welser has been holding regular seminars and lectures on construction contract law, warranty and torts, arbitration, litigation and the law of succession (inter alia MANZ seminars, Austrian Lawyers Academy (Anwaltsakademie), Ueberreuter Managerakademie, Institute for International Research, Euroforum, seminars for judges and experts)
  • Member of advisory board of the legal publication "bauaktuell"

Irene Welser is partner at CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati Rechtsanwälte GmbH and heads the Contentious Business Department of the firm, a team of 20 lawyers. She has been practising law for more than 25 years and has been acting as an arbitrator and as parties’ counsel in more than 50 international and national arbitrations, mainly under the ICC, Vienna and UNCITRAL Rules. As of 2015, she has become the first female board member of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC). Irene is also a passionate litigator and advises domestic and international clients in commercial and civil law. Recently, she has been mainly active as counsel in the area of shareholder disputes. Construction and building law, liability law, M&A disputes, contract law, aviation law, insurance, energy law and oil and gas disputes are other key areas of her practice. She is also general counsel to corporate clients and so combines her litigation and arbitration skills with a firm understanding of how to avoid or settle disputes.

Irene holds a Doctor’s degree and in 2003 became the youngest Honorary Professor at the University of Vienna, lecturing in business and civil law and arbitration. She frequently speaks at seminars and conferences and has been co-organising the Vienna Arbitration Days.
Her first main publication, Warranties in Contracts on Works and Services (1989), has become a standard text in this field. She is co-editor of the Austrian Yearbook on International Arbitration and author and co-author of several further books and publications dealing with contract law, warranty and liability questions as well as arbitration issues, and has published more than 100 articles in Austrian and International law magazines. She is an examiner for the Bar Exam at the Vienna Bar and an IBA member. Irene is on the list of arbitrators of the VIAC and is also member of ASA, LCIA, Arbitral Women and is member of the board of the Chinese European Legal Association. The last years have seen her lecturing on international arbitration in Istanbul, California, Hong-Kong, Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo, in Brussels, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and at the Düsseldorf Arbitration School as well as at the Austrian Arbitration Academy and in the LL.M Programme “International Dispute Resolution” of Danube University Krems.

She is currently acting as Global Chair of the Litigation Arbitration Dispute Resolution Section of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading Association of Independent Law Firms.


German, English, French, Italian


Member of the Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) Board; Bar Association Vienna; International Bar Association; Austrian Arbitration Association; ASA - Association Suisse de l'Arbitrage; Arbitral Women, LCIA - The London Court of International Arbitration; CELA - Chinese European Legal Association (Board Member)
Supervisory Board Member - Bundesbeschaffung GmbH


University of Vienna (Mag. iur. 1986, Dr. iur. 1998)


Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation

Within: Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation

Acting in energy and construction sector disputes is a central pillar of CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati'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

Within: Leading individuals

Irene Welser - CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati

Within: Dispute resolution: commercial litigation

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati 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.

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Public procurement

Within: Public procurement

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati 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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Legal Developments in Austria

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

    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 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

    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

    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