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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 > Dispute resolution: arbitration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: arbitration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

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The multilingual team at¬†B√§r & Karrer Ltd.¬†has 'excellent knowledge of Swiss law', focusing on M&A, private client, intellectual property and IT disputes for a range of companies in the scientific, automotive, media and technology industries.¬†Pierre-Yves Gunter¬†serves as chairman in a $700m ICC arbitration proceeding concerning the Panama canal, and also co-represents the National Iranian Gas Company in a ‚ā¨5bn gas dispute against claimant Turkmengas.¬†Daniel Hochstrasser¬†in Zurich¬†and the 'terrific' Geneva-based¬†Saverio Lembo, who 'has excellent practical judgement', are also key partners.

Homburger's arbitration team 'has a deep understanding of industrial clients' needs' and works under 'quick reaction times'. The client base largely consists of blue-chip companies and businesses from regulated industries, and the group frequently handles M&A, commercial, energy, pharmaceutical and financial disputes. Felix Dasser represented Pawlowski as claimant in an ICSID case against the Czech Republic concerning a real estate development project, while Mariella Orelli acted for Alpiq in an ICSID proceeding relating to the unlawful termination of long-term electricity supply agreements by Romania's state-owned power generation company Hidroelectrica. Team lead Balz Gross defended a pharmaceutical company against a US competitor in a patent license dispute. The 'very responsive and well-organised' Gabrielle Nater-Bass is also recommended.

LALIVE is 'one of the most effective law firms in Switzerland',and its sizeable team 'works very hard trying to produce the best results for its clients' and 'collaborates well in other jurisdictions'. The arbitration practice is best known for handling commercial and investment disputes on a global basis, with strong links to Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Dr Veijo Heiskanen and the 'well-organised and smart' Matthias Scherer represented Romania as defendant against Canadian and UK investors in a $4.4bn ICSID arbitration relating to a gold mining project. Together with Scherer, Domitille Baizeau successfully obtained an award for the Republic of Mauritius, in a matter concerning the defence of its first-ever treaty claim as brought by a French-Mauritian businessman. Firm founder Michael E Schneider specialises in construction- and energy-related disputes.

The multi-jurisdictional practice at Lenz & Staehelin 'thinks strategically' and 'has exceptionally strong knowledge of the nuts and bolts of Swiss arbitration' and has a 'diligent' approach and 'sharp understanding of foreign law matters'. The team acts for various industries, including pharmaceuticals, construction, telecoms, sports and energy. 'Outstanding and high-calibre' practitioner Harold Frey, who impresses with 'actionable advice and on-the-spot arguments in court', achieved the dismissal of all claims against the State of Palestine concerning a private investment, which were brought by a private company. 'Hands-on, dedicated arbitrator' Xavier Favre-Bulle is the key partner in Geneva.

Pestalozzi's large arbitration practice provides 'very thoughtful advice' and stands out for its 'thorough, straightforward and to-the-point communication'. With expertise in the commodities business and regulated industries, Michael Kramer¬†led a team that represented claimant T√ľrkmengaz in a ‚ā¨1.5bn ICC gas supply contract dispute against the National Iranian Gas Company. Other notable individuals include¬†Laurent Killias, who has¬†'a¬†first-class legal mind',¬†and 'highly experienced intellectual property arbitrator'¬†Thomas Legler.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd's 'well-informed, collaborative' team 'has a very high working level with broad experience¬†and clear communication'. Commercial, commodities, energy and construction, intellectual property, investment and sports arbitration constitute the main areas of expertise, which can be applied in a global context. Practice head¬†Elliott Geisinger, 'truly international rising star'¬†Christopher Boog¬†and 'excellent'¬†Nathalie Voser¬†represented the Russian Federation in several setting-aside cases regarding awards obtained in separate investment disputes. Apart from representing athletes in sports arbitration, the 'thorough'¬†Philippe B√§rtsch¬†also acted for an entity owned by two energy companies in a ‚ā¨400m arbitration concerning a large dam in Europe.¬†Anya George¬†and¬†Anna Kozmenko¬†made partner in January 2019.¬†Martin Bernet¬†left to establish his own boutique firm,¬†Bernet Arbitration / Dispute management¬†in 2018.

International arbitration boutique Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler handles investment and commercial disputes, as well as contentious sports matters. Apart from assisting corporate clients, the team also engages in policy advice and the drafting of arbitration rules. Investment experts Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Laurent Lévy, as well as sports law partners Antonio Rigozzi and Sébastien Besson are core practitioners, while Sabina Sacco and counsel Eva Kalnina are other names to note.

'International arbitration is a particular strength' of Niederer Kraft Frey AG. Its 'very professional' team returns 'excellent work results under time pressure' and focuses on banking, commercial, sports and defence industry disputes, among other sectors. 'Thoughtful strategist' Tamir Livschitz, who delivers 'utmost client care', and the 'astute and personable' Ernst Schmid  are recommended. Schmid co-heads the team together with finance arbitration counsel Peter Honegger, while Daniel Eisele specialises in commercial disputes. Commercial dispute attorney Brigitte Knecht was promoted to counsel in January 2019.

Walder Wyss Ltd¬†houses 'a technically excellent, internationally experienced, strategical and collaborative' arbitration team that operates in 'a no-fuss, cost-sensitive' way. Key areas of strength include commercial, infrastructure, engineering, construction and M&A disputes, as well as awards enforcement. 'Stand-out practitioner'¬†Michael Feit, who is recommended for his investment arbitration expertise, acted as arbitrator in the ‚ā¨330m ICSID dispute between claimant ACP Axos Capital and the Republic of Kosovo concerning the failed privatisation of Kosovo's postal and communications company. Michael Buhler, who is 'calm under pressure',¬†and 'diligent' counsel¬†Marco Stacher, who is 'excellent in cross-examinations', are also recommended.

Kellerhals Carrard employs 'arbitration specialists' in Zurich and Bern, who mainly cover commercial and sports arbitration. A recent highlight for Bernhard Berger and Martin Molina was the representation of the claimant, the Republic of Croatia, in $5bn setting-aside proceedings against a final award granted to MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company. François Kaiser, Henry Peter and senior associate Olivier Mosimann are also key practitioners.

The 'very solid team' at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is 'extremely efficient and maintains good communication between members and clients'. It is recommended for its 'strong skills in contract, energy and construction disputes', which are the focus areas in arbitration. 'Well-connected' global head of international arbitration Charles Adams, 'professional and competent' Vanessa Liborio and of counsel Rena Scott, who has 'excellent drafting skills', are recommended. The 'client-oriented' James Hargrove joined from Eversheds Sutherland AG in February 2018.

Peter & Partners is 'a real leader in its field: truly international and experienced in all parts of the world'. The team, which is 'led by the formidable and brilliant arbitrator' Wolfgang Peter, handles post-M&A, energy, construction, joint venture and sales arbitration matters. In a recent highlight, Peter and the 'smart and practical' Konstantin Christie served as co-counsel to a law firm representing the respondent in a gas supply dispute against a claimant from the Middle East. 'Rising star' Daniel Greineder is also recommended.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH's office head Thomas Werlen specialises in financial services, sports and pharmaceutical arbitration, while 'outstandingly knowledgeable and perfectly organised' senior associate Simon Vorburger, who joined from Homburger in 2018, has experience in energy and infrastructure project disputes, as well as contractual and insolvency-related arbitration. Fifa and Comosa are key clients of the firm.

The 'time-conscious and responsive' team at Eversheds Sutherland AG consists of 'good listeners who make an effort to understand the client's wish'. Operating in multiple language regions, the practice gained experience in matters connected to the financial services, telecoms, IT, pharmaceutical, insurance, international trade and commodities, energy and construction industries. 'Creative and dedicated' Dr. Claudius Triebold is a key name. Monika McQuillen and trade specialist Patrick Eberhardt are other names to note. James Hargrove departed to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in February 2018.

'Reputable' firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG's team of 'strong advocates' impresses through its 'careful and thorough research, professional case handling, determination, high availability and well-written advocacy'. A major focus is international commercial and sports arbitration. The 'very respected and effective' department lead Roberto Dallafior represents Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC as claimants in an CAS proceeding, which challenges the system of closed leagues, against Fifa, USSF and Concacaf. Clients also recommend 'multilingual and highly experienced' international arbitration expert Manuel Arroyo.

'Professional' boutique firm Patocchi & Marzolini 'stands out for its attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of dispute resolution mechanisms'. Multilingual commercial, post-M&A, construction and investment arbitration constitute a particular focus. In a recent matter, the 'efficient, competent and collaborative' Paolo Marzolini represented a European construction group as respondent against two companies in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of an infrastructure project. 'Leading arbitration figure' Paolo Michele Patocchi is recommended for his 'great experience in all domains of international dispute resolution'.

'High-quality Swiss boutique' Tavernier Tschanz stands out for its 'professional, pragmatic and hands-on approach' and 'thorough case analysis'. Its caseload is largely focused on the corporate, M&A, pharmaceutical, energy, commodity and transport fields. Frank Spoorenberg, who is 'clear thinking and vastly knowledgeable', and the 'reliable' Pierre-Yves Tschanz represent Çukurova in an ongoing post-M&A dispute.

VISCHER's arbitration team 'provides solid, high-quality work in complex international disputes', including 'hands-on, proactive settlement strategies'. Transport, banking, nuclear power and construction form major areas of expertise, and the team is additionally experienced in representing clients in relation to Russia and the Middle East. 'Highly skilled and experienced practitioner' Thomas Weibel is recommended in Basel. Daniele Favalli and Christian Oetiker are the key partners in Zurich.

Wenger & Vieli LTD is 'an excellent shop for arbitration', especially regarding contractual, commercial, intellectual property, post-M&A, energy and construction disputes. The 'very experienced, reliable and respected' practice lead Urs Weber-Stecher is recommended alongside 'outstanding arbitrators' Daniel Girsberger and Michael Mráz, who have 'a friendly, down-to-earth attitude'.

White & Case LLP's 'knowledgeable' practice is 'invaluable in arbitration proceedings'. The team, led by 'stand-out partner' Anne Véronique Schlaepfer, has expertise in construction and engineering, energy, manufacturing and consumer goods disputes. Other key names include of partner Alexandre Mazuranic and 'excellent' senior associate Vanessa Alarcón Duvanel, who 'always stays on top of things and is a joy to work with'.

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  • B√§r & 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".
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.
  • B√§r & 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.