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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 > Employment > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Employment
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Employment clients in Switzerland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Baker McKenzie's major strength is the ability to work on international employment matters and 'include colleagues from specific jurisdictions who have the required knowledge'. Employment contracts, benefit plans, restructurings and litigation, as well as hirings, terminations and global removals form the key areas of expertise. Associate Serge Pannatier is defending Becton Dickinson against a female employee's discrimination damages claim valued at £1.7m. Practice lead Peter Reinert is recommended for his 'sufficient risk analysis, which enables the client to make the right decision'.

With a 'dedicated team for immigration issues', Bär & Karrer Ltd. 'focuses clearly on the specifics of a matter'. The practice is also experienced in employment law support during transactions, restructurings and litigation, as well as advising on executive compensation, sports employment law and general contracts. 'Competent, proactive and client-focused' department head Thomas Stoltz and counsel Laura Widmer are the key names.

Zurich-based firm Homburger impresses with 'quick response times and a straightforward, common-sense approach'. The team is particularly experienced in the creation and implementation of employee participation and compensation plans, as well as employment matters related to transactions and restructuring. 'Very convincing' practice head Balz Gross advises General Motors on the divestment and transfer of Opel brand employees to Peugeot. Clients also recommend 'pragmatic and practical' executive compensation specialist Claude Lambert and 'extremely bright' associate Andreas Müller. Employment litigator Gregor Bühler is a key name for resolving top-management and data protection disputes.

The sizeable employment and pension practice at Lenz & Staehelin 'provides very commercial advice in a responsive manner, managing delivery expectations well'. With special experience in the drafting of employment rules and regulations, executive compensation aspects and cross-border employee transfers, clients stem from a variety of sectors, including banking, engineering, IT, retail and pharmaceuticals. In an ongoing highlight, Rayan Houdrouge represents Uber in multiple social security disputes, such as appeal proceedings against authorities, employment-related claims from drivers and administrative proceedings concerning the requirement of a staff leasing licence. Matthias Oertle, who 'is good at explaining legal provisions in a user-friendly way', advised Moody's Analytics on its acquisition of Bureau van Dijk Editions Electroniques.

The 'very experienced and efficient practice' at Niederer Kraft Frey is renowned for 'straight-to-the-point advice and well thought-through solutions'. Focus areas include transactional and investigatory employment law assistance, litigation and the implementation of compensation plans, as well as employee transfers, mass dismissals and social security advice. 'First-class lawyer' Catherine Grun Meyer is handling ongoing employment and compliance advice to new client Microsoft, while also assisting Crypto International with the transfer of employees required for its acquisition of Swiss IT manufacturer Crypto. Andreas Casutt and Thomas Sprecher lead the team, while litigator Valerie Meyer Bahar is another name to note.

Walder Wyss Ltd houses 'one of the best employment teams in Switzerland' and offers 'a fast and uncomplicated cooperation' in addition to 'a very high professional level and a consistently good advisory service during complicated cases'. Its full-service approach includes employment litigation, regulatory compensation advice, as well as immigration and transactional assistance. 'Sharp and fast thinker' Philippe Nordmann advised Equatex on its restructuring, which involved a mass dismissal, and represented the company in a dispute against an ex-employee claiming unlawful and discriminatory termination of their employment. The team also comprises compensation and collective bargaining expert Ueli Sommer and Olivier Sigg, who made partner in January 2018.

The strengths of BianchiSchwald LLC's employment team are litigation, preparation and negotiation of mass dismissals, social security assessments, expatriate agreements and work permits, HR audits, as well as documentation drafting and review. Stéphanie Fuld assisted Luxury Events and VIP Travel DMCC on the future transfer of its CEO to Switzerland as part of a business expansion. Banque Profil de Gestion, International Road Union and Chopard & Cie also feature in her client portfolio.

The employment team at Burckhardt Ltd. in Basel handles contracts, working time regulations, international assignments and work permit matters, compensation and bonus plans, collective agreements, restructurings, data protection and dispute resolution. Regula Hinderling and Gudrun Österreicher are the key contacts.

Contractual planning and dispute resolution are CMS' main areas of expertise in international employment law. 'Very knowledgeable, responsive and hands-on' key partner Christian Gersbach regularly advises clients including Nike, Accenture and Corning. He assisted ABB with the employment aspects of its acquisition of Keymile.

Eversheds Sutherland AG's employment law department is active in both the German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland, and often collaborates with the international group on immigration, transactional and data protection matters. Other focus areas include dispute resolution and investigation support, collective bargaining agreements, management compensation schemes and social security questions. Monika McQuillen advised Mediobanca on the documentation and HR negotiations related to its acquisition of a majority stake in RAM Active Investments.

Present in all parts of Switzerland, Kellerhals Carrard acts for a number of long-term clients, frequently advising on contractual matters and negotiations, as well as dispute resolution. In a major highlight, the team advised numerous clients on the drafting of employment agreements and incentive plans in connection with the implementation of say-on-pay rules. Daniel Alder heads the team.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL)'s 'unique team' consists of 'proven experts in their field who are easily accessible and good collaborators'. It handles employment, social security and immigration law, with a particular focus on transactions, restructurings and staff outsourcing, as well as dispute resolution and general contractual and compensation-related advice. 'Competent and experienced case manager' Thomas Kälin assisted GoPro with the termination of its business in Switzerland, involving the negotiation of termination agreements with all employees. Tesla Motors, railCare and Media Markt Management also feature in the client roster.

Pestalozzi covers employment, labour and immigration law, with longstanding expertise in contracts, policies and regulations, compensation, share and bonus schemes, employee transfer and outsourcing, as well as transactional, downsizing and mass dismissal matters. In recent work, Martin Müller advised on the staff transfer and pension scheme aspects related to the $8.8bn merger between client Micro Focus International and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Software, while Christian Roos provided similar assistance to AT&T concerning its acquisition of App Nexus.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is recommended for its 'competent, professional and pleasant collaboration with clients'. Areas of expertise include M&A support, documentation drafting, review and negotiation, structuring of participation and compensation plans, preparation of staff reductions and relocations, as well as data protection issues, pension advice and employment litigation. Team lead Vincent Carron assisted Bouygues Construction with the due diligence concerning its acquisition of Alpiq's engineering business. The 'experienced and soundly knowledgeable' Michael Hess, who advised an IT company on a data security incident and the termination of an employment contract, was promoted to counsel in 2018.

VISCHER is best known for its full-service approach to employment law, which includes assisting with work permits, executive compensation support and litigation, data protection, staff leasing, social security and pensions advice. Transactions, international transfers and collective labour disputes form other areas of expertise. Marc Prinz acted on all employment aspects of the merger between client Foboha and Heinz Hänggi Stanztechnik, including a mass dismissal resulting from the closure of one site. The team regularly advises Deutsche Bank on employment terminations at executive and director level.

Bratschi Ltd stands out for its 'cross-jurisdictional capabilities and understanding of other legal frameworks', and clients also appreciate having 'personal contacts available during projects'. Providing both advisory and contentious services, the team handles contracts, agreements, option plans and benefit packages, policy drafting and working time regulations, as well as advising on a number of business restructuring aspects, including employee representation committees and public sector employment law. Key clients include Swisspower, Hälg Building Services and Securiton. Angela Hensch heads the team, which comprises Marco Rizzi, who 'has a deep understanding of the Spanish legal environment and language', newly promoted partner Stefan Rieder and 'flexible and approachable' Tobias Herren.

Geneva-based boutique firm Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés provides contractual, remuneration, transfer, dismissal and regulatory advice, and also has notable expertise in whistle-blowing matters. Key partner Vanessa Maraia-Rossel represents an international trading company headquartered in France in six employment disputes concerning claims related to bonuses and participation plans.

The 'highly accurate and reliable team' at MME – Legal | Tax | Compliance has 'a practical approach' and 'is on top of matters and always advises with a competent approach, clear explanations and kindness'. It handles everything from contracts, M&A support and bonus schemes to termination of employment agreements, data protection, secondments and representation of employees in internal investigations. Clients recommend 'widely knowledgeable' practice lead Michèle Stutz, 'internal investigations expert' Raphael Brunner, 'internationally experienced' senior associate Martina Aepli and 'exceptionally committed' senior associate Alexandra Geiger.

Clients appreciate the 'highly professional and solution-oriented' team at Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte for its 'outstanding mix of competent legal advice and personal collaboration', resulting in 'prompt communication during each process'. Well known for its specialism in advising C-level executives on hiring and termination packages, the team also handles transactions and employment transfers, including work and residence permits for secondments. Key practitioner Thomas Loher assisted VTG Europe with the employment aspects (including mass redundancies) of its restructuring in Switzerland. Senior associates Katia Favre and Nicola Neth are other names to note.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Ordinance on Integrity and Transparency in the Therapeutic Products Sector has been adopted

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  • Bär & Karrer Advises B3i in its Current Equity Funding Round

    Industry-led InsurTech B3i Services AG successfully raised additional funds from current shareholders and new investors to further develop and grow its blockchain-based insurance transaction platform. B3i was founded in October 2016 as an insurance industry consortium which then formed B3i Services AG as an independent company. The shareholder group includes some of the world's largest insurers and reinsurers from across Europe, the Americas, and Asia. B3i intends to further expand its shareholder base over the next several months.
  • Bär & Karrer Continues to Grow Finance and Sports Practice with Two New Partners

    Bär & Karrer is pleased to announce that it further strengthens its Financing and Sports practices with new partners Lukas Roesler and Dr. Jan Kleiner, both of whom have worked with the firm previously.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Novartis and Alcon on the Spin-off of Alcon

    Today, Novartis AG completed the spin-off of the Alcon eye care devices business, and Alcon Inc. debuted as independent publicly traded company. The Alcon shares were successfully listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange Ltd. and the New York Stock Exchange. They are also included in the Swiss Market Index (SMI), which comprises the 20 largest Swiss listed stocks.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Primeo Energie and CSA Energie-Infrastructure Schweiz in Aquisition from ElĂ©t

    Primeo Energie, EOS Holding SA (EOS) and Électricité de France (EDF) have entered into a share purchase agreement relating to the purchase by Primeo Energie and EOS of the 25% interest held by EDF in Alpiq Holding SA. The purchase by Primeo Eergie and EOS will be financed through mandatory exchangeable loan agreements made by CSA Energie-Infrastruktur Schweiz (CSA) as lender, the biggest investment pool for Swiss energy infrastructure with 135 Swiss pension funds acting as investors. At maturity the mandatory exchangeable loan agreements will be converted into shares in Alpiq. Primeo Energie and EOS thereby pave the way for a Swiss shareholder structure of Alpiq.
  • Bär & Karrer Awarded Most Innovative Swiss Law Firm of the Year at the IFLR Europe Awards

    Bär & Karrer was awarded „Most innovative law firm of the year - Switzerland", the national award for Switzerland given in the IFLR European Awards. The most innovative law firm of the year award recognizes Bär & Karrer as the Swiss law firm with the best track record in 2018 giving advice on the most innovative cross-border deals covering all award practice areas. It is already the third prize of this kind in period of six years awarded to Bär & Karrer.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises DSV on Public Exchange Offer for Panalpina

    On 1 April 2019, DSV A/S, Hedehusene, Denmark and Panalpina Welttransport (Holding) AG, Zurich, Switzerland, have entered into an agreement on the terms and conditions of a combination by way of a public exchange offer by DSV for all publicly held registered shares of Panalpina for approximately CHF 4.6 billion. The board of directors of Panalpina has resolved to support the public exchange offer by DSV and to recommend the acceptance of DSV's public exchange offer to its shareholders.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Lonza on the Entering into a Strategic Joint Venture with Chr. Hansen for Deve

    On 2 April 2019, Lonza, a leading pharma contract manufacturing company, and Chr. Hansen, a leading global bioscience company, announced that they have signed an agreement to establish a 50/50 joint venture to pioneer the live biotherapeutic products (LBPs) industry and position themselves as the leading contract development and manufacturing partner (CDMO) for biotech and pharma customers. The joint venture brings together best-in-class, complementary capabilities and will be the first CDMO globally to provide a full supply chain that offers manufacturing of bacteria strains for therapeutic use. The joint venture will be a 50/50 controlled legal entity that will operate from its headquarters in Basel (CH) and have production facilities in Denmark and Switzerland. A phased investment of approximately EUR 90 million will be deployed over three years to build cGMP-compliant pharma production capabilities. The joint venture will upgrade existing facilities in Hørsholm (DK) and equip new facilities in Basel (CH) to serve pre-clinical to phase II projects. Further facilities for phase III and commercial manufacturing will be developed as the pipeline matures. The joint venture is expected to be largely self-funding after the production set-up has been established.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Computacenter in the Acquisition of PathWorks

    Computacenter Group, a leading European IT service provider listed on the London Stock Exchange, acquired PathWorks, a well-established hardware reseller in the Swiss market.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Addtech in the Acquisition of a Majority in Omni Ray

    Addtech Group, a leading Swedish publicly listed technology trading group, acquired a majority stake in Omni Ray AG, a well-established Swiss trading company and service provider for automation solutions, mainly focused on industrial applications, infrastructure, transportation and medical industry. By this transaction, Addtech aims at strengthening its position in the European automation market.

Press Releases in Switzerland

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to
  • 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.