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Bernt Elsner

Partner
Global head of the CMS Public Procurement Group

CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz
Rechtsanwälte GmbH
Gauermanngasse 2
1010 Vienna
Austria
Languages English, German
Public Law

Specialisation in public law

Bernt Elsner is partner and leading expert in the fields of public procurement, antitrust and public law.  He heads the Austrian practice for public law and is global head of the CMS Public Procurement Practice Group.

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

Bernt 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. From 2004 to 2010 he was Managing Partner of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. He has more than 23 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

Industries

Bernt Elsner has extensive industry experience in construction and infrastructure, healthcare, finance, energy and waste management.

Lectures and publications

Bernt Elsner is an active lecturer on state aid law and public law topics at numerous conferences and seminars. He is the author of numerous specialist books, book contributions and essays on public procurement and public law topics.

Ranking

Chambers & Partners place Bernt Elsner unanimously in Band 1, describing him as a “brilliant public procurement lawyer” (2014), Legal500 note he is “very fast, precise and pragmatic” (2016). Who’sWhoLegal describes him as a “sensational lawyer” who combines “deep expertise with business competence” (2015). IFLR has named him “Market Leader” (2019) in the field of energy and infrastructure, Best Lawyers named him “Lawyer of the Year in European Law” (2019).

Roles

Bernt Elsner heads the Austrian practice group for Public Law, antitrust and public procurement. He is global head of the CMS Public Procurement Practice Group.

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

Legal 500, 2017

Education

  • 1996 - Admission to the bar (Vienna, Austria)
  • 1993 - Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Mag. rer. soc. oec.)
  • 1991 - University of Vienna, Dr. iur.
  • 1989 - University of Vienna, Mag. iur.
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Memberships

  • Vienna Bar Association
  • Antitrust Lawyers’ Association (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht)
  • Society for Construction Law (Gesellschaft für Baurecht)
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Publications

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Lectures list

  • Business Circle, IMH and ARS seminars on public procurement, competition, state aid and compliance topics
  • Lectures at the conference "Procurement Forum"
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Public Procurement

Specialisation in public procurement

Bernt Elsner is partner and global head of the CMS Public Procurement Group. He is a leading expert in the fields of public procurement, antitrust and public law.

He 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. From 2004 to 2010 he was Managing Partner of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. He has more than 23 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

Bernt Elsner is one of the leading Austrian experts in the dynamic and constantly changing field of public procurement law. His numerous publications and lectures have had a significant impact on Austrian public procurement law.

He advises public entities on the structuring of complex tenders, advises bidders on their participation in award procedures, especially public-private partnerships (PPP projects), and frequently represents them in public procurement disputes. He has extensive experience in tender-relevant compliance issues.

Bernt Elsner defines his goals as head of the global CMS Public Procurement Practice Group as follows: “I would like to position CMS as the first point of contact for companies seeking comprehensive top-level advice in tenders across several European jurisdictions."

“The aim of public procurement law is to ensure fair rules of the game for all competitors, enabling public authorities to identify the tender offering the best value for money. The best solution is the right combination of total ownership cost, environmental impact and a sustainable outcome in the interest of future generations.”

Industries

Bernt Elsner has extensive industry experience in construction and infrastructure, healthcare, finance, energy and waste management.

Lecturing

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

Publications and articles

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

“Public procurement law is exciting because it lies in the field of tension between European Union law and national law, public and private law, federal and regional law as well as between law, technical planning and operational calculation. The complexity of large tendering procedures requires a respectful exchange between different professional disciplines, which requires many years of experience in the sector.”

Ranking

Chambers & Partners place Bernt Elsner unanimously in Band 1, describing him as a “brilliant public procurement lawyer” (2014), Legal500 note he is “very fast, precise and pragmatic” (2016). Who’sWhoLegal describes him as a “sensational lawyer” who combines “deep expertise with business competence” (2015). IFLR has named him “Market Leader” (2019) in the field of energy and infrastructure, Best Lawyers named him “Lawyer of the Year in European Law” (2019).

Roles

Bernt Elsner is global head of the CMS Public Procurement Practice Group. In this role, he leads an international team of more than 150 public procurement experts working at 50 locations in 40 countries. He also leads the Austrian teams for public procurement, EU competition and public law.

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"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 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

Education

  • 1996 - Admission to the bar (Vienna, Austria)
  • 1993 - Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Mag. rer. soc. oec.
  • 1991 - University of Vienna, Dr. iur.
  • 1989 - University of Vienna, Mag. iur.
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Memberships

  • Vienna Bar Association
  • Antitrust Lawyers’ Association (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht)
  • Society for Construction Law (Gesellschaft für Baurecht)
more less

Publications

more less

Lectures list

  • Business Circle, IMH and ARS seminars on public procurement, competition and compliance topics
  • Lectures at the conference "Procurement Forum"
  • MANZ Annual Conference on Public Procurement Law 2019
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Competition & EU

Specialisation in EU competition/antitrust

Bernt Elsner is partner and leading expert in the fields of public procurement, antitrust and public law. He heads the Austrian practice for EU competition/antitrust, is a member of the management team of the international CMS Competition & EU Practice Group and global head of the CMS Public Procurement Practice Group.

He 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. From 2004 to 2010 he was Managing Partner of CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz. He has more than 23 years of professional experience in Vienna and Brussels.

He advises and represents national and international companies in national and European merger control proceedings, especially in cross-border mergers, on horizontal antitrust law, especially in the area of submission cartels, vertical distribution structures, abuse control and state aid law.

In the area of antitrust law, he would like to achieve the following: “I would like to position CMS as the first point of contact for companies seeking comprehensive top-level service in merger and antitrust proceedings across several European jurisdictions.”

He explains the CMS’s largest asset as follows: “The CMS network offers access to more than 140 antitrust experts in 27 countries, providing significantly greater coverage in Europe than any of our competitors. This is particularly important for dawn raids, because we can support our clients on site at very short notice thanks to our numerous locations.”

Industries

Bernt Elsner has extensive industry experience in construction and infrastructure, healthcare, finance, energy and waste management.

Lecturing

Bernt Elsner is a frequent speaker on antitrust law compliance, preparation for dawn raids and state aid law at antitrust conferences, seminars and directly in companies.

Publications and articles

Bernt Elsner is the author of numerous specialist books, book contributions and essays on public procurement and competition law topics.

Ranking

Chambers & Partners place Bernt Elsner unanimously in Band 1, describing him as a “brilliant public procurement lawyer” (2014), Legal500 note he is “very fast, precise and pragmatic” (2016). Who’sWhoLegal describes him as a “sensational lawyer” who combines “deep expertise with business competence” (2015). IFLR has named him “Market Leader” (2019) in the field of energy and infrastructure, Best Lawyers named him “Lawyer of the Year in European Law” (2019).

Roles

Bernt Elsner heads the Austrian practice group for EU Competition covering antitrust law, merger control, abuse of market power, state aid and antitrust compliance. He is a member of the management team of the international CMS Competition & EU Practice Group and global head of the CMS Public Procurement Practice Group.

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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

Education

  • 1996 - Admission to the bar (Vienna, Austria)
  • 1993 - Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Mag. rer. soc. oec.
  • 1991 - University of Vienna, Dr. iur.
  • 1989 - University of Vienna, Mag. iur.
more less

Memberships

  • Vienna Bar Association
  • Antitrust Lawyers’ Association (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht)
  • Society for Construction Law (Gesellschaft für Baurecht)
more less

Publications

more less

Lectures list

  • Business Circle, IMH and ARS seminars on public procurement, competition and compliance topics
  • Lectures at the conference "Procurement Forum"
more less
CMS Ver­gabeportal

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An­nu­al Re­view 2018 – 2019
Cross­ing bor­ders is both the theme of this year’s CMS An­nu­al Re­view and a guid­ing idea that we had when we es­tab­lished CMS 20 years ago. At that time, we de­cided to cre­ate a high-qual­ity, ex­pert and mul­tijur­is­dic­tion­al law firm. This Re­view shows what we’ve achieved over the last year in pur­suit of this goal.Since 1999, work­ing across bor­ders has be­come a daily task for all our law­yers. We are one of the most in­ter­na­tion­al law firms, with more than 70 of­fices in over 40 coun­tries. Our 4,800 leg­al ex­perts world­wide work as one team across jur­is­dic­tions, prac­tice areas and sec­tors to en­sure that you get clear, ac­tion­able and busi­ness-fo­cused ad­vice. You can read about our mul­tijur­is­dic­tion­al sup­port for cli­ents in the stor­ies through­out this An­nu­al Re­view. For ex­ample: an in­ter­na­tion­al CMS team ad­vised Ad­vance / Ne­w­house Part­ner­ship on its pur­chase of Stage En­ter­tain­ment, one of the world’s largest theatre pro­du­cers and own­ers. Our law­yers spe­cial­ising in cor­por­ate, me­dia, real es­tate, tax, em­ploy­ment, IP, com­pet­i­tion and bank­ing all worked on the trans­ac­tion.Glob­al­isa­tion con­tin­ues to im­pact the busi­ness en­vir­on­ment pro­foundly, as do the key is­sues on the glob­al agenda such as the US trade talks with China, Brexit and the con­sequences of cli­mate change. With our glob­al firm struc­ture and mind­set, we help you an­ti­cip­ate the prob­lems you face in your daily op­er­a­tions. On page 28, you can read what some of our part­ners around the world have told us about the chal­lenges their cli­ents are cur­rently fa­cing.An­oth­er ma­jor factor shap­ing our daily work is the im­pact of tech­no­logy on all busi­nesses. This year, our an­nu­al event in Da­v­os on the oc­ca­sion of the World Eco­nom­ic For­um (see page 18) fo­cused on how in­creased di­git­al­isa­tion is af­fect­ing con­ven­tion­al busi­ness mod­els.Today, in­tro­du­cing more ad­vanced tech­no­lo­gic­al tools in­to leg­al prac­tice is a must in or­der to meet cli­ents’ qual­ity and ef­fi­ciency ex­pect­a­tions. For CMS, it is about more than just us­ing ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence soft­ware or di­git­al tools. To us, in­nov­a­tion means de­vel­op­ing tech­no­logy to of­fer our cli­ents new high-qual­ity ser­vices and to provide new ways of de­liv­er­ing all our leg­al of­fer­ings. Our scale and pres­ence across many jur­is­dic­tions, coupled with our deep un­der­stand­ing of cli­ent needs in their loc­a­tions, means that we are very well qual­i­fied to de­vise such solu­tions. On page 16, some of our key in­nov­at­ors de­scribe the ways in which our tech­no­logy is be­ne­fit­ting cli­ents.I hope you find some in­ter­est­ing and thought-pro­vok­ing stor­ies in this year’s An­nu­al Re­view and wish you an en­joy­able read. My col­leagues in the CMS ex­ec­ut­ive team and I are al­ways happy to hear from you if you have any com­ments or ques­tions.Cor­neli­us Brandi, Ex­ec­ut­ive Chair­man
March 2019
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