Binder Grösswang‘s private wealth department works alongside the firm’s tax, corporate and M&A, and real estate teams to assist HNWIs, their families, businesses and foundations on issues ranging from cross-border estate and tax structuring, to succession planning, real estate transactions and associated litigation. The team is led by corporate law specialists Andreas Hable (who has extensive experience in cross-border tax structuring and restructuring in connection with M&A transactions) and Bernd Schneiderbauer (who handles investments, growth and exit strategies).
Firms in the Spotlight Private client
HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH
HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH is one of the leading international law firms in Austria with a strong focus on immigration law and more than twenty years of experience in this field. We provide consulting services to companies and their employees and also to private persons when it comes to obtaining an Austrian domicile, immigration, as well …View Profile...
Private client in Austria
Andreas Hable; Bernd Schneiderbauer
- Advised an ultra-high-net-worth family on the purchase of a prominent Viennese cultural institution.
- Advised a high-net-worth family and its private foundation on restructuring the family holding company.
Handling a range of private client matters, bpv Hügel is a popular choice for Austrian HNWIs seeking advice on estate and succession planning, tax and asset structuring and the drafting of marriage agreements and wills. Working closely with the firm’s corporate and tax teams, the practice also assists private clients with issues relating to business management. Team lead Florian Plattner is known for advising HNWIs on their private foundations. Under his leadership, the team has also been active in managing succession and shareholder disputes for its clients. Gerald Schachner heads the firm’s tax department and is a qualified tax adviser, acting on personal, corporate and foundation tax matters, including consequent criminal issues.
Other key lawyers:
- Advised an Austrian individual on the set-up of an Austrian private foundation and transfer of shareholding in an Austrian company.
- Advised an investor in Dutch real estate on permanent relocation to Austria.
- Advised the shareholders of a multi-national healthcare enterprise on the tax structuring reorganisation of the entire group.
HNWIs regularly instruct Schindler Attorneys to act on their behalf with regard to tax and estate planning, immigration and citizenship issues and familial matters, in addition to seeking advice on the management of family-run businesses and foundations. The practice is well versed in handling cross-border matters, with a particular focus on the German market (where several team members are admitted to the bar) in addition to the wider CEE region, the UK and Brazil; the last of these jurisdictions is an area of particular expertise for founding partner and tax expert Clemens Schindler. Schindler leads the team alongside Philipp Hoyos, who assists with family and inheritance law issues in addition to handling litigious matters, and Martin Picherer, who handles real estate and succession planning. Katharina Schindler focuses on the niche area of art law in addition to assisting with inheritance matters.
Clemens Schindler; Philipp Hoyos; Martin Picherer
Other key lawyers:
‘Schindler provides an in-house combination of legal and tax advice which is not common on the Austrian market. Schindler is very experienced in international matters. From my experience the firm ensures senior/partner level attention for the clients.’
‘I work with Philipp Hoyos. His approach stands out because he works closely with his clients and keeps the utmost confidentiality. He fosters built-in trust through his calm understanding of their needs and good communication throughout the projects. He manages to advise clients on legal issues and arguments very well in order to reach the best possible solution. He is a very rare, excellent example of what a private client advisor and attorney should be. This merits great respect.’
‘Covering international consultancy especially between Europe and the USA, this law firm has an incomparable network.’
‘Clemens Schindler has impeccable negotiation skills in various languages.’
‘Best in class for family office advisory.’
Hypo Alpe Adria Mitarbeiter Privatstiftung
- Advised the Frey family on succession planning issues, as well as structuring the family’s real estate portfolio.
- Advised the Latvian mezzo-soprano singer Elina Garanca on tax, real estate and residence matters.
- Advised the Soravia family, one of the co-founders of a major Austrian real estate group, on estate and succession planning issues, in addition to real estate matters.
Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG specialises in assisting HNWIs operating in the CEE and SEE regions with wealth and business management, offering full service advice which encompasses cross-border tax, asset and estate planning; issues affecting family-owned businesses, and private and charitable foundations; pre- and post-nuptial agreements; and immigration and citizenship matters. Niklas Schmidt acts as one half of the leadership duo, and assists with blockchain matters and cryptocurrency assets, as well as being a qualified as a tax adviser. Schmidt's co-head, Karl Binder, is an experienced real estate and wealth management lawyer who specialises in advising foreign HNWIs and family offices. Eva Stadler provides support on international tax matters and assists clients moving to or from Austria in this regard.
Niklas Schmidt; Karl Binder
Other key lawyers:
Eva Stadler; Carolin Ziegler
‘In my experience, Wolf Theiss delivers a high quality service with a very close contact method. I have never encountered weaknesses on their part.’
‘Wolf Theiss is certainly a high level firm with outstanding service.’
‘What distinguishes Wolf Theiss in particular is a more proactive approach. They don’t just tell me yes or no, they actively work towards a suitable solution and provide me with all the information I require to deliver a complete and practical answer to my client.’
‘I have worked with Eva Stadler and Niklas Schmidt, both of whom are very high level and work in a pragmatic and efficient manner. Every question is answered with a useable and serviceable solution.’
‘In my opinion, the best private client team in Austria.’
‘Niklas Schmidt and Eva Stadler are true stars. Exceptional knowledge and communication skills.’
‘I personally worked with Carolin Ziegler, who advised us on the topic of foundation law. I was delighted to identify Carolin as someone who could guide us very competently through a complex amendment procedure – her knowledge on this topic was invaluable for us.’
‘The level of technical ability was much higher than anything else we’ve encountered in the region, especially the ability to overlay the complex considerations of other jurisdictions upon the domestic Austrian analysis. In addition, the level of proficiency with English was very high, including when discussing legal technicalities.’
Cerha Hempel is active at the crossroads between private client and corporate law, supporting individuals, foundations and trusts across a range of matters. The team is sought after for advice regarding the structuring of foundations and businesses, and is active on generational succession, wealth management and real estate issues. One half of the leadership duo, Albert Birkner, also leads the firm’s takeovers and antitrust department and sits on the supervisory boards of a number of major Austrian foundations, advising on the structures of foundations and handling corporate matters for the businesses held within them. Birkner’s co-head, Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein, specialises in corporate reorganisations and international transactions, in addition to representing clients involved in familial and trust-related disputes. Thomas Trettnak and Johannes Aehrenthal are further key contacts in the team.
Albert Birkner; Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein
‘CERHA HEMPEL has a strong full service team in all areas of business law. In my view, they can handle numerous transactions at the same time perfectly. Accessibility and meeting timelines is never an issue. The team composition makes them a reliable partner. This is what I expect, timely and high quality service, and I have not been disappointed.’
‘I mainly work with Albert Birkner. I appreciate his pragmatic and solution-oriented approach and I really like the way he makes complicated things easy. When it comes to M&A and private clients, Albert really is my go-to lawyer in Austria. He is down to earth, does not complicate things and provides value for money.’
‘CERHA HEMPEL is a strong business law firm. Over the years, Albert has built up a strong team, and I see particular strength in the team’s unity in handling numerous transactions. I like the team’s seamless advice.’
‘My main point of contact is Albert Birkner. He is a strong negotiator. Albert compromises, but never when he feels it is unfair or against our explicit interest. He is pragmatic and solution-oriented, but never to our detriment.’
‘Outstanding team, work great together and when necessary delegate work internally. Someone is always there for our requests.’
‘The individuals are responsive, determined and know exactly how to play on our side as clients.’
Karl Wlaschek Privatstiftung (KWPS)
ITI – International Theological Institute
St Johanns Club
Ronald McDonald Kinderhilfe (Children Charities)
Souveräner Malteser Ritterorden
Alex Schütz Familienstiftung (C-Quadrat)
- Advising the Karl Wlaschek Privatstiftung on all corporate, M&A and real estate issues, and represented the client in proceedings against a well-known coffee house operator in Vienna regarding unpaid rent due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
- Advised Welser Profile on various structuring and corporate-related issues, in particular a comprehensive review and revision of the current shareholders and intra-group agreements and various joint ventures in Austria and China.
- Advised Ronald McDonald Kinderhilfe on the legal aspects of a housing facility, as well as new housing facility developments.
The team at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH assists HNWIs, their families and businesses, and senior company management on issues ranging from family, real estate and inheritance law, to corporate and tax matters. Acting in Austria and abroad, the practice group offers asset planning and transfer services, and corporate restructuring and private foundation solutions, often in connection with the succession of family-owned businesses, and inheritance matters. The team is led by Johannes Reich-Rohrwig, an experienced litigator and tribunal arbitrator who also assists clients with private and corporate wealth succession, foundations, and trusts. Arno Zimmermann handles dispute resolution and contentious matters for HNWIs, in addition to providing advice on issues of corporate law.
Other key lawyers:
DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH acts for UHNW families and individuals on a range of matters, including cross-border tax structuring and estate planning, immigration, naturalisation and relocation processes, in addition to trusts and matrimonial matters, while also representing clients in contentious matters. The firm is a go-to advisor for Austrian and international private banks. Paul Doralt leads the team and assists clients with international estate and tax matters alongside associates Katharina Binder and Stanislav Nekrasov.
Other key lawyers:
Katharina Binder; Stanislav Nekrasov
‘Very high competence in the whole team and very quick availability.’
‘Strong, well-connected, experienced private client team, able to help clients with their most complex international wealth and tax structuring matters. Outstanding client handling and service.’
‘Paul Doralt is one of Austria’s very best private client advisors. He has enormous experience and a formidable network in Austria and abroad. Paul has a special gift in explaining complex things in an understandable way and in making clients feel safe and in good hands.’
‘Katharina Binder is technically excellent, responsive and a pleasure to work with.’
‘DORDA’s private client team is a real pleasure to work with. The team has excellent academic skill and yet finds very pragmatic and hands-on solutions.’
‘We work with Paul Doralt and Katharina Binder. They are very hands-on and pragmatic. Their reputation is top-notch, and yet they are very unassuming. Our family fully trusts them, and they have helped us successfully in some tough situations in the past.’
- Advised Bank Julius Bär, UBS, LGT, Zürcher Kantonalbank, Credit Suisse, and Bank Gutmann on the tax structuring of the portfolios of 30 different UHNW and HNW private clients.
- Advised the Schmidt-Chiari family on issues arising following the death of 83-year-old Guido Nikolaus Schmidt-Chiari, former CEO of Creditanstalt.
GRAF ISOLA focuses on advising private foundations, as well as assisting with succession and estate planning, inheritance and tax issues for HNWIs, whom it advises at the intersection of corporate, restructuring and wealth management. In particular, the firm is able to advise on the setting up, restructuring and liquidation of private foundations, supporting clients from Austria but also neighbouring countries, particularly Germany, in this regard. Team leader Armenak Utudjian, who is president of the Austrian Bar Association, is an experienced wealth management adviser and is also regularly consulted for his expertise in private foundation law.
‘Armenak Utudjian gives really good advice and not just legal information! Very prompt and accurate responses.’
Peter Lisec Privatstiftung
Kay Horstmann Privatstiftung
- Defending a family foundation in an arbitration proceeding.
- Advising a group of Austrian foundations and subsidiaries on a wide range of legal topics, including defending them against claims in an Austrian court.
Family matters are a key strength of Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm)‘s private client team, which regularly acts on post-marital claims, child custody matters and inheritance issues. At the intersection between private client and corporate law, the team advises on family-owned businesses and foundations, and supports HNWIs on the day-to-day running of their businesses, as well as drawing up succession plans and advising family members when disputes arise regarding ownership of assets. Gerald Schmidsberger, who specialises in corporate succession matters in addition to advising on broader corporate law, and Birgit Leb, who advises clients on pre-nuptial agreement and divorces, jointly lead.
Gerald Schmidsberger; Birgit Leb
‘They can handle complex and sophisticated matters. The breadth of their team, their service level and their responsiveness are outstanding. They have uncomplicated, simple and understandable procedures.’
- Assisting the Greiner Group with a range of private client issues, including inheritance, charity and power of attorney matters, arising from the restructuring of the family office.
DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH
The DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach Rechtsanwälte GmbH private client team acts for Austrian entrepreneurs, assisting with the structuring of their assets in order to best protect them, and with the setting up of complex cross-border structures, including private foundations. The firm also advises the owners of family-owned businesses on succession planning. Team lead Christoph Mager has experience administering wills belonging to HNWIs. Elisabeth Stichmann advises Austrian private foundations on structural reorganisations and supports HNWIs with their succession plans.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent understanding of the client’s business needs.’
‘The team is very experienced in advising high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurial families on the multi-jurisdictional structuring of their assets. DLA Piper’s almost inexhaustible international network is second to none in the region. The in-depth and broad experience of the Austrian team means that most mandates can be fully resolved in house. If necessary, the firm can draw on its worldwide office network. An impressive combination. It is a real one-stop shop.’
‘The Austrian team under the leadership of Christoph Mager knows the Austrian market and market participants very well and is very well connected. Christoph Mager is a highly respected colleague whose exceptionally successful legal work has impressed me for many years.’
Gemeinnützige Privatstiftung für Brustgesundheit
H.M.Z. Family Office
- Advising on an acquisition process concerning real estate property and involving four jurisdictions.
HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH specialises in advising HNWIs from the CIS region, and has recently been increasingly active in the Turkish market. The team supports its clients with asset structuring and succession plans. Co-head Jörg Winkler focuses his practice on tax advice, while his counterpart Nikolaus Becker advises on immigration and residency matters, as well as issues relating to private foundations.
Jörg Winkler; Nikolaus Becker
‘We had an outstanding experience working with the HSP team: professionals with brilliant expertise!’
‘Easy communication with the high class lawyers, quick pick up of matters/ requests, and quick and precise responses. Always available for follow up calls! Particularly would like to mention Jörg Winkler.’
‘Service quality is extremely good and colleagues are always eager to support.’
‘Jörg Winkler leads the team very well and he always acts professionally towards his clients.’
‘Great professionals with an eye for detail, they deliver their services in a timely manner and with great quality. We have worked mostly with Jörg Winkler and the associates and are extremely satisfied with their services and very thankful for the loyalty and support.’
Jank Weiler Operenyi works closely with the firm’s tax advisors, auditors and risk management specialists to advise HNWIs, family offices and foundations in Austria and abroad on wealth and asset management. Practice head Maximilian Weiler focuses on the structuring and execution of strategic assets, in addition to his work in corporate and commercial law. Gabriele Etzl specialises in advising clients on large real estate finance transactions in Austria and the CEE region.
Other key lawyers:
‘Very precise but pragmatic approach; solution-oriented; bring complex issues strictly to the point; very high quality technically and in dealing with the client.’
‘Maximilian Weiler is one of the best private client advisors in Austria; highest technical abilities, great communicator.’
‘Outstanding competent team with highly motivated and super responsive individuals.’
‘They are straight and efficient – good to work with them!’
‘Maximilian Weiler is our favourite lawyer.’
Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein
M. Müller Privatstiftung
- Advised Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein on issues relating to its international asset management entity and its subsidiaries, with a focus on real estate management.
- Advising Wolschner Privatstiftung and its subsidiaries on asset management and general corporate matters.
- Advised Mario Müller, founder of Familypark St. Margarethen, on the establishment of M. Müller Privatstiftung and the respective shareholding structure.
Müller Partner Rechtsanwälte
Müller Partner Rechtsanwälte's private client practice group splits its focus between advising on the setting up and running of foundations, and supporting non-profit projects. The practice regularly advises the founders and beneficiaries of foundations, and is also experienced in taking positions on their supervisory boards. Katharina Müller and Martin Melzer jointly lead the team; the former has experience in advising on construction law matters, while the latter is a charity law specialist.
Katharina Müller; Martin Melzer
‘Very focused approach, excellent understanding of legal and economic issues. Experts in private foundations in Austria.’
‘Excellent knowledge, very client-oriented, quick and full understanding of clients’ needs, good network with other experts.’
With a particular focus on transitioning businesses and foundations to the next generation, PwC Legal Austria-oehner & partner advises HNWIs, foundations and family-owned businesses on issues relating to foundation and succession law. The team assists its clients with setting up sustainable succession plans for their businesses, advising on the capabilities of potential successors in addition to any corporate and tax issues that may arise. Experienced corporate lawyer Christian Öhner leads the group. Michael Lind advises foundations and family-owned companies on corporate transactions and joint ventures.
Other key lawyers:
JCL AG and its owners
Owner of VVG – Vermögens- & Verwaltungs Gesellschaft m.b.H.
Owners of firstbird GmbH
Schachinger Logistic GmbH and its owners
Arma Filtre and its owner
- Advised the owners of Firstbird during its takeover by Radancy.
- Advising JCL and its owners on ongoing projects, including on group-wide management personnel restructuring.
- Advised an Austrian private foundation on the sale of a large Austrian manufacturing company via an auction sale process.
RIZZI Rechtsanwalts GmbH advises individuals and management boards on their private foundations and family-owned businesses, assisting with the establishment and restructuring of these bodies, in addition to supporting clients with the development of their succession plans. The team is also active in litigation pertaining to inheritance disputes. Paul Rizzi heads the practice, which also includes Maximilian Ringhofer, who handles inheritance and foundation matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice provides very individual advice. The team’s strength lies in the ability to tackle issues from a number of legal and practical angles at once.’
‘Paul Rizzi has in-depth knowledge of the relevant legal fields. Further he takes a strategic approach to the cases. His advice therefore takes into account the next steps and possible further scenarios. His academic background also enables him to anticipate upcoming developments in legislature and jurisprudence.’