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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 > Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland 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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Geneva- and Lausanne-based firm Lenz & Staehelin receives major recognition for its banking expertise, alongside its outstanding strength in capital markets, private client matters, tax, real estate, sports law and dispute resolution. Key lawyers include Shelby Du Pasquier, Olivier Stahler, François Rayroux, Lucien Masmejan, Andreas Rötheli, Jean-Blaise Eckert, Benoît Merkt and Xavier Favre-Bulle.

'Highly competent firm' Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is renowned for its 'impressive scale of expertise, team work and networking'. Key practice areas include sports, insolvency, dispute resolution, private client, transport and banking. Managing partner Benjamin Borsodi, arbitration and sports partner Philippe Bärtsch, arbitration partner Elliott Geisinger, insolvency specialist Vincent Jeanneret, private client partner Bernard Vischer, real estate lawyer Yves Jeanrenaud and banking partner Grégoire Wuest are prominent practitioners.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.'s team impresses with its 'straight-to-the-point advice, great availability and efficiency'. Its practice groups are uniquely strong in handling transactions, as well as banking, regulatory, dispute resolution and white-collar criminal law matters. Cédric Chapuis, Saverio Lembo, Pierre-Yves Gunter and 'skilled arbitrator' Alexandra Johnson are the names to note. The Geneva office was further bolstered by the arrivals of Martin Anderson and Frederic Betrisey from Baker McKenzie.

The 'diverse team' at 'experienced and reliable firm' Walder Wyss 'practises at the top end of the legal spectrum' and provides a 'hands-on and personalised service to clients'. It is highly recommended for its private client and tax departments, while also handling banking, corporate and litigation matters. 'Highly regarded stand-out partner' Philippe Pulfer manages the Geneva office. Banking and corporate lawyer Patrick Vogel, litigator Rodolphe Gautier, 'rising star' Olivier Sigg, Hubertus Hillerström and recent arrival Fouad Sayegh, who is a tax expert, are other key names.

Key practice areas for Baker McKenzie’s Geneva office include banking, corporate and M&A, dispute resolution, real estate, private client, employment, competition and tax law. Managing partner Stephanie Jarrett, corporate lawyer Jingjin Guo and real estate specialist Olivier Ducrey are the best known practitioners. Martin Anderson and Frederic Betrisey left for Bär & Karrer Ltd. in 2018.

BianchiSchwald LLC is well known for banking and finance, corporate and M&A, employment and real estate law. Thierry Amy, Thomas Goossens, Manuel Bianchi della Porta, Stéphanie Fuld and Yves de Coulon are the names to note.

'Dynamic and well-reputed firm' FBT Attorneys-at-Law has 'a pragmatic approach to problems and considerable experience in regulatory and financial environments'. Based in Geneva, the team handles banking, corporate and commercial, private client, tax and litigation work. Frédérique Bensahel, Jean-Louis Tsimaratos and Pierre-Olivier Etique are active in banking and finance, while tax partner Jean-Luc Bochatay, private client specialist Michel Abt and corporate lawyer Marco Villa are other key practitioners.

Froriep's Geneva-based team covers banking, corporate, sports and private client law. Jean-Luc Herbez, Jérôme de Montmollin, Jean Marguerat, Julie Wynne and Dmitry Pentsov are well-known partners.

Kellerhals Carrard opened its Geneva office in January 2019 following its merger with De Pfyffer & Partners. The Lausanne office is recognised for its strengths in corporate, dispute resolution, insolvency, sports and TMT matters. François Carrard, Edgar Philippin, Jean-Luc Chenaux and Ross Wenzel are the main practitioners.

LALIVE has international experience in banking and finance, dispute resolution and private client law. The Geneva team includes Alexander Troller, Domitille Baizeau, Dr Marc Henzelin, Sandrine Giroud , Matthias Scherer, Michael E Schneider, Thomas Widmer and Dr Veijo Heiskanen.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd's Geneva and Lausanne teams handle banking and finance, competition, private client, real estate and contentious work. Christophe Rapin, Serge Calame, Nicolas P. Didisheim and Bernard Lachenal are the key practitioners.

Oberson Abels Ltd is renowned for its broad tax practice, led by Xavier Oberson and Pierre-Marie Glauser. Other areas of expertise include banking and finance, where partners Antoine Amiguet and Philipp Fischer are the key names, and corporate, where Sébastien Bettschart and Stefan Eberhard are at the fore.

The Geneva office of Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd assists with banking, dispute resolution, white-collar criminal investigations, financing and M&A transactions. Sébastien Roy and Christophe Emonet are well known for the aforementioned areas, while Michèle Burnier handles IP and TMT matters.

Python covers banking, corporate, real estate, tax and private client work. Nicolas de Gottrau, Marc Iynedjian, Christophe de Kalbermatten, Homayoon Arfazadeh and Etienne von Streng are the 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.