Name: Bernt Elsner
Firm Name: CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz
Jurisdiction: Austria
Practice Area: Antitrust Law

Telephone: +43 1 40443 1850
Fax: +43 1 40443 91850

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Professional Biography:

Leaders in Law endorses Bernt Elsner as our exclusively recommended Antitrust Law expert in Austria. If you wish to get in touch with Bernt please use the contact information provided above.

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


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 fur 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.”


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).


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.

Firm Description:

Are you a company operating in Austria or looking to do business abroad and are faced with a complex legal issue that cuts across national borders? CMS has 75 lawyers based in Vienna who are specialised in finding solutions for exactly these kinds of legal challenges.

Whatever your situation, we can help. Whether you need support with takeovers, disposals or cross-border restructurings, our experienced Corporate and M&A experts offer you not only legal advice but also support in transaction management. In the areas of financing and capital market emissions, we guide you in all legal and tax matters, both nationally and internationally. If you are involved in an arbitral conflict, our Dispute Resolution team develops the right tactics and strategy to help you navigate the process. With us, your real estate and construction project is in good hands during all phases thanks to our deep sector knowledge and technical expertise. As Austria’s leading labour law team, specialised in employment issues that matter most to your business, we can guide you through legal intricacies. Additionally, we provide advice in compliance and industrial property rights as well as tax, competition, public procurement and IT law.

Business does not stop at borders – and it should not be hindered by local legal particularities and cultural differences. Through the unique local presence of CMS in all key West European markets as well as in the CEE/SEE regions, you have us as an experienced partner to help with your particularly difficult legal and strategic challenges in cross-border activities. For more than 45 years, we have successfully been working on the advancement of legal frameworks for our clients. We view our expertise not as an end in itself, but as a tool to find solutions to your legal problems and help ensure the continuity and continued success of your business.