Global financial markets change fast. New products and new regulations reshape the business environment almost every day. Thankfully, this is the environment our lawyers call home. With their expert knowledge, they can guide global players into new territories and local players into new financial markets.
Right now, we are working with some of the biggest banks, insurers and financial institutions in Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europe. Not to mention many of their customers. We also have excellent relationships with local regulators, stock exchanges and government officials: essential assets when completing new and complex transactions in emerging markets.
Our success depends on our lawyers’ ability to understand clients’ business needs, especially when it comes to Banking and Finance. So it is good to know our Banking and Finance team includes some of the sharpest financial minds in the business. From commercial lending, project financing and private equity to regulatory work, MTNs, Eurobonds, IPOs, takeovers, credit-linked notes and securitization and de-listings, this is a team you can trust.
And as a full-service firm, we can also call on specialist teams in other areas, such as tax, real estate and dispute resolution, to ensure the best solution every time.
Areas of Specialisation..
As you might expect, our Competition and Antitrust team are a competitive bunch. We take pride in achieving the fastest possible results with the minimum of fuss. For years, we have been providing advice and representation on all aspects of competition law, including merger control, cartel investigations, co-operation and distribution agreements or abusive practices. Our expertise encompasses EC and national competition laws in Austria and many countries in Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europe.
By keeping up good relationships with the relevant competition authorities*, we are able to steer through complex mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures more quickly than you might expect.
We advise clients in antitrust litigation, including cartels, abuses of a dominant position as well as private enforcement of competition law. And our local teams are on hand day-in day-out to help with matters such as distribution systems, co-operation agreements, intellectual property licensing, and pricing policies.
* We have supported legislators in the competition law making process and worked with competition authorities on the implementation of the law and the handling of merger notifications.
In today’s highly regulated global marketplace, having a multijurisdictional approach to compliance is essential. Compliance problems often involve more than one country and a complex set of issues. When the government arrives at the door, clients need a legal team that can quickly coordinate cross-border internal investigations to determine the scope of the problem and mobilize to protect them and their businesses.
Our compliance team not only assists clients during investigations, but serves as a guide in establishing corporate compliance programs that address their greatest compliance risks and mitigate problems before a potential investigation. Using our sector-specific expertise, we advise clients on their compliance obligations, from data privacy and supplier agreements to internal controls and labor relations. Having excellent regional contacts with public authorities allows us to couple legal expertise with a practical touch creating solutions that work in the real world.
The services we provide include:
- Business crime prevention strategies
- Competition and anti-trust compliance
- Marketing & distribution of regulated products
- Corporate governance, risk and compliance trainings for management boards and senior executives, customized and sector-specific compliance training programs
- Drafting and reviewing compliance documents, anti-corruption guidelines, advertising and data protection policies and rules for internal whistleblowing procedures
- Conducting internal compliance audits and reviews in an administered manner or as mock dawn raids, in order to establish best practices
- Dispute resolution and crisis management
- Compliance with regard to public procurement procedures
- Assisting contracting authorities with regard to the review of private bidders in connection with the alleged lack of professional suitability
- Implementing self-cleaning procedures and measures in order to re-establish the professional suitability of private bidders in tender procedures
- Drafting and reviewing tender documents with regard to compliance issues
- Supervising the conduct of tender procedures in order to safeguard the compliance with procurement law
Our Corporate/M&A lawyers are used to being busy. In recent years, they have handled some of the biggest transactions ever to have taken place in Austria and Central and Southeastern Europe – ranging from private equity transactions and public takeovers, to share issuances, management buy-outs and privatizations. Fortunately, they are not short on energy.
Corporate/M&A is our largest practice group, helping a wide range of clients through all stages of the corporate lifecycle, from forming companies and joint ventures right through to winding-up, restructuring or buy-outs. Our Corporate/M&A practice focuses on four main areas:
Mergers and Acquisitions: Our M&A work typically involves a cross-border transaction between two or more countries in the CEE/SEE region. We may act for buyers, sellers or targets, or we may represent their boards and investors.
Restructurings: At the interface of corporate, tax and insolvency laws, our restructuring task force plans and implements domestic and cross-border group restructurings and advises debt or equity stakeholders or interested investors in the course of reorganizations and turnarounds of distressed entities.
Private Equity: We see private equity as a distinct discipline within M&A that requires specific expertise and familiarity with the way private equity works. Many of our lawyers come from backgrounds in private equity, or have extensive expertise with private equity transactions, so we are able to draw on a great deal of first-hand experience.
General Corporate: Our general corporate work extends to a wide range of corporate and strategic issues. We enjoy acting as a partner to our clients, supporting them through each stage of the corporate lifecycle and helping them to achieve their long-term goals.
Our Corporate/M&A team brings together expertise in a wide range of sectors: financial institutions, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, media, microelectronics, energy and healthcare – to mention just a few. So whatever your area of expertise, you can be sure we will have the knowledge and experience to match.
Areas of Specialization
We have always placed a special emphasis on classic litigation before courts and public authorities. We are very proud that our firm-wide dispute resolution team has grown substantially over the last 10 years. Today it consists of highly-motivated and experienced lawyers in all fields of commercial law disputes. We act with passion, personal commitment and joy when arguing before a court. This guarantees the best possible outcome for our clients and has created a team which is very happy about its success. Our clients' success is our best reward. We know that a successful outcome must meet our client's economic goals and satisfy our client’s cost-benefit analysis; we therefore define the basic strategy for each case in close cooperation with the client.
Wolf Theiss' international capabilities enable cross-border litigation at the highest possible level. Our lawyers in our local offices have substantial expert knowledge, as well as the particular advantage of local experience in litigation and knowledge of the litigation environment in their own jurisdiction. This allows us to provide expert strategic litigation consulting to our clients in the many markets we serve.
The experience of our own team, coupled with close collaboration with experts from other fields, enables us to provide customized consultancy even in highly complex cases.
Areas of Specialization
Why choose arbitration?
There are plenty of reasons why arbitration is chosen in international business, not least the fact that there is no international court for business disputes. There is also the advantage of a neutral and confidential forum, the usually high levels of experience among arbitrators, the relatively high speed and lower costs, and the fact that arbitral awards are internationally enforced.
Why choose us?
Achieving the right outcome in arbitration depends largely on choosing the right counsel, people who are knowledgeable about the issue, experienced in the details of the proceedings, and familiar with the relevant legal systems.
This is exactly what we offer. Our team combines years of experience sitting as arbitrators, as well as working as counsel for parties in domestic and international arbitration proceedings.
Our experience has taught us a few things. We know how to manage time and costs effectively on your behalf. We know how to find the right arbitrator for your case and how to maximize the chances of success. We have developed a wide network of contacts throughout the international arbitration world and can offer an inside perspective on the various legal systems – not only in Central and Eastern Europe, but also in major arbitration centers across the world.
Arbitration Clause Check
The way we see it, your employees are one of your company’s biggest assets. Putting the right relationships in place prevents problems arising further down the line – and protects the long-term future of your business.
So how do you go about doing it? One of the challenges is that employment law is changing fast, with different countries responding in different ways. Our job is to steer clients through those changes, identifying new opportunities and guarding against risks.
We do it by offering clear, straightforward advice, rather than pages of dense arguments for and against. We also believe in flexibility – identifying the right solutions to fit your business as it changes over time.
With teams of experts throughout the Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europe region, we are well placed to advise on projects across multiple jurisdictions, making sure your commercial goals translate effectively into the local environment. We see each client relationship as a partnership – one that starts as soon as you pick up the phone and call us.
Intellectual Property and Information Technology are two closely linked and fast developing areas. In our experience, they are also extremely wide-ranging. On any given day, you will find us advising on everything from trademark infringement to patent licensing agreements, unfair competition matters to setting up a new e-business and drafting agreements for telecommunication providers.
Our advice and representation covers not only the classical offline sector, but also the application of industrial property rights online. We provide up-to-the-minute advice on information technology issues, ranging from hardware and software contracts to interactive gaming and the computerized entertainment industry. In each case, we see it as our job not only to react to new technological developments, but to anticipate them on behalf of our clients.
We work closely with businesses across Central and Southeastern Europe, listening to what they want to achieve and tailoring our advice accordingly. The way we see it, every problem is different, so every solution has to be different. Maybe that is an idea we should protect.
(ENERGY, INFRASTRUCTURE & UTILITIES)
Wolf Theiss once again enhanced its client services and strengthened its leading position in the Central, Eastern and Southeastern region by creating its full-service Projects practice. The firm's Projects group is made up of a multidisciplinary team of the firm's best lawyers from some of its leading practice groups integrated across the firm's 14 regional offices.
The Projects group's mission is to deliver to project development clients a complete and fully integrated set of legal services in the fields of infrastructure, energy and natural resources, utilities and public-private partnerships. Our lawyers strive to add value to our clients by combining the firm's regional, cultural, economic and legal knowledge with industry insight to offer innovative solutions that promote both our clients' business and economic goals.
Our extensive local presence in the region and our "one stop shop" philosophy is a major advantage and allows us to provide cross-border services at the highest level, ensuring that our clients do not spend their valuable time coordinating with various advisors in a multitude of jurisdictions. Our projects team includes over 70 lawyers in 14 Wolf Theiss offices - Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo & Banja Luka), Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Ukraine.
Local knowledge means everything in real estate and construction. We have plenty of it. Our network of offices throughout Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europe brings together experts in everything from planning, project development and construction to financing and facilities management. All of them have hands-on experience in their local markets, as well as a track record of handling large-scale, complex transactions – including some of the biggest property developments in this part of the world in recent years.
The emphasis is always on one thing: clear advice that gets results. Whether we are working with developers, buyers, sellers or financiers, we approach every client relationship as a partnership. It is about getting to know your priorities and tailoring our advice to fit.
Recent years have seen increasing economic regulatory requirements at European and local levels, in terms of both formal legal requirements and less formal “soft law”. There are also specialized regulators for many industries, helping to create and enforce sector-specific rules.
States themselves (EU members or not) have enacted rigorous, complex regulations regarding procurement and the awarding of concessions or PPP contracts for the design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of motorways, power plants and other infrastructure projects using natural resources.
This is where our Regulatory and Procurement team steps in. We advise clients across the CEE/ SEE region on the regulatory and procurement law frameworks that affect their daily work and long-term success. These clients are drawn from a variety of sectors, including construction, life sciences, banking and finance, insurance, public transport, waste management, infrastructure, telecoms, energy and utilities.
We are not only well versed in our field, we also work hard to become equally knowledgeable about your business needs. We believe this is the key to providing practical advice that helps you meet your commercial objectives. Which is no doubt why we regularly advise on regulatory requirements in some of the most complex M&A or infrastructure transactions, procurement processes, and compliance requirements.
Our excellent contacts with public authorities allow us to couple legal expertise with a ‘practical touch’, creating solutions that work in the real world. And with many requirements harmonized through European directives and regulations, we gain a great deal from the close co-operation and transfer of knowledge between our offices all over the CEE/SEE region.
Wolf Theiss was one of the first Austrian law firms to advise on national and international tax law – and we like to think we have been setting the standards ever since. Our team brings together detailed knowledge of national and international tax law in many countries throughout Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. So however complex the transaction, we can access the relevant expertise quickly and seamlessly.
Our experience covers a wide range of disciplines – from corporate restructurings to tax disputes and litigation, stock option plans to VAT issues, cross-border leasing to private foundations. In each case, we offer advice and representation designed to get results quickly and effectively.
Tax law is a notoriously complex business (as we know from experience). But our approach is always to keep things as simple and clear-cut as possible. Whatever you are trying to achieve as an individual or corporation, you can count on us to give clear and authoritative guidance that gets results.