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.
One of the largest cases in the Austrian market relates to the Hypo Alpe Adria Bank. In March 2015, the Austrian government ruled out providing fresh capital and staged a premiere of new European Union rules to wind down failing banks. Four lawyers are recommended in this specialist field.
Public procurement in Austria is governed by the Federal Procurement Act and the Federal Defence and Security Procurement Act. Both cover the main rules on public procurement procedures for public bodies and entities in the water, energy, transport and postal sectors. In early 2015, significant changes to the procurement regime were proposed, including amendments to rules on mandatory award criteria, stricter rules on the involvement of subcontractors and changes to tender analysis. Against this backdrop and in a growing domestic procurement market, lawyers are likely to field an increasing number of enquiries from public sector clients regarding clarification of the procurement procedure. Our research identifies 15 leading individuals in the field.
2014 saw the entry of Dunkin’ Donuts into Austria with the signing of a master franchise agreement with M&D Restaurant Development. Although franchising as a business model remains quite rare in Austria, it continues to grow steadily. Four dedicated professionals are recommended in this chapter.
Energy efficiency continues to be a key consideration in Austria and there are various public subsidies to support projects. At the end of 2013 a new act on waste management entered into force which amended regulations on recycling and collection of waste. In this specialist field, we single out five practitioners.
The current crises in Eastern Europe could have an adverse risk on the Austrian economy if Russia cuts off oil and gas. At present, there is an increased focus on renewables to limit dependency on imported fossil fuels. We single out 11 lawyers in this chapter.
Tax law in Austria underwent several changes in 2014, including the abolishment of the 75 per cent loss utilisation threshold whereby losses carried forward could only be offset with 75 per cent of the profit of the current year. Furthermore, salaries paid after 28 February 2014 to employees and exceeding €500,000 per recipient and per fiscal year are no longer deductible for tax purposes. We identify 16 lawyers who are assisting clients in this transitional period as well as three expert witnesses.
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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.