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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 > Healthcare and life sciences > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Healthcare and life sciences
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Healthcare and life sciences 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 david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Bär & Karrer Ltd. is one of the best known firms for transactions in the Swiss pharmaceutical market, while also providing regulatory, distribution, advertising, intellectual property and general contractual expertise. IP specialist Markus Wang worked on the sale of interests in client Humabs BioMed to Vir Biotechnology, while Markus Schott assisted Vyaire Medical with the regulatory aspects of its acquisition of the entirety of shares in Acutronic Medical Systems.

'Due to very good networking', CMS 'can provide know-how in a variety of matters', especially at a multi-jurisdictional level. Regulatory, compliance, financial benefits and pricing advice, as well as the negotiation of agreements and representation in court form the main areas of expertise. Team lead Patrick Sommer is representing the Swiss branch of German pharmaceuticals manufacturer Bayer in price recommendation proceedings concerning prescription-based erectile dysfunction medication, while Alain Raemy assisted Synlab International with the drafting and roll-out of a Swiss compliance programme. 'Competent and quick' associate Marion Wyler is also recommended. Felix Kesselring joined from VISCHER in October 2017.

Homburger handles a range of matters for clients in the healthcare and life sciences industry, including intellectual property, M&A, regulatory advice and dispute resolution. IP partner Andri Hess is representing Novartis in the enforcement of several blockbuster drug patents in court and is also defending the client against nullity actions brought by competitors. Another recent highlight was Dieter Gericke's advice to ChemChina on its $43bn acquisition of Syngenta via a public tender offer. Marcel Dietrich and Franz Hoffet are the key contacts for regulatory and competition law matters.

VISCHER is renowned for its expertise in corporate, commercial, transactional, regulatory and patent-related healthcare and biotech matters. Matthias Staehelin assisted Medartis with its initial public offering on the SIX Swiss Exchange, while Stefan Kohler acted for Novo Nordisk Pharma in its appeal against a pricing decision made by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health concerning the client's type-two diabetes product. Christian Wyss advised Lundbeck on its €905m acquisition of Prexton Therapeutics.

Best known for cross-border transactions and compliance work, Baker McKenzie also handles employment, corporate, intellectual property, tax and real estate matters for a broad spectrum of private and public healthcare and pharmaceutical clients, as well as sector-related tech companies and insurers. Peter Reinert acted as regulatory adviser to Servier during its acquisition of Shire's oncology business, while Anne-Catherine Hahn assisted a Swiss pharmaceutical company with the implementation of its global anti-bribery programme in more than 20 jurisdictions. The team advises Abbott on the management and enforcement of its trade marks in Switzerland.

The practice at BianchiSchwald LLC specialises in healthcare-related real estate, financing, transactional and public procurement advice. Its client base consists of facility management companies, tech start-ups and clinics. Marc Metzger is advising Vamed and project company Rehaklinik Dussnang on the construction of a rehabilitation clinic, and Geneva-based Thomas Goossens serves as corporate counsel to Prexton Therapeutics.

A popular choice for industry-related litigation, regulatory and financing advice, Kellerhals Carrard is recommended for its 'high levels of responsiveness and knowledge'. In a recent highlight, Thomas Eichenberger is representing Roche Pharma in an administrative appeal proceeding against regulatory authority Swissmedic concerning its decision to prohibit certain phrases included in the summary of product characteristics for Herceptin.

Core areas of expertise at Lenz & Staehelin include intellectual property and commercial disputes, regulatory advice, M&A and licensing transactions, as well as product liability, competition and outsourcing matters. Thierry Calame represents Mepha as the claimant in several patent nullity proceedings concerning breast cancer treatment, while Stephan Erni assisted Coltene with the acquisitions of SciClan and MicroMega. Counsel Lara Dorigo is another key practitioner.

'Seasoned in the complex licensing process prevalent in the healthcare sector', Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC fields 'a solid team of lawyers', who stand out for their 'unique industry knowledge coupled with a thorough understanding of business implications and technological development'. For commercial contract and licence agreements, Fabien Aepli and 'exceptionally reactive, efficient and detail-oriented' senior associate Nurith Cohen are recommended, while senior associate Sara Dousset focuses on disciplinary, civil and criminal disputes involving healthcare and pharmaceutical clients.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) provides a 'user-friendly' service, covering the drafting of agreements for pharmaceutical companies and research organisations, as well as dispute resolution, pricing negotiation, product liability issues, transactions and regulatory matters under the Therapeutic Product Act. Together with Michael Ritscher, the 'responsive, knowledgeable and easy-to-work-with' Simon Holzer is representing Gilead Sciences in multiple Swiss patent disputes related to Tenofovir and supplementary protection certificates.

Pestalozzi is best known for its M&A, financing, intellectual property, competition, regulatory and compliance work in the healthcare and life sciences sector. Lorenza Ferrari Hofer and Christian Roos are defending Zimmer against product liability claims concerning the client's metal-on-metal hip implants.

With a specialism in cross-border matters, Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is most experienced in regulatory matters and dispute resolution regarding patents, licensing, technology transfer, research and commercial agreements. In recent work, the 'prompt and to-the-point' Philipp Groz led advice to Iovance Biotherapeutics on the import and export of human biological materials between the EU and third countries, and assisted with the negotiation and drafting of a licence and development agreement concerning rare disease treatments for Santhera Pharmaceuticals. Andrea Mondini left for TIMES Attorneys in 2017.

The majority of Walder Wyss Ltd 's work in the healthcare and life sciences sector involves financial investments, M&A transactions, intellectual property and regulatory matters. Industry specialist Andreas Wildi and Basel-based corporate partner Alexander Gutmans are the key contacts.

Wenger & Vieli LTD acts for clients including pharmaceutical and medical device companies, hospitals and telemedicine businesses, which it frequently advises on pricing and reimbursement, data protection, intellectual property, advertising, competition and product liability, transactions, and corporate and commercial matters. Frank Scherrer represented several pharmaceutical companies in appeal proceedings challenging price decrease decisions made by the Federal Office of Public Health. Corporate lawyer Beat Speck regularly acts for private equity funds on transactions in the life sciences space.

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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
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Acushnet on the Acquisition of KJUS

    Acushnet Holdings Corp., the worldwide leader in the design, development, manufacture and distribution of golf equipment and wear, has announced the acquisition of KJUS, a Swiss-based ski and golf sportswear company.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Cembra Money Bank on the Financing of the Acquisition of cashgate

    Cembra Money Bank has agreed to acquire cashgate. The purchase price for the acquisition of cashgate and the refinancing of cashgate's loan portfolio is partly backed by a bridge facility and is financed and refinanced by the sale of treasury shares (gross proceeds of CHF 112.8 million) in an accelerated bookbuilding, the placement of CHF 150 million perpetual additional Tier 1 bonds and CHF 250 million net share settled convertible bonds.
  • Bär & Karrer Successfully Represents PNK Group Company in SCAI-Arbitration

    Bär & Karrer successfully represented a company acting under the trademark of PNK Group, a major developer of industrial facilities in Russia, against a Western European concrete plant engineering and manufacturing company in a SCAI-arbitration concerning the delivery of (defective) equipment. After full-fledged proceedings including a hearing with several technical experts, the client was awarded partial rescission of the contract (as requested) with returning of certain defective equipment against refund of its cost, a substantial price reduction with regard to the rest of the equipment, as well as a contractual penalty payment and reimbursement for 75% of all legal costs. Team members were Matthew Reiter and Désirée Schreyer (both arbitration).
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Zurich on its Investment in autoSense

    Zurich Insurance Company Ltd (Zurich) invests in the Swiss start-up autoSense. Zurich will further develop autoSense's business together with Swisscom and Amag. autoSense operates a digital service portal which connects vehicles through an app and provides real-time information and services to car owners.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB in the Acquisition of emapalumab

    Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, an international specialty biopharmaceutical company listed in Sweden, agreed to acquire, from Novimmune’s shareholders, a newly established company owning emapalumab and related assets, giving Sobi access to world-class R&D capabilities in the field of Immunology. The acquisition supersedes the previously announced exclusive licence agreement with Novimmune. In addition, Sobi agreed with Novimmune on options for the shared financial rights to NI-1701 and NI-1801, two product candidates in the field of immuno-oncology. The transaction value is CHF 515 million, of which CHF 400 million was previously committed in the exclusive license agreement for emapalumab.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Patinex and BZ Bank on the Sale of NovImmune to Light Chain Bioscicence

    Light Chain Bioscience AG, a Swiss biotech company, agreed to purchase all shares in NovImmune SA, a company focused on the discovery and development of antibody-based drugs for the targeted treatment of inflammatory diseases, immune related disorders and cancer. Patinex and BZ Bank are the selling majority shareholders of NovImmune.
  • Bär & Karrer Awarded "Law Firm of the Year - Switzerland" at the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards 201

    Bär & Karrer is pleased to announce that it has received the award “Law Firm of the Year - Switzerland” at the Citywealth Magic Circle Awards in London. This award recognizes Bär & Karrer as the Swiss law firm with the best private client team.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Ashcroft on the Acquisition of RĂĽeger Holding

    Ashcroft Inc., headquartered in Stratford, CT, USA, a subsidiary of Tokyo Stock Exchange listed Nagano Keiki Co., Ltd, has announced the completion of the acquisition of Swiss-based RĂĽeger Holding SA (RĂĽeger) and Dutch-based STIKO Meetapparentenfabriek B.V. (Stiko), both manufacturers of specialty temperature and pressure measurement products, from their previous owners, Bernard and Jean-Marc RĂĽeger.
  • Ordinance on Integrity and Transparency in the Therapeutic Products Sector has been adopted

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  • Bär & Karrer Advises B3i in its Current Equity Funding Round

    Industry-led InsurTech B3i Services AG successfully raised additional funds from current shareholders and new investors to further develop and grow its blockchain-based insurance transaction platform. B3i was founded in October 2016 as an insurance industry consortium which then formed B3i Services AG as an independent company. The shareholder group includes some of the world's largest insurers and reinsurers from across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. B3i intends to further expand its shareholder base over the next several months.

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
  • 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.