“We aim for our clients’ goals”
Within just five years, Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte has grown from a fifteen-person team to around 60 employees and is one of the leading Austrian law firms on both the national and international stages. Partner Christian Marth joins us for an interview.
Construction work on the Marina Tower at Handelskai is just about to begin. The residential tower is regarded as a milestone project in Vienna’s urban development. Your law firm played a major role.
Christian Marth: That’s right. Our law firm played a leading role in establishing the project partnership between the BUWOG Group and WIK/IES Immobilien Group. As an advisor to BUWOG, our real estate team faced numerous highly complex questions and challenges. Early in the due diligence process and in light of the specific zoning issues, the special circumstances of this major project became clear. We had to deal with a number of relevant laws, such as construction law, water rights and even aviation law. Another complex aspect came into play through the involvement of easement agreements with third parties such as the City of Vienna, ÖBB and the Via Donau waterway company. The scale of the transaction – we are talking about the sale of approx. 500 condominiums, from entry to exit – was also a major challenge in terms of real estate law. In addition, we came on board in the middle of the development phase. In terms of the partnership with WIK/IES Immobilien Group, fast decision-making processes were required in countless areas – such as the selection of project partners, coordination on project execution, sales, etc. In short, the project posed an enormous challenge, which we mastered with great dedication. Because in the end, we aim for our clients’ goals.
Does this project accurately reflect the expertise of your law firm? What does your entire legal portfolio look like?
Marth: The highly complex Marina Tower project is a perfect example of how broadly we are positioned in the real estate sector. In principle, we cover all asset classes in the field of real estate transactions, both in the residential and commercial segments, nationally and internationally. We represent international real estate funds that invest in Austria. Due to the specifics of Austrian law – for example with regard to tenancy law or contractual fees – these mandates require extensive expertise and advisory services. Our firm also represents and advises Austrian open-ended real estate funds and has a high level of niche expertise in the field.
Our firm also has a great deal of expertise and experience in the area of Controversy, i.e. conflict prevention, conflict management and dispute resolution in court proceedings, before arbitration tribunals and in the alternative conflict resolution segment, in particular mediation. This dovetails well with our specialized real estate services, where we advise real estate, construction and infrastructure companies for example on conflict prevention throughout the transaction process, as well as providing classic dispute resolution services during lease termination and eviction proceedings. These kinds of “smaller” topics in particular also serve as a wonderful training opportunity, allowing our junior staff to gain important experience, introducing them to more challenging tasks and sensitizing them to certain topics that are relevant when drawing up contracts.
We also have an office in Salzburg, where we focus on general commercial law with a particular emphasis on restructuring, reorganisation, insolvency and private clients.
I think that the combination of our position in real estate law, dispute resolution and general commercial law gives us a unique position in the Austrian law firm landscape.
Christian Marth is a partner at Vavrovsky Heine Marth Rechtsanwälte and is recommended by leading international directories of attorneys as one of the preeminent Austrian real estate law experts. He specialises in national and cross-border real estate transactions, real estate project development and issues relating to tenancy and brokerage law. He also advises national and international real estate funds. A professional networker, Mr Marth is always on the ball, even in his free time – the experienced striker is an enthusiastic and successful amateur footballer.