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Legal market overview

The Swiss legal market is characterised by two important factors that also define Switzerland as a whole: stability and a decentralised structure. Zurich, the country’s largest city and location of the principal stock exchange, is home to the majority of leading banking and capital markets lawyers. It is located in Switzerland’s German-speaking region, in which Basel and the capital Bern are also significant legal centres.

Geneva, the country’s second largest city, with its many private banks and international organisations, is home to many leading banking and international arbitration lawyers. It is located in the French-speaking West, where Lausanne is another important legal centre. Also noteworthy is Lugano, the legal centre of the Italian-speaking region in the southeast.

Among the top seven law firms in Switzerland, only Bär & Karrer AG has a presence in all three language regions. Baker & McKenzie, Lenz & Staehelin and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd have offices in the German and the French-speaking parts, while Walder Wyss Ltd has a presence in the German and the Italian-speaking regions. Homburger and Niederer Kraft & Frey AG are based in Zurich only, but are nevertheless among the top law firms.

The stability of the Swiss legal market was rocked when most lawyers of Wenger Plattner’s Basel office left the firm to open a new office for Walder Wyss Ltd in August 2014.

Another challenge for Swiss traditions is the continuing international pressure to disclose information about bank accounts potentially used for tax evasion. Most prominent is the US Department of Justice Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss banks, but pressure from Germany and France is also increasing. This, however, has kept the country’s banking and tax lawyers very busy.

Firms in the spotlight

Bär & Karrer AG

Bär & Karrer is a leading Swiss law firm with more than 130 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. Our core business is advising our clients on innovative and complex transactions and representing them in litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings. Our clients range from multinational corporations to private individuals in Switzerland and around the world.

Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

Legal Developments in Switzerland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

Press Releases in Switzerland

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • 17 November 2015 - Bär & Karrer advises Valora on sale of Valora Trade to Aurelius

    Valora has signed an agreement to sell its trade division to Aurelius group, a German conglomerate which is specialized in the restructuring of companies. Valora Trade includes Valora's activities in the distribution of fast moving consumer goods in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The transaction is subject to approval by the competent merger control authorities.
  • 16 November 2015 - Bär & Karrer advises KKR on USD 50m investment in GetYourGuide

    KKR, a leading global investment firm, has signed an investment and share purchase agreement together with GetYourGuide's current investors as well as new investors to acquire a minority stake in GetYourGuide AG amounting to USD 50m. GetYourGuide is the world's largest online platform for tours, activities and attractions and offers over 28,800 activities in more than 2,500 destinations.
  • Niederer Kraft & Frey advises CITTTIC Industries AG in the acquisition of Schaltag Group from Rieter

    Niederer Kraft & Frey advises the CITTTIC Group, a group of companies specialized in the acquisition and development of European industrial companies, in the acquisition of Schaltag AG (Switzerland) and Schaltag s.r.o. (Czech Republic) from the Rieter Group. As leading company, the Schaltag Group provides comprehensive services in engineering, construction and manufacturing of machine and plant control systems, as well as electromechanical assembly groups. It has a workforce of approx. 250 employees in its two locations. The Parties agreed to keep the purchase price confidential.
  • Niederer Kraft & Frey advised in connection with Evolva Holding SA's rights offering

    Niederer Kraft & Frey advised Credit Suisse AG, as Lead Manager and Sole Bookrunner, Bank Vontobel AG, as Co-Manager, and Kepler Cheuvreux SA and Mirabaud Securities LLP (collectively, as Selling Agents) in connection with Evolva Holding SA's rights offering that launched on 3 September 2015. Existing shareholders were offered 62,412,477 new shares with a nominal value of CHF 0.20 each at a subscription price of CHF 0.92 per new registered share. The offering was fully underwritten by Credit Suisse AG and Bank Vontobel with gross proceeds of approximately CHF 57.4 million. The offering closed on 17 September 2015.
  • NKF advises Swiss Prime Site in connection with the Launch of the Swiss Prime Investment Foundation

    Niederer Kraft & Frey advises Swiss Prime Site in connection with its successful launch of the Swiss Prime Investment Foundation with a primary issuance of CHF 550 million. Notenstein acted as distribution agent. The proceeds of the offering are invested in a real estate portfolio by the Swiss Prime Investment Foundation. The setting up of the investment foundation comprised a regulatory product approval proceeding before the Occupational Pension Supervisory Commission (OPSC). In addition, NKF advised Swiss Prime Site with respect to obtaining an asset management license regarding real estate asset management for pension funds from OPSC.
  • NKF advices Orange Growth Capital in the Switzerland's largest FinTech start-up financing round

    Niederer Kraft & Frey advises Orange Growth Capital, a FinTech VC based in London and Amsterdam, in connection with Knip AG's (Zurich) recently closed financing round which is with CHF 15 million Switzerland's largest FinTech financing round for a start-up company so far. Knip AG is a mobile-first digital insurance broker enabling its users through an app to easily view and manage their insurance policies on their smartphone.
  • 28 October 2015 - Bär & Karrer Advises Tecan Group on its Acquisition of SIAS

    The SIX listed Tecan Group AG and the majority shareholders of Sias AG agreed to the acquisition of Sias AG by Tecan. Sias AG is a leading OEM supplier of a wide range of modular and complete laboratory automation solutions. Sias AG will become a part of Tecan's partnering business, leveraging Tecan's global sales infrastructure and after-sales support capabilities. Closing of the transaction is subject to certain conditions, including the timely transfer of a sufficient number of shares.
  • Bär & Karrer: 20 October 2015 - Ringier Acquires 60% Stake in My-Store

    Swiss media company Ringier AG has acquired a 60% stake in My-Store SA, Western Switzerland’s leading online outlet shop. The founders of My-Store SA will retain a minority stake of 40%. My-Store SA will be merged with DeinDeal AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ringier AG, in 2016.
  • Bär & Karrer: 17 September 2015 - Mobiliar to Acquire Trianon SA

    Mobiliar has signed an agreement to acquire Trianon SA. Trianon SA is a leading Swiss provider of occupational pension and HR solutions. The closing of the transaction is planned for the beginning of January 2016.
  • Bär & Karrer: 25 September 2015 - Appeal of Hatem Ben Arfa Dismissed

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the French football player Hatem Ben Arfa against a decision taken by the Single Judge of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee. Bär & Karrer partner Michele Bernasconi was among the three CAS arbitrators.