This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2014
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - AUSTRIA
Last year Wolf Theiss expanded its already burgeoning network in eastern Europe by opening a new office in Warsaw. The firm’s lawyers were also widely recognised for their quality, which has earned Wolf Theiss the award for Austrian firm of the year.
|Asset Recovery||1||Labour & Employment||1|
|Corporate Governance||1||Project Finance||1|
|Corporate Tax||4||Real Estate||4|
|Environment||1||Telecoms & Media||1|
The firm made three internal promotions to partner in 2013 in the areas of banking, M&A, and real estate. It also expanded its “excellent” real estate team to include a construction practice. A particular highlight in 2013 for the firm was representing BAWAG PSK an Austrian bank in a €510 million financial dispute regarding a swap-agreement. The dispute is considered the largest civil lawsuit in Austrian legal history.
|Total Listings in WWL||35||Established||1957|
|Home jurisdiction||Austria||Total size of firm||340|
|Number of partners||58||Number of offices||14|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
The real estate practice comprises almost a third of the lawyers at the firm and is one of its strongest suits. Peter Oberlechner, who heads the practice, is one of the leading real estate lawyers in central and eastern Europe (CEE) and south-east Europe (SEE). He is regularly involved in complex large-scale real estate developments and transactions, including PPP projects and real estate related M&A projects. Lothar Wachter is recommended by clients for being “highly intelligent” in handling real estate acquisitions and sale projects, leasing, and landlord-tenant law and land register law. Erik Steger specialises in the SEE region of real estate law, his knowledge in this area is considered “invaluable” by his clients who include some of the firm’s biggest names.
Wolf Theiss’ banking practice works with some of the biggest banks, insurers and financial institutions in CEE and SEE. Richard Wolf has over 20 years’ experience in both banking and capital markets. He concentrates his practice on forms of commercial lending, project financing and private equity to regulatory work, MTNs, Eurobonds, IPOs, takeovers, credit-linked notes and securitisation and delistings. Markus Heidinger is widely considered a “specialist” in financial regulatory matters, including: MiFID, AIFM, UCITS, Basel III, and Insolvency II. Andreas Schmid heads the “respected” banking and finance group, and specialises in project development and finance and acquisition finance.
The firm also excels in corporate tax. Wolf Theiss was one of the first Austrian law firms to advise on national and international tax law and remains a leader in the market today. Clemens Philipp Schindler is described as an “expert” in international tax law, with other focus areas including private equity and venture capital. Benjamin Twardosz is an “extremely focused” tax lawyer whose expertise ranges from international tax planning and taxation of corporate reorganisations to tax disputes and litigation. Niklas Schmidt is praised by clients for his financial services industry knowledge, including: optimisation strategies and beneficial tax planning, taxation of financial products and investment funds.
Wolf Theiss has worked on a number of cases for pro bono clients, and last year the firm succeeded in protecting a 22-year-old Slovak student, whose reputation was infamously and mistakenly tarnished by the Austrian media. Moreover, as the leading law firm in Austria, it has made it a priority to support the popular Make-A-Wish Foundation, which supports children with life-threatening medical conditions.
Wolf Theiss wishes to consolidate the growth it has experienced over the last few years. In 2014, the firm wants to put particular emphasis on enhancing cross-selling between offices and practice groups and creating synergies within the Wolf Theiss network. To this end, the firm will be paying special attention to the new Warsaw office and also deepening the cross-border relationships with the Kiev office.
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