• 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.

  • Bankruptcy | Insolvency

    Except for being an insolvency administrator, KNOETZL provides every service relevant to navigate our clients through an existential crisis to ultimately achieve their optimal outcome.

    We help navigate complex financial-stress situations on every side: a) for debtors, in getting through their existential crisis, b) for creditors, enforcing and collecting their claims,
    and c) resisting or reforming claims brought by the bankruptcy administrator. Through our formidable negotiation and mediation skills, we assist d) with achieving stand-still agreements and developing favorable, global, out-of-court settlements. Through our longstanding experience in working at the intersection between commercial and criminal law, our disputes team in union with our white-collar crime team, assists in leading the way through the crisis, all while avoiding any personal financial liability and e) being caught up in criminal accusations and proceedings. We provide counsel in civil as well as criminal proceedings. Should the worst case scenario befall them, we help our clients find the best way out. We also help damaged creditors through leveraging our experienced asset recovery team. In 2017, our partner, Bettina Knoetzl, received the world-wide recognition “Lawyer of the Year” in Asset Recovery, from WHO’s Who Legal.

    For any insolvency-related legal work you may need: Thanks to our vast experience in this field, KNOETZL is the best place to receive practicable, reliable and cost-effective advice.

  • Whistleblowing Systems

    Whistleblowing Systems

    As 2023 began, Austria mandated the EU Whistleblowing Directive within its sovereign jurisdiction. Large and medium-sized companies will all be required to establish a whistleblowing system that meets legal requirements for documentation, data protection, whistleblower protection, and confidentiality, which requirements can usually only be satisfied with a professionally developed system working in unison with company personnel.

    The new Whistleblower Protection Act posits that it is advantageous for every company if potential whistleblowers are given the riskless opportunity to submit information about inappropriate or questionable behavior to internal reporting offices. Although there are presently no penalties for failing to set up an internal whistleblowing system, without internal reporting systems, there is hardly any legal recourse running counter to the publication of the tip.

    The installation and continuing support of these systems should be provided by trained experts, to ensure compliance with the various legal requirements. KNOETZL has overseen the implementation of such processes several times, and will be pleased to support a company looking to efficiently comply, with a system that fits the size of your company. With a trained eye and a sense of discreet day-to-day suitability and efficiency, we pay attention to your cost-effective solution that well meets the bespoke requirements of your business.

  • Data Protection


    Businesses that particularly work with large data sets require dispute counsel with focused and specific training and skills. Successfully representing some of the world’s largest and household brand digital giants in their enterprise-wide, cutting-edge data-handling matters, KNOETZL possesses in-depth understanding of the practice of (large) data management, including under the GDPR. In combination with our known prowess as a litigation powerhouse, this deep understanding positions us uniquely in the Austrian market as a go-to firm of seasoned, experienced data litigators. Sophisticated social media, digital sales, internet advertising, processing and electronic enterprise servicer companies know to call upon our data processing specialists in their most important legal disputes and investigations.

    In addition, KNOETZL provides extensive guidance in cases of corruption and security breaches and assists with our expertise in investigative crisis situations. Confronting the threat of potentially substantial penalties with the appropriate speed and aggressiveness and disposing of these cases as quickly and thoroughly as possible, is where we at KNOETZL excel.

  • Asset Tracing


    Our close relationships and seasoned teamwork with experienced local and international forensic experts and fraud recovery lawyers in virtually every jurisdiction in the world, ensure that we can help identify, trace, freeze and recover hard financial, book entry, and physical assets with the most effective use of dedicated resources. In cases where tangible assets are not accessible or identifiable, we help clients to identify strategic and book-entry assets that may support legal efforts towards recovery.  Our experience in this sector includes securing and enforcing multimillion arbitral awards and foreign judgments simultaneously in multiple jurisdictions, securing worldwide freezing orders, contesting and halting complex, hidden, asset transfers in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously, and recovering fraudulently misappropriated assets. Our clients and our international fraud and asset tracing partners value our tenacity and our imaginative use of all available civil and criminal law instruments, procedures and offices, to secure their recovery.

    One of our partners is the longstanding Austrian member, and an active and recognized leader, of ICC FraudNet , the world’s leading asset recovery network comprised of the top civil asset recovery specialist lawyers in every country.

  • Employment | Management

    We understand the importance of the workforce as an essential element of successful business.

    We apply our extensive experience and strategic expertise to guide our clients through workplace disputes to ensure their best commercial advantage.

  • Unfair Competition

    Unfair competition demands purposeful reaction and full risk understanding.

    When they are victimized or have to strike first to prevent harm, we lead our clients to the best solutions. We establish and defend their rightful market position, and avoid adverse business effects resulting from harmful disputes caused by wrongfully-acting competitors.

  • Intellectual Property

    The protection and security of intellectual capital as a core corporate asset is a vital aspect of many industries.

    We provide tailored, analytical and comprehensive strategic advice as well as forceful representation in all kinds of intellectual property disputes.

  • Enforcement

    We assist with world-wide Asset Recovery, utilizing our global connections, including the international fraud & asset recovery network “ICC FraudNet”.

    Our lawyers are recognized as leading experts in Asset Tracing and have achieved the return of significant sums for our clients throughout the enforcement of court decisions and arbitral awards.

  • Mediation | ADR

    We offer our clients the highest quality of advice and guide them through all forms of traditionally available, and creatively structured, alternative dispute resolution.

    The benefits of alternative dispute resolution reside in the numerous options available and the flexibility they offer to parties in dispute. Finding a party’s greatest advantage in ADR requires experienced dispute resolution specialists to assist in making the right choices and determining effective strategies and tactics.

    We respond to the need of our clients for counsel on the complete spectrum of dispute resolution options, processes and strategies, including non-adversarial, cost-effective approaches to contentious matters, as may be appropriate and effective.

    Our team includes accredited mediators with the experience to broker advantageous settlement agreements in complex disputes. We are committed to facilitating the best solution and finding a way for our clients to resolve issues, in order to get past their disputes and move forward.

  • Litigation

    Litigation is the core of our practice. Our litigation team has a clear mission and a driving purpose: to achieve optimal outcomes for corporate, financial and governmental clients in their most significant, sensitive and complicated litigations before the Austrian courts, and well beyond.

    Our approach combines unmatched strategic thinking and decades of peerless experience with the endurance, stamina and commitment required to ultimately win the day.

    We work seamlessly with international partner law firms and industry experts in the CEE and SEE regions and are widely regarded as true leaders and innovators in this market. Highly regarded, top tier ranked international law firms choose KNOETZL as their local counsel.

    Our team’s diverse skillset covers civil, commercial, sovereign and criminal litigation, focusing significantly on liability claims, corporate disputes, banking, insurance and financial derivatives cases, investor protection, business crime, energy, technology and life science.

    Our services also include asset-tracing and effective provisional measures, such as freeze orders and attachments, in the domestic and international context, and the enforcement of foreign judgments.

  • Investment Arbitration

    Our lawyers are widely recognized for their skill in representing clients in connection with contract-based and treaty-based investment disputes.

    The members of the arbitration team have acquired substantial experience with investment arbitration proceedings conducted under the ICSID Convention’s Rules, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as well as the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

    We regularly analyze the different levels of protection afforded to investors under international treaties and advise on the structuring of investments.

    The team at KNOETZL is multilingual, providing our clients with representation in connection with their investments around the world.

  • Internal | External Investigations

    We assist our corporate clients in conducting internal investigations and as they face external investigations.

    One of our partners enjoys a reputation of international prominence in the field of investigations and, as the Austrian, and active, member of ICC FraudNet, she provides our firm and our clients with ready access to the necessary, top-of-the-class, network to handle multi-cross-border investigations quickly and effectively.

    Our team of lawyers is experienced in dealing with technical aspects of internal and external investigations in a pragmatic and effective manner, including through the skilled utilization of forensic software. We understand the need to find answers quickly while avoiding disruption of our client’s business and operations.

    KNOETZL combines the experience, knowledge and contacts best suited to nimbly deliver investigative solutions and results.

  • Fraud | Corruption

    KNOETZL is well known for its legal capabilities at the intersection of civil and criminal law. Lawyers of KNOETZL have been involved in the biggest fraud cases in the country and the region, handling both the civil and the criminal defense side on behalf of a companies, substantial individuals or governmental institutions.

    Our white collar clients can profit from our deep and distinguished experience, our longstanding reciprocal relationships we have established and nurtured  with courts, the relevant regulatory and criminal prosecution authorities, and with local media representatives, so as to bolster reputational protection as needed – particularly in cases of ongoing business concerns and public persons. Our broad range of company, public officials and managerial defense work includes investment fraud, tax fraud, bankruptcy related actions and internal fraud cases.

    We defend and attack related matters before civil courts, which includes handling of massive class-action-types of lawsuits and high profile cases with large, sometimes enormous, amounts in dispute. Our broad knowledge on the  defense side has made us a feared representative of victims of white collar crime and asset displacement, as well.


  • Corporate Crisis Management

    We believe that KNOETZL corporate clients secure significant advantage over their rivals in being represented by our seasoned experts in all mission critical disputes.

    In no area is their advantage as solid as when we are called upon to apply our experience, analytical acumen, practical solutions and strategic expertise to their most critical and sensitive corporate crises. This is the area in which our services are the most vital to our enterprise clients and are first choice for savvy players in the market.

    We provide seasoned and professional, hands-on, legal advice when a potential or actual crisis of any sort threatens a client’s business, at any stage of the crisis.

    The team at KNOETZL supports local and international companies across all business and governmental sectors in dealing with critical situations, and acts in a routine and focused manner, even under serious time pressure, as is so often the case.

    Our primary objective is to help our clients prevent crisis situations. If worse comes to worst in a rapidly-unfolding critical circumstance, our extensive experience and prompt response time provides our clients with a rapid and thorough assessment of all issues they encounter in the face of a corporate crisis, together with viable and business-oriented solutions.

  • Commercial Arbitration

    We advise and act on behalf of clients in institutional and in ad-hoc arbitration proceedings.

    The members of the arbitration team are engaged as counsel and as arbitrators by a wide array of parties and under all significant arbitration rules, including the ICSID Convention’s Rules, the Rules of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Rules of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA), the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, the Rules of the German Institution of Arbitration (DIS) and the Rules of Arbitration of the VIAC (Vienna Rules).

    The distinct ability of each of our team members to collaborate with partner law firms, legal and industry experts and in-house counsel ensures high standards and perfect handling of the most complex cases. Because of the diversity of the arbitration team, we offer clients advice in various languages (including French, Spanish, Russian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian) and a deep market knowledge in a wide range of jurisdictions (among others, in South America, CEE and SEE).

    We act for our clients at all stages of arbitral proceedings, in setting aside proceedings and in relation to all aspects of the recognition and enforcement of arbitral awards.

    The members of the arbitration team have been successfully involved in some of the largest and most complex commercial arbitrations in Austria and the CEE region of the last decade, and on behalf of some of the world’s largest companies.

  • Collective Claims

    We represent enterprise clients involved in class, group and representative actions.

    One of our partners has successfully defended clients against class action lawsuits, including Austria’s biggest class action case to date. Our team, as a whole, has gained unparalleled expertise regarding the Austrian procedure for handling claims for collective redress, both within and outside the context of a sanctioned class.

    We continually monitor the pulse and closely follow local and international trends regarding the latest legal and procedural developments, especially in the context of increasing regulation and propagation of class, collective and concerted actions on the European level.

  • Compliance

    We understand that compliance issues have become increasingly important in almost all business sectors during the last years.  Our lawyers have been at the forefront of developments and services in this critical area.

    We review actual, planned and contested business practices for compliance with laws, regulations and policies, and we assist in identifying risks to organizations as we help develop and oversee the implementation of appropriate policies and effective control.

    Our compliance work encompasses a broad spectrum such as anti-corruption, reporting or disclosure, financial controls, money laundering, financing of criminal activities.

  • Business Crime | White-Collar Crime


    Our team expertly handles the technically legal aspects of white collar crime matters and is equally skilled at understanding and addressing commercial and reputational (including PR) risks and effects upon our clients and their businesses that may arise as an offshoot.

    The members of KNOETZL have supported clients in large-scale white collar crime matters over many years, and have helped them to successfully manage and resolve those challenges to the significant advantage of our clients’ business and operations.



    Strafrecht kann eine wirksame Waffe bei der Verfolgung von Schadenersatzansprüchen sein. Die gestiegene Bereitschaft von Opfern, zur Waffe des Strafrechts zu greifen, bringt Opfer wie mutmaßliche Täter von Wirtschaftsdelikten – zuweilen auch vorschnell – in Kontakt mit den Strafbehörden. Eine kompetente, erfahrene Vertretung im Verfahren ist von Tag 1 angeboten. Bettina Knötzl hat im Jahr 2005 das erste White Collar Crime Team in einer führenden österreichischen Wirtschaftskanzlei gegründet und seit damals viele Erfolge für ihre Mandanten erzielt. Unsere Wirtschaftsstrafrechtsexperten beraten im Vorfeld, bei der Hausdurchsuchung, bis hin zur Verfahrenseinstellung bzw zum Freispruch; dies mit besonderen Erfolgen bei komplexen Wirtschaftsdelikten, wie zB Insiderhandel oder Untreue, und bei grenzüberschreitenden Sachverhalten.

    Das Strafrechtsteam von KNOETZL vertritt sowohl Unternehmen als auch Einzelpersonen, die aufgrund von Betrug, Untreue, kridaträchtigem Handeln, Geldwäsche, Korruption, Verletzungen von Vorschriften des Kapitalmarkt-, Kartell-, Finanzstraf-, Datenschutz-, Korruptionsstrafrechts etc. Schaden erlitten haben oder auch dieser Delikte beschuldigt werden. Der Umgang mit Selbstanzeige, Kronzeugenregelungen und Whistleblower-Meldungen ist uns geläufig.

    Zusätzlich zur Vertretung im Strafverfahren, decken wir sämtliche rechtlichen Leistungen im Bereich der nationalen und internationalen Wirtschaftskriminalität ab:

    • Auslieferungsverfahren
    • Interne Ermittlungen, FCPA und UK Bribery Act Untersuchungen
    • Krisenmanagement
    • Investorenschutz und Verfolgung von Schadenersatzansprüchen
    • Identifizierung und Rückführung von Vermögenswerten
    • Einstweilige Verfügungen zur Beschlagnahme von Vermögen
    • Kommunikationsstrategie
    • Beratung und Prävention, Anpassung von Compliance-Richtlinien u.v.m.
    • Einrichtung und Betreuung von Whistelblowing-Systemen

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