THE FIRM This team of accomplished lawyers remains a first choice for international arbitration and complex litigation. Clients are particularly pleased with the personal service and note the depth of resources the team can draw on for support in tough cases. Lawyers in the arbitration team are well versed in acting as arbitration counsel, arbitrator and chair. Recent work has included insurance disputes, as well as several international arbitration proceedings. Clients come from a range of sectors, including the financial services industry.
Sources say: "Combines great international experience with a strong Vienna base."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christian Dorda's long experience in corporate and M&A is an asset to his international arbitration practice. He is widely recognised as one of the most important players in the market, and highly regarded as an arbitrator. Florian Kremslehner is "a fantastic litigator who's convincing in settlement negotiations and also in court," report clients. His practice includes both litigation and arbitration, and peers note his formidable strength in banking litigation in particular. Christoph Stippl often acts as sole arbitrator, co-arbitrator or chairman in proceedings in Austria and abroad. He specialises in claims concerning M&A matters and construction projects. Felix Hörlsberger has been involved in several insurance disputes of late, including representing Chubb Group in a case brought by Notartreuhandbank and the Austrian Notaries Association.
THE FIRM Investment disputes and energy, construction and industrial engineering cases are particular strengths of this firm's arbitration team, as are post-M&A arbitrations. It is in great demand by international clients, particularly for disputes involving the CEE and SEE regions. The team acted for a gas import and distribution company against a European gas exporter in two ICC proceedings over gas delivery prices. The team is equally highly esteemed for litigation, with recent work including corporate and commercial litigation, insolvency-related disputes, antitrust cases and class actions.
Sources say: "They always do the most high-profile disputes."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers identify Günther Horvath as an excellent arbitrator and admire his gravitas and wide range of expertise. "He has a certain calmness and seniority about him; he's impressive," says a source. Thomas Kustor focuses on litigation, particularly in the areas of commercial law, construction and product liability. He is praised as a strategic, level-headed litigator, who "always makes sure he has his facts straight and completely understands the case." Jenny Power is a well-known name in Austrian legal circles. She represents clients in arbitration proceedings and also acts as an arbitrator.
THE FIRM This firm has an internationally acclaimed dispute resolution practice, covering litigation, arbitration and white-collar crime. Sources are full of praise for the consistent quality of the work, and note the high-flying arbitration team in particular. The lawyers recently represented Republika Srpska in ICC arbitration proceedings concerning an energy investment in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Another highlight was acting for RWE in a Vienna International Arbitral Centre (VIAC) arbitration over the transportation of gas through CEE. On the litigation side, the team defended Deutsche Bank against a EUR613 million claim by Austrian railways ÖBB.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gerold Zeiler specialises in international commercial arbitration and investment disputes. He often sits as an arbitrator and acts as counsel in arbitration proceedings. He also handles litigation. Peers consider him "one of the best arbitrators in Austria" and say they would not hesitate to refer work to him. One source said: "He is assertive concerning the substance of the case, but on a personal level he is very likeable." Andreas Natterer is a "bright and skilled litigator" focusing on the food and pharmaceutical industries. He has much experience in product liability and damages claims, as well as distribution agreements.
THE FIRM Set apart by sheer size coupled with its degree of specialisation, this team sits at the pinnacle of the Austrian market. It offers support in litigation, international arbitration and mediation, and has a growing white-collar crime practice. Recent litigation work has included complex cases regarding professional liability and investor fraud. It is particularly known for its strength in banking litigation. The firm has also handled several arbitrations of late, including ICC and UNCITRAL proceedings.
Sources say: "We've worked with the firm for years and never felt the need to look elsewhere; we haven't lost a single case with Wolf Theiss on our side."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Bettina Knötzl speaks the language of the client and is a pleasure to work with, say interviewees. Her practice includes commercial litigation, banking and insurance law, white-collar crime and inheritance disputes. "She has been highly successful in setting up a strong litigation practice. Every brief I have seen from her or her team has been perfect," says a source. Christoph Liebscher receives rave reviews for his arbitration work, both as counsel and as arbitrator. "He's experienced and always well prepared – he's reliably good," a peer says. Andreas Theiss is "an exceptional litigator" whose gravitas and long experience are indispensable to clients. Florian Haugeneder is building a reputation, say sources, who applaud his "business acumen" and his "ability to take a difficult case and translate it into key points; he is good at explaining matters." Holger Bielesz is a promising litigator with a growing practice in asset-tracing cases. He has valuable experience of practising in Brussels. Clients also recommend Clemens Trauttenberg, praising his balanced mix of technical legal rigour and commercial awareness.
THE FIRM This team has been busy with an increased workload of litigation, including a prominent private enforcement case and disputes arising from the financial crisis. Traditionally, however, it has concentrated on international arbitration, with recent work including representing several clients in energy disputes. The team often works alongside lawyers from the firm's other offices, including the Frankfurt team.
KEY INDIVIDUALS In addition to his litigation work, Alexander Petsche has built up a considerable practice in arbitration. He is also well placed to advise on compliance. Peers warmly recommend Stefan Riegler, who is rapidly establishing himself as a name in the arbitration field. He acts as counsel in proceedings under the Vienna, ICC and German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) rules, as well as in ad hoc arbitrations. He also sits as an arbitrator.
THE FIRM The team at Binder Grösswang handles complex cases for clients from a range of industries, including the public and banking sectors. It has been particularly busy with disputes arising from the financial crisis. Other work has included insurance, IT and product liability disputes. On the arbitration side, it has recently acted for clients from the energy and construction industries.
Sources say: "They make me feel like a customer worth fighting for."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Christian Klausegger is one of the country's best-known experts on arbitration and also handles litigation. "He is approachable and methodological," reports a client. "He has a structured approach, which we appreciate very much." Michael Kutschera acts as chair, sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator on ICC, VIAC and ad hoc arbitrations. Sources describe him as "clever and pragmatic," and praise his strong communication skills.
THE FIRM Compact but mighty, this firm has a strong focus on arbitration, with three partners dedicated to the practice area. It has a diverse roster of clients, many of which hail from the construction, engineering and banking sectors. Recent times have seen the lawyers acting as arbitrator, counsel or chair in several international proceedings.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Anton Baier is "a true international arbitrator," in the words of peers. He has long experience in the field, with a focus on construction, public procurement and FIDIC contracts. He mainly sits as an arbitrator, and is also admitted to practice in Germany. Erhard Böhm is equally internationally minded, illustrated by a recent track record that includes proceedings governed by English, Turkish and Ukrainian law. Of counsel Werner Melis is widely respected as one of the senior statesmen in international arbitration.
Since publication, Erhard Böhm has joined Specht Böhm Rechtsanwalt GmbH
THE FIRM This team has a well-established reputation in insolvency litigation and consumer protection. It continues to represent consumer rights organisation VKI, most recently in a class action against a large financial services provider. The lawyers have also handled cross-border litigation for Teva, co-ordinating four claims and counterclaims against two of the company's competitors. It often works together with international firms, recently advising a group of institutional investors in the A-TEC insolvency, alongside Brown Rudnick LLP.
Sources say: "The team was particularly helpful in assisting us with our litigation strategy in Austria. The lawyers have a creative approach and a good understanding of international law."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alexander Klauser "understands what international clients want and what drives them," says a source. He is well respected for his international insolvency and consumer rights protection work, and much admired as a litigator. One client said: "He's a practical, commercially astute lawyer who's easy to communicate with."
THE FIRM Clients like the fast, cost-effective service at this firm, as well as the close partner attention they receive. The team handles a mix of arbitration and litigation work, and is particularly well regarded for the former. A recent highlight was representing a leading European telecoms company in arbitration proceedings concerning an investment of EUR2 billion. Litigation work has included energy disputes and insolvency litigation. The team is also acting for a number of investors claiming damages from Austrian financial institutions.
Sources say: "They did a great job. They were imaginative in their thinking and very persistent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Nikolaus Pitkowitz heads the dispute resolution team and is "smart and determined," say sources. "He has a creative legal mind, which is vital when you're looking at a complex case." He has a flourishing arbitration practice and is in demand as an arbitrator. He also has extensive knowledge of the CEE market.
of WilmerHale is based in Germany but has Austrian roots, making him an excellent choice for disputes with an Austrian angle. Despite his relative youth, he has already built a stellar reputation in international arbitration. Peers also recommend Wolfgang Hahnkamper
of Neudorfer Rechtsanwälte. He acts as arbitrator, chair and party representative, and is president of the Austrian Arbitration Association. Wulf Gordian Hauser
's arbitration practice at Hauser Partners Rechtsanwälte GmbH benefits from his solid background in corporate and M&A. He has handled an exhaustive variety of arbitration types, including ICC and UNCITRAL proceedings. Christian Hausmaninger
's busy practice at of Hausmaninger Kletter Rechtsanwälte-Gesellschaft m.b.H. includes some prominent arbitration work. Werner Jahnel
of Lalive is based in Switzerland but is also admitted to the Bar in Austria and Spain. He has a wealth of experience as counsel and arbitrator in international proceedings, including under the Vienna rules. Sole practitioner Pierre Karrer
splits his time between offices in Zürich and London. Peers note his profound knowledge of Austrian matters. Markus P Fellner
recently left Siemer Siegl Füreder & Partner to set up his own dispute resolution practice. He handles both litigation and arbitration. Christian Konrad
heads the international arbitration practice at Konrad & Justich. He specialises in international investment and commercial arbitration, and impresses clients and peers with his successful practice. "We will hear more from him in the future,"
says a source. Karl Pistotnik
of Kisler-Pistotnik Rechtsanwälte is noted for his litigation work. "His services, style and strategy are excellent,"
says one interviewee. Markus Fellner
of Fellner Wratzfeld & Partners is well known for his banking, finance and restructuring work, including litigation. Andreas Reiner
of ARP Andreas Reiner & Partners continues to be appointed as arbitrator in high-profile disputes, and earns high praise from peers, both Austrian and international. At the same firm, Valentina Wong
is an up-and-coming name in arbitration circles. "She's very clever and diligent. She's someone to watch for the future,"
notes a source. DLA Piper Weiss-Tessbach managing partner Claudine Vartian
gives clients "an advantage in court"
thanks to her superb advocacy skills, sources report. This multi-talented lawyer heads the dispute resolution team and the competition law group, and is particularly praised for litigation in the telecoms sector.