The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Lenz & Staehelin

ROUTE DE CHÊNE 30, 1211 GENEVA 6, SWITZERLAND
Tel:
Work +41 58 450 70 00
Fax:
Fax +41 58 450 70 01
Email:
Web:
https://www.lenzstaehelin.com
Geneva, Lausanne, Zurich

Switzerland

Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelinmeets the highest standards with regards to response times, business acumen, industry knowledge, team strength and value for money’, handling equity transactions, bond and note offerings, exchange offers and SIX Swiss Exchange registrations. The team advised pharmaceutical company ObsEva on their $97m IPO and also assisted J.P. Morgan and ING with Kernel Holding´s guaranteed notes issuance worth CHF500m. BlackRock and Deutsche Bank are other active clients. Jacques Iffland and the ‘knowledgeable’ François Rayroux are the key partners in Geneva, while Patrick Schleiffer and Hans-Jakob Diem head the corresponding Zurich practice.

Leading individuals

François Rayroux - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Commercial, corporate and M&A
Commercial, corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin’s ‘proactive and efficient’ practice is ‘strong in both Zurich and Geneva’ and ‘can be recommended for a wide range of legal support’, not least because of its ‘dedicated in-house experience in transactional matters, commercial insight and tax expertise’. The group also covers hostile takeover situations, private equity transactions, joint ventures and M&A disputes. One of the ongoing highlights is the assistance given to Sika regarding an unsolicited takeover attempt by Saint Gobain. Hans-Jakob Diem, Rudolf Tschäni and Beat Kühni are the recommended key partners, while ‘responsive’ M&A lawyer Tino Gaberthüel is noted for his ‘deep knowledge and solution-focused, practical approach to challenging situations. The ‘pragmaticStephan Ernidelivers clear advice and attention to detail during cross-border transactions’.

Leading individuals

Rudolf Tschäni - Lenz & Staehelin

Next generation lawyers

Stephan Erni - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Competition
Competition - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin’s competition practice is ‘of truly outstanding excellence in every respect’ and ‘one of the best in Switzerland’ due to its ‘very dedicated team of lawyers’ and ‘strong commitment to client service’. The team provides expertise in merger control, leniency and compliance, and also represents clients in dispute resolution, dawn raid, cartel investigation and merger prohibition appeal situations. A recent highlight was the representation of Colgate Palmolive before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court in a CHF5m vertical and horizontal restrictions case relating to Elmex toothpaste. Swisscom and its affiliates CT Cinetrade and Teleclub are other active clients. Marcel Meinhardt is ‘one of the top leading experts in competition and antritrust law’, who ‘focuses on results and the specific requirements of each situation’ and possesses ‘first-rate theoretical and practical knowledge’. Also recommended are the ‘experienced, analytic and business-mindedAstrid Waser and ‘brilliant, no-nonsense’ counsel Felix Prümmer. Benoît Merkt is the head of the three-partner team in Geneva.

Leading individuals

Benoît Merkt - Lenz & Staehelin

Marcel Meinhardt - Lenz & Staehelin

Next generation lawyers

Felix Prümmer - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Employment
Employment - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin impresses with a ‘very pragmatic approach, high-quality answers and cost effectiveness’ in both advisory and contentious matters. Focus areas include legal employment support during company reorganisations and M&A transactions, as well as continuous advice on termination agreements, employee relocation and immigration, bonus and stock option schemes, discrimination, social security and pensions. In a recent highlight, the group advised Moody’s Analytics on employment matters related to its acquisition of Bureau van Dijk, and assisted Novartis Animal Health with employment and pension aspects of its business restructuring. Rayan Houdrouge heads the team in Geneva and ‘finds operational solutions very quickly’. His counterpart in Zurich is Matthias Oertle.

[back to top]

Healthcare and life sciences
Healthcare and life sciences - ranked: tier 2

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin regularly handles IP, competition, corporate, M&A and contentious liability matters for a wide range of pharmaceutical, biotechnical and medical devices companies, as well as healthcare providers and academic institutions. Thierry Calame, Harold Frey and Stephan Erni are the main contacts in Zurich, while Benoît Merkt heads the Geneva team.

[back to top]

Insolvency and corporate recovery
Insolvency and corporate recovery - ranked: tier 2

Lenz & Staehelin

The ‘truly outstandingLenz & Staehelin consists of ‘excellent, very responsive teams’ that ‘pair legal knowledge with practical experience in court, thus providing reliable advice’. A major focus is the representation of creditors in enforcement proceedings, as well as business restructuring advice for companies in and out of court. 2017 highlights included advising international vodka producer and alcohol distributor Roust Group on its restructuring and assisting the creditors and financial institutions with Petroplus Marketing’s insolvency. Team lead Tanja Luginbühl is a ‘good strategic and conceptual thinker’ who offers a ‘very high level of professionalism and a deep understanding of business needs’. Further recommended are the ‘commercial and confidentRoland Fischer, the ‘pleasant-to-work-with’ Dominique Müller and ‘very good’ associate Anja Affolter.

Leading individuals

Tanja Luginbühl - Lenz & Staehelin

Next generation lawyers

Roland Fischer - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Top-tier firmLenz & Staehelin provides an ‘excellent level of service’, ‘gives appropriate advice’, is ‘extremely responsive’ and ‘has deep industry knowledge’, particularly in the pharmaceutical, food and beverages, IT and retail sectors. The group handles the full spread of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and geographical indications issues and recently defended Migros in a patent infringement dispute regarding coffee capsules and also supported Emmentaler in an appellation of origin matter in Italy. The ‘knowledgeable, sensible and straight-forwardThierry Calame and counsel Lara Dorigo are recommended. Jürg Simon and Geneva-based Daniel Tunik are other notable practitioners.

Leading individuals

Jürg Simon - Lenz & Staehelin

Thierry Calame - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland
Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin in Geneva and Lausanne is one of the market leaders in banking, capital markets, corporate, private client and tax law. Key lawyers include Shelby du Pasquier, Olivier Stahler, François Rayroux, Lucien Masmejan, Andreas Rötheli and Jean-Blaise Eckert. Benoît Merkt is recommended for his competition law expertise.

[back to top]

Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland
Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin’s practice offers deep expertise across the full spectrum of banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, competition and dispute resolution matters, complemented by a particular deep sector knowledge of the TMT industry. Key contacts include Patrick Hünerwadel, Hans-Jakob Diem, Harold Frey, Marcel Meinhardt, Jürg Simon and Lukas Morscher.

[back to top]

Private client
Private client - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

The ‘outstandingLenz & Staehelindistinguishes itself from other firms in providing specialist advice on succession law, taxation, family governance and cross-border estate planning through a dedicated, multijurisdictional team’. The ‘holistic’ practice is also recommended for its ‘stable relationship with preeminent Swiss financial institutions’ and focuses particularly on regulatory issues, dispute resolution as well as relocation and inheritance matters. Recent highlights include advising Schroder Trust and Schroder Cayman Bank & Trust Company on the transfer of trust portfolios of two bank-owned trust companies. ‘Superb litigator’ and head of the Lausanne and Geneva team Lucien Masmejancuts through all issues and finds a novel strategic solution’, while ‘inspiring great confidence among clients and colleagues’. His counterpart in Zurich, Heini Rüdisühli ‘is recognised as a leading expert on personal taxation and complex cross-border issues’. Also recommended are Mark Barmes, who ‘gives clients the best possible advice’ and is ‘deeply experienced in working with trust companies’, Stefan Breitenstein, Shelby du Pasquier and tax experts Jean-Blaise Eckert and Frédéric Neukomm.

Leading individuals

Lucien Masmejan - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Public law
Public law - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin focuses on public procurement matters in the insurance, IT and telecoms sector, tender law, price surveillance regulation, as well as public energy, infrastructure, environmental and construction projects. The practice is defending Swiss Post against a legal complaint from several Swiss publishing houses regarding postal fees for newspaper delivery before the Supreme Court and also represented the City of Zurich in a tribunal regarding the cost compensation resulting from electricity grid maintenance works. Benoît Merkt in Geneva and Marcel Meinhardt in Zurich lead the respective teams.

[back to top]

Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin is a ‘very efficient firm with strong capabilities in various related sectors and a strong network’. The team handles real estate finance, sale-and-lease-back transactions, developments, PPPs and regulatory matters for commercial users, investors, funds, public entities and private clients. Recent highlights include advising Eli Lilly & Company on the ongoing restructuring and sale of its real estate portfolio. Orox Capital Management is another key client. ‘First-class lawyer’ Cécile Berger Meyer, who heads the Geneva practice, ‘is a dealmaker with strong attention to detail and excellent negotiation skills’; Beat Kühni heads the Zurich team, which also includes Andreas Rötheli.

Leading individuals

Andreas Rötheli - Lenz & Staehelin

Beat Kühni - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Sports law
Sports law - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin particularly often exhibits its ‘deep knowledge’ of sports matters in arbitration proceedings when acting for Swiss sports entities; other areas of expertise include the assistance with sports events, media aspects, IP, competition, immigration and tax law. The team represented Constantin Medien in a dispute against the board of directors of subsidiary Highlight Communications and defended Swisscom, CT Cinetrade and Teleclub against abuse of dominance allegations related to sports rights. The ‘focused and well-connected top sports lawyerXavier Favre-Bulle is recommended and corporate and M&A expert Stephan Erni is the key contact in Zurich.

Leading individuals

Xavier Favre-Bulle - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 2

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin’s ‘first-rate’ team provides transactional and regulatory advice in the TMT sector, as well as assistance with data management, media rights, fintech and outsourcing. Recent work includes assisting a global asset management group with the structuring and implementation of a hosted data management platform and advising an international insurance group on restructuring and outsourcing matters in preparation for Brexit. The ‘excellentLukas Morscher is ‘great with clients’ and ‘very easy to work with’, while Guy Vermeilconsistently combines high technical knowledge with strong business acumen, risk assessment and strategic vision’.

[back to top]

Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

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.

Leading individuals

Jean-Blaise Eckert - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Switzerland: Banking and finance

Geneva
Banking and finance: Geneva - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

The ‘very professional and pragmatic’ banking and finance practice at Lenz & Staehelin covers regulatory and financing matters and provides further assistance in relation to corporate lending, financial products and fintech. Practice head Shelby du Pasquier advised private equity company Unigestion on its acquisition of Akina, while investment management expert François Rayroux continues to act as Swiss Counsel to ISDA. Credit Agricole Financement and Orox Asset Management are other active clients. Recommended counsel Laurence Vogt Scholler, Fedor Poskriakov and Olivier Stahler are other names to note.

Leading individuals

Olivier Stahler - Lenz & Staehelin

Shelby du Pasquier - Lenz & Staehelin

Next generation lawyers

Fedor Poskriakov - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Zurich
Banking and finance: Zurich - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

The Zurich team of Lenz & Staehelin is particularly experienced in structured, syndicated bank, project and lease finance and also handles restructurings, securitisations and derivatives. The team advised Battery Ventures on its all-shares acquisition of Rotronic and also as part of a bank syndicate on financing CVC’s acquisition of Breitling. Other active clients are Citigroup Global Markets, ISDA and ING Bank. Patrick Hünerwadel leads the team, which also includes key partners Marcel Tranchet, Patrick Schleiffer and Stefan Breitenstein.

Leading individuals

Patrick Hünerwadel - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Switzerland: Dispute resolution

Arbitration
Dispute resolution: arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin’s practice consists of ‘excellent colleagues with a sharp understanding of foreign law matters and a willingness to collaborate in an effective manner’. The group is particularly well versed in commercial, corporate, transactional, contractual and IP arbitration across various sectors. ‘Very intelligent’ Zurich team lead Harold Frey is an ‘outstanding lawyer’ who also regularly acts as arbitrator. His counterpart in Geneva is Xavier Favre-Bulle.

Leading individuals

Harold Frey - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]

Litigation
Dispute resolution: litigation - ranked: tier 1

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin is ‘top notch’ in litigation and delivers ‘first-rate quality and fully reliable advice’. A special focus lies on financial services and corporate litigation, while clients also increasingly seek assistance with employment, real estate, private client and IP disputes. The Zurich team around Harold Frey is representing Sika in a proceeding against shareholder Schenker-Winkler regarding the client’s planned takeover by Saint-Gobain, which brought up share transfer issues. Julius Bär and Valartis are also active clients. In Geneva, team lead Daniel Tunik is recommended along criminal law litigator Miguel Oural and private client experts Mark Barmes and Lucien Masmejan.

Leading individuals

Harold Frey - Lenz & Staehelin

[back to top]


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.