You have been with RPCK for over 10 years now – could you imagine back then that it would be such a successful journey?
I was confident from the beginning that it would be a great journey. When I started, the Vienna team consisted of only one attorney, Keyvan Rastegar, me as an associate and two paralegals. Hence, I was able to experience the growth of the firm from the very beginning. Looking back, it was also extremely exciting for me to follow the development of the matters and the clients, which I was able to help shape from the very beginning. Now I am happy that the journey with RPCK has been so long and successful and I am excited for what is yet to come.
What is the best advice you could give to someone who has just started their career?
Always stay curious: about the next client, the next matter, the solution to the next legal question or the challenges of the next transaction. Curiosity is a very big motivator to keep learning. Especially as an attorney, it is part of the profession to keep learning, or it should be if you want to excel at it. This is also accompanied by a willingness and readiness to take on new challenges and venture into new territory – whether it’s a new area of law, legal questions that you’ve never asked yourself before or that you’ve only ever answered superficially, or even new types of contracts where you have the chance to help define them. Curiosity also leads you to get to the heart of the matter .
Your transaction list is pretty impressive, from 9-figure M&A and private equity transactions, big corporate litigation, from successful Austrian Supreme Civil Court and Supreme Administrative Court decisions, to start-up and venture capital matters. Which transactions do you remember best?
I still have fond memories of many matters, because each one was special in its own right – usually either the people involved, the legal issues to be resolved or the size of the transaction itself. Particularly exciting were the transactions where we were able to “transplant” our US know-how to Austria and thus contributed to the legal development in Austria.
However, I will probably always remember the one client who was defrauded in his investment in several real estate companies. We fought for access to all accounting documents of the companies and then forensically analyzed the payment flows over the last years. Through numerous civil and insolvency proceedings, we were able to bring to light the extent of the fraud and bring the persons involved to justice, both under civil and criminal law. In addition, after many rounds of negotiations with banks and the Austrian Financial Procurator’s Office, we were able to minimize the damage to our client and ultimately even achieve profits. All in all, we worked on this over several years and legal fields. In retrospect, this matter was both extremely exciting and challenging from a legal point of view and also required us to guide our client through these high seas on a personal level.
What’s the most exciting thing you’re working on right now?
“The most exciting thing” is very hard to pin down for me, because I find so many of the matters we do exciting – either from a legal or personal perspective. For me, variety is particularly important, meaning that I don’t just work on one thing, but on a variety, for example, on a SAFE, followed by an M&A deal, and drafting a brief for a court case. The interesting thing is that completely different questions often “cross-fertilize” each other, i.e. that a problem that has been solved in one case provides ideas for other questions in another case. Currently, we structure a real estate deal and received special tax input from a tax advisor. This know-how could be directly used in a different court proceeding, which was about completely different issue, as they provide us with additional arguments.
What are you looking forward to in your future?
There are always changes in the law or s in case law that make it possible or necessary to change entrenched structures and thereby – hopefully – improve them. For example, exciting changes in corporate law are currently on the horizon, such as the creation of a new corporate form, the flexible company (FlexCo), where Keyvan Rastegar played a key role in the legislation process. I am looking forward to the hopefully soon implementation and how our clients will accept this new corporate form and how it will help our clients in their business growth and development. I am excited to be involved in the further development of the practice that will be created as a result. This is just one example of the areas of law in which RPCK is active and where changes are looming. I also look forward to seeing and contributing to RPCK’s future developments. I hope that RPCK continues to grow as steadily and organically, and that we continue to excel at what we do.
View Raphaela’s Profile here.