Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation

Founded in January 2022, Peters Ortner Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH is a boutique firm which focuses on the resolution of complex cross-border disputes before arbitral tribunals and state courts. The team is led by highly esteemed practitioners Philipp Peters and Helmut Ortner.

Firms in the Spotlight Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation

AKG ADVISORY Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

AKG ADVISORY Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH logo

AKG ADVISORY is a highly-specialized boutique firm based in Vienna, Austria. Focused on providing domestic and cross-border mediation, arbitration, and litigation advice, the firm has a proven track record of successfully resolving complex and sensitive commercial and investor-state disputes.

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Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation in Austria

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH is known as ‘one of very few go-to firms for arbitration and mediation in Austria'. The dispute resolution practice comprises a number of separate yet integrated litigation teams, closely co-operating with the arbitration department in arbitral award enforcement proceedings. The team, headed by Florian Kremslehner and Veit Öhlberger, frequently represents national and international corporate and private clients across multiple jurisdictions. Gunnar Pickl is singled out by one cleint as a 'fabulous arbitration counsel'; in addition to Pickl, both practice heads regularly act as arbitrators in under a breadth of arbitration rules.

Practice head(s):

Veit Öhlberger; Florian Kremslehner

Other key lawyers:

Christian Dorda; Gunnar Pickl; Philip Exenberger; Felix Hörlsberger; Alexander Karl


‘DORDA’s arbitration practice has been known for years as one the leading practices.’

‘For me, DORDA is one of very few go-to firms for arbitration and mediation in Austria.’

‘We have repeatedly had very good experiences with the firm and the team around Felix Hörlsberger.’

‘Felix Hörlsberger is an outstanding arbitrator and a top-notch professional.’

‘Gunnar Pickl, Alexander Karl, Philip Exenberger – all great lawyers with a good commercial and common sense.’

‘Veit Öhlberger always keeps his calm and his friendliness, while being on top of the case. Gunnar Pickl is a fabulous arbitration counsel with a profound background in construction and infrastructure arbitration.’

‘Very experienced team throughout a broad range of industries.’

‘Veit Öhlberger: very calm and knowledgeable, good grip on the case. Gunnar Pickl: particularly active in the construction industry and a go-to for such disputes.’

Work highlights

  • Representing Italian entrepreneurs in enforcement proceedings against the Republic of Albania, in which the clients obtained an arbitral award of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on grounds of an infringement of the Bilateral Investment Treaty between Italy and Albania.


KNOETZL HAUGENEDER NETAL Rechtsanwaelte GmbH's arbitration practice fields a diverse and multi-lingual team with capacities to handle a broad spectrum of mandates - most notably, commercial arbitration and investment protection - across multiple jurisdictions. Following expansion of its client portfolio, the practice’s key industries now include the construction, engineering, energy and automotive sectors, as well as the IT, telecoms, life sciences, healthcare, and the pharmaceutical industries. Co-founder and practice head Florian Haugeneder routinely serves as arbitrator under all the major arbitral rules. Co-founder Patrizia Netal specialises in ad-hoc and institutional commercial arbitration proceedings. The team also includes Natascha Tunkel who is regularly called upon in arbitrations requiring action before the state courts, and counsel Jurgita Petkuté.

Practice head(s):

Florian Haugeneder

Other key lawyers:

Patrizia Netal; Jurgita Petkute; Natascha Tunkel; Sophie Wotschke


‘Natascha Tunkel: very smart and eloquent.’

‘They bring the highest quality to a case; I would not want to face them on the opposing side!’

‘Well experienced lawyers with extraordinary expertise in arbitration proceedings that becomes already visible at the very beginning of proceedings when preparing their trial strategy.’

‘Great team that works together smoothly, is very dedicated, always well prepared at every state of a proceeding and good in navigating a client through the proceedings.’

‘Patrizia Netal – a real expert in arbitration, knows every detail of the files, does not lose the focus. Florian Haugeneder – a real expert in arbitration, exceptional lawyer for cross-examination. Both, Patrizia Netal and Florian Haugeneder dive deep into the technical details of a case, something not every lawyer does.’

‘Knoetzl’s arbitration practice is among the most successful in Austria. It is very impressive, busy and most significant, both in commercial and investment arbitration.’

‘Florian Haugeneder and Patrizia Netal have carried the arbitration team into new dimensions.’

‘Natascha Tunkel is extremely diligent and a true future leader. Impeccable performance of the team.’

Key clients

Casinos Austria International GmbH and Casinos Austria AG

Work highlights

  • Representing Casinos Austria in an ICISD investment arbitration against the Argentine Republic arising out of the expropriation of its gaming business in Argentina.

Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG

Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG is praised by clients as a ‘stellar arbitration practice with a unique mix of incredibly hardworking people'. With a strong presence in the CEE region and a close cross-departmental relationship, the sizeable team is well placed to handle complex cross-border matters. The group has a separate construction arbitration team, and houses experienced practitioners including Thomas Anderl, Emmanuel Kaufman and Venus Valentina Wong, who was promoted to partner in September 2022. The department is headed by experienced arbitrator Stefan Riegler, who is the President of the Austrian Arbitration Association and a board member of VIAC.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Riegler

Other key lawyers:

Venus Valentina Wong; Thomas Anderl; Emmanuel Kaufman; Sofia Kovacevic; Alexander Zollner


‘Wolf Theiss is definitely a market leading international arbitration firm in Austria. They have a global approach to multinational disputes, with wide knowledge and great experience. It is a pleasure to work with them.’

‘The team is diverse and has counsel from different countries with experience in various legal backgrounds. They are definitely a go-to firm in Austria.’

‘Stefan Riegler is by far the top international arbitration attorney in Austria. He is extremely knowledgeable and great in designing strategies to tackle any legal and practical problem. He is bright, extremely diligent and very professional. He is incredibly creative and very well prepared for hearings and elegant in pleading before the tribunal.’

‘Stefan Riegler is an excellent, experienced and highly professional lawyer. He has a good grip on his team and manages cases proficiently. His strategic thinking, responsiveness and solution-oriented approach is what sets him apart.’

‘Stellar arbitration practice with a unique mix of incredibly hardworking people who can still connect very well on the personal level and keep their cool.’

‘Venus Valentina Wong is highly responsive and committed. She is efficient, effective, reliable, and always delivers solid and wise advice.’

‘In my view, what makes Wolf Theiss unique is their unprecedented attention to details and extensive client dedication. The team does not leave any questions or issues unanswered. They are extremely diligent; the team they pick matches the required skills. They are also gifted presenters and cross-examiners.’

‘Stefan Riegler has a wealth of litigation and international arbitration experience. He is also unique in teaching and educating his colleagues – he uses every opportunity for that. Stefan’s ability to respond to a change in the case is unprecedented; in a very calm way he is swiftly able to come up with the new strategy that is in the best interest of his clients.’

Key clients

Haslinger Stahlbau

Unger Stahlbau

PINUS Grundstückvermietung


Wikov MGI a.s.

Work highlights

  • Representing a joint venture consisting of UNGER Steel and Haslinger Stell in ICC arbitration proceedings against VOESTALPINE in relation to structural issues in a stainless-steel plant in Kapfenberg.

Baker McKenzie Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG

Baker McKenzie Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG fields a focused arbitration department, most notably acting in plant construction and energy-related arbitrations across multiple jurisdictions. Practice head Filip Boras’ expertise is particularly sought after by clients based in the SEE region requiring representation in commercial and investment arbitrations. The team also includes construction law specialist counsel Désirée Prantl.

Practice head(s):

Filip Boras

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Petsche; Desiree Prantl


‘Very solid practice. Great know-how.’

Key clients

RTI Rotalin Gas Trading AG and Rotalin Gaz Trading S.R.L.

Municipality of Vlora

Cerha Hempel

The substantial team at Cerha Hempel, headed by 'expert arbitrator' Irene Welser, has recently experienced a steep increase in mandates. The group is particularly proficient in arbitral proceedings and enforcement of arbitral awards at the intersection with contractual and corporate disputes relating to a breadth of industries, including construction and energy. Holger Bielesz is another key senior contact. At senior associate level, Alexandra Stoffl and Paul Krepil are recommended.

Practice head(s):

Irene Welser

Other key lawyers:

Holger Bielesz; Samuel Mimnagh; Alexandra Stoffl; Paul Krepil


‘The team has a very qualified and consolidated knowledge of the international litigation sector and local law. In addition to experience, the team responds incisively, comprehensively and promptly to customer requests.’

‘Holger Bielesz and Samuel Mimnagh have both been extremely attentive, punctual, and professional, with an excellent technical preparation and meticulous attention to details. They have also great human and empathic skills.’

‘Highly collaborative and cross-functional team with strong legal and commercial knowledge.’

‘Highly collaborative and integrative.’

‘Irene Welser: expert arbitrator, excellent and very experienced lawyer, great strategic mind.’

‘Alexandra Stoffl: excellent lawyer with vast knowledge concerning arbitration.’

‘Samuel Mimnagh’s abilities and knowledge have topped the opponent’s team, they were not hardly close to him.’

‘Irene Welser was very professional, calm and led her team with strict logic to eliminate the opponent.’ 

Key clients


Work highlights

  • Representing MACON, a Swedish manufacturer of refractory materials, in a VIAC proceeding against the owner of a steel mill.

Pitkowitz & Partners

Since its spin-off in 2021, Pitkowitz & Partners has seen a sharp increase in terms of team size, mandates and client instructions as a result of its ‘unrivalled expertise and dedication to the cause‘. Under the guidance of joint practice heads Nikolaus Pitkowitz and Roxanne de Jesus, the group is frequently involved in international arbitration proceedings spanning multiple jurisdictions and a breadth of industries, including construction, energy, real estate, technology, and media. Pitkowitz was elected President of VIAC in 2022. Senior associate Peter Machherndl joined from CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH in September 2022.

Practice head(s):

Nikolaus Pitkowitz; Roxanne de Jesus

Other key lawyers:

Peter Machherndl


‘Stellar legal know-how, combined with sensitivity for the commercial background of transactions.’

‘They all are very active in international arbitration, and very diverse, too. Still, their approach is down to earth, and they really understand their clients.’

‘Unrivalled expertise and dedication to the cause.’

‘The brilliant and unsurpassed Nikolaus Pitkowitz runs the firm with a quietly assured tone.’

‘Roxanne de Jesus leaves no stone unturned. You would want her on your side not the other!’

‘Simply a first class outfit.’

‘An outstanding team, dedicated to putting its client in the driving seat. They are outstandingly well prepared and totally committed. They have a detailed understanding of the procedural requirements of an international arbitration as well as the underlying merits of their case.’

‘The team is the most diverse of any of the Austrian firms. Nikolaus Pitkowitz has always been a visionary in that regard and has tried to internationalise Austrian arbitration practice.’

Key clients

Calunius Capital LLP.

Integral-Montage Anlagen- und Rohrtechnik GmbH

Alperton Capital

General Dynamics

Kinve Solar Power


Tyson Foods

Facebook Ireland Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Integral-Montage Anlagen- und Rohrtechnik Gesellschaft, a major Austrian pipeline and plant construction company, in a London-seated ICC arbitration pertaining to the construction of a power plant.
  • Representing Kinve Solar Power, a multi-national solar energy corporation, in multi-jurisdictional litigation and arbitrations proceedings in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, China and Italy.
  • Representing Alperton and its shareholders in an ICC arbitration with an amount in dispute in excess of €400m.

Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte)

Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte)‘s arbitration team fields a group of multi-lingual international arbitration experts, skilled in handling investment and commercial arbitrations and arbitration-related court proceedings under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, with a particularly high track record of success in investor-state disputes. The team has a wide client portfolio, which includes leading names from the pharmaceutical, telecoms, media, construction, energy, and banking sectors. Dispute resolution team head Christoph Lindinger is regularly appointed as arbitrator in highly sensitive matters. Other key contacts include international arbitration expert Leon Kopecký and dual-qualified counsel Victoria Pernt.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Lindinger

Other key lawyers:

Leon Kopecký; Victoria Pernt; Marina Stanisavljevic; Sebastian Lukic


‘Christoph Lindinger is a supereb strategist.’

‘Leon Kopecký is an attorney you can go to if you need prompt, pragmatic and high-profile advice in arbitration and related litigation matters.’

‘Leon Kopecký is extremely dedicated and focused, very goal oriented. Extremely accurate and always fights for the client.’

‘Leon Kopecký is an outstanding advocate and a fearsome cross-examiner. I never saw anyone deal with a witness so efficiently, yet so elegantly and politely.’

‘The Schoenherr arbitration team fight tirelessly for their client, and have a strong determination to win – and they do. They are extremely well prepared, to the point of knowing the case much better than their client. They are careful strategists, analysing the case theory and every procedural aspect carefully, before deciding on the next steps. Every time I see them work, or attend a hearing with them, I am completely impressed.’

‘Victoria Pernt successfully co-managed the team from the start of the arbitration to the hearing. She is a gifted advocate, a strong leader, and a brilliant counsel.’

‘Sebastian Lukic has assisted us in a very diligent manner in various proceedings and therefore proven to be an excellent lawyer. Sebastian is able to deliver fast-paced and dynamic solutions.’ 

Key clients

JCDecaux SA

Raiffeisen Bank International AG

KELAG-Kärntner Elektrizitäts-Aktiengesellschaft („Z-Mobile“)

APG/SGA, Société Générale d’Af-fichage, ALMA QUATTRO DOO BEOGRAD

Funke Group (Funke Medien NRW GmbH, NKZ Austria-Beteiligungs GmbH, Austria Medien GmbH)

AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG Austria

Work highlights

  • Representing Funke Group in a set of complex commercial arbitrations in Switzerland concerning a syndicate agreement signed in 1987.
  • Representing JCDecaux in arbitration proceedings under the Bilateral Investment Treaties between France, Austria, and the Czech Republic.
  • Representing APG|SGA and its Serbian subsidiary in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Serbia under the Switzerland-Serbia BIT.

Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte

At Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte, name partner Nikolaus Vavrovsky specialises in commercial and investor-state arbitration, handling particularly complex and sensitive matters spanning multiple jurisdictions. Florian Stefan was promoted to partner in 2022 with an impressive track record of international arbitration. The team is adept in enforcement proceedings and regularly acts in proceedings under a breadth of arbitration rules including ICC, VIAC and HKIAC, as well as ICSID and UNCITRAL.

Practice head(s):

Nikolaus Vavrovsky; Florian Stefan

Other key lawyers:

Pepita Fallmann


‘High empathy, best accessibility, high reliability, transparent billing.’

‘Very quick comprehension, fast reaction times, high communication skills and empathy, high professional qualifications and wide-ranging legal expertise, very successful in enforcing claims and concerns, diplomatic negotiating skills, best availability even outside of office hours.’

‘They get to the point within a short time and are focused on solving any issues that have already come up as well as preventing other issues from arising.’

‘The firm masters all conventional and alternative methods in arbitration and mediation. They prove to be a reliable counsel, while delivering innovative and business-savvy ideas for their clients. They stand out with their service orientation and solution-oriented way of working.’

‘Straight to the point, no messing about. VHM identifies the issues at hand and deals with them. The drafting skills are way over par, so is their strategic analysis. Additionally, the client receives honest evaluations of the legal situation.’

‘Vavrovsky Heine Marth has been our regular dispute resolution counsel for years. They are highly skilled and business oriented, and their overall service level is outstanding. The team combines the know-how and experience to deal with the most complex cases, keeping the big picture in mind while staying on top of the tiniest technical details. They think strategically and act proactively.’

‘Nikolaus Vavrovsky is an extremely diligent and expeditious lawyer. His capability to quickly understand the vital issues of the matter is paired with a commercial insight and ability to define a strategy moving forward.’

‘Nikolaus Vavrovsky is a skilled arbitrator – very clear, very concise and always well structured and detailed.’

AKG ADVISORY Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Dispute resolution boutique AKG ADVISORY Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH is particularly known for its commercial arbitration expertise, most notably acting in mandates concerning contractual, transactional or infrastructure issues, as well as investor-state disputes. The practice is led by founder Anne-Karin Grill, and adopts an integrated approach which seamlessly spans litigation, arbitration, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Of counsel Hrvoje Kurelec joined in 2022, following a period of time as an independent practitioner, with particular expertise in international arbitration. He was part of arbitration and litigation practice groups of leading law firms in Croatia, France, and Austria, where he advised states and international corporations.

Practice head(s):

Anne-Karin Grill

Other key lawyers:

Hrvoje Kurelec

Key clients


IVICOM Holding GmbH

Amazon Services Europe SARL


Work highlights

  • Representing SREW in an ICSID treaty arbitration concerning a failed investment into the renewable energy sector.
  • Representing IVICOM Holding in an ECT arbitration under the SCC concerning a failed investment into the energy sector in Albania.

Binder Grösswang

Binder Grösswang‘s arbitration practice is valued for its broad industry know-how, most notably in the IT, automotive, insurance, and banking sectors. The team represents high-profile clients including corporates, banks and financial service providers, as well as government agencies. Joint practice heads Christian Klausegger and Ingeborg Edel are frequently instructed to represent clients in national and international arbitrations, as well as enforcing arbitral awards.

Practice head(s):

Christian Klausegger; Ingeborg Edel

Other key lawyers:

Michael Kutschera; Elisabeth Tretthahn-Wolski


‘Christian Klausegger is a far-sighted, calm and highly knowledgeable arbitrator.’

‘Great international arbitration team, dedicated and capable.’

‘Superb organisation which stands out.’

‘Quick and pragmatic hands-on support.’

‘Christian Klausegger is a really great lawyer. One of the best I have met over the last 30 years.’

‘We worked with Ingeborg Edel who is a very competent lawyer and very dedicated to her cases. She was available 24/7 and we appreciated that very much. The client always came first.’

‘People with experience and know-how, fast reaction and outstanding performance.’

‘Christian Klausegger is among the best dispute resolution attorneys in Austria.’

Key clients

State of Libya

Austrian Federal Railways

Lenzing AG


Renault Austria

Starlinger & Co GmbH

Work highlights

  • Representing producers of luxury products in a VIAC arbitration.
  • Representing a Czech producer of petrochemical raw materials in an ICC arbitration.
  • Representing a Brazilian producer of pulp in an arbitration.

bpv Hügel

Since the arrival of arbitration expert Markus Schifferl in 2021, bpv Hügel has grown a focused arbitration practice acting in international and domestic arbitration proceedings across multiple jurisdictions. Schifferl now jointly heads the practice alongside competition law expert Florian Neumayr. The team stands out for its expertise in the engineering and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Florian Neumayr; Markus Schifferl

Other key lawyers:

Andrea Zinober; Florian Plattner


‘Markus Schifferl is known for his experience in energy-related disputes. In addition he is an in-demand arbitrator.’

‘BPV Hügel’s arbitration team made a big catch with Markus Schifferl.’

‘Markus Schifferl and Florian Neumayr belong to the top arbitration lawyers of their generation.’

Key clients


BP Europe SE






Österreich (leading Austrian newspaper)


Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm)

Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm)'s arbitration team is known for its cross-border capabilities, and consequently receives frequent instruction in multi-jurisdictional mandates from domestic and international clients based in the CEE region. In particular, the team’s strength lies in complex post-M&A arbitration proceedings. Practice head Markus Fellner arbitrates and litigates for clients in large-scale construction matters and is active in the engineering, pharmaceuticals, steel, manufacturing, and transport industries. Ria Kucera is also a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Markus Fellner

Other key lawyers:

Ria Kucera; Nina Pichler

Key clients

Bilfinger Bohr- und Rohrtechnik GmbH

HDI Global SE

Heaven Seven GmbH

Heaven Seven Swiss AG

Klenk & Meder GmbH

Work highlights

  • Representing part of the €7.7bn Bilfinger group in VIAC arbitration proceedings against its subsidiary arising from an industrial accident.
  • Successfully acted for trading company Heaven Seven in Los Angeles-seated, cross-border ICDR proceedings.
  • Representing Klenk & Meder SCWP in mediation proceedings related to enforcement of claims against a contractor.

Baier Rechtsanwälte

Baier Rechtsanwälte handles a breadth of arbitrations on behalf of both domestic and international clients. A strong trio of experienced arbitrators – comprising Anton Baier, Erhard Böhm and Gregor Grubhofer – jointly heads the practice. The team is particularly active across the eastern part of the CEE region.

Practice head(s):

Anton Baier; Erhard Böhm; Gregor Grubhofer

Key clients


Raiffeisen Centrobank AG, Austria

Syrena Immobilien Holding AG, Austria

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH acts in domestic and international mandates spanning enforcement, challenges of arbitral awards and arbitration-related litigation stemming from a wide variety of industries, most notably the banking and finance, as well as the construction and energy sectors. The practice is jointly headed by Daniel Karollus-Bruner and Johannes Reich-Rohrwig.

Practice head(s):

Johannes Reich-Rohrwig; Daniela Karollus-Bruner

Other key lawyers:

Sonja Otenhajmer

Key clients

Strabag AG

Work highlights

  • Representing Strabag and its joint venture partner in arbitration proceedings following the termination of a construction contract in Bosnia as well as in parallel state court interim relief proceedings against the drawing of bank guarantees.

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH's team is headed up by experienced arbitrator Andreas Daxberger, and also benefits from the support provided by litigation department lead Georg Krakow. Offering a range of dispute resolution and advisory services to government and corporate clients facing public international law issues, the team regularly acts for clients in cross-border arbitration cases arising from government relations and construction services.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Daxberger

Other key lawyers:

Georg Krakow


‘Very experienced team, highly professional individuals, providing goal-oriented advice.’

‘The team navigates the client through complex litigation proceedings with easily understandable advice.’

‘Andreas Daxberger is very experienced and has an in-depth knowledge of the legal market.’


Arbitration and litigation boutique PLATTE predominantly acts in the context of post-M&A and shareholder disputes, as well as insurance and transport-related matters. Practice head Martin Platte regularly sits as arbitrator, most notably in VIAC and ICC proceedings, and often acts in challenges and enforcement proceedings. Philipp Schwarz made partner in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Martin Platte


‘Martin Platte is an outstanding arbitration practitioner with a very busy practice in the CEE region. He is always collegial and responsive.’

‘Martin Platte is a remarkable lawyer of exceptional ability. He is very clever, independent-minded and fearless. He seems to take his clients more seriously than himself, which is a rare quality.’

Key clients


Moebelix GmbH

Jentis GmbH