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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Tax
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

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Bär & Karrer Ltd. has ‘a top-quality tax department for high-end international transactions and planning matters’, which delivers ‘fast responses with a pragmatic approach’. The group focuses on tax advice related to M&A, financing transactions and restructuring matters, as well as on international taxation and negotiations with tax authorities; it recently advised Regus on tax aspects of the establishment of new holding company IWG. Daniel Bader focuses on tax advice for private clients and jointly heads the team with the ‘commercial’ Susanne Schreiber, who has ‘amazing VAT and direct tax know-how, communicates well and is connected to every major tax player in Switzerland’. Daniel Lehmann is an ‘excellent tax adviser’ and Christoph Suter joined the team from EY Law AG in October 2017.

Homburger covers both Swiss and international tax aspects of M&A and capital markets transactions, corporate reorganisations, financings as well as relocation and employment issues; the team also handles tax litigation. Recent highlights include advising Nestlé on tax issues related to its ice cream and frozen goods joint venture with British R&R and assisting Nord Stream 2 AG with tax-efficient capital structuring. Dieter Grünblatt, Reto Heuberger, Stefan Oesterhelt and Peter Riedweg are the main advisers.

Lenz & Staehelin focuses on corporate and private tax planning, authority negotiations and contentious tax issues, but also advises on tax aspects of capital markets and employment matters. The team advised Groupe E on taxation issues related to BKW’s sale of 10% Groupe-E shares back to the client. Wal-Mart, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Börse and Monsanto are also active clients. Jean-Blaise Eckert and Pascal Hinny lead the teams in Geneva and Zurich, respectively.

Niederer Kraft & Frey AG impresses with its ‘accurate, precise and to-the-point service’ and ‘high responsiveness’. The group exhibits particular tax expertise with regards to capital market products and financing transactions, while other core areas include corporate reorganisations, M&A, collective investment schemes, cross-border and private-equity transactions, as well as authority negotiations and contentious tax issues. In recent highlights, the team advised Actelion on tax aspects of the all-cash tender acquisition by Johnson & Johnson and assisted Trend International with the sale and subsequent re-investment of capital stock in Gotha Cosmetics to an SPV held by Capvis Equity. The ‘well prepared’ Markus Kronauer is recommended. Thomas Graf leads the practice.

Oberson Abels Ltd’s ‘excellent’ twelve partner team covers both corporate and private client tax advice, especially in connection with transactions, financing and estate planning. Nicolas Buchel, Xavier Oberson, Alexandre Faltin and Pierre-Marie Glauser are the key advisers.

Walder Wyss Ltd’s ‘trustful’ tax team consists of ‘excellent lawyers’ who provide an ‘outstanding quality as well as great responsiveness’ and ‘can handle most legal issues without external support’. A big strength lies in transactional, financial, capital and corporate structuring-related tax assistance, as well as tax controversy and estate planning for private clients. The team advised Akina on its merger with Unigestion, while Thomas Meister assisted Allied World Assurance Company with its $4.9bn acquisition by Fairfax Financial Holdings. ‘Straightforward’ team lead Maurus Winzap ‘has a commercial approach, state-of-the-art industry knowledge and is very client-focused’, while Robert Desax is ‘very knowledgeable about Swiss tax issues and has a good business sense’. ‘Absolute tax specialist’ Samuel Dürr is ‘excellent in negotiations with tax authorities’ and the recommended counsel Jan Ole Luuk is the key contact for indirect tax.

Baker McKenzie’s ‘hands-on’ team impresses with ‘outstanding tax knowledge, technical depth, a result-based approach and quick responses’. The practice focuses on international tax planning, transfer pricing, VAT matters, restructuring and transactional support, as well as tax controversy and wealth planning. In a recent highlight, the group advised EXPERTsuisse on the notification procedure regarding the distribution of dividends in lieu of paying withholding tax. Of counsel René Matteotti is ‘analytical and clear’, Kilian Perroulaz is ‘technically excellent’ and the ‘professional’ Tobias Rohner, who joined from Froriep, shows ‘great commitment, readiness and devotion towards the best result’. Denis Berdoz leads the team.

Pestalozzi focuses particularly on cross-border tax and restructuring matters, but also assists clients with tax structurings of financing transactions, real estate and private wealth. The team advised HSBC Bank as lenders during the acquisition of Syngenta by ChemChina. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Glencore and UBS are also active clients. The ‘experienced’ Silvia Zimmermann and counsel Christoph Ramstein ‘find solutions which are openly discussed with the authorities in a very practical and favorable way’. Financial services tax expert Nils Harbeke leads the team.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd has a ‘very strong, competent team for cross-border tax issues’, which it handles with a ‘very professional approach, good team-playing attitude and to-the-point advice’; other focus areas include financial markets-related tax assistance, VAT and customs matters as well as tax auditing and international double taxation. The practice advised a non-governmental organisation on its potential acquisition of a foreign commercial entity including assistance with potential tax issues. The client roster also includes Swiss RE, Julius Baer, Vontobel and Christie’s. Jean-Frédéric Maraia has ‘excellent technical knowledge and can explain complex situations in a very clear, pragmatic way’ and Geneva team lead Pietro Sansonetti is ‘highly experienced’. His counterpart in Zurich is Michael Nordin. Harun Can left the firm.

Outstanding’ boutique firm Tax Partner AG exhibits ‘very high professionalism, reliability and reactivity’ and focuses on ‘client satisfaction, as well as adaptive solutions for reasonable pricing’. The team is well versed in advising corporates as well as private clients on national and international taxation, with additional expertise in VAT matters and transfer pricing. Peter Vogt ‘always has the right solution and works on short notice’, Stephan Pfenninger is ‘proactive and pragmatic’, Kurt Wild ‘combines scientific precision with profound experience’ and Patrik Schwarb ‘is familiar with all legal tax regulations and acts very promptly and professionally’.

ADB Altorfer Duss & Beilstein has a ‘solid practice in the taxation field’, which offers services regarding corporate and private tax matters, VAT, transfer pricing and tax litigation. The team advised Kuoni and Hugentobler-Stiftung on tax matters related to the transfer of its GTD business to Hotelbeds. Financial tax lawyer Marco Duss and tax M&A expert Jürg Altorfer are recommended for their ‘creativity and finding of alternative approaches’. Transfer pricing specialist Fabian Duss, litigator Marco Greter, cross-border structuring expert Andreas Helbing and private client lawyer Pascal Taddei are also key members of the practice.

The ‘excellent and uniqueFBT Attorneys-at-Lawis big enough for its lawyers to focus on specific topics and small enough to have a close and friendly relationship with clients’. Focus areas include administrative, criminal and contentious tax procedures as well as individual, corporate and real estate taxation. Deutsche Bank Suisse, Lombardier Odier Cie and Banque Julius Baer are among the active clients. The ‘organised, professional and empathic’ Michel Abt ‘listens to client’s needs and reacts to them in an effective and pragmatic way’; he jointly heads the practice with Jean-Luc Bochatay.

Loyens & Loeff’s ‘very professional’ team provides ‘fast, commercial responses’ and is particularly recommended for its ‘experience in employee share incentives and global share plans’. The team also covers cross-border tax structuring, tax-efficient investment structures, corporate reorganisations, financing, private client services, transfer pricing, indirect tax and contentious tax matters. The ‘concise and client-oriented’ Beat Baumgartner, who ‘can be trusted to meet deadlines and provide necessary advice’, recently advised a multinational investment group on tax issues related to its migration from Luxembourg to Switzerland due to a BEPS compliance restructuring. On associate level, Georges Frick is recommended.

Ludwig + Partner Ltd. often advises on domestic and cross-border tax aspects of corporate, real estate, financing, employment and private client matters and is particularly adept at assisting with transactional tax issues, tax restructuring and contentious tax issues. Hubertus Ludwig leads the eight-strong team.

MME Legal | Tax | Compliancestands for client understanding, creativity, quick answers and commercially aware advice’. Areas of expertise include corporate taxation, international tax planning, tax compliance, indirect tax, tax disputes, VAT and customs matters. The team assisted a US company with tax issues pertaining to the establishment of R&D facilities and commercial operations in Switzerland. Andreas Müller is ‘excellent, proactive and efficient’, Thomas Linder’s ‘efforts and knowledge are way above average’, Samuel Bussmann is ‘well connected and organised’ and Mónika Molnár is an ‘expert in EU taxation’.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) advises corporate clients on tax aspects of restructurings, investments and M&A transactions, tax structuring as well as tax controversy and also supports private clients regarding estate and tax planning. David Brönimann heads the practice, which also includes counsel Urs Behnisch, private client specialist Nicolas Didisheim and international tax partner Markus Huber, who joined from EY Law AG in July 2017.

Python assists with advance tax rulings, M&A-related tax issues, corporate reorganisations, investments and relocations. Other areas of expertise include tax audit litigation and criminal proceedings. Etienne von Streng heads the group.

Vischer’s ‘fast and efficient’ team establishes ‘very good personal contact with clients’ and advises on tax aspects of corporate and financial transactions, capital market matters and business reorganisations as well as on tax audits, transfer pricing and contentious tax matters. Recent highlights include advising Anokion on the tax structuring of its collaboration with Celgene and representing Swiss International Airlines in tax litigation. Christoph Niederer and Martin Dubach are recommended and Nadia Tarolli is another name to note.

BianchiSchwald LLC handles general corporate taxation matters and provides specialist expertise regarding banking and investment tax law, international double taxation as well as transfer pricing. The practice advised Medicxi Ventures on all direct and indirect tax aspects relating to the set-up of a separate investment fund. Joseph Merhai and Joseane Vieira Meier are the main advisors.

The ‘extremely professional, client-focused and efficientBratschi Ltdtreats its clients as partners’, provides ‘high-quality advice’ and is ‘easy to reach’. The group assists medium-sized and listed companies as well as banks with domestic and international tax planning and tax aspects of transactions, relocations, reorganisations and employee participation schemes. ‘Fantastic corporate tax expert’ Michael Barrot ‘gives clear instructions’, is ‘very business-focused’ and has ‘international experience’. Walter Boss leads the team.

Burckhardt Ltd.’s ‘responsive’ team provides ‘advice of the highest quality’ on tax issues, especially in connection with cross-border restructurings and M&A transactions. Additional expertise exists in estate tax planning, social security and financing matters. The ‘practical’ Rolf Wüthrich has ‘great understanding of US tax issues, which he balances with Swiss law to achieve excellent results’.

CMS impresses with ‘very good response times, spot-on and personalised advice, as well as outstanding business acumen and industry knowledge’. The practice is well versed in corporate tax issues relating to business reorganisations and M&A transactions, but also assists private clients with wealth structuring and estate planning. The team advised Merbag on tax implications of its international expansion which included the acquisition of Mercedes-Benz Luxembourg. David Hürlimann ‘solves problems by taking the surrounding topics into account’, while Andrio Orler ‘understands both Swiss law and international tax consequences’ and ‘finds useful, outside-the-box solutions in a strictly compliant manner’.

Froriep provides tax advice in connection with cross-border and national M&A transactions, particularly within the banking, finance and cryptocurrency industry, and is also experienced in tax litigation. The client roster also includes companies in the transport sector and private clients. Dimitri Rotter heads the department, which recently welcomed counsel Catherine Morf, the former tax director of Credit Suisse. Michael Fischer left to found Fischer Ramp Partner AG, while Tobias Rohner joined Baker McKenzie.

Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés covers corporate and private client tax matters, as well as VAT issues. Particular tax expertise exists with regards to company reorganisations, investments, private relocations and wealth structuring. Stéphane Tanner has ‘great experience and an in-depth understanding of the tax administration’.

Prager Dreifuss AG’s tax department demonstrates ‘competence, creativity and a solution-driven approach’ in relation to corporate finance, insurance, private client and international tax matters. The ‘knowledgeable’ Roland Böhi is recommended. Danielle Wenger is the second key partner of the practice.

Wenger & Vieli’s ‘solid tax team’ provides ‘high technical expertise’ in both corporate and M&A and private tax matters; it also represents clients in tax appeals. Hybris AG is an active client. Private client and US tax specialist Bruno Bächli and corporate tax lawyer Barbara Brauchli Rohrer are the key partners. Senior associate Marc Gerber is a ‘truly devoted professional with strong VAT and transactional expertise’.

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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 Tax

  • Two important tax decisions have been rendered...

    by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in the field of tax-loss carryforward. The first one offers the possibility to set off losses of an ab-sorbed company which was in liquidation against the profit of the absorbing company. The second one deals with the carryforward of losses incurred as the company benefited from a holding status against the profit of the company after the holding status has ended. 104 Newsletter No. July 2012
    - 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 Advised Copernicus Holding on the Establishment of its Structure and Obtaining a FINMA

    Copernicus Group is a financial service provider in the canton Ticino for institutional and private UHNWI clients, offering also family office and wealth planning services. The group consists of Copernicus Asset Management SA and Copernicus Wealth Management and Services SA. On 20 March 2018, Copernicus Asset Management started operating as a fully licensed Swiss asset manager of collective investment schemes.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Allianz Suisse on the Acquisition of DAS Switzerland

    On 3 April 2018, Allianz Suisse Versicherungs-Gesellschaft AG has acquired all shares in DAS Rechtsschutz-Versicherungs-AG. Through this acquisition Allianz Swiss becomes one of the largest providers of legal protection insurance in the Swiss market.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises XO Holding on Sale of Priora to Eiffage Construction

    XO Holding AG sold Priora AG, a leading Swiss project developer and general / total contractor (GC/TC), to Eiffage Construction SA, a French company forming part of the Euronext listed Eiffage group.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Axcel on the Acquisition of Invima

    The Danish private equity company Axcel has acquired all shares in Invima AB, a Swedish corporation, with its subsidiaries including two Swiss subsidiaries. Under the IsaDora brand, Invima AB is one of the Nordic region's leading manufacturers and distributors of cosmetics, with sales in approximately 5,000 stores in forty different countries. The seller Ingvar Vigstrand with family will remain as a minority owner in the new group.
  • 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.