Bettina Knötzl, is a co-founder and partner at KNOETZL, a law firm rated in the top tier and based in Austria, which specializes in Litigation, Arbitration and Business Crime, and Vice-president of the Vienna Bar, the President of Transparency International, Austrian Chapter, and she chairs the Soupirium, Austria’s oldest lawyers‘ association, as the first woman at its helm in its more than 150 years history. In 2017, she received the worldwide recognition as “Lawyer of the Year” in Asset Recovery. She broke the “glass ceiling” at various levels, including with her unanimous election as first female equity partner in another international law firm, Wolf Theiss, where she advanced to partner in 1999 and chaired the Dispute Resolution Department for over a decade. Since then, Bettina has authored and spoken on the subject of gender diversity on countless occasions, including in 2013, “It’s a Man’s World” in Anwaltsblatt. She has driven initiatives such as a “Women Litigators’ breakfast”, a lasting feature of the annual conference of the International Bar Association, while co-chairing that organization’s Litigation Committee.
I have a dream for all lawyers in private practice and my dream encapsulates gender equality at all levels. It is important that we attract and retain female talent for higher positions in law firms. While it is completely standard in Austria to see an equal division of female and male lawyers in rank and file positions, it is a continuing struggle to maintain gender equality among the higher ranks. From my – employer’s and entrepreneur’s – standpoint it makes no sense to retain and promote only male talent. This should change, urgently. And, it is demonstrably possible. At KNOETZL, we maintain gender equality at every level. It has proven to be an undeniably, WIN WIN situation. I am committed to sharing my knowledge, of how this can be achieved with others, to the resounding benefit of all.