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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 > Zurich > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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Bär & Karrer Ltd. has ‘broad experience in a wide range of litigation cases and regulatory proceedings’ for the whole range of financial service providers; and creates ‘in-depth teams for various matters out of one hand’ additionally the team is adept at handling debt and acquisition financings as well as derivative transactions. Notable highlights included assisting EQT Infrastructure II with the acquisition financing of CHEP Aerospace Solutions. Goldman Sachs, UBS and Valora are also clients of the practice. ‘Concise and pragmatic’ litigation partner Andreas Länzlinger and ‘outstanding’ regulatory expert Rashid Bahar are recommended along Eric Stupp, who ‘brings long standing industry expertise’ and jointly leads the fintech practice with newly promoted partner Daniel Flühmann.

Homburger is highly recommended for its ‘legal and advisory services’, which cover regulatory aspects, financings and transactions. Recent highlights include the assistance provided to ChemChina regarding its $43bn acquisition of Syngenta and advising Credit Suisse’s Swiss Mortgage Fund I on sale and transfer risk advice of loans. The team also represented UBS in regulatory and FINMA enforcement proceedings related to its FX business. René Bösch and Daniel Haeberli are recommended along counsels Lee Saladino, Eduard De Zordi and Benjamin Leisinger, who made partner in 2018.


Bär & Karrer

Bär & Karrer has an established practice advising banks, securities dealers, insurance and reinsurance companies, and other financial institutions in Switzerland and around the world.We represent financial institutions, issuers, investors, and other market participants in enforcement proceedings of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.

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The Zurich team of Lenz & Staehelin is particularly experienced in structured, syndicated bank, project and lease finance and also handles restructurings, securitisations and derivatives. The team advised Battery Ventures on its all-shares acquisition of Rotronic and also as part of a bank syndicate on financing CVC’s acquisition of Breitling. Other active clients are Citigroup Global Markets, ISDA and ING Bank. Patrick Hünerwadel leads the team, which also includes key partners Marcel Tranchet, Patrick Schleiffer and Stefan Breitenstein.

Niederer Kraft Frey provides ‘regulatory and contractual services that are professional in every sense’. The practice also supports clients in contentious banking matters and advises on fintech as well as financing transactions. In a recent highlight, Philippe Weber assisted EFG International with transaction financing and regulatory issues related to its acquisition of private bank BSI from BTG Pactual and Marco Häusermann advised Thomson Reuters on a $2.64bn credit agreement with a number of international banks. ‘Outstanding, diligent and pro-active’ practice heads Sandro Abegglen and François Bianchi as well as associate Martin Schaub are recommended.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘outstanding, highly competent’ team has ‘excellent industry knowledge’ and is considered a ‘safe, reliable choice of partner’ due to their ‘flexible, client-oriented approach’, especially in relation to credit transactions and financing documentation. The practice also focuses on regulatory implementations, such as the Financial Market Infrastructure Act, and securitisation work. Recent highlights include advising Walter Meier AG on the CHF118m financing of its de facto merger with Tobler Haustechnik. Markus Affentranger retired in June 2017 and handed the practice lead to ‘very experienced and competent’ financing expert Lukas Glanzmann and the ‘highly qualified and pragmatic’ Samuel Marbacher. Associate Philip Spoerlé is ‘skillful and efficient’.

Pestalozzi’s ‘outstanding’ team provides a ‘very high overall quality level with one of the best values for money and fast response times’. Apart from supporting Credit Suisse as security and escrow agent during the ChemChina – Syngenta public tender offer, the team also advised VTB Bank on several financings and commodity trade transactions. Practice lead Urs Kloeti and senior associate Philipp Otto attract praise for their ‘subject matter expertise and professional approach’, while Oliver Widmer is ‘highly client-oriented, practical and commercial’. Severin Roelli and Beat Schwarz impress in banking M&A and financial transactions.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd has a ‘distinctive level of detailed, pragmatic expertise and responsiveness’, covering regulatory and contractual matters, banking-related M&A and restructurings, investment management and syndicated lending. Philippe Borens advised Reichmuth Investment Management on structuring a locomotive portfolio. BNP Paribas, Raiffeisen and Landesbank Baden-Württemberg are also clients. Martin Lanz heads the practice and the ‘skilled and business-mindedOlivier Favre impresses with ‘outstanding derivative, regulatory EMIR/FMIA and international transaction experience’.

The Zurich team of Walder Wyss Ltd focuses on lending and other financial transactions, securitisation and regulatory matters, such as obtaining FINMA licences, and representing clients in fund authorisation processes. The group advised J.P. Morgan and a syndicate of banks on the CHF1.4bn financing of EQT’s public tender offer to acquire all shares of Kuoni Travel, and further supported Helvetica Property in their application to become a licensed fund manager according to the Swiss Collective Investment Schemes Act. UBS, Zürcher Kantonalbank and Leonteq Securities are longstanding clients of the team, which is led by Francis Nordmann and Lukas Wyss. Luc Defferrard, Theodor Härtsch and Thomas Müller are other names to note.

CMS handles financing, corporate lending and regulatory matters, which include licence applications, FINMA rulings, as well as securities, insurance, anti-money laundering and derivatives trading issues. A major highlight for the three-partner team was the $1.8bn loan refinancing advice provided to Novelis. Other refinancing clients are Claire’s Accessories UK and synlab. Team head Jürg Guggisberg, Kaspar Landolt and André Lebrecht are the names to note.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL)impresses with broad knowledge on banking issues and technical strength in finance transactions, especially in the Islamic market’, as well as ‘a cooperative, team-oriented working manner’; syndicated lending, banking litigation, M&A and fintech are other mainstays of the practice. Notably, the ‘helpful and solution-orientedDaniel Schoch advised Meyer Burger Technology on a CHF354.5m financial recapitalisation program, while ‘competent, reliable and commercial’ team lead Alexander Vogel assisted digital asset manager Move Wealth Management with its strategic investments from Credit Suisse and Falcon Private Banking. Further recommended are the ‘knowledgeable and attentiveSamuel Ljubicic and Karin Oberlin, who ‘has a good understanding of both legal and commercial aspects’.

Vischer has ‘a very strong financing practice’ that is ‘pro-active, forward-looking and creative in generating solutions’. The team advised an international bank who acted as a lender in relation to a credit facility granted to an oil and gas company. Practice head Markus Guggenbühl is an ‘outstanding strategic thinker’, while insolvency expert Jana Essebier is also recommended. The ‘service-orientedBenedict Christ and Christian Oetiker are the key contacts for banking M&A and litigation.

Wenger & Vieli focuses on drafting legal opinions on regulatory topics, such as the Financial Market Infrastructure Act, and product issuances. Other areas of expertise are fintech, syndicated loans, lending structures and claims prevention. The team assisted block-chain company Lykke with the establishment of an organised trading facility. The client base also includes Interhoerbiger Finance, Falcon Bank and SIX Group. Bignia Vieli, Martin Hess and Andreas Hünerwadel are the key partners.

Bratschi Ltd’s ‘highly available and pragmatic’ banking and finance practice consists of regulatory, financing, litigation and asset management teams which offer ‘partner attention at reasonable rates’. Active clients include St Galler Kantonalbank, Raiffeisen, DZ Privatbank and Humboldt Re. Reto Arpagaus, Hannes Glaus and Barbara Jecklin are the main advisers.

Buis Bürgi AG handles both non-contentious and contentious banking matters, with particular expertise in representing clients against Swiss banks. The main focuses are private equity transactions, white-collar crime matters, loan restructuring and regulatory issues. Banking and finance partner Eric Buis and litigator Paul Bürgi are supported by seven associates.

Froriepprovides clear, succinct advice in a format which is easy for clients to digest and also offers a transparent fee system’. The practice’s activities cover banking M&A and regulatory advice as well as cross-border financing, while special expertise exists in relation to real estate investment vehicles. Recent highlights include advising Oaktree Capital Management on the refinancing of Adent Cliniques Dentaires. Team lead Catrina Luchsinger is recommended for her ‘client orientation’, as are ‘intelligent’ counsel Mark Montanari and senior associate Jérôme Pidoux.

Kellerhals Carrard has experience in advising on asset management services, leasing transactions, fintech, white-collar crime and general regulatory banking law. In a notable highlight, the team advised UBS on regulatory matters regarding their exchange traded funds platforms. Man Group is another active client. Dominik Oberholzer, Daniel Staehelin and Armin Kühne are the key lawyers; Cornelia Stengel made partner in July 2017.

The Zurich team of Lalivehas strong capabilities and is extremely knowledgeable’, offering expertise in regulatory, compliance, litigation and investigation matters. The group advised Thurgauer Kantonalbank on a cross-border investigation concerning alleged assistance with tax avoidance. The ‘well-organised, forward-planning, practical and effectiveDaniel Lucien Bühr is recommended and Simone Nadelhofer is another name to note. Matthias Gstoehl joined from Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG in April 2017.

Prager Dreifuss AG is especially known for its cross-border project financing, transactional and syndicated loan work. Team lead Daniel Hayek is supported by corporate finance expert Andreas Moll, regulatory adviser Urs Bertschinger and Matthias Bürge, who has deep transactional experience.

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd is active in both public and private banking, especially in relation to regulatory compliance, finance transactions and white-collar crime. The team advises Bank Hapoalim on an ongoing basis and also represented the cleint in a US tax investigation. Désirée Wiesendanger and Philipp Känzig are the names to note.

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  • Bär & Karrer awarded by Mergermarket as "Switzerland M&A Legal Adviser of the Year 2018"

    At this year's Mergermarket European Awards Ceremony on 6 December 2018 in London, Bär & Karrer has been awarded as the "Switzerland M&A Legal Adviser of the Year 2018".
  • 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.