Restructuring Loans

and Enforcement of


2017 Edition

WOLF THEISS is one of the largest and most respected law firms in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CEE/SEE). Since starting out in Vienna almost 60 years ago, we have grown to a team of several hundred people, with offices throughout the region. During that time, we have worked on many cases that have broken new ground.

We concentrate our energies on a unique part of the world: the complex, fast-moving markets of the CEE/SEE region. This is a fascinating area, influenced by a variety of cultural, political and economic trends. We enjoy analysing and reflecting on those changes, drawing on our experiences, and working on a wide range of domestic and cross-border cases.


This 2017 Wolf Theiss Guide to Restructuring Loans and Enforcement of Security is intended as a practical guide to the general principles and features of restructuring loans and insolvency proceedings in the countries included in the publication.

While every effort has been made to ensure that the country reports are accurate as at the date stated on the publication, they should be used as a general reference guide only and should not be relied upon as de nitive legal advice. In the rapidly changing CEE/SEE jurisdictions, the laws and regulations are frequently revised, either by amended legislation or by administrative interpretation.

Status of information: Current as of November 2016

Conception, design, and editing:

WOLF THEISS Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG, Attorneys-at-Law Schubertring 6, 1010 Vienna, Austria

© 2017 WOLF THEISS Rechtsanwälte GmbH & Co KG. All Rights Reserved.


The most important lessons learned since the collapse of Lehman Brothers are that no bank is too big to fail and that national banking systems are ill-equipped to deal with a truly global financial market. In Central and Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CEE/SEE), the financial markets that were dominated by Austrian banks experienced unprecedented growth up until 2008. Since then, we have seen bank nationalisations (Kommunalkredit, HYPO GROUP ALPE ADRIA AG), state rescue packages amounting to hundreds of billions of euros, and cross-border loan lending (i.e. new lending without state or EBRD/EIB support) coming to an abrupt halt only to resume to some extent relatively recently.

In such times business relationships are stress-tested and lenders in many instances still face defaulted borrowers all over the region. Not surprisingly, the focus of a law firm committed to the CEE/SEE region shifts towards litigation, representation of creditors in insolvency proceedings, consensual restructuring, enforcement of security interests and the sale of non-performing loans. Accordingly, Wolf Theiss has been advising clients coming from all sides of the spectrum in relation to big ticket restructuring and NPL work, including the legal advice provided to a group of Austrian lenders in one of the largest restructurings in the CEE/SEE involving a bankrupt Slovenian state holding company. We also advised a leading Austrian bank in connection with the enforcement proceedings and the auctioning of real estate in Hungary and Bosnia as well as supporting an Austrian bank in respect of an NPL portfolio in the Ukraine, just to name a few from our recent experience.

Some of the lessons learned on a CEE/SEE level were:

-CEE/SEE is far from being a homogenous region where the “one size fits all” approach would work;

-Banks have been reliable partners in the region, working on solutions with borrowers where there is a business case for recovery provided the proper legal advice has been sought to set up the right structure and a proper balance has been found in respect of the interests of all stakeholders.

It is the responsibility of advisors (tax, accounting or legal) to ensure that viable solutions are found in a challenging legal environment such as in the CEE/SEE region: Wolf Theiss is committed and has proven to be such a reliable partner for our clients.

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