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
  • 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.