The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon
Work +41 44 267 63 00
Fax +41 44 267 63 90

  • Integration of one of the biggest Swiss Fund Management Organisations into a bank. Transfer and reorganisation of business functions between different legal entities. Value: CHF 700m.
  • Capital reduction through put option issue and public share buyback program for a publicly listed investment company. Arbitrage allowed shareholders not entitled to refund of Swiss withholding tax to benefit from tax exempted ‘distribution’. Value: CHF 2x 15m (transactions), CHF 2x 180m (market capitalisations).
  • Set up of a hybrid collective investment vehicle held by Swiss investors and invested in Swiss domiciled group companies. The legal seat of the collective investment vehicle is in a jurisdiction without double tax treaty with Switzerland (eg Liechtenstein). Consequently, the collective investment vehicle agreed to become liable to Swiss withholding tax in order to be entitled to refund of the Swiss withholding tax levied on distributions by the Swiss group companies. Based on the practice of the Swiss Federal Tax Administration a collective investment vehicle with a legal seat in jurisdiction without double tax treaty with Switzerland is basically not entitled to the refund of the Swiss withholding tax. Consequently, the collective investment vehicle had to agree to become subject to Swiss withholding tax to be entitled to the refund. Value: Approx. CHF 80m.
  • International leasing in the context of Swiss VAT and customs requirements (optimisation, risk-minimisation). International leasing is complex in handling customs as well as VAT for all parties involved (supplier, lessor, lessee). In the case at hand processes were defined on level of the lessor to ensure a proper, risk-averse and VAT-/customs-optimal handling of the supply of leasing-goods.
  • VAT leasing of company cars used by employers’ resident abroad (risk evaluation of foreign VAT and customs issues). In the case at hand risk avoidance and structuring potential was evaluated on level of a lessor focusing on company car leasing. VAT and customs issues are affected by the residence of the car driver and not only by the residence of the lessee (ie company) which makes the VAT and customs handling complex.
  • VAT group planning in Switzerland for 11 companies. The VAT group planning included companies with completely different business purposes (real estate companies, financial service companies, a holding company as well as a foundation) and different input VAT deduction methods. The challenge was to select the optimal composition of the VAT group from all possible formations and to prepare the corresponding compliance groundwork. Value: CHF 500,000 (VAT on group intern turnover).
  • Review of Swiss legal entities from a Swiss tax perspective (health check); assistance in restructurings and voluntary disclosures. Negotiations and tax ruling with tax authorities in order to reduce the present and future Swiss tax burden. Value: CHF 300m.
  • Successful appeal regarding VAT relevant entrepreneurial activity of NPO’s (Swiss Federal Court 2C_781/2014, decision dated 19 April 19 2015). Leading case, based on ADB appeal Swiss Federal Court refused practice of the Swiss Federal Tax Authorities to determine entrepreneurial activities based on a ratio taxable turnover/total expenses. Value: CHF 1m.
  • Various voluntary disclosures for Swiss resident private individuals. Minimising additional tax payments and late interest payments by application for transparency/non-transparency of the underlying legal structure. Value: Disclosed assets of approx. CHF 50m overall.

Legal Developments in Switzerland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Ordinance on Integrity and Transparency in the Therapeutic Products Sector has been adopted

    Click here for more information.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises B3i in its Current Equity Funding Round

    Industry-led InsurTech B3i Services AG successfully raised additional funds from current shareholders and new investors to further develop and grow its blockchain-based insurance transaction platform. B3i was founded in October 2016 as an insurance industry consortium which then formed B3i Services AG as an independent company. The shareholder group includes some of the world's largest insurers and reinsurers from across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. B3i intends to further expand its shareholder base over the next several months.
  • Bär & Karrer Continues to Grow Finance and Sports Practice with Two New Partners

    Bär & Karrer is pleased to announce that it further strengthens its Financing and Sports practices with new partners Lukas Roesler and Dr. Jan Kleiner, both of whom have worked with the firm previously.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Novartis and Alcon on the Spin-off of Alcon

    Today, Novartis AG completed the spin-off of the Alcon eye care devices business, and Alcon Inc. debuted as independent publicly traded company. The Alcon shares were successfully listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd. and the New York Stock Exchange. They are also included in the Swiss Market Index (SMI), which comprises the 20 largest Swiss listed stocks.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Primeo Energie and CSA Energie-Infrastructure Schweiz in Aquisition from Elét

    Primeo Energie, EOS Holding SA (EOS) and Électricité de France (EDF) have entered into a share purchase agreement relating to the purchase by Primeo Energie and EOS of the 25% interest held by EDF in Alpiq Holding SA. The purchase by Primeo Eergie and EOS will be financed through mandatory exchangeable loan agreements made by CSA Energie-Infrastruktur Schweiz (CSA) as lender, the biggest investment pool for Swiss energy infrastructure with 135 Swiss pension funds acting as investors. At maturity the mandatory exchangeable loan agreements will be converted into shares in Alpiq. Primeo Energie and EOS thereby pave the way for a Swiss shareholder structure of Alpiq.
  • Bär & Karrer Awarded Most Innovative Swiss Law Firm of the Year at the IFLR Europe Awards

    Bär & Karrer was awarded „Most innovative law firm of the year - Switzerland", the national award for Switzerland given in the IFLR European Awards. The most innovative law firm of the year award recognizes Bär & Karrer as the Swiss law firm with the best track record in 2018 giving advice on the most innovative cross-border deals covering all award practice areas. It is already the third prize of this kind in period of six years awarded to Bär & Karrer.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises DSV on Public Exchange Offer for Panalpina

    On 1 April 2019, DSV A/S, Hedehusene, Denmark and Panalpina Welttransport (Holding) AG, Zurich, Switzerland, have entered into an agreement on the terms and conditions of a combination by way of a public exchange offer by DSV for all publicly held registered shares of Panalpina for approximately CHF 4.6 billion. The board of directors of Panalpina has resolved to support the public exchange offer by DSV and to recommend the acceptance of DSV's public exchange offer to its shareholders.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Lonza on the Entering into a Strategic Joint Venture with Chr. Hansen for Deve

    On 2 April 2019, Lonza, a leading pharma contract manufacturing company, and Chr. Hansen, a leading global bioscience company, announced that they have signed an agreement to establish a 50/50 joint venture to pioneer the live biotherapeutic products (LBPs) industry and position themselves as the leading contract development and manufacturing partner (CDMO) for biotech and pharma customers. The joint venture brings together best-in-class, complementary capabilities and will be the first CDMO globally to provide a full supply chain that offers manufacturing of bacteria strains for therapeutic use. The joint venture will be a 50/50 controlled legal entity that will operate from its headquarters in Basel (CH) and have production facilities in Denmark and Switzerland. A phased investment of approximately EUR 90 million will be deployed over three years to build cGMP-compliant pharma production capabilities. The joint venture will upgrade existing facilities in Hørsholm (DK) and equip new facilities in Basel (CH) to serve pre-clinical to phase II projects. Further facilities for phase III and commercial manufacturing will be developed as the pipeline matures. The joint venture is expected to be largely self-funding after the production set-up has been established.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Computacenter in the Acquisition of PathWorks

    Computacenter Group, a leading European IT service provider listed on the London Stock Exchange, acquired PathWorks, a well-established hardware reseller in the Swiss market.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Addtech in the Acquisition of a Majority in Omni Ray

    Addtech Group, a leading Swedish publicly listed technology trading group, acquired a majority stake in Omni Ray AG, a well-established Swiss trading company and service provider for automation solutions, mainly focused on industrial applications, infrastructure, transportation and medical industry. By this transaction, Addtech aims at strengthening its position in the European automation market.