Firm Profile > Cerha Hempel > Vienna, Austria

Cerha Hempel

Capital markets Tier 1

Working in close co-operation with its banking and corporate finance teams, Cerha Hempel routinely assists Austrian real estate holding companies with capital market transactions but also acts for several other Austrian-listed companies, banks and investment firms. In recent highlights, Thomas Zivny and Volker Glas advised Buwog on its €300m rights offering, while Glas also handled S Immo's issuance of two fixed-coupon bonds totalling €150m, and assisted Voestalpine with the set-up of a base prospectus for a €1bn bond issuance programme and an inaugural issuance of €500m 1.375% senior notes. The group, which also includes Edith Hlawati, Clemens Hasenauer and 'go-to lawyer for regulatory matters' Peter Knobl, also handles delistings.

Dispute resolution: white-collar crime (including fraud) Tier 1

With superb reputation in the space, Cerha Hempel acts for companies and individuals in criminal proceedings and internal investigations, while also providing assistance with compliance matters. Team co-heads Hans Kristoferitsch and Stefan Huber represented a construction company in criminal investigations against circa 50 companies and over 150 individuals for alleged bid-rigging, fraud and corruption, and, together with highly regarded co-head Peter Lewisch, Kristoferitsch is acting for Wiener Stadtwerke and its subsidiary Wien Energie in various criminal proceedings pertaining to allegations of fraud, corruption and the manipulation of several tender proceedings.

Administrative law and public sector Tier 2

Cerha Hempel is noted for its wide-ranging practice, covering environmental, state aid, planning and zoning, energy, air traffic, education, product regulation and healthcare law. Hans Kristoferitsch, who is 'hands on and understands the client's needs', represented the Republic of Austria before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in litigation regarding the awarding of state aid for nuclear power plants in the UK and Hungary; he also acted for the Austrian Power Grid in proceedings before the Board of Appeal of the EU Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators and the ECJ. Stefan Huber, who jointly heads the practice with Kristoferitsch, is advising food retailer Spar on a variety of regulatory issues, as well as acting for a number of higher education bodies, such as the Institute of Science and Technology. Other clients include Vienna International Airport and Philip Morris.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Praised for its 'outstanding expertise', Cerha Hempel acts for lenders and borrowers on various finance transactions and has a strong profile for banking regulatory and compliance work. As an expert for regulatory and compliance issues, the 'outstanding' Peter Knobl frequently advises clients, including Spar-Finanz Bank and Commerzbank, on MiFID II matters, anti-money laundering (AML) compliance and banking secrecy issues. In the financing space, Volker Glas is advising Sberbank Europe on various LMA financings, including a guarantee facility agreement for Euro-Asfalt and a transfer of loan portfolios from Sberbank Hungary to Sberbank Europe and Thomas Zivny assisted Erste Group Bank with the refinancing of Immofinanz's Stop Shop portfolio. Edith Hlawati heads the team.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

The 'responsive, professional and well-connected' team at Cerha Hempel has a strong profile for cross-border M&A, reorganisations and restructurings and has handled an increasing amount of corporate work for family offices. 'Quick, polite and creative' co-head Clemens Hasenauer advised General Electric on the sale of its distributed power business to Advent International, and assisted Fosun Industrial with the takeover of the textile group Wolford, and 'excellent negotiator' and 'very experienced, hardworking and extremely smart' co-head Albert Birkner, who 'always thinks two steps ahead, preventing potential problems', advised disposal and recycling company Saubermacher on setting up the joint venture Pink Robin with French company Veolia Environnement. Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein heads the Brazilian desk. Counsel Sarah Wared joined Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG as a partner in September 2018, while Lorenz Pracht was promoted to the partnership in January 2019.

Dispute resolution: arbitration and mediation Tier 2

Acting in energy and construction sector disputes is a central pillar of Cerha Hempel's arbitration practice. Benedikt Spiegelfeld and Irene Welser are the main contacts and also act as arbitrators. Susanne Molitoris was appointed senior counsel in October 2017 and Bernhard Wychera made counsel in January 2018.

Dispute resolution: commercial litigation Tier 2

Cerha Hempel has a strong profile for contentious construction and trust-related matters alongside shareholder and post-M&A disputes. Practice head and 'excellent negotiator' Irene Welser represented Asfinag in three separate but connected proceedings against a construction conglomerate pertaining to insolvency-related and commercial issues. Michaela Siegwart, who was appointed senior counsel alongside Susanne Molitoris in October 2017, acted for Wiener Linien in a dispute with a contractor. Other clients include Immovate, Die Erste Leasing Immobilienverwaltungs- und vermietungsgesellschaft and Spar.

Employment Tier 2

The team at Cerha Hempel counts many large national and international companies among its clients, including Spar Österreichische Warenhandels-AG,, 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.

EU and competition Tier 2

Cerha Hempel handles state aid and cartel investigation proceedings, as well as advising clients on their compliance measures. The team has also been involved in a series of high-profile merger control cases: it represented OMV before the European Commission in merger control proceedings relating to its acquisition of joint control of Smatrics; acted for the sellers of Hali and Svoboda in proceedings that involved the four largest manufacturers of office furniture in the Austrian market; and represented Austria Asphalt before the Court of Justice of the European Union in proceedings concerning the merger control aspects relating to a joint venture with Teerag-Asdag. Bernhard Kofler-Senoner heads the team, which also includes Anna Wolf-Posch, who joined as a partner from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in January 2018, and counsel Michael Mayer .

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

In cooperation with the firm’s corporate, finance and litigation departments, the ‘very responsive’ team at Cerha Hempel provides ‘to-the-point and hands-on’ advice to creditors and shareholders on insolvency law, including pre-insolvency debt collection and insolvency proceedings. Other areas of expertise include corporate structure and debt reorganisations, as well as distressed M&A. The ‘always friendly and speedy’ department head Thomas Trettnak ‘is a pleasure to work with’; he and Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein advised CNH over the course of the insolvency proceedings of goods supplier Fahrzeug- u. Maschinenbau-Prototypen.

Real estate Tier 2

Cerha Hempel routinely guides international open-end and closed-end funds, real estate companies and retail chains through the full life cycle of real estate projects. Manfred Ton advised Kgal Group on the acquisition of various retail parks for its Austrian retail park portfolio and team head Peter Vcelouch provides regular advice to Lidl Austria on real estate development projects and various acquisitions. 'Confident negotiator' Mark Krenn is 'fast at analysing risks and opportunities' and Matthias Nödl was appointed counsel in October 2017.

Tax Tier 2

In January 2018, Cerha Hempel increased its bench strength by adding Benjamin Twardosz from Wolf Theiss Rechtsanwalte GmbH & CoKG; he now jointly heads the 'prompt and professional' practice with Johannes Prinz. While this addition boosted the team's litigation capabilities, other key elements of expertise include corporate and transactional tax, investment tax and stamp duty law, real estate transfer tax and tax matters pertaining to wages. The Brazilian pulp producer Fibria Celulose and its Austrian subsidiary Fibria International Trade retained the team to advise on export prepayment facility and stamp duty matters and, in the contentious space, Twardosz successfully represented Concord Card Casino in various appeal proceedings before Austrian courts concerning gaming taxation.

TMT Tier 2

With an extensive blue-chip client base, Cerha Hempel covers a wide range of TMT sector work with a particular focus on data protection, IT and telecoms law. The 'very responsive and pragmatic' team, which is led by the 'excellent' Hans Kristoferitsch, advises Spar on all data protection, data security and IT matters and also assists Asfinag on various IT, data protection and GDPR compliance issues including traffic and toll-collection data matters alongside video surveillance issues.

Construction Tier 3

Cerha Hempel’s construction department advises clients on every stage of the project, from the initial acquisition of land to project development and the drafting of planning and construction agreements. Department head Peter Vcelouch is handling several contentious and non-contentious matters for long-standing client Vienna International Airport pertaining to planning and construction contracts, and is acting for SES Spar European Shopping Centers in litigation and on the re-drafting of its model planning, engineering and construction contracts. In addition, he advised new client Aberdeen Standard Investments, one of the largest asset managers in Europe, on an investment into a residential development project in close proximity to Vienna’s main railway station. Matthias Nödl, who was promoted to counsel in 2017, assisted Vcelouch on numerous matters.

Private client Tier 3

Cerha Hempel’s activities in the private client field include wealth management, especially asset structuring in relation to succession planning, as well as corporate law. The firm also assists family-owned businesses, trusts and private foundations, for example as board members, with disputes and restructuring issues. Name partner Benedikt Spiegelfeld, Albert Birkner, Johannes Aehrenthal and Benjamin Twardosz manage the team together. The team is advising long-standing client Franz Pichler Privatstiftung and the family on corporate and investment matters.

Projects and energy Tier 3

Cerha Hempel frequently draws on the expertise of its finance, corporate, M&A, public procurement and real estate teams to advise on energy, infrastructure and electronic tolling projects. Georg Konrad and Johannes Aehrenthal are assisting Vienna International Airport with various infrastructure projects, and Clemens Hasenauer provides regular advice to the Central European Gas Hub on various regulatory and energy law matters. Thomas Trettnak is another key member of the team.

Public procurement Tier 4

Cerha Hempel handles various contentious and non-contentious public procurement law matters for predominately contracting authorities such as the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and Wien Energie but also acts for bidders including Traumatologische Gemeinschaft Burgenland. Irene Welser heads the team, which includes Michaela Siegwart, who made partner in January 2019.

Intellectual property Tier 5

Cerha Hempel’s IP team handles a range of trade mark work, including trade mark opposition and cancellation as well as trade mark protection and portfolio management. Mark Krenn regularly advises McDonald’s on trade mark infringement matters, and also takes care of its entire Austrian trade mark portfolio. Senior attorney Katharina Majchrzak, who joined the firm in November 2017, has particular expertise in unfair competition, copyright and design right matters.

Photo Name Position Profile
Dr Johannes Aehrenthal  photo Dr Johannes Aehrenthal
Dr Albert Birkner  photo Dr Albert Birkner
Mag Julian Feichtinger  photo Mag Julian Feichtinger
Mag Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein  photo Mag Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein
Dr Volker Glas  photo Dr Volker Glas
Dr Clemens Hasenauer  photo Dr Clemens Hasenauer
Dr Edith Hlawati  photo Dr Edith Hlawati
Dr Peter Knobl photo Dr Peter Knobl
Dr Bernhard Kofler-Senoner  photo Dr Bernhard Kofler-Senoner
Mag Georg Konrad  photo Mag Georg Konrad
Dr Hans Kristoferitsch  photo Dr Hans Kristoferitsch
MMag Johannes Prinz  photo MMag Johannes Prinz
Dr Benedikt Spiegelfeld  photo Dr Benedikt Spiegelfeld
Dr Manfred Ton  photo Dr Manfred Ton
Dr Thomas Trettnak  photo Dr Thomas Trettnak
Dr Peter Vcelouch  photo Dr Peter Vcelouch
Hon-ProfDr Irene Welser  photo Hon-ProfDr Irene Welser
Dr Anna Wolf-Posch, LL.M.  photo Dr Anna Wolf-Posch, LL.M.
Dr Thomas Zivny  photo Dr Thomas Zivny