Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: white-collar crime (including fraud)

Boutique law firm HOFMANN-CREDNER Rechtsanwalts GmbH was founded by Ralph Hofmann-Credner and offers specialised insurance, liability, and litigation assistance at the intersection with white-collar crime.
PauerLaw was founded by Johann Pauer in 2017, and has since already handled various high-profile mandates in the area of white-collar crime.
With experience in financial products and antitrust proceedings, fokus Rechtsanwälte GmbH is geared to handle corporate law, real estate, and economic compliance mandates. Klara Kiehl arrived to the team from Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) in January 2024 and is well-versed in civil and criminal litigation.

Dispute resolution: white-collar crime (including fraud) in Austria

Cerha Hempel

Praised by clients for providing ‘top-notch legal services and outstanding results’, Cerha Hempel combines a wealth of experience in white-collar crime with expertise in economics, business, and EU law. Advising corporates on crime prevention compliance is one of the team’s standout features, and one of Stefan Huber's specialisms. He leads the team alongside Hans Kristoferitsch and Peter Lewisch, who clients name as the ‘first port of call when it comes to complex legal issues in the area of white-collar crime’. Kristoferitsch is an expert in matters requiring knowledge of regulatory law, and is recommended for in-house investigations with data protection elements.

Practice head(s):

Peter Lewisch; Hans Kristoferitsch; Stefan Huber

Other key lawyers:

Holger Bielesz


‘Extremely careful case analysis, innovative legal solutions, client-oriented.’

‘Peter Lewisch is competent in white-collar cases and related human rights issues. ’

‘The team is among the top-tier firms in Austria. They provide top-notch legal services and outstanding results. Their capabilities in terms of quality and efficiency are second to none. ’

‘Peter Lewisch is the absolute expert in the field of white-collar crime law in Austria. His reputation speaks for itself, and he proves time and again why he is the first port of call when it comes to complex legal issues in the area of white-collar crime. Stefan Huber is outstanding – he is not only great with clients, but also super smart and very efficient. His results speak for themselves. I would always recommend him.’

‘The entire team combines decades of experience with up-to-date legal knowledge and legal know-how with the background of a full-service law firm. They all know their business very well. They are extremely well connected and very much dedicated to what a client needs.’

‘Peter Lewisch is in my view the best white collar crime lawyer in Austria. He knows the law, the courts, the prosecutors, he has seen it all. Still, he does not simply rely on his vast experience but is always willing to go the extra mile to add value to his advice.’

‘Hans Kristoferitsch has incredible knowledge at the intersection of white-collar crime law and data protection law as well as administrative law. He will always come up with a solution in situations that appear complicated.’

‘Stefan Huber has a very pragmatic approach to advising clients, based on in-depth knowledge. No other lawyer in Austria matches his turnaround times.’

Key clients

Gas Connect Austrian GmbH

GATX Rail Austria GmbH

3P GmbH

Wiener Stadtwerke

Wien Energie GmbH


SPAR Warenhandels-AG/SES


Work highlights

  • Represented Gas Connect in a corporate criminal trial for alleged environmental crimes, leading to a full acquittal of Gas Connect and its staff.
  • Advising managers of GATX Austria as well as the company in criminal proceedings with regard to charges of negligent killing in the so-called Viareggio trial, relating to a railway disaster causing 38 casualties.
  • Representing public officials in regard to their questioning in a parliamentary investigation committee on corruption charges related to a political party as well as in the Vienna investigation committee on the energy crisis.


The criminal defense of high-profile individuals is at the heart of KOLLMANN, WOLM RECHTSANWÄLTE‘s practice, with the team’s recent workload including investigations of fraud, corruption and money laundering, as well as matters related to abuse of authority and embezzlement. The group also regularly receives instructions from companies regarding investigative proceedings and provides advice on criminal law compliance. ‘Outstanding’ Lukas Kollmann heads the team together with Philipp Wolm, who operates across the full spectrum of commercial, corporate and financial criminal law, and offers particular experience in detention matters. Simone Marxer and Noah McElheney left the firm in February 2023.

Practice head(s):

Lukas Kollmann; Philipp Wolm


‘Very responsive and experienced.’

‘Lukas Kollmann and his team are well qualified, always available, and very engaged.’

‘Particularly strong in court and out of court hearings with prosecutors and investigators. Creating profound short and long-term strategies, taking into account all aspects of a case.’

Work highlights

  • Defense of the former Austrian Federal Minister for Family Affairs in criminal proceedings for bribery, money laundering, fraud and violations of agreements restricting competition.
  • Defense of an accused CFO in the ‘BUWOG-Proceeding’, which relates to the circumstances surrounding the privatization of Federal apartments in Austria.

Wess Kux Kispert & Eckert Rechtsanwalts GmbH

Wess Kux Kispert & Eckert Rechtsanwalts GmbH is highly reputed for its white collar practice, and is regularly instructed by high profile individuals as well as national and international companies. Co-head Felix Ruhmannseder‘s clients benefit from his admission to both the Austrian and the German bar, with his practice including advice on compliance and investigations, as well as acting as defence attorney. Highlighted for his ‘huge professional and academic knowledge’, he also offers notable capabilities in tax-related criminal proceedings as part of his broad white-collar crime offering. Co-head Norbert Wess handles a variety of the firm’s most prominent national and international cases.

Practice head(s):

Dr. Felix Ruhmannseder; Norbert Wess


In addition to Norbert Wess, there is one partner who stands out in the field of white-collar crime: Felix Ruhmannseder. In recent years he became Austria’s most noticed criminal compliance lawyer. He also defends his clients in white-collar criminal cases. The cooperation with him is characterised by a very collegial approach, combined with a very high level of legal understanding.’

‘Norbert Wess is Austria‘s no 1 white-collar crime defence attorney.’

‘Felix Ruhmannseder is highly specialised in compliance.’

Key clients

Telekom Austria AG

Banco Santander S.A.

Signa Holding GmbH


Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG

Recommended for its capabilities in cross-border cases, Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG‘s team both defends clients in criminal trials, and represents them in civil proceedings based on violation of criminal laws, with particular expertise in fraud-related global asset recovery matters, as well as enforcement mandates. Clemens Trauttenberg leads the practice and is well versed in fraud, anti-money laundering and corruption defence work. The latter area is also one of  Valerie Hohenberg's specialisms, who is additionally experienced in multi-jurisdictional fraud cases and criminal liability of directors and officers. Nikolaus Loudon offers special expertise in advising corporations as victims of criminal conducts in proceedings and in internal investigations.

Practice head(s):

Clemens Trauttenberg

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Hohenberg; Nikolaus Loudon


‘The team is outstanding in technical knowledge and performance.’

‘Clemens Trauttenberg is the outstanding partner, who is especially knowledgeable and engaged to achieve the client’s interest.’

‘The team members span a wide variety of specialisations.’

‘Clemens Trauttenberg is fully dedicated to his clients. His excellent strategic knowledge of the underlying legal issues is second to none.’


Key clients

Caner, Cevdet

Lifebrain Covid Labor

Aggregate Holdings

Work highlights

  • Representing a real estate investor in criminal proceedings started after several years of investigative proceedings. The alleged criminal behaviour included money laundering and investment fraud related to a EUR 1.5 bn real estate portfolio.
  • Representing a Covid-19 laboratory in criminal, civil, and administrative proceedings.
  • Representing a real estate investor in a multi-jurisdictional case, who after being fully acquitted in Austrian criminal proceedings became the target of a short seller attack in fall 2021, together with his company Aggregate Holdings.

Binder Grösswang

Combining expertise in criminal and civil law, Binder Grösswang offers an interdisciplinary approach, and is well regarded for acting in criminal investigations and proceedings regarding offences such as allegations of fraud, embezzlement, bribery, and money laundering. The practice also fields a team of experts for internal investigations, which includes practice head and ‘very smart negotiator’ Stefan Albiez, Christian Klausegger, and Thomas Hartl, with Albiez’ multi-faceted practice including matters in the financial services sector as well as asset recovery, and Hartl covering compliance topics for corporate clients.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Albiez

Other key lawyers:

Christian Klausegger; Thomas Hartl


‘The team is hands-on with great expertise. Provides a full range of valuable advice, from litigation strategy to action and analytics, to full-fledged claims.’

‘Stefan Albiez: Provides excellent direction and strategy for complex white-collar crime cases. Thomas Hartl: Understands the dynamics and always provides competent advice.’

‘Thomas Hartl supported us in forensic investigations provided very profound advice, and submitted the necessary statement of facts to the public prosecutor’s office. He was extremely experienced and completed the necessary work in high quality and very quickly. He also handled all communication with the public prosecutor’s office and proactively involved us where necessary.’

‘Perfect management of the case combined with the gift of being responsive to the client’s needs and yet 100% goal-oriented best describes the skills of this law firm. In this combination, this expertise is hard to find.’

‘Stefan Albiez: One of the best criminal defence lawyers I know, with perfect networks with both clients and authorities – in this respect he is the perfect link and thus achieves the best result for the client.

‘Christian Klausegger: A sharp mind, but never overlooks the fact that even the most individual solution has to be implemented at the client’s request.’

‘Highly professional team, always well prepared, high legal know-how, really good time management.’

‘Stefan Albiez is a very smart negotiator, well connected, and always focused on the best economic solution.’

Key clients

adapa Group

Nokia Solutions and Networks Österreich GmbH

Grover Group

Oberalp Group

Renault Group

SIG-Seeliegenschaftengesellschaft Kärnten Verwaltungs GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised adapa group on multi-level criminal investigations against the former management.
  • Defended Oberalp Group in criminal proceedings.
  • Represented Nokia Solutions and Networks in multi-level criminal investigations and proceedings.

BRANDL TALOS Attorneys at law

BRANDL TALOS Attorneys at law‘s ‘highly specialised team’ frequently assists clients in criminal proceedings and internal investigations, demonstrating proficiency in matters concerning bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion and breach of trust allegations. The team is steered by ‘dedicated and experienced’ Christopher Schrank, who has a track record of representing banks and banking executives in criminal proceedings that benefit from his expertise in corporate and capital markets law. Praised by clients for his ‘hands-on mentality’, Alexander Stücklberger‘s caseload includes asset recovery, market abuse, and insider trading.

Practice head(s):

Christopher Schrank

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Stücklberger; Klaus Winhofer


‘The entire Brandl Talos team convinces with constant availability and an extraordinary service concept towards the client. In addition, we appreciate the expertise based on many years of experience and their always available global network.’

‘Christopher Schrank convinces with his well-considered approach, his outstanding communication skills and his detailed knowledge of numerous related legal areas. This makes him an excellent negotiator. Additionally, we would like to note the very good cooperation with Alexander Stücklberger, who impressed us with his hands-on mentality. ’

‘Excellent expertise and great economic understanding as well as empathetic support.’

‘Experienced and innovative practice.’

‘Christopher Schrank is a dedicated and experienced lawyer, always well prepared and a very good teamplayer. I love working with him.’

‘Experienced and committed white-collar crime time. Strong partner involvement. Reasonable pricing. ’

‘Christopher Schrank is one of the outstanding personalities in this legal field. Very committed and on the point with a good understanding of the business or commercial aspects involved.’

‘Highly specialised team in the field of white-collar-crime work.’

Key clients

BayWa AG

Work highlights

  • Defending Professor Graf, owner of Novomatic, in criminal proceedings pertaining to alleged bribery of members of the Austrian cabinet so as to receive gaming licenses in Austria, as well as alleged tax evasion.
  • Defending the former CEO of a social housing company with regard to accusations of embezzlement.
  • Advising BayWa AG on an internal investigation into an Austrian subsidiary for alleged fraud, breach of trust and tax evasion.

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Offering ‘extensive experience in white-collar crime’  DLA Piper’s team leverages connections to the firm’s global network, which enables a broad offering including multi-disciplinary and cross-border advice across the whole spectrum of business crime and corruption, compliance, and in-house investigations. The latter segment is one of group head Georg Krakow 's specialisms; he is highlighted by clients for his ‘timely, pragmatic, and solution-oriented advice’. Miriam Astl is also an important member of the team, as is Claudine Vartian.

Practice head(s):

Georg Krakow

Other key lawyers:

Claudine Vartian, Miriam Astl


‘We value their strategic and commercial legal advice.’

‘Miriam Astl’s advice in this area is always well considered.’

‘Very competent lawyers who look after me. I am happy with the service, they always look for fast solutions.’

‘Miriam Astl and Georg Krakow have very good solutions for my cases, and I can always contact them.’

‘They always provide excellent legal advice combined with very client-friendly behavior. In addition, they can be reached at short notice and answer complex legal questions during the conversation. A very experienced team that works smoothly together, and is very committed and well prepared at every stage of a case.’

‘The DLA team, headed by Georg Krakow, has extensive experience in white-collar crime. Even in complex cases, Georg Krakow knows every detail and never loses focus. He always provided legal advice to our complete satisfaction. We really appreciate his calm manner and the timely, pragmatic, and solution-oriented advice.’


KNOETZL HAUGENEDER NETAL Rechtsanwaelte GmbH is mainly instructed by companies and business executives, and equipped to handle criminal investigations, the representation of clients in trial, as well as compliance advice and the tracing and recovery of diverted assets. Thomas Voppichler, who is especially well versed in advising clients on compensation claims for damages due to embezzlement, fraud and bribery, was appointed as practice head in March 2023. Former lead Bettina Knoetzl continues to support clients in international investigations.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Voppichler

Other key lawyers:

Bettina Knoetzl; Natascha Tunkel


‘Bettina Knoetzl is razor sharp.’

‘The team has a perfect spirit, perfect performance is what we wanted and what we got.’

‘Outstanding knowledge not only of the legal issues but also of the voluminous files and evidence.’

‘Fantastic team that clients love and trust implicitly.’

‘Exceptionally competent, available, quick and accurate in processing.’

‘Extraordinarily experienced, competent, and able to develop innovative ideas and solutions to problems. Very accessible and approachable. Very strong in pursuing the agreed goals and enforcing them in legal disputes. Very experienced and helpful in preparing for official interrogations and interviews.’

‘Full-service firm with a lot of experience and most reliable.’

‘Thomas Voppichler remains extremely calm in difficult and important moments, which gives us a feeling of security at all times. With his high level of professional expertise, he then prepares us for negotiations in the best possible way.’

Work highlights

  • Representing several (former) executives of Austrian subsidiaries of international corporations in criminal proceedings against accusations brought up in the context of Austrian bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Advising an international corporation in fraud proceedings covering investigations by the EU Anti-Corruption Agency.
  • Representing an international real estate fund in criminal investigations.

petsche pollak attorneys at law

petsche pollak attorneys at law is a boutique firm for dispute resolution, and represents corporations in all areas of civil and criminal litigation with an impressive track record of complex cross-border instructions by national and international clients. The group is jointly steered by Andreas Pollak and Simone Petsche-Demmel, with the latter offering particular expertise in corporate criminal law aspects of ESG compliance as part of her broad practice. Both are well supported by Christoph Trafoeir and Vincent Vertneg .

Practice head(s):

Simone Petsche-Demmel; Andreas Pollak

Other key lawyers:

Christopher Trafoier; Vincent Vertneg


‘Petsche Pollak is a boutique firm for civil law and white-collar crime cases. Its references show that it is very good at handling large cases.’

‘Simone Petsche-Demmel. She is characterised by a great understanding of economics and a high degree of accuracy, which is becoming increasingly important for cases involving white-collar crime. She is also very persistent and consistent in implementing her legal position.’

‘Hands-on policy and permanent availability for clients and colleagues fulfill the remarkable and outstanding profile of this law firm. Every step is tactically planned in order to reach the goal.’

Key clients



Dr. Siegfried Stieglitz

DI Heinz Liebentritt

Austrian Development Agency

Leading Retailer in the electronic industry

Leading Pharmaceutical Producer

Leading international plant engineering |and construction company

Work highlights

  • Defending a European construction company in a case of alleged illicit agreements restraining competition in connection with public tenders.
  • Defending areal estate development and investment company against the allegations of bribery to political parties and a governor in the course of the acquisition of several real estate properties.
  • Defending senior managers against the suspicion of corruption and fraud related to the public procurement of military equipment by the Austrian government.

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH

A ‘full-service firm with a lot of experience’, Dorda’s white collar crime team is integrated in the firm’s dispute resolution group under the leadership of Florian Kremslehner, and operates across the whole range of business crime. A standout feature of the team is its established experience in representing defrauded clients in both criminal proceedings and civil litigation, which regularly includes enforcing claims for national and international companies from the insurance, banking, technology and financial service sectors. Former co-head Elias Schönborn left the firm in September 2023.

Practice head(s):

Florian Kremslehner

Other key lawyers:

Philipp Karl Stadtegger

Key clients


Work highlights

Haslinger / Nagele Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Haslinger / Nagele Rechtsanwälte GmbH is adept at handling the gamut of white-collar crime, including financial criminal law, tax offences, compliance and internal investigations. Some clients consider practice head René Haumerone of the leading criminal defence attorneys in Upper Austria’; his multi-faceted practice extends to corruption matters and corporate criminal law. ‘Very experienced lawyer’ Bernd Wiesinger covers matters ranging from police investigations to the representation of clients in court.

Practice head(s):

René Haumer

Other key lawyers:

Bernd Wiesinger; Wolfgang Moringer


‘Strengths:  Quick availability when necessary, strategic and legal skills, detailed knowledge of files, good coordination of team members.’

‘René Haumer and team – very good knowledge of files as well as tactical and strategic case orientation.’

‘René Haumer is one of the leading criminal defence attorneys in Upper Austria.’

‘What distinguishes the team is the complex approach and thorough analysis, the individual approach and the understanding of the specific requirements of the case.’

‘Bernd Wiesinger provided precise reasoning of the subsequent legal actions with professionalism and correctness and has a high level of experience.’

‘Haslinger Nagele has a well-experienced white-collar crime team.’

‘Bernd Wiesinger is a very experienced lawyer who is always a pleasure to work with. He is also a good team player.’

‘High professional level and perfect preparation of documents to achieve the goals for the clients.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a lobbyist accused of being involved in the ‘Casino Austria Affair’.

Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte)

Led by Christoph Haid, Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte)‘s practice advises on all aspects of white collar crime and related compliance matters. Recommended for offering ‘in-depth knowledge of white collar crime’, the team is regularly sought out by clients from industries such as automotive, insurance, as well as oil and gas. Klara Kiehl departed the team to join fokus Rechtsanwälte GmbH in January 2024, while Oliver Michael Loksa joined in January 2024, bringing expertise in the representation of suspects or parties who have suffered financial damage in complex white collar crime proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Haid

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Michael Loksa


‘Offering in-depth knowledge of white collar crime.’

‘It is their experience, their knowledge of local authorities and how they tick.’