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Legal market overview
Switzerland’s legal hubs are Geneva and Zurich, with Zurich housing the largest number of law firms. Basel, Bern, Lugano and Lausanne are also key legal centres, albeit smaller.
Significantly, the cultural and legal differences between Francophone and German-speaking cantons (Swiss regional authorities) dictate that many firms have offices throughout the country, rather than relying on one national headquarters.
Lenz & Staehelin has a strong presence in both Geneva and Zurich, and Bär & Karrer AG, Baker & McKenzie, Homburger, Schellenberg Wittmer, and Niederer Kraft & Frey AG also have strong capability nationwide.
The traditional stability enjoyed by the Swiss legal market has been rocked in recent years and the headline of 2012 was the March merger between Geneva’s Lachenal & Le Fort and Zurich’s Meyerlustenberger to form Meyerlustenberger Lachenal, which is now well positioned to cover the whole of Switzerland. In January 2012, BCCC Attorneys-at-law LLC saw the departure of former head of TMT Michel Jaccard, who established new firm id est avocats sàrl.