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13 January 2020

cee overview - dispute resolution

Pioneer work and deep insight into key dispute resolution trends

A year of strength for Schoenherr's dispute resolution team. A year of pioneer work, deep insight into key regional trends, and unrivalled success. The team, spanning all Schoenherr offices in the CEE region, wrapped up 2019 with a bang.

Litigation funding remains a hot topic. Last year, it was on our doorstep. This year, it is making its mark in Central and Eastern Europe, and Schoenherr is right there to accommodate it. Sebastian Gutiu and Leon Kopecky have our Romania office collaborate in new ways with Vienna, together with clients and funders, on multi-claimant disputes. With a well-structured setup, clients can expect to run their disputes completely risk-free. The theory we shared on this topic last year, we are now turning into practice.
Meanwhile, our pioneer work continues with state liability in foreign investment protection. Last year was stirred by the European Court of Justice decision in Achmea. The future of foreign investment in Europe looked bleak. Now, Schoenherr's Vienna and Croatia offices are breaking ground implementing Christoph Lindinger's innovative state liability solutions. Intra-EU investors are protected; and their ability to challenge states for interfering with their investments is very much alive. Keep an eye out for this exciting new development.

This pioneer work rests on a solid foundation. With the integration of our offices across the CEE region, we combine specialised arbitration expertise with local know-how and experience. This has permitted our dispute resolution team to remain a strong leader in the CEE region, with a successful track record.
We are still "unbeaten" in investment arbitration. We are handling far more investment arbitrations than any of our competitors in the region. And successfully.
Only last year, Schoenherr's arbitration team received four ICSID awards in favor of our client in cases that the Vienna team headed by Christoph Lindinger, Leon Kopecky and Victoria Pernt ran together with Serbia (Matija Vojnovic, Natasa Lalatovic, Hristina Todorovic) and Moldova (Vladimir Iurkovski). 
With these awards, we have left our mark on the investment arbitration landscape. Our arguments have become law. Our argument about what it means to be a protected investor. And our argument about what an investor may expect and rely on when it invests abroad.

Adding to this, we have excelled vis-à-vis international tier one firms in commercial arbitration. Christoph Lindinger and Victoria Pernt are running a high-stakes ICC arbitration with the highest amount in dispute in the region. At the same time, our post M&A arbitrations are increasing. More and more companies appreciate the advantages of arbitration that Victoria Pernt highlights herein. They have opted for arbitration clauses in their SPAs, and for our team to see to their rights. Here, too, our geographic footprint facilitates transnational dispute management, with our Slovenia and Vienna offices currently teamed-up in one of our post M&A arbitrations.

But our arbitration practice is not the only area that is booming. To the contrary, our litigation practice continues to handle complex commercial cases. GDPR disputes are on the rise, and Schoenherr is at the forefront in some of the most high-profile matters. In addition to running these matters, Andreas Natterer cooperates with colleagues across the CEE region on new developments in life sciences. Meanwhile, Vice Mandaric and Bojana Vareskic have the Vienna and Croatia offices collaborate on defending banks in mass actions brought by consumers triggered by new legislation.
Without doubt, our geographic footprint remains our asset. Through close cooperation with colleagues in our offices across the CEE region, we have been able to tap into a network of experts. This transnational approach has allowed our dispute resolution lawyers to tackle complex multi-jurisdictional proceedings as well as high-profile commercial arbitrations and high-stakes investment arbitrations. Our unrivalled successes have confirmed the added value of this approach, allowing our practice to grow further.

With plenty on the horizon, we look forward to embarking on 2020. Together.




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