Switzerland > Banking and finance
Index of tables
Banking and finance: Geneva
With a leading presence in Geneva and Zurich, Lenz & Staehelin has a pre-eminent position for Swiss banking work and clients describe theten-partner team as housing ‘the leading lawyers in Switzerland’. Increasing scrutiny of the banking sector has kept Geneva team head Shelby du Pasquier busy advising on several regulatory investigations. Clients also single out Dominique Rochat, who is ‘a highly technical and responsive partner’. Olivier Stahler acted alongside Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP to advise ABN AMRO on the €11bn sale of its Swiss private banking activities.
At BCCC Attorneys-at-law LLC, ‘partners are always available and flexible’, and Thomas Goossens is praised as being ‘proactive, quick, precise, and efficient’. Goossens heads the team alongside Thierry Amy and Dominique Christin. Recent work includes advising Swiss and foreign banks and investment funds on a broad mix of transactional, regulatory and litigation matters.
Baker & McKenzie’s three-partner group provides ‘quick responses from qualified people and practicable advice’, and its ‘international network is particularly helpful in cross-border cases’. In 2011, the ‘highly pragmatic’ Frédéric Bétrisey advised Aareal Bank on the refinancing of an acquisition loan. Practice head Martin Anderson is also recommended.
Bär & Karrer SA produces ‘consistently high-quality work’, and recently advised Bank Leumi on the CHF177m acquisition of Swiss private bank Banque Safdié. Other clients include Bank Sarasin & Co, Société Générale and Deutsche Bank. The Geneva specialised team includes key finance contact Christophe Buchwalder, banking expert Cédric Chapuis and banking-related litigator Saverio Lembo – each is ‘bright, responsive and user-friendly’.
Froriep Renggli shows ‘enthusiasm for client service’ and ‘a commercial outlook’, and handles transactional and regulatory matters. Practice head Jérôme de Montmollin is ‘responsive, commercial and reliable’, and the ‘outstanding’ Philippe Pulfer gives ‘accurate, pragmatic and practical advice’ and is praised for his ‘excellent response times and his sound grasp of what clients want from their lawyers’.
Python & Peter’s ‘capable finance specialists with strong supplementary market knowledge’ regularly advise on traditional lending and financing for lenders and borrowers, and clients include Swiss and foreign banks and financial companies, as well as private and public companies. The team has been particularly busy with regulatory issues recently. Jacques Python and Nicolas de Gottrau are ‘responsive and knowledgeable’.
Jean-Yves De Both heads Schellenberg Wittmer’s ‘thorough and responsive’ team, which enjoys excellent links with major French banks including BNP Paribas, which it recently advised on the Swiss aspects of the transfer of its shipping finance portfolio from Geneva BNP Paribas (Suisse) to Paris BNP Paribas. The team also advised Geneva-based private bank Reyl & Cie on its acquisition of Solitaire Wealth Management. Jean Jacques Ah Choon is also recommended.
Abels Avocats’ expert funds practice recently advised an asset management company on the Swiss licensing process and assisted a Swiss private bank with the creation of a fund platform in Luxembourg. Antoine Amiguet is the main contact.
Borel & Barbey advised a raft of domestic and international financial institutions in 2012. Nicolas Piérard had a particularly good year on the acquisition finance side and led advice to Credit Suisse on the Swiss aspects of two debt offerings of Reynolds Group Holdings. Nicolas Killen has a strong track record in advising asset managers and promoters on setting up investment funds.
FBT Attorneys-at-Law’s ‘very professional and responsive’ team ‘understands clients’ needs’. In addition to traditional banking matters, the practice regularly advises on alternative finance products. Michel Abt and head of banking Frédérique Bensahel have ‘excellent skills in banking law, particularly in the field of financial products distribution and funds’.
Lalive’s four-partner group is ‘experienced, commercial and easy to deal with’, and has the ability to ‘maintain client relationships on a very personal and direct level’. The practice handles a good balance of transactional and litigation work, and Alexander Troller is advising a foreign client on its acquisition of a wealth management company.
Pestalozzi fields ‘outstanding professionals who impress with excellent know-how and top-notch advice’. In 2012, Sébastien Roy led advice to a syndicate of banks (including Citibank, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase) on the Swiss aspects of the financing of Apax Partners’ acquisition of Orange Communications.
Tavernier Tschanz excels at banking regulatory work, and also receives a steady flow of instructions relating to the establishment of banks in Switzerland and general corporate finance work. Edmond Tavernier and Jacques Bonvin are the main contacts.
BMG Avocats ‘punches well above its weight’, with Guillaume Fatio considered to be ‘a top choice for complex banking transactions’. The firm has experience across a broad spread of trade financing, banking litigation and regulatory issues.
Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés gives ‘consistently reliable advice’, with banking head Christian Valentini being valued for his ‘know-how and strong experience’. Damien Cand was to promoted to the partnership in 2012.
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal is the result of the 2012 merger between Geneva-based Lachenal & Le Fort and Meyerlustenberger in Zurich, which created a solid national platform. The banking team is appreciated for its ‘extensive industry knowledge and experience with local financial services regulators’.
Index of tables
Banking and finance: Zurich
Altenburger Ltd legal + tax
- Badertscher Rechtsanwälte AG/ Attorneys at Law
- Bill Isenegger Ackermann AG
- Kellerhals Attorneys at Law
Klein Attorneys Ltd
Bär & Karrer AG’s seven-partner practice is ‘a first choice for complex finance matters’, and provides ‘efficient and timely service’ as well as ‘clear and well-structured communication’. The ‘energetic and flexible’ Ralph Malacrida recently led advice to Xstrata on the provision of a multicurrency revolving loan facility. Banking specialist Eric Stupp is ‘very intelligent and experienced’, Roland Truffer is ‘a go-to person for Swiss regulatory matters’, and Urs Brügger has ‘broad-ranging abilities across all areas of banking and securities regulation’.
Homburger is ‘one of the pre-eminent firms in Switzerland for banking work’, and is staffed by ‘committed and enthusiastic lawyers’, who show ‘speedy response times and excellent communication skills’, and give ‘user-friendly and commercial advice’. René Bösch heads the five-partner practice and is recommended for his ‘large know-how’ and for being ‘extremely well connected, on a national and international level’. Bösch and Daniel Haeberli recently advised Credit Suisse on the establishment and updating of six derivative issuance programmes.
Lenz & Staehelin has an excellent reputation for complex financings and, in 2012, it advised the Mediclinic Group on a CHF2.5bn debt refinancing. The firm also acted for Swiss private banking heavyweight, Julius Baer Group, during its acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s non-US wealth management business. Practice head Patrick Hünerwadel is ‘an expert in his field’, and the group has ‘good industry knowledge and strong team members’, including the ‘insightful’ Marcel Tranchet and ‘leading Swiss lawyer’ Beat Kühni.
Niederer Kraft & Frey AG’s ‘very responsive, strongly knowledgeable and very business-oriented’ team recently advised Swiss National Bank on regulatory and compliance issues. Sandro Abegglen has ‘an excellent reputation in the industry’, Urs Pulver is recommended for structured finance work and Philippe Weber is ‘extraordinarily diligent, responsive, commercial and pragmatic’. Daniel Bono and Thomas Brönnimann’s promotions to partner in 2012 brought the number of partners in the practice to ten.
Baker & McKenzie provides ‘more practical solutions’ than many, and its extensive international network ‘allows it to provide strong support in cross-border matters’. Prominent market figure Lukas Glanzmann led advice to UBS, and another bank, as mandated lead arrangers of the financing of a takeover of a Frankfurt-listed company.
Pestalozzi acts for an impressive roster of domestic and multinational banks including BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse. It advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch on the Swiss aspects of the sale of the international wealth management business of Merrill Lynch. Practice head Urs Klöti, adheres to ‘excellent response times’, and gives ‘advice that is always to the point’. Oliver Widmer is also recommended.
Schellenberg Wittmer’s Anita Schläpfer recently led advice to UBS, Credit Suisse and Zurich Kantonalbank (as mandated lead arrangers and initial lenders) on the provision of a CHF285m syndicated term loan, revolving loan and guarantee facilities to Autoneum. On the regulatory side, the firm was appointed as commissioner by FINMA to verify certain regulatory and compliance matters.
Vischer’s ‘practical and solution-driven’ seven-partner team is headed by the ‘highly experienced and prudent’ Markus Guggenbühl. The firm continues to advise the liquidators of Lehman Brothers in Switzerland on its bankruptcy. Other clients include UBS, Credit Suisse and Lloyds TSB.
Walder Wyss Ltd has been busy with structured finance work and also handled a good flow of traditional financings, funds-related transactions and acquisition financings. Johannes Bürgi heads the team, which advised US-based Mettler-Toledo International on an $870m credit agreement.
Wenger & Vieli gives ‘solution-oriented advice that is based on a deep understanding of a client’s business’, and ‘while it is not as large as some firms in the market, the quality of service is exactly on the same level’. The firm advised Zürcher Kantonalbank in a real estate financing. Andreas Hünerwadel and Georg Zondler are the main contacts.
Bratschi Wiederkehr & Buob’s team is jointly led by Reto Arpagaus, who is recommended for his ‘broad banking knowledge and good analytical skills’, and Hannes Glaus. Structured finance, banking litigation and investment funds are strong areas of activity.
Two-partner boutique Buis Bürgi AG has a growing practice in banking litigation and general regulatory advice, as well as other non-contentious banking work. ‘Effective litigator’ Eric Buis heads the team, which is advising on the insolvency of a large international bank.
CMS is highly regarded for its ‘good contacts and excellent knowledge of Swiss banking institutions and procedures’. Jürg Guggisberg heads the group, which regularly acts for multinational banks on complex refinancings, acquisition financings and major cross-border deals.
Froriep Renggli advised Indigo Capital on the financing of Gilde Buy Out Partners’ acquisition of Spandex Group. Practice head Catrina Luchsinger Gähwiler is ‘fast, competent and to the point’, and ‘always friendly and helpful to clients while not being shy of confrontations with opposing parties where appropriate’.
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal impresses with its ‘strong legal knowledge, practical advice and partner availability’, with Alexander Vogel singled out for his expertise in structured finance matters. The firm also has sound experience in acquisition finance, real estate and project finance. Daniel Schoch is also recommended.
Mark-Oliver Baumgarten heads Staiger, Schwald & Partner’s practice, which recently advised on a $300m credit agreement and has kept busy advising on a broad mix of restructurings, refinancings, regulatory matters and acquisition financings. Clients include Swiss and foreign banks and asset managers.
Altenburger Ltd legal + tax advised on several regulatory matters during 2012, but its experience also includes advising on the establishment of banks in Switzerland, corporate finance and structured finance. Leonhard Toenz is recommended.
Badertscher Rechtsanwälte AG/ Attorneys at Law is valued for its ‘seamless, high-quality work’ and ‘sophisticated lawyers’, with practice head Markus Doerig highlighted for his ‘high levels of commitment and negotiation skills’. Although better known for its strong financial services experience, particularly on the insurance side, the firm also regularly acts on restructurings and debt and equity financings.
Bill Isenegger Ackermann AG specialises in regulatory and compliance advice, and regularly works with FINMA on liquidations. The firm occupies a niche in the market as one of the few mid-sized firms that is not conflicted to act against large Swiss banks, and therefore is often called upon to represent clients against major financial institutions.
GHR Rechtsanwälte’s ‘client-focused team’ recently advised Aktiv Kapital Group on its $250m group refinancing. Marc Grüninger heads this ‘experienced, proactive, responsive and professional’ practice.
Kellerhals Attorneys at Law has a strong financial services practice and is well regarded for its funds expertise. The firm receives a steady flow of instructions from Swiss and multinational banks, asset managers, securities dealers, and fund management companies.
Klein Attorneys Ltd advises on regulatory matters, structured finance, traditional lending and refinancing issues. Managing partner Thomas Klein has a good reputation for finance work.
Suter Howald Attorneys at Law is recommended for Swiss regulatory and corporate governance work, and also has sound experience in funds and complex financing matters. Urs Suter heads the banking and finance practice, while Bettina Rudin leads the investment funds team.
Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte provides ‘very professional services with a strong understanding of the underlying business issues’. Regulatory work is a particular strength.
Umbricht Rechtsanwälte advises on loans and restructuring, cross-border finance transactions and funds work. Georg Umbricht heads the practice.
Wenger Plattner’s chief strengths are in structured finance, equity capital deals and regulatory issues.
Regulatory and compliance work is an area of focus for Wyss Wiesli Rechtsanwälte, which advises banks and private managers on administration issues. The firm also handles transactional work for financial institutions and investment funds.