Founded in 1921, CERHA HEMPEL is among Austria’s largest and leading firms. Since the late twentieth century, the firm has been growing a network of offices in Eastern Europe that now encompasses branches in Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and the Slovak Republic.
Focusses / specialisms
The firm has a broad group of commercial law practices with good, experienced teams covering all areas of work relevant to the ranking tables. The firm’s corporate practices are especially strong and capital markets is an area of work the firm is renowned for.
The firm is experienced in the banking work. It is known for assisting large corporates and lenders (international and domestic) in negotiating loans and has done recent notable work in the swathe of bank restructurings undertaken by some of Austria’s largest lenders.
Historically the firm was renowned for its equity capital markets advice, particularly on the issuer side, it continues to represent a number of large Austrian listed businesses. In line with the market, in recent years its team has been more active on the debt side. It often acts as issuer’s counsel on bond issues by the country’s larger corporates.
The firm has strong relationships with Austrian leading companies that often call on it to advise on cross-border M&A.
Sectors of focus for the firm include banking, oil and gas, real estate and telecoms.
The firm has a strong relationships within the banking sector, advising clients such as Commerzbank and Erste bank. It also represents large Austrian companies, including CA Immobilien, S IMMO, XXXLUTZ Group, A1 Telekom Austria Group and OMV – a longstanding client that is among the 500 largest listed companies in the world.
Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)
In the research cycle, the firm was active in banking, capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring and insolvency.
In banking work the firm advised on syndicated loans involving foreign and Austrian banks. The firm worked with lenders and borrowers on, acquisition financing, secured lending, and credit facility agreements.
In capital markets work the firm was active in debt work and assisted listed companies in structuring bond programmes and issuing bonds and structured instruments.
The firm predominantly advises on the buy-side, in a multitude of industries from oil and gas to private equity funds. Its corporate experience assists the firm’s project development practice, where it works with industrial clients on corporate matters to develop projects, including mergers and acquisitions, but also counselling on joint ventures and regulatory matters, particularly within the energy industry.
The firm also advises on restructuring and insolvency, where it assists lenders and insurance providers on protecting their interests.
The firm rebranded in 2020, changing name from CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati to CERHA HEMPEL.
Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)
CA Immobilien Anlagen €500 million bond issue
ING bond issue derivative securities €2 billion
OMV $4.68 billion acquisition of 39% in Borealis
OMV $2.5 billion acquisition of 15% in ADNOC Refining
Polytec €20 million syndicated financing
S IMMO €150 million (1.85%) €100 million (2%) dual tranche bond issue
TAM-Europe €22 million financing
TSR Recycling €84 million acquisition of Sims Metal Management
XXXLutz acquisition financing
Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)
“The firm operates very quickly, has a very good network and a strong sense and understanding of the Austrian market.”
“Excellent expertise and customer orientated advice.”
“Very quick and clear advice on complex legal question.”
Capital markets : Equity
“Very sound legal knowledge, processing speed and negotiating skills.”
Financial services regulatory
“Good industry knowledge; business-oriented approach.”
“Client attention, client appreciation, responsiveness, work excellence.”
“Long and broad experience in all aspects of investment transactions, capital raising, acquisitions and exits high quality, speed, experience, "night and weekend shifts".”
“Truly professional, pragmatic, were needed, always spot on. Technically highest standards. Excellent with large corporates as well as SMEs.”
“High level of experience in high value M&A transaction professional cooperation with the sellers organisation focus on top issues excellent legal knowledge strong commercial know how.”
“We work together with Clemens and his team. What we appreciate most is their unconditional commitment, legal excellence and perfectly-tailored advice and work products. We rely on Cerha Hempel for many of our highest profile transactions.”
“Professional quality at a very high level, the same applies to service quality: good accessibility, quick recalls, quick processing of topics and feedback, client is always kept up to date and sufficiently well informed, good teamwork, also between the specialist disciplines, very efficient - none unnecessary activities, no "overstaffing". Very pleasant cooperation, no arrogant demeanour like some other partners from top law firms. Technically excellent, but still down to earth - that fits us.”
“In-depth legal know how business orientated advice, responsiveness and is a full-service law firm.”
Restructuring and insolvency
“The team was prompt and attentive and were able to bring various specialists into play.”
“Expert, knowledgeable, fast, responsive, always to the point and reliable.”
“Extremely experienced, knowledgeable, disciplined and business minded.”
“Number one M&A lawyer in Austria, technically excellent, both, a leader and a team player, extremely hard working and one of the few who focuses on detail but at the same time remains able to see the wood for the trees.”
“Albert is clearly the No. 1 M&A lawyer in Austria. CERHA HEMPEL is our 'go to' firm in Austria and Albert is the 'go to' individual.”
“Very knowledgeable, professional, high level of social competency, result orientated, 24/7 reachable perfect interaction between project team, organisation and bidders.”
“Very experienced, technically excellent, confident, unpretentious, service-oriented and a pleasant human.”
“Very good knowledge of industry, our business, pragmatic and business oriented approach.”
“In-depth legal knowledge, outstanding negotiation skills and excellent industry knowledge.”
“Excellent legal knowledge, quick response, legally robust and comprehensive advice on complex subjects.”
“Responsive, good communicator, the ability to coordinate pragmatic advice in a user-friendly way and understands issues well.”
“Dr. Knobl has an excellent understanding of the local market and a very good expertise.”
“Very solution oriented, expert in his field and excellent knowledge in the real estate sector.”