Private Equity | Start-Up Litigation

KNOETZL’s dispute resolution team is one of the only litigation teams in Austria with tried and proven experience in handling complex disputes involving troubled start-ups. The result is a laser-focused team with the seasoned ability to quickly identify the critical issues and find effective resolutions. We understand that our client’s primary goal is to resolve the dispute without negative impact on the growth of the venture or on driving value to investors, other providers of capital, and owners.

Litigating against defaulting investors, difficult shareholders and culpable board members while a venture progresses through its various phases of growth from seed to exit can be challenging. The set-up of our team is designed to seamlessly identify, protect and leverage our clients’ investment in this context:
1.    Our internationally-recognised litigation and trial experience ensures that we achieve the best possible outcome for our clients in court – or as a favourable settlement when more beneficial to the client investor or venture.
2.   We help steer our clients through sensitive PR challenges as necessary to help them preserve their reputation and market position. We have developed an excellent portfolio of (litigation) PR experts who routinely place themselves at our disposal.
3.   The team’s expertise in finance and corporate law enables our dedicated team of professionals to provide strategically powerful support for beneficial interactions among sometimes fractious officers, boards, founders and shareholders as well as with potential investors and lenders, all while ensuring that fundamental underpinnings such as necessary compliance measures are taken.
4.   In cases with criminal elements – breach of trust, fraud, criminal tax violations – KNOETZL’s unique depth of experience at the interface between civil litigation and white-collar crime comes into play, enabling clients to benefit from our focus in criminal law, providing useful access to highly-skilled investigators, authorities and experts in the relevant arenas.
5.   In worst-case scenarios, the team is equally versed in guiding the client in maximizing its position in difficult insolvency situations.

Clients regularly include founders, family offices, business angels, incubators and other financial and strategic investors, as well as spin-offs and start-ups in various growth phases and strategic buyers. Recent cases have involved misrepresentation disputes, forcing out fraudulent co-founders, failures to fund and recovery of damages through claims against culpable board members.