Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation in Austria
Dorda Rechtsanwalte GmbH's 'very strong and experienced' team is a respected player in the market, acting for clients in various corporate and commercial disputes including ICC arbitration proceedings. Much of its workload pertains to disputes arising from co-operation, distribution and trade agreements alongside post-M&A issues and frequently includes white-collar criminal defence matters. Florian Kremslehner jointly heads the team with Veit Öhlberger, who has 'a very sharp and analytical mind' and routinely acts as an arbitrator, as does senior partner Christian Dorda. Counsel Gunnar Pickl is 'someone to watch'.
KNOETZL HAUGENEDER NETAL's 'deep expertise' spans several sectors but recently, the team has been particularly active in handling commercial and investment protection arbitration in the energy, construction and engineering sectors. Clients also benefit form the firm's strong white-collar criminal defence capabilities leading to regular mandates at this intersection, including asset tracing work. Emmanuel Kaufman and team head Florian Haugeneder acted for Casinos Austria International and Casinos Austria in a dispute over the revocation of an exclusive gaming license held by the client's subsidiary in Salta, Argentina; the revocation was based on alleged failure to comply with the regulatory framework in Salta. Patrizia Netal is another key member of the team, and Bettina Knoetzl and counsel Natascha Tunkel are the main contacts for mediation.
With a strong presence in the CEE and SEE regions and particular expertise in the energy, construction, infrastructure and telecoms sectors, Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG regularly handles post-M&A, construction and commercial disputes alongside investment arbitration proceedings. The highly regarded Stefan Riegler, who joined the firm from Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG in November 2017, heads the team which includes counsel Venus Valentina Wong.
zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH
zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH is recognised by clients and peers alike for its wide-ranging arbitration expertise, which is frequently called upon in ICC, UNCITRAL and VIAC proceedings with team members acting as party counsel and arbitrators. The practice is particularly experienced in dealing with energy sector disputes, including commercial and investment arbitration, and is led by the highly regarded Gerold Zeiler. Other key individuals include Lisa Beisteiner and Alfred Siwy.
Acting in energy and construction sector disputes is a central pillar of Cerha Hempel'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.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's arbitration group has undergone an internal restructuring process following the move of former team head Moritz Keller to Clifford Chance in July 2018 and the departure of highly regarded Günther Horvath in February 2018 to become a member of the supervisory board at Porsche. The team is now jointly led by Frankfurt-based Boris Kasolowsky, litigator Thomas Kustor and public law expert Stephan Denk and predominately handles commercial, post-M&A, construction and energy sector disputes alongside investment treaty cases, acting on both the investor and state side. In recent work, the team acted for EVN in ICSID arbitration proceedings against Bulgaria pertaining to the Energy Charter and the Austria-Bulgaria bilateral investment treaty. 'Experienced' principal associate Eliane Fischer is also noted.
Baier Rechtsanwälte has a strong profile for arbitrator and arbitration counsel mandates and routinely acts in commercial, investment, construction and energy disputes, most notably in the SEE and CEE regions. In the construction sphere, Turkish desk head Gregor Grubhofer and Croatian and Russian desk head Marko Szucsich represented Austrian Rail Engineering in two disputes with a contractor pertaining to civil engineering services. Anton Baier is highly regarded.
Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG has a strong regional focus on SEE and is well versed in handling post-M&A, investor-state and banking disputes. Filip Boras, who jointly heads the team with Alexander Petsche after former team head Stefan Riegler moved to Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG in November 2017, acts for the Austrian investor Georg Gavrilovic and the eponymous Croatian meat processing group in an ICSID proceeding against the Republic of Croatia pertaining to the Austria-Croatia bilateral investment treaty.
Binder Grösswang's team has strong arbitrator and arbitration counsel capabilities, acting in commercial and insurance coverage disputes with wide-ranging industry knowledge including energy, manufacturing, transport, banking and finance as well as construction and engineering. Practice head Michael Kutschera and 'exceptionally bright legal mind and tireless representative' Christian Klausegger are the main contacts; both also act as arbitrators.
Konrad & Partners
Recognised for its 'longstanding expertise', arbitration boutique Konrad & Partners 'analyses every case carefully' and has a strong focus on commercial and investment arbitration, with team members acting as counsel and arbitrators, and is led by Christian Konrad and 'very forceful advocate' Philipp Peters. Its recent caseload includes disputes in the industrial engineering, insurance and healthcare sectors but the team is also experienced in handling other work. In 2018, special counsel Manfred Heider joined from VIAC and Franziska Mensdorff-Pouilly and Heidrun Halbartschlager were appointed counsel.
Praised for its 'ability to think internationally', Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) routinely acts for clients in investment arbitration proceedings involving governmental entities throughout the CEE region; recently, team head and 'eminent practitioner' Christoph Lindinger assisted GreenWorx with ICSID arbitral proceedings against the Republic of Serbia pertaining to the alleged breach of investment-related assurances and guarantees. Other work includes commercial disputes across various industries. 'Extremely clever' counsel and 'strong communicator' Leon Kopecký and Maximilian Raschhofer, who was promoted to counsel in February 2018, are other names to note. Mediation expert Anne-Karin Grill joined Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte in June 2018.
Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte focuses on commercial arbitration and mediation; the latter discipline was significantly bolstered by the arrival of mediation expert Anne-Karin Grill from Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) in June 2018. She jointly heads the practice with Nikolaus Vavrovsky, who regularly sits as an arbitrator. Other key areas of expertise include investor-state and shareholder disputes.
At Graf & Pitkowitz, the team is well versed in handling financial, commercial, corporate and energy disputes alongside the enforcement of arbitral awards. The practice is led by Nikolaus Pitkowitz, who routinely acts as an arbitrator; he also deals with private client work and has particular expertise in acting for China-based clients in contentious matters linked to Austria.
At Hauser Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH, Wulf Gordian Hauser is the main contact; he acts as sole arbitrator, chairman of arbitral tribunals and arbitration counsel in various commercial arbitration proceedings, including those involving fraud claims. The 'experienced' Peter Blaschke is another key individual.
Mag. Martin Platte, LL.M. (London) Rechtsanwalt
Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners (SCWP Schindhelm) has strong regional presence in Upper Austria and particular expertise in commercial disputes, while its clients also benefit from the team's experience in China-related disputes. Recently, the team successfully represented a Czech company in VIAC proceedings against a major Chinese state-owned entity pertaining to payment claims. Practice head Markus Fellner acts for SGS Industrial Services in cross-border ICC arbitration proceedings against a Chilean subsidiary of Andritz concerning outstanding payment obligations.