Portrait of Bernt Elsner

Bernt Elsner

Partner

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz
Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Gauermanngasse 2
1010 Vienna
Austria
Languages English, German
Competition & EU

Bernt Elsner is a leading expert in the fields of EU competition/antitrust lawpublic procurement law and public law. He was Managing Partner at CMS from 2004 to 2010. He has more than 24 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

Elsner advises and represents national and international companies in national and European merger control proceedings, especially cross-border mergers, advises on horizontal antitrust law, especially in the area of bidding cartels, vertical distribution structures, abuse control and state aid law. Here's what he hopes to achieve in the antitrust department: “I want to position CMS as the first port of call for companies seeking comprehensive top advice in merger and antitrust proceedings in multiple European jurisdictions.”

Explaining CMS's biggest asset, he says: “The CMS network offers access to more than 150 antitrust experts in 27 countries and thus significantly greater coverage in Europe than any of our competitors. This is particularly important in the case of house searches, because we can support our clients on site at very short notice thanks to our numerous locations.”
 

more less

The ‘very fast’, ‘precise’ and ‘pragmatic’ Bernt Elsner heads the team.

Legal 500 2016

Who’s Who Legal describes him as a “sensational lawyer” combining “in-depth knowledge with commercial acumen”.

Who's Who Legal 2015

Memberships & Roles

Bernt Elsner is head of the global CMS Public Procurement Practice Group. In this role, he leads an international team of more than 150 procurement law experts working in 50 offices in 36 countries. He also heads the Austrian practice groups for public procurement law, EU competition law and public law.

  • Vienna Bar Association
  • Antitrust Law Study Association
  • Austrian Society for Building Law and Construction (ÖGEBAU)
more less

Awards & Rankings

  • Band 1 in Chambers Europe Ranking 2022: “Excellent practitioner Bernt Elsner is well placed to handle complex procurement and tender procedures while also regularly handling review proceedings. He is also sought after for his cross-border capabilities.”
  • Legal 500 lists him as a “leading individual” in Band 1 (2020, 2021) and describes him as a “very professional and knowledgeable lawyer”, with “excellent understanding in procedural and legal matters” (2021).
  • Chambers & Partners invariably list Bernt Elsner in Band 1, calling him a “brilliant procurement lawyer” (2014) who “remains calm in the face of the storm and focused on the really important issues” (2020).
  • IFLR has awarded him “market leader” in the field of energy and infrastructure (2018, 2019), Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year for European Law” (2019).
more less

Publications

Bernt Elsner is the author of six specialist books on public procurement law and numerous book contributions and essays, as well as being co-editor of the Zeitschrift für Vergaberecht und Bauvertragsrecht (Journal for Public Procurement Law and Construction Contract Law), the leading Austrian journal on public procurement law.

“Public procurement law is exciting because it places in tension EU law and national law, public and private law, federal and state law, as well as law, technical planning and operational costing. The complexity of large procurement procedures requires a respectful exchange between different professional disciplines, which requires many years of industry experience.”

  • Elsner/Zandler/Scharf, The Private Competition Enforcement Review: Austria, in Knable Gotts/Schwartz (eds.), The Private Competition Enforcement Review13 (2022).
  • Elsner/Zandler/Horaceck, Chapter 3: Austria, in Dolmans/Mostyn (eds), The Dominance and Monopolies Review8 (2020) 30.
  • Publisher of the CMS Public Procurement Guide (updated 2019).
  • Vergaberecht, in Bergthaler/Grabenwarter (eds.), Musterhandbuch Öffentliches Recht2 (2014).
  • Federal Procurement Act3 (Manz, 2010)
  • Co-editor of the Journal of Procurement Law and Construction Contract Law (since 2001).
  • The new ÖNORM A 2050 (Linde, 2000).
more less

Lectures list

Bernt Elsner is an active lecturer on public procurement law topics, at the University of Vienna, at numerous public procurement law conferences and seminars. He was the technical director of the MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law 2019.

  • Annual guest lecturer at the University of Vienna on public procurement law.
  • Expert leader of the annual CMS Public Procurement Forum.
  • Technical Director of the MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law (2019).
  • Regular speaker at Business Circle's annual conference “Vergabeforum”.
  • Regular speaker at ARS and IMH seminars on public procurement law, competition law and compliance issues.
more less

Education

  • 1996 - Admitted to the Austrian Bar
  • 1993 - Mag. rer. soc. oec., Business Administration, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
  • 1991 - Dr. iur., Law, University of Vienna
  • 1989 - Mag. iur., Law, University of Vienna
more less
Public Procurement

Bernt Elsner is a partner and head of the CMS-wide Public Procurement Law Practice Group. He is a leading expert in the fields of public procurement law, EU competition/antitrust law and public law. He was Managing Partner at CMS from 2004 to 2010. He has more than 24 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

Elsner is one of Austria’s leading experts in the dynamic and constantly changing field of public procurement law. His publications and lectures have had a decisive influence on Austrian public procurement law.

Bernt Elsner defines his goals as head of the global CMS Public Procurement practice group as follows: “I want to position CMS as the first port of call for companies seeking comprehensive top advice for tenders in several European jurisdictions.”

“The aim of public procurement law is to provide fair rules for competition that allow contracting authorities to identify the offer with the best value for money. The best solution is the right combination of whole life costs, environmental impact and a sustainable outcome for future generations.”

Elsner advises public contracting authorities on the structuring of complex tenders, advises bidders on their participation in procurement procedures, especially public-private partnerships (PPP projects), and represents them in procurement law disputes. He has extensive experience in tender-related compliance issues. He also has in-depth experience in the construction and infrastructure sectors, healthcare, and the financial, energy and climate change sectors.

Elsner studied law at the University of Vienna and business administration at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. In 1993/94 he worked as a research assistant at the Austrian Constitutional Court for the constitutional judges Prof. Dr. Karl Spielbüchler and Prof. Dr. Karl Korinek. In 1997, he practised European competition law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton in Brussels. 

more less

"Very experienced player in procurement" Bernt Elsner is a top-level lawyer, praised by sources for his "comprehensive know-how and experience in procurement law."

Chambers Europe, 2017

"Bernt Elsner is highly qualified and knowledgeable in all public procurement matters. But further to that, he has an excellent understanding of legal procedures.”

Legal 500 (2021)

Bernt Elsner commands great respect among peers, with one source describing him as "the doyen of the public procurement scene." Clients observe that he is "well prepared and knows the details," and that he is "very good in negotiations."

Chambers Europe 2016

Memberships & Roles

Bernt Elsner is head of the global CMS Public Procurement Practice Group. In this role, he leads an international team of more than 150 procurement law experts working in 50 offices in 36 countries. He also heads the Austrian practice groups for public procurement law, EU competition law and public law.

  • Vienna Bar Association
  • Antitrust Law Study Association
  • Austrian Society for Building Law and Construction (ÖGEBAU)
more less

Awards & Rankings

  • Band 1 in Chambers Europe Ranking 2022: “Excellent practitioner Bernt Elsner is well placed to handle complex procurement and tender procedures while also regularly handling review proceedings. He is also sought after for his cross-border capabilities.”
  • Legal 500 lists him as a “leading individual” in Band 1 (2020, 2021) and describes him as a “very professional and knowledgeable lawyer”, with “excellent understanding in procedural and legal matters” (2021).
  • Chambers & Partners invariably list Bernt Elsner in Band 1, calling him a “brilliant procurement lawyer” (2014) who “remains calm in the face of the storm and focused on the really important issues” (2020).
  • IFLR has awarded him “market leader” in the field of energy and infrastructure (2018, 2019), Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year for European Law” (2019).
more less

Publications

Bernt Elsner is the author of six specialist books on public procurement law and numerous book contributions and essays, as well as being co-editor of the Zeitschrift für Vergaberecht und Bauvertragsrecht (Journal for Public Procurement Law and Construction Contract Law), the leading Austrian journal on public procurement law.

“Public procurement law is exciting because it places in tension EU law and national law, public and private law, federal and state law, as well as law, technical planning and operational costing. The complexity of large procurement procedures requires a respectful exchange between different professional disciplines, which requires many years of industry experience.”

  • Elsner/Zandler/Scharf, The Private Competition Enforcement Review: Austria, in Knable Gotts/Schwartz (eds.), The Private Competition Enforcement Review13 (2022).
  • Elsner/Zandler/Horaceck, Chapter 3: Austria, in Dolmans/Mostyn (eds), The Dominance and Monopolies Review8 (2020) 30.
  • Publisher of the CMS Public Procurement Guide (updated 2019).
  • Vergaberecht, in Bergthaler/Grabenwarter (eds.), Musterhandbuch Öffentliches Recht2 (2014).
  • Federal Procurement Act3 (Manz, 2010)
  • Co-editor of the Journal of Procurement Law and Construction Contract Law (since 2001).
  • The new ÖNORM A 2050 (Linde, 2000).
more less

Lectures list

Bernt Elsner is an active lecturer on public procurement law topics, at the University of Vienna, at numerous public procurement law conferences and seminars. He was the technical director of the MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law 2019.

  • Annual guest lecturer at the University of Vienna on public procurement law.
  • Expert leader of the annual CMS Public Procurement Forum.
  • Technical Director of the MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law (2019).
  • Regular speaker at Business Circle's annual conference “Vergabeforum”.
  • Regular speaker at ARS and IMH seminars on public procurement law, competition law and compliance issues.
more less

Education

  • 1996 - Admitted to the Austrian Bar
  • 1993 - Mag. rer. soc. oec., Business Administration, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
  • 1991 - Dr. iur., Law, University of Vienna
  • 1989 - Mag. iur., Law, University of Vienna
more less
Public Law

Bernt Elsner is a leading expert in public law, public procurement law and EU competition/antitrust law. He was Managing Partner at CMS from 2004 to 2010. He has more than 24 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

As a former research assistant at the Austrian Constitutional Court, he has specific experience and expertise in public law matters. He represents clients before various authorities, the Federal and Provincial Administrative Courts, the Constitutional Court, the Administrative Court and the European Courts.

more less

Practice head Bernt Elsner is ‘a skilled negotiator’ and ‘adaptable’

Legal 500, 2017

Memberships & Roles

Bernt Elsner is head of the global CMS Public Procurement Practice Group. In this role, he leads an international team of more than 150 procurement law experts working in 50 offices in 36 countries. He also heads the Austrian practice groups for public procurement law, EU competition law and public law.

  • Vienna Bar Association
  • Antitrust Law Study Association
  • Austrian Society for Building Law and Construction (ÖGEBAU)
more less

Awards & Rankings

  • Band 1 in Chambers Europe Ranking 2022: “Excellent practitioner Bernt Elsner is well placed to handle complex procurement and tender procedures while also regularly handling review proceedings. He is also sought after for his cross-border capabilities.”
  • Legal 500 lists him as a “leading individual” in Band 1 (2020, 2021) and describes him as a “very professional and knowledgeable lawyer”, with “excellent understanding in procedural and legal matters” (2021).
  • Chambers & Partners invariably list Bernt Elsner in Band 1, calling him a “brilliant procurement lawyer” (2014) who “remains calm in the face of the storm and focused on the really important issues” (2020).
  • IFLR has awarded him “market leader” in the field of energy and infrastructure (2018, 2019), Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year for European Law” (2019).
more less

Publications

Bernt Elsner is the author of six specialist books on public procurement law and numerous book contributions and essays, as well as being co-editor of the Zeitschrift für Vergaberecht und Bauvertragsrecht (Journal for Public Procurement Law and Construction Contract Law), the leading Austrian journal on public procurement law.

“Public procurement law is exciting because it places in tension EU law and national law, public and private law, federal and state law, as well as law, technical planning and operational costing. The complexity of large procurement procedures requires a respectful exchange between different professional disciplines, which requires many years of industry experience.”

  • Elsner/Zandler/Scharf, The Private Competition Enforcement Review: Austria, in Knable Gotts/Schwartz (eds.), The Private Competition Enforcement Review13 (2022).
  • Elsner/Zandler/Horaceck, Chapter 3: Austria, in Dolmans/Mostyn (eds), The Dominance and Monopolies Review8 (2020) 30.
  • Publisher of the CMS Public Procurement Guide (updated 2019).
  • Vergaberecht, in Bergthaler/Grabenwarter (eds.), Musterhandbuch Öffentliches Recht2 (2014).
  • Federal Procurement Act3 (Manz, 2010)
  • Co-editor of the Journal of Procurement Law and Construction Contract Law (since 2001).
  • The new ÖNORM A 2050 (Linde, 2000).
more less

Lectures list

Bernt Elsner is an active lecturer on public procurement law topics, at the University of Vienna, at numerous public procurement law conferences and seminars. He was the technical director of the MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law 2019.

  • Annual guest lecturer at the University of Vienna on public procurement law.
  • Expert leader of the annual CMS Public Procurement Forum.
  • Technical Director of the MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law (2019).
  • Regular speaker at Business Circle's annual conference “Vergabeforum”.
  • Regular speaker at ARS and IMH seminars on public procurement law, competition law and compliance issues.
more less

Education

  • 1996 - Admitted to the Austrian Bar
  • 1993 - Mag. rer. soc. oec., Business Administration, Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
  • 1991 - Dr. iur., Law, University of Vienna
  • 1989 - Mag. iur., Law, University of Vienna
more less
12/05/2022
10 key as­pects of the re­vised EU com­pet­i­tion law in the field of dis­tri­bu­tion...
The new Ver­tic­al Block Ex­emp­tion Reg­u­la­tion (VBER) and the new ac­com­pa­ny­ing Ver­tic­al Guidelines (VGL) were pub­lished on 10 May 2022. The new VBER will enter in­to force on 1 June 2022 and ap­ply for the next twelve years. The new VBER/VGL in­tro­duce sev
CMS Ver­gabeportal

Feed

12/09/2022
CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment Con­tact Card
World-class pub­lic pro­cure­ment spe­cial­ists The qual­ity of pub­lic ser­vices is in­creas­ingly de­term­ined by world-class skills in pub­lic pro­cure­ment. The pro­cure­ment re­gime ap­plies not only to the pub­lic...
26/08/2022
Pub­lic pro­cure­ment reg­u­la­tion in Aus­tria
Ju­ly 2021 1. Where can one find pub­lic pro­cure­ment no­ti­fic­a­tions? As of 1 March 2019 an­nounce­ments and no­ti­fic­a­tions for Aus­tria have to be pub­lished un­der the link ht­tps://aus­s­chreibun­gen.usp.gv.at/at.gv.bm­dw.eproc-p/pub­lic...
22/09/2022
8th CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment For­um
We are de­lighted to an­nounce that the 8th CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment For­um will take place in Oslo on Thursday, 22 Septem­ber 2022 from 12:45 - 17:30 p.m. CET provid­ing an up­date on European pub­lic pro­cure­ment law.The pro­gramme will cov­er policy de­vel­op­ments in the EU and re­cent and im­port­ant de­cisions from the ECJ with high rel­ev­ance in prac­tice. In the second part of the event, we in­vite you to a com­par­at­ive view shar­ing ex­per­i­ences from sev­er­al jur­is­dic­tions on two top­ics with prac­tic­al rel­ev­ance:decim­al­possible dam­ages claims an­dtime lim­its and cut off for claims.The con­fer­ence will be held in Eng­lish and free of charge. There will be the pos­sib­il­ity to par­ti­cip­ate re­motely for any­one in­ter­ested in these top­ics, but un­able to at­tend in per­son. 
09/12/2021
CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment For­um
Pub­lic pro­cure­ment on the move to eco­lo­gic­al trans­ition We are de­lighted to an­nounce that the 7th CMS Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment For­um will take place in Par­is on Thursday, 9 Decem­ber 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to...
09/07/2021
CMS launches glob­al PP Rem­ed­ies Tool­box
CMS launches in­ter­act­ive on­line tool for pub­lic pro­cure­ment rem­ed­ies CMS launches its glob­al PP Rem­ed­ies Tool­box, an in­ter­act­ive on­line tool cov­er­ing around 16 coun­tries on 3 con­tin­ents.The tool cov­ers...
26/03/2021
Bid rig­ging in pro­cure­ment pro­ced­ures
The European Com­mis­sion (“Com­mis­sion”) has pub­lished a No­tice about deal­ing with agree­ments aimed at dis­tort­ing com­pet­i­tion. The Com­mi­s­ion­s' "No­tice on tools to fight col­lu­sion in pub­lic pro­cure­ment...
10/09/2020
We­bin­ar: What EU policy means for hy­dro­gen pro­jects
Has the time come for em­bra­cing the role that hy­dro­gen will play in the net-zero fu­ture? Gov­ern­ments and policy makers around the world are ramp­ing up ef­forts to bring for­ward policies that will fa­cil­it­ate...
13/07/2020
An­ti­trust law and le­gis­la­tion in Aus­tria dur­ing Cov­id-19
1. In­tro­duc­tion The COV­ID-19 crisis does not stop at an­ti­trust law. In a joint state­ment dated 23 March 2020, the European Com­pet­i­tion Net­work (“ECN”), which en­com­passes the na­tion­al com­pet­i­tion...
Comparable
10/04/2020
Im­pact of COV­ID-19 on Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment
The COV­ID-19 crisis is hav­ing a ser­i­ous im­pact on the eco­nomy and busi­nesses. In these cir­cum­stances, pub­lic pro­cure­ment can be of even great­er im­port­ance than usu­al and vari­ous ques­tions arise, such...
21/04/2020
CMS We­bin­ar: COV­ID-19 im­pact on Pub­lic Pro­cure­ment
The COV­ID-19 crisis is hav­ing a ser­i­ous im­pact on the eco­nomy and busi­nesses. In this situ­ation, pub­lic pro­cure­ment can be of even more im­port­ance than usu­al. In this one-hour we­bin­ar, to­geth­er with...
03/06/2020
CJEU Case law We­bin­ar
If you are in­ter­ested in CJEU case law re­lated to pub­lic pro­cure­ment mat­ters, you may find it worth your while to at­tend the we­bin­ar that will cov­er the three most in­ter­est­ing de­cisions of 2019. Bernt...
01/04/2020
Guid­ance for pub­lic pro­cure­ment pro­ced­ures in Aus­tria dur­ing the COV­ID-19...
Spe­cif­ic amend­ments to the leg­al pro­vi­sions re­gard­ing pub­lic pro­cure­ment law have not been is­sued yet.1 Nev­er­the­less, the cur­rent situ­ation af­fects pub­lic pro­cure­ment. On­go­ing pub­lic pro­cure­ment pro­ced­ures...