- How do the awards work?
- The Legal 500 United Kingdom Awards 2013
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - In-house winners
- The Legal 500 United States Awards 2014 - Law firm winners
- The Legal 500 Latin America Awards (coming soon)
- The Legal 500 Germany Awards (coming soon)
- Frequently asked questions
- Legal market overview
- Banking and finance
- Capital markets
- Dispute resolution
- EU, competition and WTO
- Insolvency and corporate recovery
- Intellectual property
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Private banking
- Public sector
- Real estate and construction
- Transport: aviation, maritime and rail
- Leading firms
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- Czech Republic
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- Faroe Islands
- Hong Kong
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- Latin America: International firms
- Netherlands Antilles
- New Zealand
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- Saint Martin
- Sao Tome E Principe
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
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- St Barts
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- United Kingdom
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
Legal market overview
Geneva and Zurich are the key legal centres of Switzerland, with Basel, Berne, Lugano and Lausanne also featuring prominently. Zurich, the country’s largest city and its financial centre, is home to the majority of leading banking and capital markets lawyers. Geneva, in the French-speaking west, is the location of choice for many international organisations for arbitration and litigation.
Switzerland’s banking and private client markets were rocked in August 2013 by a joint statement issued by the Swiss Federal Department of Finance and the US Department of Justice regarding a programme to encourage Swiss banks to co-operate in DoJ’s ongoing investigation into the use of foreign bank accounts for tax evasion.
Language barriers between the German-speaking east of the country, the Francophone west and the Italian-speaking area in the south shape the legal landscape, and mean that most of the national law firms have several offices across the different regions.
Geneva-based firm Lalive opened an office in Zurich and hired two well-known partners from Walder Wyss Ltd, while the latter firm opened a new office in Lugano. Both firms are part of a well-established group of national players which includes Baker & McKenzie, Bär & Karrer AG, Homburger, Lenz & Staehelin, Niederer Kraft & Frey AG and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd. CMS now has an office in Geneva as well as Zurich following its merger in January 2014 with ZPG Avocats.
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TTIP, the free trade agreement that is currently being negotiated between the United States and the European Union, if successfully concluded by both parties will create the single most important common market in the world where more than one third of the world economic output is already being produced in these two sovereign blocks. A possible establishment of such a significant common market with its specific emphasis on legal compliance across the Atlantic between these two jurisdictions, will inevitably have wider legal and economic consequences for several different business sectors. The issue has already been on the agenda for the American Defense industry which has been keeping a keen eye on the latest developments in the TTIP negotiations.
Background of the Reform
On March 3, 2013, the Swiss people voted in a nationwide ballot in favor of the so called “rip-off” initiative by the businessman-turned-politician Thomas Minder...
Dividing an estate can be - depending on its complexity and on the behavior of the heirs - quite complicated. Swiss Law gives a possibility to heirs and/or executors to call upon the State authorities to assist them in liquidating the deceased person's estate.
Foreign insolvency administrators facing the task of recovering assets located in Switzerland typically find themselves in an uncomfortable legal situation since:
Much importance is attached to the collaboration between the different communities in the Canton of Zurich. There is hardly any community today which, because of the number and complexity of their obligations, does not need to find it necessary to collaborate.
Inheritance contracts are only one possibility among many other matters to be kept in mind when trying to regulate one's own estate. Estate planning is, however, much more than just drawing up a will or setting up a trust or an inheritance contract. Estate planning has to be understood as an overall plan to regulate matters, while keeping in mind the possibility of retirement and the certainty of death with all appropriate consideration to the different areas of law. Following a decision recently published by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, this article tries to summarize the most important issues regarding inheritance contracts under Swiss law in an international environment.
The Swiss Federal Patent Court has recently issued a decision of relevance regarding provisional measures relating to patents. It specifies that, at least in the field of intellectual property – not only patents –, a preliminary injunction may not be obtained in order to ascertain rights on intellectual property.
Am 1. Januar 2013 treten die neuen Verjährungsfristen für die Gewährleistung im Kauf und werkvertragsrecht in Kraft.
Am 1.1.2013 wird das Börsenrecht verschärft. Die Kontrollprämie bei öffentlichen Übernahmen wird abgeschafft, das Insiderrecht wird ausgedehnt und die FINMA erhält mehr Kompetenzen. ...
Under pressure from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), states known for their investors-friendly tax systems (so called ‘tax havens') for some years have been concluding tax information exchange agreements enabling, in some circumstances, access to information of substantial significance for tax basis, assessment and collection. Poland for instance concluded such agreements with Andorra, Belize, Bahamas, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guernsey, Cayman Islands, Liberia, San Marino and Isle of Man.
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO has decided to terminate its extensive investigation proceedings conducted against a Swiss entity with major global operations for an alleged circumvention of sanctions without taking any action. In a case with an extremely complex and intertwined factual set up taking place in several different countries, the Swiss entity, represented by NKF, succeeded in demonstrating to the authorities that the alleged misconduct lacked any basis and that, in particular, most of the alleged activity was not even comprised by the sanctions, which the SECO had initially deemed circumvented.
On 31 January 2014 OC Oerlikon has announced the execution of an agreement with Sulzer to buy the Sulzer Metco Division at an enterprise value of CHF 1.0 billion. Niederer Kraft & Frey AG has acted as lead legal transaction counsel of OC Oerlikon in this important transaction. OC Oerlikon Corporation AG, Pfäffikon is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and a leading high-tech industrial group specializing in machine and plant engineering. Sulzer Metco is a leading provider of surface solutions with global presence. The combination of Metco with OC Oerlikon's existing Coating Segment shall form a world technology leader in Surface Solutions. The acquisition successfully closed on 2 June 2014.
Niederer Kraft & Frey advises GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) on Swiss law matters in the GSK-Novartis asset swap (Vaccines, Oncology) and joint venture (Consumer Healthcare) transaction.
SFS Group announced today the launch of its initial public offering ("IPO") on SIX Swiss Exchange with the publication of the offering and listing memorandum and the start of the bookbuilding process. Start of trading is expected on 7 May 2014.
SFS Group announced on 23 April 2014 the launch of its initial public offering ("IPO") on SIX Swiss Exchange with the publication of the offering and listing memorandum and the start of the bookbuilding procedure.
On 6 May 2014, HIAG Immobilien Holding AG announced the launch of its initial public offering ("IPO") on SIX Swiss Exchange with the publication of the offering and listing memorandum and the start of the bookbuilding procedure.
On 7 April 2014, SIX Swiss Exchange listed biopharmaceutical company Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. headquartered in Bresso/Milan, Italy, has announced that in connection with a private placement it has raised gross proceeds of CHF 18.6 mio., following the subscription by current institutional shareholders and new institutional investors joining from Europe and the US. The private placement was conducted without preferential subscription rights to institutional investors. The subscription price was set at CHF 15.75 per share, marginally below the closing price of Newron's shares on 3 April 2014 of CHF 15.80.
Niederer Kraft & Frey AG advised Capvis, the leading private equity firm in Switzerland, and Partners Group, the global private markets investment management firm, in a transaction to acquire Vat Holding AG, the global market leader in the development, manufacture and sale of vacuum valves, headquartered in Switzerland. The transaction successfully closed on 11 February 2014.
The Swiss law on product safety ( Produktesicherheitsgesetz, PrSG) is currently scheduled to enter into force on July 1, 2010. This new law aligns Swiss product safety requirements with EU law. It applies not only to manufacturers, but to anyone who commercially or professionally markets products in Switzerland, and it introduces substantial new obligations before and after the sale of a product.