The technology, media and telecommunications sector in Austria remains active. In 2014, Telekom Austria raised €997 million in a share sale – almost 60 per cent was snapped up by America Movil and a further 28 per cent by the Austrian state holding company, the second main owner of Telekom Austria. We single out 28 specialists in this field.
The Austrian real estate investment market broke all records in 2014. Market volume nearly doubled compared to 2013 and at €3 billion, reached the record level of the pre-crisis years up to 2007. The increase was particularly strong in the retail property sector, followed by office properties and hotels. With increased interest from investors from Asia and the Middle East, the outlook for 2015 is also positive. Fifteen lawyers are highly recommended in this chapter.
Product liability remains an active field in Austria and sources have reported a steady year. The Supreme Court recently imposed a product monitoring duty under the Product Liability Act by stating that in the case of serial production, the producer must decide whether each batch created complies with acceptable standards. This may open the door to more legal advisory work as producers navigate what could be a more onerous environment. In this chapter, two product liability defence specialists are selected.
Current trends in the private equity market include equity only deals, secondary transactions, bank driven auction processes, bolt-on acquisitions and market consolidation. The regulatory environment is also active for lawyers due to further need of clarification following the implementation of the AIFMD. Six lawyers are recommended in this chapter.
Austria has an active patent litigation scene and was the first country in the European Union to ratify the Unified Patent Court (UPC). Most recently, it was announced that Austria will establish a local division of the UPC in Vienna, which was welcome news to patent lawyers who argue it will improve the legal protection in Austria and prevent a brain drain. The jurisdiction will not start before 2017. In this developing area of law, six lawyers are singled out.
Austria is a pioneering centre for mediation law and practice; in 2004 it enacted the first mediation act in Europe. We list seven leading lights in this chapter.
M&A activity remains volatile and has yet to return to pre-crisis levels. Activity in 2014 has largely been driven by consolidation or work-outs in the banking and industrial sectors. The following 21 practitioners are considered the leading experts in the sector.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.