Austria 2015 Review

Austria navigated its way through the global financial crisis favourably in comparison with numerous other Eurozone jurisdictions and the country still performs strongly in terms of GDP per capita, with an IMF forecast predicting gradual economic growth for Austria towards the end of 2015.

The legal market has felt the impact of the banking crisis with leading practitioners fielding more enquiries relating to regulatory requirements in the financial sector and business crime defence issues than in previous years. In 2015, the legal market has also been alerted to potential banking and insolvency issues arising out of southern state Carinthia’s potential bankruptcy; the state government is liable for €7.6 billion in debt guarantees arising out of Heta Asset Resolution’s balance sheet shortfall. With the national government refusing to cover the debt of its states, bonds to creditors worth millions are likely to go unpaid, and as a result contributors expect the year ahead to be “very lively” for banking lawyers and litigators with insolvency expertise.