Firms To Watch: Dispute resolution: arbitration

Boutique firm Lustenberger Rechtsanwälte was established in mid-2019 and excels in international commercial arbitration proceedings, benefitting from the team’s experience at global firms.
Established in late 2020, Rothorn Legal AG specialises in international dispute resolution and fields highly regarded practitioners in Natalie Voser, Eliane Fischer and James Menz.

Dispute resolution: arbitration in Switzerland

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Demonstrating ‘a collaborative attitude’ and ‘an excellent perspective’, Bär & Karrer Ltd.’s practice fields team members who act as counsel and arbitrators in ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings governed by Swiss and foreign law. The group has expertise across a broad range of arbitration mandates with notable knowledge of post-M&A disputes, sports-related work and construction, claims alongside experience in the Middle East. Pierre-Yves Gunter and Daniel Hochstrasser co-head the team from Geneva and Zurich respectively. Other key names include Cesare Jermini, who regularly acts as party counsel before state courts and the federal tribunal; Nadja Jaisli Kull, who excels in the banking, pharmaceuticals and transport industries; Alexandra Johnson and litigation group head Matthew Reiter.

Testimonials

‘Nadja Jaisli Kull (Partner): provided exceptional support in dispute resolution, very reliable, to the point, down-to-earth and realistic, we felt exceptionally well represented.’

‘Comparing to other firms, Bar Karrer’s partners are heavily engaged in their cases and in very close contact with the clients. They are very hands on and in control of the process and do not let juniors run the show, which helps greatly in winning cases and the clients feeling they get what they pay for. My experience with Bar Karrer has been that the partners are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and smart and able to serve client’s needs and handle even complex disputes.’

‘Matthew Reiter is an outstanding litigation and arbitration specialist with a rare talent to be able to examine the dispute from the perspective of the business as well as the legal consequences. He has a unique talent to address the questions and concerns of the clients. He has great advocacy and pleading skills, and focuses on main points, making his arguments win as he does not allow his winning points to get lost with long and irrelevant submissions. Matthew is very hands on, in control of the case and dedicates the required time that the case and client needs and expects.’

‘We were very pleased with the collaborative attitude and effort B&K demonstrated in representing us in a Swiss proceeding applying law of another jurisdiction. Because the law of the other jurisdiction governed, we used two firms and B&K worked seamlessly with the other firm.’

‘Matthew Reiter is excellent. He’s pragmatic, readily available and very smart. He understands Swiss arbitration very well.’

‘Well positioned for high value, high quality arbitration work. Uses small, highly qualified and very experienced teams, drawing on resources in other countries where required. The experience that team members have not only from acting as counsel in arbitrations but also from acting as arbitrators gives them an excellent perspective when it comes to advising clients how best top present their arguments before tribunals.’

‘Pierre Yves-Gunter – partner. A practitioner and arbitrator of enormous and wide-ranging experience. Intellectually of high calibre, tactically very astute and is very familiar with all the leading arbitrators and their approach to deciding cases. This enables the client’s case to be pitched in the optimum manner. Projects real gravitas in hearings and tribunals listen to him. Forever thinking out of the box.’

‘Alexandra Johnson – partner. Very bright. Also benefits from her experience of sitting as arbitrator. Superb at putting together powerful submissions. A real pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

UEFA

National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC)

Huntsman Corporation

PNK Group

Archroma

Deutsche Telekom

Work highlights

  • Acting as co-counsel for the respondent in a multi-billion dollar ICC Arbitration case between Turkmengas (Claimant) and NIGC (Respondent) arising from a gas supply contract and relating to outstanding payments (claim) and a damage claim relating to the quantity and quality of gas delivered (counterclaim).
  • Representing a Turkish subsidiary of Huntsman Corp. in an arbitration relating to an equity joint venture in Turkey.

Homburger

With ‘a highly experienced team with great visibility in arbitration matters’, Homburger is a go-to name for blue-chip clients in regulated industries, with notable knowledge of the financial services, life sciences, energy and telecoms sectors. The large team has varied counsel and arbitrator expertise and has seen notable growth following the promotion of Stefanie Pfisterer to partner in 2021 and the recruitment of associate Jonathan Silberstein-Loeb in mid-2021, who is an English-qualified barrister and member of the New York bar. Balz Gross heads up the department, which also fields energy and financial services sector expert Mariella Orelli, the ‘extremely collaborativeGabrielle Nater-Bass and Felix Dasser, who is the president of the Swiss Arbitration Association. At the junior level, associate Dilber Devitre is a key name.

Practice head(s):

Balz Gross

Other key lawyers:

Stefanie Pfisterer; Jonathan Silberstein-Loeb; Mariella Orelli; Gabrielle Nater-Bass; Felix Dasser; Dilber Devitre

Testimonials

‘The firm is very professionally established. We enjoyed being on the same team with them and we are looking forward to further cooperation.’

‘Gabrielle Nater-Bass is extremely collaborative and pragmatic, providing advice in a very clear and understandable way and capable of finding good solutions.’

‘Prof. Dasser is an exceptional arbitration and litigation attorney.’

‘Highly experienced team with great visibility in arbitration matters, in particular corporate and M&A disputes.’

‘Balz Gross and Mariella Orelli are both outstanding counsel with impressive skills in oral and written advocacy.’

‘Gabrielle Nater-Bass has great attention to detail and patience to accommodate divergent views.’

‘The team led by Gabrielle Nater-Bass and Stefanie Pfisterer are true experts in international arbitration, dealing smoothly and efficiently with difficult aspects of arbitration references. They are very knowledgeable about international trade and extremely thorough in their approach.’

‘Mariella Orielli is an extraordinary expert of contractual and arbitration matters.’

Key clients

A company of the Palestinian Investment Fund

Alpiq

Dadco Alumina and Chemicals

Pawlowski

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Georgian Copper in a $583m international dispute against Glencore.
  • Successfully represented Alpiq in a $320m post-M&A dispute against Bouygues Construction.
  • Representing Pawlowski in an international arbitration against the Czech Republic regarding a real estate development project.

LALIVE

LALIVE ‘delivers seamless advice’ and is a key name in the market for commercial and investment arbitration, representing individuals, multinationals, state entities and states; clients include Romania, Mauritius and the Republic of Latvia. The team also has substantial expertise in the construction and infrastructure, energy, mining, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries; it recently represented Prairie Mining in a UNCITRAL arbitration involving the Australian/Poland bilateral investment treaty. Matthias Scherer and Joachim Knoll jointly lead the team; Scherer is praised for his investor-state arbitration knowledge and Knoll is active in disputes arising from commercial transactions. Michael Schneider has expertise in energy and construction claims, Teresa Giovannini focuses on contractual disputes, Veijo Heiskanen regularly acts for governments and foreign investors, and Melissa Magliana is ‘very strong on tactics and strategy’.

Practice head(s):

Matthias SchererJoachim Knoll

Testimonials

‘The Lalive team are hyper-efficient, both as to costs and driving the case forward. They’re sharp, aggressive and highly competent.’

‘The Lalive team did not waste words and did not simply create ‘paper’ or unnecessary write-ups. They were unique in their decisiveness and efficiency, without compromising quality. This, to me, is the hallmark of a bona fide expert.’

‘Unique focus on litigation and international arbitration. Great coverage of a variety of different jurisdictions within the team.’

‘Lalive have a high functioning team that delivers seamless advice and documents from the firm. It is a well oiled machine that is focused, smart and timely. I have been very impressed by the dedication of its staff to deliver an absolutely first class product.’

‘They are not only great lawyers but also commercially savvy. They have made a real effort to understand our business and its drivers. Their advice is smart and makes good common sense. A very practical group of people.’

‘Joachim Knoll and Melissa Magliana are very good lawyers, experienced and easy to work with. Joachim has very good knowledge about the market and the experts to be engaged. Melissa is very strong on tactics and strategy applied to the facts. On top of that, Teresa Giovannini always guarantees the highest possible quality for any client.’

‘Matthias Scherer: extensive knowledge and experience in investor-state arbitration, including ICSID proceedings; very good analytical skills; provides high quality advice; efficient and focused way of working; reacts quickly to new developments; very pleasant and approachable personality.’

‘Veijo Heiskanen: good strategic planning of the proceedings; very experienced consultant with excellent analytical skills; very pleasant and calm personality.’

Key clients

Romania

Prairie Mining

Switzerland

Ukrenergo

Mauritius

DSG Yapi San Tic A.S.

Republic of Latvia

Indiana Resources and Winshear Gold Corporation

Lupaka Gold Corporation

Work highlights

  • Representing Romania in a $2.1bn ICSID dispute with Swedish investors relating to tax enforcement measures in the food and beverage industry.
  • Representing four related Australian and UK entities of Prairie Mining in an UNCITRAL arbitration invoking the Australian/Poland BIT and arising out of a mine and hard coking coal project in Poland.
  • Representing Switzerland in the first ICSID arbitration against the country in a $1.2bn claim invoking the Switzerland-Hungary BIT regarding the alleged expropriation of real estate property.

Lenz & Staehelin

Fielding ‘a high-performing team of colleagues with high standards of professionalism, responsiveness and efficiency’, Lenz & Staehelin is a go-to name for high-profile international arbitration proceedings, acting as counsel and arbitrator. Several members of the team also have expertise in foreign jurisdictions and have knowledge of the pharmaceuticals, energy, telecoms, banking and spots sectors, among others. Xavier Favre-Bulle leads the arbitration team, while Harold Frey is head of the wider litigation and arbitration department; Favre-Bulle is based in Geneva and Frey is located in Zurich. Martin Burkhardt, IP specialist Thierry Calame, banking expert Daniel Tunik and counsel Martin Aebi are also singled out.

Testimonials

‘Xavier Favre-Bulle is a really outstanding arbitrator.’

‘Xavier Favre-Bulle is very experienced and practical as counsel and arbitrator regarding international arbitrations having a Swiss angle.’

‘I have been working with Harold Frey on an international arbitration in Zurich. He is brilliant, creative, strategic, and experienced. A true stand-out – not afraid to proceed outside the box when circumstances warrant. I recommend him and his firm highly.’

‘I am very familiar with the Arbitration practice of the Zurich office. I think that the team led by Harold Frey can offer high quality Swiss law advice, including in specialised areas.’

‘I have worked very closely with Harold Frey whose integrity and collegiality is absolutely outstanding. He is my go-to person because he places a lot of weight on providing the clients with high quality legal advice and would always place the interest of the clients first.’

‘A high-performing team of colleagues with high standards of professionalism, responsiveness and efficiency.’

‘Harold Frey is top-tier arbitration lawyer, well respected by his clients and peers, capable of handling sophisticated and high-profile disputes involving foreign and cross-border elements in the most efficient manner.’

‘Harold Frey and Martin Aebi are a well-practiced and well-coordinated team. Martin Aebi is doing most of the groundwork and drives matters forward – also when it means to push the client, always friendly but determined. When doing so, with his very good understanding of technical issues, he focuses on the most relevant issues. Based on their broad practice Harold and Martin are also in an excellent position to give valuable advice on the selection of arbitrators. Overall, as a client one can sit back and trust this excellent team to do its best.’

Key clients

Alpiq Holding AG

Bank BTG Pactual S.A.

Clorox

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

State of Palestine

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG

thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH

World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)

Pestalozzi

PestalozziComparative Guides promotional icon’s ‘top Swiss arbitration practice’ is jointly led by Laurent Killias and IP specialist Thomas Legler in Zurich and Geneva respectively. The group acts for a broad range of clients in the full spectrum of arbitration proceedings including ad hoc, institutional, commercial and investment arbitrations; the team recently represented Turkmengas in a high-value ICC gas distribution dispute against the National Iranian Gas Company. Other key individuals include wider litigation and arbitration group head Michael Kramer, Thomas Rohner, Tanja Planinic and Florian Mohs. Lukas Rusch was promoted to the partnership and Christine Moehler became a counsel in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Laurent Killias; Thomas Legler

Testimonials

‘Pestalozzi is top ranked law firm in Switzerland, but at the same time provides boutique firm support, with very personal attention and understanding of client needs. Great background of all professionals and magnificent experience in all areas of expertise, mainly but not limited to litigation, business and other.’

‘Thomas Rohner – High personal and professional standards and magnificent background, with a business-oriented approach, practical and cooperative with customer needs.’

‘Very smart, extremely knowledgeable, and super nice people.’

‘Florian Mohs and Lukas Rusch worked very efficiently, presenting clearly the most relevant facts in a very simple and understandable way. Communication with them was very good.’

‘Top Swiss arbitration practice.’

Key clients

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Bouygues Construction

DHL

Glencore

Johnson & Johnson

Republic of India

Swiss Life AG

Turkmengas

Work highlights

  • Represented Bouygues Construction in a post-M&A dispute against Alpiq concerning the sale of Alpiq’s engineering services business and achieved a favourable settlement for the client in late December 2020.
  • Represented Turkmengas in a high-value ICC gas arbitration dispute between Turkmengas and its Iranian counterpart, the National Iranian Gas Company, as well as in corresponding set-aside proceedings before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is praised for its ‘outstanding reputation for arbitration’ and team of ‘true problem solvers’, led globally by Elliott Geisinger in Zurich and vice-chaired by Philippe Bärtsch and Christopher Boog  in Geneva and Zurich respectively. The practice excels in commercial, investment and sports arbitration proceedings as well as handling setting aside proceedings before the Swiss Supreme Court; the team recently represented the Russian Anti-Doping Agency in the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Clients single out ‘seasoned arbitration counselSebastiano Nessi and the ‘outstandingStefan Leimgruber; other key names include Anya George, who is recommended for insurance, energy and commodities work; Anna Kozmenko, IP specialist Philipp Groz and counsel Anne-Carole Cremades.

Testimonials

‘The speed at which Elliott Geisinger and his team are able to assimilate case material (seemingly no matter how large or complex) is impressive. He is able to quickly pin-point matters that are of most importance to a case, without losing sight of the big picture.’

‘Marco Vedovatti is an excellent lawyer. I have had the chance to work with him several times and he is highly qualified, available and nice to work with.’

‘Senior associate Marco Vedovatti stands out as a quite fearsome opposing counsel. His submissions are on-point, his pleadings are concise and decisive, and his arguments come across as robust, yet reasonable.’

‘I have worked with Sebastiano Nessi, whom I highly recommend. He is a very sharp and efficient lawyer.’

‘The team is outstanding and very well-regarded in the Swiss legal market. Sebastiano Nessi provided excellent and timely legal advice.’

‘Sebastiano Nessi is a seasoned arbitration lawyer with deep knowledge of procedural and substantive law, wealth of experience and great judgment. I was truly impressed by the quality of his work (clear, concise, and informative written advice), the depth of analysis he performed despite facing time pressure and the level of attention to important details.’

‘It has an outstanding reputation for arbitration and is well known for working on some of the highest profile matters in the field of arbitration. A team of true problem solvers.’

‘Philippe Bärtsch, outstanding counsel, extremely clear submissions be it orally or in writing. Elliott Geisinger, gentlemanly manners which are most helpful to score his points. Christopher Boog, outstanding counsel, knows how to make his point calmly but with determination. Stefan Leimgruber, outstanding counsel, clear-minded.’

Key clients

Coty

BASF

Tetra Pak

Samsung

RUSADA

Chubb

The Russian Federation

Republic of Hungary

Alpiq

Procter & Gamble

GUPC SA

Catalent Pharma Solutions

Celgene Corporation

PEB Steel Asia

Johnson & Johnson

CTI Systems

MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas Plc.

Ingersoll Rand Group

Quark Pharmaceuticals

EnviTec

Kujtesa Net

CRH

Wanxiang A123 Systems Asia

39 Olympic Russian Athletes

Nutra Essential OTC, S.L.

Work highlights

  • Represented the Russian Anti-Doping Agency against the World Anti-Doping Agency before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in one of the largest and most complex CAS arbitrations to date involving numerous parties and intervenors.
  • Representing the Russian Federation in four investor-state arbitrations under the Russia-Ukraine BIT – each of these cases involve claims by Ukrainian claimants relating to alleged investments in Crimea – as well as two additional matters before the Swiss Supreme Court.
  • Representing a German multi-national in an ICC arbitration against a Kazakh company in a dispute under a series of supply and engineering contracts related to a large-scale metals processing plant.

Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler

From its base in Geneva, arbitration boutique Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler’s team of ‘seasoned professionals’ provides ‘outstanding expert and solution-oriented advice’, acting in a range of high-profile proceedings; while the team has notable strength in counsel work, practitioners attract particular praise for their work as arbitrators. Key individuals include founding partners Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler and Laurent Lévy, sports law experts Sébastien Besson and Antonio Rigozzi (who also jointly head up the firm’s counsel and advisory practice), the ‘brilliant and dedicatedMichele Potestà and counsel Silja Schaffstein, who is ‘extremely diligent’.

Testimonials

‘Laurent Lévy and Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler are both outstanding in all respects.’

‘Silja Schafffstein is an extremely diligent and reliable and excellent lawyer.’

‘Sebastien Besson is focused, open minded and a team player.’

‘Outstanding expert and solution-oriented advice in the field of arbitration delivered by seasoned professionals.’

‘Antonio Rigozzi: it is an absolute pleasure to work with Antonio. He listens well, provides great solutions adjusted to our needs and shows a high degree of industry experience and knowledge.’

‘Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler is composed of a team of extremely hardworking attorneys with a strong legal knowledge and attention to detail. Throughout the process, the team thoroughly researched and addressed every document we sent, every question we asked, every case that could be effective in the resolution of the dispute, and did not skip any details.’

‘Antonio Rigozzi is an exceptional sports lawyer and a true mastermind when it comes to FIFA and CAS arbitration. As both organizations operate with their own set of rules but within the Swiss law framework, he and his team is really the only reasonable choice when it comes to cases before this bodies.’

‘Mr. Michele Potestà is brilliant, dedicated, and manages cases in a perfect way. You feel safe when you put a case in his hands.’

Key clients

Confederation of African Football (CAF)

International Olympic Committee (IOC)

FIFA

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)

UEFA

Work highlights

  • Representing CAF in ICC arbitration proceedings in a dispute arising from a high-value media and marketing rights agreement.
  • Providing expert opinions on matters of Swiss and international arbitration law arising in several concurrent arbitral and judicial proceedings for a major naval shipbuilding group.
  • Successfully represented a South American construction company in annulment proceedings against an international arbitral award before the Swiss Supreme Court.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

With ‘an exceptional ability to get to the heart of problems and provide highly strategic solutions’, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is highly active in complex arbitration proceedings, with particular expertise in the construction, infrastructure, commodities, finance, energy and technology sectors. The practice also leverages the firm’s global network on cross-border cases and has expertise across a range of Swiss and international arbitration rules. Charles Adams heads up the group, which also includes Vanessa Liborio, James Hargrove (who splits his time between Geneva and London), and Rena Scott, who is US-qualified with experience in construction disputes.

Practice head(s):

Charles Adams

Testimonials

‘The Orrick Geneva team has very strong capabilities, with partners that are excellent commercial and construction lawyers. I believe the Geneva team really has the ability to provide tailor-made services to its client, and good value for money, and this it why it stands out.’

‘Charles Adams is very business-oriented, he is an excellent counsel and arbitrator. He provides great commercial advice. Rena Scott and Vanessa Liborio are both excellent, especially in dealing with construction disputes. They are very dedicated, hard working and second-to-none when it comes to handling complex cases.’

‘Vanessa Liborio is extremely hard working and dedicated. She is knowledgeable and very bright. Charles Adams is very well connected – especially within the United States and the Middle East.’

‘Very commercially-minded advice, problem solving-oriented approach, outstanding substance knowledge, availability and reachability, layman language advice, and flexibility.’

‘James Hargrove is our main point of contact. Always available and client-oriented with a deep commercial acumen on the top of very solid litigation skills.’

‘Exceptional ability to get to the heart of problems and provide highly strategic solutions. Very client friendly, diligent and fantastic attention to detail.’

‘Always very much approachable with fast, but also highly qualified responses. Broad legal knowledge in many sectors and objective analytic views. Very transparent billing practice. Good team spirit with allocation of tasks through their international offices. Great network with access to numerous specialists, if needed.’

Key clients

Louis Dreyfus Company

King Abdullah Financial District

Litasco (a subsidiary of Lukoil)

Grupo TSK

Tecnicas Reunidas

EspeRare Foundation

Hobart Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented EspeRare Foundation, a Swiss non-profit supporting advanced clinical research in rare, so-called ‘orphan’ paediatric diseases, in a Swiss Arbitration Centre international arbitration proceeding.
  • Advising a European construction company in relation to a dispute concerning its EPC services in the construction of a refinery in the Middle East with claims and counterclaims as a result of delay to the project.
  • Acting for an oil trading and mining company in three separate London LCIA arbitrations against a European petroleum company. The disputes arise under a loan agreement and two contracts for the sale and purchase of gasoil.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH utilises the firm’s broader network to excel in cross-border arbitration work and is highly active in commercial, investor-state, state vs state and domestic arbitrations. The team also benefits from the reputation of key practitioners Philippe Pinsolle, who is ‘undoubtedly a star of international arbitration’ and leads the firm’s continental Europe arbitration group, and Zurich-based managing partner Thomas Werlen, who ‘offers excellent advice based on a real ability to read clients’ expectations’. As a newly promoted partner, Simon Vorburger is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Philippe PinsolleThomas Werlen

Other key lawyers:

Simon Vorburger

Testimonials

‘QE Switzerland has grown considerably in size over the past years. Philippe Pinsolle in Geneva is, undoubtedly, a star of international arbitration and has established himself as one of the most important active arbitration practitioners (globally). Potential clients would wish to know that the team is outstandingly efficient, tireless, creative and always finds the best solution for their clients. They are experts in all types of international arbitration – commercial, investment, sports and State-State.’

‘The team provides solid guidance. Making decisions and recommendations based on accurate legal and factual analysis and good judgment.’

‘Thomas Werlen offers excellent advice based on a real ability to read clients’ expectations and each case.’

‘Simon Vorburger: diligent, responsible, is very driven and works efficiently.’

Key clients

Aabar

ABB

Accenture

Aryzta AG

Asia League

Comosa

FC Basel

Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)

Highlight Communications

Highlight Event and Entertainment

Lion Point

Lonza Ltd.

McCormick

Mercuria

NMC Healthcare

Oro Negro

Oschadbank

Partners Group

Privatbank

Renault

Salt SA

Schenker-Winkler Holding

SIG Combibloc Group

Solvay

Sonatrach S.p.A.

STA Travel Holding AG

Stadler Rail Group

Swarovski

Swatch

Total

Trafigura

United Media Network AG / United Group B.V.

Viasat

World Boxing Super Series

Work highlights

  • Representing a global satellite company in a high-stakes dispute concerning the operation of a joint venture.
  • Representing Mercuria Energy Trading S.A. and Mercuria Capital Partners Limited in a dispute against World Natural Resources Ltd (WNR Ltd) and World Natural Resources Congo S.A.U (WNR Congo).
  • Representing a UHNWI in a dispute on the division of the family fortune against their sibling.

Walder Wyss Ltd.

According to clients, Walder Wyss Ltd. ‘is exceptional and stands out from other Swiss firms in its professionalism, expertise, client orientation and responsiveness’. The group is highly regarded for its expertise in construction, plant and engineering disputes, distribution and joint venture agreement claims, and shareholder and post-M&A litigation. The team has also recently seen an uptick in enforcement proceedings, private client and trust disputes, and arbitrations in the commodities and pharmaceuticals sectors. Dieter Hofmann heads up the group, which also fields Micha Bühler, Michael Feit, Diana Akikol and Andrea Meier.

Practice head(s):

Dieter Hofmann 

Testimonials

‘Walder Wyss is one of the best law firms for arbitration in Switzerland.’

‘We worked with Andrea Meier, who has a great knowledge of the Swiss civil and arbitration law, is very familiar with the Swiss market and was able to promptly address our and the client’s needs.’

‘Walder Wyss’ arbitration team is by far the best team I had a chance to work with: highly professional, brilliant legal minds and again by far the best technically equipped team that used both legal and tech-tools to put forward client’s arguments in a most persuasive manner. They are indeed second to none.’

‘Michael Cartier is by far the best leading counsel. He is hard working, brilliant legal and tech mind that anticipates the opponent’s actions well ahead and prepares the tactics accordingly. He is able not only to assess major points of the case, but also covers each detail that might be of importance down the road.’

‘Michael Feit is excellent, well-respected attorney whose arguments easily gets the attention of the arbitral tribunal.’

‘The international arbitration team of Walder Wyss is exceptional and they stand out from other Swiss firms in their professionalism, expertise, client orientation and responsiveness. For me, they are the leading international arbitration practice in Switzerland.’

‘Michael Feit is a real stand-out in Walder Wyss and in Switzerland altogether. He is exceptionally smart, intelligent and hard working and I would trust him with any work I may have in Switzerland. He is a clear standout for investment disputes in Switzerland but has exceptional capabilities also in commercial arbitration. Micha Buhler is also highly regarded and a leading arbitration practitioner in the Swiss community.’

Key clients

Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Actelion Ltd (part of the Johnson & Johnson group of companies)

Roche

Greiner AG

Ali Gohar & Company (Private) Limited

Sharma Fabrictors and Erectors Private Limited

AFRILAND First Group

Idorsia Ltd

White & Case S.A.

Under the leadership of ‘superb lawyerAnne Véronique Schlaepfer, White & Case S.A. ‘really goes the extra mile for clients’ and has extensive knowledge of construction disputes and arbitrations relating to the energy, shipping and transportation sectors. The team is also a key name for global corporations thanks to the firm’s wider network, and regularly acts for clients located in Europe, the US, China and the Middle East. Alexandre Mazuranic and newly promoted partner Zelda Hunter are also key names to note.

Testimonials

‘Lovely team, really go the extra mile for their clients.’

‘Zelda Hunter – very client and outcome focused.’

‘Extremely thorough knowledge of the factual and legal aspects of a file. Very large work capacity, swift responses, very nice to cooperate with.’

‘Anne Veronique Schlaepfer and Zelda Hunter – extremely knowledgeable with in depth file knowledge – do not leave one stone unturned. Very nice working relationship – working towards perfect results.’

‘Anne Veronique Schlaepfer continues to be a superb lawyer: smart, practical, no-nonsense, and very well informed about all things arbitration.’

Kellerhals Carrard

Kellerhals CarrardComparative Guides promotional icon has ‘good depth in the international arbitration space’, acting as counsel and arbitrator in domestic and international proceedings, particularly in the health, oil and gas, construction and sports sectors; clients include the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Federation of Sport Climbing. Bernhard Berger and Olivier Mosimann jointly lead the group from Bern and Basel respectively; other key names include Martin Molina in Zurich and Geneva-based financial dispute specialist Jean-Cédric Michel. Isabelle Romy joined the group from MLL Legal in mid-2021.

Testimonials

‘Bernhard Berger is an excellent arbitration lawyer who acts as counsel and arbitrator. He possesses great analytical skills and efficiently delivers great work products.’

‘Martin Molina is a well-versed, multilingual and multi-cultural arbitration practitioner and partner of the firm. He was very responsive, diligent and fair.’

‘Good depth in the international arbitration space.’

‘Olivier Mosimann is a bright, young disputes lawyer, with great enthusiasm for the law.’

‘Bernhard Berger: extremely competent in arbitration law; efficient arbitrator. François Kaiser: he presents his case as fully enshrined in common sense, which is very convincing. Martin Molina: a very promising young practitioner.’

Key clients

International Federation of Sport Climbing

The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF)

Ultimate Concepts Ltd.,

World Anti Doping Agency

International Olympic Committee

Niederer Kraft Frey AG

Niederer Kraft Frey AG has been highly active in Swiss and international arbitration proceedings, leveraging the expertise of several team members who are qualified in foreign jurisdictions. The group also has notable sector-based knowledge, particularly the financial services, construction, energy and sports industries. Daniel Eisele and Tamir Livschitz lead the practice, which also fields sports expert Thomas Sprecher, post-M&A and finance sector specialist Valerie Meyer Bahar, and senior associate Anja Vogt, who is active in the construction and media sectors.

Testimonials

‘Their law knowledge and capacity in Court to impose their arguments is unique.’

‘Tamir Livschistz is an outstanding lawyer, with attention to the issue at hand, details and care for a positive outcome for the client.’

‘Niederer Kraft Frey has proven to be a solid and well organised firm, while offering professional, skilful and careful legal assistance properly adapted to the latest communication means.’

‘All lawyers we have worked with are easy to work with, correct and friendly with colleagues, well prepared, efficient, insightful, and business-aware.’

‘I have known NKF’s arbitration team for many years and we work together on very complex and demanding cases. They are exceptional in various respects: Extraordinarily experienced as well as outstandingly skilled, knowledgeable and creative. The NKF team is responsive, efficient, pragmatic and fierce. They truly cater to their clients’ needs and are exceptionally hardworking. I have always enjoyed working with NKF’s arbitration team also from a personal perspective as the NKF team members have a great teamwork spirit, are truly collaborative and friendly.’

‘Daniel Eisele is the strategic mastermind of NKF’s arbitration practice. He has a wealth of experience, outstanding analytical skills and a razor-sharp legal mind. Daniel is always very calm and friendly, but at the same time, firm and straightforward. He always carries an argument home and his ability to present the most complex case in a convincing and comprehensible manner has always impressed me.’

‘Tamir Livschitz is a brilliant arbitration expert, with extensive experience in the fields of international arbitration. Tamir is always on top of his game. He knows each case inside out, has an extraordinary eye for details and an exceptionally fast and sharp legal and analytical mind. Tamir’s advice is practical and decisive. Tamir has a true fighting spirit and is fierce and straightforward in defending his clients’ interests. He tells you how it is.’

‘Anja Vogt is a very impressive, talented and exceptionally sharp young arbitration practitioner. She is precise, remarkably fast and efficient. Anja is able to handle complex and large cases, she is definitely one of the top young arbitration experts in Switzerland. Anja has very good legal skills and can coordinate both internal and external teams if the matter is large and complicated. It is always a pleasure working with her.’

Peter & Kim

Dedicated arbitration firm Peter & Kim fields ‘a very open-minded and creative’ team, led from Geneva by Wolfgang Peter, who is ‘a legend in arbitration with deep knowledge’ of corporate disputes and claims in the oil and gas, construction and pharmaceuticals sectors. The firm also leverages its network of offices in South Korea and Australia, and has recently been bolstered in Switzerland by the recruitment of senior counsel Pierre Tercier and counsel Flavio Peter. Bern office head Christoph Brunner is also a key name to note, along with Konstantin Christie and Daniel Greineder, who are based in Geneva.

Practice head(s):

Wolfgang Peter

Testimonials

‘What is most striking about this practice is the depth of international experience. Its founding partners are outstanding practitioners in Europe and Asia.’

‘Small firm but really exceptional quality. Very open-minded and creative.’

‘Konstantin Christie is one of the best arbitration practitioners we have ever worked with. He is smart, client-oriented and is always available.’

‘Peter and Kim is a unique law firm with highly qualified lawyers.’

‘Wolfgang Peter and Christoph Brunner – Both are very experienced in Arbitration and you can feel comfortable if one of them is dealing with your case.’

‘Wolfgang Peter is a legend in arbitration with deep knowledge and is respected by his colleagues worldwide. Konstantin Christie is a relatively young and extremely bright lawyer. He really cares about your case and is very hardworking.’

‘Daniel Greineder, a partner in the firm, is exceptionally talented. He is dual qualified (common law and civil law), and speaks English, German and French. I worked with him and was most impressed. Highly intelligent; easy to work with.’

‘Christoph Brunner and Flavio Peter are exceptional!’

Key clients

Dogus

ENGIE

Eurasian Resources Group

Work highlights

  • Acting for Dogus Construction for a number of years in commercial arbitrations stemming from two separate construction projects.
  • Acting for ENGIE for a number of years, advising on contentious matters in respect of long-term energy supply contracts under the auspices of the ICC and Swiss Arbitration Centre. A case involving a long-term electricity supply agreement is pending.
  • Representing Eurasian Resources Group in a couple of contentious matters since 2017 related to its mining and smelting activities in Kazakhstan.

Archipel

Archipel ‘always starts from the customer’s goal and works backwards in order to provide a solution which is tailored to the customer’s needs’. Guillaume Tattevin and Giulio Palermo lead the practice, which advises on international and Swiss proceedings, acting in both counsel and arbitrator roles. The team is active across commercial, sports and investment matters and also regularly assists with enforcing arbitral awards. Counsel Laurence Ponty is also recommended for Russia and CIS-related matters.

Other key lawyers:

Laurence Ponty

Testimonials

‘The Archipel team always starts from the customer’s goal and works backwards in order to provide a solution which is tailored to the customer’s needs. You can feel the importance of your satisfaction to them.’

‘Giulio Palermo is an excellent counsel with terrific advocacy skills. He makes complex issues easy to understand and is a pleasure to work with.’

‘Modern clever firm on a Paris-Geneva axis’.

‘Laurence Ponty is a diligent, bright and effective arbitration lawyer with a strong background in the field – a rising star and a great choice for effective reliable representation in English and/or French.’

‘Guillaume Tattevin’s legal skills are very high and he is particularly articulate. He is also reliable. It is a pleasure working with him.’

‘High quality Swiss law arbitration advice.’

‘Laurence Ponty is a committed, diligent, highly regarded professional in the arbitration space who provides thorough and high quality advice.’

‘Archipel is a boutique law firm with Paris and Geneva offices, with Italian speakers and a strong experience in enforcement of arbitral awards. They also have a number of partners who sit as arbitrators and are exceptional.’

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s ‘proactive team’ is jointly led by Urs Zenhäusern and Luca Beffa in Zurich and Geneva respectively, and is highly active in disputes relating to infrastructure matters, banking issues, post-M&A work and the energy and sports sectors. The group also leverages the firm’s global network to handle cross-border and international arbitration proceedings. Joachim Frick focuses on corporate, insurance and M&A disputes, while Franz Schenker handles contractual claims.

Practice head(s):

Urs Zenhäusern; Luca Beffa

Other key lawyers:

Joachim Frick; Franz Schenker

Testimonials

‘Good proactive team, high standards.’

‘Luca Beffa is a force tranquille partner – one can rely on his professionalism and high quality work.’

‘Luca Beffa stands-out as an excellent, efficient and well-mannered counsel.’

‘Very professional approach; straightforward pleading and negotiation, always with a sound legal background.’

‘Great personalities; experienced, forthcoming, polite.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a leading international manufacturer of solar cells and solar panels in a Swiss Chambers’ arbitration against two related companies who had bought solar cells and materials.
  • Representing a large provider of complex piping systems in an ICC arbitration against a Czech/Italian engineering company regarding claims and counterclaims arising from a piping contract.
  • Representing a reinsurance company in a reinsurance coverage dispute relating to Covid-19 claims of a first insurer.

CMS

CMS is active in the arbitration arena, acting as both counsel and arbitrator for a range of domestic and international clients. The team is particularly adept in proceedings relating to construction disputes, post-M&A issues, distribution contracts and joint ventures, and also has notable sector-based expertise. Philipp Dickenmann and Christian Lüscher lead in Zurich and Geneva respectively, Pierre Ducret and Olivier Carrard handle sports arbitrations, Niklaus Zaugg has acted in construction and banking claims, and managing partner Jodok Wicki excels in insurance work.

Testimonials

‘The team is well equipped with lawyers on different levels without compromising the consistent availability of partner review and contact.’

‘The group stands out for 1) Understanding of the law, the lawsuit and its processes; 2) capacity to produce at short notice an impressive volume of data and jurisprudence; 3) quality and depth of arguments provided. All this gives the opportunity to present conclusions in an elegant manner which tries to convince the judge instead of throwing allegations with the objective of destabilising the opposite party.’

‘Despite being managing partner, Jodok Wicki was always available and had a very good grasp of the intricacies of the matters we worked on. He is very sharp, attentive, relentless in cross-examination, and his skills are outstanding.’

Key clients

MET Gas and Energy Marketing Ltd

Atos AG, Zurich, Switzerland

China Development Bank

Credit Suisse AG/Credit Suisse (Schweiz) AG

Work highlights

  • Represented MET Gas and Energy Marketing Ltd in an ICC Arbitration and the subsequent enforcement of the award.
  • Acting as arbitrator in a dispute arising from the termination of a contract. The respondent claims that it was entitled to terminate the contract because of a force majeure situation as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acting in an arbitration relating to a request for price increases raised by the opposing party against the client. Also representing the client in a successful emergency arbitration to prevent suspension of deliveries, as well as in subsequent main proceedings.

MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep Ltd

MLL Legal ‘combines a strong technical command of Swiss law with the ability to think tactically to achieve the client’s objectives’ in commercial, sports and investment arbitration proceedings, with experience in acting as both counsel and arbitrator. The practice is led from Geneva and Zurich by Jean Marguerat and Marcel Steinegger respectively, while Urs Boller and Jean-Marie Vulliemin also contribute.

Testimonials

‘Jean Marguerat is a smart and reactive colleague, extremely easy to work with and straightforward. He understands quickly the needs and provides practical and just legal analysis.’

‘MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep Ltd inevitably demonstrates refined and creative legal thinking, supported by the highest ethics and full availability to take care of the client’s needs as they arise.’

‘High professionalism. Experience in Arbitration. Deep knowledge of applicable laws.’

‘Great level of involvement in the case. Reliability in their professional skills.’

‘Leonard Stoyanov has a great background, very good listening skills, strong knowledge and is always to-the-point. Great attention to detail.’

‘Excellent knowledge and a very friendly and individualised client approach. Very good cooperation skills and results. Would definitely recommend.’

‘Jean Marguerat: just excellent, a no-nonsense person and very easy to work with. Jean-Marie Vuillemin: a real master in arbitration law.’

‘Jean Marguerat is a very thorough and experienced arbitrator who is always on top of the relevant issues and does not shy away from digging into voluminous and fact driven cases.’

Key clients

FCC Construcción

The Kingdom of Spain

Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG

Praised by clients for its ‘partner-driven approach’ and ‘high degree of specialisation’, Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG focuses solely on contentious mandates with particular expertise in international commercial arbitration and sports arbitration proceedings. Roberto Dallafior leads the arbitration practice.

Practice head(s):

Roberto Dallafior 

Testimonials

‘Roberto Dallafior is a star individual, and a go-to person for all kinds of legal disputes.’

‘The firm is an exclusive litigation boutique with highly specialised lawyers for all kinds of disputes. The high degree of specialisation and excellent track record and success rate make the firm an excellent partner for parties seeking competent representation in litigation and arbitration matters.’

‘One of the very few arbitration boutiques in Switzerland with partner driven approach.’

‘Amazing arbitration boutique providing an excellent service.’

Key clients

Holmer Maschinenbau GmbH (Germany)

Patocchi & Marzolini

'An incredibly hands-on team with exceptional strategic capabilities’, Patocchi & Marzolini is ‘made up of a unique combination of lawyers that allows it to excel in every aspect of the work’. The boutique firm specialises in cross-border litigation and arbitration, acting for a roster of multinational companies and financial institutions as well as private clients. Paolo Michele Patocchi and Paolo Marzolini lead the group, which also includes newly promoted partner Daniel Durante.

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Durante

Testimonials

‘Small but extremely responsive and practical team, with consolidated experience.’

‘Paolo Marzolini is an outstanding arbitration lawyer, very responsive, practical.’

‘The team is very committed and highly active in the management of the cases. Team’s members are able to work within extremely tight time-frames adapting themselves to the client’s urgent needs.’

‘Mr. Paolo Marzolini is very responsive and capable of giving strategic legal advice to increase the chances of success of the proceedings. His practical judgement and litigation skills inspire confidence. Mr. Daniel Durante works most of time alongside Paolo Marzolini. His availability, commitment and sensitive awareness of his clients’ interests makes him a trustable lawyer.’

‘The team of the Patocchi & Marzolini firm is made up of a unique combination of lawyers that allows them to excel in every aspect of their work. They are able to manage and simplify the most complex situations by proposing a clear and consistent strategy with the customer’s requests, preventing and anticipating the counterpart’s moves.’

‘I have been working with Paolo Marzolini for over a year and I can say that he is a very talented lawyer with unique skills. He manages to propose and implement complex strategies with incredible attention to all details. He works very hard to make sure nothing is left to chance.’

‘Paolo Marzolini is an incredible professional, very competent and effective in negotiations.’

‘Incredibly hands on team with exceptional strategic capabilities.’

VISCHER

VISCHER’s ‘excellent and balanced team’ has been active in a broad range of mandates, acting as both counsel and arbitrator. The group is led by Daniele Favalli, Christian Oetiker and Gerald Virieux in Zurich, Basel and Geneva respectively. Other key individuals include Thomas Weibel, Raphael Butz and new recruit Karin Graf, who joined from Wenger Plattner in 2021.

Testimonials

‘The team is very responsive and provides a very cost-efficient legal service. Their advice is user-friendly and easy to understand.’

‘Christian Oetiker is very responsive and can work across various time zones. His drafting is very simple and clear. He is very well connected in Swiss arbitration circles and therefore can provide great local insights – which can be very practical and client-friendly.’

‘Excellent and balanced team with deep knowledge and high efficiency.’

‘Daniele Favalli – outstanding professional, very knowledgeable and intelligent.’

Key clients

KSL AG (Kolmar Group)

Telekom Srbija a.d.

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Sakto Corporation

Pirelli

Huntsman

T-Systems

AI

Work highlights

  • Representing the Swiss trading entity of a Russian coal producer in the reorganisation of the trading business, including various parallel litigation claims and two arbitration matters.

Wenger Vieli Ltd

The ‘very attentive’ group at Wenger Vieli Ltd acts in institutional and ad hoc proceedings at a national and international level. Urs Weber-Stecher heads up the department and has notable expertise across the energy, construction, technology, pharmaceuticals and commodity sectors, among others. Daniel Girsberger and Philipp Lindenmayer also contribute to the practice. Flavio Peter departed to Peter & Kim in late 2021.

Practice head(s):

Urs Weber-Stecher 

Testimonials

‘They are very attentive and extremely well-versed and trained in the field of arbitration.’

‘Urs Weber-Stecher is probably the best sole arbitrator I have seen in action.’

‘Urs Weber-Stecher is the senior partner of Wenger Vieli’s arbitration team and well known and connected within the network of Swiss arbitration, as president of the Commission of Arbitration and ADR of ICC Switzerland. He is very experienced in ICC arbitrations. I have particularly valued that he is very quick in grasping the essentials of a case and sharp witted. Excellent choice as arbitrator.’