MMag Dr Bernt Elsner > CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH > Vienna, Austria > Lawyer Profile

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH
1010 WIEN

Work Department

Public Procurement, Competition & EU, Public Law


Bernt Elsner is partner and global head of the CMS Public Procurement Group. He is a leading expert in the fields of public procurement, antitrust and public law.

He studied law at the University of Vienna and business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. In 1993-94 he worked as a research assistant at the Austrian Constitutional Court for the constitutional judges Prof. Dr. Karl Spielbüchler and Prof. Dr. Karl Korinek. In 1997 he practised European competition law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels. From 2004 to 2010 he was Managing Partner of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. He has more than 24 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

Bernt Elsner is one of the leading Austrian experts in the dynamic and constantly changing field of public procurement law. His numerous publications and lectures have had a significant impact on Austrian public procurement law.

He advises public entities on the structuring of complex tenders, advises bidders on their participation in award procedures, especially public-private partnerships (PPP projects), and frequently represents them in public procurement disputes. He has extensive experience in tender-relevant compliance issues.


Legal clerk at the Austrian Constitutional Court (1993/94); Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, Brussels (1997); partner at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz since 2001, managing partner from 2004 to 2010; author of several standard reference books and leading commentaries on public procurement law.


German, English


Vienna Bar Association; International Bar Association; Antitrust Lawyers’ Association (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht); Society for Construction Law (Gesellschaft für Baurecht);


University of Vienna (Mag. iur., 1989; Dr. iur., 1991);
Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (Mag. rer. soc. oec., 1993)

Lawyer Rankings

Austria > EU and competition

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH‘s competition practice group is characterised by a strong track record, and covers the full range of competition law from advice on cartels, vertical agreements, merger control, distribution agreements, state aid, foreign direct investments and compliance, to private antitrust litigation. Led by Bernt Elsner and Dieter Zandler, the team acts for domestic and international claimants and defendants in multiple jurisdictions, often at the intersection of public procurement law. Due to its strong global network, the team can provide its local and international clients with a comprehensive dawn raid package.

Austria > Projects and energy

The group at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH works across the energy sector, and has recently been highly active in mandates relating to transport and renewable energy. Bernt Elsner leads the firm’s public procurement group, while Thomas Hamerl leads the energy and climate change sector group. Construction law expert Nikolaus Weselik completes the roster of key contacts at leadership level. The group is consequently able to operate as a cross-practice team with a broad offering, as well as a targeted national team with deep sector knowledge.

Austria > Public procurement

(Leading individuals)

Bernt ElsnerCMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

The group at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH is particularly prolific when it comes to PPP projects and work in the infrastructure and healthcare sectors, and the team is lauded for its ability to handle complex procurement projects. Practice head Bernt Elsner is referred to by one client as ‘the mastermind behind the well-coordinated team‘, and often works on contentious issues stemming from public procurement matters. On the regulatory side, Robert Keisler and Thomas Hamerl are the key names to note.

Austria > Administrative law and public sector

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH focuses on providing advice at the intersection of public and commercial law, assisting energy and pharmaceuticals clients with matters ranging from trade and EU state aid work to regulatory and construction mandates. The practice routinely represents clients before the state and federal administrative courts in addition to the constitutional court and has been involved in complex litigation in relation to the Austrian government’s Covid policies. Public procurement, EU and antitrust law specialist Bernt Elsner and public commercial law expert Robert Keisler lead the practice, while Thomas Hamerl is responsible for energy and construction law matters in addition to public procurement work.