Banking & Finance

Legal 500 - Banking & Finance (Tier 2)

CHSH Cerha Hempel Spiegelfeld Hlawati has a strong profile for finance and distressed asset transactions. Edith Hlawati’s ‘very knowledgeable’ team advised the Republic of Austria and Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International on the establishment of Austria’s first bad bank structure. Other clients include the Austrian National Bank (OeNB), Erste Group and Telekom Austria.

IFLR 1000 - Banking (Tier 2)

In banking, the firm has been involved in one of the biggest stories of the European financial crisis – the wind-down of Hypo Alpe Adria, a nationalised lender that was forced to establish Austria's first bad bank. A team led by Edith Hlawati, Peter Knobl and Albert Birkner advised the Republic of Austria and the bank on restructuring the its assets, which included orignating the legal framework for loan transfers in several SEE (South East Europe) jurisdictions and forming the bad bank, Heta Asset Resolution. 

Other transactional banking highlights for the firm included a large refinancing of almost €1 billion, where Volker Glas was advising the debtor, and several acquisition financings. One example of the latter was Thomas Zivny’s advice to German lender, Berlin Hyp, on loans totalling around €415 million to several entities of the Austrian BUWOG group to help finance its purchase of a large real estate portfolio.

Chambers & Partners - Banking & Finance (Band 2)

What the team is known for: Esteemed practice acting on major financing deals in the Austrian and CEE markets. Mandates from the last twelve months include real estate and acquisition financings, restructurings and cross-border reorganisations. Noted for its strong regulatory capabilities. Clients include banks, investment funds and corporates.

Strengths: (Quotes mainly from clients): "The firm operates smoothly. Requests are handled fast, feedback is excellent and very detailed with great communication during the transaction, and deadlines are adhered to."

What's new? S IMMO and Kreos Capital are new client wins for the firm.

Work highlights: Advised Hypo Alpe Adria Bank on the establishment of Austria's first bad bank structure, including analysis and implementation of the restructuring model and loan transfers in SEE jurisdictions.

Assisted AT&S with a EUR158 million loan note transaction.

Notable practitioners: 

Interviewees commend Peter Knobl for his reliability and responsiveness. He recently assisted the Austrian Central Bank with the winding down of two employee mutual savings clubs.

Volker Glas is noted for his activity in structured finance. His recent work highlights include advising Austrian securities clearing house CCPA on compliance with EMIR.

Thomas Zivny advised the EBRD on a EUR57 million long-term loan extended to LUKERG for financing the expansion of the Romanian Topolog wind farm. A client describes him as a "fantastic lawyer," adding: "He meets all the scheduled deadlines and I can ask him anything."

Significant clients Oesterreichische Industrieholding, Telekom Austria, OMV, Erste Bank, Société Générale.


  • The Legal 500 2016: Europe, Middle East & Africa 
  • IFLR 1000  2016 - The Guide to the World's Leading Financial Law Firms 
  • Chambers & Partners 2016, Chambers Europe - Europe's Leading Lawyers for Business