Projects and energy in Austria

Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte)

A projects heavyweight, Schoenherr (Schönherr Rechtsanwälte) has significant expertise assisting with motorways, wind farms and hydropower plants. The practice also assists its high-end clients with other energy technology and renewables projects. 'Fantastic energy lawyer' Bernd Rajal acts as firm-wide head of the department, with Christian Schmelz in charge of planning and environment, Günther Leissler leading the tech regulation group and counsel Johannes Stalzer responsible for public procurement. Clients include national and international corporations, municipalities, provinces and government authorities.

Practice head(s):

Bernd Rajal

Other key lawyers:

Christian Schmelz; Günther Leissler; Johannes Stalzer

Testimonials

‘Senior lawyer Dr. Christian Schmelz is one of the most experienced legal experts in the field of public law. There are few others in Austria that can give legal advice on that level. Especially project developments in infrastructure will be assisted in a perfect and applied way so that risks can be minimized and successful project realization enabled.’

‘Schoenherr has a very strong legal team focused on various aspects of the energy market, from business transactions to policy advice offered to the European Commission. They have dedicated professionals with in-depth technical expertise around central and Eastern Europe. ’

‘Bernd Rajal, the head of the energy practice, is one of the best lawyers I have worked with. A dedicated professional with excellent team and project management skills. ’

‘They have unparalleled expertise not only in planning and environment, but also in many other fields of public law as well as in constitutional law. Their overall performance is simply extraordinary.’

‘Christian Schmelz is probably the most regarded practitioner in this field and regarded as the “doyen” of public law. He is at the forefront of all new developments in public and environmental law and also in political or ecological developments. He is simply outstanding: his technical and ecological competence is extraordinary high; he is excellent in negotiations and his social competence is very high.’

‘The difference working with Schoenherr attorneys due to other companies is the approach of how to solve a problem.’

‘The Regulatory and Energy team offers a full service in environmental and energy regulatory matters, works efficiently and is solution-oriented.’

‘Bernd Rajal has a profound knowledge, personal effort and is a fantastic energy lawyer. ’

‘Christian Schmelz is our leading lawyer from Schoenherr, an absolute expert in his business. He finds every loophole in the law that can support our administrative proceedings. His whole team is great in doing so, always thinking a step forward in what could happen next and find the right answer in advance.’

Key clients

Vienna International Airport

European Commission – DG Energy

Gazprom Group

Alpiq

EXAA Energy Exchange

Internationale Rheinregulierung (Int’l Organisation for the flood regulation on the river Rhine)

ASFINAG

EBRD (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development)

OMV Petrom

TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft AG

Austrian Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer Österreich)

Red Bull

Laakirchen Papier

Zellstoff Pöls

TINETZ-Tiroler Netze GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advising on all of Vienna International Airport’s expansion programmes in addition to handling various approval proceedings in order to secure the final green light for the third runway.
  • Advising Project “Rhesi” on the improvement of flood protection along the Rhine River (Austria/Switzerland) including the renaturation of over 60km of the river.
  • Advised the European Commission on a comprehensive study of legal and regulatory barriers to enter the wholesale gas markets in the EU.

Cerha Hempel

Cerha Hempel deploys a cross-practice approach involving individuals from the corporate, regulatory and construction teams to tackle projects and energy matters. The team is jointly headed by corporate expert Clemens Hasenauer, head of public law Hans Kristoferitsch and Peter Vcelouch, who covers construction. The group advises on energy, infrastructure and electronic tolling matters as well as M&A and real estate projects. The team is also equipped to represent clients in projects-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Clemens Hasenauer; Hans Kristoferitsch; Peter Vcelouch

Key clients

OMV

ASFINAG

Vienna International Airport

Republic of Austria

CEGH

Austrian Power Grid AG

EnBW Trust e.V.

via donau

Voith

TSR Recycling Holding GmbH and TSR Recycling GmbH & Co KG

Wiener Stadtwerke GmbH and all of its subsidiaries, including Wien Energie GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised OMV AG on acquisition of an additional 39% stake in Borealis AG from Mubadala group.
  • Advised EnBW Trust e.V. and Energie Baden Württemberg AG on the sale of a 28.35% stake in EVN AG.
  • Advised ASPER Aberdeen Standard Pan European Residential Property Fund SICAV RAIF on the acquisition of a development project near Vienna’s main railway station.

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

At CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH, the infrastructure and projects group frequently works with the firm's energy and climate change department to advise on public procurement, energy, real estate and construction. Clients include construction companies and developers, institutional investors and energy companies. Johannes Trenkwalder concentrates on renewable energy and energy efficiency, Bernt Elsner handles procurement and public-private partnerships, Thomas Hamerl specialises in infrastructure projects and Nikolaus Weselik handles property and construction law matters.

Practice head(s):

Bernt Elsner; Johannes Trenkwalder; Thomas Hamerl; Nikolaus Weselik

Key clients

ENCAVIS Asset Management

ADX ENERGY LTD

Sanifair

nöGIG and Breitbandholding

eFriends Energy GmbH

Projektgemeinschaft Brenner Basistunnel Nord (Amberg Engineering, Lombardi, müller + hereth, Obermeyer, hpbm)

Green Source

Strabag AG, Salini Impregilo S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising Encavis on the acquisition of a newly developed mountain top wind farm in Austria.
  • Assisted Green Source with the financing and development of photovoltaic parks in Hungary, with a power capacity of 72MW.
  • Advising ADX Energy LTD on an asset deal involving Austria’s oldest active oil production facilities.

DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach

In addition to assisting with local Austrian matters, the projects and energy group at DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach has a focus on advising international clients in Austria or Austrian clients with international business interests, especially in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Energy trade expert Andreas Gunst, who is admitted as a solicitor in Ireland, England and Wales, jointly headsd the team with Oskar Winkler. Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnik covers the infrastructure side, where she has recently expanded her airport project expertise. The practice is particularly experienced in gas projects and also advises on renewable energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Andreas Gunst; Oskar Winkler

Other key lawyers:

Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnik

Testimonials

‘All staff members present themselves with great integrity, professionalism. It is a group of stellar lawyers and very pleasant to work with.’

‘Very strong team on renewable energy and major strength in ensuring delivery to client satisfaction.’

‘Andreas Gunst is the team leader and impresses through the breadth and depth of expertise on renewable energy matters and willingness to go the extra mile to ensure delivery and client satisfaction.’

‘DLA is displaying sound experience in PPA projects. Their advantage is that they have worked for various stakeholders e.g. producers, off-takers, or the financial sector across Europe. This gives them the distinctive edge.’

‘We have worked with Andreas Gunst for renewable work for a number of years and he is responding swiftly to comments occurring in a group decision.’

‘Mr Andreas Gunst is the best energy lawyer which I meet ever. His creativity, capability to explain consequences of any decision and straightforward approach is something which make him an outstanding lawyer. ’

‘Strong cross-national legal experience; very dedicated team.’

‘Jasna Zwitter-Tehovnik is very dedicated, always reachable, very hands-on partner, strong experience in project finance.’

Key clients

Gastrans d.o.o. Novi Sad

HEC Lanabregas sh.a.

Eiffel Investment Group

Consortium including Strabag SE/RLB Niederösterreich-Wien AG and Uniqa Versicherungs AG

IFC

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

York Capital Management Ltd.

Energy Community.

A major Russian gas supplier being active worldwide

European Federation of Energy Traders (EFET)

Caroo Mobility GmbH (trading as Eloop)

Work highlights

  • Advising Gastrans d.o.o. Novi Sad on all aspects of the development of a gas interconnector from the Serbian-Bulgarian border up to Hungary.
  • Advice to EBRD/IFC on the award of a concession for the Sofia Airport.
  • Assisting the government of Albania with the development of solar powered capacities and wind auctions.

E+H Eisenberger + Herzog

The projects and energy group at E+H Eisenberger + Herzog draws on cross-practice expertise from M&A, finance and regulatory experts. Marco Steiner excels at transactional work and Ulrike Sehrschön is active in tender proceedings related to both infrastructure and energy projects, while renewable energy projects, specifically wind parks, fall within Tatjana Katalan-Dworak's area of expertise. The group is also adept at advising on upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas matters as well as conventional power generation and distribution issues.

Practice head(s):

Marco Steiner; Ulrike Sehrschön; Tatjana Katalan-Dworak

Testimonials

‘The team is absolutely customer-orientated and has a deep knowledge especially in renewables in Austria and were involved in a huge number of projects especially in the southern part of Austria. They have outstanding partners which lead the process and are always available for the costumer and take care of their wishes.’

‘Mrs. Tatjana Katalan-Dworak is an outstanding partner with deep knowledge in renewables and a very practical approach which is often necessary for a successful completion of a project. Her practical approach and way of working makes the biggest difference compared to competitors.’

‘The team is well organized and very skilled in particular matters concerning energy and infrastructure projects in all of Austria’s provinces. They keep track of due dates, react in a reasonable time, recommend smart strategical concepts and serve clients very well. E&H have international experience and this yields extra quality to their work, compared to other (local) law firms. ’

‘Dr. Tatjana Katalan-Dworak: She is for sure amongst the best lawyers concerning energy and infrastructure matters in Austria. She (and her team) knows all the particularities of the different Austrian provincial law schemes. She knows decision makers in the industry and amongst the authorities personally. She knows to define a smart strategy and recommends very well in tactical matters. She knows to sum up complex content and informs clients in short, but specific words. She is very tough at negotiations, but still never crosses a red line.’

‘Dr. Peter Winkler is very experienced at international corporate law. He stands out in designing and negotiating complex international contracts. He is used to negotiating at the highest level of international business.’

‘Very straightforward approach, target-oriented, strong experience in renewable energy, excellent market understanding.’

‘Tatjana Katalan-Dworak is deeply involved in most wind power projects in the region; excellent knowledge about (key) stakeholders, authorities, solution-oriented.’

‘Marco Steiner is an excellent M&A advisor, hands-on, focuses on the key points, target-oriented, excellent knowledge about wind power industry.’

Key clients

Mubadala Petroleum and Petrochemicals Holding Company LLC

Energie Burgenland Windkraft GmbH

Regionalwärme Gruppe

Bushveld Minerals Limited Garnet Commerce Ltd.

Wiener Stadtwerke GmbH

Wien Energie GmbH

Windpark Stanglalm GmbH

Allianz Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Advising Mubadala Petroleum and Petrochemicals Holding Company LLC as seller of an indirect stake in Borealis AG to OMV AG as buyer.
  • Advising Regionalwärme Gruppe on all legal matters; including assisting with pipeline routes and network expansion.
  • Advising Wiener Stadtwerke GmbH on its bid to acquire the stake in EVN AG held by EnbW Trust eV.

Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG

Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG has a cross-disciplinary approach to its projects and energy work, which was recently extended to also support clients with issues in relation to the European Green Deal. Procurement specialist Manfred Essletzbichler is frequently involved in infrastructure and PPP projects. Sebastian Oberzaucher is also a core member of the procurement team and has additional construction experience. Regulatory work falls to Kurt Retter, who has expertise in infrastructure and environmental law, among others.

Practice head(s):

Sebastian Oberzaucher; Kurt Retter; Manfred Essletzbichler; Andreas Schmid; Silvia Fessl

Key clients

Engie (formerly GDF Suez)

Gazprom

RWE / KELAG Group

PORR Group

Lukoil Group

BP Power Trading Limited

Exxon Mobil Corporation

Vinci Group

Axpo Group

ERG Renew Group

Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH

European Investment Bank (EIB)

SNAM SpA

Allianz Capital Partners GmbH

Meridiam

Kommunalkredit AG

Erste Group AG

UniCredit Bank AG

Vienna Airport (Flughafen Wien AG)

Work highlights

  • Advising Vienna International Airport on the procurement of a “innovation partnership”, a new contract form for research and development activities regarding an innovative technical solution not yet on the market.
  • Advising Erste Group on the re-financing of a major wind farm project in Croatia with a value of EUR 23.5 million, as well as on the environmental law aspects of the project.
  • Assisting Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (VOR) GmbH with numerous matters regarding the reorganisation of public passenger transport in Austria.

Binder Grösswang

Projects and energy work at Binder Grösswang is handled by members of the firm's real estate, corporate, and banking and finance teams. The group has a strong skill set in energy M&A, litigation and arbitration. Practice head Johannes Barbist is a key name for environmental law.

Practice head(s):

Johannes Barbist

Key clients

VERBUND AG, Austria’s leading electricity company

ÖBB, Austria’s leading railway group

Contour Global Group

European Investment Bank (EIB)

TIWAG Tiroler Wasserkraft AG

Prinzhorn Group

General Electric

Energie Burgenland

Work highlights

  • Advised the holding company of an Austrian province on the comprehensive restructuring of the companies owned by the state holding company.
  • Advised an affiliate of a major non-Austrian mobility provider on its market entry into Austria for IT-supported public passenger transport services.
  • Advised electricity and gas network operators in Austria on the energy regulation scheme including representation before the Austrian regulator and the administrative courts.

bpv Hügel

Regulatory issues including the implementation of the EU energy framework or network tariffs are at the forefront of bpv Hügel's energy practice. In addition to electricity and gas, the team also has expertise in matters relating to fuels, district heating and energy efficiency. Energy and telecoms specialist Christian Schneider, who has a focus on all areas of public law, leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Christian Schneider

Key clients

VERBUND AG

OMV AG

KELAG

Erdöllagergesellschaft

Fachverband Gas Wärme

Kärnten Netz GmbH

IG Holzkraft

TIGAS

Gas Connect Austria

Österreichs Energie

Work highlights

  • Advising Verbund and its subsidiaries on energy matters and representation before various courts.
  • Assisting OMV and its subsidiaries with energy matters and representation before various courts.
  • Advising Kelag and its subsidiaries on energy matters and representation before various courts.

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH

DORDA Rechtsanwälte GmbH provides the full range of transactional as well as regulatory energy and natural resource work, particular in the oil and gas sector. Heinrich Kühnert, who combines energy and projects with his competition law background, jointly heads the team with Bernhard Müller. Müller is able to draw on his background in public law to assist with project work and also has experience of contentious matters. Other areas of expertise include project tenders in transportation and infrastructure.

Practice head(s):

Heinrich Kühnert; Bernhard Müller

Key clients

3M Precision Grinding

Klima und Energiefonds

Menzies Aviation

OMV Exploration & Production Austria

Work highlights

  • Represented OMV in negotiations with another energy company concerning the implementation of a joint venture for the construction and operation of a plant in the renewable energy sector.
  • Advising the Climate and Energy Fonds on the structuring of a public partnership with various Austrian communities to implement smart cities state aid schemes.
  • Representing 3M Precision Grinding after a fire at the plant in a procedure before the authority to modify the plant by commissioning new hardening chambers in which abrasives are produced.

Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH

Regulatory matters relating to the gas and electricity sectors are the core focus of the energy practice at Schima Mayer Starlinger Rechtsanwälte GmbH. Practice head Thomas Starlinger has a strong energy background and collaborates with the firm's other departments, including competition and finance, to provide energy suppliers, network operators, producers and energy-consuming industries with a range of legal services.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Starlinger

Testimonials

‘Fast, on the point, deep energy industry knowledge.’

Key clients

Trans Austria Gasleitung GmbH

Work highlights

  • Acting for a network operator in several ICC arbitrations concerning the validity of long-term contracts, in particular regarding competition, energy regulatory and civil law aspects.
  • Advised an electricity power producer on the contractual relationship between an energy producer and the Austrian control area manager regarding the provision of congestion management measures.
  • Provided a study to a professional organisation on the possible design of a “Carbon Border Tax Adjustment Mechanism” currently considered by the European Commission.