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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 > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Weinmann Zimmerli

WEINMANN ZIMMERLI is a leading Swiss IP firm based in Zurich and Zug specialising in Swiss and international trade mark, patent, copyright and design law, as well as unfair competition and antitrust law. The firm is handling prosecution and litigation. It was formed in January 2013 through the merger of two firms: KRSW WEINMANN and Zimmerli, Wagner & Partner AG. Since its foundation it has been the fastest growing IP law firm in Switzerland with a very good success rate in court.

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Baker McKenzie is 'ahead of other international IP firms in providing truly robust global portfolio management solutions' and can 'assemble a team appropriate to the individual case'. With a full-service approach, the practice also handles IP transactions and licensing, EU law matters, as well as trade mark, design, copyright and competition-related litigation. A key client for 'open-minded and hands-on rising star' Eva-Maria Strobel is Swarovski, for whom she manages the worldwide trade mark and design filing, clearance and enforcement work. Michael Treis, who delivers 'a top performance and excellent know-how', represents companies such as Apple, Migros and General Electric in trade mark litigation matters.

The fifteen-lawyer team at Homburger 'has an excellent reputation in the market' and impresses with its 'very good business knowledge'. It regularly handles advisory and contentious intellectual property matters for clients in the pharmaceutical and life sciences, telecoms, media, entertainment and technology sectors. Andri Hess represents Illumina in several international biotech patent infringement disputes before the Swiss Federal Patent Court, and successfully defended Nestlé and Nepresso against a patent infringement claim concerning its Dolce Gusto product from Ethical Coffee Company. 'Knowledgeable and reliable litigator' Georg Rauber and Gregor Bühler lead the practice.

Lenz & Staehelin 'responds swiftly and adequately' and houses a team of 'professionals who know what they are talking about'. With a focus on life sciences, consumer products, culture and the public sector, services include strategic IP advice and management, such as patent, trade mark, copyright and design law, as well as unfair-competition matters, IP arbitration and litigation. In recent successful matters, Jürg Simon represented Emmentaler Switzerland against antitrust claims and in an appellation of origin matter in Italy, while Thierry Calame defended Migros against a patent infringement claim concerning coffee capsules manufactured in Switzerland. 'Proactive' counsel Lara Dorigo, who 'provides clear, comprehensive advice', is also recommended.

The 'strong and highly experienced patent litigation group' at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) has 'a good knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector and regulatory requirements' and is perceived as 'approachable, efficient and business-oriented'. The team is best known for its expertise in patent litigation, trade mark and design infringement matters, cases involving EU law, as well as copyright, advertising and brand name aspects. 'Easy-to-work-with and technically strong' Simon Holzer collaborated with 'extremely knowledgeable litigator' Michael Ritscher on the successful representation of Gilead Sciences in all patent disputes related to its Tenofovir patents and supplementary protection certificates. Hilti and AstraZeneca are other clients, which Ritscher acts for in patent disputes. 'Very good lawyers' Guillaume Fournier and Peter Schramm are also noted.

Clients 'appreciate reliable firm' Walder Wyss Ltd's 'commitment, know-how, experience, accuracy and efficient working attitude'. Its focus areas include trade mark and patent litigation, licensing and copyright issues, as well as IP assistance during transactions for the fashion, consumer goods, life sciences, financial and technology sectors. The 'analytic, sharp and to-the-point' Roger Staub represents Darmstadt-based Merck and its subsidiary Merck Switzerland in a trade mark and name rights dispute pertaining to unfair competition against US company Merck & Co, while Markus Frick defends Nestlé against a trade mark cancellation action filed by Abbott. Magda Streuli-Youssef counts Migros among her clients. Former managing associate Dirk Spacek joined CMS as a partner in February 2019.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. is well known for handling IP matters in connection with M&A and capital markets transactions for clients in the technology, life sciences, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries, while also representing clients in licensing arbitration, patent litigation and rights disputes involving artists and event organisers. Markus Wang acts for a licensor from the sports equipment industry in several injunction proceedings against the licensee concerning the upcoming termination of their relationship.

The multilingual team at BianchiSchwald LLC 'collaborates well internally', 'serves client's needs in the best way' and 'convinces with a practical, thorough and effective approach'. Typical work includes IP enforcement and prosecution, unfair competition matters, transactions and contract advice. 'Analytic, accurate and technically savvy' practice lead Christoph Gasser, who demonstrates 'outstanding knowledge pf IP trends, legal procedures and ongoing processes around the world', successfully represented Navita Schweiz as defendant in a landmark trade mark registration case brought by former supplier Reico Vital Systeme. On the advisory side, he manages Avia International's worldwide trade mark portfolio.

Bern-based boutique firm Fuhrer Marbach & Partners covers all types of intellectual property matters, often in combination with unfair competition and antitrust law, corporate and commercial matters and in relation to the IT, media and entertainment industries. Regular work includes the acquisition, administration and legal enforcement of trade mark and design rights. Key names include Eugen Marbach, Peter Widmer and Martin Thomann.

Niederer Kraft Frey AG focuses on strategic and contractual advice regarding brands, trade marks, domain names, licences and designs, as well as the settlement of intellectual property disputes and unfair competition matters. Clients largely stem from the TMT, sports, life sciences and consumer goods sectors. Nicolas Birkhaeuser acts as a regular adviser to Fifa on media and licensing aspects, while Clara-Ann Gordon assisted Pandora with all IP, IT and antitrust questions concerning the roll-out of an online shop in Switzerland.

Pestalozzi's intellectual property department is recommended for its 'deep knowledge, sharp critical thinking, quick turnaround times and trustworthiness'. It is particularly strong in the protection, licensing and commercialisation of regulated products for the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, medical, IT and food industries, involving trade mark, branding and patent advice and litigation, as well as the defence against product liability claims. The team includes lead partner Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, dispute resolution specialist Thomas Legler and Geneva-based contact Michèle Burnier.

Zurich boutique firm Rentsch Partner AG provides a range of intellectual property law, patent attorney and US litigation services, and has longstanding expertise in the consumer goods, pharmaceutical, engineering and TMT sectors. Focus areas include copyright protection, trade mark and design strategy and enforcement, as well as patent registration, licensing, management and litigation. The team includes litigators Matthias Städeli and Christian Hilti, as well as patent attorneys Louis Lagler, Alfred Köpf and Dany Vogel.

Specialised IP firm Troller Hitz Troller handles trade mark, design, domain, copyright and unfair-competition disputes, as well as trade mark prosecution matters and advisory work regarding licence, acquisition and joint venture agreements. In 2018, Ursula In-Albon settled a long-running claim for several automotive clients against a supplier who was selling car parts under the clients' trade marks.

The intellectual property department at VISCHER covers protective, strategic, transactional and contentious matters in relation to patents, copyright, designs and trade marks. Christian Wyss assisted Balderton Capital with the IP due diligence in preparation for its investment into Sophia Genetics' $30m financing round, while team lead Stefan Kohler advises Philipp Morris on the agreements required for the technological development of reduced-risk tobacco products. Rolf Der Maur, who combines intellectual property law with IT expertise, is another name to note.

BMG Avocats handles trade mark, design, copyright and commercial law. It assists clients from the fashion and luxury, finance, food and TMT sectors with the enforcement of their rights, licensing of brands and drafting of contracts. Counsel Sylvie Gurry-Veit and partner Anne-Virginie La Spada are the key contacts.

Froriep's range of services include strategic IP work, enforcement and prosecution matters, as well as transactions for various industries. Key partner Nicola Benz assisted Lebara with the negotiation of a brand licence agreement with another telecoms company as licensee, and also advised Procivis on its alleged infringement of a trade mark. Media companies Lehrmittelverlag Zürich and Meltwater News International receive regular strategic trade mark advice. Frédéric Serra left for HOUSE Attorneys in 2018.

Formed in 2018, the 'strong IP practice' at HOUSE ATTORNEYS stands out for its 'excellent technical and procedural knowledge, swift responses and an agile, entrepreneurial approach' to IP enforcement, exploitation, strategy and prosecution. Its client base consists of luxury watch and automotive manufacturers, fashion brands, as well as companies and famous individuals from the media and entertainment sector. In a recent highlight, Frédéric Serra, who has 'a sharp mind' and is a 'dazzling strategist', assists Ferring Pharmaceuticals with the protection of patents and copyrights, as well as the licensing options for an internally developed framework application.

Lausanne-based firm id est avocats sàrl impresses with its 'pragmatic approach and excellent strategic advice, in addition to its thorough legal knowledge of complex data protection aspects in the medical research sector'. It also has niche expertise in open-source matters, as well as experience in technology transfers and licensing agreements. Other key clients come from the entertainment, education and media fields. The 'outstanding, efficient and highly professional' Michel Jaccard reviewed multiple licensing, collaboration and scientific services agreements for the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, while Juliette Ancelle acted for Intellectual Property Watch in negotiations with Thomson Reuters and West Publishing regarding the licensing of the client's published contents.

Kellerhals Carrard advises on the strategy, implementation, commercialisation and protection of patents, copyrights, trade marks, designs and other types of intellectual property. Zurich-based Daniel Alder  and commercial specialist Stefano Perucchi in Lugano are the key contacts.

The 'responsive, clear and practical' practice at LALIVE has 'excellent capabilities in the field of intellectual property, commercial and contract law', mostly covering contentious trade mark, design, domain name, copyright, patent and unfair competition matters. Another specialism is IT-related work, such as data protection and agreements setting out licences, franchises and outsourcing measures. 'Competent, efficient and dedicated' key counsel Thomas Widmer counts IKKS Group, Better Cotton Initiative, Gendream and Ideogen among his clients.

The enforcement of IP rights, infringement defence, as well as work regarding licensing, outsourcing and software development agreements form the key areas of expertise at dispute resolution powerhouse Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG. Practice lead Mathis Berger is assisted by senior associates Zoe Honegger and Martin Rauber.

The international IP practice at Python assists with contract and transaction matters, trade mark applications and disputes. The team consists of counsels Felix Locher and Dominique Graz.

Best known for litigation and arbitration regarding intellectual property and licensing, Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd focuses on assisting clients in the pharmaceutical, life sciences, consumer goods and luxury sectors. Philipp Groz is advising on a licence and development agreement related to a phase-one compound for Santhera Pharmaceuticals and is representing a German medical device and pharmaceutical company in a Swiss patent litigation matter. Andrea Mondini joined TIMES Attorneys in 2017.

The 'highly specialised IP boutique' TIMES Attorneys is 'one of the strongest patent litigation teams in Switzerland' and 'unites a competent, solution-focused team of lawyers'. Focusing heaviliy on all types of litigation and prosecution work, it has TMT, pharmaceutical, consumer goods and sports sector expertise. 'Great problem-solver' Andrea Mondini successfully represented Mepha Pharma in two separate patent disputes against Novartis and Gilead. Clients also recommend 'unique and business-minded copyright lawyer' Philippe Gilliéron, 'knowledgeable and reliable' Markus Kaiser and 'consistently outstanding' trade mark and unfair competition expert Michael Noth.

'Very trustworthy and accessible law firm' WEINMANN ZIMMERLI is 'one of the best for intellectual property in Switzerland', fielding 'an outstanding team' of 'efficient and competent lawyers who give a realistic assessment of the client's situation' and show 'great commitment and dedication'. It handles trade mark, patent, copyright, design and licensing law advisory work, as well as prosecution and enforcement matters. Key names include Conrad Weinmann and Marco Handle, who are 'greatly experienced and clear communicators', 'deeply knowledgeable and attentive' litigator Fabian Wigger and 'trade mark expert' Stefan Keehnen. Madeleine Schim van der Loeff and Alban Shabani are other names to note.

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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.