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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 > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment 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


Baker McKenzie handles the whole array of employment benefits matters, restructurings, litigation and global employee relocation. Notably, the team is advising International Road Transport Union on internal investigations following an employee complaint against a colleague. Longstanding clients include Dow Chemical, computer software company Oracle and British Airways. Peter Reinert in Zurich and senior associate Serge Pannatier in Geneva are the key individuals.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. provides employment advice in connection with corporate transactions and restructurings, including relocations, international assignments, permits, data protection aspects and exit packages, on dismissals, retention packages, social plans and compliance as well as litigation support. Strong sector experience has been gained in the sports, financial services, life sciences, technology and energy industries. The team advised Huntsman on incentive plans and employment contracts related to its merger with Clariant. Counsel Laura Widmer is recommended.

Homburger‘s ‘excellent’ team is ‘very client-oriented, reliable, responsive and easy to deal with’ and advises on employee participation plans, compensation issues, regulatory aspects, restructuring and transactions, as well as global relocation and contentious employment matters. Recent highlights include assisting General Motors with pension plan and TUPE issues related to its sale of Opel. Balz Gross and Gregor Bühler head the department and the ‘pragmatic, comprehensive and effectiveGabrielle Nater-Bass has ‘excellent experience and judgement’. Former counsel Roger Zuber left the firm to become a cantonal judge.

Lenz & Staehelin impresses with a ‘very pragmatic approach, high-quality answers and cost effectiveness’ in both advisory and contentious matters. Focus areas include legal employment support during company reorganisations and M&A transactions, as well as continuous advice on termination agreements, employee relocation and immigration, bonus and stock option schemes, discrimination, social security and pensions. In a recent highlight, the group advised Moody’s Analytics on employment matters related to its acquisition of Bureau van Dijk, and assisted Novartis Animal Health with employment and pension aspects of its business restructuring. Rayan Houdrouge heads the team in Geneva and ‘finds operational solutions very quickly’. His counterpart in Zurich is Matthias Oertle.

Niederer Kraft Frey‘s ‘friendly and understated team’ provides ‘very professional advice and delivers 100% value for money in a timely fashion’ to clients such as the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research. Particular areas of expertise include compensation matters, transaction-related advice, disputes, employee transfer, social security and pension issues, data protection and employee rights, as well as specialist topics such as working time recording, temporary staffing and internal investigations. Clients appreciate the ‘well thought-out, measured advice’ of ‘smart and fast first-class employment lawyerCatherine Grun Meyer and further recommend Valerie Meyer Bahar, Thomas Frick, as well as ‘sharp-witted, analytical and tactically brilliant’ associate Daniel Antognini and ‘professional’ associate Livia Keller. Andreas Casutt and Thomas Sprecher lead the practice.

Walder Wyss Ltd‘s ‘strong and enthusiastic team’ provides ‘short response times, personal support and pragmatic solutions that the courts will largely recognise’. The practice handles regulatory employment aspects, gives social security, pensions and immigration advice and also represents clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings. An ongoing highlight is the preparation of a collective bargaining agreement for the symphonial orchestra of Luzerne and its negotiation with the Swiss Musicians’ Union. Ueli Sommer in Zürich is ‘responsive, to-the-point and an absolute pleasure to work with’, while Philippe Nordmann in Basel has ‘in-depth knowledge of all aspects of employment law and always treats his work as high priority’. Clients further recommend associate David Hill, who has ‘great potential’.

BianchiSchwald LLC regularly advises on employment agreements, bonus schemes, pension and insurance plans, mass dismissals and health and safety; the group also covers internal processes audits, immigration advice, contentious employment matters as well as legal services provided to recruitment agencies. The team advised the International Road Union on compliance issues, governing rules and also represented the client in employment litigation. Stéphanie Fuld is the main contact.

Burckhardt Ltd. provides expertise in public sector and private employment law, including advice on bonus schemes, regulatory issues and compliance, litigation, data protection, restructurings and immigration matters. The team is defending a public body against an unfair treatment claim relating to salary increases brought by employees and advises a major Swiss insurance company on employment contracts. Regula Hinderling is recommended.

CMS delivers ‘great service and clear, comprehensive answers’ to employment law and corporate policy issues, including advice on M&A-related employment and contentious matters. The group is advising NIKE on a regular basis regarding employment certicificates, non-compete undertakings and secrecy agreements. Other active clients include Deutsche Lufthansa/Swiss International Airlines, Accenture and Burger King. The ‘responsive, professional and very practicalChristian Gersbach is a ‘pleasure to work with’.

Professional and highly knowledgeable firmEversheds Sutherland AGnot only provides technically detailed, but also very pragmatic and risk-conscious advice’ in the fields of employment, immigration and data protection law, including assistance with incentive plans, mass dismissals, collective bargaining, discrimination issues, management contracts, social security and pensions as well as transaction-related aspects. An ongoing highlight is advising International Air Transport Association on employment matters related to the relocation of its financial distribution services from Geneva to Madrid, Singapore and Montreal. The ‘logicalMonika McQuillen is an ‘excellent partner to work with’, ‘knows the ins and outs of Swiss employment law’ and ‘delivers highly effective training which is pitched at just the right level’. Clients also appreciate Olivier Dunant for his ‘reasonable and straightforward approach’.

Kellerhals Carrard advises on a wide range of employment law matters and litigation cases, with a more recent focus on management contracts, say on pay regulations and working hour reviews. The team negotiated a collective bargaining agreement with the Swiss Syndicate for Media Employees for a radio and television company and advised a recruitment company on the enforcement of non-competition obligations against a leaving team of senior consultants. Daniel Alder is the main contact.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) offers ‘high-quality services for a very good price and within a reasonable time frame’. The practice covers employment, social security and immigration law as well as representation in disputes; focus areas include restructuring, outsourcing, bonus packages, redundancies, lay-off procedures as well as union and authority negotiations. The group advised Zurich Insurance on employment and social security matters. Other notable clients inclue Calida, Tesla Motors Switzerland and railCare. Thomas Kälin has ‘extensive know-how and a lot of valuable experience’ and ‘is always able to illustrate his legal conclusions in a very comprehensive way’. Martin Ammann is another key contact.

Pestalozzi covers transactional employment law, pensions, executive employment, litigation, personnel lending, immigration and work permit applications. The team advised LeasePlan Supply and Services on the transfer of various Swiss business departments to multiple European countries, as well as related employee relocations and mass dismissals. The client portfolio further includes Alexion Pharma, Johnson & Johnson, Infor and General Motors. Martin Müller and Christian Roos are the main contacts.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd offers ‘in-depth knowledge, good advice and quick response times’. Particular expertise exists in relation to M&A transactions, employment litigation, employee relocation, social security, data protection and business restructuring, including redundancy programs and mass dismissals. The ‘highly reliable’ Catherine Weniger has ‘excellent expertise’; the ‘knowledgeableVincent Carron heads the team.

Vischer handles both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including restructurings, staff leases and recruitment, unfair dismissal cases, public employment law matters, work time tracking, overtime and bonus compensation claims, data privacy and immigration issues. In a recent highlight, the group advised FOBOHA on a site closure and mass dismissals related to its acquisition by Barnes Groupe Suisse Industries. Longstanding clients include Deutsche Bank and recruitment company Hays. Marc Prinz is the name 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.