´╗┐Arbitration Law

Lots of operations in the Industrial Engineering Sector have agreements in place with arbitration clauses. In the past, the arbitration law in Austria had the negative aftertaste of lengthy overruling procedure of arbitration in front of the civil courts which has spoilt the positive effects of a short and focused arbitration procedure.

By the new Arbitration Procedure Amendment Act which is scheduled to enter into force on 1 July 2012 (which cannot be confirmed, yet), – inter alia - the Civil Procedure by which arbitration may be overruled will be abbreviated. So far, parties have to go through 3 instances, Regional Civil Court, Higher Regional Court and Supreme Court. This resulted in the rescission proceedings lasted far longer than the arbitration proceedings.

The new law provides the possibility to take legal action directly in front of the Supreme Court, if none of the parties involved is a consumer according to consumer protection laws.

Corporate Law – Changes regarding Stock Corporations

With effect from 1 August 2011 Stock Corporations in Austria that are not listed – which is applicable for many operations in the Industrial Engineering Sector - may only issue registered shares. Bearer shares are no longer permissible for these entities. In this regard, the details that have to be registered in the Stock Books of the companies have been extended as follows:

  • in the case of not listed Stock Corporations details of the shareholder with a credit institution with registered offices in the EEA or a full member state of the OECD to which all payments have to be made;
  • details of the actual owner if the registered owner holds the shares in escrow (unless the owner is a credit institution with registered offices in the EEA or a full member state of the OECD)

These details have to be added until 1 January 2013 at the latest.