The core of our work is Legal Conflict Management. This includes, of course, the classic litigation practice before civil courts and arbitral tribunals, but Legal Conflict Management encompasses much more. It is a holistic approach that can be briefly summarised as: Avoiding conflicts, resolving conflicts, fight out conflicts.
Clear language and open communication when initiating and conducting legal transactions and projects as well as when drafting legal documents reduces the potential for conflict enormously.
If a dispute has arisen, it does not automatically have to end in escalation. A comprehensive analysis of the case strengthens the starting position for potential settlements. Especially for companies without their own legal department, we also give workshops and develop procedures so that they can react correctly to emerging conflicts without having to call in legal assistance straight away. Constructive negotiation, if necessary with professional moderation, makes it easier to find a solution.
Fighting out conflicts
If litigation or arbitration is unavoidable, our clients benefit from our forward-looking approach and extensive experience. We remain constructive, but stand up for our clients‘ positions with all our strength.
In the following, you will find details on all aspects of the range of services offered by our law firm. Due to our international focus, we also offer all of these services for matters with cross-border implications and are happy to assist foreign companies and private individuals in all our fields of activity. We routinely work in English as well as in German, but we will also gladly serve you in Spanish. If required, communication in Farsi/Dari is also possible.
Establishing the involved interests
Preparation and conduct of negotiations
Simple structure, clear language
Legal specification, adaptation to any mandatory law (e.g. general terms and conditions, labour law, brokerage or commercial agency law).
Support during the implementation
Our credo is: „Clear language and open communication minimise potential for conflict“. When drafting contracts or contract templates, we not only make sure that they are of high legal quality. The documents must also stand the test of everyday business life; they must therefore be understood by all those who potentially have to deal with them. In addition to lawyers, this regularly includes management and technical staff. This is not always easy, but it can be done – and it is worth it, since conflicts arise during their practical implementation. By using clear language, supply or service contracts can be implemented smoothly, as can real estate transactions or company acquisitions. Particularly in complex matters such as in the IT/tech sector, contracts that are comprehensible to all parties are of utmost importance.
We will also gladly conduct the negotiations for our clients. In a joint discussion, we analyse the interests and develop a suitable strategy.
In any case, your primary aim will be a cooperation with your business partners that is as frictionless as possible. For this to happen, it is necessary that the contract reflects the expectations of both sides. Of course, it is a strategic decision whether or not to address possible disagreements before signing. However, it is important to identify these points for yourself, which is why we advise our clients on which course of action is best for them in a specific case. If our law firm is commissioned by both sides to draft the contract, we also act in the interest of both sides, which usually means to avoid future disputes.
Some contracts also require implementation in the clients‘ corporate processes. We also provide support in this regard, designing the contract in such a way that it optimally fits the respective corporate structure.
- Pointing out the practical consequences of the agreement
- Enabling economic calculations
- Identifying absolute „no-go“ clauses
- Highlighting mandatory formalisms
One party does not always have the opportunity to exert much influence on the terms of the contract. But you should at least know what to expect if, in the worst case, you ever have to assert your claims before a court or tribunal. We will show you these practical consequences of the individual provisions. With this knowledge, you can adjust your economic decisions (such as future investments) regarding the project accordingly, so that it is still profitable for you.
This often reveals contractual provisions that are unacceptable or simply impractical for the specific project. It is not uncommon for these to be outdated templates that can still be negotiated with the other side. We are happy to do this for you.
Many contracts also provide for formalisms that are then not always adhered to in reality. In the end, it has to be argued whether these contractual provisions nevertheless apply or not. This discussion alone creates uncertainty and costs resources. We therefore show you in advance what you need to consider in order to comply with the text of the contract. If this is not practicable, there is still an opportunity at this stage to find a sensible alternative with the other side.
Dispute resolution and applicable law clauses also play a special role. These are rarely negotiated in detail, but they have an enormous impact on the possibilities of enforcing your claims. Therefore, we particularly advise you on the economic aspects of future disputes, as the costs can vary massively depending on the wording of the clauses.
Project planning and monitoring
- Negotiation and drafting of the necessary contracts
- Review of the regulatory framework
- Strategy regarding other stakeholders
Especially for real estate projects, but also for other longer-term investments or, for example, crowd-funding projects, early preparation with legal expertise and practical understanding is worthwhile. In addition to the contracts to be concluded, the regulatory framework is of particular importance here. We therefore show you already during project planning which authorities and institutions to seek agreement with and how to proceed most efficiently. Together we also identify other stakeholders and develop a strategy to implement the project.
We not only manage large-scale projects, but also support medium-sized and family-owned companies in implementing their investment goals within an economically reasonable framework. The aim is always to prevent disputes among the project partners and to identify possible external problem areas early on, while everyone is still pulling in the same direction. In the long run, this saves considerable time and resources.
StartUps and business founding
- Advice on the legal form
- Drafting of statutes and agreements
- Review and design of standard contracts and GTCs as well as websites and online shops
- Review of the regulatory framework
- Risk assessment for hypergrowth
When the foundation stone of a company is laid, numerous legal relationships are established that are intended to last for a long time. We advise you on the question of which legal form makes sense for you, depending on your individual needs. In addition to company statutes, shareholder agreements and contracts with investors, we draw up or review supply and service contracts as well as legally secure general terms and conditions. We will also gladly assist you in setting up websites or online shops. In doing so, we also include public law aspects, such as data protection or industrial regulatory law, in our practice. We are also happy to advise you on questions of intellectual property protection (such as trademarks, patents and design as well as copyright) or labour law.
Especially start-ups with large growth ambitions (keyword hypergrowth) deliberately do not want to have all legal issues clarified in advance in order to be able to expand as quickly as possible. Our legal expertise enables founders to better assess the legal risks and to focus valuable time and resources only on those issues that could actually stand in the way of their ambitious goals in the long term. With our support, you should not have to say in the end: „The risk I took was calculated, but man, am I bad at math.“ 1
- Clarity and legal certainty in the drafting of wills
- Holistic wealth planning (e.g. marriage contracts, foundation law)
- Ensuring acceptance by family members
Coming to terms with one’s own mortality is not easy. It becomes even more difficult when one has to fear that one’s next of kin will be mired in years of disputes in court after one’s own demise. This potential for conflict can be minimised: We draft clearly understandable and legally secure wills that eliminate many potential points of conflict. Due to the now applicable law on compulsory portions in Austria, considerable scope for drafting can also be exploited. In addition, we advise you holistically on your asset planning in order to secure the implementation of your last will and testament at an early stage through marriage contracts, foundations or other constructions.
In addition, however, social and emotional elements are also extremely important. Because these cannot be the subject of a lawsuit after the passing of a loved one, proxy litigation often takes place in court, which not only devours resources, but also often irreparably destroys relationships. The law of enrichment is of great importance here. Through open communication and reflection on relationships, many disputes can be nipped in the bud. With our experience, we are happy to assist you in this as well.
Formation of companies and foundations
- Cost efficiency through established templates
- Individual design for important aspects
- Internal constitution of the legal entity according to your needs
- Restricting publicly available information to a minimum
Through our years of experience in disputes between shareholders and the individual parties involved in foundations, we know which points are particularly important for friction-free cooperation between partners. Regardless of the size of the company or foundation and your individual needs, we can therefore offer you a fitting service package. The use of templates and established standards enables cost-effectiveness, while individual design on selected topics minimises the potential for conflict.
We always keep an eye on economic efficiency. Sophisticated decision-making modes and dispute resolution mechanisms have their advantages in terms of fairness and balancing of interests, but they increase costs and slow down processes significantly. Together, we therefore work out the level of bureaucratisation of your legal entity that suits you best. We draft the articles of association, syndicate agreement, foundation deed and foundation supplementary deed as well as all other documents accordingly. In doing so, we also pay attention to discretion and secrecy requirements, as only the absolutely necessary information is included in documents that are publicly accessible through the company register.
Generational change in companies
- Clear internal constitution of family businesses
- Proper corporate and labour law framework for the involvement of family members
- Consideration of inheritance and family law aspects
Generational changes are always drastic events for family businesses. Done right, they combine the knowledge and experience of the older generation with the innovative drive and fresh wind of the younger generation, allowing the business to continue to thrive or even expand. However, since the relationships of the individual actors are not purely economic, there is also great potential for conflict. In unfortunate cases, these are then settled in court, whereby the true interests of the parties involved are regularly not exclusively limited to actionable claims. Often, lawsuits based on doctrines of unjustified enrichment are then constructed when one’s own (financial or interpersonal) expectations are not met.
In order to prevent such unfavourable developments as far as possible, we advise family businesses comprehensively on their internal constitution. The younger generation should be introduced into the business at an early stage, whereby this works best if the cooperation is based on solid foundations in company and labour law. However, we also consider aspects of inheritance and family law that may become relevant in relation to other family members in order to nip potential disputes in the bud as far as possible. In addition to our comprehensive legal knowledge, we make particular use of our social skills.
Implement Conflict Management Systems
- Workshops and guidelines as a cost-effective tool
- Analysing error culture in the company
- Providing procedures for the event of a dispute
- Coaching employees on legally solid communication and preservation of evidence
When we as a law firm get involved in a conflict, it often has a longer history. Usually some bridges have already been burned, some statements have been made rashly that could now turn out to be a problem. Often, however, possible evidence has already been lost. Especially in companies without their own legal department, these problems occur more often. From an economic point of view, this is also understandable: It would simply be too expensive to call in legal help at an early stage of every potential dispute. Often, even the management does not get involved immediately when a dispute arises. However, if these problems materialise in a major legal dispute, the resulting costs and losses can still be enormous.
This is where we come in with our advice: Through workshops and guidelines, we set out to our clients‘ employees how they should behave in the event of a potential dispute. These are drawn up according to the needs of the specific company and are much more cost-efficient compared to the disadvantages of lost lawsuits or the early involvement of lawyers. A starting point is the analysis of the error culture, as the right communication within (!) the company gives all parties involved on this side the best possible preparation. Conversely, external communication must also follow certain standards, because everyone knows from television: „Anything you say can and will be used against you. “ Your staff must also develop an awareness of what evidence would be important in the event of a dispute and how to secure it. For example, we also talk about the often-overestimated evidentiary value of emails.
- Know your own position, define your own interests
- Understand the other side, but promote your own position
- Stay tough on the issue, but do not engage in unnecessary arguments
- Preserving relationships, negotiating constructively
People often believe that as soon as lawyers are involved, the dispute is bound to escalate. In our experience, however, the opposite is the case. As a law firm, it is our task to rationalise a conflict and thus avoid escalation.
We show you the strengths and weaknesses of your position and move decision-making away from emotions towards deliberate cost-benefit calculations. However, we do not completely eliminate emotions: Especially when not only economic but also personal relationships are at stake – as is the case especially in family businesses or inheritance disputes – we prove our tact in sensitive matters. Our aim is not only to find the best financial solution, but also to achieve the best overall result.
Together we work out what you need and what you want – which is not always the same thing. Of course, it is also important to understand the positions and interests of the other side. This way we limit the conflict only to those points that are actually important to you. There, but only there, we then fight with full force. Wherever possible, we act reconciling. Thus, the chances of preserving the (often economically important) relationship with the other side increase enormously.
The concrete negotiation strategy, however, naturally depends to a large extent on the behaviour of the other party. We have experienced a wide variety of negotiation situations in our practice. Although every case is unique and not everything can be predicted, together we will work out and implement an approach that gets the best out of the specific situation.
- Saving resources and preserving relationships
- Targeted use of moderated settlement negotiations/mediation
- Making use of new technologies
Court and arbitration disputes often not only take a long time, they are also resource-intensive. Moreover, interpersonal (and thus also economic) relations are often destroyed after such proceedings. Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms try to prevent these problems. ADR refers to a variety of methods for resolving disputes in an „alternative“, i.e. non-adversary, way.
The best known of these is certainly mediation. A third, independent person supports the parties in finding an amicable solution; several mediators at once are also possible. Various institutions offer rules and regulations for this, but mediation can also be agreed upon and carried out ad hoc. We gladly support you in such procedures in order to quickly find a sensible solution.
In addition, various conciliation boards offer ADR and can also provide efficient solutions within their respective jurisdiction. Through new technologies, other dispute resolution mechanisms are also becoming more popular, from so-called „ODR“ (Online Dispute Resolution) to blockchain-based dispute resolution systems in the crypto world.
We have gained a wealth of experience with many ADR methods. If one is appropriate for your case, we will be happy to assist in its implementation and guide you through these processes to efficiently reach a solution and, in the best case, preserve your business relationships.
Fighting out conflicts
Civil court proceedings
- Conducting the case efficiently and appropriately
- Establishing the facts, collecting evidence
- Focusing on the essentials
- Determining the process strategy, but remaining flexible
- Making your point briefly and succinctly
Legal disputes are always unpleasant. Our aim is to reduce the inconvenience for you in the process to a minimum. We are happy to represent you before all Austrian civil courts, of course also in commercial matters as well as in labour and social security law matters. We also routinely represent you in so-called non-adversary proceedings, such as proceedings on the law of succession, since there too – contrary to the name – are often heated disputes.
It is particularly important that the costs are always in proportion to the subject matter of the dispute. Not only do we keep an eye on our costs, we also discuss with you how much work you or your employees should have to put into the proceedings. We strive to keep this as low as possible.
At the beginning of the trial, we work out your position. For this, the evidence we can submit is also important. This allows us to give you a realistic assessment of your situation at an early stage and adapt our strategy accordingly. However, a good dispute lawyer is also characterised by his flexibility, as unexpected aspects can come to light in any proceedings and he has to react to them. Therefore, our strategy is always designed in such a way that we retain sufficient room for manoeuvre for the respective situation and can use our spontaneity.
In the proceedings, we focus only on the essential aspects, which saves resources and is also regularly appreciated by the court. Nor do we win any points with long pleadings; on the contrary, the most effective written briefs are short and concise (as the name indicates), which is how we measure our submissions.
- Developing objective case analysis
- Carefully screening potential members of the arbitral tribunal
- Determining positions for the Case Management Conference(s)
- Conducting proceedings efficiently and appropriately
- Presenting points of view effectively and clearly
Arbitral proceedings differ in some aspects from civil court proceedings. One major difference is that the procedural rules for each individual arbitration are newly defined in detail, even if institutional procedural rules (VIAC, ICC, ASA, DIS, SCC etc.) are applied. The parties are involved in the process, but important decisions are made at a very early stage which have a decisive impact on the rest of the proceedings. Through our objective and well-founded preparation of the case and your position right at the beginning, we are optimally prepared to advise you in all these steps.
On the basis of this case analysis, we can actively participate in the appointment of the members of the arbitral tribunal in line with your procedural position. From this we also deduce whether certain special procedural steps should be requested in the first Case Management Conference or whether we will oppose them. A classic example is document production, i.e. the possibility of demanding that the opposing party hand over documents. Applications for security for costs or interim measures are also possible here.
Economic efficiency and cost effectiveness are, of course, also our top priorities here. Thanks to our experience, we can work out a realistic budget together with you. Within the framework of your specifications, we conduct the proceedings efficiently and present your point of view effectively and adapted to the respective peculiarities of the proceedings.
- Interim injunctions in case of (threatened) infringements of rights (in particular IP, competition law, name protection, but also attempts to thwart the enforcement of claims)
- Fast action, accurate applications
- Efficient defence against interim injunctions
Quick relief by the courts is of course always desirable, but in some areas, it is indispensable to avoid irreparable damage. For this purpose, the legislator provides for interim injunctions. We can apply for such injunctions for you, in particular to protect intellectual property (trademarks, patents, designs, copyright), but also to protect your economic reputation. The injunction can also provide protection if your debtors try to move their assets abroad. Since timely legal protection is essential here, we act quickly and routinely. Our applications are formulated accurately, as too narrow requests do not offer you sufficient protection and too broad ones might be rejected.
Also if an injunction has been issued against you, we will fight it with all means. Depending on whether you were granted a hearing beforehand, we file an appeal or an objection. Of course, we also file all other petitions for you within the – often very short – deadlines.
Enforcement of claims
- Cost-efficient operation through standardised processes
- Letters of demand, legal action and enforcement
- Taking over all correspondence with debtors
- Analysis of recoverability, representation in insolvency proceedings
Collecting debts is a nuisance; no one likes to run after their own money. Often, however, it is essential, as cash flow problems can arise from too much outstanding debt. Thanks to our standardised processes, we can make you attractive offers for the collection of your receivables that are tailored to your specific needs.
We take over the entire process of debt collection, from out-of-court demand letters over the handling of payment plans to the filing of lawsuits and enforcement. If debtors have payment problems, we discuss with you the extent to which further steps make sense at all. If necessary, we are also happy to act as your representatives on the creditor side in insolvency proceedings.
Preservation of evidence
- Application for judicial preservation of evidence if reasonable
- Taking extrajudicial measures
- Coaching for the preservation of evidence in a specific case
If evidence that may be relevant for a later trial is in danger of being lost, the Austrian Code of Civil Procedure provides for the possibility of applying for evidence preservation proceedings. The evidence is then collected and recorded by the court with the assistance of experts so that it can still be used in later proceedings. Both sides have the right to attend the taking of evidence. We will be happy to advise you whether this is necessary and economically sensible in your case; if necessary, we will of course also represent you in these proceedings.
Further, if a specific dispute is on the horizon, it makes sense to analyse internally which evidence could be relevant and how it should be preserved. Here, too, we will gladly assist you and thus prepare for the impending legal dispute at an early stage. In the process, we also coach you and your employees on how you should behave in the future with regard to the potential opposing party in order to secure as much evidence as possible in support of your position.