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Construction Law & Engineering

Experienced specialists in all areas of construction law

Recognised legal experts in construction & engineering

The secret to successful construction projects is planning, and we work with you long before the first shovel hits the dirt. We are at your side from the early stage of risk assessment, drafting and reviewing contracts (based on national or international standard forms of contracts, such as FIDIC and ORGALIME) through all project-related legal advice whether this concerns property construction, infrastructure projects, tunnel or power plant construction. And when things don’t go quite as you plan, we represent you before courts, arbitral tribunals and FIDIC – Dispute Adjudication Boards.

The emphasis is always on one thing: clear advice that gets results. We approach every client relationship as a partnership. It is about getting to know your priorities and tailoring our advice to fit you, so you can do what you do best: build.

“First-class offering in both real estate and construction matters. Dedicated construction team with an impressive track record, representing prominent construction companies in complex disputes and arbitration. Also assists with contracts and procurement for construction projects, primarily in the healthcare and infrastructure sectors. Advises investors as well as property companies on major real estate transactions in the retail, office and hotel arenas. Works closely with its branches across the CEE and SEE regions to assist clients with cross-border and multi-jurisdictional transactions.”

– Chambers Europe

“Extremely competent in ‘the area of legal matters, but also technical understanding’ and offering ‘very fast communication’, Wolf Theiss is able to achieve ‘unprecedented results’ for clients, which mainly consist of contractors, on significant construction projects such as property construction, infrastructure projects, and tunnel and power plant construction.”

– The Legal 500

What makes our team the best construction lawyers for you?

Our regional, integrated firm offers distinct advantages spanning the full spectrum of legal services.

  • An established international law firm with 60+ years of experience in Austria and CEE/SEE
  • A fully integrated, single team of 340 locally-qualified lawyers in 13 countries and offices
  • Collaboration and innovation across multidisciplinary teams and offices
  • Excellent client satisfaction – responsive, client-oriented, and consistent
  • Experience with complex and cross-border matters covering the full spectrum of legal services
  • Knowledge and expertise to add value to deals across industries

Leading the legal field

Our lawyers are involved in key transactions and matters across the region, bringing their industry expertise and specialised business knowledge to add value to our clients’ work.

Advising clients in joint ventures & largest construction contract in Austria – €1 billion

Successful contractor payment claim in Romania

Advice and representation in massive European tunnel project

Ongoing advice for new €700 million biopharmaceutical production facility

Dedicated attorneys with specialised industry knowledge in construction law & arbitration

International joint ventures for underground railway

We are advising two international joint ventures of construction companies with respect to the Brenner Base Tunnel (“BBT”), which will be the longest underground railway connection in the world. The project costs will amount to approx. EUR 9.5 billion and the opening is scheduled for 2032. Our clients are involved in two of the biggest lots (among others also the largest construction contract in Austria with a value of about EUR 1 billion).

Claims in the three-digit million range are in dispute in both construction lots. Some of these claims have already been filed with the Innsbruck Regional Court. We not only support our clients regarding legal questions but also regarding strategical decisions. The focus of our legal advice is on claims for additional costs because of contractual failures of other parties involved and non-expected geological circumstances. Comprehensive knowledge in the areas of (“continuous” and “cyclic”) tunnelling, geology and the construction industry is of the utmost importance for this.

Biopharma production facility investment of €700 million

We provided legal advice to Boehringer Ingelheim on the development and construction of a new biopharmaceutical production facility in Vienna. With an investment of more than EUR 700 million, more than 500 new jobs were created.

Our work included the drafting and negotiation of architects and construction contracts, especially with regard to the avoidance/enforcement of additional cost claims in combination with sound technical understanding.

Advised contractor in Romanian railway project

We advised and represented the contractor of a state-owned company for the rehabilitation of a prominent railway in Romania under a FIDIC Red Book contract before an ICC arbitration tribunal. Due to more than 135 different events and circumstances attributable to the employer, the contractor suffered massive delays and incurred substantial additional costs for the work. The Final Award resulted in an 84% success for our client.

Comprehensive legal advice in major tunnel project

We are advising and representing several contractors at the large infrastructure project of the Semmering Base Tunnel. Wolf Theiss delivers legal advice in different cases regarding the construction of the Semmering Base Tunnel. Our input includes the management of ongoing correspondence as well as the drafting of legal statements and expert opinions, to numerous billing questions as well as the enforcement of claims.

We drafted a construction contract in a major Viennese hospital project. However, this is not a classic construction contract, but – in accordance with the wishes and requirements of our client – an alternative construction contract (including cost-plus-fee remuneration, bonus-malus system). Likewise, the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated monetary and temporal consequences had to be taken into account when drafting the contract. In this respect, we worked out a customised arrangement that is fair for both contracting parties.

We are providing legal support to several well-known Austrian construction companies on a number of power plant projects in Vorarlberg. We are advising our clients throughout the entire project (in some cases even during the awarding phase). In doing so, we support our clients above all in the enforcement of additional costs. Most of these claims relate to circumstances in the field of tunnel and cavern construction (geology, geotechnics, concrete production, etc,), but there are also claims related to the Covid-19 pandemic. We have already successfully enforced claims in the high double-digit millions for our clients, both in and out of court (settlement discussions, arbitration, etc.). Currently, there is a case pending at the Feldkirch Regional Court with an amount in dispute of approx. EUR 35 million.

Areas of specialisation

Construction projects

Do you have an infrastructure or building construction project? We can advise you during the whole life cycle; from construction law and contract review and negotiation through the completion and warranty phase. Zoning regulations, historical protection and other restrictions: every construction project carries limitations with it. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities too.

Our construction and engineering lawyers routinely work alongside architects, engineers and surveyors to ensure that you make the most of your project while keeping relevant laws and regulations in mind. We work on anticipating, avoiding or solving problems before they become a conflict.

Construction contracts & related agreements

We can advise you on construction law and contract administration, including drafting construction, general contractor and subcontractor agreements, Guaranteed Maximum Price and general planner agreements, as well as general terms and conditions for constructors and manufacturers.

FIDIC contracts

You need specific legal expertise and experience in construction law and contract management for your international construction project. Many of us are FIDIC-certified Adjudicators, which means that we can represent you before courts, arbitral tribunals and dispute adjudication boards effectively and with knowledge of the construction law and dispute resolution process.

We provide project-specific legal advice and representation on all FIDIC-based construction contracts, as well as interdisciplinary support regarding claim and contract management.

Litigation & arbitration

It’s sometimes impossible to avoid lawsuits over construction and infrastructure projects. Claims for securing evidence, (additional) compensation, defects and damage claims, contractual penalties, disputes on geological and other risks and claims under securities: we have experience in litigating all these and more.

Our construction and engineering lawyers’ direct knowledge and industry experience helps us to identify risks and opportunities so we can develop the litigation or arbitration strategy you need to win.

Building Information Modelling (BIM)

BIM (Building Information Modelling) is an intelligent 3D model-based process that gives architects, as well as engineering and construction professionals, the insight and tools to more efficiently plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure. The technology offers many advantages, but also poses new legal questions.

You need to be sure you still comply with requirements under public procurement law, consider the structure of your construction contracts as well as take possible interface problems into account. Our BIM-experts have both the technical and the legal knowledge to provide you with the best possible support in realising your BIM-project.

What others say about us

“The construction team of Wolf Theiss combines legal know-how, technical understanding and a practical hands-on approach. I think the size of their team with about 8 or 9 lawyers who deal 100% of their time with construction issues is quite remarkable. They are, thus, in a position to quickly handle even larger and complex cases on short notice. From what I have seen from them, they always aim for a practical and amicable solution.”

“High clarity and very high level of expertise; able to answer complex legal questions in the relevant legal area; excellent speed in answering our request (meeting the given timelines).”

“The team creates an atmosphere based on trust, personal relations and open collaboration and provides added value for our company. What we especially value is their understanding and integration of the business perspective (e.g. potential effects on the business) in the considerations and legal explanations.”

– The Legal 500

Get in touch

When you need an international team with extensive experience, Wolf Theiss is your right partner to support your business goals through profound legal practice.