Competences & legal areas

Legal conflicts can arise in all areas of law. Our law firm focuses on those legal fields in which we have extensive experience. If you wish, we will of course gladly deepen our knowledge in new practice areas for you. However, we also work with colleagues who specialise in other legal fields, so that we work as part of a team and focus on our core strength, the Legal Conflict Management.

  • (International) Contract Law
  • Distribution law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Labour law
  • StartUps
  • Inheritance and Foundation Law, „Law of Wealth Planning“
  • Agricultural law
  • Competition law
  • IP/name protection
  • Real estate and construction law
  • Company law
  • EU and international law
MK Legal - Dr. Michael Komuczky Rechtsanwalt | Attorney at Law

(International) Contract Law

  • General contract law
  • GTC law, clause review proceedings
  • Special commercial law matters such as transport law, financing, insurance contract law, IT/tech services
  • EU regulations and international agreements for certain types of contracts

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of contract law!

In addition to the general provisions of the Austrian Civil Code, regulations from other acts and statutes may also be relevant for individual types of contracts, such as those of the Commercial Code or the Consumer Code. Insurance contracts are also subject to a special law. Financing contracts in particular are often determined by public law and must therefore also comply with regulatory requirements. Thanks to our extensive experience, we can advise you in these areas and draft your contracts accordingly.

Particular caution is required for general terms and conditions and contract forms: If these do not comply with the mandatory provisions, the company using them can quickly become the target of an action by a consumer protection association. We of course represent you against such lawsuits, although the primary goal in drafting general terms and conditions remains to avoid them in the first.

Many areas of commercial law are also shaped by regulations of EU law or international agreements. This applies, for example, to transport law, but sales contracts for goods can also fall under international uniform law, namely the UN Sales of Goods Convention (CISG). In the case of IT or tech service contracts, special attention must be paid to the GDPR. Here we use our specialisation and practical experience in these areas to optimally protect your interests.

Distribution law

  • Comprehensive advice to sales intermediaries (e.g. sales representatives, commercial agents, brokers, authorised dealers, franchisees) and their principals
  • Drafting of contracts in light of mandatory law
  • Exploiting possibilities to optimize your position in the international context
  • Enforcement of and defence against compensation and indemnification claims, compensation for investment costs and other claims
  • Competition law review of the distribution system

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of distribution law!

Especially in international trade, but also within Austria, sales intermediaries take on a special significance. In practice, there are many different forms. Sales representatives, commercial agents, brokers, authorised dealers and franchisees are just a few of them. The legal relationships between them and their principals are summarised under the term distribution law.

This area of law is characterised by various mandatory provisions. In part, for example, labour law applies, even if the sales intermediaries are supposed to be formally self-employed. Then social security law must also be observed. For self-employed intermediaries, too, special laws such as the Commercial Agents Act or the Brokers Act, but even the Commercial Code, provide for certain mandatory regulations. Due to our extensive experience and in-depth expertise, we can take all of this into account when drafting contracts. In doing so, we also exploit the possibilities to optimize our clients’ position in the cross-border context through choice of law and jurisdiction agreements.

Depending on the interests of our clients, we enforce or defend those claims. The compensation claims, which are also awarded to many other intermediaries by analogy to commercial agency law, are of particular importance in this context. However, the mutual duties of loyalty and information of the parties to the distribution agreement are no less relevant in practice. Competition law components also often play a role. Sales intermediaries often raise the accusation against their principals that they are discriminated compared to other intermediaries of the same principal. Under certain circumstances, it is also possible to take action against this alleged discrimination, but we also take on the defence against such accusations.

Dispute Resolution

  • Out-of-court negotiations, ADR and mediation
  • Arbitration under various rules, such as VIAC, ICC, DIS, ASA, Vienna Commodity Exchange Rules
  • Litigation before civil, commercial, labour and social security courts as well as before the CJEU and ECtHR
  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign decisions
  • Creditor representative in insolvency proceedings

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of Dispute Resolution!

Although our legal conflict management practice is not limited to classic dispute resolution, this is of course an important part of our work. Through our experience before courts and arbitral tribunals, we also know what is important in conflict avoidance and conflict resolution. We take on the extrajudicial negotiation for our clients and try to find a cost-efficient solution. Where appropriate and sensible, we are also happy to make use of mediation or other methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution.

In arbitration, we represent clients both before ad hoc arbitral tribunals and in proceedings under institutional rules. We work, for example, under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Vienna International Arbitral Centre, the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the Swiss Arbitration Association or those of the Vienna Commodity Exchange. Dr. Michael Komuczky is also available to serve as an arbitrator.

Of course, we enforce our clients‘ claims before all Austrian courts. In addition, due to our strong international network, we also handle complex cross-border litigations. In doing so, our extensive experience with EU law and international law serves us well, for example in selecting the most appropriate forum for you to bring a claim. We also represent clients before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the European Court of Human Rights, insofar as our clients‘ rights under EU and international sources of law are affected.

If a final judgment or other title exists, we take over its enforcement in Austria. In cross-border cases, we make use of the relevant EU legal acts (in particular the Brussels Ia-Regulation) or international conventions such as the Lugano Convention or the Hague Conventions. We also represent our clients‘ interests in reorganisation or bankruptcy proceedings and bring actions for avoidance of legal acts under insolvency law.

Labour law

  • Drafting contracts for employees, managers and directors as well as freelancers and other service providers
  • Advice on industrial constitution law matters (such as company agreements, collective agreements and disputes relating to the works council)
  • Advising before or after dismissals and terminations
  • Proceedings before the labour and social security law courts

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of labour law!

Labour law is not only mandatory contract law, in some cases employers are also threatened with administrative penalties for violations of the law. Therefore, it is all the more important to draft employment contracts in a legally secure manner. We not only have experience with classic employment contracts, we also routinely draft contracts with management and executives, taking into account the legal specifics in these cases. We are also happy to incorporate special provisions, such as employee participation models. In addition, we advise you on the drafting and handling of contractual relationships with freelancers or other persons who are employed on a contract-for-work basis, so that genuine employment relationships do not arise unintentionally.

We are also at your disposal during ongoing business operations. In particular, clients turn to us when disputes arise in connection with the Labour Constitution Act or negotiations are to be conducted, for example, on works agreements. Of course, we are also happy to draft these for you.

An important part of our work is also the support of terminations and dismissals. Not only is the preservation of evidence important for any subsequent lawsuits, but depending on the case, certain procedural steps must be taken or aspects observed in order to exclude a challenge to the termination or dismissal. If a labour law dispute arises, we will of course also represent you before all courts, whereby out-of-court settlement options should always be explored here as well in order to make the solution as efficient as possible for you.

StartUps

  • Choice of legal form, advice on financing models and contracts
  • Drawing up contract forms, employment contracts and other necessary documents
  • Assessing regulatory risk, advising on public law issues (such as data protection or trade law)

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of StartUps!

In our experience, StartUps differ from other entrepreneurs primarily in their ambitions: They do not just want to run a business, they want to grow quickly (keyword hypergrowth) and change the world in the process. They often incorporate topics such as sustainability and digitalisation centrally into their business concept. We are attuned to these ambitions and therefore advise you accordingly.

In doing so, we accompany you during the foundation of your company and advise you during the rounds of negotiations with your investors. In addition to reviewing and drafting the corporate and financing documents, we also prepare all other necessary documents for you, such as general terms and conditions, service agreements, contract templates and declarations under data protection law.

Since you are aiming for rapid growth, you probably do not want every legal detail worked out in advance. We understand that, which is why we offer you appropriate packages. In an individual analysis of your business model, we outline in a resource-efficient way which regulatory points need greater attention and which you can leave to your own devices. This risk analysis gives you predictability without slowing down your growth process. Since your investors also expect relevant information, we work with you to develop a communication strategy regarding your company’s regulatory issues.

Inheritance and Foundation Law, "Law of Wealth Planning"

  • Preparation of wills, foundation and foundation supplementary deeds
  • Comprehensive planning of cross-generational wealth transfers
  • Representation in inheritance disputes and in foundation law proceedings
  • Preserving family relationships through constructive negotiation
  • Advice on foundation law issues

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of wealth planning!

We do not regard inheritance and foundation law as separate areas of law; together with sub-areas from other legal fields, such as family law or insurance or banking contract law, they form the „Law of Wealth Planning“. Through this holistic approach, we advise our clients comprehensively on the structuring and transfer of their assets. It is important to restrict one’s own legal positions as little as possible during one’s lifetime and at the same time to secure one’s own will through early dispositions.

A legally secure will is only one (albeit important) aspect of this. In particular, the now applicable law on compulsory portions offers scope for design, which we will be happy to exploit for you. Whether an (Austrian or foreign) foundation makes sense and is economical can only be worked out on a case-by-case basis. Due to the minimum requirements for Austrian foundations, which are rather onerous in international comparison, other instruments often make more sense in order to achieve one’s own goals in a cost-efficient manner. We will advise you comprehensively and show you all the possibilities, gladly in cooperation with international colleagues.

We also help heirs and beneficiaries of the compulsory portion to assert their rights in intra-family negotiations – and, if necessary, in court proceedings. Through empathy and a holistic approach – which also includes interpersonal relationships – we not only strive for financial optimisation, but also support you in finding a long-term settlement with your close relatives. Inheritance law proceedings and compulsory portion proceedings require special tact in this regard, which we have already demonstrated many times and are happy to do so for you.

Based on our initial case analysis, you will know at an early stage what you can ultimately expect and to what extent litigation (and the associated family conflicts) is worthwhile at all. We are aware that in inheritance law it is not only the law that counts, emotional aspects are also very important. We include these in our work in order to comprehensively meet your needs, but nevertheless conscientiously fulfil our role as the „voice of reason“.

Finally, we also advise private foundations and their governing bodies on all issues relating to private foundation law. We know that on the one hand you want to do justice to the will of the founders, but on the other hand you often run into liability dilemmas. We navigate you through the proverbial storms and provide you with a solid basis for decision-making.

Agricultural law

  • Transfer of farms and agricultural land (including related public law procedures)
  • Drafting of agreements on easements and charges over real property
  • Advice on investments and structuring of agricultural enterprises
  • Special inheritance law for certain types of farms (Erbhöferecht)

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of agricultural law!

Although agricultural law is not given much attention by most commercial law firms, we find this niche area highly interesting: not only does it require detailed knowledge of real estate law, but the reality of farmers‘ lives must also be taken into account here. Often, the relevant contractual relationships are concluded between people who have known each other for decades and want to continue working alongside or even with each other for a long time in the future. It therefore takes special tact to work in this area of law.

We not only provide support in the acquisition or transfer of farms and the sale/purchase of agricultural land, we also include the interpersonal component. This can also mean negotiating with other persons in addition to the parties concerned in order to be able to make a sale economically viable. Servitudes and land charges are of great practical importance, as are knowledge of and compliance with public law provisions, such as the law on subsidies or the individual land transfer laws of the Austrian provinces. Thanks to our extensive experience, we advise farmers comprehensively on all their business issues and thus secure a solid and future-oriented livelihood for our clients.

Many farms are particularly preoccupied with the change of generations. It is important to reconcile the interests of all generations involved and also to take into account the – not always advantageous – regulatory environment. Here we benefit not only from our special knowledge of the inheritance laws of the various provinces, but also from our sense of sustainable management.

Competition law

  • Actions against unfair conduct in competition
  • Damages for violations of Austrian or EU competition law
  • Defence against cartels and abuse of dominant position
  • Advice on compliance of projects with competition law

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of competition law!

Legal conflicts in business life are often also related to competition law. For example, unfair behaviour by a competitor can violate the Unfair Competition Act (UWG), e.g. if mandatory legal provisions are systematically infringed or consumers are misled. In recent years, greenwashing has become particularly relevant here, i.e. when advertising with topics such as sustainability or organic without actually fulfilling the requirements. The UWG provides for injunctions and damages for this, and public law sanctions are also possible. We are happy to support you in enforcing your claims in order to protect you from unfair attacks by competitors or to ward off baseless lawsuits against you.

Cartels also harm free competition, which is why they are prohibited under both Austrian and EU law. We gladly assist you to claim the damage you have suffered as a result, for which EU law lays down particularly favourable rules. We also support you to examine your claims in the event of abuse of a dominant position by a large company, for example if you are discriminated against for no reason in the award of a contract.

Especially when planning advertising campaigns, but also joint ventures or larger investments, problems with competition law can emerge later. We will advise you in the initial phase in order to identify problems at an early stage in a cost-efficient manner and thereby minimise compliance risks.

IP/name protection

  • Registration of trademarks, patents, designs
  • Enforcement and defence of industrial property and copyright claims
  • Protection of the personal name, the company name and domains
  • Defence against defamation, media law proceedings

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of IP!

Your reputation is an essential part of your capital. Likewise, your intellectual property is an essential part of your business strategy. We support you in protecting these important assets. To this end, we register trademarks, patents and designs for you in all countries that are relevant to you. In the case of trade marks in particular, the list of goods and services is of considerable importance, which we design according to your needs. We also protect you from domain grabbing and apply for the transfer of domains.

If your intellectual property rights are infringed, we apply for interim injunctions to protect you immediately. We also bring legal action, whereby the choice of the competent court is particularly significant in international cases – for example, in the case of infringements via the internet. Here we also advise you with our many years of experience in European and international trade mark law as well as the EU regulations for cross-border civil proceedings.

We also defend you against defamation of character and other untrue allegations against your person or your company outside of registered intellectual property rights. In addition to general civil law, criminal and media law are particularly important here. We offer you fast and efficient help so that your good name suffers as little damage as possible. In doing so, we always keep the big picture in mind: If litigation would increase the focus on the untrue allegation, it is not infrequently more advisable to work on your own media strategy rather than litigate. In all these considerations, we stand by you reliably and with legal as well as economic expertise.

Real estate and construction law

  • Drawing up property development, purchase, donation, lease or rental agreements
  • Drafting of easement and land charges agreements
  • Support for real estate projects (including public law procedures)
  • Representation in real estate-related disputes (such as construction defects, contract challenges, tenancy disputes)

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of real estate law!

Due to their usually large scope of investment, it is always advisable to draw up precise contracts for real estate projects. However, we still pay attention to economic efficiency so that the costs for you are in a reasonable proportion to the capital invested. We advise you on transactions of all sizes, from the transfer of a condominium or the lease for a retirement flat to a property development project or the sale of apartment buildings, farms or commercial properties. We are also happy to draft servitudes or advise on land charges, which are particularly relevant in the agricultural sector.

In the case of larger real estate projects, we should already be involved in the planning stage in order to be able to point out potential legal hurdles at an early stage and develop appropriate solution strategies for them. Of course, we are also experienced in public law procedures, for example with the land transfer authority or the building authorities, and will be happy to handle these for you.

Unfortunately, real estate projects are also very prone to litigation. As far as possible, we work towards an amicable solution. Otherwise, we enforce your claims and secure them as far as legally permissible – for example by registering them in the land register. We will also gladly support you in rent disputes, and where provided for, we will represent you even before the conciliation board. We also represent you in eviction proceedings and take care of the execution of judgments.

Company law

  • Company formations, transfer of shares and company acquisitions
  • Financing options, investment support and refurbishment options
  • Contestation of resolutions, enforcement of shareholders‘ rights
  • Corporate housekeeping and employee share ownership schemes

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of company law!

To avoid disputes, one must first know where the potential points of conflict may lie. Thanks to our many years of experience in shareholder disputes and company-related transactions, we know what to look out for. We will assist you in drafting the articles of association and shareholder agreements (syndicate agreement, etc.) as well as in the purchase or sale of shares up to entire company purchase transactions. We also advise you on the best contractual options for financing new projects in your specific situation. In financially difficult times, we pay particular attention to equity substitution law and ensure that all agreements also stand up legally.

In disputes within the decision-makers of a company, we enforce your legal positions. Our mediatory approach helps to ensure that future cooperation remains possible. However, if a satisfactory solution cannot be found in this way, we represent you before the competent courts to enforce your rights arising from the corporate relationship.

We are also happy to take care of the day-to-day corporate law aspects of your company, such as filing for registration in the commercial register or preparing the shareholders‘ meetings. Through our precise work, we ensure that all formalities are observed and thus no avoidable legal disputes arise. We are also happy to implement special projects for you, such as employee participation schemes.

EU and international law

  • Enforcement of the fundamental freedoms of the EU and the rights under relevant regulations and directives
  • Application of international treaties in cross-border economic transactions, for example on the sale of goods or on transport law
  • Cross-border litigation and enforcement of foreign decisions

Contact the law firm directly on the subject of EU/international law!

The globalisation of the economy has also made law increasingly international. Treaties under international law now determine the economic actions of companies, as does EU law. Even though all these instruments were created with the idea of making cross-border trade easier for you, we have noticed that the increasing complexity is seen as a challenge by many. We are happy to help here to guide you safely through the „standards jungle“.

EU law not only enables the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. Special areas are also often regulated in great detail, such as data protection, copyright, trademark, commercial agent or consumer law. In the meantime, EU regulations have also become decisive in determining the courts within the Union before which a legal dispute can be brought and which law is applicable to it. Large parts of competition law are based on EU law. We have a wealth of practical experience in all these areas to support you in your matters. Of course, we are also happy to represent you before the European institutions and authorities.

In addition to international uniform law such as the New York Arbitration Convention, the CISG or conventions on transport law, we also work with soft law instruments, such as the various FIDIC documents for the construction industry. If your investment in a state is threatened by expropriation or arbitrary measures, we examine possible claims under Bilateral Investment Protection Treaties (BITs) or multilateral conventions and are happy to advise you on possible claims before investment arbitration tribunals, for example under the ICSID or UNCITRAL rules.

In addition to our previous practical work in these matters, Dr Michael Komuczky has also published numerous publications in domestic and foreign journals. He also teaches and lectures regularly on EU business law.

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