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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 > 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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Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is renowned for handling insolvency administration matters in the German- and French-speaking parts of Switzerland, as well as for handling foreign bankruptcies. Apart from his role as receiver in the ongoing administration of Petroplus Refining Cressier, Vincent Jeanneret also advised a watch industry supplier on its impending bankruptcy. Of counsel Prof Dr Olivier Hari was instructed by a foreign bank to create an insolvency-related analysis regarding the validity of a set-off of claims from an ISDA agreement.

Wenger Plattner's 'hugely experienced and hands-on restructuring team combines excellent expertise and high quality with a very high level of responsiveness and a good commercial mindset'. With a major focus on liquidation proceedings and restructuring matters, it is also recommended for its 'outstanding expertise in cross-border insolvency law'. The 'excellent, efficient and creative' Brigitte Umbach-Spahn and 'technically skilled, easy-to-work-with' Karl Wüthrich are acting as liquidators in the separate Bank Hottinger & Cie, Petroplus Marketing and Swissair proceedings, while Bern-based Fritz Rothenbühler took on a similar role in the winding-down procedure for Enzian Ship Management and Swiss Chem Tankers. Senior associate Stefan Bossart is another name to note.

'As one of the top practices with insolvency expertise in Switzerland', Baker McKenzie is capable of 'solving difficult issues across Europe' and has developed 'a thorough understanding of the syndicated loan market in Switzerland'. It has a strong focus on financial restructurings and the representation of distressed businesses, creditors and suppliers in insolvency proceedings. A major highlight for the 'calm, very knowledgeable and pragmatic' Lukas Glanzmann is the US Chapter 11 filing of Westinghouse, involving a debtor-in-possession financing and its $4.6bn sale to Brookfield Asset Management. Together with Alexander Fischer, Glanzmann also assisted Forster Swiss Home with its asset deal acquisition of Forster Stahlküchen from insolvent kitchen cabinet manufacturer Bruno Piatti.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. is best known for applying its corporate and transactional experience to out-of-court restructurings, as well as assisting clients from the financial sector with recovery and resolution planning, regulatory intervention and insolvency proceedings. In recent work, Cédric Chapuis is advising Standard Chartered Bank on the voluntary liquidation and wind-down of its Swiss private banking subsidiary, and is also chairing the creditors' commission in Banque Privée Espírito Santo's liquidation. Insolvency specialist Thomas Rohde and transactions partner Ralph Malacrida jointly head the practice.

Kellerhals Carrard focuses on company restructurings and liquidation proceedings. Lukas Bopp represents Banque Privée Espírito Santo in a voidance action related to a payment dating back before its insolvency, while Daniel Staehelin and Jean-Luc Chenaux are handling the client's ongoing liquidation.

The 'very professional and proactive team' at 'top firm' Lenz & Staehelin is 'very knowledgeable and vastly experienced in cross-border insolvency cases'. The enforcement of creditors' rights, restructuring matters and risk analyses form the core areas of expertise. 'Good strategic and conceptual thinker' Tanja Luginbühl and the 'thoroughly prepared and assertive' Roland Fischer are handling the restructuring of Sempione Fashion. Senior associate Anja Affolter Marino is recommended for her 'excellent foreign language capabilities' and ability to 'translate legal knowledge into practical terms'.

Pestalozzi handles insolvency proceedings, asset recovery actions, restructurings, insolvency-related litigation and the recognition process for foreign bankruptcies in Switzerland. Recent highlights for Christophe Emonet include representing the First International Bank of Israel in a loan recovery and avoidance claim against several foreign diamond trade companies. Zurich-based Thomas Rohner is also noted.

Prager Dreifuss AG focuses on the representation of creditors in domestic or international insolvency and restructuring cases. Daniel Hayek and Gion Christian Casanova act as legal advisers to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as security agent and Wilmington Trust National Association as indenture trustee in their clams against Petroplus. Corporate partner Andreas Moll is also noted.

Froriep is recommended for its 'dedication and tireless work in order to get cases resolved quickly' and its ability to 'handle complex international insolvency and corporate recovery cases in collaboration with foreign trustees'. It also has considerable experience in insolvency-related litigation, including claw-back actions and liability disputes. Sabina Schellenberg represented a company in international liquidation proceedings, which involved the recognition of the powers of an Israeli trustee in Switzerland and the sale of assets. 'Caring adviser' Daniel Bloch is also recommended. Litigator Marcel Steinegger  is another key partner in Zurich.

Homburger provides bankruptcy, restructuring and transactional advice, while also acting for clients in related litigation and foreign-bankruptcy recognition proceedings. Practice head Stefan Kramer advised Kauphing Bank on its Swiss-law composition plan and the recognition of Icelandic insolvency decrees in Switzerland. Credit Suisse and ISDA are other key clients. Benjamin Leisinger made partner in January 2018. Simon Vorburger  left for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH in July 2018.

Niederer Kraft Frey AG is experienced in creating and implementing restructurings and recovery actions, especially in the financial services sector and at an international level. It also represents companies, banks, liquidators and creditors in insolvency proceedings. Bertrand Schott advises CLS Group and CLS Bank on recovery measures for the latter and the impact of a possible insolvency on the former, while Thomas Sprecher was instructed by Stiftung Wisli to pursue liability claims against former board members of a now bankrupt subsidiary. Marco Häusermann is another name to note. Restructuring partner Till Spillmann joined from Bär & Karrer Ltd. in early 2018.

The three-partner team at Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd 'fully meets expectations', taking on roles as receivers or their representatives, bankruptcy administrators, liquidators and counsels. Marc Bernheim and newly promoted partner Gaudenz Geiger serve as bankruptcy administrators of Atrib Management and Atrib Group, while 'pleasant and efficient cooperator' Philipp Känzig represents Bank Hapoalim in two liquidation committees pertaining to Madoff feeder funds. The Swiss Climate Cent Foundation is a long-term client of the practice.

VISCHER provides 'top advice, which is clearly above the market standard'. The team has core strengths handling bankruptcies in the financial sector, having been involved in the Lehman Brothers insolvency as liquidator's counsel. In recent work, Adrian Dörig  represented indenture trustee Wilmington Trust in the bankruptcy of Toys'R'Us. 'Truly knowledgeable and profoundly experienced practitioners' David Jenny and Thomas Weibel are also recommended, while Jana Essebier is another name to note.

Walder Wyss Ltd engages in international bankruptcy and insolvency matters, with a particular focus on the representation of creditors, such as Swiss subsidiaries whose parent companies face Chapter 11 proceedings in the US. The practice also assists cross-border businesses with their restructuring needs. Counsels Christoph Stäubli and Dominik Hohler acted for the board of directors of Toys'R'Us in Switzerland during its US debtor-in-possession proceedings. Mark Reutter is another main practitioner.

Bratschi Ltd handles the enforcement of claims, bankruptcy and restructuring matters, as well as litigation in all parts of Switzerland. Recent work includes Mirco Ceregato's representation of a Chinese company in its damages claim against a bankrupt industrial manufacturer. He jointly heads the practice with insolvency litigator Daniel Glasl.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL)'s client base consists of companies, creditors and investors, for which the team handles restructuring and turnaround solutions, debt rescheduling or enforcement, M&A assistance, representation in proceedings and the negotiation of provisional measures. In 2018, Publicitas appointed Urs Boller as its provisional commissioner after being granted a moratorium. Together with Dr Alexander Vogel, he is acting for the bankrupt group companies Econcern and Ecostream International in a dispute involving the reclaiming of loans and defence against liability claims brought by the receiver of its bankrupt Swiss subsidiary. Samuel Ljubicic has expertise in corporate aspects and financial transactions.

The insolvency department at Wenger & Vieli LTD focuses on contentious matters for creditors, debtors and banks, as well as international restructuring actions. Pascal Honold assists P & R Equipment & Finance Corp with the restructuring of its business in Switzerland as a consequence of the insolvency of the German group companies. Georg Zondler represents a Swiss supplier in the insolvency proceedings of kitchen manufacturer Bruno Piatti. Financial services expert Martin Hess is also noted.

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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.