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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.

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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
  • Cowen Acquires Quarton Group

    Cowen Inc., a NASDAQ listed, diversified financial services firm, agreed to acquire the Quarton group, a global financial advisor serving the middle market. Closing is expected in early 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Banking Syndicate in the Rights Offering of ARYZTA

    On 19 November 2018, ARYZTA, a global food business with a leadership position in speciality bakery, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering structured as a volume underwriting in the amount of approximately CHF 900 million. 97.4% of the shareholders of ARYZTA exercised their subscription rights in the rights offering. The new shares not subscribed were placed in the market.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Sellers on the Sale of Briner Winterthur

    The owners of Briner AG Winterthur sold the company. Briner is a leading family-owned trading and service company operating in the fields of construction services, steel services, supply systems and building services as well as heating and energy systems.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised GfK on the Sale of Four Divisions

    GfK has sold four global divisions (Customer Experience, Experience Innovation, Health and Public Affairs) to Ipsos. The sale included GfK's respective businesses in 25 countries.
  • Derivatives Trading under FMIA: Reporting Obligations

    On 14 September 2018, the Federal Council extended the transition period for the reporting of derivative transactions by small non-financial counterparties (NFC-) until 1 January 2024 under the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA). The amendment to the Financial Market...
  • Swiss Tax Reform Package Approved: Update and Outlook

    The Swiss National Council approves the proposed tax reform package! On 12 September 2018 the larger chamber of parliament adopted the proposal of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of the Council of States on the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (formerly Tax Proposal 17), which is largely in line with the legislative bill adopted by the Council of States, the smaller chamber of parliament. Although slight differences regarding the capital contribution principle remain to be settled, the majority of member of the National Council sees the adopted text of the bill as a viable compromise.
  • Retrocessions: Criminal Consequences of Non Disclosure

    In a recent decision 6B_689/2016 of 14 August 2018, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the failure to disclose adequately retrocessions may constitute an act of criminal mismanagement. After a short summary of the legal framework governing the disclosure of retrocessions, the present briefing analyses this decision and its practical impact in particular for Swiss financial institutions dealing with external asset managers.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Waterland on its Investment in Tineo

    Waterland Private Equity invested in Tineo AG after the carve-out from Quickline Holding AG. Tineo is an integrated enterprise solution provider of data centres, glass-fiber connections, high-speed internet and VoIP services with state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Bär & Karrer Elects Ruth Bloch-Riemer, Daniel Raun and Philippe Seiler to Partner

    Bär & Karrer has announced the election of Ruth Bloch-Riemer, Daniel Raun and Philippe Seiler to the firm's partnership. The appointment is effective as of 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Swiss Prime Site on its Rights Offering

    On 28 September 2018, Swiss Prime Site, the largest publicly listed real estate investment company in Switzerland, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering to its shareholders in the amount of approximately CHF 320 million. 97,7% of the shareholders of Swiss Prime Site exercised their subscription rights in the rights offering. The remaining new shares not subscribed were placed in the market. The offer price was set at CHF 74.00 per share. Credit Suisse and UBS Investment acted as Joint Global Coordinators, J.P. Morgan and Zürcher Kantonalbank acted as Joint Bookrunners.

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.