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Switzerland > Real estate and construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Who Represents Who

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Baker McKenzie’s clients ‘appreciate the quick and business-oriented support from the team, as well as the second-to-none work ethic and the strong international network’. The practice handles transactions, developments, restructurings and corporate real estate issues for companies, asset managers, private clients and investors, and in a recent highlight advised Migros-Pensionskasse on the transfer of its Swiss real estate portfolio to its newly established investment foundation. Zurich team leads Martin Furrer and Alexander Wyss are ‘very professional and experienced in international transactions and always available for questions’, while the ‘fabulous’ Samuel Marbacher is the team’s ‘young force with very profound technical skill and already very good credentials in the Swiss real estate industry’. The ‘well-connected’ Olivier Ducrey is also recommended. Daniel Peregrina heads the Geneva team.

Transactional and corporate advice are Bär & Karrer Ltd.’s mainstays in the real estate arena: in recent higlights, the practice assisted Valora with the sale of the La Praille building in Geneva to retail company Migros and further acted as transaction counsel for Swiss Prime Site during its CHF250m 0.25 convertible bonds placement. Swiss Life, TH Real Estate and Orascom also receive legal services from the team. Corrado Rampini in Zurich is the lead adviser.

CMS is ‘driven by long-standing client relationships, which make for very effective collaboration’. The practice covers real estate transactions, developments, financing and litigation matters and packs a particular punch in assisting with hotel transactions, related management agreements and construction projects. The team advised Sunrise Communications on the sale of more than 2,000 telecommunication towers in Switzerland. Another key client is Swiss Prime Site, whom the group recently assisted with acquiring two campus facilities near Lake Geneva and in the Canton Valais per share deal. Team lead Stefan Gerster is recommended.

Lenz & Staehelin is a ‘very efficient firm with strong capabilities in various related sectors and a strong network’. The team handles real estate finance, sale-and-lease-back transactions, developments, PPPs and regulatory matters for commercial users, investors, funds, public entities and private clients. Recent highlights include advising Eli Lilly & Company on the ongoing restructuring and sale of its real estate portfolio. Orox Capital Management is another key client. ‘First-class lawyer’ Cécile Berger Meyer, who heads the Geneva practice, ‘is a dealmaker with strong attention to detail and excellent negotiation skills’; Beat Kühni heads the Zurich team, which also includes Andreas Rötheli.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL)stands out for its efficiency and pertinence when finding solutions’, as well as its ‘smart strategic and tactical propositions’. The practice handles property transactions, project development, construction, zoning and litigation matters and is particularly adept at advising on Lex Koller aspects as well as cross-border investments and financing. Active clients include Allreal Holding, Strabag and Verenahof. ‘Strategic thinkerWolfgang Müller is ‘always two steps ahead’, while Christian Eichenberger has ‘broad knowledge and an entrepreneurial approach’. In Geneva, clients recommend Philippe Prostfor his acumen, availability and foresight in analysing legal problems’ as well as associate Cosima Castan.

Niederer Kraft & Frey AGprovides a maximum of professionalism’, is ‘very responsive and highly committed’ and ‘offers incredible advice throughout the complete lifecycle of a property’. A particular focus lies on cross-border transactions in the hotel and leisure industry and in a recent contentious highlight, the group represented Eichhof Immobilien in an appeal proceeding concerning the development of a former industrial site in Lausanne. AXA Investment Managers, Schroders Asset Manager and RUAG Real Estate are key clients. ‘Good negotiator and tactician’ Andreas Vögeli has ‘tremendous real estate knowledge, can identify the critical issues and is very focused on the client’s needs’, while Sandro Abegglen has ‘comprehensive expertise and business acumen in relation to collective investment schemes regulation’. Also recommended is the ‘trustful’ associate Daniel Antognini.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd‘s ‘hardworking team’ ‘has a very good reputation and excellent market knowledge’ in the real estate arena; areas of expertise include transactional advice, construction financing, contentious real estate matters as well as engineer, interior design and architect agreements and facility management issues. In recent work, the group advised SV Group on longterm hotel lease agreements in Germany and Switzerland and Foncia, Rockspring and SPG Intercity also regularly instruct the practice. ‘Very good dealmakerYves Jeanrenaudis a pillar in the Geneva real estate market and has undisputable expertise, excellent connections and incredible attention to detail’. Josef Caleff leads the team in Zurich.

Walder Wyss Ltdis well positioned with great experts in every field’, who offer a ‘highly professional service’. The practice deals with transactions, development projects and real estate disputes and recently advised Pradera on its acquisition of a Swiss real estate asset of the IKEA Centers portfolio. Other work included assisting Akara Funds with several purchase transactions of commercial and residential properties. Blackstone and Bricks & Bytes are other active clients. The ‘extremely experienced, efficient and helpful’ Francis Nordmann provides ‘quick responses, which are straight to the point’ and the ‘practical’ Nicolas Iynedjian ‘regularly exceeds clients´ expectations’.

BianchiSchwald LLC advises international investors as well as local developers, contractors and institutional investors on transactions, development projects, leases, asset management and financing. The team assisted HRS Real Estate with an acquisition offer for a property in the Geneva development zone. Yves de Coulon is the key contact for real estate matters in the Lake of Geneva region, while Marc Metzger specialises in construction matters for the healthcare sector.

Homburger is a popular choice for investors, developers, funds and industrial and financial companies seeking advice on transactions, contracts, leasing, financing, REITs or construction projects. The team advised IKEA on the international divesture of 25 European shopping centres and represented a Swiss real estate company against a Swiss city in an arbitration matter revolving around the right to build and operate a car park. Practice lead Daniel Hasler, regulatory lawyer Marcel Dietrich, M&A specialist Dieter Gericke and litigator Balz Gross are the key members.

The ‘experienced and highly specialised real estate group’ of Pestalozziprovides legally sound, pragmatic, solution-oriented and hands-on advice without lengthy theory’. Focus areas include transactions, commercial and residential leases, real estate pledges and encumbrances as well as regulatory and environmental issues. Valser Mineralquellen, Adam Opel and the UBS Personnel Pension Investment Fund form part of the client portfolio. The ‘eloquent and professionalMichael Lipshas exceptional depth and breadth of knowledge and takes a serious and cost-effective approach to his proposals’.

Python counts institutional investors, commercial users and private individuals among its clients, whom it advises on transactions, construction projects and agreements, Lex Koller matters, financing, leasing, environmental aspects and the full spread of contentious real estate issues. The practice assisted Promoroches with its sale of luxury resort Chalet RoyAlp Hotel & Spa to a Chinese financial group per asset deal. Christophe de Kalbermatten and Marc Iynedjian head the practice, while Jean-Christophe Hocke is the third key partner.

Vischer has particular expertise in development projects, but also handles real estate transactions. The group continues to advise Basler Versicherungen on the development of its new headquarters, the Bâloise Park building and assisted UBS with a mixed-use project in Basel, including advice on land registry, neighbour negotiations and property title aspects. Team lead Roland Müller and Andreas Albrecht are the main advisers.

B•M•G Avocats assists with land use management, planning, construction, Lex Koller regulation as well as environmental and expropriation aspects of real estate law for the cantons of Geneva and Vaud, and also offers transactional and dispute resolution services to real estate clients. Nicolas Wisard and Isabelle Salomé Daïna are the key contacts.

From its offices in Zurich and Baden, Baur Hürlimann AG advises clients on construction matters, industrial and infrastructure projects, including public, environmental and contractual claim management, as well as tenancy law. Roland Hürlimann is the key contact for contentious real estate issues, while Erich Rüegg handles non-contentious and notary matters. Additionally, Michael Merker provides advice on environmental and public law, and Martin Werner specialises exclusively in construction law.

Bratschi Ltdhas a deep understanding of the industry’, offers ‘entrepreneurial thinking and flexibility’ and complements its transactional, financing and contentious expertise with experience in public construction, environmental and zoning law. The team is assisting Vereinigung St.Gallische Gemeindepräsidentinnen und Gemeindepräsidenten with the creation of a new construction regulation template for all communities in Canton St.Gallen. Spital Thurgau, BS Bodensysteme Deutschland and Arbonia are also active clients. Thomas Schönenberger is recommended.

Lalive covers real estate transactions, financings, leasing, construction and infrastructure advice on both non-contentious and contentious level. The practice is representing an instrumentality of a Middle Eastern state in arbitration proceedings concerning transport infrastructure and also advised an international organisation on the refurbishment of its European headquarters and construction of new offices in Geneva. Alexander Troller, Michael Schneider, Bernd Ehle and Matthias Scherer are the main partners.

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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 Real estate and construction

  • 5 January 2017: Takeover of Pax Anlage AG by Baloîse

    Baloîse (SIX: BALN) is to acquire a majority stake in publicly listed real-estate company Pax Anlage AG (SIX: PAXN). By entering into agreements with majority shareholders Pax Holding (Genossenschaft), Pax, Schweizerische Lebensversicherungs-Gesellschaft AG and Nürnberger Lebensversicherung AG, Baloîse Life Ltd will acquire around 70 per cent of the share capital and voting rights. Today, Baloîse published the pre-announcement of a public takeover offer for the remaining approx. 30 per cent of shares in free float at a price of CHF 1,600 per share (subject to dilution effects). The aggregate transaction value amounts to approx. CHF 288 mio. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.
    - 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 on Partial Self-Tender Offer

    On 21 September 2017, an extraordinary shareholders' meeting of the SIX Swiss Exchange listed 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.