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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

Leading individuals

  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. covers transactions, regulatory matters, product marketing and distribution, as well as IP advice and litigation in the health and life sciences sector. Recent highlights include advising Galenica Santé on its CHF1.9bn IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange and assisting EQT with the acquisition of Fertin Pharma from Bagger-Sørensen. Novartis is another key client. Markus Wang and Markus Schott are recommended.

Homburger focuses on IP, regulatory, transactional and alternative dispute resolution. Andri Hess represented Illumina in an infringement claim against Genoma related to NIPT patents before the Swiss Federal Patent Court and the group also advised Eli Lilly on an investigation regarding alleged vertical price fixing for pharmaceutical products. Johnson & Johnson also receives legal advice from the practice. Corporate partner Dieter Gericke, competition and regulatory lawyer Franz Hoffet and IP team lead Georg Rauber are the main contacts.

Vischer provides transactional, financing, capital markets, product launch and regulatory advice to health and life sciences industry clients and further represents them in contentious matters. The practice assisted JSR Corporation with its acquisition of Selexis and advised Axovant Sciences on its debt financing agreement with Hercules Capital. Stefan Kohler jointly heads the practice with Matthias Staehelin; Christian Wyss is another name to note.

CMS offers advice on regulatory and pricing issues, commercial cooperation agreements, product advertising and compliance programs. The team assisted Synlab International with its compliance program roll-out of in Switzerland and continues to represent Bayer in Swiss administrative proceedings concerning a pricing matter. Patrick Sommer and Alain Raemy lead the practice. IP counsel Simone Brauchbar Birkhäuser joined from Rentsch Partner AG in 2017.

Kellerhals Carrard advises life sciences companies, medical professionals and hospitals on regulatory, product liability, competition and contractual matters and is also adept at assisting start-ups with financing rounds and corporate transactions. The team is representing Roche Pharma and Interpharma in an ongoing price reduction litigation against the Federal Office of Public Health. KPT Versicherungen is another active client. Thomas Eichenberger is the main contact.

Lenz & Staehelin regularly handles IP, competition, corporate, M&A and contentious liability matters for a wide range of pharmaceutical, biotechnical and medical devices companies, as well as healthcare providers and academic institutions. Thierry Calame, Harold Frey and Stephan Erni are the main contacts in Zurich, while Benoît Merkt heads the Geneva team.

Considered one of the ‘top patent law firms’ in Switzerland, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) also provides ‘excellent expertise in pharmaceutical patent litigation’; other focus areas are regulatory and commercial advice, transactions and litigation. The team is representing Gilead Sciences in all patent disputes concerning its tenofovir patents and supplementary protection certificates and advised the Swiss Cosmetics Association on labelling obligations for Swiss cosmetic products. The ‘responsiveSimon Holzer impresses with a ‘strong scientific background’ and ‘works well in international teams’; IP litigator Michael Ritscher is also recommended.

Pestalozzi is ‘very strong in the life sciences industry’, where it provides ‘stellar service’, ‘high quality advice and invaluable solutions to strategic questions’; the team is particularly recommended for its expertise in distribution contracts, product liability, advertising law and IP. Recent highlights include advising Dow Chemical Company on its all-stock merger of equals with DuPont, which also required assistance with pre-merger restructurings. Lorenza Ferrari Hofer is a ‘trusted adviser who truly understands the clients’ business and specific legal challenges’, while associate Janine Demont is ‘very helpful regarding product liability litigation’. Christian Roos and Christoph Lang are other names to note.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd’s ‘responsive and knowledgeable’ team provides ‘value for money and appropriate advice’ to international companies on contentious and non-contentious regulatory and transactional matters. The team defended Actavis in a patent dispute brought by Eli Lilly and also advised Lovance Biotherapeutics on the import and export of human biological materials as well as on clinical trials for cell therapy as a cancer treatment. Litigator Philipp Groz is the main adviser; Andrea Mondini joined Times Attorneys in October 2017.

Walder Wyss Ltd focuses on regulatory, pricing, IP and licensing, transactional and corporate matters, thereby impressing with ‘very good business acumen, concrete industry knowledge, comprehension of complex issues and pleasant team interaction’. The group defended a major international pharmaceutical company in pricing-related litigation brought by the Swiss Government and also advises the client on strategic and reactive market access law. Andreas Wildi, Michael Isler, Alexander Gutmans, Markus Frick and Stefano Codoni are the key contacts.

Apart from general corporate and transactional experience, Wenger & Vieli offers expertise in pricing, marketing authorisation, advertising, data protection, IP, clinical trial, competition and product liability matters. The practice counts pharmaceutical and medical devices companies, as well as hospitals among its clients and is representing several pharmaceutical companies in their appeals against price reductions. Frank Scherrer has longstanding experience in pharmaceutical matters, while Beat Speck is the key contact for transactional issues.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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Press releases

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to

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
  • 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.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Credit Suisse and Bank Berenberg in the IPO of Klingelnberg

    Klingelnberg Ltd, a global leader in developing and manufacturing premium machine tools for bevel gear and cylindrical gear machining and precision measuring centers for gears, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Trading in the shares started on 20 June 2018. The shares of Klingelnberg were priced at CHF 53 per share, near the upper end of the price range, corresponding to a base offer of CHF 241 million. The offer price implies a market capitalization of approx. CHF 470 million leading to a free float of 56.6% (assuming full exercise of the over-allotment option), whereas the remaining 43.4% remain with the Klingelnberg family as anchor shareholder.