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The Austrian Insolvency Code provides for the possibility to challenge certain disadvantageous transactions carried out by the debtor after material insolvency has occurred, especially if the creditor knew or should have known of its debtor's material insolvency. This risk of legal actions being contested is of particularly high relevance for shareholders who are also creditors of the debtor company, as the Austrian Supreme Court recently decided that shareholders' information rights would result in an increased level of due diligence. The decision also imposes an additional risk for start-up equity incentive programmes.

If anyone needed a wakeup call as to how critical a functioning compliance system and culture is, look no further than the recent reports in the Austrian media about allegations of fraud launched against a surgeon working at one of Vienna's most renowned public-sector hospitals. Accusations surfaced in July that the surgeon had falsified operating room records: claiming to be in surgery at the respective hospital, while actually performing surgery in another, privately-held hospital.

As of tomorrow, the traditional Austrian bakery Aida, which is known for its staff dressed in baby pink, will sell brownies containing CBD. The price will be EUR 4.20 – an inside joke, since "four-twenty" is code for the consumption of cannabis. The fact that an old-school, stuffy bakery like Aida is now jumping on the cannabis bandwagon is a clear sign that CBD products have arrived in the mainstream. In fact, there is a growing interest in CBD-containing products made from hemp throughout Europe.

Eisenberger & Herzog, in cooperation with the London office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, has advised a group of creditors of Steinhoff Holdings’ subsidiary Hemisphere Properties on its sale of Kika/Leiner property assets in Austria and several other CEE countries to the Signa Group. Steinhoff was counseled by Fellner Wratzfeld & Partner and Gleiss Lutz, and Hemisphere was advised by Clifford Chance and Wolf Theiss. The Signa Group was advised by Arnold, while Kika/Leiner was represented by Schoenherr, Urbanek Lind Schmied Reisch, and Preslmayr.

The widespread perception remains that the real estate market in CEE is undervalued and continues to offer exciting opportunities for investors. It would seem this is with good reason and early signs suggest that this year we may approach record levels of activity in the sector.

A new buzzword has reached the Real Estate world and its service providers, including the legal community: “PropTech.” PropTech – or “Property Technology” – is simply shorthand for various IT applications that are specifically designed to address the needs of the real estate industry.

End of July, the Austrian Data Protection Authority ('DPA') published its first decision on retention periods applying the General Data Protection Regulation ('GDPR'; DSB-D216.471/0001-DSB/2018). The decision is final. The DPA had to decide for which period a provider of telecommunications services (hereinafter: the 'controller') may (respectively must) retain so called master data, required for the controller's legal relationship with the user of its services (hereinafter: the 'applicant').

Following up on Efficient Arbitration – Part 2: Launching an Efficient Arbitration, where we addressed efficiency tools available at the early stages, we now provide an overview of options to save time and costs up until the award. As we continue our efficiency series, we will zone in on a selection of efficiency tools and discuss our experience using them.

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