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 > Public procurement

(Leading individuals)

Bernt ElsnerCMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH

A leading practice in the public procurement sphere, CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH advises clients on the full spectrum of procurement procedures and related litigation, with particular strengths in the healthcare and infrastructure sectors. National and large cross-border PPP projects form part of the team’s portfolio. Construction, TMT, transport, and waste management are other areas where the firm is routinely active. Bernt Elsner is the global head of the CMS public procurement practice group and has longstanding experience in matters including tender proceedings, procurement litigation and compliance. Robert Keisler and Thomas Hamerl are also noted for their expertise in this area.

Austria > Projects and energy

Clients from the public sector, private investors, development companies, banks and financial institutions regularly instruct CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH on questions of energy, climate change, infrastructure, and projects. The firm’s infrastructure and projects group and the energy and climate change group collaborate to jointly work on matters in this area. The practice advises on the full range of project development with a particular focus on social infrastructure, renewable energy as well as life sciences and healthcare, among others. Property and construction law specialist Nikolaus Weselik, energy and climate change expert Thomas Hamerl, and public procurement head Bernt Elsner are the key contacts.

Austria > EU and competition

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH ‘s team is ‘very responsive and always target-oriented, with the ability to think outside the box’.  Led by Bernt Elsner and Dieter Zandler, the practice covers the whole range of competition matters, ranging from merger control and private enforcement to compliance and claims proceedings. With growing importance for the Austrian market, foreign direct investment is another area of focus of the department. Elsner is particularly knowledgeable in relation to bid rigging, while Zandler regularly represents clients in proceedings before Austrian and European authorities.

Austria > Administrative law and public sector

The public law practice group at CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz Rechtsanwälte GmbH focuses on advising clients on matters pertaining to trade law, EU state law, public and industrial plant construction and commercial law as well as regulatory law. The team, which is headed by Bernt Elsner and Robert Keisler, is also involved in disputes before administrative authorities and courts. Keisler’s expertise in this area spans sectors such as healthcare, construction, logistics and tourism, while his work has also most recently included matters related to Covid-19. State aid and administrative and constitutional court proceedings are among Elsner’s specialisms.