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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 > Capital markets > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Who Represents Who

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Bär & Karrer Ltd. is known for its expertise in IPOs as well as equity-related, transactional and bond and note issuance matters. The team advised UBS as bookrunner on AFG Arbonia-Forster’s CHF37.8m private placement of over 2.6m new shares and assisted the banking syndicate with Galenica Santé’s CHF1.9bn IPO. African Bank, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are other active clients. Thomas Reutter is the main adviser and sole team head, after Till Spillmann joined Niederer Kraft Frey. Martin Anderson was a new arrival from Baker McKenzie in August 2018.

Homburger’s ‘industry and product knowledge is a real asset, supported by reliable advice, creativity and outstanding business acumen’. The practice assisted Zur Rose with its CHF252m IPO and listing on the SIX Swiss Exchange and also advised Credit Suisse on its issuance of new shares worth CHF4bn. The client roster also includes Julius Baer, Citigroup Global Markets and Sonova. The ‘very experienced and pragmaticRené Bösch and Benjamin Leisinger are recommended.



Bär & Karrer has extensive experience representing issuers and underwriters in domestic and international securities offerings. We provide transactional services as well as specific advice in connection with the issuance of securities and subsequent trading in secondary markets. We are regularly retained by leading investment banks and Swiss public companies.

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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 ‘knowledgeableFrançois Rayroux are the key partners in Geneva, while Patrick Schleiffer and Hans-Jakob Diem head the corresponding Zurich practice.

Niederer Kraft Frey has ‘considerable experience’ in bond issuances, including ABS transactions, and offers an ‘excellent value-for-money ratio’. Apart from a specialisation in cross-border transactions, the team is also known for its expertise in IPOs and recently assisted Landis+Gyr with its CHF2.3bn IPO. The group also advised Glencore on an EMTN update and a 144A guaranteed-notes offering with a combined value of $21bn. Philippe Weber, Daniel Bono and Christoph Balsiger and the ‘adaptable and thoughtful’ Marco Häusermann are recommended. Till Spillmann joined from Bär & Karrer Ltd..

Walder Wyss Ltd provides ‘in-depth knowledge, fast response times and accurate advice’ on equity and debt capital market transactions. The team assisted Zug Estates with issuing its first CHF100m fixed-interest bond publicly and advised a syndicate of lenders on the public CHF1.35bn takeover offer by EQT of all shares in Kuoni Reisen. The recommended Alexander Nikitine jointly heads the team with Lukas Wyss and Theodor Härtsch. Structured finance expert Markus Pfenninger is another name to note.

Professional law firmBaker McKenzie delivers ‘robust quality of work’ for ‘reasonable fees’, especially in the fields of IPOs and capital market transactions, public M&A, structured products and derivatives. The group advised Schmolz+Bickenbach on the issuance of €200m high-yield senior secured notes on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange and assisted a consortium of banks with the IPO of Zur Rose Group. The ‘well-organised’ Marcel Giger and the ‘reliable’ Anette Waygood are recommended along the ‘responsive, practical and capableMatthias Courvoisier, whose ‘huge business network is very helpful’. Martin Anderson is now with Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) offers ‘excellent service’ and ‘is strong in the overall assessment of a situation not only from a legal, but also from a commercial view point’. The practice focuses on transactions, structured products, investment fund formation and regulatory matters. Highlights included advising Norwegian railway company Norges Statsbaner on issuing a series of international bonds on the Swiss and Luxembourgian exchanges, as well as assisting Meyer Burger Technology with its financial recapitalisation program, involving both equity and debt capital market transactions. Alexander Vogel, Andrea Sieber and Daniel Schoch are all recommended.

Pestalozzi is an ‘excellent law firm with very good expertise, comprehensive advice as well as attention to detail’ and advises on IPOs, high-yield bond and debt transactions, equity matters, listings, private equity, restructuring finance and private placements. The team assisted Goldman Sachs International and Morgan Stanley International as global coordinators and joint bookrunners with Altice’s $11bn high-yield bond issue. Other clients include Credit Suisse, Gazprombank and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Oliver Widmer, Severin Roelli and Beat Schwarz are recommended.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is noted for its ‘outstanding derivatives expertise, great responsiveness and adequate fees’. The practice is also active in investment management, debt and equity transactions and regulatory matters in the areas of finance and commodity trading. The group advised Austrian company austriamicrosystems (ams) on its $570m acquisition of all share capital in Heptagon Advanced Micro-Optics and assisted BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and UBS as joint lead managers with the Republic of Argentina’s CHF400m bonds issue on the SIX Swiss Exchange; both matters were led by Philippe Borens. Derivatives expert Olivier Favre and team lead Martin Lanz are recommended.

Vischer is ‘extremely well connected on an international level and has unique market expertise to deal with complex derivatives and financial instruments’. The practice advised Bâloise and Basler Leben on their CHF288m acquisition of majority shares in Pax Anlage, followed by a public takeover offer for the remaining shares; and also supported CRISPR Therapeutics during its $92m IPO on NASDAQ Global Market. The ‘solution-orientedMarkus Guggenbühl and Jana Essebier are recommended, as is the ‘responsiveBenedict Christ.

Wenger & Vieli delivers ‘excellent services combined with pragmatism and value for money’, particularly in equity and debt capital markets matters and transactions. The practice advised Züblin Immobilien on the repurchase of a bond, the recapitalisation of equity and the restructuring of its compensation system, while Acron Premium Swiss Assets was supported during its public takeover offer for all shares of Acron Helvetia VII Immobilien. Wolfgang Zürcher has a ‘good understanding of the clients’ business models’ and is also recommended for his ‘fairness and clear communication’.

Bratschi Ltd has ‘strong expertise paired with a hands-on approach in order to find commercial solutions in the best interest of the client’. The team handles mid-sized capital market transactions and the issuance of financial instruments. A recent highlight was the update of The Adecco Group’s €3bn medium-term note program and the team also represented several Syngenta minority shareholders during the latter’s public tender offer from ChemChina. The ‘competent and efficient’ Christian Stambach is recommended.

GHR Rechtsanwälte´s expertise covers securities, initial public and rights offerings as well as convertibles, bond and notes issues, share buy-backs and public tender offers. Long-term client CEMEX received advice on entering a new $4.05bn syndicated facilities agreement with twenty financial institutions and the group also assisted Goldman Sachs and UBS with Swiss law aspects of the restructuring and refinancing of Tronox Group. The ‘excellent’ Marc Grüninger is ‘incredibly responsive and very commercial’.

Kellerhals Carrard provides ‘excellent service across the board as well as practical, to-the-point advice’ and enables ‘mutual trust and a seamless interaction with clients’. In a 2017 highlight, the group advised Vifor Pharma as selling shareholder and Galenica Santé on the latter’s CHF2bn IPO. The ‘very committed and solution-oriented’ Beat Brechbühl is the key contact for transactions, while Dominik Oberholzer heads the financial products team.

Prager Dreifuss AG mainly advises companies listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and investors in relation to IPOs, stock exchange regulations, transactions and financing structures. Urs Bertschinger heads the team, which also includes M&A lawyers Andreas Moll, Daniel Hayek and Matthias Bürge.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland for Capital markets

  • Bär & Karrer Advises CEVA Logistics in Connection with the Strengthening of the Strategic Partnersh

    On 11 October 2018, the board of directors of CEVA Logistics AG announced that the Danish transport and logistic company DSV submitted a non-binding letter of interest with an indicative offer price of CHF 27.75 per CEVA share and that the board of directors of CEVA came to the conclusion that the offer was not in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. This was in particular because at that point in time, CEVA was already in discussions regarding an intensified cooperation with its main shareholder CMA CGM S.A., which shall exploit the full potential of CEVA.

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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.