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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Switzerland > Banking and finance > Geneva > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance: Geneva
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Geneva clients in Switzerland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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The ‘very professional and pragmatic’ banking and finance practice at Lenz & Staehelin covers regulatory and financing matters and provides further assistance in relation to corporate lending, financial products and fintech. Practice head Shelby du Pasquier advised private equity company Unigestion on its acquisition of Akina, while investment management expert François Rayroux continues to act as Swiss Counsel to ISDA. Credit Agricole Financement and Orox Asset Management are other active clients. Recommended counsel Laurence Vogt Scholler, Fedor Poskriakov and Olivier Stahler are other names to note.

The Geneva-based practice of Baker McKenzie is especially known for its regulatory and securitisation expertise. An exemplary highlight of the latter is the team's advice to Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in relation to the arrangement of residential mortgage-backed securities worth CHF200m. The Canton of Geneva is another longstanding client. Martin Anderson is a key contact. Martin Anderson and Frédéric Bétrisey are now with Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.’s banking and finance team advises financial institutions, including Swiss and national subsidiaries of international banks, as well as insurance companies on regulatory and transactional matters, but also represents them in enforcement and criminal procedures. The client roster includes Banque Cantonale de Genève, UBS and Credit Suisse. Cédric Chapuis heads the team, which also fields banking litigation expert and ‘brilliant strategist with good cross-border connections’ Saverio Lembo. Christophe Buchwalder joined Gantey Attorneys. Martin Anderson and Frédéric Bétrisey were new arrivals from Baker McKenzie.

BianchiSchwald LLC’s ‘reactive and efficient’ team engages in regulatory and commercial banking, investment as well as criminal and contentious matters related to the industry. Typical clients include banks, asset managers, security dealers, private equity companies and investment funds. Practice lead Thomas Goossens and Thierry Amy further participate in think tanks set up by the firm in the light of major banking and investment industry changes.

The team at ‘well-reputed and highly competentFBT Attorneys-at-Law is ‘very experienced in all legal aspects related to the fund industry and wealth management’. Headed by the ‘excellent’ Frédérique Bensahel, the group also handles regulatory banking aspects, enforcement procedures from financial authorities and industry-related dispute resolution. Recent highlights include assisting clients with their compliance programs and advising asset managers on anti-money laundering investigations by the FDF. The ‘excellent listener and knowledgeablePierre-Olivier Etique is also recommended, as is Jean-Louis Tsimaratos for his ‘analytical skills’.

The ‘very client-oriented and responsiveLalive delivers ‘outstanding services’ in litigation against banks by applying ‘aggressive’ methods; however, ‘strong practical advice’ is also provided on regulatory issues. Marc Henzelin often represents high-net worth individuals in asset freezing, fraud and wrongful execution matters and jointly heads the practice with Alexander Troller, who is an ‘exceptional practitioner with unrivalled technical expertise’. ‘Effective’ litigator Sandrine Giroud is also recommended.

The Geneva team of Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd provides ‘solid work’ in relation to regulatory, transactional and contentious matters. The ‘calm’ Sébastien Roy handles financing, contractual and regulatory aspects, while Christophe Emonet specialises in litigation and FINMA investigations. The team advised HSBC and a syndicate of banks on the financing of ChemChina’s $43bn public tender offer to acquire Syngenta and also represented a Russian oligarch against a Swiss private bank in a liability matter.

Clients ‘feel in safe hands’ with ‘client-focused and pragmatic’ firm Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd and can rely on ‘timely responses’ for regulatory, investment management, FINMA authorisation and litigation matters. The Geneva practice supported Credit Suisse Funds regarding the establishment and FINMA approval of the Swiss Mortgage Umbrella Fund. Team lead Caroline Clemetsonhas the best know-how about collective investment schemes’; the ‘logical and reasonable’ Grégoire Wuest and newly promoted partner Tarek Houdrouge are also recommended.

Froriepis a reliable partner with a very strong level of availability, expertise and knowledge’ and covers both regulatory and cross-border financing work as well as advice on the Collective Investment Schemes Act. The team advised lead arranger ING Bank regarding a facility granted to MET Holding and further assisted Longbow Finance with an application for authorisation to FINMA. Jean-Luc Herbez has a ‘unique set of skills and experience on every banking subject’, while Jérôme de Montmollin ‘understands the clients’ needs’. Another name to note is head of the Russia/CIS desk Dmitry Pentsov.

Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés’ practice possesses ‘great theoretical and practical knowledge’, resulting in ‘competent legal opinions’. The team focuses on advising on investment transactions, compliance matters, fintech and regulatory work. In a highlight, the group advised two banks on regulatory and compliance matters related to the Financial Market Infrastructure Act. The main contact for clients is the ‘sensible and experienced’ Géraldine Badel Poitras, who joined from Vecchio Avocats in April 2017, while Christian Valentini and Damien Cand are also active in transactional and contentious matters.

Jacquemoud Stanislas covers regulatory, compliance and contentious aspects of both public and private banking matters. Recent highlights include advice to banks and asset managers relating to the amendment of the Federal Act on Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, the set-up of investment vehicles and debt financings as well as litigation concerning the release of frozen bank accounts. Philippe Jacquemoud and Jean-Pierre Jacquemoud are the names to note.

Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC exhibits an ‘outstanding professional approach and sense of client relationships’ and provides ‘structured, relevant and extremely valuable advice’, mainly in relation to asset management and anti-money laundering. The ‘responsive, dynamic and pragmaticFabien Aepli assisted an asset management company with a provisional freezing measure that was imposed on the client by a Liechtenstein bank and also represented BCM & Partners before the FINMA concerning a collective investment scheme matter application. Senior associates Nurith Cohen and Fanny Margairaz are recommended as ‘very professional and helpful’.

The four-partner team at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd handles regulatory, financial product, investment fund and litigation matters. Jean-Christophe Liebeskind advised UBS on establishing securitisation instruments for the financing of oil trade transactions in China worth $650m and the team also assists Landolt & Cie and Banque CIC Suisse on an on going basis. Team lead Christophe Rapin provides expertise on banking regulations such as MiFID, while Alain Le Fort also practices asset recovery. Nicolas Didisheim is the main contact for private banking.

Oberson Abels Ltd provides expertise on regulatory and contractual matters, collective investment schemes, licensing in the banking sector as well as financing transactions. The team, which at partner level consists of Antoine Amiguet and Philipp Fischer, assisted the Swiss subsidiary of a banking group with the review of financial product distribution agreements as well as contract and form updates. The group also advised asset managers on license applications to become Swiss fund managers and assisted an international organisation with a social impact bond project.

Python’s banking team is recommended for its ‘good industry knowledge and responsiveness’, working on licensing, investment fund, anti-money laundering, compliance, litigation and FINMA matters. Jean-Yves Rebord has particular expertise in financial products, while practice lead Nicolas de Gottrau provides ‘very good legal analysis and advice’.

Walder Wyss is recommended for its ‘overall excellent level of service’, especially with regards to drafting non-standard documents and commodity trade finance. The team assisted Safra Sarasin with the acquisition of all shares in Credit Suisse Monaco and Credit Suisse Gibraltar. Practice head Patrick Vogel is supported by the ‘client-oriented, efficient and hands-on’ Hubertus Hillerström, who ‘can cope with all kinds of requests’ and made partner in 2018.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland

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

    Cowen Inc., a NASDAQ listed, diversified financial services firm, agreed to acquire the Quarton group, a global financial advisor serving the middle market. Closing is expected in early 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Banking Syndicate in the Rights Offering of ARYZTA

    On 19 November 2018, ARYZTA, a global food business with a leadership position in speciality bakery, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering structured as a volume underwriting in the amount of approximately CHF 900 million. 97.4% of the shareholders of ARYZTA exercised their subscription rights in the rights offering. The new shares not subscribed were placed in the market.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Sellers on the Sale of Briner Winterthur

    The owners of Briner AG Winterthur sold the company. Briner is a leading family-owned trading and service company operating in the fields of construction services, steel services, supply systems and building services as well as heating and energy systems.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised GfK on the Sale of Four Divisions

    GfK has sold four global divisions (Customer Experience, Experience Innovation, Health and Public Affairs) to Ipsos. The sale included GfK's respective businesses in 25 countries.
  • Derivatives Trading under FMIA: Reporting Obligations

    On 14 September 2018, the Federal Council extended the transition period for the reporting of derivative transactions by small non-financial counterparties (NFC-) until 1 January 2024 under the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA). The amendment to the Financial Market...
  • Swiss Tax Reform Package Approved: Update and Outlook

    The Swiss National Council approves the proposed tax reform package! On 12 September 2018 the larger chamber of parliament adopted the proposal of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of the Council of States on the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (formerly Tax Proposal 17), which is largely in line with the legislative bill adopted by the Council of States, the smaller chamber of parliament. Although slight differences regarding the capital contribution principle remain to be settled, the majority of member of the National Council sees the adopted text of the bill as a viable compromise.
  • Retrocessions: Criminal Consequences of Non Disclosure

    In a recent decision 6B_689/2016 of 14 August 2018, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the failure to disclose adequately retrocessions may constitute an act of criminal mismanagement. After a short summary of the legal framework governing the disclosure of retrocessions, the present briefing analyses this decision and its practical impact in particular for Swiss financial institutions dealing with external asset managers.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Waterland on its Investment in Tineo

    Waterland Private Equity invested in Tineo AG after the carve-out from Quickline Holding AG. Tineo is an integrated enterprise solution provider of data centres, glass-fiber connections, high-speed internet and VoIP services with state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Bär & Karrer Elects Ruth Bloch-Riemer, Daniel Raun and Philippe Seiler to Partner

    Bär & Karrer has announced the election of Ruth Bloch-Riemer, Daniel Raun and Philippe Seiler to the firm's partnership. The appointment is effective as of 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Swiss Prime Site on its Rights Offering

    On 28 September 2018, Swiss Prime Site, the largest publicly listed real estate investment company in Switzerland, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering to its shareholders in the amount of approximately CHF 320 million. 97,7% of the shareholders of Swiss Prime Site exercised their subscription rights in the rights offering. The remaining new shares not subscribed were placed in the market. The offer price was set at CHF 74.00 per share. Credit Suisse and UBS Investment acted as Joint Global Coordinators, J.P. Morgan and Zürcher Kantonalbank acted as Joint Bookrunners.

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 Advises the Sellers of Astes4 SA

    The owners of Astes4 SA, a company based in Balerna, Switzerland, which is engaged in development, production and sales of patented automated sorting solutions for sheet metal laser processing machines, sold their interests in the company to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Mitsubishi Electric is active in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. By acquiring Astes4, Mitsubishi Electric will further strengthen its lineup of automation systems together with sorting solutions for sheet metal laser processing machines to provide its valued customers with integrated solutions that require less manual loading, unloading and sorting to realize higher productivity and efficiency.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Constellium on the Sale of Rolling Business Assets in Sierre, Switzerland, to

    On 23 July 2018, Constellium Valais SA, a company of the Constellium group engaged in the aluminium plate and extrusions businesses for industry, aerospace and transportation applications, successfully completed the sale of its aluminium rolling business assets in Sierre, Switzerland, to Novelis Switzerland SA for EUR 200 million. The assets, consisting of real estate, machinery and equipment, were previously leased by Constellium Valais to Novelis Switzerland and both parties will continue to operate in Sierre following the transaction. Concurrently with the asset sale, Constellium Valais contributed the Sierre site's shared infrastructure to a newly established 50-50 joint venture with Novelis Switzerland.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Bank Cler in Connection with the Public Tender Offer by Cantonal Bank of Basel

    On 20 June 2018, the Cantonal Bank of Basel, which already holds 77.52% of the share capital and the voting rights of Bank Cler Ltd., published the preannouncement for a public tender offer for all publicly held bearer shares of Bank Cler, which is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Subsequently, Bank Cler concluded a transaction agreement with the Cantonal Bank of Basel regarding the public tender offer. The Cantonal Bank of Basel offers CHF 52 per share of Bank Cler. Taking into consideration the results of the Fairness Opinion of an independent Expert, the board of directors of Bank Cler recommends to its shareholders to accept the offer.
  • Bär & Karrer Successful in Appeal Proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court Against the F

    On 11 May 2016, the French tax authorities requested administrative assistance from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. The request was made based on lists containing several thousand UBS Switzerland AG account numbers which are or were held by persons presumed to be French residents for tax purposes. The French tax authorities were asking for Switzerland to provide names and dates of birth of the persons connected to the accounts as well as the account balances. UBS Switzerland AG (which the Federal Administrative Court ("FAC") had granted party status in its judgment A-4974/2016 of 25 October 2016) and private individuals directly affected lodged appeals with the FAC against the Federal Tax Administration’s final decisions, which were issued on 9 February 2018.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises BZ Bank on Purchase of United Grinding Group

    BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft, through its acquisition company LEMRO AG, purchased the United Grinding Group from Körber Beteiligungen GmbH. The United Grinding Group is one of the world's leading suppliers of precision grinding machines.
  • Bär & Karrer advised PSP Swiss Property on Sale of a Commercial Property

    PSP Swiss Property sold a commercial property in Petit-Lancy, Geneva. The property at the Av. des Morgines 8/10 (approx. 14'000 m2 of rentable space) was sold for CHF 55 million to an affiliate company of Epic Suisse AG.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs in a Combined Offering on the Placement of Sha

    Idorsia Ltd successfully placed 11,912,000 new shares by way of an accelerated bookbuilding in a private placement with institutional investors. The placed shares are sourced from the company's existing authorized share capital and the pre-emptive rights of the existing shareholders have been excluded. The offer price was set at CHF 25.62 per share. Additionally, Idorsia successfully placed CHF 200 million of senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2024 in a private placement with institutional investors.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Vontobel on the Placement of CHF 450 Million Tier 1 Bonds to fund the acquisit

    Vontobel Holding AG successfully completed the placement of CHF 450 million perpetual additional tier 1 subordinated bonds. The additional tier 1 subordinated bonds were issued at 100% of their nominal amount with an interest of 2.625% until 2023. The proceeds of this capital market transaction will be mainly used to finance the acquisition of Notenstein La Roche Private Bank.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Swiss Re in the Offering of USD 500 Million Senior Exchangeable Notes with Iss

    Swiss Re Ltd (Swiss Re) has completed an offering of USD 500 million, 6-year senior exchangeable notes, which may be stock settled at the option of Swiss Re or may be exchanged at the option of noteholders for registered shares of Swiss Re, unless Swiss Re elects to settle the exchange of notes in cash. Swiss Re has purchased call options on its own shares, which allow it to settle an exchange by noteholders without issuing new shares.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Credit Suisse and Bank Berenberg in the IPO of Klingelnberg

    Klingelnberg Ltd, a global leader in developing and manufacturing premium machine tools for bevel gear and cylindrical gear machining and precision measuring centers for gears, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Trading in the shares started on 20 June 2018. The shares of Klingelnberg were priced at CHF 53 per share, near the upper end of the price range, corresponding to a base offer of CHF 241 million. The offer price implies a market capitalization of approx. CHF 470 million leading to a free float of 56.6% (assuming full exercise of the over-allotment option), whereas the remaining 43.4% remain with the Klingelnberg family as anchor shareholder.