2016 Most Innovative Law Firm in Austria

BREITENEDER Rechtsanwälte. Attorneys at Law is one of the leading Austrian and internationally recognized law firms specialized in investor protection, securities litigation and capital market law (investors only). We spoke to Eric Breiteneder about the firm´s unique approach to collective redress and how this has helped them to take on a number of high profile cases.

BREITENEDER Rechtsanwälte Attorneys at Law is a pioneering legal firm specialising in European Collective Redress. It is a revolutionary new way of organising mass damage cases, such as the recent Volkswagen emissions scandal, which is one of the cases we are presently working on. We are currently advising together with American and Dutch partners two non-profit foundations to pursue consumer and investor claims against Volkswagen. The issue revolves around the fact that at the end of last year VW admitted having manipulated emission testing in order to comply with US testing standards. EPA has been investigating against VW in relation to infringement of the Clean Air Act. The company, which is based in lower Saxony, faces a multibillion Dollar fine in the United States only.

Both foundations we represent operate together with international investor and consumer protection associations, most notably the World Federation of Investors, the German leader in investor protection DSW and the Austrian Consumer Association VKI. This case is second to none by its given financial magnitude and the number of VW owners in Europe on one hand and VW investors on the other hand. We are working with a network of nongovernmental organizations in order to support our clients. Further our IT department has not only developed but is truly pioneering in creating applications for collective redress cases. We have created an interface for victims, lawyers and responsible parties, which allow effective handling of each individual claim in the interest of all parties. These applications already run successfully in many cases.

When working on a case as vast as the VW scandal, we have to bear in mind that the justice system in many jurisdictions, including mine, offer very little to safeguard the rights for large groups of clients. Lodging individual court actions is still in many European countries the only option for obtaining individual redress. This is something we see as a problem and are working towards, and have found solutions whereby clients can successfully claim as a group. Acting in this way is very unique, and I require a dynamic and dedicated team. Our success in the market can be directly attributed to the innovative and legally thorough work of my team. Most law firms claiming following an international approach are very much focused on their jurisdiction of origin. Such European cases however require pan- European solutions. Our firm does not view international borders as a boundary. We work closely with U.S and European firms who have engaged us for litigation and advisory services in the past. We view each case in terms of how it will impact business around the world. This has helped us to gain a client base from around the world.

Rechtsanwälte. Attorneys at Law
Address: Walfischgasse 5
1010 Vienna, Austria
Phone: +43 (0) 1 512 98 88
Fax: +43 (0) 1 512 98 88 88