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Switzerland > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

DOING BUSINESS IN SWITZERLAND

Contributed by Bratschi Ltd

Summary: 10 reasons to choose Switzerland for your business

Switzerland is a hub for international businesses. There are a number of facts that promote its position in the world:

  1. The Swiss economy has been stable for the last decades.
  2. The Swiss political system has remained equally stable literally for over a century. On the federal level, there has always been a coalition government for more than a century.
  3. The currency, the Swiss franc, has steadily grown in value compared to most other major currencies.

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Legal market overview

The legal market in Switzerland is characterised by a decentralised structure, spreading from French-speaking Geneva and Lausanne in the west to German-speaking cities Bern, Basel and Zurich in the east. Contrary to the broadly international approach of legal hotspots Zurich and Geneva, the Italian-speaking canton of Ticino has its legal centre in Lugano, focusing on instructions from local and South European clients. While Zurich is well known for its corporate, public banking and capital markets strength, as well as ongoing links to German and US-based corporations, Geneva firms are uniquely placed around a strong private banking sector, leading players of the sports industry and a global commodity trading hub.

During the past year, Swiss firms saw thriving activity in mid-market transactions, an increase in tax controversies, sports disputes and white-collar criminal law matters, as well as major overhauls in European and domestic data protection law. Banking and financial regulation is also keeping teams active, mainly due to the implementation of the financial instruments directive MiFID II and upcoming product regulations contained in the Financial Services Act (FinSA/FIDLEG), the latter of which is going to impact the liability of private banks and wealth managers. Another booming sector is fintech. As the financial market authority FINMA strives to offer a safer, more regulated environment through the publication of guidelines, Switzerland has now become one of the go-to jurisdictions regarding initial coin offerings (ICOs).

The market is still dominated by traditional Swiss firms such as Bär & Karrer Ltd., Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd, Homburger and Niederer Kraft Frey AG, while Walder Wyss Ltd has notably increased its headcount, expertise and visibility significantly in recent years. The ranking also includes newly established Swiss boutique firms, for example TIMES Attorneys and LBM AVOCATS & ASSOCIES SA, as well as several US firms that have strengthened their footing in Switzerland during the past months, including Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland

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Press Releases in Switzerland

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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.