Austria

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Binder Grösswang

Binder Grösswang is a leading commercial firm, with lawyers working across its Vienna and Innsbruck offices. Although the firm is exclusively based in Austria, it often leads on cross-border deals. 

 

Focusses / specialisms 

Lending advice is a strength of the firm. It advises most big domestic and regional banks and is known as one the country’s stronger banking regulatory firms. It regularly works with private equity firms and is recommended for leveraged finance. Project financing for wind power plants is another area the firm is more experienced than most firms are locally. 

The firm has a good capital markets team. The group is active on the debt side and often advises locally based lenders on commercial paper programmes and has recent IPO experience advising underwriters. 

The M&A team consistently secures roles on the market’s top deals and is often involved in cross-border inbound acquisitions involving financial sponsors, where it typically advises private equity firms as either buyer or seller.

 

Key clients 

Notable banking clients of the firm include ING Bank, Unicredit, Emirates NBD and Badder Bank. The firm has worked with leading companies in various fields, such as Mayr-Melnhof Group and Stienhoff Group. 

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

In the banking domain the firm advised a mix of lenders and borrowers on a swathe of financing work including, among others, syndicated loans, corporate loans, project and real estate loans. The firm was also active in the Austrian regulatory and securitisation space.

In line with activity in the Austrian market, the firm did predominantly debt work in the capital markets area. Issuer side advice on bond issues and issue programmes represented the bulk of the work for the team during the research cycle. Additionally, the firm provided general corporate finance advice, and acted on derivatives mandates.

In M&A, similarly to past research cycles, the firm continued to act on many of Austria’s landmark mandates, often with cross-border elements. Standout mandates, such as OMV’s purchase of a stake in Borealis and Takeda’s acquisition of TachoSil Surgical Patch, are just some examples of the firm’s capabilities in the area.

The firm mostly provided advice on transactional activity in the projects space, including joint ventures, acquisitions, financings and investments in assets in a variety of industry sectors.

In the restructuring space the firm represented a broad variety of clients such as suppliers, customers, financiers and borrowers on impactful, most often multi-jurisdictional, cases. The firm’s most notable mandates during the period include representing large internatinoal groups HEMA and Swissport in their cross-border restructurings.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

BKS Bank €200-400 million debt programme

HEMA Group restructuring

Lasselsberger and Frauenthal Service syndicated loan facility agreements

Lenzing €500 million hybrid bond issue

OMV $4.68 billion acquisition of a 39% stake in Borealis

ÖBB-Technische Services Gesellschaft/ voestalpine Stahl joint venture

Steinhoff Group restructuring

Swissport Group restructuring

Takeda acquisition of TachoSil Surgical Patch

Wiener Stadtwerke €300 million term loan facility

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Banking and finance

"Very professional, competent and solution-oriented."

"The firm has an excellent track record, and very good knowledge of the market."

"Up-to-date expertise. Customer-friendly."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Binder Groesswang truly impressed us with their exceptional capabilities to proactively identify, understand and address the needs and demands of our complex global organisation. We are really happy with their flexible, fast, pragmatic, friendly and cost-efficient support by top-notch lawyers. They are trusted advisers, and are really fun to work with. We were really impressed by the Corona Task Force they established to monitor developments during the pandemic. This was a great help."

"Their most positive attribute was their commercial understanding as well as their response time – no matter what time we needed something, we always received feedback on very short notice, which was very much appreciated. From day one they gave us a full 360° view on any issues that may arise to be prepared, which was very useful for as we could anticipate each obstacle during a transaction. Gottfried Gassner and his team did a fantastic job on our mandate."

"Hands-on approach. Flexible legal mindset, with the ability to adjust to our economic scenario thinking."

"Very professional attitude and appearance. High risk awareness in the legal documentation. Ability to consider legal problems with an economical mindset solution-oriented. "

 

Clarissa Nitsch

"Clarissa worked extremely hard on our deal, and was always available. Her skills and ability to quickly understand changing scenarios, and her commitment to the client and the case, was incredibly valuable to us. Her perspective – not only from her experience as a restructuring lawyer, but also as a litigator – was greatly appreciated during the whole transaction."

 

Emanuel Welten

"Very reliable. Competent. Solution oriented. Sympathetic."

"Very responsive. Very quick. Pragmatic. Great economic sense and deep knowledge of the market."

"Excellent knowledge. Customer friendly."

 

Georg Wabl

"Georg became an extremely valuable interface for us and is an outstanding lawyer. He immediately became a trusted adviser and is really fun to work with."

 

Gottfried Gassner

"Gottfried’s commercial understanding in distressed situations, assessment and prediction of scenarios is, in my view, unmatched. His advice is always spot on, even when delivered at incredibly short notice. These capabilities, paired with his knowledge of the Austrian market make him our go-to guy for distressed situations and restructuring cases in Austria."

CERHA HEMPEL

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. 

 

Key clients

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: 31st edition (2020/2021)

The advice provided by the banking team during the research cycle was broad, covering a myriad of acquisition, project and real estate loans, alongside complex regulatory and compliance work. The firm was also highly active in refinancing and did work in the securitisation space.

Debt capital markets have been a significant area of focus for the firm’s capital market team, where it predominantly assisted issuer side clients on issues and purchases of debt instruments.

Utilising its region-wide strength in CEE the firm continued to work on many landmark cross-border M&A transactions. One example, among many, of the firm’s multi-jurisdictional capabilities included the advice provided as a lead international counsel to OMV on the acquisition of an additional 39% stake in Borealis for $4.68 billion.

In projects besides standout engagements in the energy sector for such reputable clients as OMV, the team continued to support projects and transactions across several sectors including recycling, transportation, hospitality, aviation and healthcare.

The firm was active in providing advice to clients on of both insolvency proceedings and restructuring and reorganisation. The firm acted on mostly cross-border matters for a full range of clients from companies undergoing reorganisation to creditors to business partners.

Senior associate Lukas Moser departed the M&A area during the research cycle. Partner Holger Bielesz joined the firm during the research cycle and does work in the restructuring and insolvency area.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

British EG Group €485 million acquisition of OMV filling station business in Germany

CA Immobilien €350 million green bond issue

Koninklijke €1.06 billion acquisition of shareholdings in Erber

OMV €4.68 billion acquisition of 39% stake in Borealis

Polymed Austria restructuring

S IMMO €150 million green bond issue

Sanochemia Pharmazeutika insolvency

SPAR Group €80 million financing

Verbund acquisition €437 million of 51% stake in Gas Connect Austria

Wiener Stadtwerke €1 billion acquisition of a 28.35% stake in EVN

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Banking and finance

"Highest quality and reliable advice. Rapid availability."

"Very broad knowledge of banking services and good relationships with regulators provides a complete scope of service in all banking practices. Fast action after questions are raised."

 

Capital markets

"Very fast responsiveness. Their lawyers have profound knowledge and expertise in their areas of advice. They always strive to find a suitable solution to satisfy our need and requests."

 

M&A

"Industry and business knowledge. Legal knowledge and ability. Business-driven advice. Value for money."

"Quick, friendly and reliable."

"Accurate, competent and reliable."

"Cerha Hempel are an M&A powerhouse with very deep knowledge of our industry, a very capable team led by Dr Clemens Hasenauer, combined with profound legal and negotiation skills. "

"Cerha Hempel delivers top-quality work. If it comes to larger deals or difficult legal issues, there is no way around this law firm. Still, they apply a fair approach. They render first-class advice at fair cost. They are always accessible, have a great amount of stability in their partners, associates and staff. It is just pleasant to work with them. "

"High-quality firm. Top notch."

"Outstanding work products. Great value for money. Highly responsive."

"Punctual and reliable."

"Quick, practical and precise."

"Partners and associates are responsive, high-quality and friendly."

"Solution focused. Responsive. Engaged. Reasonable and prudent. A lawyer needs to focus on what really matters. This is what the lawyers of this firm do."

"Very responsive. Strong skills. Extensive practical know-how."

"We care about accessibility, reliability and quality of work. My lawyers’ team is always available, 7/24. They meet my expectations to 100%. Their midnight oil is always burning."

"They work very accurately and quickly, and have an excellent understanding of international transactions."

"They work very precisely, quickly and have excellent market knowledge."

 

Private equity

"Smart, comprehensive and fast service, also good support during negotiations."

 

Project development

"Always deliver in time. Very precise and supportive. Solutions are always tailor-made for our company. Provide professional support."

 

Project finance

"Highly responsive. High quality of work."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"They are fast responders, take the time to dig deeper into the subject, have a wide competency range, and can nail down the issue exactly."

"Very professional. Always provide timely correspondence. Friendly and prompt replies. Positive client approach."

"The firm swiftly provided me with sound advice that was focused on the issue and very useful."

"Quick, reliable, accurate responses. In general, business-oriented recommendations with pragmatic approaches."

 

Albert Birkner

"Albert is an amazing guy. He is worked for us for nearly 20 years. He is always on top of things quickly, and is experienced and reliable in every aspect. When it comes to M&A, Albert is our go-to lawyer. He is very active in the market. Sometimes it seems that he is involved in every deal in Austria."

"This guy is the go-to lawyer in Austria when it comes to M&A. Incomparable. He never sleeps - always at his clients’ disposal. The depth of his legal knowledge is unbelievable. He is always dominating negotiations. "

"The best M&A lawyer in Austria. Equally experienced and at home in public and private M&A. Very experienced and rounded. Excellent knowledge beyond M&A."

 

Christoph Reiter

"Highly motivated. Very responsive. High-quality level performance."

 

Clemens Hasenauer

"Clemens is an excellent lawyer, a brilliant negotiator and a very strong communicator. He is a true dealmaker, with a lot of charisma."

"Industry and business knowledge. Legal knowledge and ability. Business-driven advice. Problem solving, responsiveness and accessibility."

"Excellent in every way."

 

 

Heinrich Foglar Deinhardstein

"Competent. Fast. Precise. Captures complex legal issues very quickly. Uncomplicated. Explains information very clearly."

 

Jakob Hartig

"Knowledgeable, responsive and friendly."

 

Lorenz Pracht

"Excellent knowledge. Solution-oriented. Very good availability. Good work and always delivers in time."

 

Matthias Nödl

"On time. Reliable. Creative."

 

Peter Knobl

"High-quality and reliable advice. Rapid availability."

"Well-rounded knowledge of legal aspects and good sense of the needs of the industry."

 

Thomas Trettnak

"Knowledgeable, responsive and friendly."

"Excellent knowledge of the market, very responsive. Provides hands-on solutions and wants to solve the problem presented to him."

"High quality. Responsive. Solution oriented."

"He has excellent legal and market knowledge and works with high reaction speed. A reliable partner in international transactions."

"Working with him is always very pleasant. He works quickly and very precisely and is a reliable partner in international transactions."

"Thinks outside the box. Open-minded. Has a very good understanding of our business and the solutions and support we need, and excellent knowledge."

"Highly motivated. Very responsive. High-quality level performance."

"Understand. Listens very well. Has a deep knowledge of the subject. Goes for the best solution."

"Breaks down complex legal aspects so they can be easily understood by clients. Has a very positive client approach. He is friendly as well as professional. Provides very timely responses."

"Swift and clear communication."

"Committed. Friendly. Reliable. Knowledgeable. Experienced. Pragmatic. Listener."

Dorda

Founded in 1976, Dorda is a leading Austrian firm based in Vienna that is broadly strong in financial and corporate transactional work.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is active and strong in all areas of work covered by Austria’s ranking categories and is among the leading advisors in the country for public M&A and equity capital markets work.

In lending and finance work the firm is frequently instructed to advise as local counsel on large cross-border deals such as syndicated loans, export financings and debt restructurings. Its work in this area is generally divided fairly evenly between advising lenders and borrowers.

Capital markets is an area where the firm is often lauded by clients as one of the best firms in Vienna for preparing Austrian IPO prospectuses, and it features on most large IPOs on the Vienna Stock Exchange for one side or the other. It also has experience in bond issues and structured finance, where it is generally on the banks’ side.

In a related specialism to equity capital markets work, the firm is arguably the country’s leading public M&A expert and general works on what large Austrian public acquisitions there are.

In the restructuring area the firm is good on the debt side and has worked on several of the largest Austrian cases over the last few years (Heta and Steinhoff, for example), representing creditors.  

 

Key clients

The firm has strong connections with the banking industry, and has advised ING-Diba, UBS and HSBC.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

The firm’s advice on the banking front focused on financing work, including acquisition finance, bridge loans and refinancing. It also provided assistance to predominantly financial sector clients on regulatory issues, as well as the launch of new products in Austria. The firm advised mostly lenders, but has also had an increasing role on the side of borrowers.

In capital markets the firm advised predominantly on the bank side in both equity and debt transactions. Its engagements involved capital increase and IPO work, as well as assistance on debt and equity placement transactions.

The M&A team advised on both private and public mandates. Its body of work mostly included cross-border advice and featured a plethora of acquisitions, shares sales and investments to buy and sell side clients.

In projects the firm often advised blue-chip clients in energy, but did a high volume of work in other sectors of the Austrian economy such as manufacturing and real estate.

In the restructuring and insolvency space the firm was often seen advising both lenders and borrowers in out of court restructuring and refinancing mandates. The firm has also represented clients on a high volume of insolvency matters.

The only staffing change during the research cycle involved the departure of Oliver Thurin.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

AbCellera Biologics Nasdaq IPO

ams €1.65 billion capital increase

ams €130 million private placement

ARE Austrian Real Estate/UBM Development joint venture

Forever 21 insolvency

Greiner acquisition of Eurofoam

Odebrecht $2.5 billion project bond refinancing

SAP acquisition of Emarsys

Villach, Austria abrasives production plant expansion

Warburg Pincus €50 million acquisition of a minority share in McMakler

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Financial restructuring

"Dorda is very responsive and accessible. They have a good eye for what works in practice."

 

M&A

"All around excellent."

"Dorda conducted legal due diligence, established and negotiated the necessary documents on my behalf, as well as prepared all the closing materials including post-closing clean-up. Very hands-on and very efficient, with a focus on what is important."

"Flexible, responsive and proactive."

"I am still impressed by their level of professionalism, experience and ‘Anglo-American M&A capabilities’ from a firm in Austria."

"Very experienced in international M&A transactions. Very good network. Fast and responsive."

"Very good to work with. Partner driven. Competent and fast. "

"We really like their work, especially that they are always able to find a solution that works, no matter how difficult the problem is. They optimise the output for the client and not their fees."

"We specifically appreciate the following key features: Partner involvement (ie, they provide a partner-led service). Responsiveness – clear business language with clear and practical recommendations. Business understanding and focus on what really matters commercially. Identification with the client and their business. Excellent value for money. High-quality advice and attention to details throughout all levels, from junior associates to partners."

"Extremely knowledgeable. Strategic thinking. Creative solutions. Flexibility, both in terms of substance and procedure."

"Management and team have IT know-how and technical experience - a setup that is perfect for our goals and success. International network."

 

Andreas W Mayr

"Understands our needs. Has industry know-how. Clever negotiator."

 

Bernhard Rieder

"Legal expertise, responsiveness and flexibility."

 

Christian Ritschka

"Christian works hard and is fully dedicated. He really knows what he is doing and is able to lead a transaction and get it done. He understands exactly what we need and is able to quickly implement this. He is rather pragmatic, but still gets us the points which are important for us. We always achieve very good results with him on our side."

 

Jürgen Kittel

"Our key contact is Jürgen Kittel, M&A partner at Dorda who has led Dorda’s team in our transaction since 2015. From my experience as an M&A partner, Jürgen is a top-notch M&A lawyer. He still has the trust of the principals of the client (who are very demanding) and has been not only negotiating on the legal level, but has also been involved in all commercial discussions. He has been the mastermind behind the (legal and commercial) strategy, which finally led to victory in the takeover battle."

"Very experienced, pragmatic and effective lawyer. "

"Excellent lawyer with a deep business understanding. He is extremely dedicated to the needs of the client and knows perfectly what is required to get a deal successfully over the finishing line. "

 

Martin Brodey

"Vast experience. Accessible. Good negotiating skills. Solution oriented."

"Very quick in understanding; provides well-evaluated proposals, but not too quickly! Insistent and digs deeper where necessary. Excellent communication, both with his client and adversaries and negotiating partners."

"Hands-on, accessible when necessary, timely responses, problem-solving ability. Never makes things more complicated than necessary."

 

Tibor Varga

"Very responsive and accessible. Broad legal knowledge."

"Since 2019, we have worked a great deal with Tibor as a financing partner. He has impressive knowledge and experience in financing and we value his dedication to our business."

Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner

Established in 1999, Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner is full-service Austrian law firm based in Vienna.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The domestic firm and one of its name partners in particular has an outstanding reputation for all manner of domestic restructuring (both corporate and financial) and insolvency law advice.

Since the firm’s formation it has always had a focus on restructuring or distressed work. In the 20 years since it opened, co-head Markus Fellner’s name has become synonymous with distressed work in the Austrian legal community. He is widely revered as a market leader for advice on all manner of deals where restructuring or insolvency expertise is required.

Fellner’s reputation was in part built working on Austrian restructuring cases which used novel or rare structures for the market, such as convertible loans, subordinated financing bail-ins, debt for equity swaps, participation notes and securitisations.

The firm has strong, long-standing relationships with a number of Austria’s leading banks, which it often represents as creditors on restructuring or insolvency matters, with Fellner the preferred counsel.

The firm does represent debtors too, but conflicts limit the amount of this type of work it does domestically.

The firm’s expertise also sees it called on for insolvency law regulatory advice. It is a member of relevant EU committees and advised Austria’s ministry of finance on the implementation of BRRD (Austria was the first country to implement the EU directive).

The firm also has an experienced public law practice recommended for its expertise in advising on environmental impact assessments. 

 

Key clients

The firm has advised important companies in Austria, such as Stienhoff group, UniCredit Bank Austria and IKEA.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

On the banking front the firm has been involved in work for corporate clients and large Austrian banks on bank restructuring, refinancing and sales of performing and non-performing loans. The firm continued its traditionally strong performance in acquisition financing and regulatory advice.

In corporate and M&A work the firm advised across several sectors of the Austrian economy, including banking, industrials, IT, green technology, data and payment services. The firm remained active in, traditionally strong, real estate work where it often advised banking clients.

In project development the firm predominantly assisted developers on projects within the Austrian real estate sector.

The firm continued to be active in creditor side work in restructuring and insolvency, but also had an increasing strong role advising large corporate clients. In one noteworthy transaction the firm advised Steinhoff Group on its landmark restructuring.

In personnel changes Katharina Dobkiewicz joined the firm’s restructuring and insolvency area. The banking team added 11 new employees to its ranks including contract partner Elisa Kaplenig, who also specialises in M&A work. Other hires to the M&A practice include contract partners Helene Rohrauer, Roswitha Seekirchner and Philipp Zumbo.The firm also made five new associate level additions in the project development area.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Huber Group financial restructuring

Kremsmüller Industrieanlagen insolvency

SIGNA Group acquisition of KIKA/Leiner

Steinhoff Group restructuring

TrIIIple high-rise

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Banking and finance

"Accurate and timely response time. Very structured work. High competence."

"Full overview of the economics as well as legal issues, and how to solve legal obstacles while reacting quickly and with precision. Build trust in their relationships."

"Professional and solution-oriented support."

"Experts that provide support in all matters, including advice related to supervisory law; transactions aimed at extending and developing new business areas; restructurings, disputes and investigations; and provide support for day-to-day business matters."

"FWP is at the top of our list of firms in combining responsiveness and understanding of our business. It is the law firm we rely on for cutting-edge matters. It helps that we have been working together with our main contact Markus Fellner for many years, extensively in both corporate and banking and finance matters. We appreciate greatly his practical, hands-on approach in identifying quickly the core issues to be resolved. Fast, competent and extremely goal-oriented, his entrepreneurial spirit is combined with the highest level of legal expertise. A unique spirit, which especially stands out when things get challenging and complex. We also have had plenty of contact with Florian Kranebitter, who adds a lot of excellent depth to the team, which is important for us in bringing projects to an efficient and successful conclusion. Behind these partners is a large team with a lot of breadth and depth, which is important for us to bring projects to an efficient and successful conclusion. Both complex detailed questions and extensive projects are covered very well. A great team! Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we seamlessly provide a first-class service. We feel well looked after throughout each mandate. One of FWP’s strengths is staying one step ahead of everyone else."

"Highly competent, short response times, broad understanding of the business and the relevant players on the field."

 

M&A

"Available 24/7. Very focused on solving problems. Deep knowledge of the economic aspects of our needs as well."

"Experienced team, strong market know-how and market position. Anticipate and understand customer needs. Strong and proven legal expertise."

"FWP is characterised by a high level of expertise (not only in banking, but also in M&A transactions in general) coupled with high flexibility and rapid execution. "

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Excellent preparation of the facts of the case. Proposed an additional expert for convincing argumentation at the court and take the lead in the process."

"Fast. Precise. Good understanding of stakeholders."

"Many years of experience. Excellent expertise in restructuring and workout. Speed. "

"Excellent legal services and advice, especially for restructuring and workout cases. Strong negotiation skills and experience in restructuring situations."

"They were committed to our case and brought in additional lawyers, so we had continuous support. We held regular calls twice a week to update each other, and they clearly advised on how to interpret the law, what needs to be provided, what are the risks and opportunities, etc."

"High-quality work. Innovative approaches. Good availability."

 

Florian Kranebitter

"He is a very important player in the team and very responsive."

"Excellent legal services and advice, especially for restructuring and workout cases. Proposes always innovative solutions that are to the benefit of his client."

 

Gregor Schett

"Very thorough expertise."

 

Marcus Fellner

"Accessible. Clear instructions were given, and risks were listed."

"Competent. Accurate. Responsive. Industry knowledge. Straightforward."

"Innovate, precise and trustworthy."

"One of the best lawyers I know. Knowledgeable, great accessibility and a very good problem solver."

"Markus is an outstanding lawyer. He is enormously competent and represents the interests of his clients with verve and extremely high commitment."

"Available 24/7. Always meets deadlines. Focused on solutions. Deep knowledge of the legal area and economic backgrounds."

"Markus works in a very solution-oriented manner, goes into great detail on the topics and often provides us with surprising and practical solutions."

"Strong know-how and market knowledge. Strong negotiation power. Customer focused. Provides solutions in time and is reachable around the clock."

"Fast. Precise. Good reputation and standing in the restructuring arena."

"Excellent expert. Good communication, speed and quality of solutions."

"Excellent legal services and advice, especially for restructuring and workout cases. Strong negotiation skills and experience in restructuring situations. Finds always innovative solutions for the benefit of his client."

"High-quality, innovative, good availability."

 

Patrick Andrieu

"Patrick is always at hand for questions and prepares data very diligently. He has an in-depth knowledge of all details of the case. All his files for the court are consistent and convincing."

Oehner & Partner

Launched in 2016, Oehner & Partner is the Austrian of PwC’s legal network. PwC Legal is one of the largest legal networks with over 3,500 lawyers in 100 countries.

 

Focusses / specialisms   

PwC Legal Austria has a strong M&A team and focuses on M&A and corporate matters. 

 

Key clients   

Key clients for the firm include Vienna House Capital, JCL, Softwerk Automation, Karl Schragen and ventopay. 

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)   

Banking 

"This law firm provided legal services on local legal aspects and regulations as well as tax and operational tax aspects with regard to product design. They were very involved and showed an excellent commitment during the whole process. They did a thorough investigation of the whole concept and in particular on some challenging topics. They provided a sound overall and in-depth analysis of possible and realisable working solutions. They had a profound knowledge of the overall product composition and the specific topics thereto."

Pelzmann Gall Größ

Pelzmann Gall Größ (EY Law Austria) is an independent law firm and part of the global EY Law network which has over 2,400 employees in over 80 countries. The firm has four offices in Austria.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a focus on M&A matters including cross-border transactions and joint ventures. Other areas of focused work include restructurings.

 

Key clients

Key clients of the firm include BWT, Link Mobility Group, Erber Group and Anticimex.

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

M&A

"Very professional in strategic planning and execution of our transactions, including relevant tax issues."

"Extremely responsive, very strategic in their thinking, and focused on establishing deep relationships."

"Very client-focused. Experts in all corporate matters. Thought leaders in takeover law. Efficient."

Rautner

Rautner is an independent commercial law-focussed boutique based in Vienna.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm focuses on banking and capital markets work.

The firm provides advice across the full spectrum of financial services including syndicated lending, project/ real estate finance, restructuring, insolvency, financial services regulatory work, debt and equity capital markets.

The firm has strong relationship with international investment banks and is, therefore, often seen on bank-side debt capital market transactions.

 

Key clients

Key recent clients include Banco Santander, Generali Bank, Kommunalkredit Austria, BNP Pariba, Niederlassung Österreich, Oekostrom, UniCredit Bank Austria, UNIQA Insurance Group, Windkraft Simonsfeld, Barclays Bank, Erste Group Bank, Goldman Sachs International, Merrill Lynch International, Société Générale and UBS Europe.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

The firm’s banking work during the research period was varied, including bank and issuance side engagements on domestic and cross-border financings. The firm was active in the Austrian wind sector where it advised on the project financings of Windkraft Simonsfeld Windpark and Oekostrom Windpark financing.

In debt capital markets the firm did primarily bank side work on multi-jurisdictional issues and assisted Erste Group on its EMTN programme.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Banco Santander €100 million factoring transaction

Erste Group €750 million bond issue

Erste Group €500 million AT1 bond issue

Erste Group EMTN programme

Oekostrom Windpark

Windkraft Simonsfeld Windpark

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Banking and finance

"I like to work with them because of their deep knowledge and their hands-on approach. "

 

Capital markets

"Besides their in-depth knowledge and expertise, we very much appreciate their hands-on approach. "

 

Uwe Rautner

"Uwe is a very senior lawyer with deep knowledge of project finance and banking issues. "

"Uwe’s strength is providing straightforward legal advice without over-lawyering while taking tax and other company-specific factors that may influence decisions into consideration."

Schoenherr

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 and 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 is 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. 

 

Key clients

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: 31st edition (2020/2021)

The banking team continued to advise broadly in financing work with mandates secured across the full spectrum of lending activity. It worked closely with other areas of the firm to provide integrated solutions to transactions, and excelled in the derivatives and the international high-yield space. Financial services regulatory represented another area of excellence for the banking team, where it advised on a record number of high-profile mandates.

Bond issues represented the bulk of activity for the capital markets team. Both local and domestic banks, alongside corporate issuers were among the firm’s clients during the research cycle.

The M&A team continued to hold a significant share of the most impactful transactions in Austria and the wider CEE region. It represented buyers and sellers, and worked on such landmark transactions as the Starwood Capital Group’s public takeover offer for CA Immobilien Anlagen.

The firm also did a lot of landmark work in the energy and infrastructure project space, where, for example, it advised on approval proceedings for a third runway at the Vienna International Airport.

In the restructuring and insolvency space the firm was seen advising lenders, as well as distressed borrowers, on refinancing and financial restructuring transactions. The firm was also active in bank and corporate restructuring matters. In public sector work the firm notably advised the specifically established state-run financing agency COFAG on a series of matters.

In staffing changes partners Michael Magerl and Christoph Moser were recruited to the firm.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Austrian Airlines €300 million financing

Benteler Group restructuring

COVID-19 Finanzierungsagentur des Bundes

Hydropower pumped storage power plants in the Alps

Starwood Capital Group €4.15 billion public takeover offer for CA Immobilien

UNIQA €1 billion acquisition of AXA subsidiaries in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia

UNIQA €800 million bond issue

Rhesi

VERBUND €437 million acquisition of a 51% stake in Gas Connect Austria

Vienna International Airport – third runway

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Banking and finance

"Schönherr is our preferred choice for complex finance transactions. Schönherr’s lawyers are proactive and hard-working, with excellent legal expertise and deep industry knowledge."

"High personal and professional competence, qualifications and knowledge of regulatory laws. Able to provide practical advice besides pure legal interpretations and swift responses due to high accessibility. Quickly understand and issue. Only provide relevant information, and take who the recipient of the information is into consideration."

"Fast, reliable and thorough."

"In-depth knowledge of market practice. Their legal advice is very valuable and always to the point. Its lawyers shoe a hands-on mentality and a pragmatic, proactive and solution-oriented approach."

"The Schönherr team offers clear and complete advice of high quality, has excellent know-how of market practice, is proactive and is always one step ahead when a solution is to be found."

 

Capital markets

"Very deep knowledge of the local market. Largest team in the market. Very responsive. Strong economic drive."

"Schönherr is the number one full-service law firm in Austria with an excellent network for eastern and south-eastern Europe."

"With regard to debt capital markets practice, Schönherr and its partner Christoph Moser provide excellent legal services: full commitment and deep knowledge of markets and their clients’ needs. Schönherr shows excellent commitment towards its clients."

"A deep bench of strong lawyers, which is Unique in the Austrian market."

"Responsive and thoughtful."

 

Financial services regulatory

"Its lawyers’ responses are always very detailed and clear, and are very transparent regarding their timings."

 

M&A

"Delivers in time, in quality, reasonable results."

"Led by their partner Robert Bachner, Schönherr is very entrepreneurial, hands-on and forward thinking. While technically extremely savvy, Schönherr’s team is distinguishing themselves by very direct, practical and efficient advice."

"Proactive, available round the clock, commercial, pragmatic, and calm under pressure."

"Full-scale professional services in all legal fields, deep knowledge and understanding of complex business models, top-notch expertise, and extremely fast feedback."

"So far only good experiences. Very strong team who are all experts in their fields. Its international network means Schönherr is a one-stop shop."

"Top-tier law firm that handled our project perfectly."

"Well known in the industry. Experienced with renewable energies. Professional. Committed. Creative. Unconventional. Always have the client’s interests in mind."

"Hands-on mentality. Precise information on what regulators require. Reachable at any time, thus we were able to finish the job on time."

 

Project development

"Always reachable and show high knowledge."

"Schönherr is very responsive, punctual and helpful. They get straight to the point with their advice."

"They are very goal-oriented and solution-oriented. The economic assessment for the customer is always in the foreground. "

"High experience and solutions-oriented."

"We are very happy with Schönherr. Very smart lawyers with a lot of experience in advising on renewable energy projects and real estate development and transactions. They are very responsive and it is pleasant to work with them. They have a solution-oriented approach. They know-how to deal with complex and untested matters. They perfectly understand how to conduct client care (eg, provide regular updates on new legislative developments, client webinars etc). "

"Excellent lawyers, highly experienced in the field of energy and infrastructure, and super responsive. "

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Very fast. Highly professional. Excellent expertise."

"Clear and prompt support on the setup of all the documents related to the claim and prompt feedback on the result of the claim."

"Commercial, practical thinking, and not dogmatic. Deep understanding and legal insights across multiple jurisdictions in Central and Eastern Europe. Market-leading capabilities for restructuring."

"Schönherr is one of the leading legal firms in Europe. We appreciate their experience, professionalism, quick feedback and flexibility of its partners."

 

Alexander Popp

"Very strong in terms of subject matter and content. Grasps complex topics and contexts quickly and presents them to the customer in a simple and structured way. Very solution-oriented. Can win over the other side through empathy, combined with technical competence and good arguments and case studies, and thus optimise the negotiation’s result for the customer. Strong negotiation skills. Available 24/7, through a single point of contact. Coordinates several cross-border teams in the background."

"Creative. Willing to take unconventional approaches. Goal-oriented. Industry knowledge."

 

Anna Turi

"Most helpful, very competent and always available."

 

Bernd Rajal

"Fast, smart, solution-oriented, and excellent industry knowledge. "

"Bernd is incredibly professional and responsive in his approach, and his advice is technically good. He clearly understands the law relating to product compliance well, and is generally great to work with."

 

Christian Schmelz

"His specialist knowledge paired with his calm manner and objectivity are perfect. "

 

Christoph Haid

"Most helpful, very competent and always available."

"He is very competent, a hard worker, always available and does a very good job. He has helped us out in tricky cases."

 

Christoph Moser

"Christoph has deep knowledge of a variety of corporate finance products, including equity capital markets, debt capital markets and banking, and on structured products. He is very responsive, economically driven, very pragmatic and knows the market extremely well."

"Christoph shows deep knowledge and strong commitment towards his clients. He pushes transactions and is always solution-oriented, never loosing focus on his clients’ needs."

"Christopher is a brilliant lawyer, and has a proactive, hands-on and practical approach to resolving issues. He has often acted as bank counsel or as review counsel. He touches on M&A, equity capital markets, and also advises on corporate and general assemblies, and advises boards how to reply to questions. He has very broad knowledge of banking and capital markets law, and so is not limited to equity capital markets."

"Client and detail oriented, while still commercial."

"Very hands-on. Excellent legal expertise. Deep understanding of customer needs."

"Moser has a lot of practical experience, is well connected and can deliver fast. His services are good value for money."

 

Hanno Wollmann

"Fast, smart, solution-oriented, and excellent industry knowledge. "

 

Johannes Stalzer

"Friendly. Amazing reachability. Professionalism."

"Efficient. High knowledge. Solution oriented."

 

Markus Piuk

"Very knowledgeable. Pragmatic. Detail oriented, but with an excellent sense of the big picture. "

 

Martin Ebner

"Martin exhibits all of the attributes mentioned in my general comments on Schönherr."

 

Matěj Šarapatka

"Highly committed to fulfilling his tasks. Very friendly and open-minded, which made it very easy to work with him. High professional expertise. When he could not answer my questions right away he was very engaged to find an answer as soon as possible."

 

Matija Vojnović

"Matija Vojnovic is an excellent project lawyer. He is helping us with all matters regarding energy regulation and hydro power plant construction and financing, and he is considered as leader in the region when it comes to energy projects. He is a great negotiator in difficult situations and has ability to analyse a transaction in a holistic way."

 

Matthias Pressler

"Very responsive and gives very clear advice."

"In-depth knowledge of market practice. Provides valuable and to-the-point legal advice. He has a hands-on mentality and is pragmatic."

"He is knowledgeable and competent, and always has the client's interests in mind. Very responsive and is able to deal with short deadlines."

 

Maximilian Lang

"A brilliant lawyer who provides fast and well-implemented solutions for any standard or unusual situation that came up."

 

Michael Magerl

"Highly skilled, totally committed, accessible, and friendly."

 

Robert Bachner

"Extremely smart and very hands-on. Very committed to achieve the goal of his client. Robert is a forward thinker and helps you navigate out of the fog with a great level of precision and a lot of hard and smart work. He is not afraid of taking the steering wheel when needed, and he has an excellent toolkit for M&A, financing and various other legal matters, so you can trust him to steer without any doubt."

 

Roman Perner

"Responsive. Good quality of results."

"Knowledgeable and competent. Always has client’s interests in mind. Very responsive and able to deal with short deadlines."

"In-depth knowledge of market practice. Provides valuable and to-the-point legal advice. Has a hands-on mentality and is pragmatic. He is proactive, client and solution-oriented. Very responsive."

 

Sascha Hödl

"Sascha Hödl is our main contact in corporate and M&A matters. He is always able to push transactions over the finish line and is very solid on details. He is very cautious and prudent. Sascha has an impressive domestic and international experience. He is a very hard worker, solidly pleasant to work with and without exception aware of the bigger commercial and strategic issues to focus on in our transactions. "

 

Ursula Rath

"Ursula is a great lawyer, very responsive, proactive and always available."

"Worked with her on an IPO. She is trying to break into the debt capital market. "

"Helpful and responsive."

 

Wolfgang Höller

"Wolfgang Höller is distinguished by his specialist knowledge, flexibility, quick and comprehensive feedback and his solution-oriented work. "

Taiyo Legal

TAIYO Legal is a boutique law firm with a unique focus on CEE and East Asia. The firm’s offices are located in Vienna and Tokyo.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm primary focus is on banking and finance work, most often with cross-border dimensions. The firm is often seen advising various domestic and foreign clients on regulatory issues in Austria.

 

Key clients

Recent key clients include Anglo Austrian AAB, Bank Gutmann Aktiengesellschaft, fair-finance Vorsorgekasse and Corum Asset Management.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

The firm was predominantly active in regulatory work, advising clients on passporting of licenses needed to operate in Austria, as well as on new laws and regulations in the country. The firm was also active in the Austrian fund formation space.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Anglo Austrian wind down

Bank Gutmann HIKrG implementation

fair-finance Vorsorgekasse EUVECA-funds €10 million

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Restructuring

"Extremely professional support even in his company’s language (Japanese). Pan-European network and knowledge. Legal expertise in the field of dual-use licences."

 

Alexander Taiyo Scheuwimmer

"Hands-on mentality. Japanese language. Professionalism. Expertise."

Völkl

Völkl is a boutique based in Vienna, with a focus on banking sector work. It is a member of IR Global, a UK based network that provides legal and financial advice.

 

Focusses / specialisms

One of the firm’s core strengths is its expertise in banking supervisory law and regulations. It is also notably experienced in banking M&A.

 

Key clients

Key clients include WSK Bank, Österreichische Ärzte- und Apothekerbank, Dornbirner Sparkasse Bank, Marchfelder Bank, Dolomitenbank Osttirol-Westkärnten, Kommunalkredit Austria, Land Vorarlberg, Hutchison Drei Austria and Austrian National Football League.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Besides continuing to maintain a strong position in advising international and domestic banks on a host of regulatory matters relating to their activities and transactions, the firm was visible on finance transactions on the side of corporate lenders and borrowers. The firm was also active in restructuring work.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Huber Holding restructuring

Kommunalkredit Austria deposit lending platform launch.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Financial services regulatory

"Result oriented. Focused. A problem solver."

 

Clemens Völkl

"Focused, hands-on, flexible and almost always available."

Wolf Theiss

Established in 1957 in Vienna, Wolf Theiss is now one of Austria’s largest and leading firms with a network of offices across Central and Eastern Europe spanning 13 countries.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has relationships with Austria’s leading banks and advises these lenders on a variety of corporate finance and real estate finance transactions, both nationally and cross border to borrowers in the wider region.

In the capital markets area the firm is one of the most active in the country on the debt side. The firm often advises its bank clients on debt programmes and in recent years has established itself as the most experienced firm on the market for regulatory capital issues by local lenders, working on the vast majority on either the buy or sell side.    

Structured finance and securitisation work with an Austrian originator is rare but the firm is one of the few on the market with experience of work of this type, and picks up work on deals with an Austrian element.  

The firm’s M&A practice is active and always generally present on a few of the country or region’s largest deals. It’s experienced on deals involving financial sponsors on the buy and sell side.

The firm’s projects team is among the market’s best. It has experience on deals relevant to all key industries and on PPPs.

In the restructuring area the firm is experienced too and has had roles on several large Austrian cases advising debtors recently.

 

Key clients

The firm has advised internationally renowned clients such as Goldman Sachs, Blackstone, Raiffeisen Bank International and Erste Bank. The firm has also worked closely with locally important clients, like Miba, Boehringer Ingelheim and Vienna International Airport.



Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

In banking the firm was actively engaged in domestic and cross-border financing work for mostly lenders. The team was engaged in the full spectrum of loan work ranging from loans for wind farm and real estate projects to large acquisition financing transactions.

The firm was highly active in the Austrian debt capital markets, advising both issuers and banks on some of the largest bond issuers in the country. In equity the firm notably advised banking clients on a large capital increase transaction, and notably assisted s-Haftungs (the protection scheme of Austrian saving banks) on a CET 1 instrument.

The firm advised on many of the largest regional M&A transactions during the research cycle. Some examples of its standout engagements from the period include work for Koninklijke on the acquisition of ERBER Group, as well as involvement in the transaction to acquire Themis Bioscience on the side of acquiror Merck Sharp & Dohme.

The firm’s work in the project development area included a plethora of large undertakings in several Austrian sectors including transportation, infrastructure, data centres, healthcare and construction.

The restructuring and insolvency team advised on mostly cross-border work for creditors. Mandates during the research cycle included restructurings in the banking and finance sector in Austria, as well as insolvencies and distressed M&A cases.

Senior associate Harald Strahberger was recruited to the firm’s regulatory practice during the research cycle.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Apollo Global Management $3.87 billion financing

Vienna large-scale cell culture (LSCC) facility

Cellnex Telecom €1.2 billion acquisition of Hutchison's Telecommunications towers in Austria

KELAG-Kärntner €250 million sustainability-linked credit facility

Koninklijke DSM €1 billion acquisition of ERBER Group

Merck Sharp & Dohme acquisition of Themis Bioscience

Oberbank €250 million bond issue

S IMMO €150 million green bond issue

Verkehrsverbund Ost-Region (VOR) reorganisation

Vienna Insurance Group €830 million acquisition of Aegon’s insurance and pension fund business in Hungary, Poland, Romania and Turkey

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/21)

Banking and finance

"Deep industry knowledge, very responsive and provides good practical advice."

"Pragmatic, solution-oriented and responsive."

"High standards and excellent regulatory knowledge."

 

Capital markets : Debt

"Proactive, hands-on problem solving. Fast, on time and always available. "

"High knowledge of capital markets law. A full-service law firm in every corporate aspect. They talk to the regulator on a regular basis, and know almost every player in Austria’s capital markets industry."

"Good market and legal expertise."

 

Financial services regulatory

"We have worked with and had a good relationship with Wolf Theiss for many years in different areas. We frequently turn to them for financial regulatory work as they know our industry well. We like that they see the big picture and always have an original solution for issues. They are well connected to regulators and do traditional regulatory advisory, but they are also top with non-traditional outside-the-box requests concerning new payment methods. An innovative approach to customer contracts, saw Wolf Theiss team up with a behavioural scientist to deliver legal expertise with a psychological spin. This made the customer contracts more user friendly but also entertaining, and provided us with a competitive advantage over other market participants."

"Wolf Theiss is an excellent partner guiding us through the regulatory processes. Its lawyers are very accurate and detailed, and ensure that nothing is missed."

 

M&A

"Very knowledgeable on corporate law, M&A matters and international contexts. The lawyers understand our niche business and are extremely fast at responded to communication."

"Highest level of professional expertise. Highly responsive and service-oriented. Outside-the-box thinking. Solution-oriented negotiation style. Perfect understanding of fine-tuned exit scenarios."

"Excellent legal skills, responsive and committed."

"High-quality advice, business-oriented, consistent and timely services."

"Highly professional. Outstanding client relationship management capability. Know their way around major deals."

"Knowledgeable, responsive, and solution-oriented support."

"Knowledgeable, versatile and responsive."

"Pragmatic. Provided responses in good time. Friendly."

"Proactive, reliable, short-notice support."

"Prudent approach combined with commercial awareness."

"Smart, service-oriented and easy-going."

"An extremely service- and client-oriented firm that delivers top-quality work, which is expected of a tier one law firm."

"Very knowledgeable, flexible and pragmatic. Very good value for money."

"Very professional, correct, good knowledge and friendly people."

"Very responsive. High-quality work product. Clear explanations of Austrian law requirements and developed innovative solutions to potential issues involved in the transaction."

"Very thorough, detailed and efficient work. Great responsiveness to a client. M&A requires to know tricks and trades of the craft, and this law office has knowledge to cover all aspects of any transaction. "

"We have worked with, and had a good relationship with Wolf Theiss, for many years in different areas. In M&A we appreciate their cross-border capabilities – they can cover several jurisdictions, but we have one touch point. They also supported us on investments and divestments in Austria that went very well. They focused on the key points, and the fact they had a good working relationship with opposing counsel certainly helped things. We appreciate that they keep the big picture and our ultimate goal in mind and direct their energies towards this. They tackle problems head on and always have solutions. We also like the well-rounded teams and the mix of senior and junior lawyers."

"Experienced team with in-depth industry knowledge. Well established cooperation network and representation offices in the CEE region. Business- and solution-oriented approach."

"Wolf Theiss has an experienced and highly skilled team. They are open for pragmatic solutions and have a profound industry knowledge."

"Wolf Theiss has not only the technical legal capacity needed for this type of transactions, but also the firm perfectly understands the needs of their clients. They have a very dedicated team, focused on achieving the objective."

"The wide range of services the firm provides and its international orientation are essential aspects for us. We have a very positive impression of the firm, due to the competent support and professional working methods of the lawyers involved."

"Wolf Theiss’s team is highly professional and very client-focused, exactly what one expects from a tier one law firm. The M&A transactions and corporate work done by Wolf Theiss almost always have international elements. I think they are really doing an excellent job. I also use Wolf Theiss in other areas, such as real estate, employment, competition and regulatory matters. The firm’s experts in all these areas do an excellent job and are very experienced."

"Business-oriented, effective, smart and proactive."

"Wolf Theiss is an international law firm with partner firms in numerous European countries. Wolf Theiss’s Czech office was involved in a transaction involving the sale of a Czech subsidiary. We felt very positive about the team’s appreciative interaction and constant availability."

"They are extremely professional, responsive and can manage large and complex matters. "

"Highly structured approach. Quickly adapt to new situations. Service-oriented. Fast turnaround times."

"Quick time to response. Excellent expertise. "

"They have a good network in CEE and are well connected in Austria. They are able to present complex legal topics in a simplified and understandable manner."

"Quick feedback and clear answers."

 

Project development

"Legal expertise in procurement law. Technical expertise. Market knowledge. Fast response times. Commercial thinking."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Fast, clear and actionable advice."

"Clear, fast and actionable advice."

"Quick, reliable, hands-on and pragmatic support on legal topics."

"Very well organised. Provided good and timely advice. The Austrian office coordinated with the other Wolf Theiss offices in the region."

"Competent individual consulting with an eye for the essentials. Reachable and deliverable even for short-term requests."

"Very professional, responsive, cooperative and business-minded. Very good lawyers in this field."

 

Alex Haas

"Alex is the relationship partner. When working with local offices in CEE countries, where markets are not as developed, transactions are supervised by Alex from Vienna. He gives them guidance with regard to international market standards. This works well because they have access to local know-how regarding legal particularities, but receive the same services they are used to receiving. "

 

Andreas Schmid

"A solid banking and finance lawyer."

 

Christian Hoenig

"Smart, service-oriented and easy-going."

 

Christian Mikosch

"Completely transparent. He always makes it clear what needs to be done and why. Never any unhappy surprises. Quality always meets or exceeds already high expectations."

"Highest level of professional expertise. Highly responsive and service-oriented. Outside-the-box thinking. Solution-oriented negotiation style. Perfect understanding of fine-tuned exit scenarios."

"Christian Mikosch is really brilliant and supportive. Always able to propose innovative solutions, available on short notice and extremely careful in assisting the client."

 

Christine Siegl

"Responsive. Good level of market and legal expertise."

"Christine is a proven hands-on person with excellent background in all regulatory issues. She knows all perspectives due to her background. She is very accurate."

 

Clara Gordon

"Excellent legal skills, commitment and responsiveness."

"Clara Gordon makes a particularly big effort. She pays attention to details without losing sight of the goal. I especially like her intelligence and ambition."

"Clara Gordon, with her personable nature and her outstanding technical skills, was able to keep track of things, even in times of particularly high pressure, and answered all inquiries immediately and very carefully. She is very solution-oriented and pragmatic in implementation."

 

Claus Schneider

"Highly skilled, especially in debt capital law matters. Very good analytical skills."

"Claus is extremely competent when it came to structural questions, to the point, pragmatic and has a clear focus on our business rationale."

"Working with him on digitalisation of securities in Austria as a new law has recently come into effect. This project is driven by Claus. He has a network that includes people at university research and legislative levels. He is Mr. Capital Markets."

 

Dieter Spranz

"Excellent legal skills, commitment and responsiveness."

 

Doris Buxbaum

"Doris Buxbaum is an excellent lawyer. She is very responsive, gives pragmatic legal advice. Client relationship management also excellent."

"Incredibly responsive. Good rapport with the client and counsel from other firms. Clear advice. Initiative in completing necessary transaction requirements."

"Quick time to response. Excellent expertise."

 

Eva Spiegel

"She gives very clear and actionable advice. A real powerhouse in Austrian insolvency law."

"Fast, very clear and deep knowledge of specific local details."

"Excellent and very reliable team player. Always provided the advice and assistance required in due time."

 

Florian Kusznier

"Florian is highly responsive to client requests and adaptable to client needs."

"Very knowledgeable and pragmatic. Very pleasant to work with."

"Quick and reliable. Always has our big picture in mind."

"In addition to his excellent legal expertise, Florian Kusznier was particularly convincing due to his confident mastery of difficult negotiation situations. Committed in difficult situations, he was always clear and determined."

 

Hartwig Kienast

"Hartwig Kienast is a great professional with has excellent negotiation skills. He is very well prepared for intensive work. He works very well under pressure, as he is always calm, has a positive attitude and a smile. He is aligned with the culture and spirit of our firm. In addition, he is very good in coordinating work with different international and complex teams."

 

Horst Ebhardt

"He listens well and executes on time. Impressed by their training of the next generation of partners."

"Highly skilled and experienced. Has industry knowledge, excellent communication skills, is very friendly, responds quickly and takes a solution-oriented approach."

"He understands client problems quickly and searches for solutions. He is proactive and business-minded. Good understands the M&A value chain."

 

Jiayan Zhu

"Was very responsive when coordinating different teams at Wolf Theiss."

 

Leopold Höher

"Deep knowledge about the lending business. Good responsiveness."

 

Manfred Essletzbichler

"In-depth knowledge of public tenders and the relevant markets. Legal expertise, commercial thinking, pragmatic approach, solution-minded and extremely service-oriented."

 

Marika Lomashvili

"Extremely responsive and hard-working. Solutions oriented, diligent, friendly and polite in every situation."

 

Markus Bruckmüller

"Good communication. Provides insights in industry developments. Always reachable."

 

Matthias Schimka

"Very responsive, clear statements with high competence. Very pleasant client-focused communication."

 

Mimo Hussein

"Responsiveness and regulatory knowledge."

 

Nikolaus Dinhof

"Supports Alex. Is great."

 

Robert Wagner

"Highly skilled in competition law. Industry knowledge. Good communication."

 

Sarah Wared

"She is very smart, works extremely efficient, and is there is no problem she cannot find a solution for."

"Experienced, service-minded, business-minded."

"Sarah is amazing. Very competent, although relatively young she gives the impression that she has been through every and all possible situations, so nothing surprises her. Extremely responsive, you can reach her at any time during a day or weekend. She manages negotiations with other parties very well, and goes beyond what you would expect from a lawyer/client relationship which appreciated and very rare to find. Always gives you alternative solutions, knows how to balance the pros and cons of any solution. Truly remarkable. "

"Sarah Wared is highly educated and very smart. She goes the extra mile for the client, is very focused and fast. Due to her professional experience, she is extremely good in handling large teams and transactions and has a great understanding of intercultural matters."

"Polite and always ready to serve."

"Possesses excellent knowledge of corporate laws and good judgment. Diligent, efficient and reassuring."

"This person knows her business. She is friendly, knowledgeable and fast when replying to queries. She understands that our managers expect to-the-point answers and no legal-technical wordy essays. "

"Well-known in the industry, good connections."

 

Wolfgang Lauchner

"In-depth knowledge of public tenders and the relevant markets. Legal expertise, commercial thinking, pragmatic approach, solution-minded and extremely service-oriented."

 

Zeno Grabmayr

"Zeno is a great lawyer and asset to any project team, technically top-notch and a great pleasure to work with."

"Highly structured. Highly knowledgeable about legal matters in M&A. Fast turnaround and always meeting deadlines. Easy-going in daily collaboration."

Greenlake Legal

Greenlake Legal is an independent law firm based in Vienna.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm focuses on finance transactions including financial restructurings. The firm is also active in banking and finance cross-border transactions. It regularly advises corporate and commercial banks and advises on debt funds, and private equity funds.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include AMAG, Constantia Flexibles, Credit Suisse International, Greiner, Immofinanz, OMV, Raiffeisen Bank International, Sappi Semperit and Volkswagen.

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending: Borrower side

"Very solution oriented, thus getting both sides in one boat. Very knowledgeable and has a broad experience."

 

Bank lending: Lender side    

"Quick, reliable and excellent coordination with other syndicates and law firms."

"Very fast and great expertise. Perfect time management."

 

Banking and finance                              

"Very professional and knowledgeable. Also, very pragmatic and supportive with internal decision-making processes. Pleasure to work with on a personal level."

bpv Hügel

Part of a cooperation between four independent law firms in CEE, bpv Hügel is an Austrian firm based in Vienna. The firm was established in 1979.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a presence in capital markets, especially equity, where it routinely advises on both equity and equity linked products, as well as innovative finance and acquisition structures with shares. The firm often works on transactions with multi-jurisdictional elements and acts on capital markets compliance matters for issuers and investors alike.

M&A has traditionally been a source of strength for the firm. It works o public, private and distressed mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate reorganisations and provides general corporate advice. The firm has a strong multijurisdictional focus with over half of its work in any given year often including cross-border elements.

 

Key clients

Key recent clients include Zeus Packaging Group, European Directories Group, enso hydro, Central European Gas Hub, Raiffeisen Informatik, heidelpay Group, IMMOFINANZ, Autobank, Strabag, and Hookipa HOOKIPA Pharma.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

In the capital markets area the firm was seen on share placement, capital increase and rescue capital markets work, in addition to general capital markets law advice provided to clients in Austria. The firm was involved in some innovative finance work including, notably, advising IMMOFINANZ on a combined share placement of treasury and new shares and the issue of subordinated mandatory convertible notes. The capital markets team was also visible in the debt area where it advised on the issuer side of a large US private placement of bonds.

In M&A the team continued to work on cross-border and domestic deals for a varied client base. One noteworthy engagement during the research cycle involved advising European Directories Group in connection with the unification of its fully- owned Austrian group company and its majority owned subsidiary. Other standout deals include assisting Zeus Group on the acquisition of Petruzalek Austria and representing Raiffeisen Informatik on its exit from SoftwareONE.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Autobank restructuring

Climate Endowment Hydropower Fund

Herold Business Data/dogado merger

IMMOFINANZ €356 million share placement and convertible bond issue

Molkerei Aois Müller €250 million private bond placement

Raiffeisen Informatik exit from SoftwareONE

Zeus Group €40 million acquisition of Petruzalek Austria

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz is based in Vienna, Austria and was founded in 1970. The firm has over 75 lawyers.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a focus on banking and finance, capital markets, M&A, project development, and restructuring and insolvency.

 

Key clients

Key clients of the firm include PK Windpark Management (PÜSPÖK Group), UniCredit Bank Austria, Commerzbank, Ford Credit (FCE Bank), Deutsche Bank (London Branch), VTB Bank (Europe), Erste Group Bank, Raiffeisen Bank International, HYPO NOE Landesbank für Niederösterreich und Wien, Deutsche Hypothekenbank, Wiener Städtische Versicherung, and Vienna Insurance Group.

GRAF ISOLA

Founded in 1994, Graf Isola is an Austrian law firm with offices in Vienna and Graz.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm has a focus on banking and finance work and handle matters in debt financing, refinancing and restructuring. Industry sectors where the firm receive work include infrastructure, energy and real estate.

The firm also handles M&A work and act for clients in the advertising, marketing and IT sectors.

 

Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Strabag SE, Bayern LB, Societe General, PNB Paribas, Goldman Sachs, Lukoil, Dexia Credit Local and Tyson Food.

Hauser Partners

Hauser Partners is an independent business firm established in 1987 and based in Vienna.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a corporate boutique experienced in joint-ventures and M&A.

 

Key clients

The firm regularly advises Mondi Group, a worldwide packaging and paper groups as well as ERSTE Foundation, and Schweighofer Group

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021)

In terms of M&A work, the firm advised buyers in acquisitions, both local and foreign. Clients were assisted in structuring takeovers and share acquisitions.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021)

Schweighofer Group acquisition of saw mill

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)

M&A

"Stringent execution, up-to-date, understanding business needs."

 

Held Berdnik Astner & Partner

Held Berdnik Astner & Partner is a full-service law firm with offices in Graz, Vienna, Klagenfurt and Zurich.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a focus on M&A.

LeitnerLeitner

LeitnerLaw Rechtsanwälte is a corporate law firm in Austria. 

 

Focusses / specialisms   

The firm has a focus on M&A transactions and is active in domestic and cross-border mergers. 

 

Key clients   

Key clients include Crédit Mutuel Equity, Teles Communication Systems and SqLab Labor. 

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)   

M&A 

"Advice from LeitnerLaw was always sound and clear. Cooperation between our offices and lawyers involved in the project is excellent. We specifically worked with Dr Vedran Obradović and Matthias Herzog, and their assistance in our project was of high value." 

PHH Prochaska Havranek

PHH Prochaska Havranek is a commercial boutique firm based in Austria. 

 

Focusses / specialisms   

The firm is recognised for banking and finance work. 

 

Key clients   

Key clients for the firm include SOVA Capital Limited, Bank of Communications (BoComm), Pegasus Capital, FAME Investments, S-Quad Handels- und Beteiligungs, DZ-Bank, Paybox Bank, Vivid Money, Etris Bank, MUFG Bank (Europe) Vienna Branch, Porsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, Freie International Sparkasse, and Trodat Group. 

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021)   

Banking and finance 

"They have a deep knowledge of the law and the business sector, and they are very client-oriented." 

"In our work with PHH we particularly appreciate the comprehensive expertise in finance transactions, paired with a very precise way of working and the constant availability of the team members. We deeply respect PHH as being an absolutely reliable and highly professional partner when it comes to any finance transactions." 

"We have come to value PHH as a long-standing partner in a variety of legal matters and transactions that are often of a multi-layered and complex nature. PHH offers its clients a pool of well-connected and highly specialised lawyers in various fields of law. On this basis, PHH provides a contact person with the required expertise for each of our legal issues. This enables PHH to offer tailor-made solutions for several legal problems in a targeted manner and without unnecessary complication." 

"What we especially value about PHH is the outstanding individual service that is provided to us, the willingness to deal with legal issues with the utmost care, and their ability to find creative solutions for any problem. One particularly salient advantage of our work with PHH lies in the distinct dedication and 24/7 availability of its lawyers, who are all true specialists in their respective fields." 

"Working with PHH is particularly pleasant for us, as it is characterised by a very structured way of working, a strong focus on the essential questions of every case and the early anticipation of possible problem areas. One of PHH’s most striking features is the high level of efficiency in the handling of cases due to a constructive cooperation between lawyers of different fields of expertise, the constant availability of such experts, and their productive communication with client." 

 

Bank lending: Lender side 

"Excellent drafting and negotiating. Goal-oriented and committed." 

 

Capital markets 

"Custom-made advice. Understood our situation. Huge knowledge in this legal sector." 

Schindler Attorneys

Schindler Attorneys is an Austrian firm based in Vienna.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a focus on banking and finance, debt capital markets, private equity, and M&A. The firm has experience advising on distressed M&A projects and on shareholder syndicates and joint ventures.

 

Key clients 

In M&A, key clients include AIG, Allianz, Alstom, Bertelsmann, Bharat Forge, Borealis, Daifuku, Deutsche Telekom, Erste Bank, Fuji Film, Hexagon, Innogy, Konica Minolta, Siemens or ZF Friedrichshafen, América Móvil, France Telecom, Infineon, NTT and Salzgitter.

In private equity, key clients include Ardian, ARES, Capvis, DBAG, Deutsche Private Equity, Elvastone, Genui Partners, Goldmann Sachs, Accent Equity, Egeria, Hillhouse Capital, Liberta Partners, Paragon, VR Equity and Wood & Co.

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance 

"Very efficient work, performed in time and within budget. Helpful and very proactive approach. Especially forward-thinking."

 

Capital markets: Debt             

"Responsive. Solution oriented. Focuses on the core topics and relevant aspects of a structure."

 

M&A                                 

"Creative. Pragmatic. Knowledgeable. Dependable."

"Perfect combination of legal and tax knowledge. Fast feedback and solutions."

"Speedy and executed a good negotiation with counterpart legal counsel."

"Very solution-driven. Very good tax feedback. Quick to grasp the issues. Senior staff attend to projects."

"Fast. Forward thinking. Excellent business and financial skills."

"High-level-team, including partner-level deep expertise in the field of M&A. Outstanding international experience."

Weber & Co

Established and based in Vienna, Weber & Co is a local law capital markets specialist that frequently secures roles on prominent Austrian transactions of this type.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is an outlier among those based in Vienna that advise on big ticket capital markets deals. In an area largely dominated by larger domestic and international full-service firms, the majority of which have regional networks, the firm has a small team with a narrow focus. What the firm lacks in scale and breadth, however, it makes up for in expertise.  

The firm was founded by one of the country’s leading securities law academics, Stefan Weber. Now he rarely takes the lead role on deals, but the relationships and reputation he built locally with underwriting banks and issuers are being maintained through the work of his team.

The firm also advises on public M&A.

 

Key clients

The firm is has established relationships with leading European wide such as Erste Group, DZ bank, Commerzbank and Raiffeisen, to name a few.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The firm was active in baking, capital markets and restructuring during the research cycle.

The firm was heavily involved in IPOs, working on two of the three Austrian deals that launched in 2019, working on the side of underwriters or managers. In debt work the firm assisted in bond issues on the side of issuers, managers and bookrunners. 

The firm’s other work included advising on multi-tranche bonded loans and syndicated financing, as well as restructuring mandates. The firm usually advised banks but also did work for borrowers. 

 

Deal Highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Immofinanz €500 million 2.625% bond issue 

Marinomed Biotech Vienna Stock Exchange IPO

Addiko Bank Vienna Stock Exchange IPO

Oberbank €250 million 0.75% bond issue

OMV €1 billion bond issue 

S&T €144 million bonded loan

Voestalpne €1 billion syndicated financing 

Wolford restructuring

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Capital markets: Debt

“Very high expertise in the relevant fields, pragmatic and supportive approach, high focus to "understand" the client's business and, thus, provide optimal service. They give a very short response time and are sociable and easy to connect with.”

 

Capital markets: Equity

“Very knowledgeable in capital markets transactions and the Austrian market in particular. Their pragmatic approach is outstanding.”

“The legal advisors have a high level of competence. The cooperation is smooth and uncomplicated and open questions are answered professionally and quickly. Overall, we can only report positively about Weber & Co.”

 

M&A

“Boutique firm tailored to the clients' requirements with hands-on approach and outstanding expertise. All the heavy lifting is done by the partners themselves.”

“Prompt re-action (just in time response) detailed and experienced response.”

 

Restructuring and insolvency

“Very responsive and very much to the point. Christop is very sharp minded and is our go-to-guy when it comes to complex restructuring scenarios with an Austrian angle.”

 

Katharina Kitzberger

“Very professional and had a good knowledge of the business needs.”

 

Stefan Weber

“Client oriented, clear and pragmatic approach with excellence in a broad scope of legal areas, covering many transactional aspects by himself.”

 

WMWP

Wiedenbauer Mutz Winkler & Partner is based in Vienna and has offices across Europe.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm focuses on M&A work and is active advising clients on transactions in Austria. The team advise investors and sellers.

 

Key clients 

Key clients for the firm include Landeshauptstadt Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Land Steiermark, KPG Klagenfurt Pflege, PPC Paper Print Converting, Warmbader Sanatorium und Hotel (Sonderkrankenanstalt), Sportpark SportsHOME, IPAC Improve Process Analytics and Control, and Prysym / TransCard.

 

Client Feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Bank lending: Lender side

"Reliable. Efficient. Determined. Friendly."

 

Banking

"Quick responses. Perfect network to the supervisor. Proactive work on the issues. Valid legal advice during the process."

 

M&A

"Excellent know-how. Rapid feedback. Hands-on."

"We value their knowledge to solve complex relationships. We also value their legal competences for private and public companies."