Banking and finance: Geneva in Switzerland

Lenz & Staehelin

The banking and finance team at Lenz & Staehelin has an excellent reputation in the market. It handles the full gamut of transactional and regulatory matters and is routinely instructed by global banks and financial institutions. Practice head Shelby du Pasquier has longstanding experience in the field and is also a key contact for offshore private equity houses and investment funds. François Rayroux is an expert in fund management and derivative instruments, while Olivier Stahler focuses his practice entirely on regulatory matters. Fedor Poskriakov is noted for his expertise in fintech matters and David Ledermann is skilled in multiple kinds of debt financings. Counsel Laurence Vogt Scholler is able to advise on various aspects of regulatory, contractual and corporate law.

Practice head(s):

Shelby du Pasquier

Testimonials

Lenz & Staehelin has the ability to give top quality advice by being large enough to have a wide range of experts but also the size to ensure a client-focused approach.’

Shelby du Pasquier has an exceptional network and great influence. He is able to offer very pragmatic and useful solutions while being fully engaged and dedicated.’

François Rayroux is a leading individual in Switzerland in all legal aspects relating to funds and asset management. Great lawyer, very modest.’

Olivier Stahler has excellent regulatory contacts, an impeccable banking knowledge, and a pragmatic approach to matters.’

Fedor Poskriakov is very knowledgeable and able to propose outside the box solutions.’

David Ledermann really stands out thanks to his highest level of professionalism, superb knowledge about the industry, diligent working style and utmost commitment to achieve the common goals.

Laurence Vogt Scholler has profound specialist knowledge as well as broad practical experience.’

Key clients

ABN AMRO

Allfunds Bank

Banque Pâris Bertrand SA

Banque Pictet & Cie SA

Banque Lombard Odier & Cie SA

Citibank Group

Credit Suisse

Crédit Agricole next bank (Suisse) SA (formerly Crédit Agricole Financements (Suisse) SA)

Deutsche Bank

Edmond de Rothschild Group

Eurofima

Gazprombank

Goldman Sachs

HSBC

ING Bank

ISDA

Itau Group

J.P. Morgan

Macquarie Bank

OROX Asset Management

Pargesa Holding SA

Sempione Fashion AG

Sika AG

SIX Swiss Exchange

Société Générale

Swissquote Bank SA

Union Bancaire Privée UBP

UBS

Varo

VTG Aktiengesellschaft

Work highlights

  • Assisted Allfunds with the regulatory approvals in connection with its acquisition of Credit Suisse InvestLab.
  • Advised AXA Stiftung Berufliche Vorsorge, Winterthur on the reorganisation of the AXA Group’s Swiss pensions activities into a semi-autonomous pension funds’ structure.
  • Advised Barclays Bank on the issuance by Barclays (Suisse) of a CHF50m contingent convertible note.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd's banking and finance team is noted for its expertise in syndicated lending and asset management matters but it also handles regulatory matters and disputes in the space. Practice co-head Grégoire Wuest is a specialist in asset finance and international acquisitions in the banking sector. Fellow co-head Tarek Houdrouge combines his banking practice with his work in M&A; he is also experienced in fintech and cryptocurrency matters. Caroline Clemetson, who is well versed in a variety of topics in the investment space, splits her time between Zurich and Geneva. Senior associates Joane Etienne and Grégoire Tribolet are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Grégoire Wuest; Tarek Houdrouge

Testimonials

Schellenberg Wittmer is able to present numerous options, is responsive to its client’s needs and manages to quickly adapt its strategies to new developments.

The team’s key qualities are in-depth banking legal knowledge, understanding of private banking specificities and its integrity.’

Tarek Houdrouge is one of the few lawyers who has both a very strong in-depth legal knowledge in specific banking topics, as well as very good communication and strategy skills.’

Key clients

Banco Santander

Banque Thaler

BNP Paribas

Credit Suisse Funds Ltd

Deutsche Bank SA

Diamond Capital

Management

(Switzerland) Ltd

EFG Bank

HSBC Private Bank (Suisse)

Mirabaud & Cie SA

UBP

UBS SA

CACEIS

Landolt Investment SICAV

Procimmo SA

Work highlights

  • Assisted a Swiss investment bank with transforming the first Swiss contractual fund into a Swiss SICA.
  • Advised Credit Suisse Funds on creating multiple new umbrellas and sub-funds in order to transform the existing investments of Credit Suisse Funds Ltd’s pension fund with an insurance company.
  • Acted for a foreign bank on the establishment of a branch in Switzerland.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. impresses with its broad practice which covers transactional and regulatory work, as well as support in banking-related criminal and civil proceedings and investigations. The team assists borrowers and lenders alike and its client roster includes several international banks. Cédric Chapuis has strong experience in acquisitions in the banking sector and compliance, while Frédéric Bétrisey is a specialist in various financial products; they jointly lead the team. Other key practitioners include civil litigation expert Aurélie Conrad HariAndrew Garbarski, who is well versed in insolvency and white collar crime matters; and Martin Anderson, who is noted for his expertise in financing transactions and asset management.

Practice head(s):

Cédric Chapuis; Frédéric Bétrisey

Testimonials

The teams stands out for its reactivity, transparency, clearness of advice, and pragmatism.’

The individuals are highly professional, knowledgeable, and they understand  businesses very well.

Frédéric Bétrisey has notable competence and strong commitment.’

Andrew Garbarski has great knowledge in white-collar cases, is very precise and always well-prepared.’

Key clients

UBS

Credit Suisse

Banque Cantonale de Genève

Mercuria Energy Trading Intesa

Standard Chartered Bank

Work highlights

  • Appointed as Swiss counsel by Gazprombank in connection with enforcement proceedings initiated by Finma for potential breaches of anti-money laundering rules.
  • Assisted Intesa Group with the reorganisation of its private banking activities in Switzerland.
  • Serving as the Finma-appointed chairman of the supervisory commission in the bankruptcy of Banque Privée Espírito Santo.

BianchiSchwald LLC

The team at BianchiSchwald LLC has a good track record in advising commercial and private banks, among others, on regulatory, contentious and financing work as well as on all matters related to investment funds. Thomas Goossens leads the team, which also includes dispute resolution specialist Jean-Marc Carnicé, who has core expertise handling criminal proceedings and banking litigation. Additional support is provided by Thierry Amy in Lausanne; he is a key name for advice relating to the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and SIX Swiss Exchange.

Testimonials

The team is responsive, provides good quality and has strong technical knowledge.’

Thomas Goossens is a very reliable go-to banking lawyer.

Key clients

Banque Profil de Gestion SA

Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild SA & Grupo BBVA

Industrial Participations Holding BV

Barclays Bank SA

International Commercial Bank

Ghislaine Lambert-Nahoum

BNC Change (Suisse) SA, Geneva

Banque Piguet Galland & Cie Geneva (HQ)

Gadd Wealth Management SA

Work highlights

  • Advised Banque Profil de Gestion on the contractual and regulatory aspects of its purchase of, and subsequent merger with Dynagest.
  • Assisted a British bank with the preparation of contracts guaranteeing multiple loans to foreign first division football clubs.
  • Acted as Swiss legal adviser to Banque Privée Edmond de Rothschild & Grupo BBVA on a Luxembourg multi-compartment umbrella fund.

FBT Attorneys-at-Law

The banking and finance practice at FBT Attorneys-at-Law is regularly instructed by a variety of financial institutions, including securities dealers, fund management companies, asset managers, and family offices as well as international banks and investment funds. The scope of the practice includes advising on regulatory matters, financing and collective investment schemes, which are also the areas of expertise of department head Frédérique Bensahel. She is supported by Pierre-Olivier Etique, who is also knowledgeable in collective investment schemes and financial regulations. Associates Jean-Marie Kiener and Véronique Chatelain Gomez are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Frédérique Bensahel

Testimonials

The FBT banking and finance team is composed of very professional, excellent and dedicated individuals. Its approach is very professional and coherent, the opinions are very clear, understandable and clever.’

Frédérique Bensahel provides tailor-made advice and is a skilled banking specialist.’

Pierre-Olivier Etique is an outstanding person and lawyer.’

Work highlights

  • Advising various banks on the Financial Services (FinSA) and Financial Institutions Acts (FinIA) entering into force in 2020.
  • Acting for clients in proceedings regarding wealth management as well as investments.
  • Acting for a Swiss bank in a dispute relating to the restructuring and repayment of a $140m investment loan from Middle Eastern clients.

Pestalozzi

Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law Ltd's practice covers the full gamut of banking and finance matters, which includes handling work in the transactional, regulatory and litigation area. It has international financial institutions and private banks in its client portfolio but also advises borrowers, particularly in the form of commodities traders. Sébastien Roy, who is a key contact for acquisition financing and M&A transactions in the banking sector, and Christophe Emonet, who is particularly active in banking litigation, are the practice heads. Ludivine Boisard advises on regulatory and contractual matters and Nicolas Herren is active in enforcement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Sébastien Roy; Christophe Emonet

Testimonials

The team is extremely thorough and dedicated to its clients.’

Christophe Emonet stands out among Swiss lawyers. He always goes the extra mile.’

Sebastien Roy is very knowledgeable, experienced, calm and solution-oriented.’

Key clients

Banque Cantonale de Genève

City of Almaty

Credit Suisse

First International Bank of Israel

Republic of Kazakhstan

Union Bank of Israel

Work highlights

  • Acted for First International Bank of Israel, Union Bank of Israel & Filstel Diamonds Ltd in the receivership and liquidation of a bank’s loan recovery and avoidance claim against Eurostar Diamond Traders NV and Stelman International Diamond Dealers among others.
  • Representing a Russian oligarch against One Swiss Bank regarding the loss of CHF50m.

Froriep

Froriep has a good track record handling the structuring of financial products and M&A transactions in the banking sector. Another area of expertise is assisting with regulatory aspects, which is also an area of strength of Jean-Luc Herbez and Laetitia Meier Droz. The duo are also regularly involved in banking proceedings, while Meier Droz also advises on collective investment schemes, asset management and alternative investments. Jérôme de Montmollin is a key name for debt collection and transactions in the oil and gas sector, while Dmitry Pentsov combines his banking practice with corporate, commercial and private client law.

Key clients

Valres Fund Management SA

Alvotech hf (Iceland)

BIL (Banque Internationale à Luxembourg)

Banque Privée BCP (Suisse) SA

Longbow Finance SA

JFK Capital Alternative

SICAV, à risque particulier

Global Keys SA

Sberbank of Russia

PJSC “Credit Agricole Bank”

OTP Bank PLC, Russia

Work highlights

  • Acted for Valres Fund Management in the context of an enforcement proceedings conducted by the Swiss Finma.
  • Assisted Global Keys with compliance matters concerning the legal requirements pursuant to the new Financial Services Act and related AML duties.
  • Advised PJSC Credit Agricole Bank on a surety agreement granted by Intergrain to secure a joint facility agreement.

Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés

Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés is regularly instructed to handle the financing element of investment transactions and the implementation of new regulations. The team acts for a variety of private banks and asset management companies. Géraldine Badel Poitras is active in civil and Finma enforcement proceedings; she and fellow co-head Damien Cand are also well versed in advising on anti-money laundering matters. Christian Valentini, who is based in Hong Kong, is a key contact for private clients.

Practice head(s):

Géraldine Badel Poitras; Damien Cand

Work highlights

  • Acted for a bank regarding the regulatory implementation of the Financial Market Infrastructure Act and the updating of banking forms.
  • Advising Swiss investors on a possible acquisition of a foreign  bank.

HFW

HFW has considerable experience in the trade finance space, where it advises on a broad variety of matters, including trade and advanced payment facilities, credit insurance and financings, particularly in the commodities area. Department head Olivier Bazin has considerable experience in the space and is a key contact for trading houses, corporates and financial institutions. He is supported by associate Anne-Marie Pearce, who also advises on sanctions and contractual matters.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Bazin

Testimonials

HFW has a very practical approach and provides tailored solutions, not “one fits all” briefs.

The team is helpful and efficient in supporting the client’s business and growth plans.’

Besides being a great lawyer, Olivier Bazin also has significant in-house experience. He quickly understands the needs of his clients and is always responsive.’

Key clients

Sucafina SA

MUFG Bank Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised MUFG on a $250m limited recourse term loan facility made available by MUFG, Citibank and Societe Generale to Trafigura.
  • Assisted Sucafina with a senior uncommitted secured facility made available by BNPP, Rabobank and ING to finance the purchase by Sucafina of coffee in Brazil.
  • Advised a commodity trading company on a $3bn prepayment.

LALIVE

LALIVE has core expertise representing corporate investors and private clients in actions brought against banks. The team is particularly active in contentious matters, which is also the strong suit of the three department heads: Marc Henzelin focuses his practice on criminal proceedings, compliance and internal investigations in the banking sector; Sandrine Giroud is well versed in international banking cases as well as private client disputes; and Alexander Troller handles banking litigation alongside advising on regulatory issues and financing. Counsel Nicolas Ollivier is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Alexander Troller; Marc Henzelin; Sandrine Giroud

Testimonials

The team is able to deliver excellent legal services under strict time constraints. All the team members are available at all times.

Sandrine Giroud impresses with her absolute dedication.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a group of holding companies in a series of claims against different banks and consortia following US Ofac sanctions against the president of the parent company.
  • Representing an ultra high-net-worth individual in a civil claim against the Swiss private banking arm of a European bank in the recovery of CHF100m in assets.
  • Representing four Cayman law-regulated collective investment schemes in a civil mismanagement claim against a Swiss custodian bank.

Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC

The team at Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC is experienced in matters relating to market access and financial regulations. The practice covers transactional matters including loans, financings and guarantees, fintech-related issues and asset management, and also advises on anti-money laundering. Clients include funds and financial advisers. Practice head Fabien Aepli is frequently sought out to act for financial institutions and, in addition to advising on work relating to asset management, is also active in regulatory authorisations. He is supported by Ramon Rodriguez, who is well versed in criminal and civil proceedings relating to the banking space. Another noted practitioner is senior associate Nurith Cohen.

Practice head(s):

Fabien Aepli

Testimonials

The team at Mangeat is well composed with an impressive depth of knowledge and experience.’

A young, dynamic and multi-talented team which can provide legal advice on complex and diversified cases.’

Fabien Aepli is a great legal and business partner who consistently pushes to deliver value via actionable insights. He has great knowledge in the banking and finance space with a well-developed network.’

Key clients

Sequoia Advisory SA

C-Quadrat (Suisse) SA

Swiss Crypto Advisors SA

Work highlights

  • Advising the Swiss subsidiary of an international financial group on the accession to a senior multi-currency term and revolving facilities agreement with several banks.
  • Assist a financial services company with the structuring of a cryptocurrency fund.
  • Representing the client of an asset manager who is claiming reimbursement of undue retrocessions received by the manager.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd is noted for its expertise in the regulatory and contentious space. The team is regularly instructed by financial institutions, funds, investors, and wealthy individuals as well as by domestic and international insurers. Bernard Lachenal specialises in dispute resolution, where he is particularly active for private banks and clients. Christophe Rapin joined Kellerhals Carrard in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Bernard Lachenal

Key clients

Calida Holding AG

SRO SVIG

Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland (AFBS)

TAVIS Capital AG

Spital Männedorf AG

Sanostro AG

Work highlights

  • Assisted a European bank with the criminal and civil aspects of a fraud perpetrated by a client and a former employee in connection with a CHF 4.5m loan agreement.
  • Represented a foreign fiduciary company in connection with a criminal trial in Geneva relating to fraud.
  • Acted for a listed company against a foreign manager of funds regarding a significant loss.

Oberson Abels Ltd

Oberson Abels Ltd fields a team of lawyers specialised in the full gamut of regulatory matters and routinely assists banks, securities dealers, insurance companies, and independent asset managers with obtaining licences and in exchanges with financial authorities. Banking and finance regulations are also the area of expertise Antoine Amiguet, who also advises on contracts and collective investment schemes. Philipp Fischer is well versed in international finance matters as well as in data protection law.

Practice head(s):

Antoine Amiguet; Philipp Fischer

Testimonials

A team of very knowledgeable lawyers, who are responsive and efficient and keep a very pragmatic approach.’

Forward-looking firm with a very dedicated team that is well organized and able to anticipate issues and provide appropriate solutions that take the client’s specificities into account.’

Philipp Fischer is a real expert in his areas of practice, a very reliable service provider and a very pleasant person to work with.’

Antoine Amiguet has a good understanding of the banking industry and the competitor’s behaviour.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted a private equity fund with the acquisition of a Swiss bank.
  • Assisted a foreign fund manager with various issues relating to fund registration and distribution in Switzerland.
  • Advised a Swiss private banking group on reviewing its internal documentation.

Python

Python's banking and finance practice covers a wide spectrum of matters, ranging from assistance with the set up of Swiss banks and collective investment schemes, internal investigations and enforcements to commercial and private banking transactions. The client portfolio consists largely of national and international banks and funds. Nicolas de Gottrau has an active banking practice alongside handling matters relating to contract law, insolvencies and disputes. Jean-Yves Rebord is an expert in collective investments.

Practice head(s):

Nicolas de Gottrau; Jean-Yves Rebord

Testimonials

The lawyers are tremendously competent, responsive and available.’

The team is always open to find new solutions and has a pragmatic approach.

Walder Wyss Switzerland Global

The banking and finance team at Walder Wyss Switzerland Global is regularly instructed by national and foreign banks, broker dealers, and financial institutions to handle a variety of matters. Practice head Patrick Vogel is experienced in banking-related transactions, with further expertise in asset transfers. He also advises on regulatory matters and collective investments. Hubertus Hillerström, who has expertise in structured finance, private equity and venture capital transactions, is another key practitioner. Adriano Antonietti was made partner in January 2019 and is knowledgeable in regulatory and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Vogel

Testimonials

The legal team at Walder Wyss is very knowledgeable and trustworthy. It has the client’s best interest in mind and advises on the most optimal legal solutions given the various complexities and specifics of the legal situation. The team is methodical about their approach and realistic about the timelines needed to accomplish legal milestones.’

Patrick Vogel impresses with his time and attention to detail on all the critical points. He has strong knowledge in the sector.’

Key clients

Bank J. Safra Sarasin AG

Endeavour Vision

Nestlé SA

CeQur SA

Work highlights

  • Assisted Bank J. Safra Sarasin with the acquisition of the private banking business of Lombard Odier in Gibraltar.
  • Advised the joint venture partners on the set up of the blockchain-based platform komgo.
  • Acted for Bank J. Safra Sarasin and Banque J. Safra Sarasin on the acquisition of the private banking business of Bank Hapoalim.