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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 > Competition > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Competition
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Homburger’s practice covers Swiss and European competition and antitrust law, as well as contractual matters, compliance and representation before commissions and courts. The team represented car importeur AMAG Automobil- und Motoren in three investigation proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission regarding its distribution network, leasing and financing as well as alleged price-fixing, and successfully obtained merger clearance for Axel Springer and Ringier. Other clients include, ChemChina and Clariant. Team lead Franz Hoffet is supported by key partner Marcel Dietrich.

Lenz & Staehelin’s competition practice is ‘of truly outstanding excellence in every respect’ and ‘one of the best in Switzerland’ due to its ‘very dedicated team of lawyers’ and ‘strong commitment to client service’. The team provides expertise in merger control, leniency and compliance, and also represents clients in dispute resolution, dawn raid, cartel investigation and merger prohibition appeal situations. A recent highlight was the representation of Colgate Palmolive before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in a CHF5m vertical and horizontal restrictions case relating to Elmex toothpaste. Swisscom and its affiliates CT Cinetrade and Teleclub are other active clients. Marcel Meinhardt is ‘one of the top leading experts in competition and antritrust law’, who ‘focuses on results and the specific requirements of each situation’ and possesses ‘first-rate theoretical and practical knowledge’. Also recommended are the ‘experienced, analytic and business-mindedAstrid Waser and ‘brilliant, no-nonsense’ counsel Felix Prümmer. Benoît Merkt is the head of the three-partner team in Geneva.

Considered ‘one of the go-to firms in Switzerland’, Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd impresses with ‘very short response times, excellent business acumen and proactivity’. The practice focuses particularly on investigations, Commission proceedings, appeals, leniencies and dawn raids, while also advising clients on their compliance programs. Recent highlights include the handling of all merger control and antitrust aspects of the merger between Postfinance’s and SIX’s mobile payment operators TWINT and Paymit and representing Husqvarna in a resale price investigation by the Swiss competition authority regarding robotic lawn mowers. Upc cablecom and Warner Music are other active clients. The ‘experiencedDavid Mamanealways provides spot-on, relevant advice’ and ‘gets the job done with little hassle’. Jürg Borer left to establish Borer Attorneys at Law.

Walder Wyss Ltd provides advice on merger control, compliance, antitrust law, distribution law and investigations. The practice represented Swisscom in an appeal proceeding before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court regarding a CHF186m fee resulting from an alleged price squeeze in the broadband market. An important merger control case was handled for Ticketcorner and its partner Starticket. Other active clients are Migros and Swisscom. Reto Jacobs and managing associate Gion Giger are the main advisers. Roger Staub joined with a three-lawyer team from Froriep in January 2017.

Baker McKenzie focuses on merger control, as well as cartel, vertical, abuse of dominance and compliance investigations. The team represented Schweizerische Drahtziegelfabrik and Zinctec in a price collusion investigation before the Swiss Competition Commission and further supported Selecta with its group-wide compliance program. Estée Lauder is another active client and Aduno Gruppe retained the group for merger control and competition law advice. Philippe Reich and Hubert Gilliéron are the team leads in Zurich and Geneva, respectively. Boris Wenger and two associates joined from Froriep in October 2016.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. covers cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, as well as antitrust matters. Recent highlights include advising PSA on competition law aspects of its acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall. Ralph Lauren, Credit Suisse and Fluxys are other active clients. Mani Reinert is the main contact.

CMS‘ ‘renowned competition practice’ is backed up by ‘a huge international network with many highly qualified experts in every field of law’.delivers ‘top-notch client service’ and has an ‘excellent reputation in investigations’: The group focuses on representing clients in administrative proceedings, merger control cases as well as on the establishment of antitrust compliance programs: recent highlights include assisting Sunrise Communications with merger control issues regarding its sale of Swiss Towers. Apart from team lead Patrick Sommer, the ‘business-mindedMarquard Christen is the main adviser, who offers ‘superb, convincing advice’, ‘profound knowledge of antitrust law’ and has a ‘complex readiness of mind’. Further recommended is the ‘impressive’ Pascal Favre, as well as ‘tough negotiatorAlain Raemy.

Kellerhals Carrard provides ‘fast, above-average service and pragmatic, comprehensible solutions which are focused on the clients’ needs’. The practice represents companies in cartel and abuse of dominance investigations, handles merger filings, conducts compliance audits and also works on authority claims in relation to pricing. A recent highlight was the merger control filing in Switzerland for the joint venture between Deutsche Telekom and Orange. The team further represents HCI Solutions in an investigation relating to abuse of dominance, which is currently in its appeal stage before the FAC. The Swiss Football League is another active client. ‘Highly experienced and perceptive’ practice lead Daniel Emch is recommended and Daniel Lengauer is another name to note.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) has ‘a good grasp of international competition issues’ and apart from acting in proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission, the ‘reliable’ practice ‘is also able to intervene before national courts and achieve good results’; the general focus lies on merger control filings, investigations, antitrust compliance and distribution agreements. Notably, the team represented Cousins Material House in an abuse of dominance claim against Swatch before the Federal Supreme Court. The ‘excellent’ and ‘well-connectedMario Strebel, who has ‘in-depth knowledge’ and ‘strives to provide his clients with practical guidance’, joined from Lenz & Staehelin. Other key lawyers are the ‘pragmaticChristophe Rapin in Geneva and the ‘experiencedSimon Holzer in Zurich.

Responsive’ firm Niederer Kraft Frey delivers ‘comprehensive advice’ and ‘has a constant focus on client strategy and objectives’; clients also appreciate the ‘extensive experience in antitrust matters and the firm’s access to authorities’. The group is advising Birchmeier Hoch- und Tiefbau on a commission investigation and a related leniency application. FIFA is another key client. ‘Terrific team player’ Nicolas Birkhäuser heads the practice, which also includes Thomas Frick.

Pestalozzi handles antitrust, competition and trade matters, which involve merger control, leniency applications, litigation, investigations, cartel cases, compliance programs and state aid. The practice represented Mizuho Financial Group during a LIBOR and TIBOR investigation and further advised state-owned EKZ on the acquisition of shares in Repower and the connected merger notifications. The ‘accurateChristoph Lang has ‘an excellent grasp of the local competition environment’ and provides ‘high-quality, commercial advice’.

Prager Dreifuss AG is recommended for providing ‘immediate answers’ and a ‘very good local network’. The ‘carefully considerate and politically clever’ Philipp Zurkinden in Bern is the main contact; he focuses on cartel, abuse of dominance and merger control matters. Skywork Airlines is a new client, while the group is also representing Tamedia and its affiliate Starticket in a long-term abuse of dominance investigation, which is in its appeal stage before the Federal Supreme Court.

Vischer handles cartel, abuse of dominance and antitrust investigations, as well as related leniency applications, non-contentious merger notifications and compliance programs. Team lead Klaus Neff is representing Immer AG in its appeal before the Federal Administrative Court related to a sanction imposed on the client for participating in a cartel in the door component sector. Another highlight was the merger control advice provided to Bâloise and Basler Leben related to its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Pax Anlage.

Wenger & Vieli‘s ‘renowned’ competition practice is ‘known for its ability to understand its clients’ businesses and needs and to provide tailored, practical and high-quality advice’. The group exhibits particular expertise in Swiss cartel law, merger control filings, cartel investigations and related compliance programs and recently represented a foreign air cargo company in an international law infringement case. In other work, the team is advising an e-bike company on an antitrust investigation concerning its selective distribution system. Urs Weber-Stecher and Frank Scherrer are the key partners; and ‘well-connected’ senior associate Michael Tschudincombines a profound knowledge of Swiss and European law with strong analytical skills and a deep understanding of commission and administrative court proceedings’.

Wenger Plattner focuses on competition and cartel law, including distribution agreements, compliance programs and merger control cases. Another key area is the representation of clients in court and before authorities as well as legal support in connection with dawn raids. Fritz Rothenbühler is the main contact and Dieter Gränicher offers expertise in trade and distribution matters.

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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.