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.

Leading individuals

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.

Leading individuals

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.

Leading individuals

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 .

Leading individuals

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.

The firm: CHSH is one of Austria’s leading corporate law firms with an integrated Central and Eastern European practice and can trace its history back to the 1920s. With over 200 lawyers, CHSH offers clients experience and expertise in all areas of corporate and commercial law, both in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to its main office in Vienna, the firm also has offices in Bratislava, Bucharest, Budapest, Minsk, Prague, Sofia and Timisoara. CHSH knows the legal characteristics of these countries inside out and has in-depth knowledge of local markets.

CHSH has a long and very successful track record. For decades the firm has been advising clients in cases that demand particular expertise, creativity and innovation. This is not only guaranteed by wide-ranging specialist knowledge, motivation and commitment, but also by an excellent understanding of its clients’ businesses. Over the past 25 years, CHSH has been involved in most of the top transactions in Austria. This is what really distinguishes CHSH as one of the leading law firms in the fields of mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, takeovers, privatisations, financing, and real estate and construction. CHSH also enjoys an enviable reputation for handling large-scale commercial litigation and arbitration.

As CHSH understands its clients’ businesses, it helps the firm achieve an extremely high rate of success. The know-how, coupled with many years’ experience in Central and Eastern Europe, guarantees its clients cross-border advice of the very highest quality.

Areas of practice: Mergers, acquisitions and corporate: the focus at CHSH is not only on classic M&A, but also on private equity and venture capital transactions. CHSH specialises in developing and providing practical solutions to what can be extremely complex issues that often involve cross-border components. Due to the diversity of its clients, CHSH is particularly experienced in advising on public M&A, including takeover law and related disclosure requirements under stock exchange law.

Banking and finance: CHSH supports businesses in their borrowing and investment decisions, as well as in the context of financial and liquidity planning and treasury operations. CHSH advises both borrowers and lenders alike. CHSH is one of Austria’s most renowned law firms in the regulatory sector and advises international banks on regulatory issues and with respect to the selling and trading of securities in Austria.

Capital markets: CHSH is one of the leading law firms specialising in capital markets. Over the past 25 years, the firm has handled the largest capital market transactions in Austria and has set the standards in this field. The firm covers all aspects of IPOs, capital increases and bond issuances, advising potential issuers and consortium banks acting as underwriters for transactions on a wide range of due diligence matters as well as preparing prospectuses in accordance with relevant international standards and drafting corporate documentation for capital transactions.

Real estate and construction: the real estate and construction department at CHSH has considerable success in advising national and international companies in complex Austrian and cross-border real estate transactions and construction projects. The firm advises its clients through every stage of a project, from project development, drafting financing agreements, preparing planning and construction agreements to residential and commercial leases. The core areas of expertise include handling landlord and tenant disputes and construction litigation, as well as assisting with claim management.

Litigation and arbitration: whether it concerns construction disputes, unfair competition, contractual interpretation, insurance law, warranty issues, or damages in contract or tort, CHSH covers the entire spectrum of corporate and commercial law and has a fantastic success rate in contentious matters and proceedings. Arbitration is also part of the firm’s tradition. CHSH knows the ins and outs of international arbitration, as well as the advantages and pitfalls of the various institutional rules and members of the firm frequently act as arbitrators, chairpersons and counsel.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Edith Hlawati
Banking and finance Volker Glas
Banking and finance Peter Knobl
Banking and finance Thomas Zivny
Capital markets Edith Hlawati
Capital markets Volker Glas
Capital markets Peter Knobl
Capital markets Thomas Zivny
Corporate Benedikt Spiegelfeld
Corporate Edith Hlawati
Corporate Albert Birkner
Corporate Clemens Hasenauer
Corporate Heinrich Foglar-Deinhardstein
Distribution, antitrust, competition Bernhard Kofler-Senoner
Distribution, antitrust, competition Hans Kristoferitsch
Distribution, antitrust, competition Anna Wolf-Posch
Eastern Europe Benedikt Spiegelfeld
Eastern Europe Albert Birkner
Eastern Europe Johannes Aehrenthal
Eastern Europe Georg Konrad
Employment Julian Feichtinger
Insolvency and restructuring Irene Welser
Insolvency and restructuring Georg Konrad
Insolvency and restructuring Thomas Trettnak
Litigation and arbitration Benedikt Spiegelfeld
Litigation and arbitration Irene Welser
Litigation and arbitration Peter Vcelouch
Mergers and acquisitions Benedikt Spiegelfeld
Mergers and acquisitions Edith Hlawati
Mergers and acquisitions Albert Birkner
Mergers and acquisitions Clemens Hasenauer
Mergers and acquisitions Harald Stingl
Mergers and acquisitions Thomas Trettnak
Privatisation Edith Hlawati
Privatisation Volker Glas
Privatisation Albert Birkner
Privatisation Bernhard Kofler-Senoner
Public commercial and European law Peter Lewisch
Public commercial and European law Bernhard Kofler-Senoner
Public commercial and European law Hans Kristoferitsch
Public commercial and European law Stefan Huber
Real estate and construction Peter Vcelouch
Real estate and construction Johannes Aehrenthal
Real estate and construction Manfred Ton
Real estate and construction Mark Krenn
Tax Clemens Hasenauer
Tax Peter Knobl
Tax Johannes Prinz
Tax Benjamin Twardosz
Eastern Europe Thomas Zivny
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
Number of lawyers : 200
at this office : 100
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The World's Leading Association of Independent Law Firms
Contacts : Albert Birkner (managing partner)
Contacts : Clemens Hasenauer (managing partner)
Other offices : Bratislava
Other offices : Bucharest
Other offices : Budapest
Other offices : Minsk
Other offices : Prague
Other offices : Sofia
Other offices : Timisoara