Firm Profile > Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners > Vienna, Austria

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners

Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 1

Providing ‘exceptional support for the clients’ and ‘expert legal advice’, Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners assists with restructurings and reorganisations, particularly for credit institutions, and is also active in financing and recapitalisation, especially of listed companies with bonds. Markus Fellner leads the team with ‘outstanding service quality’ and ‘deep business know-how’. Florian Kranebitter is also recommended.

Administrative law and public sector Tier 2

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners specialises in environmental and planning law, regularly advising on environmental impact assessments, zoning law and licensing procedures concerning large real estate development projects. Team head Michael Hecht is 'hands on, solution oriented' and 'straight to the point'; he successfully represented ÖBB Infrastruktur in the Supreme Administrative Court regarding the Semmering tunnel project, one of the largest infrastructure projects in Austria. The team acts for a number of public sector clients, including the city of Feldkirch and the province of Lower Austria.

Banking and finance Tier 2

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners's client portfolio includes several major banks but the team also acts for national corporates and other financial institutions and is best known for its bank restructuring, refinancing and banking litigation expertise. Markus Fellner, who co-heads the team with 'strategist' Gregor Schett, advised Hypo Nö Gruppe Bank on the merger with Hypo Nö Landesbank, now trading under the name Hypo Nö Landesbank für Niederösterreich und Wien, and assists UniCredit and several of its clients with the enforcement of claims pertaining to financial instruments that had been issued by Heta Asset Resolution. Elisabeth Fischer-Schwarz and Benedikt Kessler made junior partner in October 2017. Counsel Bernhard Köck moved to Jank Weiler Operenyi in July 2018.

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 3

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners is particularly adept at dealing with matters at the intersection of M&A, corporate, banking and real estate law leading to a steady flow of transactional and restructuring mandates. Markus Fellner assisted Steinhoff Europe with the sale of Kika-Leiner to Signa, including handling restructuring matters. In other noteworthy work, he and Florian Kranebitter advised Bawag P.S.K. and its subsidiary easybank on the acquisition of Six Payment Services (Austria)'s credit and prepaid card issuing business. Paul Luiki is also noted. Christian Thaler moved to Schindler Attorneys in August 2018.

Dispute resolution: commercial litigation Tier 3

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners acts for corporates and banks in disputes over mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, financing and capital market transactions alongside insolvency and employment-related matters and also handles class-action suits and internal investigations. Gregor Schett heads the team, which includes Markus Fellner.

Public procurement Tier 3

Advising on PPP projects and related public procurement matters including review proceedings and compliance issues is a central pillar of Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners' practice, which is led by Michael Hecht. Clients include the City of Vienna, Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft and Vienna Hospital Association. Rudolf Christian Pekar is another key member of the team.

Employment Tier 4

The team at Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners primarily acts for employers, particularly German and UK companies with subsidiaries in Austria, although the team also does some employee-side work, advising those in senior management roles. Highlights included practice head Kurt Wratzfeld representing UniCredit Business Integrated Solutions Austria in a case regarding the classification of employees within the salary model and advising the University of Applied Arts Vienna on the termination of employment of a works council member. The team also assisted clients including Imperial Tobacco Austria Marketing Service and Konica Minolta Business Solutions Austria with data protection matters.

The firm: Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners (fwp) was founded in 1999 by Markus Fellner and Kurt Wratzfeld as a law firm advising companies in all legal matters. Since then fwp has grown significantly. With a team totalling more than 130 employees, including more than 70 lawyers, fwp is one of Austria’s top business law firms.

The firm’s work is as international as its cases and clients, and fwp’s close and long-standing co-operation with international law firms is a major key to its success.

Areas of practice: The firm has a team of more than 70 highly qualified legal personnel supplying comprehensive support and advice for their clients. This is ensured through the perfect mix of long-standing, experienced specialists with added sector expertise, working in banking and finance, corporate/M&A, real estate, infrastructure and procurement law, reorganisation and restructuring, and dispute resolution.

Since 2010 fwp has been the exclusive Austrian member of the leading global referral network TerraLex (which has currently been awarded as “network of the year” by The Lawyer) and has actively participated in TerraLex’s business initiatives and meetings. This has resulted in a plethora of referrals both from our firm to TerraLex and from TerraLex member firms to fwp. The emphasis fwp places on cross-border work also is highlighted by our long-standing membership in the Association of European Lawyers (AEL), which provides a strong platform for pan-European cross-border transactions and legal advice.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Markus Fellner +43 1 537 70 311
Banking and finance Gregor Schett +43 1 537 70 314
Capital markets Paul Luiki +43 1 537 70 315
Corporate/M&A Markus Fellner +43 1 537 70 311
Corporate/M&A Paul Luiki +43 1 537 70 315
Insolvency and restructuring Markus Fellner +43 1 537 70 311
Insolvency and restructuring Florian Kranebitter +43 1 537 70 325
Labour Kurt Wratzfeld +43 1 537 70 316
Intellectual property Markus Kajaba +43 1 537 70 322
Real estate and construction Michael Hecht +43 1 537 70 317
Real estate and construction Lukas Flener +43 1 537 70 330
Real estate and construction Markus Kajaba +43 1 537 70 322
Public law and public procurement Michael Hecht +43 1 537 70 317
Antitrust and competition Lukas Flener +43 1 537 70 330
Antitrust and competition Florian Kranebitter +43 1 537 70 325
Dispute resolution Markus Fellner +43 1 537 70 311
Dispute resolution Gregor Schett +43 1 537 70 314
Environmental and planning Markus Kajaba +43 1 537 70 322
Environmental and planning Michael Hecht +43 1 537 70 317
Private equity Markus Fellner +43 1 537 70 311
Private equity Lukas Flener +43 1 537 70 330
Central and Eastern Europe Paul Luiki +43 1 537 70 315
Central and Eastern Europe Markus Fellner +43 1 537 70 311
Photo Name Position Profile
MMag Dr Markus Fellner  photo MMag Dr Markus Fellner
Dr Lukas Flener  photo Dr Lukas Flener
Dr Michael Hecht  photo Dr Michael Hecht
Mag Markus Kajaba  photo Mag Markus Kajaba
Dr Florian Kranebitter, LLM  photo Dr Florian Kranebitter, LLM
Dr Paul Luiki  photo Dr Paul Luiki
Mag Rudolf Christian Pekar  photo Mag Rudolf Christian Pekar
Dr Gregor Schett, LL.M  photo Dr Gregor Schett, LL.M
Dr Kurt Wratzfeld  photo Dr Kurt Wratzfeld
Number of lawyers : 70
Association of European Lawyers

Markus Fellner, Partner

What do you see as the main points that differentiate fwp from your competitors?

There is not one or two big things that we do different from all the others. This is also not our primary goal. What differentiates us are the very many little things of our team’s everyday hard work. We take great pride in having each team member always striving to respond faster, being better organized, digging deeper, arguing with more precision, having a clearer focus, negotiating more skillfully, all towards the ultimate goal of getting extra value for our clients. If I have to put it in one phrase what our clients value most in fwp, it is fwp’s spirit, teamwork and drive in moving things forward to a successful conclusion.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

Twelve months is certainly a very short projection period as we at fwp try to anticipate developments or trends several years ahead. Short-term we will certainly see the obvious ones gaining in importance related to technological change, block-chain, cryptocurrencies, data protection, start-ups and fintechs, with growth potential also in complex civil law matters, corporate, financing, as well as related regulation. We will see a strong increase in restructuring and insolvency work once interest rates go up. Growing uncertainty on stock markets will yet again boost real estate deals. Ever more restrictive national and EC legislation will provide an impetus for further growing our strong public law practice. Competition law will become a war zone as authorities harden their grip and competitors discover it as a means of doing business. In disputes, we will see a trend to mass litigation actions. So in a nutshell perfect conditions to further grow our top tier practices, amplified by new technological trends.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Again, it is a bundle of continual adaptions and significant improvements; just to pick a few: as our business is still a people’s business, we constantly work on im-proving our team’s expertise both internally and through lateral hires. Over the past few years, we have placed a focus on deepening our international relationships to offer our national and international clients the high quality one-stop-shop they expect. TerraLex, the international law firm network where our firm is the only Austrian member, last month just won the Global Network of the Year award at The Lawyer’s European Awards in London. And we have cut down on response times to same day response.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the ser-vices you can provide them?

Legal Tech is omnipresent and fwp closely tracks progress and explores developments of its own. However, in fwp’s highly specialized fields of tailor-made solutions, technology is not yet ready to tackle these complex tasks and I personally doubt that it will be able to do so in the very near future. Still, technology will help us service clients even faster, for example through new communication channels, search options, organisational tools and internationalization.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

One client came to us in need of desperate help. Their distribution contract had been terminated by a Swiss manufacturer. Without the contract our client’s business was severely endangered. So within a couple of days, with the assistance of our Swiss colleagues, we assessed the prospects of getting a preliminary injunction to enforce the contract in Switzerland and in Austria, neither of which is easy to get. We then successfully got an injunction from a Swiss court within one week of the termination that forced the Swiss counterparty to continue to deliver goods to our clients. This essentially saved our client’s business.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients certainly are. fwp early on adopted the principle of “one face to the customer”. As a lawyer is only ever as good as he or she is informed, this principle gives our team the decisive information advantage of having a full picture to fully assess our clients’ strategic needs. In three years’ time, fwp will have further enhanced its client service, will have further adapted to technological change, will have continued to grow its international service network, all while remaining the leading national law firm with a spirited team of top tier lawyers who are part of a full service law firm accompanying clients in achieving their strategic goals.

fwp extends its expertise by appointing a new junior partner from its own ranks

Vienna, September 2018. Motivated and energetic - this is how the new junior partner of Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner (fwp) presents himself. One of Austria’s leading law firms acclaims Clemens Gabriel’s new status as attorney-at-law registered since 19 September 2018.

“The quality of our performance is based on the successful development of our teams – this includes taking on board long-serving associates who wish to work with us as attorneys after having successfully passed their exam and being admitted to the Austrian bar association”, emphasises founding partner Markus Fellner.

fwp strengthens areas of competence by appointing a new junior partner from its own ranks.

Vienna, September 2018. Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner (fwp) adds valuable competence and expertise to the team by promoting Michael Froner to junior partner.

The quality of our performance is based on the successful development of our teams – this includes taking on board long-serving associates who wish to work with us as attorneys after having successfully passed their exam and being admitted to the Austrian bar association”, explains founding partner Markus Fellner.