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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


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Who Represents Who

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Commended for its 'wide-ranging expertise' and its ability 'to handle even the most complex matters', Binder Gr√∂sswang¬†routinely provides financial institutions and corporates with advice on acquisition, real estate and project finance alongside restructuring-related finance issues and regulatory matters. Together with its corporate practice, Stephan Heckenthaler¬†assisted Emirates NBD Bank with the acquisition of 99.85% of the shares in the Turkish DenizBank and its Austrian subsidiary from Sberbank of Russia. In project finance, Stefan Tiefenthaler¬†advised Landesbank Hessen-Th√ľringen Girozentrale (Helaba) and Hypo Vorarlberg Bank on financing the upgrade of the Althan Quartier in Vienna, while Emanuel Welten¬†acted for UniCredit Bank Austria on the financing of the construction of The Student Hotel in Vienna. Other key individuals include Tibor Fabian¬†and the 'very experienced' Michael Binder.

With superb reputation for its transnational capabilities, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer¬†handles the full spectrum of banking and finance work including structured finance, regulatory and contentious matters alongside insolvency-related issues. Florian Klimscha¬†advised Nord/LB Luxembourg on the purchase of Austrian law-governed trade receivables from Asta Elektrodraht on a revolving basis, and assisted UniCredit Bank Austria alongside 17 other international banks with the ‚ā¨477.2m financing of the take-over of Magnesita Refrat√°rios by the Austrian refractory market leader RHI. In other work, the team assisted Oberbank with a financing framework agreement with banks in Iran. Friedrich Jergitsch¬†and Stephan Pachinger¬†are highly recommended. Former English law-finance group head Blair Day left the firm in September 2018 to work in-house; the group is now led by Anouschka Zagorski, who joined the firm in February 2019 from¬†Baker McKenzie's Frankfurt office.

Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) is particularly rated for its strength in acquisition and real estate finance while also handling structured finance, regulatory issues and restructuring and insolvency-related matters. In the regulatory space, the team continues to advise Abbag Abbaumanagementgesellschaft des Bundes on the refinancing and deregulation of KA Finanz, and, in acquisition finance, the 'highly experienced' Martin Ebner co-operated with M&A colleagues to assist Advent International with the financing of its acquisition of GE's distributed power business in Austria and Hungary. In the real estate sphere, Invest Real Estate received advice on the financing for the acquisition of 390 apartments forming part of the development project Das Ensemble in Vienna. 'Exceptional' regulatory contact and 'hands-on lawyer' Peter Feyl, 'very responsive' fintech expert Ursula Rath and Miriam Simsa are other key members of the team, which lost counsel Stefan Paulmayer to PwC Legal Austria-oehner & partner in July 2018.

Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG has carved out a strong practice advising banks, insurance companies and funds alongside other financial services institutions on real estate, acquisition and infrastructure finance as well as regulatory and contentious matters, while Andrea Gritsch has also been handling an increasing amount of fintech-related work. Recently, she assisted a fintech company with matters pertaining to the introduction of a payment solution in Austria. In other work, team head Markus Heidinger advised Bain Capital on the financing of the acquisition of the Diversey Care division from Sealed Air. The practice also includes Andreas Schmid, Leopold Höher, who made partner in July 2018, and Christine Siegl, who was appointed counsel in May 2018.

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.

CMS¬†acts for an extensive roster of financial services providers, private equity firms and real estate sector clients on a wide range of banking and finance matters including those at the transactional and corporate intersection. G√ľnther Hanslik¬†frequently handles finance transactions and restructurings and, in recent work, advised TowerBrook Capital Partners on the financing of the acquisition of Austrian softwood fibre manufacturer Schweighofer Fiber, and¬†Alexander Rakosi¬†assisted Cooper Standard with a master factoring structure. Martin Zuffer¬†is best known for his regulatory banking expertise.

Dorda Rechtsanwalte GmbH receives regular instructions from domestic and international banks, funds, corporates and public entities to advise on the full spectrum of banking and finance matters including finance transactions, regulatory and bank contract law issues. The group also handles contentious matters and has particular strength at the interface with capital markets law. Andreas Zahradnik and Tibor Varga jointly head the team.

Eisenberger & Herzog focuses on debt restructurings alongside loan portfolio and international acquisition finance transactions, while Ulrike Sehrschön is the main contact for banking regulatory matters. Josef Schmidt, who rejoined the firm's Vienna office in September 2017 from Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and Peter Winkler advised Pecik-Group on an acquisition facility agreement required for its subsidiary's acquisition of shares in S Immo from Erste Group Bank. Acting as local counsel, Marcus Benes advised Uralsib Bank on loan proposals for Cetracore Energy, and assisted Vapiano with the conclusion of a secured facilities agreement with UniCredit Bank Austria. Michael Lehotzki left the firm in August 2017 to work in-house.

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners's client portfolio includes several major banks but the team also acts for national corporates and other financial institutions and is best known for its bank restructuring, refinancing and banking litigation expertise. Markus Fellner, who co-heads the team with 'strategist' Gregor Schett, advised Hypo N√∂ Gruppe Bank on the merger with Hypo N√∂ Landesbank, now trading under the name Hypo N√∂ Landesbank f√ľr Nieder√∂sterreich und Wien, and assists UniCredit and several of its clients with the enforcement of claims pertaining to financial instruments that had been issued by Heta Asset Resolution. Elisabeth Fischer-Schwarz¬†and Benedikt Kessler¬†made junior partner in October 2017. Counsel Bernhard K√∂ck¬†moved to Jank Weiler Operenyi¬†in July 2018.

A large portion of Baker McKenzie ‚ÄĘ Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanw√§lte LLP & Co KG's banking and finance work pertains to acquisition, real estate and project finance alongside refinancing and regulatory matters. In recent work, the firm¬†advised Amundi on financing the acquisition of Pioneer Investments from UniCredit and team head Georg Diwok¬†assisted Premium Immobilien and its affiliates with the financing of the residential project Erdberger L√§nde in Vienna.

Praised for its 'deep understanding of the industry', Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH's 'responsive and proactive' team advises many of Austria's largest banks but its client roster also includes insurance companies, international financial services providers, investment funds and bank CEOs. With substantial expertise in the regulatory and contentious space, much of its instructions cover banking licensing, compliance, MiFID II and Austria market entry matters, as well as Financial Market Authority proceedings. Practice head Ernst Brandl is 'highly experienced and very knowledgeable'.

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach has a strong profile for project finance work with particular focus on the CEE and SEE regions, while also handling banking litigation and regulatory matters, including sanctions and investigations, as well as cyber crime-related issues. Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnik advised the Global Health Investment Fund on the financing of an Austrian biotech company, while Christoph Urbanek acted for UniCredit Bank Austria and Raiffeisen Bank International on the financing of one of Poland's largest business parks. Oskar Winkler heads the finance and projects group, which includes 'excellent' country managing partner David Christian Bauer.

Core strengths of Graf & Pitkowitz include advising on regulatory matters and representing clients, including an increasing number of institutional investors, in banking disputes, while the practice also covers real estate, corporate and project finance and restructuring-related work. Other clients include domestic and international financial institutions, corporates and public entities. Otto Wächter heads the team.

Hausmaninger Kletter Rechtsanwälte GmbH is best known for its expertise in regulatory, licensing and compliance matters, which includes representing clients in FMA and administrative procedures. Its client roster includes banks, alternative investment funds and other financial services providers. Manfred Ketzer is the main contact.

Handling acquisition finance and refinancing work are core strengths of Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte GmbH's team which also has a fine reputation in the venture capital and private equity sphere, while, in the regulatory space, clients benefit from its expertise in the aviation and rail sectors. Christoph Wildmoser advised new client easyJet on regulatory matters pertaining to lease agreements following the registration of parts of its fleet in the Austrian aircraft register; he also assisted CVC Capital Partners with the refinancing of AR Packaging Group, a banking consortium including Commerzbank acted as the lender. Christoph Herbst is another key figure.

Rautner Rechtsanw√§lte GmbH's 'very solution-oriented' team is particularly active in project and real estate finance but also handles regulatory matters, while Melany Buchberger-Golabi's arrival from Schindler Attorneys¬†in September 2018 boosted its banking litigation capabilities. 'Excellent' main contact Uwe Rautner¬†advised Windkraft Simonsfeld on its approximately ‚ā¨50.3m financing granted by the European Investment Bank and Erste Bank for the development of a wind park in Lower Austria, and assisted UniCredit Bank Austria with the extension of a loan for a retail centre in the Czech Republic.

Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners (SCWP Schindhelm)¬†has specialist expertise in real estate and project finance and a niche in crowd investment models but also handles restructuring and regulatory matters. In recent work, team head Immanuel Gerstner¬†assisted IFA Institut f√ľr Anlageberatung (ifa) with the structuring and implementation of a crowd investment model, and¬†Thomas Ruhm¬†advised CC1 Immobilien on mezzanine and shareholding finance matters. Franz Mittendorfer¬†is another key contact, as is Matthias Steyrer, who joined the team in April 2018 from an in-house role. Fritz Ecker¬†and Lukas Leitner¬†made salary partner in October 2017.

Barnert Egermann Illigasch Rechtsanwälte GmbH's Alexander Illigasch is particularly experienced in advising Austrian and foreign companies and financial institutions on matters at the intersection of banking, finance and capital markets law including regulatory issues. Erik Hödl and former team head Michael Raninger left the firm in September 2018 to found Greenlake Legal Raninger Hoedl Rechtsanwalts OG.

The team at Benn-Ibler Rechtsanwälte GmbH is jointly headed by Stefan Eder, who focuses on project finance in the real estate and infrastructure sectors, and Martin Geiger, who specialises in finance transactions. Clients include domestic and international banks, energy providers, construction, infrastructure and telecoms companies as well as investment funds and investors.

DSC Doralt Seist Csoklich Rechtsanwälte GmbH assists national and international banks with the full spectrum of banking law matters, including contentious issues such as investor loss class actions and class actions brought by consumer protection agencies. 'Banking expert' Raimund Bollenberger and Markus Kellner are the main contacts.

Graf Patsch Taucher Rechtsanwälte is particularly active in borrower-focused work and frequently advises on acquisition finance and refinancing matters alongside venture capital issues but also handles regulatory mandates. Bernd Taucher advised Head Group on several finance transactions with Erste Bank Group, including refinancing matters and a corporate funding transaction, and assisted the Austrian start-up Fittrack with two financing rounds where the financing was provided from international business angels, family offices and investors.

Much of Jank Weiler Operenyi's work pertains to corporate finance, project finance and restructuring-related matters, while Gabriele Etzl's arrival in November 2017 from Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG strengthened the team's real estate finance capabilities; in banking litigation, the 'energetic' team increased its bench strength by adding counsel Bernhard Köck from Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners in July 2018. The 'knowledgeable' Andreas Jank advised a banking consortium led by Raiffeisen Bank International on Wolford's financial restructuring. The team also provides regulatory advice.

At PHH Rechtsanwälte, Wolfram Huber focuses on project, trade and export finance transactions alongside regulatory matters and Annika Wolf, who was promoted to the partnership in September 2017, has a specialism in fintech and acquisition finance. She advised Oxhauth on financing the acquisition of shares in Ring International; UniCredit acted as the lender.

With a focus on finance work, Schindler Attorneys routinely handles acquisition loans, LBOs, project and real estate finance, and, together with M&A colleagues, the 'well-connected' practice advises on transactional finance and private equity-related matters. The 'very grounded' Martin Abram advised Ares Management on financing the acquisition of a European property portfolio, including an office tower in Vienna, from Amundi, and DPE Deutsche Private Equity received assistance with equity financing issues pertaining to its acquisition of a majority stake in VTU Group's engineering business. The 'analytical' Florian Cvak is another key member of the practice, which lost Melany Buchberger-Golabi to Rautner Rechtsanwälte GmbH in June 2018.

Taylor Wessing Austria¬†assists clients with financing structures pertaining to M&A and private equity transactions alongside regulatory matters. CEE managing partner and team head Claudia Steegm√ľller¬†assisted Barclays with various financing transactions, and advised Norske Skog Bruck on matters pertaining to its group-wide refinancing and debt structuring. Philip Hoflehner¬†is another key individual.

Weber & Co. Attorneys-at-Law's 'very solution-oriented' practice provides transactional finance and regulatory advice to Austrian and international banks, and also assists borrowers with finance and loan transactions alongside restructuring and refinancing issues. Stefan Weber¬†advised the Austrian company Facc on syndicated financing matters, and the 'very committed' Mag Christoph Moser, who 'always remains calm under pressure', assisted S&T with a ‚ā¨150m factoring framework.

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Press releases

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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

    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

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 Alb√©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 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

    Schoenherr advised Cimpress N.V., a world leader in mass customization, on its acquisition of, 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), MiloŇ° Lakovińá (partner, Moravńćevińá, Vojnovińá & partneri OAD in cooperation with Schoenherr; Belgrade) and Marko PruŇ°nik (partner;¬†Ljubljana) accepted the award on behalf of the firm at the Chambers Europe Awards event held this past Friday evening at Amsterdam‚Äôs Hotel Okura. read more...