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GAR 100 - 10th Edition

Zeiler Partners

02 March 2017

The Austrian boutique is defending the Czech Republic and Bosnia-Herzegovina

People in Who’s Who Legal 3
Pending cases as counsel 14
Value of pending counsel work US$3.2 billion
Treaty cases 4
Current arbitrator appointments 10 (of which 2 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator 2

Zeiler Partners was founded in Vienna in 2014 by Gerold Zeiler, the former head of the arbitration practice at another GAR 100 firm from Austria, Schönherr. He brought a team with him to the new boutique.

A former president of the Austrian Arbitration Association, Zeiler regularly sits as arbitrator and is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He’s joined at the new firm by partners Lisa Beisteiner and Alfred Siwy, who bring years of experience in ICSID and UNCITRAL work.

In 2015 the practice recruited another Schönherr alumnus, Markus Schifferl, who joined as partner from rival boutique Torggler; as well as of counsel Christoph Schreuer, a renowned academic who’s authored the definitive commentary on the ICSID Convention and often sits as arbitrator.

The firm’s lawyers have advised high-profile names from several industries, including Shell, RWE, Siemens, GE Capital, Thales, Deutsche Bank, and car companies Fiat and Seat.

Zeiler Partners also acts for governments in investment treaty cases. Siwy is defending the Czech Republic in three cases under SCC and UNCITRAL rules; while Zeiler and Siwy are acting for Bosnia-Herzegovina in a €700 million Energy Charter Treaty claim at ICSID brought by a Slovenian company.

The firm is also acting for Shell in a gas transport dispute at the ICC, and for a Russian gas company in a dispute over a €2 billion contract. Other clients include a Swedish furniture producer; and an Italian plant manufacturer in set-aside proceedings before the Austrian Supreme Court.

Recent events

One of Siwy’s cases for the Czech Republic saw a jurisdictional decision in early 2017, with the tribunal agreeing to hear expropriation claims by a producer of aids for the visually impaired. Claims brought under a treaty’s umbrella clause were denied, however.

As arbitrator, Gerold Zeiler was part of an ICC panel that issued a €401 million award in favour of Romania in early 2017, requiring Italy’s Enel to honour a put-option clause and increase its stake in a privatised electricity company.

Client comment

A lawyer at the Czech finance ministry says it is “very happy” with the firm’s work on its behalf. “Zeiler Partners are a pleasure to deal with and provide excellent value for money. Alfred Siwy impressed us with his hands-on approach and extensive knowledge of public international law.”

A German business advisory company with whom the firm has worked describes it as “one of the go-to firms for arbitration in Austria”, adding: “They have a very good business acumen, a lucid mind and a cooperative working style. They are passionate and detail-oriented in those areas of the case where it is required. They are a winning team.”