One of Austria’s largest competition practices, bpv Hügel, grew even further this year with the addition of Heinrich Kühnert, a former managing associate from the competition team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in Vienna.
Partner Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber leads the competition team, which includes another four partners, two senior associates, one associate and one counsel.
This year, the firm split its time fairly evenly between Austrian and EU matters. The competition team handles cartels, abuse of dominance and sensitive merger filings. It specialises particularly in cartel litigation, including damage claims representing undertakings before the cartel court and civil law courts. Partner Florian Neumayr now devotes approximately 80 per cent of his time to the growing field of competition litigation.
The firm is defending voestalpine Austria Draht in the prestressing steel cartel case, which was brought by the European Commission and is now before the European General Court. It is also representing Logwin and DSV/ABX Logistics Austria in an antitrust case in the carrier industry. And the firm is advising BP Europa on alleged abuse of dominance case. The company is facing charges before the Austrian Cartel Court over the supply of liquefied petroleum gas in Austria.
On the merger control front, bpv Hügel is advising RWA on its acquisition of the Austrian-wide heating oil business of incumbent energy company OMV. The deal secured phase one competition clearance from the European Commission.
The firm is part of a wider central and eastern European network and it benefits from a “best friends” referral system in other jurisdictions, allowing the firm to offer clients a “one-stop shop” for merger filings and other competition matters.
bpv Hügel is one of the leading law firms in Austria. Its competition law team, consisting of specialised lawyers in Vienna and Brussels, is one of the most experienced and largest in Austria. The practice group has built up a considerable track record in the following core areas:
- Joint ventures, cooperation agreements and vertical relationships such as distribution systems
- Advice with regard to all aspects of market dominance and abuse issues
- Representation of undertakings subject to antitrust proceedings before national as well as European authorities and courts
- Competition litigation and, in particular, defence in private enforcement cases
- Leniency applications
- Austrian and EU merger control as well as coordination of multi-jurisdictional filings
bpv Hügel not only offers high-quality services in competition law but also provides premium integrated M&A, corporate, regulatory (including public procurement and state aid), real estate, finance, labour and tax law advice to national and international clients.
bpv Hügel is a founding member of bpv LEGAL, an affiliation of independent law firms in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) counselling on cross-boarder transactions and foreign investments in most CEE countries.
bpv Hügel Rechtsanwälte OG
ARES-Tower, Donau-City-Strasse 11
T: +43 1 260 50 0
F: +43 1 260 50 133
Astrid Ablasser-Neuhuber, partner, head of competition law practice