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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. 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 Arbitration 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


Considered by clients as ‘best in class’, Bär & Karrer Ltd. delivers ‘first-rate service’ in arbitration proceedings across four offices. Focus areas include post-M&A, sports and IT-related matters. Pierre-Yves Gunter is acting as chairman in a $700m construction dispute regarding the Panama Canal and the recommended Matthew Reiter successfully represented EnBW in a CHF1bn IP arbitration against Hans-Günter Kiss concerning the Thermoselect technology. Other names to note are Daniel Hochstrasser, ‘business-oriented proceedings rule expert’ Nadja Jaisli Kull as well as associates Cinzia Catelli and Alain Grieder.

The ‘responsive and punctual’ practice at Homburger provides ‘professional and reliable advice’ to domestic and international blue-chip companies, particularly in the regulated industries, and packs a particular punch in commercial arbitration. The team respresented Pawlowski in an ICSID claim against the Czech Republic concerning a real estate development project and also represented Alpiq in a proceeding against Romania regarding the unlawful termination of several electricity supply contracts. As president of tribunal, Gabrielle Nater-Bass acted in an $1.4bn ICC arbitration between a Chinese energy investor and the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines. Georg Naegeli is recommended for his ‘strength in analysing complex situations’. Balz Gross heads the practice.

Lalivemeets international best standards in commercial arbitration’ and impresses with ‘outstanding case management, attention to detail and engagement for the benefit of the client’. The group is also highly adept at advising on investment arbitration and recently represented Romania in two high-value ICSID arbitrations against North American and Scandinavian investors. Furthermore, the practice acted for a Middle Eastern company against a European construction company in a $30m ICC arbitration related to outstanding payments for jointly planned Middle Eastern business activities. ‘Cutting-edge practitionerTeresa Giovanniniis very responsive, to-the-point and practical in her advice’, while Matthias Scherer has ‘impressive expertise in difficult international cases’. Marc Veit is also recommended.

Lenz & Staehelin’s practice consists of ‘excellent colleagues with a sharp understanding of foreign law matters and a willingness to collaborate in an effective manner’. The group is particularly well versed in commercial, corporate, transactional, contractual and IP arbitration across various sectors. ‘Very intelligent’ Zurich team lead Harold Frey is an ‘outstanding lawyer’ who also regularly acts as arbitrator. His counterpart in Geneva is Xavier Favre-Bulle.

Well-established firmSchellenberg Wittmer Ltd has a ‘fantastic reputation in international arbitration’ and ‘demonstrates professionalism in every aspect of its work, especially in cross-cultural legal environments’; additionally, the group has particular industrial expertise in the construction, infrastructure, energy, pharmaceuticals, investment and sports sectors. The team represented MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas in a UNCITRAL dispute against the Republic of Croatia concerning a management agreement. Global Chair Elliott Geisinger is ‘one of the top Swiss arbitrators of his generation’, while Global Vice-Chair Christopher Boogstands out for his international experience and presence in Asia’. Also recommended is ‘efficient, cautious and responsible’ co-Global Vice-Chair Philippe Bärtsch, Manuel Liatowitsch and senior associate Anya George, who gives ‘clear-cut advice’.

Niederer Kraft Frey‘s ‘well-tested and competent’ team provides ‘excellent knowledge in arbitration matters, cross-border expertise and responsiveness that is second to none’. It focuses on commercial, banking, M&A and sports arbitration. The key partners are the ‘broadly experienced and very effective’ Ernst Schmid, cross-border arbitration expert Peter Honegger, ‘outstanding strategistDaniel Eisele and the ‘internationally mindedTamir Livschitz, who also possesses ‘remarkable advocacy skills’.

Pestalozzi has a ‘very high professional profile’ and delivers ‘consistently high, tailored and appropriate advice which is based on good industry knowledge’. It is best known for its arbitration expertise in the financial, technology, pharmaceutical and construction sectors. Clients recommend the ‘creative and open-mindedLaurent Killias, ‘pragmatic, responsive and committed’ Zurich team lead Michael Kramer, as well as ‘strategic thinkerFlorian Mohs. Thomas Legler heads the team in Geneva.

Walder Wyss Ltd is a ‘heavy-weight in international arbitration with real strength-in-depth and a solid commercial approach’; the group focuses particularly on infrastructure, construction, engineering, joint venture and shareholder arbitration. ‘Excellent team player and inventive thinker’ Michael Feit acted as arbitrator in a proceeding between ACP Axos Capital and the Republic of Kosovo. Other key clients include Bally and ExxonMobil. ‘Calm-headed tactician’ Michael Bühler and practice head Dieter Hofmann are other names to note.

Kellerhals Carrardhas a good reputation’ in the arbitration arena, especially in relation to commercial and sports proceedings. The team represented Tanzania Electric Supply Company in an ICSID arbitration against Standard Chartered Bank concerning a power purchase agreement and represented Republic of Croatia in arbitral matters against Mol Hungarian Oil and Gas regarding a shareholder agreement. Siemens is another active client. The ‘excellentBernhard Berger and the ‘diligent, competent and professionalMartin Molina are recommended and François Kaiser is another name to note.

Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler focuses on commercial, investment and sports arbitration. Clients include private companies, governments and international organisations. Recent highlights were the defence of FIFA before the CAS against an appeal brought by former president Joseph Blatter regarding his six-year ban from all football-related activities, as well as the ICC representation of a buyer in a case relating to the purchase of an industrial machine. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, Sébastien Besson, Laurent Lévy and Antonio Rigozzi are the key partners.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP’s ‘reactive and professional’ practice is ‘overall pleasant to work with’, thereby ‘well-known and respected throughout Switzerland, particularly for its expertise in construction arbitration’. The team also handles arbitration in the infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and sports sectors, as well as in relation to joint ventures and other commercial topics. The ‘excellently organised’ Vanessa Liborio Garrido de Sousa and recommended of counsel Rena Scott welcomed the ‘extremely experienced’ former US Ambassador Charles Adams to their team in April 2017; all of them ‘do a fantastic job under very high pressure’.

Eversheds Sutherland AG‘s ‘responsive and pragmatic’ team consists of ‘commercially savvy lawyers who understand the way business works, combined with the expected legal expertise’. The team covers arbitration in a wide range of sectors such as banking and finance, TMT, pharma, insurance, trade and construction, as well as general commercial disputes. Louis Dreyfus, BNP Paribas and Cotecna Inspection are all active clients. Monika McQuillenalways thinks carefully about the cost-benefit relation for the client and is excellent in giving advice in a language that business people can understand’. Further recommended are ‘good strategic thinker’ Claudius Triebold and the ‘approachable and easy-to-work-with’ James Hargrove.

The ‘well-established’ commercial and sports arbitration practice at Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG is a ‘particularly good choice for legal actions against major Swiss corporates’ and provides a ‘lean operation with substantial partner involvement’. The team recently acted for Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC in a proceeding against FIFA, USSF and CONCACAF regarding competition law aspects of closed-shop football leagues in the US. Key partners include ‘very experienced strategist’ Roberto Dallafior, commercial arbitrator Hans Nater, ‘skilled and pro-active arbitrator’ Manuel Arroyo, who joined from Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) in 2017, and ‘quick and business-minded’ IP arbitration counsel Mathis Berger.

Patocchi & Marzolini acts for multinational companies and financial institutions in pharmaceutical, energy, construction, commodity and trade-related arbitration proceedings, as well as providing arbitrator services in commercial and investment cases. The team represented the North American engineering company MSI in a contractual dispute against a Russian oligarch related to a construction project. Paolo Patocchi and Paolo Marzolini are the key contacts.

Vischer’s ‘reliable and trustworthy’ team consists of ‘highly skilled and dynamic attorneys’ who are ‘very knowledgeable in arbitration’ and have ‘a remarkable, solution-oriented approach’. Key sources of work include the freight forwarding, timber and wood, shipping and financial industries. Christian Oetiker acted as sole arbitrator in an ICC proceeding between a US company and a European manufacturer concerning the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicle systems (drones). The ‘clear, convincing and experiencedThomas Weibel, ‘skilled and dedicated’ senior associate Claudia Walz and the ‘responsive and tactically considerateDaniele Favalli are recommended.

Wenger & Vieli has its ‘special strengths in international commercial arbitration’ and ‘a healthy balance between partners and young, skilled associates’. The group is particularly experienced in arbitral matters in the energy sector and relating to joint ventures as well as telecommunication and construction projects. ‘Down-to-earth arbitratorUrs Weber-Stecher, who is ‘well-liked for his balanced approach and efficiency’, as well as ‘highly professional and outstanding academicDaniel Girsberger and the ‘very analyticalMichael Mráz are recommended.

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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.