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Bettina Knoetzl
Firm:
Office:
Herrengasse 1
A-1010
City:
Vienna
Country:
Austria
Tel:
+43 1 34 34 000 200

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Litigation

Bettina Knoetzl is a founding partner of KNOETZL, a leading Austria-based, international law firm in litigation, arbitration, ADR and white-collar crime. KNOETZL also handles compliance, investigations and corporate crisis management. Bettina is a trial lawyer with 25 years’ experience in international and Austrian litigation and resolution of complex commercial disputes. She handles cases in corporate disputes, banking, insurance, investment funds, pharma and life science, investors’ protection, asset tracing, bribery and corruption. Bettina advises clients in mission-critical disputes, including class actions, and has a track record of winning judgments and obtaining strong, favourable settlements for companies, governmental and private clients.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A LEGAL CAREER?

Not liking to see blood, combined with the fascination of solving complex problems through applying solid knowledge and hard skills, analysis and soft skills such as persuasive communication.

WHAT MAKES ASSET RECOVERY AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIME SUCH FASCINATING PRACTICE AREAS TO PRACTICE IN?

In most cases, we start out with a “big mess”, an unclear and often unknown set of facts, several jurisdictions, difficult legal questions, etc. By applying our specially honed skills in a precise and persistent way (as mentioned above), we are ultimately able to help effect a just compensation for our clients’ losses. This is highly rewarding. 

WHAT WAS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED WHEN SETTING UP YOUR OWN FIRM?

The speed and the size required for the “new” firm. From one day to the next we needed basically everything for 35 “users”, as the IT world prefers to call us, as serious client needs were hitting us faster than we could hand out keys to our wonderful staff! This not only involved setting up the highly protected IT environment, but also arranging for dissemination of legal knowledge, office space and things as simple as pens and – vital for lawyers – a working, high-quality coffee machine being immediately operational. 

WHAT SETS YOUR FIRM APART FROM COMPETITORS IN THE MARKET?

We have a unique focus on significant trial work in civil and criminal court and a well-known reputation in overall dispute resolution. Having lawyers who consistently succeed in front of criminal and civil authorities is rather unique in the Austrian legal market.

HOW HAS LITIGATION AS A SPECIALISATION EVOLVED SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR PRACTICE?

Dramatically and fundamentally, as I graduated from law school in the 1980s. When I started my career in Austria, litigation did not exist as a specialisation. In 2002, I had the pleasure to practise as a seconded partner at Allen & Overy, London, in their litigation department. I returned to Austria highly inspired to create something similar in the Austrian legal market. Despite initially dubious reactions at home, I am delighted to say we succeeded. Today, litigation is widely understood to be as much a specialisation in Austria as in the world’s most sophisticated legal markets, requiring specific training, focused experience and special skills. 

YOU ARE ALSO A TRAINED MEDIATOR – ARE THERE ANY WAYS IN WHICH YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE ENHANCES YOUR LITIGATION PRACTICE?

Without a doubt. The Harvard concept of “getting to yes” is an extremely helpful tool in all dispute resolution. I need and use the negotiations skills which I learned through mediation training every day and night.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A TOP-TIER TRIAL LAWYER?

Solid and reliable legal knowledge; always being on top or ahead of new developments in your field; persuasive and superior communication and social skills; serious analysis and development of strategy; and deriving joy from your work.

ASSET RECOVERY IS STILL A RELATIVELY YOUNG PRACTICE AREA IN AUSTRIA – HOW DO YOU SEE IT DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

Quite well, as our legal system and business circumstances set the stage.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGER PRACTITIONERS WHO HOPE TO ONE DAY BE IN YOUR POSITION?

“No risk it, no biscuit”, as a famous NFL football coach we know often says. Follow your professional dreams and savour your passion. Try to find out where your talents are and what type of work provides joy and satisfaction to you. If you are good, and love what you do, you will be able to make your dreams come true.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders: Asset Recovery

Bettina Knoetzl is a founding partner of KNOETZL, a leading Austria-based, international law firm in litigation, arbitration, ADR and white-collar crime. KNOETZL also handles compliance, investigations and corporate crisis management. Bettina is a trial lawyer with 25 years’ experience in international and Austrian litigation and resolution of complex commercial disputes. She handles cases in corporate disputes, banking, insurance, investment funds, pharma and life science, investors’ protection, asset tracing, bribery and corruption. Bettina advises clients in mission-critical disputes, including class actions, and has a track record of winning judgments and obtaining strong, favourable settlements for companies, governmental and private clients.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A LEGAL CAREER?

Not liking to see blood, combined with the fascination of solving complex problems through applying solid knowledge and hard skills, analysis and soft skills such as persuasive communication.

WHAT MAKES ASSET RECOVERY AND WHITE-COLLAR CRIME SUCH FASCINATING PRACTICE AREAS TO PRACTICE IN?

In most cases, we start out with a “big mess”, an unclear and often unknown set of facts, several jurisdictions, difficult legal questions, etc. By applying our specially honed skills in a precise and persistent way (as mentioned above), we are ultimately able to help effect a just compensation for our clients’ losses. This is highly rewarding. 

WHAT WAS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE YOU FACED WHEN SETTING UP YOUR OWN FIRM?

The speed and the size required for the “new” firm. From one day to the next we needed basically everything for 35 “users”, as the IT world prefers to call us, as serious client needs were hitting us faster than we could hand out keys to our wonderful staff! This not only involved setting up the highly protected IT environment, but also arranging for dissemination of legal knowledge, office space and things as simple as pens and – vital for lawyers – a working, high-quality coffee machine being immediately operational. 

WHAT SETS YOUR FIRM APART FROM COMPETITORS IN THE MARKET?

We have a unique focus on significant trial work in civil and criminal court and a well-known reputation in overall dispute resolution. Having lawyers who consistently succeed in front of criminal and civil authorities is rather unique in the Austrian legal market.

HOW HAS LITIGATION AS A SPECIALISATION EVOLVED SINCE YOU BEGAN YOUR PRACTICE?

Dramatically and fundamentally, as I graduated from law school in the 1980s. When I started my career in Austria, litigation did not exist as a specialisation. In 2002, I had the pleasure to practise as a seconded partner at Allen & Overy, London, in their litigation department. I returned to Austria highly inspired to create something similar in the Austrian legal market. Despite initially dubious reactions at home, I am delighted to say we succeeded. Today, litigation is widely understood to be as much a specialisation in Austria as in the world’s most sophisticated legal markets, requiring specific training, focused experience and special skills. 

YOU ARE ALSO A TRAINED MEDIATOR – ARE THERE ANY WAYS IN WHICH YOUR EXPERIENCE THERE ENHANCES YOUR LITIGATION PRACTICE?

Without a doubt. The Harvard concept of “getting to yes” is an extremely helpful tool in all dispute resolution. I need and use the negotiations skills which I learned through mediation training every day and night.

WHAT QUALITIES MAKE A TOP-TIER TRIAL LAWYER?

Solid and reliable legal knowledge; always being on top or ahead of new developments in your field; persuasive and superior communication and social skills; serious analysis and development of strategy; and deriving joy from your work.

ASSET RECOVERY IS STILL A RELATIVELY YOUNG PRACTICE AREA IN AUSTRIA – HOW DO YOU SEE IT DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

Quite well, as our legal system and business circumstances set the stage.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGER PRACTITIONERS WHO HOPE TO ONE DAY BE IN YOUR POSITION?

“No risk it, no biscuit”, as a famous NFL football coach we know often says. Follow your professional dreams and savour your passion. Try to find out where your talents are and what type of work provides joy and satisfaction to you. If you are good, and love what you do, you will be able to make your dreams come true.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery: Lawyers

Bettina Knoetzl is a partner at Knoetzl, a leading firm in arbitration, litigation, alternative dispute resolution, business crime, compliance and corporate crisis management. Bettina has more than 20 years’ experience in handling complex national and international disputes and is currently ranked as one of the leading litigation, dispute resolution and white-collar crime lawyers in Austria.

Bettina specialises in international and commercial litigation, focusing on investor protection, liability claims, business crime, fraud and asset tracing, corporate disputes, banking, insurance and financial derivatives cases, and life science litigation. She has successfully defended against class action lawsuits, including one of Austria's largest civil litigation cases, and represents corporate and investor clients in well-known shareholder disputes. She also provides legal counsel to significant government institutions. Her successes in asset tracing and recovery have been recognised across the globe. She has led her clients to remarkable successes, among others in several cases up to the Austrian Supreme Court. With her vast understanding and experience of cross-border work, she is a sought-after co-counsel by top-tier law firms.

Bettina is currently the co-chair of the litigation committee of the International Bar Association; the president of the advisory board of Transparency International (Austrian chapter); the Austrian representative of ICC–FraudNet; and a member of the advisory board of the ZBP Career Centre at Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is ranked in the top tier of the leading international directories, including Chambers, and is currently recognised as one Who's Who Legal’s five most highly regarded individuals in litigation and asset tracing in Europe (2016).

WWL says: The “outstanding” Bettina Knoetzl is a market-leading practitioner and one of our Thought Leaders.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Life Sciences: Product Liability

Bettina Knoetzl is one of the founding partners at KNOETZL, a leading litigation and dispute resolution law firm, with a groundbreaking focus on trial work in civil and criminal courts and arbitral tribunals, business crime, compliance and corporate crisis management.

Bettina Knoetzl has 25 years’ experience in complex national and international disputes and is currently and uniformly ranked as one of the leading litigation, dispute resolution and white-collar crime lawyers in Austria.

Bettina specialises in international and commercial litigation, focusing on defence of liability claims, especially for international pharmaceutical clients and other life sciences and significant healthcare providers, corporations in the real estate sector and in banking and finance, including financial derivatives. She has successfully defended clients in class action lawsuits, including one of Austria's largest civil cases, as well as in several collective actions against pharmaceutical companies and investor clients in well-known corporate and shareholder disputes. Bettina Knoetzl also provides legal counsel to significant government institutions. Her successes in trial, at the intersection of criminal cases, including fraud, corruption and asset tracing and recovery matters have been recognised across the globe. Bettina Knoetzl has led her clients to noteworthy successes, including in several cases up to the Austrian Supreme Court. With her vast understanding and experience of cross-border work, she is sought after as co-counsel by top-tier law firms.

Bettina Knoetzl is currently the co-chair of the litigation committee of the International Bar Association; the president of Transparency International (Austrian chapter, advisory board); the exclusive Austrian representative of ICC FraudNet; and member of the advisory board of the ZBP Career Centre at Vienna University of Economics and Business. She teaches litigation and dispute resolution, including mediation, at the Austrian Lawyers’ Academy and she is ranked in the top tier of the leading international directories, including Chambers, and is currently recognised as one Who's Who Legal’s five most highly regarded individuals for litigation and asset tracing in Europe (2016).

WWL says: Bettina Knoetzl is “very well known in the market” for her product liability expertise, particularly relating to disputes and litigation.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Life Sciences which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Litigation: Lawyers

Bettina Knoetzl is a partner at KNOETZL, a leading firm in arbitration, litigation, alternative dispute resolution, business crime, compliance and corporate crisis management. Bettina has more than 20 years’ experience in handling complex national and international disputes and is currently ranked as one of the leading litigation, dispute resolution and white-collar crime lawyers in Austria.

Bettina specialises in international and commercial litigation, focusing on investor protection, liability claims, business crime, fraud and asset tracing, corporate disputes, banking, insurance and financial derivatives cases, and life science litigation. She has successfully defended against class action lawsuits, including one of Austria's largest civil litigation cases, and represents corporate and investor clients in well-known shareholder disputes. She also provides legal counsel to significant government institutions. Her successes in asset tracing and recovery have been recognised across the globe. She has led her clients to remarkable successes, among others in several cases up to the Austrian Supreme Court. With her vast understanding and experience of cross border work, she is a sought-after co-counsel by large multi-jurisdictional law firms.

Bettina is currently the co-chair of the litigation committee of the International Bar Association; the president of the advisory board of Transparency International (Austrian Chapter); the Austrian representative of ICC–FraudNet; and member of the advisory board of the ZBP Career Centre at Vienna University of Economics and Business. She is ranked in the top tier of the leading international directories, including Chambers, and is currently recognised as one Who's Who Legal’s five most highly regarded individuals for litigation and asset tracing in Europe (2015).

WWL says: Bettina Knoetzl is esteemed as “a leader in the market for contentious insolvency litigation” and is noted for her “good strategic understanding and strong expertise”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Litigation which can be purchased from our Shop.

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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.

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