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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 > Transport > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Transport
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Transport 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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gbf Attorneys-at-law Ltd provides a ‘high service level, has excellent know-how and access to an established network for international tasks’. Clients particularly recommend the practice for its ‘in-depth expertise in aviation, ship financing and marine insurance law’, but the group is also adept at assisting with road transport matters, M&A transactions, trade law and contractual disputes. Recent highlights include defending a global corporate insurance company and one of its clients, an aircraft maintenance provider, against the insurer of a business jet owner regarding a damage caused by a wrongful perfomance during maintenance work as well as representing DHL in a freight forwarding dispute against a South Amercian oil group. The ‘fast, knowledgeable and professionalLars Gerspacherunderstands problems very quickly and speaks in a language for non-legal professionals’. It is also ‘a pleasure for clients to work with the very good aviation lawyerLaurent Chassot.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd’s ‘advice is thorough and addresses questions concretely’. The group is particularly active in the aviation and maritime sector, where it focuses on regulatory, financing and insurance matters, as well as liability disputes and fraud cases. ‘Knowledgeable’ team lead Alexander von Ziegler is recommended, as is ‘responsive senior lawyerBernard Vischer and the ‘analytic and reasonable’ Grégoire Wuest, who is ‘very experienced in business aviation transactions and the yachting and maritime industry’. Giovanna Montanaro joined Wartmann & Merker in January 2018.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Benz Attorneys Ltd

Benz Attorneys Ltd. specialise in the areas of international and national trade of goods and services corresponding in German, English, French and Italian.

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Based on ‘quick response times, good business acumen and fair value for money’, Eversheds Sutherland AG establishes a ‘trustful cooperation’ with clients. Headed by Oliver Beldi, the transport practice is predominantly active in the railway sector and regularly advises on corporate and procurement projects. ‘Reliable and smart team playerBruno Schoch has ‘outstanding knowledge and many years of experience in the railway sector and procurement law’ and transport insurance specialist Barbara Klett is also recommended.

Top firmVischer recently saw an increase in instructions from the aviation sector, but also covers the full spectrum of rail and maritime issues. The team supports Swiss International Airlines in various international tax matters as main adviser in Switzerland and also represented the client successfully against patent violation allegations regarding a mobile ticket application. Other recent highlight work includes advising DLH Fuel Company’s acquisition of a 12% stake in Unterflurbetankungsanlage Flughafen Zürich from an oil company. Deutsche Lufthansa is another key client. Christoph Niederer and associate Martin Dubach are recommended. Urs Haegi heads the practice.

Baker McKenzie handles compliance, restructuring, M&A, outsourcing and IP matters in the transport and logistics sectors. The team assisted Planzer Transport with updating its code of conduct and compliance program, advised Enterprise Rent-a-Car on trade mark issues and also assisted rail cargo service provider HUPAC with antitrust agreements.Alessandro Celli, Boris Wenger and Beat Barthold, who all joined from Froriep in October 2016, are the key contacts.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. handles finance, M&A, regulatory, employment, antitrust, data protection and contentious matters in the aviation, maritime and rail industries. The practice advised EQT Infrastructure II on its acquisition of CHEP Aerospace Solutions from supply-chain logistics provider Brambles. Luca Jagmetti is the key contact of the practice, which also includes aviation specialist Mariel Hoch, financing lawyer Ralph Malacrida, IP partner Markus Wang and railroad and logistics expert Christoph Neeracher.

Froriep is ‘very good in aircraft finance and leasing matters’, but also advises shipping industry clients on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious matters. Recommended practice head Dunja Koch assisted Apollo Aviation with its investment in a commercial aircraft as well as with the registration and deregistration of two A319 aircraft of Germania Air following the latter´s reorganisation.

HFW specialises in advice on commodity law matters in the shipping sector, including commercial contracts, transactions, compliance, trading issues and dispute resolution. Michael Buisset, Jeremy Davies and Sarah Hunt are the key contacts in Geneva.

MME – Legal | Tax | Compliance’s ‘professional and knowledgeable’ team provides an ‘excellent service due to pragmatic and uncomplicated cooperation and appropriate response times’. The practice handles trade, distribution, logistics and shipping matters, and further focuses on compliance issues, financial claim enforcement and negotiations with business partners and administrative authorities across the entire transport sector. ‘International transport law expert’ Andreas Furrer has ‘great practical and theoretical knowledge’, ‘perfect client understanding’ and ‘tactical skills’, Raphael Brunner is ‘experienced in high-value marine insurance disputes’ and Peter Henschel is ‘deeply knowledgeable in export control law’.

Geneva-based boutique offering Meyer Avocats’ mainstay is business aviation advice, which includes assistance with corporate, transactional, operational and insurance matters, but the group also advises on the full lifecycle of superyacht projects. Frédéric Meyer, Raphaël Baeriswyl, Laurent Isenegger and Anouch Sedef are the main advisers.

Schiller Rechtsanwälte AG has special expertise in aviation liability and passenger rights matters and disputes, but also covers authorisation, contractual and regulatory advice for maritime and ground carriers. Clients include both private companies and governmental entities. The key partners are Kaspar Schiller, Heinrich Hempel, Michael Hochstrasser and Daniel Maritz.

ThomannFischer maintains ‘strong partnerships’ with clients and ‘stands out for its extremely high service level, client orientation and fast response times’. The practice covers national and international transport, freight forwarding, logistics and financing law in the road, rail, aviation and shipping sectors. The team also has considerable expertise in arbitration and litigation. Stephan Erbe has ‘vast and profound knowledge and experience within transportation law’ and ‘is very well informed about the industry’. Christian Hochstrasser and aviation specialist Alexander Filli are other key contacts.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Cowen Acquires Quarton Group

    Cowen Inc., a NASDAQ listed, diversified financial services firm, agreed to acquire the Quarton group, a global financial advisor serving the middle market. Closing is expected in early 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Banking Syndicate in the Rights Offering of ARYZTA

    On 19 November 2018, ARYZTA, a global food business with a leadership position in speciality bakery, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering structured as a volume underwriting in the amount of approximately CHF 900 million. 97.4% of the shareholders of ARYZTA exercised their subscription rights in the rights offering. The new shares not subscribed were placed in the market.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Sellers on the Sale of Briner Winterthur

    The owners of Briner AG Winterthur sold the company. Briner is a leading family-owned trading and service company operating in the fields of construction services, steel services, supply systems and building services as well as heating and energy systems.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised GfK on the Sale of Four Divisions

    GfK has sold four global divisions (Customer Experience, Experience Innovation, Health and Public Affairs) to Ipsos. The sale included GfK's respective businesses in 25 countries.
  • Derivatives Trading under FMIA: Reporting Obligations

    On 14 September 2018, the Federal Council extended the transition period for the reporting of derivative transactions by small non-financial counterparties (NFC-) until 1 January 2024 under the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA). The amendment to the Financial Market...
  • Swiss Tax Reform Package Approved: Update and Outlook

    The Swiss National Council approves the proposed tax reform package! On 12 September 2018 the larger chamber of parliament adopted the proposal of the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of the Council of States on the Federal Act on Tax Reform and AHV Financing (formerly Tax Proposal 17), which is largely in line with the legislative bill adopted by the Council of States, the smaller chamber of parliament. Although slight differences regarding the capital contribution principle remain to be settled, the majority of member of the National Council sees the adopted text of the bill as a viable compromise.
  • Retrocessions: Criminal Consequences of Non Disclosure

    In a recent decision 6B_689/2016 of 14 August 2018, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court held that the failure to disclose adequately retrocessions may constitute an act of criminal mismanagement. After a short summary of the legal framework governing the disclosure of retrocessions, the present briefing analyses this decision and its practical impact in particular for Swiss financial institutions dealing with external asset managers.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Waterland on its Investment in Tineo

    Waterland Private Equity invested in Tineo AG after the carve-out from Quickline Holding AG. Tineo is an integrated enterprise solution provider of data centres, glass-fiber connections, high-speed internet and VoIP services with state-of-the-art infrastructure
  • Bär & Karrer Elects Ruth Bloch-Riemer, Daniel Raun and Philippe Seiler to Partner

    Bär & Karrer has announced the election of Ruth Bloch-Riemer, Daniel Raun and Philippe Seiler to the firm's partnership. The appointment is effective as of 1 January 2019.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Swiss Prime Site on its Rights Offering

    On 28 September 2018, Swiss Prime Site, the largest publicly listed real estate investment company in Switzerland, completed a capital increase by way of a rights offering to its shareholders in the amount of approximately CHF 320 million. 97,7% of the shareholders of Swiss Prime Site exercised their subscription rights in the rights offering. The remaining new shares not subscribed were placed in the market. The offer price was set at CHF 74.00 per share. Credit Suisse and UBS Investment acted as Joint Global Coordinators, J.P. Morgan and Zürcher Kantonalbank acted as Joint Bookrunners.

Press Releases in Switzerland

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  • 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.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Credit Suisse and Bank Berenberg in the IPO of Klingelnberg

    Klingelnberg Ltd, a global leader in developing and manufacturing premium machine tools for bevel gear and cylindrical gear machining and precision measuring centers for gears, successfully priced its IPO and listed its shares on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Trading in the shares started on 20 June 2018. The shares of Klingelnberg were priced at CHF 53 per share, near the upper end of the price range, corresponding to a base offer of CHF 241 million. The offer price implies a market capitalization of approx. CHF 470 million leading to a free float of 56.6% (assuming full exercise of the over-allotment option), whereas the remaining 43.4% remain with the Klingelnberg family as anchor shareholder.