Commercial is a broad term. It covers many sectors, industries and categories of business. It is the term we use to cover all business issues and projects. While our firm has demonstrable and targeted sector focus and in specific practice areas, our lawyers have advised and acted on the full range of commercial disputes and projects over many years.

At its core, commerce is about selling and buying goods and services. Much goes into making that happen. Insurance, finance, corporate structures, contracts, relationships, marketing, reputation and trust. We understand this. As a growth-minded business ourselves, we are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a strong drive to understand the commercial context of any project or dispute that we are handling.

A sample of our commercial work includes real estate projects, construction disputes, transportation issues, foreign exchange currency disputes, e-trading platform set-up, employment and industrial relations, distribution contract disputes, drafting executive corporate contracts, post M&A disputes, major partnership and corporate disputes, energy contracts, offshore projects, pipeline issues, supply contracts, service contracts, vendor contracts, retail sectors, technology & communication disputes, intellectual property protection, the full supply chain, and many other types of business issues and deals.

For further details of specific cases, please refer to our specific Sector and Practice Areas pages and explore our reference cases and areas of focus.

Lisa Beisteiner
Partner - Vienna
Calum Cheyne
Partner - London
Edward W. Floyd
Partner - New York
Timothy S. McGovern
Partner - Chicago
Alfred Siwy
Partner - Vienna, London
Damon Thompson
Partner - London
Luke Zadkovich
Partner - New York, London, Sydney
Gerold Zeiler
Partner - New York, Vienna
Lukas Wieser
Counsel - Vienna
Zach Barger
Senior Associate - Chicago
Eva-Maria Mayer
Senior Associate - New York
Philip Vagin
Senior Associate - London
Mitchell Beebe
Associate - London
Katherine Georginis
Associate - Chicago
Aiden Lerch
Associate - London, Sydney
Lucy Noble
Associate - London
Jakob Reckhenrich
Barrister - London
Gaudenz Küenburg
Junior Associate - Vienna
  • Advising an Austrian Gambling Corporation in a personnel restructering process including the negotiations of a social plan and drawing up of a new minimum salary scheme.

  • Assisting an Austrian lottery company in a restructering process including the drafting and negotiation of a social plan.

  • Assessing criminal and civil options, and coordinating an asset seizure search and attach strategy in Mexico for a major case for shipowners pursuing a Chinese mining conglomerate in Mexico. The underlying case involved allegations of cartel cooperation and fraudulent dissipation of assets (USD 2.5 million).

  • Representation of a Southern European logistics company in Vienna-seated arbitration proceedings and settlement negotiations against a German service provider (VIAC).

  • Representatin of a major Korean shipyard in arbitral proceedings against a Dutch shipbuilding conglomerate regarding a share purchase agreement (ICC).

  • Advising an Austrian manufacturer of vehicle lighting systems and electronic components on employment and industrial relations matters, including working time scheme, shop agreements and employee’s IP rights. Representing the company in court proceedings against employees challenging their employment termination (Austrian courts).

  • Supporting a German manufacturer of optical systems and optoelectronics, in employment law matters including the transfer of employee data and the implementation of a home office scheme due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Assisting an international animal welfare organisation with regard to all their Austrian employment law matters.

  • Representing a Viennese university in a court procedure against a researcher (Austrian courts).

  • Assisting a German manufacturer of products from carbon, with regard to the intra group elections of its Societas Europaea works council.

  • Assisting an Austrian manufacturer of industrial rubber and plastic in employment and industrial relations matters, such as the elections of its European Works Council

  • Assisting a German pharmaceutical company with their day-to-day employment matters.

  • Assisting a Swiss pharmaceutical company with regard to all employment law aspects of a transfer of undertaking in Austria.

  • Assisting a U.S. manufacturer of diagnostic healthcare products in employment law matters such as lately reviewing their employee handbook / code of conduct.

  • Supporting a leading global human proteins manufacturer (one of our long-standing clients) in every aspect of their employment and industrial relations issues.
    Representing the company in court proceedings against its works council and individual employees regarding the employee’s classification in the company’s overall salary scheme (Austrian courts).
    Representing the company in court proceedings against its works council with regard to the
    potential change of the current working time schedule in the company’s various production lines(special conciliation board at the Austrian courts).

  • Assisting a multinational plastics company in its day-to-day employment law matters.

  • Assisting a Viennese laboratory with regard to employment law questions including working time schemes under the current COVID situation.

  • Assisting a multinational company in the field of health information and clinical research with the solutions for its various day-to-day employment law issues, including the drafting of the required contracts for its managing directors.

  • Supporting a French multinational manufacturing company with regard to Austrian employment law, such as successfully enforcing post contractual restraint of trade clauses against former employees and the implementation of home office during the COVID-19 situation.

  • Assistance of a multinational supplier in printing and packaging industry regarding a change in the management of the Austrian entity. Representation in the court proceedings against client’s former managing director with regard to his company pensions entitlement (Austrian courts).

  • Representation of a multinational Swiss biopharmaceutical company against the claim of former long-time employee that the termination of her employment relationship was unlawful.

  • Representation of an Austrian pharma company in employment law court procedures against former employees.

  • Supporting a catholic relief, development and social service organisation in their employment matters, including representation in the proceedings against chairman of the client’s works council regarding the termination of his employment contract (Austrian courts).

  • Assisting an Italian multinational pharmaceutical company in employment law matters, such as the arrangement of home office conditions, the termination of employment relationships and the draft of shop agreements.

  • Assisting a world leading coatings company (one of our long-standing clients) in all operative day-to-day employment law, industrial relations and pension issues.

  • Assisting a world leading chemical company (one of our long-standing clients) in all operative day-to-day employment, industrial relations and pension issues. Supporting the company in all employment related aspects of a recent M&A deal (TUPE). Advising on timeline for meeting the information and consultation requirements towards the works council and the protection afforded to employees in the course of a transfer of undertakings situation.

  • Representation of a member of the board in the insolvency procedure of the stock company.

  • Assisting U.S. multinational medical devices and health care company, with their day-to-day employment matters.

  • Assessing the laws on lifting the corporate veil on companies in Mexico for a major shipping demurrage case, where the underlying cargo interests were not in a position to accept delivery and the vessel carrying crude ended up waiting for months before discharge could occur (USD 3+ million).

  • Advising a fertility clinic with regard to their day-to-day employment law matters.

  • Assisting a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company with all their day-to-day employment law issues.
    Representing the company against a former employee in a court proceeding (Austrian courts).
    Assisting the company with issues involving parental part time arrangements and works-council members, including the adjustment of their contractual roles within the entity.
    Supporting the company to duly conduct their works council elections in 2020 during the COVID pandemic.

  • Supporting an Austrian group in the feed and food safety with regard to the employment aspects of an acquisition of a further group company.

  • Supporting an Austrian wildlife park, with regard to the recall and appointment of its managing directors.

  • Supporting a nursing home in all their day-to-day employment matters.

  • Representing a Dutch manufacturer of printers in a court proceeding against a former employee (Austrian courts).

  • Representing a former board member of an Austrian international gambling company in the negotiations of his separation from the company.

  • Assisting an Italian multinational pharmaceutical company on the employment law aspects of a transfer of undertaking (TUPE).

  • Assisting a globally diversified U.S. conglomerate with regard to Austrian employment law issues during an acquisition of a multinational biopharma business with a subsidiary in Austria.

  • Representation of an Eastern European state in an investment arbitration against a UK company in the health care sector (EUR 30 million, UNCITRAL).

  • Representation of Eastern European state in the Southern District of New York regarding enforcement proceedings arising from an UNCITRAL arbitral award. Successfully obtained attachment of funds deposited with arbitral body.

  • Representaiotn of major turkish conglomerate in pursuit of claims against US manufacturer of heavy equipment for defects and return of deposits, successful defeat of subject matter jurisdiction challenge involving the structural nature of a Turkish A.S. (Anonim Sirket).

  • Obtained sanctions on behalf of a minority shareholder following dismissal of a lawsuit on the basis of res judicata filed against minority shareholders by the directors of the corporation for tortious interference and civil conspiracy in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois.

  • Assisting a Spanish company in the field of in vitro diagnostics with regard to the employment law aspects of an acquisition in Austria.

  • Advising Mexican subsidiary of a major Austrian group in the oil drilling industry on its day-to-day corporate and employment issues, including the drafting and reviewing of master sales agreements that contain provisions stipulating specific timeframes and transportation information for delivery and return of rental equipment, as well as other complex commercial contracts.

  • Representation of an European industry holding company in arbitral proceedings against an Asian industrial group regarding indemnity and warranty claims following an M&A transaction in the paint and coatings industry (EUR 7 million, ICC).

  • Representation European winery against allegations said to sound in breach of contract and unjust enrichment brought by alleged US distributor.

  • Representation of a Singaporean shipping company with its main seat of business in London in enforcement and recognition of foreign award proceedings (USD 5.7 million, Mexican courts).

    • Alfred Siwy
      "The “excellent“ Alfred Siwy receives plaudits for his “sharp intellect“ and extensive experience acting as counsel in international commercial and investment arbitration."
    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Tier 5 Firm
      “[The firm] houses thoughtful and creative practitioners, with strong commercial sense.”
    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Tier 5 Firm
      “For shipping, the team... is 'knowledgeable, personable and hardworking, with a genuine dedication to its clients, and a commercially astute understanding of their needs'.”
    • Alfred Siwy
      Austria: Thought Leader in Arbitration 2020
      "Alfred Siwy "is identified as a "superb counsel" who is "easy to work with" and has "a sharp mind". His expertise lies in commercial and corporate disputes in the competition and consumer protection fields."

    LMG Expert Guides 2019

    • Gerold Zeiler
      Recommended Expert: Commercial Arbitration 2019 – Best of the Best
    • Lisa Beisteiner
      Recommended Expert: Commercial Arbitration 2019
    • Alfred Siwy
      Recommended Expert: Commercial Arbitration 2019

    Chambers Global 2019

    • Gerold Zeiler
      Leading Individual 2019 (Band 1)
      "Gerold Zeiler remains a top-flight practitioner in the arbitration sphere handling investment and commercial cases, most notably in the energy sector." "He is especially intelligent, I would describe him as one of the grands-seigneurs of the arbitration scene in Austria."

    Benchmark Litigation 2020

    • Lisa Beisteiner
      Dispute Resolution Star (Commercial Arbitration, Energy and Natural Resources, International Arbitration)

    Chambers Global & Chambers Europe 2020

    • Lisa Beisteiner
      Dispute Resolution: Arbitration 2020 - Band 3
      "Lisa Beisteiner represents clients from the energy, retail and telecommunications sectors on corporate and commercial arbitration."

    Leaders League 2022

  • Permission to Appeal – No second bites at the cherry | Case by Case (Ep. 2)

    Permission to Appeal – No second bites at the cherry | Case by Case (Ep. 2)

    Luke Zadkovich and Calum Cheyne discuss CVLC v Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company [2021] EWHC 551 (Comm).

    In this week’s case, Luke and Calum look at Cockerill J’s confirmation that once the Court has given permission to appeal under Section 69 Arbitration Act 1996 at a permission hearing, the question of whether or not leave to appeal ought to have been granted cannot then be re-opened as a defence in the substantive trial on the appealed issues.

    The Judge’s reasoning was that the question of permission is a standalone issue, dealt with at the permission stage, which does not require re-visiting at the substantive hearing of the appeal. In this case, the Defendant sought to argue that the question on appeal was not a question that the Tribunal had answered in the arbitration – if that had been correct, it would not have satisfied Section 69(3)(b) Arbitration Act 1996, and the appeal should not have been allowed.

    In this case, even though the Judge held that the question could not be re-opened, the Judge also found that even if it was re-considered, permission was in any event rightly granted.

    The case also looks at the question of maritime security, and the question of whether there is an implied term in a guarantee that the guarantee itself is sufficient security and no further security can be sought by the beneficiary.

    The conversation looks at maritime security instruments, Section 69 appeals and urgent maritime applications. In the conversation, Calum mentions an article by Clare Ambrose, Michael Collet QC and Karen Maxwell on emergency relief in maritime arbitrations. That article is available here:

  • That’s got to SMART – The story of the M/V SMART and Owners’ right to demand freight under a bill of lading | Case by Case (Ep. 1)

    That’s got to SMART – The story of the M/V SMART and Owners’ right to demand freight under a bill of lading | Case by Case (Ep. 1)

    In this episode, Calum and Luke look at the recent decision of Alpha Marine Corp. v. Minmetals Logistics Zhejiang Co. Ltd., [2021] EWHC 1157 (Comm).

    Owners claimed against charterers for a series of losses arising under a time charterparty. Owners demanded payment of freight directly from shippers, in order to satisfy the alleged debt. Shippers didn’t know who to pay: Owners under the bill, or charterers under the voyage charterparty? Ultimately, Shippers made partial payment into escrow before going insolvent.

    Owners’ claims against Charterers largely failed. Charterers claimed that owners’ demands for the freight (against Shippers) were unlawful and were the cause of the delayed/reduced payment.

    Owners said they were entitled to take the freight. Charterers argued that a time charterparty contains an implied term that owners could only exercise this right where they were owed money by charterers.

    The High Court found no such implied term – reinforcing an owners’ right to demand freight directly.

    Judgment available here:

    Listen in for the analysis.

  • Commercial Cases – A Year in Review: 2019-2020
  • Ashwin Shanker and Luke Zadkovich discuss liens, LOIs, force majeure and COVID-19
  • Obtaining Adequate Assurances
  • Pre-Contract Representations and Contemplated Damages
  • Contract Review: Levers and Measures
  • Introduction: How to Deal with an Economic Crisis? A Guide for International Businesses
  • Personal Thoughts of Partner, Luke Zadkovich Early Contract and Charterparty Review (Part 15 of Economic Crisis Series)

    Personal Thoughts of Partner, Luke Zadkovich Early Contract and Charterparty Review (Part 15 of Economic Crisis Series)

    Luke Zadkovich’s personal thoughts on the current crisis.   We are all trying to come to terms with the devastating effect of the global pandemic.  By communicating, we can hopefully share our concerns, come together and be part of the solution.   Stay safe, keep healthy.

  • Fraudulent and Voidable Transfers Early Contract and Charterparty Review (Part 14 of Economic Crisis Series)

    Fraudulent and Voidable Transfers Early Contract and Charterparty Review (Part 14 of Economic Crisis Series)

    Fraudulent asset transfers   Part 14 of our series on the tools and strategies for how international businesses can deal with an economic crisis.   Sadly, for some businesses, the economic crisis will put their backs against the wall. In those circumstances, some parties will be tempted to hide assets, rather than be exposed to liability. Following the financial collapse of 2008/2009, we saw an increase in fraudulent transfers.    Tim McGovern has experience securing claims against assets that have been the subject of such fraudulent transfers, including an action against a publicly traded entity in respect of a USD 70 million liability.  Tim sets out when and how these assets can be traced, so that they find their way back to the true creditor(s). For further information please contact Timothy McGovern or anyone from the ZFZ team to discuss this, or any of the other topics in the video series.

  • Calum Cheyne Promoted to Partner

    Calum Cheyne Promoted to Partner

    We are absolutely delighted to announce the upcoming promotion of Calum Cheyne to Partner with the firm, effective 1 January 2023.

  • ZFZ Grows Partnership and Expands Global Operations

    ZFZ Grows Partnership and Expands Global Operations

    We are delighted to welcome two new partners, Friederike Schäfer and Joe Gosden, along with two new associates, Alexandra Tompson and Leo Rees-Murphy, and new international capacities in the form of a German desk.

  • Richard Murray Joins ZFZ

    Richard Murray Joins ZFZ

    We’re delighted to welcome Richard Murray to our London office!

  • Ed Floyd presents at event for US intel community

    Ed Floyd presents at event for US intel community

    Partner Edward Floyd had the honor this week of briefing a great group from the US intel community on the interrelation between maritime law and national security.

  • ICA Claims – Preserving Time

    ICA Claims – Preserving Time

    The inter-club agreement is designed to prevent litigation. It normally does so, so any reporting providing further clarity is welcome.

  • Uncertainty Around BIMCO’s Non-Payment of Hire Clause

    Uncertainty Around BIMCO’s Non-Payment of Hire Clause

    The vessel was time-chartered on an NYPE form containing the BIMCO Non-Payment of Hire Clause. Hire was payable 15 days in advance, every 15 days.

  • We publish an article in Tulane Maritime Law Journal, vol. 44

    We publish an article in Tulane Maritime Law Journal, vol. 44

    Lerch, Zadkovich and Floyd (authors), “International Uniformity and Maritime Liens over Cargo: An Ocean Not Easily Navigated”, Tulane Maritime Law Journal [44 TUL. MAR. L.J. 251 (2020)].

  • We publish an article in Tulane Maritime Law Journal, vol. 44

    We publish an article in Tulane Maritime Law Journal, vol. 44

    “International Uniformity and Maritime Liens
    over Cargo: An Ocean Not Easily Navigated”
    We are excited to share our full journal article published by the prestigious and highly acclaimed Tulane Maritime Law Journal [44 TUL. MAR. L.J. 251 (2020)], co-authored by Aiden Lerch, Luke Zadkovich and Edward Floyd.

  • Two Minute Case-Law: The “Alpha Harmony”

    Two Minute Case-Law: The “Alpha Harmony”

    The “Alpha Harmony” was a lesson in paying close attention to the Laycan provisions in voyage charterparties. The Vessel tendered NOR on a Sunday morning. Charterers under both a Head Charter and a Sub-Charter had a right to cancel later on the Sunday (12:00 under the sub-charter; 23:59 under the head charter). Charterers under each Charterparty purported to cancel.

  • Coronavirus and Force Majeure

    Coronavirus and Force Majeure

    It has been widely reported that LNG receivers in China have recently declared force majeure on LNG contracts due to disruptions caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) which has now been given the official name COVID-19 (“novel coronavirus”). This was done after force majeure certificates were issued from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (“CCPIT”), with the approval of China’s Ministry of Commerce.