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Switzerland > Insolvency and corporate recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

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Clients see Schellenberg Wittmer Ltdat the forefront of Geneva’s legal market’, especially in insolvency matters. The ‘excellent’ team advises distressed companies, acts as receiver or liquidator for the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and also handles foreign bankruptcies. ‘Well-seasoned practitionerVincent Jeanneret, who is ‘very focused on practical solutions and possesses a sharp mind and excellent leadership skills’, was recently appointed as administrator for Petroplus Refining Cressier and the group was also appointed as special liquidator of life insurance group Zenith Vie following its bankruptcy. Other active clients are Foundation Hypotheka and Supra Assurances. ‘Exceptional’ of counsel Olivier Hari is a ‘cutting-edge expert’ and a ‘leading academic in the insolvency field’.

Wenger Plattner regularly receives liquidation appointments by FINMA, but also represents creditors and is further adept at advising both creditors and debtors on business restructuring. In a recent highlight, the team defended Banque Hottinger & Cie’s schedule of claims against creditors who are former bank clients. Swiss Dairy Food, Unifina and Swissair are other clients. Practice lead Karl Wüthrich, Brigitte Umbach-Spahn, Stephan Kesselbach and Fritz Rothenbühler are the key contacts.

Baker McKenzie exhibits experience in advising distressed businesses and creditors on multijurisdictional insolvency matters, while the team is particularly adept at assisting banks with the refinancing of insolvent companies. Recent highlights include advising Credit Suisse on the financing of a European fashion designer. Zurich-based lawyers Lukas Glanzmann and Richard Gassmann, as well as Martin Anderson in Geneva form the core team. Rodolphe Gautier joined Walder Wyss and Florian Bommer left to found BommerMathys Rechtsanwälte.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. has a strong focus on assisting private equity companies with restructurings, but also represents creditors in insolvency proceedings and advises investors and shareholders on risk mitigation. In a recent highlight, the group assisted Credit Suisse and UBS with the recapitalisation program of Meyer Burger Technology. In other work, the Geneva team acted as supervisors appointed by FINMA on the bankruptcy of Banque Privée Espírito Santo. Thomas Rohde is the main contact; Urs Kägi, Cédric Chapuis and Christoph Neeracher are other names to note.

Kellerhals Carrardhas successfully established a brand which stands for expertise and reliability’ and is renowned for its experience in insolvency and liquidation proceedings. The team represented a consortium of banks in a liquidation investigation of a developer who had previously been granted a CHF3m overdraft facility by the clients. The lawyers also represented FINMA during the liquidation of a Swiss broker. Lehman Brothers Holdings is another longstanding client. Daniel Staehelin and Lukas Bopp ‘combine technical excellence and precise wording with pragmatism and a focus on the practical result’.

The ‘truly outstandingLenz & Staehelin consists of ‘excellent, very responsive teams’ that ‘pair legal knowledge with practical experience in court, thus providing reliable advice’. A major focus is the representation of creditors in enforcement proceedings, as well as business restructuring advice for companies in and out of court. 2017 highlights included advising international vodka producer and alcohol distributor Roust Group on its restructuring and assisting the creditors and financial institutions with Petroplus Marketing’s insolvency. Team lead Tanja Luginbühl is a ‘good strategic and conceptual thinker’ who offers a ‘very high level of professionalism and a deep understanding of business needs’. Further recommended are the ‘commercial and confidentRoland Fischer, the ‘pleasant-to-work-with’ Dominique Müller and ‘very good’ associate Anja Affolter.

Pestalozzi has ‘good experience in Swiss insolvency law’ and regularly represents debtors, creditors and liquidators in contentious proceedings. Recent highlight work includes advising Metinvest on its debt restructuring through newly listed senior secured notes. Florian Mohs and Thomas Murmann are recommended for the ‘excellent quality of their work’. Other names to note are Zurich team lead Thomas Rohner and his Geneva-based counterpart Christophe Emonet.

Homburger’s ‘industry and product knowledge is a real asset, combined with excellent response times and reliable advice’; clients particularly recommend the ‘well-trained team and the outstanding business acumen of its lawyers’, who predominantly handle bankruptcy proceedings, restructurings as well as related transactional and capital market matters. An ongoing highlight is the development of bail-in instruments and resolution planning advice provided to clients such as Credit Suisse and UBS. René Bösch and Benjamin Leisinger both have ‘deep knowledge in recovery and resolution topics’ and are ‘creative and reliable when developing new products and solutions’. Stefan Kramer took over the practice lead from senior counsel Ueli Huber in January 2017.

Niederer Kraft & Frey AG focuses on restructuring and recovering measures and represents creditors, liquidators, companies and banks in proceedings as well as in related contentious matters. Particular expertise exists regarding the Financial Market Infrastructure Act, banking insolvency regulation and regulatory enforcement proceedings. The team advised Valartis Group on several insolvency and bankruptcy matters following its moratorium, especially with regards to the enforcement of financing and security arrangements. Leclanché, Bundesverband Deutscher Banken and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe also receive legal services from the practice. Thomas Sprecher, Marco Häusermann and Bertrand Schott are the key advisers.

Prager Dreifuss AG’s team is ‘excellent in every way’ and offers ‘great insolvency advice’ to creditors and financial institutions, which often includes cross-border aspects. In a recent highlight, the practice represented Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as security agent in the insolvency of Petroplus. Klaus Tschira Stiftung, Halcyon Asset Management and Magnetar Capital are also active clients. Daniel Hayek has ‘in-depth knowledge of the market, an outstanding network and superb legal expertise’.

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd provides ‘services of good value’: the lawyers act as and for public receivers in insolvency proceedings, serve as liquidators, administrators or investigating agents and also advise creditors on bankruptcies and defend them in clawback actions, such as the Swiss Climate Cent Foundation against the liquidators of Petroplus Marketing. In another highlight, the group advised Atrib Management and Atrib Group on bankruptcy proceedings. The client roster also includes Healthtronics. Marc Bernheim and the ‘responsive’ Philipp Känzig, who is ‘very pleasant to work with’, are the main contacts.

Vischer is known for its expertise in liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings revolving around banks. The practice successfully defended PwC in its role as liquidator of Lehman Brothers Finance in court proceedings brought by two companies of the Klaus Tschira group. Clients also include Weidenareal Metall and LoneStar. Team lead David Jenny, Markus Guggenbühl, Jana Essebier and Christian Oetiker are the key advisers.

Walder Wyss Ltd regularly handles multijurisdictional insolvency proceedings and restructuring matters. In recent highlights, the group advised the Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders and Lenders as supporting creditors of Pacific Exploration & Production in its DIP financing transaction and also continues to advise foreign administrators and creditors regarding Petroplus’ ongoing insolvency. Counsel Christoph Stäubli and Mark Reutter are the names to note.

Bratschi Ltd’s ‘proactive’ team is ‘very experienced and provides clear practical advice’, predominantly on claim enforcement pertaining to bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings, bankruptcy law and corporate reorganisation. Recent highlights include advising the insolvent multinational company American Apparel on its liquidation and representing Raiffeisen Bank International as creditor on the Erb group insolvency. The ‘friendly and reliable’ Mirco Ceregato ‘shows excellent professional skills which he deploys in a very practical way’ and jointly heads the practice with litigator Daniel Glasl.

Froriep’s insolvency team ‘is really good to work with’ and represents companies, individuals and trustees in insolvency proceedings, restructuring matters, as well as in related disputes. Grub Brugger Rechtsanwälte and Paramount Securities & Trust Company are among the group’s active clients. Sabina Schellenberg is ‘very knowledgeable and hands-on at the same time’. Marcel Steinegger and Jérôme de Montmollin are other names to note.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) acts for companies, creditors and investors on debt collection, transactions, insolvency proceedings and contentious matters. Highlight work included advising DK Company on insolvency proceedings of its Swiss distributor. Marcel Lustenberger, Alexander Vogel, Christian Schilly, Alain Le Fort and Reinhard Oertli are the key contacts.

Wenger & Vieli’s ‘quality team’ is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and offers ‘excellent value and immediate response times’. A major focus lies on the representation of creditors in contentious insolvency proceedings, while the lawyers also provide insolvency advice to financial institutions and in restructuring cases. The team is advising former board members of Swissair on the company’s insolvency and also served as administrator and then liquidator in Helvetia Wealth’s composition proceedings. The ‘patient yet determinedMartin Hess is recommended, while Georg Zondler and Pascal Honold are also noted.

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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 for Insolvency and corporate recovery

  • 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.
    - Walder Wyss Ltd

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 Coresystems FSM on the takeover by SAP (Schweiz)

    The software company SAP bought all shares of Coresystems FSM AG. Coresystems FSM develops and runs workforce-management software based on a Crowd Service platform which uses artificial intelligence and allows finding available field-service technicians in real time.
  • Bär & Karrer Strengthens its M&A and Banking Practice with two new Partners

    Bär & Karrer is pleased to announce that it further strengthens its M&A and banking practice with new partners Martin Anderson and Frédéric Bétrisey. They will join the firm with their team of associates as of 1 August 2018.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises XO Holding on Sale of Priora FM to ENGIE

    XO Holding AG sold Priora FM SA, a leading Swiss facility management company, to ENGIE Energy Services International S.A., a subsidiary of ENGIE SA, which is listed on the Euronext exchange in Paris and Brussels.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Andermatt Swiss Alps on the Sale of Real Estate Portfolio and Establishment of

    Andermatt Swiss Alps Ltd has successfully completed a transaction comprising a real estate portfolio sale to Taurus Andermatt Ltd, a newly established real estate joint venture. The portfolio consists of 25 properties located in the Holiday Village Andermatt Reuss in Andermatt (Switzerland). Andermatt Swiss Alps will participate in future sales profits exceeding the list price of the properties.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Banking Syndicate in the IPO of Polyphor

    Polyphor Ltd, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative antibiotics and other specialty pharma products, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Trading in the shares started on 15 May 2018. The shares were priced at the upper end of the price range, resulting in gross proceeds of CHF 165 million. The IPO of Polyphor is considered the largest biotech IPO in Switzerland in over 10 years and one of the top three in Europe within the last three years in terms of proceeds raised by an issuer in order to finance the development of its pipeline.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Saint-Gobain in connection with the Takeover Battle over Sika

    This morning, Sika and Saint-Gobain have announced the signing of agreements which terminates all disputes around the purchase by Saint-Gobain of a controlling stake in Sika dated 5 December 2014.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Vyaire Medical on its Acquisition of imtmedical ag

    Vyaire Medical, Inc., a global leader in respiratory care, completed the acquisition of all shares in imtmedical AG, a Swiss company, which is a developer, manufacturer and distributor of mechanical ventilation products.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises CEVA Logistics on its IPO, the anchor investment by CMA CGM and its migration

    CEVA Logistics, one of the world's leading third-party logistics companies, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange, where trading commenced on 4 May 2018. With a market capitalization of CHF 1.6 billion and generating gross proceeds of CHF 821 million, this is so far considered as the largest IPO on the SIX Swiss Exchange for 2018. In addition, CMA CGM, the third largest container shipping group in the world, has committed to make a strategic cornerstone investment in CEVA Logistics by purchasing CHF 379 million of mandatory convertible securities which will convert into shares of CEVA Logistics once certain regulatory approvals have been obtained. Simultaneously with the IPO, CEVA Holdings, the former holding company of the CEVA group, migrated from the Marshall Islands to Switzerland by way of a cross-border merger with CEVA Logistic as the surviving company.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises on the Financing of the Largest Thermoelectric Plant in Latin America

    Centrais Elétricas de Sergipe S.A. (CELSE) has successfully issued bonds for approx. USD 1 billion equivalent in local currency at a fixed, long-term rate in international capital markets. The innovative bond issue is guaranteed by the Swiss Export Risk Insurance (SERV), the export credit agency of Switzerland. The bonds are part of a financial package to finance the development, design, construction, operation and maintenance of a thermoelectric power plant by CELSE in the state of Sergipe in the northeast region of Brazil. Besides the bond issue for approx. USD 1 billion, the transaction includes a USD 200 million loan from the International Finance Corporation and a financial package of the Inter-American Development Bank in the amount of approx. USD 300 million. Once operational expected for in 2020, CELSE will sell electricity to 26 distribution companies in Brazil, becoming the largest and most efficient thermoelectric plant in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises lastminute.com on Partial Self-Tender Offer

    On 21 September 2017, an extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the SIX Swiss Exchange listed lastminute.com N.V. authorized the board of directors to repurchase up to 33 1/3% of the company's share capital by means of a partial self-tender offer. The resolution adopted under Dutch law contained detailed information, among others regarding the period for which the authorization is granted, the manner in which the shares are repurchased and the price range within which the offer price must be set.