The Legal 500

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VISCHER

AESCHENVORSTADT 4, 4010 BASEL, SWITZERLAND
Tel:
Work +41 58 211 33 00
Fax:
Fax +41 58 211 33 10
Web:
www.vischer.com
Basel, Zurich

Switzerland

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer is ‘extremely well connected on an international level and has unique market expertise to deal with complex derivatives and financial instruments’. The practice advised Bâloise and Basler Leben on their CHF288m acquisition of majority shares in Pax Anlage, followed by a public takeover offer for the remaining shares; and also supported CRISPR Therapeutics during its $92m IPO on NASDAQ Global Market. The ‘solution-orientedMarkus Guggenbühl and Jana Essebier are recommended, as is the ‘responsiveBenedict Christ.

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Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer is particularly ‘strong in private M&A and private equity transactions for young, fast-growing companies in the healthcare and digital media sectors’. The practice advised Symetis on its $435m all-cash acquisition by Boston Scientific and also assisted Anheuser-Busch InBev with the €7.3bn sale of SABMiller’s business in Eastern Europe to Asahi. Co-head Jürg Luginbühl and associate Gian-Andrea Caprez are recommended for ‘finding pragmatic and commercial solutions, working exceptionally hard and responding quickly’. Other names to note are M&A co-leads Matthias Staehelin and Benedict Christ.

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Competition
Competition - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer handles cartel, abuse of dominance and antitrust investigations, as well as related leniency applications, non-contentious merger notifications and compliance programs. Team lead Klaus Neff is representing Immer AG in its appeal before the Federal Administrative Court related to a sanction imposed on the client for participating in a cartel in the door component sector. Another highlight was the merger control advice provided to Bâloise and Basler Leben related to its acquisition of a majority shareholding in Pax Anlage.

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Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer handles both contentious and non-contentious employment matters, including restructurings, staff leases and recruitment, unfair dismissal cases, public employment law matters, work time tracking, overtime and bonus compensation claims, data privacy and immigration issues. In a recent highlight, the group advised FOBOHA on a site closure and mass dismissals related to its acquisition by Barnes Groupe Suisse Industries. Longstanding clients include Deutsche Bank and recruitment company Hays. Marc Prinz is the name to note.

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Healthcare and life sciences
Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 1

Vischer

Vischer provides transactional, financing, capital markets, product launch and regulatory advice to health and life sciences industry clients and further represents them in contentious matters. The practice assisted JSR Corporation with its acquisition of Selexis and advised Axovant Sciences on its debt financing agreement with Hercules Capital. Stefan Kohler jointly heads the practice with Matthias Staehelin; Christian Wyss is another name to note.

Leading individuals

Stefan Kohler - Vischer

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Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 3

Vischer

Vischer is known for its expertise in liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings revolving around banks. The practice successfully defended PwC in its role as liquidator of Lehman Brothers Finance in court proceedings brought by two companies of the Klaus Tschira group. Clients also include Weidenareal Metall and LoneStar. Team lead David Jenny, Markus Guggenbühl, Jana Essebier and Christian Oetiker are the key advisers.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer’s biggest strengths are advisory and contentious IP services in the broadcasting media and life sciences industries. The team is representing Swisscom in the first Swiss ISP blocking case against film rights holders and regularly advises Netflix on copyright issues in Switzerland. Private TV network 3 Plus Group is another key client. Rolf Auf der Maurprovides pragmatic, useful advice in a timely fashion’.

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Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland
Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer is particularly recommended for its public law, M&A and litigation expertise as well as its industry knowledge of the healthcare, TMT and transport sectors. Stefan Kohler, Rolf auf der Maur, Stefan Rechsteiner, Benedict Christ and Christian Oetiker are the most prominent partners; Michael Waldner is recommended as up-and-coming.

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Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Vischer

Public sector clients consider Vischer’s ‘response times, industry knowledge and appropriateness of advice outstanding’. Andreas Albrecht and counsel Michael Waldner assisted multiple hospitals with regulatory and administrative court proceedings concerning tariff charges for hospital treatments to health insurance companies. The client roster also includes Repower and Swisslos. The ‘knowledgeableStefan Rechsteineradvises clients successfully over many years’.

Leading individuals

Stefan Rechsteiner - Vischer

Next generation lawyers

Michael Waldner - Vischer

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

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.

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 1

Vischer

Vischer delivers ‘a very good performance with quick reactions, subject competency and a solution-oriented approach’. The practice is particularly well known for broadcasting and e-commerce matters, while also handling IT and telecommunication cases. Recent highlights include representing Swisscom in Switzerland’s first ISP blocking case brought by film rights holders and advising Netflix on copyright issues as well as on regulatory requirements for VOD services. Private TV network 3 Plus Group is another active client. Rolf Auf der Maur is a ‘proven specialist’.

Leading individuals

Rolf Auf der Maur - Vischer

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 3

Vischer

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.

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Transport
Transport - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

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.

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Switzerland: Banking and finance

Zurich
Banking and finance: Zurich - ranked: tier 3

Vischer

Vischer has ‘a very strong financing practice’ that is ‘pro-active, forward-looking and creative in generating solutions’. The team advised an international bank who acted as a lender in relation to a credit facility granted to an oil and gas company. Practice head Markus Guggenbühl is an ‘outstanding strategic thinker’, while insolvency expert Jana Essebier is also recommended. The ‘service-orientedBenedict Christ and Christian Oetiker are the key contacts for banking M&A and litigation.

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Switzerland: Dispute resolution

Arbitration
Dispute resolution: arbitration - ranked: tier 4

Vischer

Vischer’s ‘reliable and trustworthy’ team consists of ‘highly skilled and dynamic attorneys’ who are ‘very knowledgeable in arbitration’ and have ‘a remarkable, solution-oriented approach’. Key sources of work include the freight forwarding, timber and wood, shipping and financial industries. Christian Oetiker acted as sole arbitrator in an ICC proceeding between a US company and a European manufacturer concerning the acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicle systems (drones). The ‘clear, convincing and experiencedThomas Weibel, ‘skilled and dedicated’ senior associate Claudia Walz and the ‘responsive and tactically considerateDaniele Favalli are recommended.

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Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 2

Vischer

Vischer has an ‘excellent in-depth litigation team’, which ‘acts quickly through collaboration’ and focuses on the transport and freight forwarding industries, as well as the financial services, insurance and TMT sectors. In a recent highlight, the group advised Pirelli Tyre and Banque Cantonale Vaudoise on the enforcement of a judgement against a former board member of a debtor company. ‘Strategic thinkerChristian Oetiker is recommended for his ‘strength in banking, finance and bankruptcy litigation’, while Thomas Weibel is ‘a very reputed and successful estate and succession litigator’.

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Legal Developments by:
VISCHER

  • Capital Contribution Principle: Meaning and Proceedings

    On January 1, 2011, the Swiss tax law capital contribution principle (CCP) enters into force - with far reaching consequences for companies, their owners, board members and tax advisors. A few days ago the Federal Tax Administration (FTA) published a Circular Letter on this change of law.
    - VISCHER

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.