Banking and finance in Austria

Binder Grösswang

Commended for its 'wide-ranging expertise' and its ability 'to handle even the most complex matters', Binder Grösswang 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-Thüringen 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.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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 €477.2m financing of the take-over of Magnesita Refratários 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)

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

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.

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.

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

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. Günther 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

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

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

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 Nö Gruppe Bank on the merger with Hypo Nö Landesbank, now trading under the name Hypo Nö Landesbank für Niederösterreich 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 Köck moved to Jank Weiler Operenyi in July 2018.

Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG

A large portion of Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte 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 Lände in Vienna.

Brandl & Talos Rechtsanwälte GmbH

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

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.

Graf & Pitkowitz

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

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.

Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte GmbH

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 Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Rautner Rechtsanwälte 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 €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)

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 für 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

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.

Benn-Ibler Rechtsanwälte GmbH

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

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 expertRaimund Bollenberger and Markus Kellner are the main contacts.

Graf Patsch Taucher Rechtsanwälte

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.

Jank Weiler Operenyi

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.

PHH Rechtsanwälte

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.

Schindler Attorneys

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 groundedMartin 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 'analyticalFlorian Cvak is another key member of the practice, which lost Melany Buchberger-Golabi to Rautner Rechtsanwälte GmbH in June 2018.

Taylor Wessing enwc Rechtsanwälte GmbH

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 Steegmüller 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

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 €150m factoring framework.