Dispute resolution: arbitration in Switzerland

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

The multilingual team at Bär & Karrer Ltd. has 'excellent knowledge of Swiss law', focusing on M&A, private client, intellectual property and IT disputes for a range of companies in the scientific, automotive, media and technology industries. Pierre-Yves Gunter serves as chairman in a $700m ICC arbitration proceeding concerning the Panama canal, and also co-represents the National Iranian Gas Company in a €5bn gas dispute against claimant Turkmengas. Daniel Hochstrasser in Zurich and the 'terrific' Geneva-based Saverio Lembo, who 'has excellent practical judgement', are also key partners.


Homburger's arbitration team 'has a deep understanding of industrial clients' needs' and works under 'quick reaction times'. The client base largely consists of blue-chip companies and businesses from regulated industries, and the group frequently handles M&A, commercial, energy, pharmaceutical and financial disputes. Felix Dasser represented Pawlowski as claimant in an ICSID case against the Czech Republic concerning a real estate development project, while Mariella Orelli acted for Alpiq in an ICSID proceeding relating to the unlawful termination of long-term electricity supply agreements by Romania's state-owned power generation company Hidroelectrica. Team lead Balz Gross defended a pharmaceutical company against a US competitor in a patent license dispute. The 'very responsive and well-organisedGabrielle Nater-Bass is also recommended.


LALIVE is 'one of the most effective law firms in Switzerland',and its sizeable team 'works very hard trying to produce the best results for its clients' and 'collaborates well in other jurisdictions'. The arbitration practice is best known for handling commercial and investment disputes on a global basis, with strong links to Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Dr Veijo Heiskanen and the 'well-organised and smartMatthias Scherer represented Romania as defendant against Canadian and UK investors in a $4.4bn ICSID arbitration relating to a gold mining project. Together with Scherer, Domitille Baizeau successfully obtained an award for the Republic of Mauritius, in a matter concerning the defence of its first-ever treaty claim as brought by a French-Mauritian businessman. Firm founder Michael E Schneider specialises in construction- and energy-related disputes.

Lenz & Staehelin

The multi-jurisdictional practice at Lenz & Staehelin 'thinks strategically' and 'has exceptionally strong knowledge of the nuts and bolts of Swiss arbitration' and has a 'diligent' approach and 'sharp understanding of foreign law matters'. The team acts for various industries, including pharmaceuticals, construction, telecoms, sports and energy. 'Outstanding and high-calibre' practitioner Harold Frey, who impresses with 'actionable advice and on-the-spot arguments in court', achieved the dismissal of all claims against the State of Palestine concerning a private investment, which were brought by a private company. 'Hands-on, dedicated arbitratorXavier Favre-Bulle is the key partner in Geneva.


Pestalozzi's large arbitration practice provides 'very thoughtful advice' and stands out for its 'thorough, straightforward and to-the-point communication'. With expertise in the commodities business and regulated industries, Michael Kramer led a team that represented claimant Türkmengaz in a €1.5bn ICC gas supply contract dispute against the National Iranian Gas Company. Other notable individuals include Laurent Killias, who has 'first-class legal mind', and 'highly experienced intellectual property arbitratorThomas Legler.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd's 'well-informed, collaborative' team 'has a very high working level with broad experience and clear communication'. Commercial, commodities, energy and construction, intellectual property, investment and sports arbitration constitute the main areas of expertise, which can be applied in a global context. Practice head Elliott Geisinger, 'truly international rising starChristopher Boog and 'excellentNathalie Voser represented the Russian Federation in several setting-aside cases regarding awards obtained in separate investment disputes. Apart from representing athletes in sports arbitration, the 'thoroughPhilippe Bärtsch also acted for an entity owned by two energy companies in a €400m arbitration concerning a large dam in Europe. Anya George and Anna Kozmenko made partner in January 2019. Martin Bernet left to establish his own boutique firm, Bernet Arbitration / Dispute management in 2018.

Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler

International arbitration boutique Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler handles investment and commercial disputes, as well as contentious sports matters. Apart from assisting corporate clients, the team also engages in policy advice and the drafting of arbitration rules. Investment experts Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Laurent Lévy, as well as sports law partners Antonio Rigozzi and Sébastien Besson are core practitioners, while Sabina Sacco and counsel Eva Kalnina are other names to note.

Niederer Kraft Frey AG

'International arbitration is a particular strength' of Niederer Kraft Frey AG. Its 'very professional' team returns 'excellent work results under time pressure' and focuses on banking, commercial, sports and defence industry disputes, among other sectors. 'Thoughtful strategistTamir Livschitz, who delivers 'utmost client care', and the 'astute and personableErnst Schmid  are recommended. Schmid co-heads the team together with finance arbitration counsel Peter Honegger, while Daniel Eisele specialises in commercial disputes. Commercial dispute attorney Brigitte Knecht was promoted to counsel in January 2019.

Walder Wyss Ltd

Walder Wyss Ltd houses 'a technically excellent, internationally experienced, strategical and collaborative' arbitration team that operates in 'a no-fuss, cost-sensitive' way. Key areas of strength include commercial, infrastructure, engineering, construction and M&A disputes, as well as awards enforcement. 'Stand-out practitionerMichael Feit, who is recommended for his investment arbitration expertise, acted as arbitrator in the €330m ICSID dispute between claimant ACP Axos Capital and the Republic of Kosovo concerning the failed privatisation of Kosovo's postal and communications company. Michael Buhler, who is 'calm under pressure', and 'diligent' counsel Marco Stacher, who is 'excellent in cross-examinations', are also recommended.

Kellerhals Carrard

Kellerhals Carrard employs 'arbitration specialists' in Zurich and Bern, who mainly cover commercial and sports arbitration. A recent highlight for Bernhard Berger and Martin Molina was the representation of the claimant, the Republic of Croatia, in $5bn setting-aside proceedings against a final award granted to MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Company. François KaiserHenry Peter and senior associate Olivier Mosimann are also key practitioners.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

The 'very solid team' at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is 'extremely efficient and maintains good communication between members and clients'. It is recommended for its 'strong skills in contract, energy and construction disputes', which are the focus areas in arbitration. 'Well-connected' global head of international arbitration Charles Adams, 'professional and competentVanessa Liborio and of counsel Rena Scott, who has 'excellent drafting skills', are recommended. The 'client-orientedJames Hargrove joined from Eversheds Sutherland AG in February 2018.

Peter & Kim

Peter & Partners is 'a real leader in its field: truly international and experienced in all parts of the world'. The team, which is 'led by the formidable and brilliant arbitratorWolfgang Peter, handles post-M&A, energy, construction, joint venture and sales arbitration matters. In a recent highlight, Peter and the 'smart and practicalKonstantin Christie served as co-counsel to a law firm representing the respondent in a gas supply dispute against a claimant from the Middle East. 'Rising starDaniel Greineder is also recommended.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH's office head Thomas Werlen specialises in financial services, sports and pharmaceutical arbitration, while 'outstandingly knowledgeable and perfectly organised' senior associate Simon Vorburger, who joined from Homburger in 2018, has experience in energy and infrastructure project disputes, as well as contractual and insolvency-related arbitration. Fifa and Comosa are key clients of the firm.

Eversheds Sutherland AG

The 'time-conscious and responsive' team at Eversheds Sutherland AG consists of 'good listeners who make an effort to understand the client's wish'. Operating in multiple language regions, the practice gained experience in matters connected to the financial services, telecoms, IT, pharmaceutical, insurance, international trade and commodities, energy and construction industries. 'Creative and dedicatedDr. Claudius Triebold is a key name. Monika McQuillen and trade specialist Patrick Eberhardt are other names to note. James Hargrove departed to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in February 2018.

Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG

'Reputable' firm Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG's team of 'strong advocates' impresses through its 'careful and thorough research, professional case handling, determination, high availability and well-written advocacy'. A major focus is international commercial and sports arbitration. The 'very respected and effective' department lead Roberto Dallafior represents Miami FC and Kingston Stockade FC as claimants in an CAS proceeding, which challenges the system of closed leagues, against Fifa, USSF and Concacaf. Clients also recommend 'multilingual and highly experienced' international arbitration expert Manuel Arroyo.

Patocchi & Marzolini

'Professional' boutique firm Patocchi & Marzolini 'stands out for its attention to detail and in-depth knowledge of dispute resolution mechanisms'. Multilingual commercial, post-M&A, construction and investment arbitration constitute a particular focus. In a recent matter, the 'efficient, competent and collaborativePaolo Marzolini represented a European construction group as respondent against two companies in an ICC arbitration concerning the construction of an infrastructure project. 'Leading arbitration figurePaolo Michele Patocchi is recommended for his 'great experience in all domains of international dispute resolution'.

Tavernier Tschanz

'High-quality Swiss boutiqueTavernier Tschanz stands out for its 'professional, pragmatic and hands-on approach' and 'thorough case analysis'. Its caseload is largely focused on the corporate, M&A, pharmaceutical, energy, commodity and transport fields. Frank Spoorenberg, who is 'clear thinking and vastly knowledgeable', and the 'reliablePierre-Yves Tschanz represent Çukurova in an ongoing post-M&A dispute.


VISCHER's arbitration team 'provides solid, high-quality work in complex international disputes', including 'hands-on, proactive settlement strategies'. Transport, banking, nuclear power and construction form major areas of expertise, and the team is additionally experienced in representing clients in relation to Russia and the Middle East. 'Highly skilled and experienced practitionerThomas Weibel is recommended in Basel. Daniele Favalli and Christian Oetiker are the key partners in Zurich.

Wenger & Vieli LTD

Wenger & Vieli LTD is 'an excellent shop for arbitration', especially regarding contractual, commercial, intellectual property, post-M&A, energy and construction disputes. The 'very experienced, reliable and respected' practice lead Urs Weber-Stecher is recommended alongside 'outstanding arbitratorsDaniel Girsberger and Michael Mráz, who have 'a friendly, down-to-earth attitude'.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP's 'knowledgeable' practice is 'invaluable in arbitration proceedings'. The team, led by 'stand-out partnerAnne Véronique Schlaepfer, has expertise in construction and engineering, energy, manufacturing and consumer goods disputes. Other key names include of partner Alexandre Mazuranic and 'excellent' senior associate Vanessa Alarcón Duvanel, who 'always stays on top of things and is a joy to work with'.