Private client in Austria

Binder Grösswang

On top of succession planning, foundations and investment advice, Binder Grösswang is also well able to handle more niche matters regarding philanthropy, acquisition of luxury goods and change of residence. Clients include Austrian nationals and foreign nationals, for instance from the UAE, Germany and the US. Both Andreas Hable and Bernd Schneiderbauer add their corporate and M&A background to private client advice. The duo collaborate closely with other departments at the firm to provide a full-service private client offering.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Hable; Bernd Schneiderbauer

Other key lawyers:

Christian Zwick

Testimonials

‘The members of the team we have been working with are highly specialized in each of their fields providing the clients with an excellent level of service. Compared to other practices we can point out the high quality of service, a broad coverage of legal fields they specialize in and a very quick response to the needs of our clients, which are all crucial when dealing with private clients and privately owned business.’

‘Andreas Hable provided excellent support in a broad field of legal questions of our individual clients, who highly appreciated his client oriented approach and broad coverage of legal issues they are facing.’

Key clients

Family Baturina

Family Freudenberg

Family Gudzowaty

Family Gromes

Family Beier

Family Kaufmann

Family Hoffmann

Family List

Family Marberger

Family Kreiner

Family Sarmini

Family Bründlmayr

Family Springer

Family Neubrand

Family Scheuch

Family Heinemann

Family Jerie

Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG

Private clients throughout Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe entrust Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG to take care of legal and tax-related issues. The wide service range includes estate planning, investment advice, and international tax planning as well as family law services. Tax expert Niklas Schmidt and real estate specialist Karl Binder jointly lead the department, which is also well versed in niche topics such as philanthropic projects and charitable organisations. Counsel Eva Stadler is of note for her tax advice to HNWI.

Practice head(s):

Niklas Schmidt; Karl Binder

Other key lawyers:

Eva Stadler

Testimonials

‘Great international network.’

‘Niklas Schmidt is well known and effective.’

‘Dr. Karl Binder and his team have excellent knowledge regarding real estate law in Austria and a very pragmatic approach to find solutions. All responses to our inquiries were in excellent quality and in time which helped us a lot to move forward in our projects. He supported us in many successful real estate acquisitions and sale and lease back deals. ’

‘Dr. Binder was tough in negotiations but always focusing on finding a common solution which makes his work very efficient. He always gave us a realistic point of view on our legal position. We appreciate his deep insights in the Austrian real estate market to get a good feeling what was common in the market in uncertain times during the corona crisis.’

‘Clients are assigned a first point of contact who knows the case and remains on top of everything.’

‘Dr. Karl Binder is capable, practice-oriented and a contact who gets back to you quickly.’

Work highlights

  • Advised various HNWIs on the acquisition of Austrian real estate, both residential and commercial.
  • Advised wealthy individuals and their families on tax issues in connection with wealth management vehicles such as the common law trust and the civil law foundation.
  • Advised various private clients on probate matters, on the drawing up of wills, on forced heirship rules and on other estate matters.

ARNOLD Rechtsanwaelte GmbH

High-net worth individuals and private foundations turn to ARNOLD Rechtsanwaelte GmbH for wealth management services. Nikolaus Arnold is a key name in this area of law.

bpv Hügel

The private client practice at bpv Hügel stands out for its seamless integration with the firm's tax practice and its high quota of dual qualified lawyers and tax advisers. High-net-worth individuals, family enterprises and private foundations engage the 'very experienced' team for advice on succession planning, asset structuring and reorganisations. Florian Plattner has knowledge of private foundations and Gerald Schachner combines corporate as well as tax experience with private client work. Associate Verena Hügel is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Florian Plattner

Other key lawyers:

Gerald Schachner; Verena Hügel

Testimonials

‘bpv Hügel’s in-depth knowledge of Austrian tax law is unique.’

‘The team has very good knowledge of foundation law, law of succession planning and corporate law. If one of my Private Banking clients has questions in this direction, I refer him to the team at bpv Hügel.’

‘Verena Hügel is the contact person for me when it comes to questions of foundation law. In addition to her legal expertise, Verena Hügel also has a comfortable way of dealing with private clients and meeting their needs.’

‘bpv Hügel is also the first address for private clients in Austria. What distinguishes them from other firms is their strong tax department. They do trust law, foundation law and succession planning and relocation.’

‘Gerald Schachner is the most prominent tax and private client lawyer and the driver for their success. He provides sensational advice. Gerald is the right person for tax planning for wealthy families as he combines legal and tax skills with a great personality.’

‘They also have phenomenal private client team where the tax lawyers play the key roles. We have been referring clients for a long time, and we have always been highly satisfied. The quality of work is fantastic. The go the extra mile and find a solution.’

‘The private client practice has in-depth expertise with private foundations, trusts, succession planning and relocations; this combined with their experience and skills makes them the finest address. ’

‘Schachner has the ability to combine difficult matters with clarity. His comprehensive experience in tax and foundation law makes him the perfect lawyer for private clients.’

‘Smaller unit, but very effective. Dual qualified professionals (lawyer – tax consultant, very scarce combination in Austria). Very uncomplicated, target-oriented and business-minded.’

‘Highly qualified and personally extremely likeable.’

‘bpv Hügel is not only leading in tax but also for private client matters. I was always convinced of the fantastic performance of bpv Hügel, which is certainly one of the best choices for tax including private clients in Austria. My overall impression is excellent. You get top advice, they are professionally enriching, polite, reliable, also have humour. The working style I would describe as efficient, fast, focused on practical solutions, they speak a clear language.’

‘Gerald Schachner is my first point of contact. He works precisely, but focused on the important issues. His professional skills and experience made him a top-class lawyer. Gerald explains difficult matters in a structured and simple way. Gerald focuses on solutions and is one of the best in his field. He is the head of the tax department but also a key player in the private client practice. Gerald is an expert on private foundations. ’

‘We cooperate with bpv Hügel on a regular basis over the recent years on tax and private client matters. We choose bpv Hügel because of the outstanding quality of work and their reputation in Austria.’

‘What makes Gerald Schachner unique is that he has extensive experience in many areas combined with exceptional technical skills. He is not only an exceptional tax lawyer, he also has a great knowledge of private foundations and trusts which makes him an excellent lawyer for private clients as well. As a person he is down-to-earth, practical and solution oriented. Gerald always focuses on a clear and structured advice.’

‘The team is very experienced and the employees are very well educated.’

‘Dr. Verena Hügel is one of the best trust experts in Austria and has an extremely high level of knowledge here.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of a multinational enterprise operating in the healthcare sector on the tax structuring reorganisation of the entire group.
  • Advising a Czech national resident in Austria on a tax-efficient relocation to the Czech Republic.
  • Advising a high-net-worth US national in relation to an envisaged relocation to Austria, including analysing the taxation of trusts.

Cerha Hempel

At Cerha HempelHeinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein and Albert Birkner jointly head the practice. As a corporate partner, the former has a particular focus on trust law, whereas the latter is an experienced foundation law adviser. The team also includes Johannes Aehrenthal, who assists private clients with corporate holdings as well as property inheritance and structuring. Associate Martin Eichinger joined the practice from Jakobljevich & Grave at the beginning of 2020, further enhancing the firm's offering for high-net-worth individuals. Benedikt Spiegelfeld retired.

Practice head(s):

Albert Birkner; Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein

Other key lawyers:

Johannes Aehrenthal: Martin Eichinger

Testimonials

‘Cerha Hempel is a full service law firm with solid and in-depth expertise in all areas relevant to us. The international network through Lex Mundi offers us the possibility to obtain fast and efficient advice even in exotic jurisdictions.’

‘Lukas Moser is extremely responsive, sees the overall problem and offers us individual business oriented solutions at any time.’

Key clients

Kwizda

Karl Wlaschek Privatstiftung (KWPS)

Pichler Privatstiftung

ITI – International Theological Institute

Batthyany-Strattmann

St Johanns Club

Ronald McDonald Kinderhilfe (Children Charities)

Souveräner Malteser Ritterorden

KR Ing. Franz Hrachowitz

Alexander Silber

Alex Schütz Familienstiftung (C-Quadrat)

Dr. Pscheidl Privatstiftung

Dr. Günter Eichhübl

Mag. Dominik Brunner

Mag. Robert Tencl

Erich Erber Phd

Peter Duschek

Work highlights

  • Advised Karl Wlaschek Privatstiftung on the acquisition of a portfolio of 24 apartment buildings; and on a sale of the hotel facility “Hotel Ananas” to WertInvest Group.

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Company owners, family businesses, asset managements and HNWI can count on CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH for the full range of private client services. Probate proceedings, inheritance advice, foundation establishment and succession planning are key areas of strength. Johannes Reich-Rohrwig is able to draw on his corporate know-how to assist with matters relating to corporate wealth succession. Arno Zimmermann and Lukas Peissl are also heavily involved in private client work, especially in contentious corporate law matters.

Practice head(s):

Johannes Reich-Rohrwig

Other key lawyers:

Arno Zimmermann; Lukas Peissl

Graf & Pitkowitz

Private foundation law, wealth management and succession planning are the pillars of the private client practice at Graf & Pitkowitz. The team advises on domestic and cross-border matters alike and regularly creates or restructures trusts under Austrian private foundation law. Department head Armenak Utudjian sits on the board of numerous foundations in addition to handling probate, succession planning and real estate work. At associate level, Stefanie Swatek has considerable knowledge of private foundations, investment and real estate.

Practice head(s):

Armenak Utudjian

Other key lawyers:

Stefanie Swatek

Testimonials

‘Dr. Armenak Utudjian has exceptional experience in the area of corporate governance and family governance of family-owned companies.’

‘We trust Armenak Utudjian 100% and are more than happy with the way he handles legal as well as family issues. He is very considerate and wise. He is very responsive and fast in dealing with whatever we ask him to deal with.’

Key clients

Andra Privatstiftung

Bene Privatstiftung

Motycka Privatstiftung

Talent Privatstiftung

4 M Privatstiftung

Work highlights

  • Advised a family foundation on the sale of a 1,135 acre property, defending it against claims in an Austrian court and arbitration proceedings.
  • Advising Talent Privatstiftung on various matters regarding private foundation law in Austria.
  • Advising a group of trusts and its subsidiaries on a wide range of legal topics and defending them against legal claims in Austrian court.

Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm)

The private client practice at Saxinger, Chalupsky & Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH (SCWP Schindhelm) includes individuals based across the firm's offices in Wels, Linz, Graz and Vienna, although Upper Austria is the department's main focus. In addition to divorce, succession and inheritance planning, the group headed by Gerald Schmidsberger and Birgit Leb has a core focus on corporate governance and company law issues. The former is very knowledgeable of Austria private foundations, whereas the latter is a key name for articles of association, preliminary marriage agreements and other contracts between spouses. Heidi Lallitsch, who is particularly involved in real estate work, is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Gerald Schmidsberger; Birgit Leb

Other key lawyers:

Heidi Lallitsch

Testimonials

‘We have a personal lawyer who has access to all specialists within SCWP Group. So we talk to one person but have the whole range of special knowledge of all lawyers.’

Key clients

Greiner Holding AG

Susanne Kaufmann

MVTE Privatstiftung

Work highlights

  • Assisting Greiner Holding AG with a range of highy complex cross-border private client issues including inheritance, marriage, power of attorney and charity issues.
  • Advising Susanne Kaufmann, the founder and former majority shareholder of a leading European “clean beauty” brand on the sale of a majority interest in her company to a London-based private equity firm.
  • Advising the private foundation MVTE Privatstiftung on the sale of 50% of the Y-Towers Amsterdam to Union Investment Real Estate.

Schindler Attorneys

The private client practice at Schindler Attorneys collaborates closely with other departments of the firm to offer family enterprises full-service assistance. In addition to foundation law, the department also excels in inheritance law, family law and art law and advises several international clients, with Germany one of the group's key markets. Clemens Philipp Schindler, Philipp Hoyos and Martin Picherer jointly head the team. Schindler is particularly sought after for his financial and economic expertise; Hoyos specialises in the structuring of family assets; and Picherer focuses on real estate and succession planning. Senior associate Katharina Schindler is of note for her art law and inheritance expertise.

Practice head(s):

Clemens Philipp Schindler; Philipp Hoyos; Martin Picherer

Other key lawyers:

Katharina Schindler

Testimonials

‘Schindler Attorneys, and in particular, its name partner Clemens Schindler, is a client-oriented and extremely experienced lawyer, very committed to his work and a pleasure to work with. He has earned peer recognition in the international tax arena for the firm and for himself, being quite young for such impressive achievement. Clemens has positioned the firm within the top-notch Austrian firms to go to for private wealth but also for corporate tax advice.’

‘They are always quick to respond and to clarify the parameters of their work. You are always given the impression that as a client you are valuable to them.’

‘Philipp Hoyos and Clemens Schindler have profound legal knowledge and can add strong empathy which is a key in private client matters. In addition, they have a pragmatic approach and are oriented towards solutions.’

‘Philipp Hoyos has the unique profile suitable for a private client lawyer with his quick understanding of the legal issue and in particular any family dynamics.

‘Clemens Schindler adds to the practice the international experience and elements of professionalism.’

‘I moved with Clemens Schindler when he set up his firm as he is a brilliant lawyer. Not only smart, he is good at listening to what the client wants, understanding the nuances of what they need making sure they get it and are protected in the process. He and his team are creative, extremely detailed orientated and trustworthy.’

‘Clemens Schindler is extremely smart. Completely committed to his clients. Creative, and this works so well because of his exceptional knowledge of the law and international taxes.’

‘Philipp Hoyos is structured, thoughtful and thorough, a very deliberate lawyer.’

‘I feel the team works very efficiently. Information flows precisely and in meetings the team is always perfectly organized. The firm has excellent expertise in M&A, real estate matters and tax law. By far better than any firm I have worked with so far.’

‘Dr. Schindler and his team are exceptionally hard-working professionals. They have handled my cases real estate and tax questions with care and preciseness in a fast matter. I would say precision and effectiveness makes Schindler Attorneys stand out. ’

‘Schindler Attorneys is a law firm with a multidisciplinary approach and an extraordinary service level.

‘Dr. Clemens Schindler’s professional skills and wide range of legal and economic expertise are one of a kind. His network is invaluable.’

‘The team works very customer-oriented and fast. The professional competence in foundation and tax law is impressive. But also corporate law or M&A for family offices is a core competence of the law firm.’

‘The team distinguishes itself from other law firms by its personal commitment and especially because they speak the language of the client.’

Key clients

Elina Garanca

Hypo Alpe Adria Mitarbeiter Privatstiftung

Frey Family

Work highlights

  • Ongoing legal advice to one of Europe’s wealthiest families, recently in relation to succession planning as well as corporate migrations of their holding structures.
  • Advising a famous opera singer, recently on Covid-19 related matters.
  • Advising a famous Formula One driver, recently in connection with the Covid-19 related changes in the race calendar.

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach

The private client department at DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach specialises in supporting Austrian entrepreneurial families with asset structuring and protection, often involving cross-border aspects. Christoph Mager, who is regularly installed as executor of last wills, heads the team. Elisabeth Stichmann has significant knowledge of Austrian private foundations and is able to draw on her corporate background.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Mager

Other key lawyers:

Elisabeth Stichmann

Testimonials

‘Christoph Mager has an excellent understanding of the client’s needs.’

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH is a popular choice for Eastern European and Russian clients in particular, largely due its deep knowledge of Austrian foundation structures for tax and estate planning. Paul Doralt and Elmar Drabek jointly head the team, which stands out for its dispute capabilities as well as notable skills in corporation succession and family asset planning. Doralt is a recognised international tax advisor and Drabek has a background in immigration law.

Practice head(s):

Paul Doralt; Elmar Drabek

Other key lawyers:

Katharina Binder

Testimonials

‘The private client team has very broad knowledge in cross-border cases and in tax issues.’

‘Katharina Binder is very experienced, responsive and has outstanding expertise in tax law questions.’

HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH

HSP Rechtsanwälte GmbH provides private client services tailored to high-net-worth individuals from the CIS region. It is particularly sought out for matters relating to corporate succession, the protection of private assets and provision for descendants. Real estate specialist Jörg Winkler jointly heads the team with Nikolaus Becker, who is a key name for advice concerning residency, the right of domicile and the law on citizenship.

Practice head(s):

Jörg Winkler: Nikolaus Becker

Testimonials

‘Very client-focused, goes the extra mile to make it a personalized service. Good understanding of the problem, which is essential for me. Also, nice out-of-the-box thinking and making the cultural bridge for a foreign investor We highly appreciate the personal and prompt response, usually by a partner of HSP, to our inquiries.’

‘Mr. Jörg Winkler’s knowledge of Austrian immigration and business law is at the highest level, he is always available and his persistence and power of persuasion are unique.’

‘We use HSP in corporate law and residency law matters for our international clients if they require corporate structures or residency permits and visas in Austria.’

‘Our main contact in these areas are Dr. Winkler and Mag. Nikolaus Becker and their Private Clients Team. They always provided services to our clients’ utmost satisfaction, which is of course also important for us as we recommend them to our clients.’

Jank Weiler Operenyi

Family offices, foundations and high-net-worth individuals are among the clients of Jank Weiler Operenyi's wealth and private asset management department. Clients especially value the combination with Big 4 tax expertise. Maximilian Weiler, who focuses his personal practice on the structuring and execution of strategic investments, is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Maximilian Weiler

Key clients

Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein

M. Müller Privatstiftung

Wolschner Privatstiftung

Hallmann Group

Immowert Group

Veit Sorger

Work highlights

  • Advising Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein on the structuring of an international asset management entity with a focus on the investment and the management of real estate, agriculture, forestry and renewable energy projects.
  • Advising Wolschner Privatstiftung and its subsidiaries on asset management and general corporate matters.
  • Advising Mario Müller on the establishment of M. Müller Privatstiftung, the sale of Austria’s largest amusement park and the respective shareholding structure with regard to various business ventures.

Müller Partner Rechtsanwälte

A niche area of expertise at Müller Partner Rechtsanwälte is the establishment of charitable foundations under federal foundations and funds law. The firm also handles all issues surrounding private foundations and its attorneys frequently act as board members. The practice is jointly led by Katharina Müller and Martin Melzer, with the latter having excellent knowledge of non-profit law.

Practice head(s):

Katharina Müller; Martin Melzer

Siemer-Siegl-Füreder & Partner, Rechtsanwälte

Asset structuring and succession planning are the main area of expertise at Siemer-Siegl-Füreder & Partner, Rechtsanwälte. Hannes Füreder is the key contact for wealth management advice.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

PwC Legal Austria-oehner & partner

Corporate advice to family enterprises is the focal point of private wealth services at PwC Legal Austria-oehner & partnerChristian Oehner and senior manager Daniela Steiner jointly head the team, with the former covering corporate and M&A topics and the latter specialising in asset structuring, risk management and transactions.

Practice head(s):

Christian Oehner; Daniela Steiner

Testimonials

‘Excellent combination of tax knowledge and legal expertise.’