Interview with Dr. Bettina Hörtner, attorney at law, specialised on financial market regulatory matters.

Interview with Dr. Bettina Hörtner, attorney at law, specialised on financial market regulatory matters.

The regulatory demands on the financial market keeps growing. Dr Bettina Hörtner advises companies in the financial market on regulatory matters with her highly specialized boutique law firm.

Dr. Bettina Hörtner Dr Hörtner, you have been ranked in Chambers / Austria in your specialist area of Banking & Finance Regulatory every year since 2015. Does your positioning at Chambers help you in your everyday professional life?

Dr Bettina Hörtner: The ranking is very important for foreign mandates. I can use the rankings to provide proof of quality that goes beyond personal references. Have you ever won or retained a mandate as a result of your Chambers ranking?

Dr Bettina Hörtner: Yes, I have noticed that especially in combination with my LinkedIn profile. If someone doesn’t know you, then a ranking helps a lot. That’s also true, even when it comes to personal recommendations. People find it easier to recommend someone they know personally, because a ranking supports their decision if something goes wrong.

Larger banking institutions then like to say “not only is she qualified, but she is also ranked”. Rankings are a very valuable add-on here. Do you see any other law firms of your size in your niche that are ranked?

Dr Bettina Hörtner: I do not know of any other individual lawyer who is ranked in my area of law. I know a few in my firm size and in my area of law who would be eligible for a ranking, but they are already past the age limit. They are at elder statesmen level and are already looking more towards retirement. To what do you attribute the success of your ranking at Chambers?

Dr Bettina Hörtner: On the one hand, I got competent external help, the firm Law Business has been assisting me since 2015. My firm was included in the ranking the first time I entered – that is very rare, especially for individual lawyers.

On the other hand, you have to take a submission really seriously and cooperate accordingly, i.e. a submission is also effort. As with client services, as a small unit, you have to deliver the quality of a large law firm. What are the current requirements in the area of Banking & Finance Regulatory?

Dr Bettina Hörtner: The regulatory requirements are increasing, but the clients’ budgets are not. For me as an individual lawyer, this has the advantage of having the combination of a lean cost structure and a high quality of work – the latter of course, is the most important thing. If the quality is not right, there is no need to talk about costs.

As a client, I would watch price dumping by law firms in my field very carefully, because we are talking about liability and administrative penalties if banks do not comply with regulatory requirements. Here, bad advice for the client, which the client follows, can quickly have serious consequences. What new regulatory requirements can banks expect in the future?

Dr Bettina Hörtner: There will be a binding regulation on money laundering and due diligence obligations for the first time at the EU level in 2026, drafts of which are already available. Here, the requirements for banks will once again increase significantly. Because there is very little leeway in the implementation of this regulation due to EU law. What exactly will come here is currently being coordinated in a working group in Brussels. Thank you for the interview!

The interview was conducted by Law Firm Rankings Report Chief Editor and Law Business – Business Consulting for Law Firms Managing Partner Alexander Gendlin.

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