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In The Debrief, our Practice Leaders across CEE share updates on recent and upcoming legislation, consider the impact of recent court decisions, showcase landmark projects, and keep our readers apprised of the latest developments impacting their respective practice areas.

Austria's healthcare system got a long-anticipated makeover. After years of small-scale adjustments, a collective amendment – the "Vereinbarungsumsetzungsgesetz 2024" ("VUG 2024" or the "reform") – has brought a new wave of changes somewhere revolutionising healthcare in Austria. The VUG 2024 refers to a comprehensive and coordinated change made to a total of 13 legal matters, which are being modified together as a unified act for a more holistic approach. This happens to be one of the biggest reforms in the healthcare sector in recent decades.

Schoenherr has advised Austrian green technology scale-up Neoom on the structuring and implementation of its "impact invest" customer financing scheme for decentralized energy projects as well as related project debt financing arranged by Solas Capital in an amount of up to EUR 30 million.

Herbst Kinsky, working with Orrick, has advised the Terreal Group and its main shareholders on the antitrust aspects of the full sale of its businesses in Poland, Hungary, and Austria to Swisspor. Schoenherr advised Swisspor Holding on the acquisition.

Binder Groesswang has advised the Hannover Finanz private equity investor on its acquisition of a stake in Peak Technology as part of a EUR 10 million growth financing transaction. Summereder Pichler Waechter advised Peak and its CEO, Dieter Grebner.

Galloping inflation and post-COVID-19 challenges are shaping the litigation market in Austria, with an unparalleled volume of insolvencies feeding into a high rate of litigation. Meanwhile, the Austrian government remains hesitant to implement the European collective redress system.

Internal investigations continue to be a crucial part of a robust compliance management system. Short messages exchanged on smartphones have become a significant source for internal as well as external investigations. The Austrian prosecution authority understands that screening smartphones is close to “manna from heaven” for any investigator. This Market Snapshot reports on two important developments in Austria: a constitutional court decision requiring a significant change of the law, and the impact of the newly implemented law for the protection of whistleblowers.

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