Widely recognized as an entry point for investors seeking opportunities in Eastern Europe and as a hub for the region, Austria is home to a large number of regional General Counsel and Heads of Legal. We reached out to a number of them to get their perspectives on this critical gateway to CEE.
Austria is definitely lagging behind in terms of Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) penetration: According to recent data of the FTTH Council Europe, only one country worldwide has a worse penetration rate than Austria, while other sources suggest there are two countries below Austria. For this reason many initiatives have been implemented on municipal and provincial levels to provide Austrian households and undertakings with high-speed Internet access in parts of the country where a purely commercial assessment would not justify such investments. Obviously this is not yet enough.
The winners of the 2017 CEE Deal of the Year Awards were announced at the first ever CEE Legal Matters Deal of the Year Awards Banquet last night in Prague. The biggest smiles in the joyous and music-filled celebration of CEE lawyering, perhaps, were on the faces of Partners from Avellum and Sayenko Kharenko, which, along with White & Case and Latham & Watkins, won the award both for Ukrainian Deal of the Year and CEE Deal of the Year for their work on the 2017 Ukraine Eurobond Issue (a story initially reported by CEE Legal Matters on October 2, 2017).
A virtual showdown between German and Austrian insolvency administrators on where the COMI (center of main interests) of Austrian AIR BERLIN subsidiary NIKI was located came to a pragmatic end in January 2018. When it became clear a deal for the sale of NIKI`s assets out of the Austrian process had the support of creditors, the German official dropped his challenge to the competing proceedings in Vienna. The debate around the location of COMI is as relevant now as it has ever been before.
The European Commission has just published its comprehensive proposal for the so-called "New Deal for Consumers", which aims to strengthen EU consumer rights and enforcement. This includes the proposal for a new Directive enabling certain qualified entities to seek redress on behalf of consumers who have been harmed by an unlawful commercial practice.
Reading newspapers in Austria these days one could get the impression that we are in the middle of a financial crisis. Each week another Austrian company seems to be in financial difficulties – or worse – filing for insolvency. But when taking a closer look at the individual insolvency proceedings, things are not as bleak as they seem.
Dorda has announced the appointment of a new three-person Management Committee, consisting of Partners Felix Horlsberger, who was re-elected after serving as a member in the preceding term, Martin Brodey who previously served as member from 2006 to 2014, and Axel Anderl, who was elected for the first time.
On December 22, 2017, CEE Legal Matters reported on EUR 1.9 billion acquisition of UPC Austria from Liberty Global by T-Mobile. T-Mobile’s team was led by Vice President Legal, Regulatory & Interception Anja Tretbar-Bustorf, who spoke to us about the deal.