Employment in Austria
The team at CMS is experienced in the full range of contentious and non-contentious employment law, advising national and international clients on collective agreements, social plans, disputes involving works councils and individual employees, and pension issues, among other matters. Bernhard Hainz heads the practice; Christoph Wolf specialises in acting for formerly state-owned companies and advising on compliance projects; and Jens Winter has a particular expertise in the implementation and realisation of company restructurings, spin-offs and mergers and domestic and international transfers of operations.
The 'experienced', 'customer-oriented' team at Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG specialises in restructuring work, and is noted for its strength in the financial services sector, as well as the retail and pharmaceutical industries. In a recent highlight, 'exceptional' practice head Ralf Peschek advised a financial institution on the employment law issues connected with its restructuring and the complex social plan negotiations with the works council. Peschek is also representing Österreichische Orient-Gesellschaft in a landmark case brought by a former language teacher challenging their termination of employment; Matthias Unterrieder (who 'finds brilliant solutions, especially in complex situations') is acting for Flowserve on the restructuring of its Austrian operations; and counsel Walter Pöschl ('a good negotiator') is acting for an Austrian engineering company in a sensitive case involving a workplace accident. Senior associate Isabel Firneis is recommended for her 'eye for detail' and ability to achieve 'pragmatic solutions'.
Litigation and data protection advice are key aspects of Binder Grösswang's employment practice. Practice head Horst Lukanec and Angelika Pallwein-Prettner recently represented a payment services company before the Labour and Social Court in a case regarding a works council member's challenge to the transfer of his employment relationship in the course of a spin-off of part of the business; the pair also advised the client on the change of the applicable collective bargaining agreement following a merger. The team has also handled a number of termination of employment cases, including acting for Vapiano Restaurant Betriebs- und Beteiligungs in a challenge of termination by an employee. Xerox Global Services, Starbucks and Sirti are also key clients.
Burgstaller & Preyer Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Boutique firm Burgstaller & Preyer Rechtsanwälte GmbH acts for a number of employers, with clients including national and international companies and foreign law firms, and also regularly represents high-level company executives. The team is noted for its strength in the banking and insurance sectors; Helmut Preyer recently represented an insurance company in a number of cases brought by former employees following a mass redundancy, and acted for a bank in relation to a claim brought by a former employee who was dismissed due to an IT security breach. Gerald Burgstaller acts for a number of healthcare clients, such as pharmaceutical companies and private hospitals, as well as cultural bodies; he advised an orchestra on drafting new employment contracts. Austrian National Bank is one of the firm's major clients.
The team at Cerha Hempel counts many large national and international companies among its clients, including Spar Österreichische Warenhandels-AG, Booking.com, Primark and Flughafen Wien, and regularly advises on collective bargaining agreements and social plans. Practice head Julian Feichtinger successfully represented Honeywell in a case concerning parental leave and assisted Unibail-Rodamco Austria Management with the negotiation of a company pension scheme. Senior counsel Susanne Molitoris and senior attorney Christopher Peitsch are also noted.
Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG focuses on the employment aspects of corporate restructurings, including mass dismissals, transfer of undertakings, post-merger integration and negotiations with the works council and unions. The team's clients are mainly national businesses, although it also advises large corporations based in Austria and the Austrian subsidiaries of international companies. Practice head Philipp Maier is advising Amazon on matters such as working time and remuneration models, works council and trade union issues, and collective agreements, and assisting a manufacturing company with the implementation of a worldwide employee data administration system and the international deployment of staff. Senior counsel Sabine Liebmann-Slatin and senior associate Elisabeth Wasinger are also noted. Other clients include BRF and BMC Software.
The 'particularly responsive' and 'pragmatic' team at Dorda Rechtsanwalte GmbH advises employers and employees on individual and collective labour law matters, including contracts, termination agreements, corporate restructuring, data protection, and employment issues arising from mergers and acquisitions. The 'highly experienced' Thomas Angermair, who is praised for his understanding of complex cross-border mandates, 'technical expertise' and 'pleasant working relationships', leads the practice. In recent highlights, Angermair assisted with the employment aspects of the sale of ZKW Group to LG, and represented UBS before the Vienna Court for Labour and Social Matters in a dispute with an employee who was challenging a termination of employment, which led to a successful settlement. The team is noted for its strengths in the banking, pharmaceutical and life sciences, and cultural sectors, with clients including Credit Suisse, Bayer, Novartis and Wiener Symphoniker.
Eisenberger & Herzog specialises in advising on matters at the interface between employment and HR, with expertise in management contracts and disputes. Key clients include ProSieben Sat.1 and Austrian Airlines; practice head Jana Eichmeyer is advising the former on the employment law aspects of a merger-related restructuring, and the latter on issues stemming from the partial shutdown of a subsidiary company.
FREIMÜLLER/OBEREDER/PILZ Rechtsanwält_innen GmbH
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Employment boutique Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Gahleitner acts for both employers and employees - although it is particularly noted for its employee-side work. The practice advises on collective and individual employment law matters, such as contracts, terminations, corporate restructuring, equal treatment in the workplace, personnel leasing, and compliance with regard to working time and remuneration. Sieglinde Gahleitner leads the practice.
The 'charismatic, knowledgeable, eloquent and accessible' Roland Gerlach heads the practice at specialist employment firm GERLACH Rechtsanwälte, which is particularly noted for its employee-side work. The 'excellent' team is 'always on the ball'; it assists employers and employees with employment contracts and terminations, pension schemes, negotiations with works councils and unions, and employment-related data protection matters. Highlights included Gerlach and associate Markus Löscher , who is noted for his 'deep knowledge of labour law', representing individual employees of Bank Austria in administrative proceedings concerning pensions. Mayer & Co, G. Coreth Kunststoffverarbeitungs and Varner Retail are among the firm's key clients. Branco Jungwirth left to form Patzak Fidi Unger Jungwirth Rechtsanwälte.
Kunz Wallentin Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Kunz Wallentin Rechtsanwälte GmbH specialises in collective labour law, advising employers on negotiating works agreements with works councils, unions and executives. The banking, trade, industrial and service sectors are key areas of focus. Daniel Liemberger is the key contact; former practice head Georg Schima and his team left in September 2018 to join Starlinger Mayer and form Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte.
Andreas Tinhofer leads the team at MOSATI, which advises national and international companies, as well as board members and managing directors, on the full range of employment law matters, including the termination of employment contracts, personnel leasing, working time issues, equal treatment in the workplace, data protection, restructuring and pensions. The team regularly represents clients before the Labour and Social Courts.
The team at Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) advises on the full range of employment law, acting for clients in the banking, automotive, manufacturing and services sectors, among others. Practice head Stefan Kühteubl is advising automotive supplier Magna on the conclusion and termination of employment contracts, and is also assisting Audi with the secondment of employees from Audi Germany to Austria and of Austrian employees to China by a personnel supplier. The team also handles matters relating to the gig economy, and is advising Uber Austria on the employment status of couriers for the Uber Eats platform. Attorney Teresa Waidmann is also noted.
Dr Alexandra Knell
BLS Rechtsanwälte Boller Langhammer Schubert GmbH acts mainly for large corporations and advises on employment law matters ranging from the drafting and revision of contracts and collective bargaining agreements to resignations, dismissals and pensions. Practice head Thomas Boller is the key contact.
The team at DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach specialises in advising on restructuring and the cross-border transfer of employees, and is particularly active in the trade and transport sectors. Key clients include Metro Cash & Carry and a number of airlines such as Lufthansa Cargo and easyJet; group head Stephan Nitzl advised Wizz Air on a variety of employment law issues connected to its entry into the Austrian market. In another highlight, the team assisted HBB-Haas Beratung und Beteiligungen with the employment law aspects of the sale of its global group, headquartered in Austria, to Swiss company Bühler.
The team at Eversheds Sutherland | Stolitzka & Partner RAe OG 'understands its clients' and 'can be relied on to look after their business interests and identify the best solution without generating endless paperwork'. It acts mainly for employers, although it also handles employee-side work. The 'outstanding' Silva Palzer heads the practice, which recently advised a biosciences company on a series of lay-offs, and assisted Patagonia Group with the employment law aspects of its entry into the Austria market; other retail clients include Urban Outfitters and Forever 21.
The team at Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners primarily acts for employers, particularly German and UK companies with subsidiaries in Austria, although the team also does some employee-side work, advising those in senior management roles. Highlights included practice head Kurt Wratzfeld representing UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions Austria in a case regarding the classification of employees within the salary model and advising the University of Applied Arts Vienna on the termination of employment of a works council member. The team also assisted clients including Imperial Tobacco Austria Marketing Service and Konica Minolta Business Solutions Austria with data protection matters.
Jakob Widner heads the practice at Graf & Pitkowitz, which advises employers and managerial personnel on a range of contentious and non-contentious employment law. New clients include furniture manufacturer Vitra, which the team advised on the restructuring of its Vienna office and showroom; International Workplace Group (formerly Regus), a global provider of flexible work spaces; and two Vienna theatre operators, Schauspielhaus and Vereinigte Bühnen Wien; the team represented the latter in litigation with a former employee challenging a termination of employment. The team also acted for the Chamber of Commerce in a number of claims relating to its pension scheme.
Dr. Helmut Engelbrecht Rechtsanwälte
Dr. Helmut Engelbrecht Rechtsanwälte is noted for its 'excellent knowledge in the field of labour law', particularly with regard to collective agreements; the team also advises companies and managing directors on the preparation of employment contracts, restructuring, the transfer of employees, and the assignment of employees abroad, among other matters. The 'highly competent and specialised' team recently assisted an insurance company with the reorganisation of its pensions scheme and represented an outsourced government authority in legal proceedings with a former employee. The 'pragmatic' and 'helpful' Helmut Engelbrecht and Wolfgang Omasta are the key contacts.
Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte GmbH
Herbst Kinsky Rechtsanwalte GmbH handles individual and collective labour law matters, including collective bargaining agreements, terminations and social plans, the transfer of undertakings, working times and data protection. The healthcare, technology, food and beverages, and commercial sectors are particular areas of expertise for the team; clients include Spar, Apollo Optik, Schlumberger, Rudolf Ölz Meisterbäcker and Infineon Technologies. Franz Marhold leads the practice.
The team at Taylor Wessing Austria advises on the full range of employment law, covering collective labour law issues such as collective bargaining agreements, redundancies and reorganisations, cross-border employment law issues such as the posting of employees and transfer of undertakings, and questions of employment status, as well as working time, data protection and wage and social dumping. The IT, trade and commerce, and personnel leasing sectors are particular areas of expertise for the team, which is led by Wolfgang Kapek. Clients include Lafarge, Nestlé and Agrana. Brigitte Sammer is also noted.
zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH
zeiler.partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH advises employers on matters ranging from negotiations with works councils regarding collective bargaining agreements to data protection issues, as well as representing clients in litigation. The automotive, chemicals, pharmaceutical, financial services, and industrial engineering and construction sectors are particular areas of expertise. Hans Georg Laimer leads the team.