Established in 1950, Schoenherr is a leading Austrian firm with a European network that includes offices in 15 jurisdictions. In Austria the firm is based in Vienna, where it has a team of around 150 lawyers, but it also has a smaller branch in Linz.
Focusses / specialisms
The firm has talented teams for all areas of work covered by the ranking tables.
In banking and finance the firm in often mandated to advise on large syndicated loans, debt restructurings and acquisition financings. With good relationships with large Austrian banks and local and international corporates and investors, the firm does a mix of borrower and lender work.
The firm’s capital markets practice is one of only a handful on the local market with experience of advising on large structured finance and securitisation transactions. It is also well-versed in more conventional deals and will generally be seen, on one side or the other, on some of whatever significant bond sales by domestic issuers and primary or secondary equity issues there are in Austria.
The firm has an outstanding M&A practice that, even among the other top tier M&A firms, is notable for the volume of high-end deals it secures roles on. Its work spans most important and regulated sectors and it has, in the recent past, been involved in key deals in the automotive, banking and power sectors.
Another area where the firm is considered a market leader – thanks to its regulatory expertise – is in project development work. It acts for the state and private sector on PPPs and purely private sector projects and has recent experience working for sponsors on large transport and power projects.
Restructuring and insolvency is an area where the firm has a dedicated team and prominent position in the market. Over recent years it’s built a name for itself for representing banks in restructuring or pre-insolvency scenarios but, as with its lending practice, the firm often advises banks as creditors in large domestic or regional matters.
The firm has attracted many prominent domestic and international clients, including the international banks; JP Morgan, Citi and Crédit Agricole CIB, as well as the EBRD. The firm has advised industrial clients across a range of industries, such as OMV in oil and gas, and UNIQA in insurance.
Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)
The firm was active across banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, projects and restructuring and insolvency during the research cycle.
The firm's banking work included acquisition financing, on behalf of lenders and borrowers, often in international transactions. The firm assisted borrowers in financing and refinancing deals and advised investors and lenders in project financing.
The firm was active in capital markets, particularly in debt, advising the lead managers on several sovereign bond issues by the Republic of Austria. The firm also has recent experience advising managers and purchasers on bond issues and advising banks as issuers of bonds.
Cross border M&A is one of the firm's strengths and the firm advised buyers and sellers in their acquisitions or sales recently. It worked for companies in a number of regulated industries, such as insurance, oi and gas and banking. The also advised on the buy side of distressed acquisitions.
In project development work the firm has advised developers in public infrastructure projects, such as the development of airports, motorways and hydro power stations.
In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised lenders in debt restructurings and worked for insolvent or distressed companies on financial or corporate restructuring and insolvency matters.
Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)
OeKB acquisition of OHT
Oesterreichische Post acquisition of logistics facilities
OMV $2.9 billion acquisition of 15% of ADNOC Refining
Playtika acquisition of Supertreat
Republic of Austria €3.25 billion sovereign bond issue
Sappi €450 million 3.125% bond issue
Schur Flexibles €300 million senior financing
UNIQA €1 billion acquisition of AXA.
Vienna International Airport third runway
Volkswagen Bank investment in Credi2
Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)
“They offer professional expertise.”
“The firm is highly experienced and have excellent knowledge.”
“Professionally competent, seasoned in handling difficult negotiations and pro-active also in term of digital solutions.”
Capital markets: Debt
“Schoenherr stands for high quality and responsiveness.”
Capital markets: Structured finance and securitisation
“Very responsive, very good client service and excellent to work with.”
Financial services regulatory
“The firm has excellent coverage. My most common contacts are Ursula at partner level and Matthias at senior associate level. Both are highly responsive and deliver clear, concise and well reasoned advice drawn from their extensive experience.”
“My impression of the M&A department at Schoenherr is very good. Schoenherr is characterized by its very fast and efficient work. The flexibility and commitment required in an M&A project was present to a very high degree. The advice was always thorough, but to the point and not excessive.”
“Highly professional, committed and enjoyable.”
“Hands-on, high level of legal expertise, attention to key details, prioritization and keen on meeting deadlines.”
“Their experience and knowledge support and help us significantly. Their commitment ensures positive project development.”
Restructuring and insolvency
“Excellent response time and excellent knowledge of the applicable laws in restructuring and insolvency.”
“Highly professional, fantastic easy going person, strongly dedicated and committed. He is very deal-friendly and super in negotiations to find solutions and work-arounds on key negotiation topics.”
“A true project leader, problem solver with in-depth legal expertise, international exposure and a good sense of priorities.”
“Excellent comprehension and extensive specialist expertise paired with years of experience.”
“Skilled expertise and uses a pragmatic approach.”
“Excellent legal knowledge and transaction management skills.”
“Matthias provides very clear advice that is practical and based on a thorough understanding of the law and market practice.”
“Responsive and has excellent legal knowledge.”
“Very skilled and responsive, focused on solving problems and finding suitable solutions.”
“I experienced both Mr Perner as a calm and competent negotiating partner. He can, however, also be quite clear and firm, where necessary. He is competent, solution-oriented and possesses the necessary flexibility and creativity.”
“Ursula is a great lawyer, highly responsive and a pleasure to work with.”
“Dr. Höller has extensive detailed knowledge and has always been very competent. He has gained an insight into the specific problem within a very short time as well as designed and implemented proposed solutions.”
“Great communicator, very flexible, responsive and stays calm under pressure.”
“Offers a tailored service when consulting with the customer.”