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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Switzerland > Banking and finance: Zurich > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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  1. Banking and finance: Zurich
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Who Represents Who

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Bär & Karrer Ltd. is best known for handling financing deals, derivative transactions and debt structuring, as well as banking M&A. Regulatory advice, enforcement proceedings and investigations are additional focus areas. Peter Hsu advised Tellco Vorsorge on its acquisition of private bank Dominick Company, while Rashid Bahar acted for HQLAx on the first live securities lending transaction via R3's Corda blockchain platform. Eric Stupp acted for Copernicus during the establishment of a Swiss holding company and application for a FINMA licence. Transaction partner Ralph Malacrida, internal investigation practice lead Andreas Länzlinger and fintech partner Daniel Flühmann are other names to note.

Homburger's range of services covers "too big to fail" regulations and fintech-related regulatory advice for banks, investment firms and insurers, as well as financing transactions, securitisation and financial restructuring matters. Jürg Frick handled an up to $150m senior multi-currency revolving credit facility financing transaction between client SR Technics Switzerland, lender Credit Suisse and a consortium consisting of three banks. Other highlights include Daniel Haeberli advising funds managed by Apollo Global Management on an additional facility granted to Airopack Technology by Coöperatieve Rabobank, as well as René Bösch's recovery and resolution-related regulatory advice to Credit Suisse and UBS. Practic head Benedikt Maurenbrecher and Benjamin Leisinger are also key partners.

The 'reliable and prompt' team at Lenz & Staehelin advises on financing, regulatory matters and proceedings, internal investigations and fintech projects, and has 'very good knowledge of both the Swiss market and EU developments'. Marcel Tranchet assisted Banque Internationale à Luxembourg with the transfer of a majority stake from Precision Capital to Chinese company Legend Holdings. Practice lead Patrick Hünerwadel, who is 'a master of his profession', and Patrick Schleiffer, who 'provides very helpful advice', are also noted.

Niederer Kraft Frey AG is renowned for its expertise in regulatory, financing transactions, fintech and banking litigation. Marco Haeusermann handled a €2.9bn loans portfolio disposal for Hypothekenbank Frankfurt, while Bertrand Schott acted for US-based agency Fixed Income Clearing Corporation on the regulatory conditions concerning the offering of services in Switzerland. Team lead Sandro Abegglen assists a number of major banks with the upcoming introduction of the Finanzdienstleistungsgesetz. M&A finance specialist Till Spillmann joined with three associates from Bär & Karrer Ltd. in January 2018.

The 'well-integrated and customer-focused banking and finance team' at Baker McKenzie attracts clients for 'complex transactions' and 'matters involving different jurisdictions' by 'combining in-depth legal analysis with a business-oriented mindset'. Regulatory and debt financing advice constitute additional key strengths. The 'sharp-witted' Lukas Glanzmann and 'hands-on' Samuel Marbacher 'form the perfect team'; the duo recently advised Credit Suisse on arranging an up to $150m senior multi-currency revolving credit facility for SR Technics Switzerland. Rabobank, Ambienta Capital and UBS are among its other clients.

Finance transactions, regulatory advice, as well as ancillary services in tax, dispute resolution and compliance are core areas of expertise at Pestalozzi. In recent highlights, Oliver Widmer advised GE Capital on multiple factoring transactions, and assisted Instimatch Global with drafting a new business model, which enables corporations to lend to borrowers. Urs Klöti advised Bank of America Merrill Lynch International on the implementation of a Brexit plan, involving applications for new banking and securities dealer licences.

The 'professional, responsive and reliable' team at 'well-established firm' Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is highly regarded for its 'broad expertise in regulatory issues', while also assisting with restructurings, investments, asset management and syndicated lending transactions. Practice lead Philippe Borens advised Reichmuth Investment Management on the structuring and implementation of special purposes vehicle LokRoll. Derivatives and transactions specialist Olivier Favre, who together with Martin Lanz acts for Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative on group structure aspects, is also noted.

Walder Wyss Ltd hosts 'a large team of excellent professionals in banking and finance', who stand out for their 'client-focused and forward-thinking' attitude. Focus areas include lending and structured finance transactions at a domestic or international level, regulatory advice, fund management, banking M&A and representation in investigations. 'Debt finance transaction expert' Lukas Wyss assisted Deutsche Private Equity with the leveraged acquisition financing concerning the purchase of AWK Group, while 'analytical and business-oriented' Theodor Härtsch acts as a core adviser to Perusa, Helvetica Property Investors and Equatex on regulatory issues. Luc Defferrard is another name to note.

Multi-jurisdictional financing, regulatory matters and collective investment scheme advice constitute the three major focus areas at CMS. Kaspar Landolt, André E Lebrecht and counsel Dominique Gemperli are the key practitioners.

'Commercially-oriented and responsive' firm Froriep has 'a deep understanding of legal issues' and is 'capable of handling complicated transactions in a timely manner'. A particular area of expertise is banking M&A, which is complemented by regulatory and cross-financing experience. 'Consistently excellent' Dunja Koch advised JSC VTB Bank on the restructuring of a high-value secured facility agreement with Eurasian Resources Group, while team lead Catrina Luchsinger Gähwiler assisted Palmarian Group with the bond issuance financing of the acquisition of all shares in Lebara Group. Senior associate Jérôme Pidoux, who (like Koch) is based in London, is also recommended.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) 'consistently provides a high quality of work, combined with a practical approach towards transactions'. Fintech matters, investment funds, capital markets, anti-money laundering and regulatory advice are the key areas on the advisory side, while litigation concerning regulated entities is another focus. Practice head Dr Alexander Vogel regularly advises banks on syndicated loans in financing transactions, while Daniel Schoch acted for Spital Männedorf on its first issue and listing of a bond. Transaction partner Samuel Ljubicic, who 'is a pleasure to work with', assists start-up company Creditworld with regulatory matters.

VISCHER's banking and finance team covers banking insolvency, acquisition finance, cross-border lending, aircraft finance, regulatory advice, fintech matters and banking litigation. Practice head Markus Guggenbühl advises PricewaterhouseCoopers as liquidator of Lehman Brothers on a long-term basis, and Adrian Dörig assisted Myovant Sciences with securing flexible financing commitments worth up to $140m from Nova Quest Capital Management and Hercules Capital. Helvetia Schweizerische Lebensversicherung and Export Development Canada are longstanding clients of the practice.

Wenger & Vieli LTD provides regulatory and FINMA-related advice, as well as assisting with fintech projects including currencies and founding trade venues, and handling syndicated loans, lending and security issues and defending banks against contentious claims. In a recent highlight, Martin Hess advised Utrust Switzerland on setting up a payment system in digital currencies, involving its ICO and regulatory aspects. Bank supervisory lawyer Bignia Vieli, transaction partner Andreas Hünerwadel and litigator Georg Zondler form the core team.

Mid-sized banks, major insurance companies, securities dealers and asset managers constitute the client portfolio at Bratschi Ltd, where the team focuses on financial market and fintech regulation, as well as investment structuring and implementation. The 'experienced and very responsive' Barbara Jecklin advised UBS and an international syndicate of banks on a facility agreement for Landis+Gyr. Reto Arpagaus, Marco Rizzi and Marcel Aellen are other names to note.

Buis Bürgi AG focuses almost exclusively on banking and litigation matters. In addition to his regulatory expertise, Eric Buis also has notable strength representing clients, including foreign and domestic financial institutions, against Swiss banks. Litigator Paul Bürgi is currently acting for a foreign bank as a victim of investment fraud.

Kellerhals Carrard fields 'a business-driven, responsive, accurate and client-oriented' team, which handles asset management, regulatory issues, leasing transactions and fintech projects. Notable clients include UBS, Man Group and Deutsche Bank. Dominik Oberholzer is 'a go-to lawyer for questions on Swiss regulations, funds and asset management'. Armin Kuehne and Cornelia Stengel are also key practitioners. Blockchain expert Lars Schlichting, who is based in Lugano,  joined with three attorneys from KPMG Switzerland.

LALIVE is renowned for its banking litigation practice, while also covering regulatory and compliance matters, as well as debt structuring and capital market transactions, initial coin offerings and investigation matters. Dr Simone Nadelhofer advised a multinational insurance group on regulatory issues concerning a derivative transaction with a global institution, while Matthias Gstoehl is representing a wealthy individual in a loss claim against the subsidiary of a Swiss bank. Dr Daniel L Buhr, who specialises in investigations and compliance management, is another key name. André Brunschweiler made partner in January 2018.

Prager Dreifuss AG is best known for advising investors and companies on project and transaction financing structures, as well as negotiating credit facilities. In a recent highlight, Andreas Moll advised a foreign insurance company on the accession of several group companies with Swiss branches to an existing facility agreement. Daniel Hayek, Urs Bertschinger and Matthias Bürge are other key names.

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd 'fully meets expectations' in banking and finance, with focus areas including regulatory aspects in private and public banking, foreign market entry in Switzerland, litigation, anti-money laundering and financing transactions. Recent highlights include its advice to Jefferies International on anti-money laundering issues concerning financial intermediaries and representing Bank Hapoalim in the US Department of Justice's request for legal assistance in criminal matters concerning Fifa. Désirée Wiesendanger and the 'pleasant and efficient' Philipp Känzig are the key partners.

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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.