In this first-of-its-kind edition of The Legal 500: GC Powerlist Austria Teams 2023, we have the honour to highlight some of the country’s leading in-house legal teams. We identified the most impressive legal departments in Austria, which have utilised their legal knowledge strategically to positively impact their organisation’s success.
Austria’s in-house counsel have faced a dynamic and eventful period over the past year. They encountered new challenges and navigated an ever-changing and demanding business environment. One of the most prevalent challenges has been ensuring compliance with increasing regulations. Some other challenges included digitalisation and implementation of technology across the departments and the management of teams spread across several jurisdictions due to remote work settings resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Austrian in-house counsel have played a vital role in supporting some of the country’s most significant transactions in recent years despite these challenges. Their reputation for innovation and excellence within the in-house legal sphere has remained constant, reflecting their dedication and expert legal knowledge.
Within these pages, discussions highlight the creative solutions Austrian-based in-house legal teams developed to align their companies’ business objectives. Their ability to foster internal cohesion and cultivate a strong team identity has been instrumental in operating at a consistently high level. We have asked the teams to provide insights into their culture and ethos. The legal team at Western Union stressed, ‘Our values – integrity, respect, trust and innovation – reflect our culture. We develop and nurture that culture by creating a trustworthy, respectful environment, supporting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We see ourselves as role models, celebrate our successes, learn from our mistakes, and have fun along the way. When we are together, we create moments that matter’. Even the legal team of SPAR Österreichische Warenhandels shared with us the secret of its success, ‘Our team stands for stability, continuity, cohesion, helpfulness, and appreciation — these values have ensured agile and value-adding cooperation for many years. Starting with a team of four in 2010, we have grown to a very stable team of 14 in recent years; out of all the employees, the longest has been with the company for 38 years. During challenging times like the pandemic, mutual support has helped us and strengthened the team structure even more. We support the company’s work/life balance initiatives in our team.’
As Austria’s legal landscape continues to evolve, in-house counsel in the region will undoubtedly ensure and work towards the growth and success of their companies, given their legal excellence, adaptability and ability to innovate. The GC Powerlist: Austria Teams 2023 is a testament to their achievements and a source of inspiration for legal professionals striving for excellence in the country’s ever-changing business environment.
Sara Maggi| Deputy Editor The Legal 500: GC Powerlist Series