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Austria > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Legal market overview

Last year's economic trend is continuing into 2018: in light of Austria's robust economy, local firms continue to receive a steady flow of transactional mandates, particularly in the real estate and technology sectors, as well as private equity-related instructions; a market segment that is not yet fully established in Austria. In the transactional space, the country benefits from its position in the geographical centre of the continent, allowing local firms with strong CEE and SEE ties to act as a regional coordinator. Favourable lending conditions gave the market a further boost; however, the outlook for the future remains cautious as many market players predict a change in market conditions following an expected rise in interest rates. This would potentially lead to an increased workload for restructuring and insolvency practices, which have had a relatively quiet year with only a few significant cases on the table such as the insolvency of Air Berlin subsidiary Niki and Steinhoff's sale of the Austrian operating company of furniture retailer Kika-Leiner to Signa to avert insolvency. Alongside a strong M&A market, Austria has also seen its largest ever IPO with Bawag's listing on the Vienna Stock Exchange in October 2017, which raised approximately €1.9bn. As another consequence of the strong investor market, firms have seen regular instructions on various construction projects and subsequent disputes; firms generally reported an uptick in contentious work, which, due to the expensive nature of litigation and the fact that court fees are not capped in Austria, is increasingly dealt with before arbitral tribunals.

2018 also saw several significant team changes: in arbitration, Stefan Riegler joined Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG from Baker McKenzie ‱ Diwok Hermann Petsche RechtsanwĂ€lte LLP & Co KG and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lost its highly regarded arbitrator GĂŒnther Horvarth to an in-house role. In the tax space, Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG lost Benjamin Twardosz to CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati and DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach's former practice head Franz Althuber left the firm to work independently at ALTHUBER SPORNBERGER & PARTNER RechtsanwĂ€lte. However, not only large international firms faced internal changes but also smaller ones were affected including employment boutique Kunz Schima Wallentin RechtsanwĂ€lte GmbH, which lost a large part of its team, including the highly regarded Georg Schima, to Starlinger Mayer RechtsanwĂ€lte GmbH, now renamed Schima Mayer Starlinger RechtsanwĂ€lte GmbH. Former public procurement law boutique firm Heid Schiefer RechtsanwĂ€lte OG has now split into two entities: Stephan Heid now operates under Heid und Partner RechtsanwĂ€lte GmbH, and Martin Schiefer established Schiefer RechtsanwĂ€lte GmbH.

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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

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

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
  • fwp extends its expertise by appointing a new junior partner from its own ranks

    Vienna, September 2018. Motivated and energetic - this is how the new junior partner of Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner (fwp) presents himself. One of Austria’s leading law firms acclaims Clemens Gabriel’s new status as attorney-at-law registered since 19 September 2018.
  • fwp strengthens areas of competence by appointing a new junior partner from its own ranks.

    Vienna, September 2018. Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner (fwp) adds valuable competence and expertise to the team by promoting Michael Froner to junior partner.
  • Slovakia: Schoenherr advises AlbĂ©a 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 KÀrntner 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), Miloơ Laković (partner, Moravčević, Vojnović & partneri OAD in cooperation with Schoenherr; Belgrade) and Marko Pruơnik (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...