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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


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The team at Eversheds Sutherland AG impresses with 'a sound knowledge of contracts relating to public procurement and public transport', 'honest and detailed communication', as well its 'an outstanding structuring and delivery of documents'. Railway procurement projects and corporate advice constitute major focus areas, alongside liability law, air transport and related passenger rights, road transport law, as well as shipping and trade finance matters. 'Extremely professional, reliable and precise' head of transport Oliver Beldi provided an early case assessment for Airbus Helicopters, which aims to terminate a commercial agreement with a supplier of helicopter parts due to quality issues. Public transport expert Bruno Schoch 'shows very high flexibility and is able to identify risks and describe successful solutions', while transport liability and insurance partner Barbara Klett is another key member of the department.

The 'excellent team' at 'go-to firm' gbf Attorneys-at-law Ltd is renowned for 'providing facilitating advice for the aviation industry, its impeccable client care and pragmatic approach'. With 'a solid offering in the arbitration and commodities space', the team focuses on cross-border transactions, regulatory matters, commercial disputes and liability cases in aviation, shipping and land transport. Lars Gerspacher has 'profound knowledge in all kinds of liability and insurance matters', while 'reputable aviation law expert' Laurent Chassot 'stays calm under pressure and has a very commercial outlook'.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is appreciated for its 'professionalism, efficiency and relentless hard work'. Best known for maritime, aviation and trade matters, the transport team handles insurance-related, contentious, regulatory, financing and transactional matters. In a recent highlight, Grégoire Wuest assisted a Greek ship owner with the restructuring of its fleet, including the financing aspects regarding the sale of dry bulk carriers and purchase of new ships. Alexander von Ziegler heads the practice.

VISCHER's transport department specialises in acting for airlines on corporate matters, contract negotiations and transactions, as well as insurance cases. Christoph Niederer and Urs Haegi are advising Swiss International Air Lines on various legal aspects concerning international employment, social security and tax issues. Managing associate Peter Kühn is another name to note.

In transport law, Baker McKenzie focuses on company restructuring, M&A transactions, intellectual property, data protection, outsourcing and competition matters. Alessandro Celli advises Planzer Transporte on its GDPR and Swiss data protection compliance programme, and also assists FT Logistics with all trade mark issues in Switzerland. Boris Wenger is another key partner.

The transport department at Bär & Karrer Ltd. covers finance, M&A, regulatory, employment, competition, data protection and contentious matters from the aviation, maritime, road and rail sectors. M&A specialist Christoph Neeracher acted for Matternet in negotiations with Swiss Post concerning the provision of unmanned aerial systems for drone delivery. Corporate and commercial partner Luca Jagmetti  heads the practice.

'A proven specialist in aviation law', Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law Ltd has 'unparalleled industry knowledge' and is able to provide 'non-standard legal advice on domestic and international matters'. The team is best known for handling transactions, transport financing, contract negotiation, regulatory advice, as well as enforcement matters, insurance claims and other forms of litigation. The 'well-connected' Hans-Ruedi Grob, who has 'an entrepreneurial and supportive' approach, and 'knowledgeable aircraft financing expert' Philippe Wenker lead the 'impressive practice'.

Froriep's 'knowledgeable and pragmatic' transport team 'is quick to offer expert legal advice on Swiss-law aviation matters and consider the commercial reality of the situation'. It is best known for assisting with aviation finance and insolvency cases, as well as general corporate and commercial matters, and representing maritime clients in litigation proceedings. Recent highlights include advisory services provided to BoComm Leasing on existing leasing contracts with the insolvent airline Air Berlin and its Swiss subsidiary Belair. 'Very responsive, thorough and risk-attuned' London-based key partner Dunja Koch is 'highly capable and has a clear communication style'. Felix Mathis, who handles commercial aviation matters, and tax specialist Dimitri Rotter are also noted.

Clients recommend HFW for its 'responsiveness, multi-jurisdictional capabilities and business understanding'. The transport department focuses heavily on English and Swiss maritime and trade law, providing advice on transactions, dispute resolution, crisis management, commercial and regulatory issues. In a recent highlight, key partner Michael Buisset is defending vessel owner Lucretia against cargo damage claims and is representing the same client as the claimant in indemnity proceedings. 'Hardworking, smart and reliable' dispute resolution partner Sarah Hunt and 'results-oriented' senior associate William Hold are other names to note.

Meyer Avocats in Geneva focuses on business aviation and superyacht matters, including corporate advice, transactions, insurance claims and operation issues. The team comprises Frédéric Meyer, Raphaël Baeriswyl, Laurent Isenegger and Anouch Sedef.

MME Legal | Tax | Compliance handles dispute resolution, compliance, insurance and contractual advice regarding Swiss trade, distribution, logistics, transport and shipping law. Andreas Furrer and Raphael Brunner assist DPD Schweiz with all business matters, including the drafting of agreements with subcontractors and customers, and representation in negotiation and litigation proceedings. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and SBB also feature in the client roster.

Schiller Rechtsanwälte AG in Winterthur is recognised for its experience in aviation liability and passenger rights law, while the day-to-day advice comprises contractual and regulatory matters for clients in the maritime sector. Kaspar Schiller, Heinrich Hempel, Michael Hochstrasser and Daniel Maritz are the names to note.

The 'efficient and down-to-earth' team at ThomannFischer is 'big enough to have market influence and small enough to make clients feel well looked-after'. With 'competence' in inland navigation and maritime matters, 'very good shipping administration and contracts lawyer' Stephan Erbe and senior associate Christian Hochstrasser, who is recommended for his advice on labour law, 'know their clients' businesses by heart'.

Wartmann & Merker is recommended for being 'well connected in the Swiss market' and providing 'concise answers to legal questions'. The transport practice is best known for its commercial arbitration and litigation expertise, and frequently acts for insurance, shipping, trading and logistics companies. It also provides advisory services in the freight-forwarding sector. The 'straightforward, reliable and prompt' Giovanna Montanaro, who joined from Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd in January 2018, is the main contact.

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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.