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Switzerland > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Switzerland’s legal market has a decentralised structure, reflecting the federal political structure of the country itself. Located in Switzerland’s German-speaking region, Zurich is not only the country’s largest city, but is also the location of the principal stock exchange and home to the majority of leading banking and capital markets lawyers. 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 are Lugano, the third most important financial centre in Switzerland and legal centre of the Italian-speaking region in the Southeast, as well as the German-speaking cities of Basel and the Swiss capital, Bern.

Of the six law firms that achieve the most top-tier rankings in Switzerland, only Bär & Karrer AG has a well-established presence in all three language regions. Walder Wyss Ltd, however, is catching up: it has three offices in the German-speaking region, opened a Lugano office in 2013 and entered the French-speaking region in 2016 with openings in Geneva and Lausanne. In addition to their Zurich offices, Lenz & Staehelin and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd also have offices in the French-speaking West, while Homburger and Niederer Kraft & Frey AG are based in Zurich only.

Increased banking regulation and greater transparency has put significant pressure on the Swiss private banking sector and has been a key driver of legal work. Especially important was the US Programme for non-prosecution agreements or non-target letters for Swiss banks. Under this programme, 78 banks obtained non-prosecution agreements in 2015 and 2016. This significantly reduced uncertainties and led to an increase in M&A in the private banking sector.

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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
  • 17 February 2017: Auris Medical's Public Equity Offering

    Auris Medical Holding AG (NASDAQ: EARS) issued and priced its public offering of 10,000,000 common shares and 10,000,000 warrants, each warrant entitling its holder to purchase 0.70 of a common share.  The common shares and warrants are being sold in units comprised of one common share and one warrant at the public offering price of USD 1.00 per unit. The warrants will be immediately exercisable at a price of USD 1.20 per common share and are exercisable for five years. In connection with the offering, the Company has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,500,000 additional common shares and/or 1,500,000 additional warrants at the public offering price less underwriting discounts. The offering is expected to close on or about February 21, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Roth Capital Partners is acting as sole book-running manager in the offering. Maxim Group LLC is acting as a financial advisor in the offering.
  • 16 February 2017: Credit Suisse successfully launched its new subsidiary Credit Suisse (Switzerland)

    Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. was incorporated with the purpose to be organized as a Swiss bank. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse AG. The transfer of assets and liabilities according to Swiss merger law became effective on 20 November 2016. The transfer was aimed to evolve the legal entity structure of the Credit Suisse Group to meet regulatory requirements for systematically important banks.
  • 14 February 2017: BASF acquires Rolic Group

    BASF acquires Rolic, a Swiss based group offering innovative and forward-thinking solutions, particularly in the display and security industries as well as the optical film business.
  • 15 February 2017: gategroup CHF 300 mio. bond issuance

    gategroup successfully raised CHF 300 million through the issuance of a fixed rate 5-year senior bond with a final maturity on February 28, 2022. The bond with a coupon of 3% p.a. has been issued by gategroup Finance (Luxembourg) S.A. and is guaranteed by its parent company gategroup Holding AG. gategroup will apply for the listing of the new bond on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
  • 17 February 2017: RWS acquires LUZ, Inc.

    RWS Holdings plc, a world leading provider of intellectual property support services (patent translations, international patent filing solutions and searches), commercial translations and linguistic validation, has completed the acquisition of 100% of LUZ, Inc., a market leading Life Sciences language services provider based in San Francisco, for a cash consideration of USD82.5m.
  • 17 February 2017: Cembra Money Bank acquires invoice financing provider SWISSBILLING SA

    Cembra Money Bank has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of SWISSBILLING. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2017. The transaction consideration was below CHF 10 million and is expected to have a negative impact of 0.1% on the Group’s CET1 ratio as at closing.
  • 7 February 2017: TPF closes private offering and bank financing

    Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic (TPF TRAFIC) SA closed the financing of its maintenance and exploitation centre in the canton of Fribourg. The financing was partly made through a CHF 40 mio. private placement, a CHF 32 mio. secured bank loan and a CHF 55 mio. unsecured bank loan.
  • 3 February 2017: Migros acquires Tipesca

    The Migros Group, through Mérat & Cie. SA, has acquired Tipesca SA, a company incorporated in the canton of Tessin. Tipesca offers a wide range of fish products.
  • 24 January 2017: Sharp Corporation and Skytec Group Limited enter into strategic business alliance

    Japan-based Sharp Corporation, part of Taiwan’s Foxconn Group, enters into a strategic business alliance with Skytec Group Limited (“Skytec”) regarding the manufacture and sale of Sharp branded products and services in Europe. For that purpose, Sharp acquires a majority stake of 56.7% in the newly incorporated joint venture Skytec UMC Ltd.
  • 25 January 2017: Zug Estates CHF 100 mio. Bond

    Zug Estates Holding AG (SIX: ZUGN) has successfully issued its first CHF 100 mio. fixed-interest bond with a 0.7% coupon and a 5-year maturity.

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
  • Bär & Karrer Successful in Large Arbitration Proceeding

    Bär & Karrer successfully defends the interests of its long standing client EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG in a CHF 1 billion ad hoc-arbitration proceeding in Zurich instituted by a German entrepreneur four years ago. In its final award, the tribunal dismissed the plaintiff's claim in its entirety and awarded Bär & Karrer's client full compensation for its legal costs.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises CVC on the Acquisition of a Majority Stake in Breitling

    CVC Fund VI has agreed to acquire an 80% stake in Breitling, a leading independent, family-owned manufacturer of Swiss luxury watches. As part of the transaction, Théodore Schneider will re-invest for a 20% shareholding in Breitling. Closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises EQT and Kuoni Group on the Combination of Kuoni's GTA Business with Hotelbeds

    Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd, owned by EQT VII, a fund of the private equity group EQT, and the Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation, has entered into a binding agreement on the sale of its GTD business division (GTA) to Hotelbeds Group, owned by a consortium led by Cinven und Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). The shareholders of Kuoni Group will roll-over a large portion of their participation in GTA into the combined Hotelbeds/GTA business and upon completion, will hold a substantial minority stake in the combined Hotelbeds/GTA business. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including merger control filings and approvals.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Hellman & Friedman and GIC on the Acquisition of Allfunds

    On 7 March 2017 Hellman & Friedman and GIC acquired Allfunds Bank, S.A. from Intesa Sanpaolo Group, Santander Group, General Atlantic and Warburg Pincus. Allfunds Bank is a leading financial technology business. The transaction is valued at EUR 1.8 billion and is subject to customary closing conditions.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises an Affiliate of Warburg Pincus on the Acquisition of a Stake in Avaloq

    Warburg Pincus, a leading global private equity firm, has entered into an agreement to acquire approximately 35% shareholding in the Avaloq Group AG. Avaloq is an internationally leading FinTech company based in Switzerland. With its integrated business process outsourcing services, Avaloq is the only independent provider for the financial industry that does both, developing and operating its own software. Closing of the transaction is expected in the second quarter of 2017.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Mitsui on the Acquisition of Chemtrade Aglobis

    On 28 February 2017, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) and Chemtrade Logistics Inc. (Chemtrade) announced an agreement under which Mitsui will acquire the entire stake in Chemtrade Aglobis AG (Aglobis), subsidiary entirely owned by Chemtrade. Aglobis is a leading distributor of sulphur and sulphuric acid in Europe. The transaction is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Lonza on the Entering into a Strategic Partnership with Sanofi to Establish a

    Today, Lonza and Sanofi announced that they have entered into a strategic partnership to build and operate a large-scale mammalian cell culture facility for monoclonal antibody production in Visp, Switzerland. The large-scale facility will be established through a joint venture with an initial investment of around CHF 290 million shared equally between Lonza and Sanofi. The initial construction phase of the facility will commence in 2017, pending necessary regulatory approvals. The facility is expected to be fully operational by 2020. The partnership provides both parties with substantial flexibility by using an innovative setup enabling them to optimize biologics production capacity across the whole industry.
  • Bär & Karrer on top of the Profile League Table by Mergermarket

    Earlier this month Mergermarket published its review on the 2016's most prolific individual DACH legal advisors. We are pleased to be ranked with Christoph Neeracher and Luca Jagmetti on the top of the table on rank one and two. Both are associated for 2016 with 11 completed deals and a total value of EUR 3 bn. The Mergermarket Profiler App lists Christoph Neeracher in total with 54 deals and Luca Jagmetti with 35 transactions.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Valora on the Acquisition of Pretzel Baron

    Bär & Karrer Advises Valora on the Acquisition of Pretzel Baron
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Priora on Acquisition of Large Minority Stake in Galenica

    Bär & Karrer Advises Priora on Acquisition of Large Minority Stake in Galenica