Projects and energy in Austria
The team at Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) handles high-profile projects; it recently advised Vienna International Airport on its third runway and assisted TIWAG with the construction and operation of five hydropower plants. The 'renowned' practice has wide sector expertise, acting for clients in the infrastructure, waste, mining, utilities and pharmaceuticals sectors; the team also counts Red Bull on its client roster, which it recently advised on an environmental impact assessment. Christian Schmelz, who has 'an outstanding reputation', heads up the cross-departmental group, and the 'excellent' Bernd Rajal, who is 'solution-oriented', leads the projects and energy team.
‘For decades the Schoenherr public law team has stood for excellence, they provide excellent advice in complex administrative law matters and are particularly strong in energy industry related matters. Outstanding when it comes to constitutional law related questions and other complex regulatory matters. When needed, they have an academic approach and this is of high value when opining on complex regulatory issues. Strong standing in the Austrian and CEE markets overall and therefore their legal opinions are highly regarded by authorities, peers and courts. Very experienced in permitting procedures related to power plants and infrastructure projects. No other big corporate law firm has such a strong regulatory team and I believe it is also the largest team in Austria. They work across practice groups and that makes them particularly strong when it comes to complex transactions.’
‘Bernd Rajal is an excellent public law lawyer, solution-oriented and responsive with outstanding industry know-how. He also shows a hands-on mentality. Very efficient because he is supported by an excellent team of highly specialised regulatory lawyers, e.g. Marta Krzystek is extraordinary committed and always available for us. They are very capable at managing administrative proceedings and public law related litigation. Compared to other regulatory lawyers, simply the best in Austria, both in terms of quality and personality.
‘Schoeherr has one of the most renowned practices as regards environmental law projects and also extends its practice to energy. Christian Schmelz, the practice leader, has an outstanding reputation in public law. Moreover, Bernd Rajal is up and coming in the energy sector, mainly specialising in projects in Eastern countries.’
Vienna International Airport (“VIE”)
Autobahnen- und Schnellstraßen-Finanzierungs-AG (ASFINAG)
TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft AG
Therme Linsberg GmbH
EXAA Energy Exchange
Gazprom Export LLC
Gazprom Marketing & Trading
- Advising TIWAG on the construction and operation of five large hydropower plants.
- Acting for Vienna International Airport and the state of Lower Austria in the environmental impact assessment approval proceedings for a third runway at the airport.
- Assisting Red Bull with environmental, planning and permitting matters relating to the Red Bull Ring (the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit in Austria).
Cerha Hempel assists with projects and energy work by leveraging multiple departments throughout the firm. The practice is particularly singled out for its expertise in energy M&A, which is handled by Clemens Hasenauer and Johannes Aehrenthal in the corporate transactions team; in recent highlights, the group advised OMV on its purchase of a stake in an oil refining company and acted on General Electric's sale of its distributed power business. Public law group head Hans Kristoferitsch leads on regulatory matters and represented the Republic of Austria in several state aid cases. Real estate and construction leader Peter Vcelouch acted for Lidl on several construction projects. Georg Konrad and Thomas Trettnak also contribute to the practice.
‘Strong M&A team active in various industries.’
‘Not just stellar legal work, but outstanding support in running the negotiations. Contract signed in the end contained important elements to protect our interests. Clemens Hasenauer: international experience, attention to detail, tenacity in negotiations, availability, understanding of business. Harald Stingl: strong support, fast and thorough responses, good communication skills.’
Vienna International Airport
Republic of Austria
SES Spar European Shopping Centers
Austrian Power Grid AG
CeMM – Research Center for Molecular Medicine / IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology
- Advised OMV on its purchase of a 15% share in Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (ADNOC Refining) and a 15% share in a to-be-established trading joint venture from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).
- Advised General Electric on the sale of its distributed power business to Advent International.
- Advised Shell on the implementation of PSD and the respective Austrian law, with regard to euroShell fuel cards and questions relating to the applicability of the limited network exemption of the directive.
Johannes Trenkwalder heads up the energy group at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH, which advises companies including ADX Energy and SOCAR on acquisitions and financings. Projects are handled cooperatively with the public procurement, real estate and construction departments; Thomas Hamerl specialises in infrastructure projects and regularly handles procurement processes for school campuses. The practice also leverages the firm's international network on cross-border matters; the group recently advised Green Source on the financing and development of photovoltaic parks in Russia and Hungary. Bernt Elsner and Nikolaus Weselik are also names to note.
ADX ENERGY LTD
Breitband-Holding Projektgemeinschaft Brenner Basistunnel Nord (Amberg Engineering, Lombardi, müller + hereth, Obermeyer, hpbm)
Fröhlich & Locher und Partner Ziviltechnikergesellschaft mbH
Tridonic GmbH & Co KG Swarco Group Gebrüder Haider & Co, Hoch- und Tiefbau GmbH
Strabag AG, Salini Impregilo S.p.A.
Porr Beteiligungen und Management GmbH
SOCAR Energy Holdings JSC
- Advised ADX Energy on an asset deal involving Austria’s oldest active oil production facilities.
- Advised Breitband Holding on the bidding process for the selection of an investor in Phase 2 of Lower Austria’s FTTH network.
- Assisting the consortium Projektgemeinschaft Brenner Basistunnel Nord (Amberg Engineering, Lombardi, müller + hereth, Obermeyer, hpbm) on Austria’s largest construction project, the Brenner Base Tunnel.
The 'versatile' projects and energy practice at DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach notably focuses on cross-boarder work, acting on concessions and project finance matters. The team, led by practice co-heads Andreas Gunst and Oskar Winkler, recently advised a project company on the development of a gas interconnector, which will run along the Serbian-Bulgarian border, through Serbia and up to the Serbian-Hungarian border. The group also assisted the IFC with the award of a concession for Beirut Airport. Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnik focuses on infrastructure mandates and is 'responsive and legally firm with a pragmatic approach'.
Versatile team with readily available expertise in practically all legal fields and many geographical areas.
Cooperative and responsible
‘It has been a true pleasure co-operating with DLA Piper on a very important project we are realising in Serbia. The team is very professional, very diligent and very dedicated to the goal.‘
‘Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnikvery is responsive; legally firm but pragmatic approach; commercially sensible.‘
‘Andreas Gunst is reliable, dedicated and knowledgeable.‘
‘I have many words of true appreciation and professional support for Andreas Gunst. He is a true leader in the field not only in Austria but in Europe, at least when we talk about exemption proceedings.’
Caroo Mobility GmbH
Citi Global Markets
Eiffel Investment Group
Engie Global Energy Management (“GEM”)/Spain
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)
Susi Partners AG
Petrol d.d. Ljubljana
WEB Windenergie AG
- Advised IFC on the award of a concession for Beirut Airport.
- Advised EBRD and IFC on the award of a concession for the Sofia Airport.
- Advising Eiffel investment Group on the financing of numerous photovoltaic systems in Poland owned by the Germany-based Sunfarming Group.
The projects and energy team at Eisenberger & Herzog consists of energy and infrastructure specialists from the firm's M&A, finance and regulatory practices. Combining the expertise of several practice groups, the team is able to provide specific industry and market knowledge across a number of areas including conventional power generation, transmission and distribution work, renewable energy issues, oil and gas matters, and large-scale plant engineering and construction mandates. The team, which is jointly led by Marco Steiner and Ulrike Sehrschön, also covers the entire life cycle of energy and infrastructure assets. Tatjana Katalan-Dworak is a key name for public law matters and infrastructure projects.
Wien Energie GmbH
Energie Burgenland Windkraft
KELAG (Kärntner Elektrizitswirschafts Aktiengesellschaft)
ILF Consulting Engineers AG
- Acted for Energie Burgenland Windkraft on the largest repowering of wind turbines in the Austrian market.
- Advised Wien Energie on its acquisition of several hydropower plants in Austria.
- Acted for Kelag as international lead counsel on its acquisition of a wind park in Croatia via a share deal.
Project finance is one of the key areas of expertise for Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG's practice, with a particular focus on the infrastructure, energy and utilities sectors. The team is jointly led by Andreas Schmid, Manfred Essletzbichler, Silvia Feßl, Kurt Retter and Sebastian Oberzaucher; Oberzaucher recently led a team, which advised Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region on the comprehensive reorganisation of its public passenger transportation services with a value of €2bn.
RWE / KELAG Group
BP Power Trading Limited
Exxon Mobil Corporation
ERG Renew Group
Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH
European Investment Bank
Allianz Capital Partners GmbH
Erste Group AG
UniCredit Bank AG
Deutsche Bank AG
- Assisted Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region with the reorganisation of its public passenger transportation services totalling €2bn.
- Advising the Vienna Hospital Association on Krankenhaus Nord, an infrastructure project with a total value of €1.2bn, and on the development of framework agreements for the related tender procedures.
- Advising Wiener Linien on the expansion and adaptation of a tram depot and the construction of a new urban area.
Baker McKenzie • Diwok Hermann Petsche Rechtsanwälte LLP & Co KG's practice is headed by Andreas Traugott, who has led on competition law issues relating to energy procurement matters and water rights. The team, which includes former senior case handlers of the Austrian Competition Authority, recently represented Max Energy in a regulatory discrimination complaint against the dominant energy network operator. The practice also collaborated with the corporate department to advise Shell on its acquisition of sonnen.
- Advised Shell on its agreement to acquire 100% of sonnen, a leader in smart energy storage systems and innovative energy services for households.
- Represented Max Energy in a regulatory discrimination complaint against Wiener Netze, the dominant energy network operator, before the Austrian Energy Regulator.
Projects and energy work at Binder Grösswang is handled by multiple departments, including the banking and finance and dispute resolution practices, and is headed up by regulatory specialist Johannes Barbist. The firm's recent workload includes the financing of wind farm construction projects and broadband extensions, M&A transactions in the energy sector and the establishment of a network of charging stations for electric cars.
Contour Global Group
European Investment Bank (EIB)
TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft AG
- Advised Energie Burgenland on a cost calculation in the electricity and gas sector, including drafting written statements for administrative proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court.
- Advised Landesbank Baden-Württemberg on the financing of the construction and operation of the Edmundshof wind farm.
- Advised Infotech EDV Systeme on the project financing for the roll-out of its FTTH network. This is the first project finance scheme for a broadband and fibre optic project in Austria.
bpv Hügel focuses on regulatory issues in the energy sector, and leverages the firm's office in Brussels to advise on EU law questions including state aid work. As well as acting for clients in the electricity and gas sectors including OMV and Verbund, the practice's work also includes mandates relating to fuels, district heating issues and energy efficiency matters. Practice head Christian F Schneider represents energy companies in administrative court proceedings including disputes relating to network tariffs, and also advises on the effect of the EU renewables directive.
Fachverband Gas Wärme
Kärnten Netz GmbH
Gas Connect Austria
- Represented Kärnten Netz before the Federal Administrative Court in proceedings regarding the determination of cost eligible for network tariffs for 2018 and 2019.
- Advising Erdöllagergesellschaft on regulatory matters including issues relating to the interpretation of the Austrian Petroleum Stockholding Act.
- Advised Fachverband Gas Wärme (the Austrian association of gas and district heating companies within the Austrian Chamber of Commerce) on a settlement between the Austrian distribution system operators for gas and the Federal Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Workers Chamber.
DORDA Rechtsanwaelte GmbH specialises in public procurement work and recently advised OMV on a tender procedure, and acted for ARA Flugrettung in an appeal against an award decision. The practice is jointly led by Heinrich Kühnert and Bernhard Müller; Kühnert concentrates on compliance issues and pricing arbitration proceedings, and Müller represents clients before the regulatory authorities. The group, which has a 'practical and strategic approach', also handles hydropower and renewables work and domestic transportation, infrastructure and commercial projects.
‘Profound theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of industry requirements. Practical and strategic approach. Excellent drafting skills with regard to structure and understanding of wording. Focus on the essential topics and issues.’
DRF Deutsche Luftrettung, ARA Flugrettung
OMV Refining & Marketing GmbH
Klima und Energiefonds (Climate and Energy Fund)
- Acted for DRF Luftrettung and ARA Flugrettung on an award procedure regarding a European two-stage tender for the operation of a medical emergency helicopter, and in challenging the Province of Styria’s decision on the first phase of the tender proceedings.
- Advised OMV Refining & Marketing on the implementation of a complex tender procedure for restoration measures for a contaminated landfill.
- Advised the Climate and Energy Fund on the structuring of a public partnership with various Austrian communities to implement smart city state aid schemes.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
The projects and energy team at Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH is renowned for its expertise in energy law, and 'outstanding' group head Thomas Starlinger is highly praised by clients. Work highlights include representing an energy infrastructure provider in a dispute relating to the validity of long-term contracts regarding EU and Austrian energy law, successfully representing an energy infrastructure provider in an appeal against a decision by Austrian energy regulator E-Control relating to infrastructure development plans, and advising a market participant on the restructuring of the Austrian gas balancing regime. Moritz Am Ende and Christian Mayer are key contacts for competition mandates.
‘Very good team, excellent network in the energy sector, very well known in the market’.
‘The competence of this team especially in energy law, competition and antitrust law is impressive’.
‘The practice is particularly strong in the energy sector where it combines excellent institutional and commercial knowledge with its legal expertise’.
‘Thomas Starlinger, and Christian Mayer are both excellent lawyers in the energy and competition law sector’.
‘Thomas Starlinger is an outstanding energy law expert’.
‘Thomas Starlinger is the preeminent energy lawyer in Austria with particular insights in the gas sector. he has worked in the energy field throughout his career. Christian Mayer is a brilliant competition lawyer with experience in Austria and at EU level’.
Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH
- Represented an energy infrastructure provider in a dispute relating to the validity of certain long-term contracts regarding questions of competition and EU and Austrian energy law.
- Advised an electricity power producer on energy regulatory and competition issues relating to the compensation for congestion management measures under Austrian and European law, and handled the related negotiations with the Austrian control area manager and the Austrian regulatory agency E-Control.
- Successfully represented an energy infrastructure provider in an appeal against a decision by Austrian energy regulator E-Control relating to infrastructure development plans.