Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich has a particular focus on the engineering and construction industry. Our extensive experience enables us to understand the complexities that arise in the construction sector.

We know that each engineering and construction project is unique and presents its own legal challenges – challenges that we are there to resolve for you.

In addition to the traditional challenges that come with managing high value and long-term engineering and construction projects is the rapid development of new technologies, fast digital transformation and strong regulatory emphasis on sustainability. This has revolutionised how work is performed in the construction sector. These are only a few factors our clients are navigating with our support and advice.

Construction Disputes

We have a strong reputation for successfully arbitrating or litigating construction disputes.

Over many years, we have developed a thorough understanding of the entire life cycle of an engineering and construction project. We are well versed with the different challenges that typically come with it. These include understanding the risk allocation between contracting parties for the particular project and the different types of construction contracts. Our lawyers are known for their abilities to grasp the technical details of a case, thorough preparation of the facts and the law, and presentation of comprehensive information in a clear and coherent manner.

We know how to navigate through multiple layers of contract documents and how to make sense of project management schedules. We understand the financial implications of a major project, including considerations of cash-flow, the implications of project delays and the need for setting up various types of guarantee arrangements.

We have worked on disputes arising from a wide range of agreements, including FIDIC-based projects, consortia and joint ventures. These span a wide array of subject matters including defective engineering and planning disputes, defective construction, delay claims, variation claims, payment claims, among others. We have repeatedly obtained or averted measures of interim relief before state courts and arbitral tribunals. Our team is experienced in representing clients in dispute board proceedings, where we are able to make the substantial time commitments required in this process. We also protect our client’s rights and interests in negotiations through a pragmatic and solution-oriented approach that averts escalation of disputes.

Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich represents all parties involved in a construction project, including employers, contractors, and sub-contractors, be it in arbitration or before state courts. Our partners have also sat as arbitrators in numerous construction cases.

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Construction Contracts & Projects

Bolstered by our lawyers’ first class construction disputes practice, Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich also supports clients on the non-contentious aspects of their construction and engineering projects, at all levels of the contracting chain and at all stages of the project.

Our construction law team acts for both contractors (including engineering companies, architects and other consultants, sub-contractors or suppliers of special parts), as well as employers (including developers, state entities or private individuals). In our non-contentious project work, our clients benefit from this longstanding exposure to and successful resolution of construction disputes.

At the initial stage of a project, we support in tender and post-tender negotiations and assist in contract drafting (including general planner contracts, general contractor agreements, project management contracts, and sub-contracts). We also support our clients where special issues arise during contract management, particularly in claim management processes.

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Employment law in the Construction Sector

The engineering and construction industry is unique in many ways. This also holds true when it comes to employment matters.

We advise our clients in the industry in all matters of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including industrial relations.

Our seasoned litigators have successfully defended employers before employment courts, up to the Austrian Supreme Court, in unfair dismissal claims, discrimination cases as well as in connection with requests for re-instatement and wage-and-hour cases.

During COVID-19, we assisted many of our clients within the industry on a full range of issues, including understanding the government relief schemes available to them and facilitating changes to their workforce, drafting and adjustment of home-office arrangements, and reductions in workforce.

We provide our clients with more than only legal expertise: we are dedicated and trusted advisors who will work tirelessly to provide a strategic focus and deliver the best commercial outcomes.

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Intellectual Property in the Construction Sector

Intellectual property plays a vital part in the successful planning and implementation of construction projects.

Construction projects are based on architectural designs, models and blueprints, which can be subject to copyright and industrial design rights. Contractors use technical equipment and apply specific construction processes, which might be protected by patents or utility models. In the course of a project, there is a constant exchange of information and services between owners, contractors, subcontractors, consultants and others. Such information might be confidential and therefore be protected as a trade secret. Also, a competitor could be violating the fair play rules stipulated in unfair competition laws.

We help you to manage all IP and unfair competition issues during contract negotiations and contract drafting, during the construction phase and upon completion of the project.

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Andrea de la Brena
Partner - Mexico City
Thomas Herbst
Senior Associate - Vienna
Ondrej Cech
Senior Associate - Vienna
Markus Schifferl
Partner - Vienna
Luke Zadkovich
Partner - New York, London, Sydney
Lisa Beisteiner
Partner - Vienna
Gerold Zeiler
Partner - New York, Vienna
Andrijana Misovic
Associate - Vienna
Alfred Siwy
Partner - Vienna, London
Alexander Zojer
Senior Associate - Vienna
  • Supporting a German producer of skylights with regard to day-to-day employment law matters of its Austrian subsidiary.

  • Representing one of the world’s leading supplier of profiling lines in damages procedure (Austrian courts).

  • Representation of a global plant manufacturer based in Austria in court proceedings against a leading cellulose/fibre producer concerning the construction of an industrial piping system (EUR 2 million, Austrian courts).

  • Representation of a Central European state owned energy companies in arbitration proceedings regarding a joint-venture for building and operation of a coal power plant (EUR 60 million, ICC).

  • Representation of an Eastern European energy company in court proceedings against two Central European entities regarding interim measures (EUR 16 million, Austrian state courts).

  • Representation of a South European plant-engineering manufacturer in proceedings on the annulment of an arbitral award (EUR 40 million, Austrian Supreme Court) – 2016.

  • Representation of a global industrial company regarding claims in connection with the construction of a powerplant in Austria (EUR 15 million, ICC Dispute Board).

  • Supporting a German electronic company with regard to its day-to-day employment matters in its Austrian subsidiary.

  • Supporting a German manufacturer of heating, industrial and refrigeration systems with regard to the employment law aspects of the restructuring of its Austrian subsidiaries.

  • Assisting a technology company for asphalt, concrete, earthworks geotechnical and environmental engineering in day-to-day employment law matters, including the redundancy of employees enjoying special protection.

  • Assisting a leading Austrian construction company during the COVID-19 pandemic on the full range of employment and industrial relations issues, including interpretation of government relief schemes, facilitating changes of the workforce, drafting and adjustment of home-office arrangements and reductions in force.

  • Assisting a multinational Finish engineering and consulting firm with regard to the change of the management in its Austrian subsidiary.

  • Supporting a Swedish climate group with regard to the engagement of a managing director for its Austrian subsidiary.

  • Supporting a Finish elevator and escalator engineering company with regard to contractual agreements with members of the board of its Austrian subsidiary.

  • Ongoing support of an Austrian traffic engineering and advertising technic group regarding various employment matters, including the introduction of new working time regulations, redundancies and employment law measures during the COVID-19 situation.

  • Provision of legal advice to a Northern European telecom conglomerate regarding the settlement of a contractual dispute with an Asian telecommunications company regarding the outsourcing of network infrastructure.

  • Provided legal advice to a Finnish telcom conglomerate in the pre-trial phase against an Austrian construction company.

  • Representation of a Greek investor and Seychelles-based company in arbitral proceedings against Western European entities regarding the sale and purchase of an Eastern European subsidiary (EUR 14 million, ICC).

  • Representation of a South-Eastern European companies in a dispute regarding the construction of a power plant against an insolvent claimant (EUR 73 million, ICC).

  • Assisting Japanese owned Austrian manufacturer of fine bubble aeration systems in launching their new working time and flexi-time schemes.
    Supporting the client in defending the implementation of a surveillance system against the claims of the works council.

  • Advising an Austrian glass producer with regard to employment and industrial relation law matters including claims under the collective bargaining agreement, employee data protection and the implementation of home office schemes.

  • Assisting a leading Spanish producer of sanitary ceramics with a strong position in Switzerland and Austria in restructuring their Austrian entity. Advising the company on all employment matters, conducting negotiations with the trade unions and the works council on a social plan, preparation of notices of termination and planning of overall reduction in force.

  • Supporting a global leader for industrial gas in preparing and implementing the intended changes to their management, comprising the required employment and corporate measures and the implementation of the necessary changes to the commercial register.

  • Representation of an Austrian building services engineering company in two court procedures initiated by a former employee, challenging the notice of termination due to his status as a disabled person.

  • Provided legal advice to an Austrian traffic engineering and advertising technic company in the pre-trial phase against a Slovenian supplier and a Dutch client.

  • Representation of a South European plant-engineering manufacturer in a challenge proceedings against all three arbitrators of a previous arbitration proceeding (EUR 3 million, Austrian Supreme Court).

  • Representation of a Central European construction company in court proceedings on disbursement of performance and advance payment guarantees (EUR 1.4 million, Austrian court).

  • Representation of an Austrian construction company in arbitral proceedings against a large European engineering and construction group regarding damage claims arising from the construction of an industrial plant (EUR 15 million, ICC).

  • Representation of a global plant manufacturer based in Austria in court proceedings against an oil & gas multinational concerning the refurbishment of industrial equipment in an oil refinery (EUR 1 million, Austrian courts).

  • Representation of a global plant manufacturer based in Austria in a dispute against a large process technologies, equipment and plant manufacturer concerning the construction of an industrial piping system (Austrian courts).

  • Representing a leading Austrian construction and engineering company in proceedings on termination of the employment contract of a manager, who had a status as a disabled employee, eligible for preferential treatment (Committee for Disabled Employees).

  • Representation of an Austrian subsidiary of a major European construction company in arbitral proceedings against an Eastern European energy company regarding penalty and warranty claims arising from the construction of a hydroelectric power plant (EUR 3 million, VIAC).

  • Acted for client on a multi-million dollar dispute relating to an FPSO vessel re-fit. The case involved a detailed and technical review of claims arising out of a series of variation orders, and a detailed legal analysis of the overarching nature of the contract.

  • 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.

  • Supporting a U.S. thermal management company with regard to all employment law matters, such as the application of the transfer of undertaking (TUPE) regime, of the restructuring of its Austrian subsidiaries.

  • Representation of a German party in arbitral proceedings against a Belarusian entity related to food packing machines (VIAC).

  • Incorporation of a Mexican company in the business of water treatment.

  • Representation of an Eastern European company in arbitral proceedings against an Eastern European municipality (USD 25 million, ICC).

  • Acted in a major English Technology and Construction Court claim for French-based international insurers following a catastrophic train derailment in the Midlands, UK.  We handled the regulatory investigations into the accident and the litigation. Devised our client’s litigation strategy and the key contractual defences. After six years the case successfully resolved.

  • Advised the primary D&O insurer of one of Australia’s largest construction companies in relation to a claim for alleged non-disclosure of material market information on losses sustained by the insured on a construction project.  The matter was brought as a class representative action in the Federal Court of Australia, and involved the company and its directors/executives.

  • Representation of condominium developer client in a construction defect matter in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois filed against the developer, contractor, and subcontractors.

  • Representation of an Eastern European engineering and construction company in the field of industrial construction in arbitral proceedings against Western European Romanian nationals related to a share purchase agreement (EUR 7 million, VIAC).

    Benchmark Litigation 2020

    • Markus Schifferl
      Dispute Resolution Star (Commercial and Transactions, Commercial Arbitration, Construction, International Arbitration)

    Chambers Global & Chambers Europe 2020

    • Zeiler Floyd Zadkovich
      Dispute Resolution in Austria 2020 - Band 2
      "What the team is known for: Dynamic disputes boutique predominantly active in the arbitration sphere, acting on significant cross-border matters, most notably in the CEE region. Noted for its involvement in investment arbitrations relating to energy, with further strength in insurance and construction-related disputes. Clients stem from a range of industries including retail, engineering and manufacturing."
  • Anti-Suit Injunctions: A Race Against the Clock

    Anti-Suit Injunctions: A Race Against the Clock

    A four-month delay in bringing an anti-suit injunction was held to prevent its issue in Enka v Chubb Insurance [2020] 1 Lloyd’s Rep. 71. PJSC was the contractor for the construction of a power plant.