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Switzerland > Dispute resolution > Litigation > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: litigation
  2. Leading individuals
  3. 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, especially in relation to white-collar crime’. Another focus is M&A and banking litigation, as well as private client disputes. In a recent highlight, the team defended EnBW in a dispute brought by H.G. Kiss regarding the valuation of the minority shareholding in Kiss’s Thermoselect which EnBW had acquired in the 1990s. Novartis and UBS are other active clients. Andreas Länzlinger is noted for his expertise concerning international matters, for which he ‘comes up with concise, pragmatic and specifically tailored advice’. Also recommended are ‘pragmatic litigatorDaniel Hochstrasser, head of litigation Matthew Reiter and associate Cinzia Catelli. Saverio Lembo is the main contact in Geneva.

Top Swiss law firmHomburger provides a ‘very high level of service’, especially for private companies in the regulated industries regarding commercial, employment, insurance, white-collar crime and data protection disputes. Recent highlights include representing Alpiq in civil and administrative proceedings related to statutory and contractual pre-emption rights on shares in Swissgrid. Zurich Insurance and Ericsson are other key clients. The ‘knowledgable, professional and pleasant-to-work-withBalz Gross took over the dispute resolution lead from commercial litigator Felix Dasser.

Lenz & Staehelin is ‘top notch’ in litigation and delivers ‘first-rate quality and fully reliable advice’. A special focus lies on financial services and corporate litigation, while clients also increasingly seek assistance with employment, real estate, private client and IP disputes. The Zurich team around Harold Frey is representing Sika in a proceeding against shareholder Schenker-Winkler regarding the client’s planned takeover by Saint-Gobain, which brought up share transfer issues. Julius Bär and Valartis are also active clients. In Geneva, team lead Daniel Tunik is recommended along criminal law litigator Miguel Oural and private client experts Mark Barmes and Lucien Masmejan.

Well-positioned in the market’, Niederer Kraft Frey’s ‘dedicated lawyers are easy to work with, cooperate efficiently’ and make ‘excellent use of internal resources outside of their specific department’. The team acts for banks, car manufacturers, sports organisations, insurers, construction companies and fashion retailers and 2017 highlights included the representation of UBS in a high-value, international dispute with the Riva family concerning the management of the latter’s assets. In other work, the group represented BMW in proceedings regarding the client´s CHF 156m vertical restrictions fine imposed by the Swiss Competition Commission. The ‘pragmatic and tacticalDaniel Eisele is recommended together with the ‘highly capableTamir Livschitz. Valerie Meyer Bahar is ‘extremely responsive and provides actionable advice’ and on associate level, the ‘talented’ Anja Vogt and Livia Keller stand out.

Very experienced and reliable firmPestalozzihas the advantage of being smaller in size and a higher chance of partner involvement’. The historical focus lies on commodity businesses, banking disputes and criminal investigations. Ongoing highlights are the representation of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the city of Almaty in global investigations, civil court litigation and asset recovery, as well as representing First International Bank of Israel in loan recovery and avoidance claims against several foreign companies. The ‘diligent and responsiveThomas Rohner in Zurich and ‘great negotiatorChristophe Emonet in Geneva are recommended. Head of the Zurich practice Michael Kramer is another name to note.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd’s team ‘has built up a reputation of excellence in litigation’, is ‘very responsive and easy to work with’ and ‘has a good grasp of problems that go beyond Swiss law’. The group is particularly strong in banking, white-collar crime, post-M&A and commercial litigation and recently defended Gazprom Neft against a CHF80m corporate liability claim brought by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Another highlight is the defence of a Swiss bank against damages claims related to alleged money laundering activities. Peter Burckhardt is ‘outstanding in every respect’, while co-lead Christian Girodimpresses with his excellent litigation skills’. Also recommended are white-collar crime experts Vincent Jeanneret and Benjamin Borsodi, as well as ‘creative strategistManuel Liatowitsch and the ‘hands-on and thoroughBlaise Stucki. Louis Burrus is ‘highly responsive and efficient’, ‘excellent lawyerStefan Leimgruber has ‘great social skills’ and ‘quick strategic thinkerUrs Hoffmann-Nowotny made partner in January 2017.

Walder Wyss Ltd‘s ‘outstanding’ team ‘matches rigor with elegance’, is ‘responsive and eager to work for the client’ and excels in commercial litigation, particularly in the construction, engineering and infrastructure sector. Highlights included representing Sartus Capital in several contractual disputes. Nestlé is another key client. Dieter Hofmann in Zurich heads the practice, which was strengthened by the arrival of the ‘thorough and strategic’ Rodolphe Gautier from Baker McKenzie in July 2017.

CMS provides ‘quality advice with very high responsiveness’ in banking, insurance, construction, white-collar crime and sports disputes and is also recommended as a ‘solid law firm for dispute resolution in commercial and employment law and enforcement cases’. The team acts for a Norwegian company in an ongoing enforcement proceeding against the owner of an offshore company. The client roster also includes AXA Leben and Atos. ‘Experienced trial lawyerDamiano Brusa has ‘a good feel for strategic questions’, while real estate expert Stefan Gerster is ‘very solution-oriented’. Further recommended are the ‘highly capable, organised and fast’ Jodok Wicki and the ‘professional and convincingPhilipp Dickenmann.

Lalive provides ‘a heavy-weight contentious offering’, including a ‘specialisation in white-collar crime’. The team also exhibits strength in banking, commercial, private client, energy, real estate, employment and IP disputes and recently represented the Lybian Investment Authority in a $58m asset recovery case against Société Générale. Other work included representing the head of a Middle Eastern group against multijurisdictional fraud claims worth $9bn. The ‘knowledgeable and well-respectedMarc Henzelin, who jointly leads the practice with Alexander Troller, the ‘attentive, accurate and conciseSandrine Giroud and ‘commercially astute’ counsel Sonja Maeder Morvant are recommended. Matthias Gstoehl joined the Zurich office from Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG.

Vischer has an ‘excellent in-depth litigation team’, which ‘acts quickly through collaboration’ and focuses on the transport and freight forwarding industries, as well as the financial services, insurance and TMT sectors. In a recent highlight, the group advised Pirelli Tyre and Banque Cantonale Vaudoise on the enforcement of a judgement against a former board member of a debtor company. ‘Strategic thinkerChristian Oetiker is recommended for his ‘strength in banking, finance and bankruptcy litigation’, while Thomas Weibel is ‘a very reputed and successful estate and succession litigator’.

Baker McKenzie focuses on multi-party and white-collar crime litigation, especially in relation to trusts, inheritance, finance, energy, infrastructure and corporate issues. The practice represented an Austrian logistics and postal services company in a dispute against three Turkish individuals related to a call option agreement and a Taiwanese pharmaceutical company in a cross-border fraud litigation against Swiss individuals. Alessandro Celli joined from Froriep in October 2016, while Beat Mathys and Florian Bommer founded BommerMathys Rechtsanwälte and Rodolphe Gautier left for Walder Wyss.

No-nonsense firmFroriep delivers ‘first-class service in an extremely responsive manner’, with a coverage of criminal, insolvency, environmental, commercial, corporate, banking, tax, sports and transport litigation. The Environmental, Transport and Agricultural Department within the State of Geneva received support in a railway construction dispute which raised pollution and remediation issues. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Abbott Pharmaceuticals and Groupon are other active clients. The ‘highly professional and solution-oriented’ Isabelle Romy is ‘very experienced in environmental legal issues and international litigation’, while ‘consummate professionalAlain Grosinspires confidence and gets results’. Alessandro Celli joined Baker McKenzie.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL)always provides swift, appropriate and solution-focused responses’ and adopts a ‘professional, yet personal approach’. The practice is active in the banking, corporate and pharmaceutical sectors, representing industry heavyweights such as Bayer Pharma, AstraZeneca, Migros and Credit Suisse. With Léonard Stoyanov and Geneva team lead Bernard Lachenal, clients ‘are in best hands’ and can ‘count on the reliable team in every situation’. Further recommended is Simon Holzer, who is appreciated for his ‘knowledge, availability and hard work’. Marcel Lustenberger heads the Zurich team.

Boutique firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG is ‘well positioned to provide dispute resolution services against insurance companies’ and offers ‘very good response times’. Another big focus is banking and finance litigation, including enforcement matters, while the team also has experience in IP, TMT, employment, competition, inheritance and sports disputes. The practice defended Bombardier in a public procurement litigation brought by Stadler Rail and Siemens related to the new Zurich tram. ‘Skilled, respected and knowledgeable’ partners Roberto Dallafior and Patrik Salzmann are especially recommended for their knowledge in banking and domestic tax cases. Insurance litigator Roland Bachmann is another name to note. Manuel Arroyo joined from Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) in 2017, while Matthias Gstoehl left for Lalive.

Wenger & Vielihas a very pragmatic, cost-sensitive approach’ and ‘provides high-value services’. The group predominantly focuses on litigious banking, commercial and white-collar crime matters, but the service offering also includes expertise in contentious liability, employment and private client matters. Head of litigation Marco Cereghettiworks fast and exact’. Peter Altorfer, Michael Huber and Michael Mráz are other notable practitioners.

BianchiSchwald LLC is particulary adept at advising on white-collar crime matters, but exhibits additional expertise in employment, real estate, banking, media and corporate litigation. Jean-Marc Carnice specialises in white-collar crime, while Thierry Amy provides advice on contentious banking and finance, as well as real estate matters. Stéphanie Fuld is the key contact for employment disputes.

Bratschi Ltd has a ‘very committed, understanding and available team’ that focuses on commercial and banking litigation. The practice defended a telecommunication company against a CHF8m breach of contract claim. The ‘brilliant and straight-to-the-point’ Sandra de Vito is a ‘team player and understands the balance between cost and the requested results’. Mirco Ceregato, Daniel Glasl, Lukas Wyss and Thierry Augsburger are other key practitioners.

Buis Bürgi AG has longstanding experience in representing clients against Swiss banks as well as in post-M&A, trust, shareholder, employment and liability disputes. The team also handles white-collar crime cases. Eric Buis and Paul Bürgi are supported by eight associates.

From its offices in Basel and Zurich, Burckhardt Ltd. covers financial services, employment, trust and inheritance disputes. Recent highlights include the representation of an Egypian resident in a contractual dispute against a Swiss bank, as well as the defence of various state hospitals and private clinics in clinical negligence cases regarding childbirth, living organ donations and medically assisted reproduction. Piera Beretta, Regula Hinderling, Gudrun Österreicher and Ramon Mabillard are the main partners.

Eversheds Sutherland AG impresses with ‘excellent services’, ‘adequate response times, very deep industry knowledge and precise, high-quality work’. The team is especially recommended for major personal injury and product liability claims, while disputes in the telecoms, construction, banking, pharmaceutical and energy sectors are other areas of expertise. Sportfive, Louis Dreyfus and Tyco are active clients. Barbara Klett and Peter Haas are ‘very reliable and experienced’. Commercial litigator Claudius Triebold heads the practice.

FBT Attorneys-at-Law’s litigation team is ‘very responsive and quick’ and its ‘pro-activity makes it stand out’. Litigation on behalf of banks, as well as tax, corporate, criminal, competition and transport disputes are the key areas of expertise. A recent highlight is the representation of a trading and shipping company in a contentious distribution matter regarding the supply of liquefied petroleum gas to an African country. Serge Fasel and Michael Biot are recommended.

Jacquemoud Stanislas handles liability, shareholder, contractual, competition, criminal and transport disputes. Recent highlights include defending a major pharmaceutical company against product liability claims related to the client´s medication´s patient information leaflets. Guy Stanislas and Marc Balavoine are the key partners.

Kellerhals Carrard focuses on commercial and corporate litigation. The team represented a Swiss company in an insurance dispute related to the coverage of a turbine breakdown in an industrial plant in South America. Peter Schatz, Andreas Güngerich, Lukas Bopp and Nicolas Gillard head the team.

Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC‘s ‘client-oriented’ team is ‘a rising player in the market’ that provides ‘impressive white-collar crime and cross-border expertise’, particularly in criminal matters pertaining to medical and professional negligence. The group is defending an art dealer against a hidden commission claim brought by a former client. ‘Strategic and impressive litigator’ Grégoire Mangeat ‘thinks and acts off the beaten path’, while maintaining a ‘clear, straightforward and entrepreneurial style’. On associate level, clients recommend ‘precise and punctual’ employment litigator Sara Dousset and Fanny Margairaz, who has an ‘outside-the-box legal approach’. Ramon Rodriguez joined the team from R&R Avocats in July 2017.

Prager Dreifuss AG handles commercial and banking litigation, insurance claims and debt collection cases. The practice is representing KTS in an ongoing bankruptcy litigation worth CHF640m against Lehman Brothers Finance. Daniel Hayek is ‘very client-focused, excellently masters the details of his cases and works really hard to get the best possible outcome for his clients’. Urs Feller heads the practice.

Python is well versed in international insurance claims, white-collar crime, energy, construction, technology, sponsorship and general commercial disputes. Dominique Henchoz, Homayoon Arfazadeh, Marc Joory, François Micheli and Philippe Ciocca are the key individuals.

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd has ‘strong expertise in banking litigation’, but also provides ‘good value’ advice on contentious commercial matters. The team successfully defended Swiss Climate Cent Foundation against a clawback action brought by liquidators of PMAG related to the payment of the Klimarappen. The client roster also includes Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke and ThyssenKrupp Aufzüge. Philipp Känzig ‘sees the bigger picture’ and Marc Bernheim is ‘calm and focused’.

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte’s litigation team consists of ‘brilliant minds’ who deliver ‘well thought-through advice in a punctual manner’. The main focus lies on banking, tax and estate litigation, as well as commercial, construction, distribution and competition disputes. In a recent highlight, the group defended a real estate developer against a deception of price claim brought by the buyer of a hospitality property. Patrick Rohnis very much in control of the proceedings’; Daniel Stoll and Michael Bösch are other names to note.

Wenger Plattner advises on the full spectrum of contentious corporate, banking, trade, real estate, construction, inheritance, labour, insurance and IP issues. The team recently defended a former boarder member of a medium-sized company in a director’s liability claim. Swiss Air and Petroplus are also active clients. The recommended Dieter Gränicher and Stephan Kesselbach are the names to note.

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Press releases

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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
  • 17 February 2017: Auris Medical's Public Equity Offering

    Auris Medical Holding AG (NASDAQ: EARS) issued and priced its public offering of 10,000,000 common shares and 10,000,000 warrants, each warrant entitling its holder to purchase 0.70 of a common share.  The common shares and warrants are being sold in units comprised of one common share and one warrant at the public offering price of USD 1.00 per unit. The warrants will be immediately exercisable at a price of USD 1.20 per common share and are exercisable for five years. In connection with the offering, the Company has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,500,000 additional common shares and/or 1,500,000 additional warrants at the public offering price less underwriting discounts. The offering is expected to close on or about February 21, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Roth Capital Partners is acting as sole book-running manager in the offering. Maxim Group LLC is acting as a financial advisor in the offering.
  • 16 February 2017: Credit Suisse successfully launched its new subsidiary Credit Suisse (Switzerland)

    Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. was incorporated with the purpose to be organized as a Swiss bank. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse AG. The transfer of assets and liabilities according to Swiss merger law became effective on 20 November 2016. The transfer was aimed to evolve the legal entity structure of the Credit Suisse Group to meet regulatory requirements for systematically important banks.
  • 14 February 2017: BASF acquires Rolic Group

    BASF acquires Rolic, a Swiss based group offering innovative and forward-thinking solutions, particularly in the display and security industries as well as the optical film business.
  • 15 February 2017: gategroup CHF 300 mio. bond issuance

    gategroup successfully raised CHF 300 million through the issuance of a fixed rate 5-year senior bond with a final maturity on February 28, 2022. The bond with a coupon of 3% p.a. has been issued by gategroup Finance (Luxembourg) S.A. and is guaranteed by its parent company gategroup Holding AG. gategroup will apply for the listing of the new bond on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
  • 17 February 2017: RWS acquires LUZ, Inc.

    RWS Holdings plc, a world leading provider of intellectual property support services (patent translations, international patent filing solutions and searches), commercial translations and linguistic validation, has completed the acquisition of 100% of LUZ, Inc., a market leading Life Sciences language services provider based in San Francisco, for a cash consideration of USD82.5m.
  • 17 February 2017: Cembra Money Bank acquires invoice financing provider SWISSBILLING SA

    Cembra Money Bank has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of SWISSBILLING. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2017. The transaction consideration was below CHF 10 million and is expected to have a negative impact of 0.1% on the Group’s CET1 ratio as at closing.
  • 7 February 2017: TPF closes private offering and bank financing

    Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic (TPF TRAFIC) SA closed the financing of its maintenance and exploitation centre in the canton of Fribourg. The financing was partly made through a CHF 40 mio. private placement, a CHF 32 mio. secured bank loan and a CHF 55 mio. unsecured bank loan.
  • 3 February 2017: Migros acquires Tipesca

    The Migros Group, through Mérat & Cie. SA, has acquired Tipesca SA, a company incorporated in the canton of Tessin. Tipesca offers a wide range of fish products.
  • 24 January 2017: Sharp Corporation and Skytec Group Limited enter into strategic business alliance

    Japan-based Sharp Corporation, part of Taiwan’s Foxconn Group, enters into a strategic business alliance with Skytec Group Limited (“Skytec”) regarding the manufacture and sale of Sharp branded products and services in Europe. For that purpose, Sharp acquires a majority stake of 56.7% in the newly incorporated joint venture Skytec UMC Ltd.
  • 25 January 2017: Zug Estates CHF 100 mio. Bond

    Zug Estates Holding AG (SIX: ZUGN) has successfully issued its first CHF 100 mio. fixed-interest bond with a 0.7% coupon and a 5-year maturity.

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