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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 > Legal market overview > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Legal market overview 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


Switzerland’s legal market has a decentralised structure, reflecting the federal political structure of the country itself. Located in Switzerland’s German-speaking region, Zurich is not only the country’s largest city, but is also the location of the principal stock exchange and home to the majority of leading banking and capital markets lawyers. Geneva, the country’s second largest city, with its many private banks and international organisations, is home to many leading banking and international arbitration lawyers. It is located in the French-speaking West, where Lausanne is another important legal centre. Also noteworthy are Lugano, the third most important financial centre in Switzerland and legal centre of the Italian-speaking region in the Southeast, as well as the German-speaking cities of Basel and the Swiss capital, Bern.

Of the six law firms that achieve the most top-tier rankings in Switzerland, only Bär & Karrer AG has a well-established presence in all three language regions. Walder Wyss Ltd, however, is catching up: it has three offices in the German-speaking region, opened a Lugano office in 2013 and entered the French-speaking region in 2016 with openings in Geneva and Lausanne. In addition to their Zurich offices, Lenz & Staehelin and Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd also have offices in the French-speaking West, while Homburger and Niederer Kraft & Frey AG are based in Zurich only.


Lenz & Staehelin

While Lenz & Staehelin is acknowledged by most as Switzerland’s leading law firm, its connections and expertise span the globe. With over 200 lawyers, its ability to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing complexities of legal and regulatory environments in Switzerland and beyond, has attracted many of the world’s top corporations as well as private individuals.

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Bär & Karrer

Bär & Karrer is a renowned Swiss law firm with more than 150 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. Our core business is advising our clients on innovative and complex transactions and representing them in litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings. Our clients range from multinational corporations to private individuals in Switzerland and around the world.

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Increased banking regulation and greater transparency has put significant pressure on the Swiss private banking sector and has been a key driver of legal work. Especially important was the US Programme for non-prosecution agreements or non-target letters for Swiss banks. Under this programme, 78 banks obtained non-prosecution agreements in 2015 and 2016. This significantly reduced uncertainties and led to an increase in M&A in the private banking sector.

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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

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 MĂ©rat & 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 Welcomes New Tax Counsel

    Bär & Karrer is pleased to announce Prof. Dr. Andrea Opel as a new counsel to the firm. She joined the tax team in Zurich on 1 March 2018.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Orior on the Placement of Shares by Way of an Accelerated Bookbuilding

    Orior AG successfully placed 592,499 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.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised HQLAx on the first Live Securities Lending Transaction Using R3's Corda Blockc

    On 1 March 2018, financial technology innovator HQLAx together with Credit Suisse and ING completed the first live securities lending transaction using R3's Corda blockchain platform. The transaction included a basket swap between Credit Suisse and ING of value EUR 25 million using the HQLAx Corda-based collateral lending application. During the transaction, Credit Suisse and ING transferred legal ownership of Dutch and German government securities on the platform using HQLAx Digital Collateral Records (DCRs) while the underlying securities remained static.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Novartis on the Placement of EUR 2,250,000,000 Guaranteed Notes

    Novartis Finance S.A. completed the placement of EUR 750,000,000 Guaranteed Notes due 2023, EUR 750,000,000 Guaranteed Notes due 2030 and EUR 750,000,000 Guaranteed Notes due 2038. The 2023 Notes were issued at 99.655% of their principal amount with an interest of 0.500% and will mature on 14 August 2023 at their nominal value. The 2030 Notes were issued at 99.957% of their principal amount with an interest of 1.375% and will mature on 14 August 2030. The 2038 Notes were issued at 99.217% of their principal amount with an interest of 1.700% and will mature on 14 August 2038. The Notes are guaranteed by Novartis AG. They have been provisionally admitted to trading at the SIX Swiss Exchange and are expected to be listed there as well.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises EGSB on the Purchase of a Majority Stake in Bauwerk Boen

    EGS Beteiligungen AG (EGSB) has acquired all shares in Bauwerk Boen AG held by ZM Opportunity II L.P. (a fund advised by Patrimonium Private Equity) and is thus majority shareholder of the company. The Bauwerk Boen Group is a leading manufacturer of premium parquet flooring.
  • Promotions at Walder Wyss

    We are pleased to announce that our employees  Alexandre Both ,  Michael Cartier ,  Michael Feit ,  Hubertus Hillerström  and  Olivier Sigg , who have been with us for many years, have been appointed as partners in our firm, effective from 1st of January, 2018.
  • New counsel at Walder Wyss

    We are pleased to announce that a new counsel,  Christian Eichenberger , joined our firm as of 1st of January, 2018.
  • DPE acquires AWK Group

    Deutsche Private Equity (DPE) acquires majority interest in AWK Group, one of the largest independent Swiss consulting companies for information technology and digitalization. 
  • Metall Zug (SIX: METN) acquires majority holding in Haag-Streit Holding AG

    The Metall Zug Group has signed an agreement to acquire 70% of Haag-Streit Holding AG, based in Köniz, Switzerland. The transaction is expected to be consummated during the first quarter of 2018. 
  • Tamedia Announces Public Tender Offer for Goldbach Group

    Tamedia AG announces an all cash public tender offer for all publicly held shares of Goldbach Group AG listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Tamedia offers CHF 35.50 per share of Goldbach Group, representing a transaction amount of around CHF 216 million. The board of directors of Goldbach Group recommends to its shareholders to accept the offer.