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.
One of the highest-profile cases in Austria in 2014 related to an online privacy challenge against Facebook brought by Austrian citizen Max Schrems. Schrems has filed a proposed “class action” lawsuit in a Vienna court despite Austria having no official class action law. In this sector, we identify 24 litigators.
Austria has built a strong reputation in life sciences and medical technology. The jurisdiction is home to a growing number of global companies, dynamic start-ups and respected universities, creating a myriad of opportunities for domestic and international firms advising in the area. As the sector’s growth in specific areas such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices becomes increasingly central to Austria’s economy, it is likely that competition among law firms will increase. Our research highlights 12 leading individuals.
Austria’s labour market has experienced a growing unemployment rate in 2013 and 2014. With a low employment rate among the elderly the situation presents several problems for the jurisdiction, not least to its pension system. We list 12 lawyers in this chapter with the necessary skills and abilities to advise management on the full scope of labour and employment matters.
According to the 2013 Eurobarometer, Austria is among the best-rated countries for the deterrent effects of successful prosecutions in corruption cases. The Public Prosecutor’s Office against White-Collar Crime and Corruption was established in September 2011 and since then the number of staff employed has steadily increased. In April 2013 an online whistleblower hotline was launched to facilitate investigations. With the fight against corruption ramping up, law enforcement agencies look set to continue focusing on investigating economic crimes. Five “outstanding” practitioners are listed in this chapter.
The insurance industry in Austria consists of 61 insurance companies and 55 insurance mutuals. In addition, 25 insurance companies based in the European Economic Area have a licensed Austrian branch. In this specialised market we identify six leading practitioners.
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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.