Dispute resolution: arbitration in Switzerland
Bär & Karrer Ltd.'s arbitration group has a strong standing with national and international companies from various industries, including pharmaceutical, energy, media and telecoms, transportation, and technology. Zurich-based Daniel Hochstrasser, who jointly leads the team, has expertise in proceedings arising from M&A transactions, as well as from industrial and infrastructure projects. Fellow co-head Pierre-Yves Gunter, who is based in Geneva, is noted for his strong track record in international commercial arbitration. Cesare Jermini is the key practitioner in Lugano. Nadja Jaisli Kull in Zurich and Alexandra Johnson in Geneva are other key names.
Daniel Hochstrasser; Pierre-Yves Gunter
‘Bär & Karrer has a very strong disputes group with expertise in Swiss law and in various sectors. The availability of many senior partners with excellent legal knowledge and experience and their personal involvement makes its practice different from others.’
‘The team is second to none and very experienced. It is able to face American style attempts of the opponent to try to “kill” you by creating a lot of fuss and irrelevant filings.’
‘Nadja Jaisli Kull has an excellent business understanding and the skills to develop a good strategy with the client. She is an outstanding team manager and able to cope with an immense work load.’
National Iranian Gas Company
- Representing National Iranian Gas Company in an arbitration case initiated by Turkmengas.
Homburger's arbitration practice impresses with its wide range of activity, being involved in disputes related to contracts, transactions, data protection and employment, among others. It is regularly instructed by national and international blue-chip clients in particular from regulated industries. Team head Balz Gross is a dedicated arbitration counsel in M&A, contracts, and joint venture proceedings. Felix Dasser has a good track record in commercial and investment disputes. Gabrielle Nater-Bass acts as counsel as well as arbitrator, and is also recommended alongside Mariella Orelli and senior associate Stefanie Pfisterer.
‘A very strong practice with some star partners acting both as attorneys for parties and sitting as arbitrators. Their professional work is at the highest standards, in a market full of strong competitors.’
‘Balz Gross is extremely professional and thorough. He has lots of experience and presents very well in arbitrations.’
‘The reputed Gabrielle Nater-Bass is very energetic, intelligent, and sharp.’
‘Stefanie Pfisterer is at the top of her game. She is clever, thorough, and does great work both in preparation and in arbitration sessions – a rising star.’
Kingdom of Jordan
Palestinian Investment Fund
- Defending a company of the Palestinian Investment Fund against a $1.6bn claim by an individual alleging lost profits.
- Representing Pawlowski in an international arbitration against the Czech Republic regarding a real estate development project.
- Representing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in an ICSID arbitration proceeding.
LALIVE is highly regarded for its arbitration team, which is instructed in significant international commercial and investment arbitration proceedings. Those are often related to the construction, infrastructure, energy, and the pharmaceutical sectors and the team is particularly experienced in acting for states. Matthias Scherer is well versed in acting in contentious shareholder, joint venture and M&A disputes, and acts as counsel and arbitrator, as does experienced fellow practice head Veijo Heiskanen. Michael Schneider is an expert in the construction and energy sector. Noradèle Radjai, Domitille Baizeau and Joachim Knoll are also prominent practitioners. The Geneva-based team is supported by Marc Veit and Timothy Foden in London.
Matthias Scherer; Veijo Heiskanen
‘Mathias Scherer, with his calm manner, represents excellently in legally demanding international cases. He is committed to find solutions and performs very professionally in arbitration proceedings with a superb sense of what is possible or not.’
‘Timothy Foden demonstrates excellent team working skills and is skilled to put all findings in the best possible legal frame.’
Republic of Ecuador
Republic of Mauritius
Republic of Latvia
Republic of Turkey
Ukrnafta and Stabil
- Representing Romania in a $4.4bn ICSID arbitration concerning a gold mining project.
- Acting for Mauritius in two investment arbitrations conducted under Uncitral rules.
- Representing Ukrenergo in a $1bn Uncitral arbitration against the Russian Federation.
The practitioners at Lenz & Staehelin have considerable expertise in acting as counsels as well as arbitrators. The team is involved in disputes arising between parties from the energy, telecoms, construction and pharmaceutical industries as well as sports and IP proceedings. Zurich-based Harold Frey is a popular choice for instructions from states. Xavier Favre-Bulle, who is based in Geneva and jointly heads the practice with Frey, is also active in a variety of arbitrations, including those arising post-M&A and joint ventures. Other names to note are Daniel Tunik in Geneva, as well as Martin Burkhardt and counsel Martin Aebi in Zurich.
Harold Frey; Xavier Favre-Bulle
‘A very responsive, diligent and hard-working team well experienced in handling complicated cases involving foreign law issues.’
‘Harold Frey is an excellent lawyer with sharp understanding of the legal matters of the cases he is handling, articulate legal argumentation and great strategic capability.’
thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG
State of Palestine
Bank BTG Pactual S.A.
- Successfully represented Hidroelectrica in a dispute involving an agreement for the supply of electricity against a Swiss trader.
- Successfully acted for thyssenkrupp in an arbitration concerning the construction of a fertiliser plant in Turkey.
- Represented the French Republic in setting aside proceedings before the Swiss Supreme Court against an arbitral award made in an ad hoc arbitration.
Pestalozzi fields a large team of dedicated practitioners and is highly regarded for its knowledge of disputes in the commodities and pharmaceutical industries. Laurent Killias in Zurich and Geneva-based Thomas Legler jointly head the firm's practice and are both also instructed as arbitrators. Michael Kramer has notable expertise handling arbitration relating to telecoms and construction. Florian Mohs and Thomas Rohner are also prominent practitioners.
Laurent Killias; Thomas Legler
‘Pestalozzi is at the top of its game, delivering commercial, accurate and useable advice. It can both get into the legal detail of the arguments required, and deliver strategic advice to the very top of our organisation.’
‘Pestalozzi has a very well-known arbitration practice team. The team is used to handling highly complex matters in an efficient manner adhering to the highest standards.’
‘Laurent Killias is a very experienced and highly skilled arbitration practitioner. He has extensive experience, not only as counsel but in particular also as arbitrator in large and complex cases. ‘
‘Florian Mohs is simply an excellent lawyer, both at understanding the detailed legal position and at understanding how to place this in a strategic business context. ‘
‘Michael Kramer and Thomas Rohner are both partners you can easily connect with and provide a quick turnaround. They know what they are doing and it’s obvious that they have been around in the arbitration world for a while.’
Swiss Life AG
Johnson & Johnson
- Acting for the republic of India in a dispute against the Deutsche Telekom relating to the cancellation of a contract.
- Representing Türkmengaz in an ICC gas arbitration dispute against the National Iranian Gas Company.
- Representing Bouygues Construction in a post-M&A dispute against Alpiq concerning the CHF850m sale of Alpiq’s engineering services business.
The team at Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd frequently handles multi-jurisdictional arbitration proceedings, which often originate from the construction, infrastructure, commodities, energy and life sciences sectors. Arbitration chair Elliott Geisinger, who is based in Geneva, is an expert in cases concerning contracts, consortia and joint venture agreements. Due to her expertise in the oil and gas sector, Nathalie Voser is a key contact for investor-state disputes. Christopher Boog and Philippe Bärtsch are noted for their experience in sports arbitration. New partners Anya George and Anna Kozmenko are other key names.
‘SW has one of the best international arbitration teams in Switzerland which combines excellent expertise in many areas.’
‘The arbitration team boasts outstanding professionals, who excel both in strategy and preparation. The team’s main asset is its multicultural blend. The team includes lawyers that are in most cases admitted to practice in different jurisdictions.’
‘Elliott Geisinger is exceptional as team leader and arbitrator.’
‘Philippe Bärtsch is an outstanding counsel. Extremely convincing in his written and oral submissions. He knows how to simplify complicated points of law and facts.’
‘Anna Kozmenko stands out as extremely knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. She is a brilliant advocate.’
‘Christopher Boog has superb analytical and advocacy skills. He is admired for his ability to explain (orally and in writing) complex technical or factual issues in simple terms.‘
‘Anya George is a superb and well-connected operator. For someone so busy, her responsiveness is excellent and suggests she has complete control of her practice.‘
The Russian Federation
Republic of Hungary
Procter & Gamble
Catalent Pharma Solutions
PEB Steel Asia
Johnson & Johnson
MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc.
Ingersoll Rand Group
Wanxiang A123 Systems Asia
Tan Chong Group
Arcadia Commodities Ltd
- Represented 39 Russian Olympic Athletes against the International Olympic Committee in a CAS arbitration relating to doping bans.
- Representing a German company in an ICC arbitration against a Kazakh company in a dispute under a series of supply and engineering contracts.
- Acting for the Russian Federation in Swiss Supreme Court proceedings relating to the setting aside of an award on jurisdiction in an investment arbitration matter.
Geneva-based boutique Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler has a considerable market reputation for its strong arbitrator practice. Team members are regularly nominated to chair commercial and investment proceedings, which are mostly of an international nature, but also act as counsel. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Laurent Lévy, who have been active in the field for more than 30 years, have core expertise in arbitration. Sports arbitration is another strength, and Antonio Rigozzi is the key contact in this space. Sébastien Besson and Eva Kalnina are also recommended.
‘The team works in an attentive, efficient and accurate way.’
Fédération Royale Belge de Gymnastique (FRBG)
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)
Sporting Club Portugal
- Acting for a development bank in an arbitration related to the termination of a lease contract concerning the client’s headquarters.
- Representing FIFA in CAS arbitration proceedings brought by two US clubs to challenge the status of US Major League Soccer as a closed league.
- Representing an Eastern European company in a €20m shareholder dispute.
Niederer Kraft Frey AG impresses by covering a wide array of arbitration matters, such as post-M&A and joint venture disputes as well as proceedings relating to commercial agreements. The team is well versed in a variety of industries, with notable strength in the areas of defence, pharmaceutical and construction. Daniel Eisele has core experience handling high-value arbitrations. Tamir Livschitz is highlighted for his international practice and has been admitted in various common law jurisdictions. Valerie Meyer Bahar is a key name for arbitration in the financial services and insurance industries. Ernst Schmid and Peter Honegger lead the group, in which associate Anja Vogt is also noted.
Ernst Schmidt; Peter Honegger
‘Very experienced lawyers that provide hands-on advice with a deep understanding of entrepreneurial challenges. Fast, responsive and easy to communicate with.’
‘NKF’s arbitration practice is a leading force in the Swiss market. Its team consists of highly knowledgeable and experienced lawyers who are results-oriented and always fully committed to win. They are pragmatic and efficient and know how to handle the most complex international arbitration proceedings.’
‘Daniel Eisele is a disputes lawyer with exceptional legal and tactical skills who has an unmatched ability to see the big picture and to present a case.’
‘Tamir Livschitz is first-class arbitrator and litigator who is exceptionally dedicated, convincing and creative.’
‘Anja Vogt is a very talented, extremely thorough and knowledgeable associate.’
Kellerhals Carrard has a presence across Switzerland with practitioners across all major cities in Switzerland. Key names include Bernhard Berger in Bern, who is a key name for M&A joint ventures, agency and distribution disputes, and Zurich-based Martin Molina, who focuses on proceedings in the commodity trading, construction, and energy space. Olivier Mosimann in Basel is a specialist in the enforcement and annulment of arbitral awards, among others, and Lausanne-based François Kaiser is a key practitioner in disputes relating to contracts.
Bernhard Berger; Martin Molina; Olivier Mosimann; François Kaiser; Henry Peter; Jean-Cédric Michel
‘Young and upcoming arbitration team of proven and talented practitioners.’
‘Olivier Mosimann is outstandingly smart and great to work with.‘
‘Bernhard Berger is a very respected and well-versed arbitrator; great attention to details while not losing the big picture.‘
- Acting for an oil company in a dispute concerning $113m damages regarding the breach of different licence agreements.
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is active in various different kinds of disputes, particularly in those relating to the construction, commodities, energy, and technology areas. The team, which is led by Charles Adams, is also experienced in consortia and joint venture agreement arbitration and has a very international practice and is able to leverage the firm's presence in other jurisdictions. Vanessa Liborio also has a notable track record in the manufacturing sector, while James Hargrove has a core focus on real estate and telecoms.
‘The Geneva Orrick arbitration team is very impressive. It is highly effective and practical, while making it its business to know and understand every aspect of the case.‘
‘The team has tremendous experience, excellent connections and has great skills with dealing with different cultures.’
‘Charles Adams has a wealth of knowledge and contacts – especially in the United States and the Middle East.’
‘Vanessa Liborio is capable of processing a significant amount of information almost overnight. She is extremely hard-working and very skilled.’
‘James Hargrove is very client-driven and is a real pleasure to work with. He is also, extremely sharp and identifies the key points quickly.’
Louis Dreyfus Company
Litasco (a subsidiary of Lukoil)
King Abdullah Financial District
- Representing a client in a dispute concerning construction defaults and defects of a significant amount.
- Representing a construction company in a $275m dispute concerning sub-contracted works relating to an infrastructure asset.
Peter & Kim
In early 2020, dispute resolution boutique Peter & Kim, formerly Peter & Partners, joined forces with Kap-You (Kevin) Kim, who was formerly with Bae, Kim & Lee LLC, and is now able to draw on the firm's offices in Seoul and Australia. The group is frequently involved in M&A, energy, joint venture and construction-related arbitration. Wolfgang Peter has more than 30 years of experience in the field; he is supported by Christoph Brunner, who is well versed in commercial proceedings. Julia Xoudis, Daniel Greineder and Konstantin Christie are other key practitioners.
‘A boutique law firm with 100% devotion to the client and deepest expertise and knowledge. Great team of professionals.’
‘Wolfgang Peter is one of the most experienced and smart lawyers in the area of international arbitration. He has over 30 years of experience and is capable of handling the most complex matters with an exceptional level of proficiency.‘
‘Konstantin Christie is a young and ambitious partner in the team. Extremely hard-working and smart. He has brilliant legal skills and abilities, and delivers outstanding results.’
‘Christoph Brunner is undoubtedly a heavyweight in the field.‘
‘Daniel Greineder is an English barrister with wide experience in international arbitrations, with tremendous linguistic and social skills.‘
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH stands out for its close collaboration with the firm's international network, which ensures that the team is well positioned to handle cross-border disputes. Under the lead of Thomas Werlen, the group is often involved in arbitration proceedings relating to the energy, infrastructure, construction and engineering industries, as well as manufacturing, delivery and sales contracts. Clients include states, individuals, and companies. Counsel Simon Vorburger is a key name for investment treaty claims.
‘Simon Vorburger is one of the next generation arbitration lawyers to be watched. He has broad international experience and is an extremely smart case handler.’
Highlight Communications AG
Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)
Comosa AG / World Boxing Super Series
Walder Wyss Ltd.'s arbitration team frequently acts as counsel or arbitrator in commercial, infrastructure, construction, engineering and M&A disputes, as well as in the recognition and enforcement of foreign awards. Michael Cartier, who has core strengths in disputes relating to construction disputes and international commercial law, and Michael Feit, who has considerable experience in investment proceedings, are the key contacts. The team is instructed by various national and international companies. Dieter Hofmann leads the dispute resolution practice.
‘The arbitration team of Walder Wyss is highly experienced with deep knowledge in the Swiss Law.’
‘Dieter Hofmann is recommended both as counsel and as arbitrator, a no-nonsense person. Extremely available and good at turning complex issues into simple facts and legal reasoning.’
‘Michael Feit is an excellent attorney, with outstanding understanding of relevant matters which were the basis of the dispute. He is very knowledgeable in both Swiss and international arbitration rules and laws. He is extremely diligent and provides first class legal services to his clients.’
Hinduja Automotive Limited
Hitachi Zosen Inova AG
White & Case LLP has a well-established international arbitration practice, which frequently works as a cross-office group. The Geneva-team is led by Anne Véronique Schlaepfer, who is experienced in acting as an arbitrator as well as counsel. She is supported by newly promoted partner Alexandre Mazuranic. Recent work includes construction cases and gas price disputes for international companies.
Anne Véronique Schlaepfer
‘The team has in-depth experience of the energy market and energy arbitration and an ability to present complex issues in a way that they are easy to understand. It is very reliable, hard-working, and a pleasure to work with.’
Lawyers from Baker McKenzie's Zurich and Geneva office are regularly involved in cross-border arbitration proceedings, in which it works closely with the firm's teams in other jurisdictions. It has expertise in post-M&A arbitration, as well as disputes relating to the financial services, energy and sports sectors. Urs Zenhäusern and Luca Beffa are the practice heads. Other recommended practitioners include Joachim Frick and Franz Schenker.
Urs Zenhäusern; Luca Beffa
‘The team is well-known in the arbitration community as a group of practitioners with broad dispute resolution experience in a number of industries.’
‘International and reputable law firm, with strong expertise in arbitration.‘
‘Urs Zenhäusern is not only known as a very sharp and adamant arbitration counsel, but also as a well-prepared and prudent arbitrator.’
‘Luca Beffa is also an outstanding lawyer with admirable personal skills.‘
- Acted for a German company in a dispute with the owner of an infrastructure project in Saudi Arabia.
- Acting for a Russian energy company in an ICC arbitration against a company in Bulgaria regarding a gas supply dispute.
- Represented a Middle Eastern distributor of pharmaceutical products against the Swiss manufacturer.
Froriep's arbitration team is regularly instructed by private or public sector clients from a variety of sectors, such as energy, automotive, art and aviation, among others. Key names in the Geneva-based practice are Franz Stirnimann, who has over 20 years of experience; Jean-Marie Vulliemin, who splits her time between Madrid and Geneva; and Jean Marguerat, who is a specialist in sports and commercial arbitration.
‘What makes the practice unique is its tailor-made approach to every client and its dedication in exercising due diligence. Its strength is also a specific skill of creativity and out of the box thinking and approach.‘
‘Jean-Marie Vuillemin is an excellent practitioner and arbitration technician.‘
‘Jean Marguerat is easy to work with and a no-nonsense person.’
Clariant Produkte (Deutschland) GmbH
Mr Ezequiel Matias Schelotto
FCC Construcciones SA
- Acted for Clariant Produkte in an ICC arbitration against a state-owned Saudi chemical company relating to a joint venture agreement.
- Representing football player Ezequiel Matias Sclotto in a sports-related dispute against his former agent relating to the player’s transfer.
Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG is a boutique law firm specialised in dispute resolution. In the arbitration field, the team is well versed in international commercial and sports arbitration. Practice head Roberto Dallafior is a key name for disputes relating to M&A, contracts and insurance. Another key practitioner is Manuel Arroyo, who is well versed in the pharmaceutical, construction and automotive sectors.
‘The firm is one of Switzerland’s few disputes boutiques. As such, it has a well-established arbitration practice. Thanks to its specialisation in various legal fields, the firm is capable of handling all kinds of commercial disputes, particularly in IP and insurance law.’
‘Roberto Dallafior is a very experienced and assertive counsel in commercial litigation and arbitration.‘
‘Manuel Arroyo is a very experienced arbitration practitioner appreciated for his clear and thoughtful conduct in proceedings, his instinct for procedural solutions in complicated solutions and his fairness in going about highly disputed issues.’
Holmer Maschinenbau GmbH (Germany)
- Representing Miami FC in CAS arbitration proceedings against FIFA brought by various different clubs challenging the status of US Major League Soccer as a closed league.
At boutique firm Patocchi & Marzolini, the key practitioners are Paolo Michele Patocchi and Paolo Marzolini, who cover a broad spectrum of sectors, including pharmaceutical, oil and gas, commodities, construction, aviation, and defence. The team is also instructed in proceedings relating to M&A, investments or privatisations. The duo also regularly sit as arbitrators. Senior associate Daniel Durante is also noted.
Paolo Marzolini; Paolo Michele Patocchi
‘A boutique firm delivering top quality work. It is independent and very careful in handling possible conflicts of interest. The devotion of the members, combined with their extraordinary skills, guarantees the clients, as well as the peers they are dealing with, a first class service.’
‘Paolo Michele Patocchi is a leading figure in the arbitration community; he is thorough and very knowledgeable. He is invaluable for clients given his unparalleled experience in all domains of international dispute resolution practice.’
‘Paolo Marzolini possesses vast experience in the field of arbitration. He combines experience as counsel and as arbitrator.‘
The team at VISCHER is particularly well known for its experience in the enforcement of arbitral awards as well as asset freezing and practitioners frequently sit as arbitrators. Thomas Weibel and Christian Oetiker combine dispute resolution skills with knowledge in aviation law. Daniele Favalli is well versed in commercial disputes and Mladen Stojiljkovic joined as counsel from Homburger in November 2019.
‘The Vischer team gives straightforward advice even in complex situations. It has a practical hands-on and problem-solving approach. Vischer provides very prompt and reliable advice on a must-do basis and for good value for money.’
‘Christian Oetiker is a key contact for contentions matters. He is a master of the courtroom admired for his calm approach and how he diligently keeps control of what happens in the proceedings.’
‘Daniele Favalli is a seasoned business lawyer with a number of years of experience working in the U.S. and in the international arena. He is considerate and looks ahead. Daniele has good tactical and strategic skills and the ability to think outside the box.’
The team at Wenger & Vieli LTD represents national and international clients in institutional as well as ad hoc proceedings. Practice head Urs Weber-Stecher has extensive experience in acting as counsel as well as arbitrator and is able to advise on distribution and licence agreements, corporate law and M&A. Daniel Girsberger specialises in private international law.
‘Wenger Vielli has a strong arbitration practice thanks to Urs Weber-Stecher and Daniel Girsberger and to strong connections in the business community.‘
‘This firm unites lawyers with both excellent legal knowledge and experience as well as a hands-on, pragmatic and client-oriented approach.’