Firms To Watch: Employment

The litigation and arbitration specialists at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH have a niche specialisation in employment-related disputes, in particular acting for organisations, athletes and individuals active in professional sports, such as boxing, Formula E, Formula 1 and football.

Employment in Switzerland

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s employment practice advises national and international corporate clients on all employment-related matters, including review and drafting of employment documentation, hiring and termination of employees, pension fund issues, employment benefits, including various equity plans, mergers and acquisitions as well as restructurings. Peter Reinert has a focus on business transfers and restructurings as well as on executive remuneration. Serge Pannatier regularly advises international corporations and governmental clients on strategic immigration advice and disputes relating to discrimination matters and summary dismissals.

Practice head(s):

Peter Reinert; Serge Pannatier

Key clients

Becton Dickinson

Oracle

FedEx

CSL

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Keurig Green Mountain

BD Switzerland Sàrl

Hitachi

Work highlights

  • Advised a leading US-based medical technology company on a complex discrimination case concerning a female employee who claims damages on the basis that she did not receive a promotion.
  • Advised and represented CSL in its negotiations with Thermo Fisher Scientific relating to an agreement providing for a cooperation relating to the operation of a new state-of-the-art biologics manufacturing facility in Lengnau, Switzerland.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

With offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug, Bär & Karrer Ltd. offers good geographical coverage. The team of ‘top legal experts across several domains‘ is headed by ‘stand-outLaura Widmer and Thomas Stoltz and is adept at advising on the employment aspects of M&A and private equity transactions, management incentive schemes as well as on the restructuring and wind-down of companies, including issues relating to mass dismissals and social plans. The unit further has a strong practice in migration, residency and work permits matters and assists clients in all employment related disputes. Andrea Gamba left the firm in November 2020.

Practice head(s):

Laura Widmer; Thomas Stoltz

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable, service-minded, constructive, good knowledge of market practice.’

‘In addition to being top legal experts across several domains it is the sense of partnership, understanding of the big picture as well as attention to detail that really make them stand out.’

‘These individuals have demonstrated a deep knowledge as well as network within the Swiss ecosystem as well as a great understanding of the complexities of working and navigating business in an international environment. The individuals that stand out are, among others, Laura Widmer and Thomas Stoltz.’

‘The team I deal with really understand the business and the commercial imperatives we work with. They always look to provide the best commercial, practical and cost-effective solutions to the employee issues in question.’

‘I have worked specifically with Laura Widmer among others. They have excellent knowledge well applied in practice to our situations, they are super quick in response, friendly and approachable and great to work with!’

‘They were always available online. The expertise is very great due to the many professionals.’

‘Always calm and we always found a solution. The calmness and composure is very helpful, especially in stressful situations.’

‘The team is obviously (as it should) experienced and provided helpful steer. Collaboration was very smooth.’

‘Laura Widmer was particularly helpful, as she provided business-minded and pragmatic advice. Made it also efficient for us.’

Key clients

Lonza

Deutsche Börse

CVC

Avaloq and Warburg Pincus

Equistone

Sage

Valtech

Rubicon Technology Partners

Mobiliar

GTreasury

Work highlights

  • Advised Equistone on the acquisition of Franke Water Systems AG.
  • Advised Avaloq and Warburg Pincus regarding the sale of Avaloq to NEC.
  • Advised Deutsche Börse AG on the acquisition of a majority stake in Crypto Finance AG.

Homburger

Homburger provides ‘excellent, relevant, practical counsel‘ to a broad variety of domestic and international clients on all types of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. This includes advice on the employment aspects of transactions, investigations and restructurings as well as on mass dismissals and social plans. The team, which is headed by ‘exceptional leader and business mindAndreas Müller and Balz Gross, is particularly experienced in advising on executive remuneration and bonus schemes as well as tax aspects relating to executive pay. Claude Lambert focuses on corporate procedures relating to executive remuneration. Gregor Bühler advises at the intersection of IP, IT and employment law.

Practice head(s):

Balz Gross; Andreas Müller

Other key lawyers:

Claude Lambert; Gregor Bühler

Testimonials

‘Very responsive, pragmatic, cost-effective approach to any matter. I have not found many Swiss firms to be user-friendly from a client perspective, but Homburger have always been that, whilst maintaining clear and helpful legal advice.’

‘The Homburger practice under Andreas Mueller is experienced, mature and pragmatic in their counsel and approach to problem solving. They are crisp, to the point and concise in their communication which leads to a high degree of efficiency and effectiveness. They don’t pontificate – they provide excellent, relevant, practical counsel and they always have alternatives and implications so they allow executives and management to make good sound decisions.’

‘Andreas Mueller is an exceptional leader and business mind in addition to being a thoughtful and kind person. The combination of the depth and breath of his legal experience and combination, his strong business acumen and his personal attributes makes him stand out.’

Key clients

SAP

ABB

Credit Suisse

Bristol-Meyers Squibb

Baker Hughes

Kering

VectivBio

ASML Netherlands

Work highlights

  • Advised VectivBio on all employment- and executive compensation-related aspects, including in connection with its $110m crossover financing and on its IPO on Nasdaq.
  • Advised Kering on partly leaving Switzerland, on cross-border transferring employees, and on mass dismissals in its reorganisation of Swiss operations.
  • Advised Credit Suisse on employment related aspects of the merger with its wholly-owned subsidiary Neue Aargauer Bank.

Kellerhals Carrard

With its offices in Basel, Berne, Geneva, Lugano, Lausanne and Zurich, Kellerhals Carrard covers the country’s major cities and provides comprehensive employment law advice to national and international clients, including on the employment aspects of immigration and data protection matters. The practice is headed by certified specialist SBA employment Lawyer Urs Marti and specialist labour and employment lawyer Christoph Zimmerli. Ivan Paparelli and Jonathan Bernasconi have a focus on contentious employment matters. Michael Daphinoff specialises in arbitration matters. Daniel Alder is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Zimmerli; Urs Marti

Other key lawyers:

Ivan Paparelli; Jonathan Bernasconi; Michael Daphinoff; Daniel Alder

Key clients

CSL Behring AG and CSL Behring Lengnau AG

H&M Hennes & Mauritz AG

VF International Sagl (VANS, The North Face, Timberland, Dickies, Altra, Bulwark FR, Eagle Creek, Eastpak, Icebreaker, Jansport, Kipling and Napapijri)

Zegna Group (Consitex SA, Coti Service, Ermenegildo Zegna, Z Zegna, Agnona)

L’Oréal Suisse SA (L’Oréal Group)

Mayr-Melnhof Karton Aktiengesellschaft

Staar Surgical Company

International School of Berne AG

Work highlights

  • Represented CSL Behring regarding bonus payments to a member of the senior management and provided legal advice in connection with a complex outsourcing project/transfer of business to Thermo Fisher.
  • Advised Staar Surgical Company on the deployment of various managers to the US, from the US or to other European Countries and the Middle East.
  • Assisted Zegna Group (Consitex SA, Coti Service, Ermenegildo Zegna, Z Zegna, Agnona) with ongoing legal advice.

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin covers all aspects of private employment law, public labour law, social security, pensions and employment-related immigration issues. The team, which includes investigations group head Dominique Müller and Matthias Oertle, acts for employers as well as senior employees on matters relating to restructurings, the impact of M&A transactions on human resources, and pension fund conflicts. Clients include international corporations as well as international organisations and charities. Counsel Sara Rousselle-Ruffieux is ‘highly recommended‘ and jointly leads the practice with Daniel Tunik, who focuses on contentious work. Nicole Koch-Frey departed in 2021 and Rayan Houdrouge left the firm in April 2022.

Testimonials

‘We have always been very happy with the team’s responsiveness, depth and quality of advice.’

‘The qualities we value the most in Sara Rousselle Ruffieux is her ability to provide wise counsel – integrating both the technical issues involved in legal matters as well as the more human and emotional dimensions. We highly recommend her as a person and as a lawyer!’

‘Dominique Müller: To put into a nutshell: They are extremely smart and sharp. They are extremely hardworking, talented and understand how to “manage the client”.’

‘Very precise – very much into the important details – very sharp – extremely bright. Probably the best employment lawyers in Switzerland.’

Key clients

Allfunds Group

Cembra Money Bank

Insight Partners

Gyrus and DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS)

SoftwareONE

Fahrzeug-Werke Lueg AG (LUEG)

Hyundai Motor Company

Salt

Sunrise

NovImmune

Pfizer

Uber

Bain Capital/Cinven

Nomad Foods Ltd.

Tetra Pak

Elanco

Niederer Kraft Frey AG

Niederer Kraft Frey AG‘s ‘great‘ employment team advises clients, in general companies and senior employees, on the full array of contentious and non-contentious matters, such as the drafting of employment agreements, share plans and compensation schemes. The practice is jointly headed by ‘first-class employment lawyerCatherine Grun Meyer and ‘skillful litigatorValerie Meyer Bahar and frequently assists with employment advice on M&A transactions and restructurings, including issues regarding tax, social security and pensions law. The unit has recently seen an increase in discrimination cases relating to gender and age discrimination. Andreas Casutt, Thomas Sprecher and the ‘sharp-wittedLivia Keller are other key contacts.

Testimonials

‘Niederer Kraft Frey Ltd. delivers efficient, helpful, timely solutions which cover all the bases. Every eventuality is considered and managed.’

‘Catherine Grun is a pleasure to work with. Her advice is well thought out, measured and to the point. She has a capacity to understand and deal with what is going on at every level. She applies her deep legal expertise and broad industry knowledge to get to the results a client needs. She is a first-class employment lawyer.’

‘Livia Keller is sharp-witted, analytical and highly responsive.’

‘In Switzerland, NKF is considered to be a leading full-service firm, with a strong employment practice. We have experienced them to be very experienced, skillful and responsive. They have a great team and are very committed. In employment and litigation matters, we regularly work with Valerie Meyer. In our view, they are clearly a tier-1 team, with a very pragmatic and business-minded approach.’

‘Valerie Meyer is an experienced employment lawyer, as well as a skillful litigator. She is particularly good at navigating high-profile employment disputes – she vigorously defends our interests in court, but also knows how to broker a settlement, if this the preferred outcome. We trust her with our high-profile cases.’

‘Academically very good and also practically minded.’

‘The team showed very creative approach.’

‘Highly dedicated, extremely informed about the latest developments in law-enforcement practices.’

Key clients

Capvis Equity Partners AG

Coop

Globegarden

Global Blue and Silverlake

Klopman AG

Metalloinvest

PriceWaterhouseCoopers AG

Swiss Steel Holding AG (formerly Schmolz + Bickenbach)

HCM International Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised the shareholders of the single family office company of a high net-worth individual regarding the dismissal for cause (immediate termination) of the CEO of the family office as the CEO breached his duties, abused the trust of the family and acted in his own benefit instead of the company’s benefit. Deal value CHF1.6m.
  • Advised a large foreign bank with offices in Zurich in two employment litigation cases, one in which a former employee holds the bank accountable for his burnout, the other consists of a dispute with a former employee who was laid off because they stalked a co-worker. The deals in sum exceed a value of CHF 1 million.
  • Advised a client from the Swiss financial industry regarding litigation against the former top management, litigation against multiple former employees, against a discrimination claim of a former employee and advised the client in all aspects of employment law. Deal value CHF5m.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd ‘is the most competent firm for employment law matters in Geneva‘ offering the full scope of contentious and non-contentious employment law as well as all related social security, labour and immigration law matters. Practice head Vincent Carron has ‘outstanding technical and strategical skills‘ and shoulders a varied practice that includes unilateral and collective dismissals, structure of severance payments, aspects of international employee transfers, and international social security coordination. Christine Beusch-Liggenstorfer and Michael Hess are the key contacts in the Zurich office.

Practice head(s):

Vincent Carron

Testimonials

‘Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd Employment team, under the lead of Mr. Vincent Carron, is the most competent firm for employment law matters in Geneva. They constantly deliver with excellence including for very complex and highly technical topics in employment law matters.’

‘Vincent Carron is an extremely qualified employment lawyer, very responsive and engaged and with outstanding technical and strategical skills.’

‘The client’s service is excellent. Schellenberg Wittmer understands perfectly the industry and the needs of our activity.’

‘In regards to the labour law department, Vincent Carron is one of the most qualified lawyers in Geneva. His level of knowledge is very high and his approach in litigation cases is always strategic. He takes into account every aspect of a case (for example related to tax, insurance etc.. and not only the employment law side) and anticipates the issues that could occur in a procedure.’

‘I found Schellenberg Wittmer team (Michael Hess and his team) really professional and very supportive; able to give our company a great help in dealing with sensitive issues.’

‘Michael Hess is an outstanding professional in legislation knowledge and he’s a great leader who takes into considerations the different circumstances to be considered from a management point of view too.’

‘The attorneys are very specialised in particular fields of law and work together to provide the best expertise.’

‘Vincent Carron mastered the subject and is quite pragmatic. The collaboration with him is very pleasant, which is also of importance.’

Key clients

Cardinal Health

Ram Active Investments SA

Bouygues Construction

Procter & Gamble

Schroder Bank AG

Panalpina Welttransport (Holding) AG

SIX Group

ams AG

Axpo Holding

Work highlights

  • Advised Axpo Holding AG on the sale of Avectris AG, Baden, a major Swiss IT service provider for medium-sized companies, to Swiss IT-provider GIA Informatik AG, Oftringen.
  • Advised the client, an internationally active Luxembourg group of companies, in connection with the winding down of part of its operation in Switzerland and the termination of some eight high-profile employees in this office.
  • Advised a non-Swiss international airline company with a considerable number of employees in Switzerland that has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in connection with the procedure for applying for short-time work compensation in Switzerland, the consultation with and information of affected employees in this connection and the answering of queries by the employees in this connection.

Walder Wyss Ltd.

Walder Wyss Ltd. ‘is surely one of the best in Switzerland‘ when it comes to advice regarding all aspects of the employer-employee relationship, including employment contracts, international assignment of employees and transaction-related issues, in particular transfers of undertaking. The team is further adept at advising on internal investigations, plant closures as well as mass dismissals and assisting clients in any related negotiations and conflict resolution with individual employees, employee representatives and trade unions. Philippe Nordmann, who ‘stands out both professionally and as a coordinator‘, heads the practice together with Ueli Sommer, ‘a thoughtful lawyer with the best expertise and a lot of experience‘. Irène Suter-Sieber is noted for her ‘excellent knowledge of employment law‘. Rayan Houdrouge  joined the firm from Lenz & Staehelin .

Practice head(s):

Ueli Sommer; Philippe Nordmann

Other key lawyers:

Irène Suter-Sieber

Testimonials

‘The firm clearly stands out in the area of professional organisation. Among other things, Walder Wyss is able to quickly deliver extremely competent, client-oriented and equally useful results from all legal disciplines up to tax law issues. The legal results as well as the billing can be described as excellent which means that the cost-benefit ratio can also be described as optimal in comparison to the competitors.’

‘The extremely goal-oriented commitment of Philippe Nordmann is striking. He always manages (even when he is on holiday) to come up with a very effective and equally effective response to all (even unexpected) legal questions. If it does not concern his personal paper, it is handed over to a colleague without any loss of time. Philipp Nordmann stands out both professionally and as a coordinator. The entire team at Walder Wyss is also worth mentioning.’

‘Ueli Sommer is a thoughtful lawyer with the best expertise and a lot of experience.’

‘Irene Suter-Sieber always responds within a short timeframe and I can 100% rely on that I receive the advice within the communicated timeframe. In addition, the advice contains the necessary depth in each case, but is not too detailed. I can highly recommend Irene Suter-Sieber as a reliable external partner for all employment matters.’

‘Not only are they true experts in their fields, they also work efficiently and client-oriented. It is important for us to work with outstanding legal advisors, so the collaboration with Walder Wyss seemed always like the right choice.’

‘Philippe Nordmann’s legal knowledge is outstanding. What makes him special in my opinion is his extremely quick responsiveness and his strategic and pragmatic approach as well as his excellent social skills. He is always focused on the client’s needs. This very client-friendly manner to work is one of the reasons why we appreciate collaborating with Walder Wyss and Philippe Nordmann in particular.’

‘The employment practice of Walder Wyss Ltd. is surely one of the best ones in Switzerland, consisting of many stellar practitioners.’

‘I greatly value Philippe Nordmann. He is very smart, with excellent employment law knowledge, responsive, to the point, yet in-depth. I highly recommend him.’

Key clients

analpina

General Dynamics

WuXi AppTec (China), Hong Kong-listed

Bayer

Merck

Nestlé

Mediamarkt

Sanitas Healthcare

Regus

Implenia

BianchiSchwald LLC

BianchiSchwald LLC advises domestic and international companies on all employment, immigration and social security law matters. The team is headed by ‘great partnerStéphanie Fuld, who has a focus on complex participation plans, transfers and mass dismissal. Elodie Le Guen was made managing associate in 2020 and has ‘very strong legal knowledge‘ regarding bonus schemes, termination agreements and issues of secondment, among others. Recently, the team has been particularly active in assisting clients with COVID-related queries such as applications for state-funded subsidies, short-time work, the implementation of test and vaccination policies and remote working.

Practice head(s):

Stéphanie Fuld

Other key lawyers:

Elodie Le Guen

Testimonials

‘Flexible and responsive.’

‘Very precise and efficient.’

‘The team is very proactive on the cases and readily accessible. Every member can take over when needed and I have never had the feeling that one of our cases was kind of left behind when a member was out of office or not reachable.’

‘Stephanie Fuld is a great partner who follows the cases under her responsibility. She represents her clients well before courts of law. Elodie Le Guen is a great associate with a very strong legal knowledge and with always bright and wise ideas or strategies.’

‘The team has high-level expertise notably in litigation and employment law. It is responsive, attentive and competent. I particularly appreciate their sense of analysis and their ability to resolve the various legal issues that may arise.’

‘Strong communication, technicity (law knowledge) and conceptual clarity. Keenness to take up new challenges.’

‘Expertise of labour law, understanding of the clients’ environment and culture.’

Key clients

Almond Suisse Sàrl

UEFA/Union of European Football Associations

Philip Morris Products SA

TPG/Transports publics genevois

Le petit-fils de L.U. Chopard & Cie SA

Alcon Management SA

Dalkia Suisse SA

Roquette CH SA

Atlanticomnium SA

Debiopharm International SA

Work highlights

  • Assisted UEFA/Union of European Football Associations with a litigation matter.
  • Advised public transport company TPG/Transports publics genevois on a salary dumping issue.
  • Advised Le petit-fils de L.U. Chopard & Cie SA on a joint application of several bargaining agreements.

CMS

A focus of CMS’ employment team are international and cross-border employment matters where the unit can make use of its vast international firm network. As such, the Zurich-based team acts for a variety of international clients, such as listed multi-national corporations from, among others, the technology, manufacturing, communications and IT industries, who appreciate the group’s ‘clarity and precision’. Practice head Christian Gersbach provides ‘seamless’ and ‘always precise’ advice on all employment-related issues, including employment contracts, mass dismissals, corporate transactions, work permits and employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Christian Gersbach 

Testimonials

‘The key team’s strengths are clarity and precision of the advice.’

‘The cooperation with Mr Christian Gersbach was seamless and advice always precise and with view of the business needs.’

Key clients

Nike Inc.

Accenture AG

Denner AG

Corning Inc.

Diageo

BURSON COHN & WOLFE

Novelis

RUAG AG

nChain AG

Harald Quandt Industriebeteiligungen GmbH

ABB

Everbridge

Avectris

Work highlights

  • Assisted Nike with regard to all kinds of Swiss employment matters, including advising on specific employment relationships as well as on all employment law aspects of the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Advised Accenture AG with regard to specific employment matters (including advice with regard to the employment aspects of transactions) as well as on all employment law aspects of the COVID-19 crisis (e.g. home office questions, protection of employees at higher risk, etc.).
  • Advised Denner AG on all areas of employment law, including dismissals, termination agreements, the implementation of new regulations, employee representation matters, data protection issues, etc.

Eversheds Sutherland AG

Eversheds Sutherland AG acts for Swiss companies with international business as well as international corporations with headquarters in Switzerland on the full array of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law matters. The employment team, headed by Olivier Dunant and Peter Haas, shows ‘very good skills‘ and is ‘efficient and dedicated‘ when advising on the employment law aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions, work permits for foreign nationals, collective labour agreements and remuneration schemes as well as when representing clients in employment claims, such as disputes regarding short time work compensation, discrimination and dismissals.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Dunant; Peter Haas

Testimonials

‘Billing, diversity and quick feedback.’

‘Very good listening and understanding skills, efficient and dedicated.’

Key clients

Advanz Pharma Corp.

American Vintage

Benteler Trading International AG

CPEG – Caisse de prévoyance de l’Etat de Genève

Fédération des Entreprises Romandes, FER Genève

FiveT Hydrogen AG

MARTIFER – CONSTRUCOES METALOMECANICAS S.A., Oliveira de Frades (P), succursale de Genève

Aare Seeland mobil AG

Work highlights

  • Advised Advanz Pharma Corp and Mercury Pharma Group on the $76m acquisition of Correvio.
  • Assisted American Vintage with the merger of two Swiss subsidiaries.
  • Provided employment law and global mobility training for members of the main employer’s organisation in Geneva, Fédération des Entreprises Romandes, FER Genève, for over 10 years.

MLL Legal

MLL Legal provides advice on all employment law issues as well as the related fields of social security and immigration law to a broad variety of Swiss and international companies. Following the merger with Froriep, the employment practice is jointly headed by ‘very pragmatic‘ and ‘responsiveThomas Kälin and Alain Gros. The group has particular experience in the banking and retail sectors, but advises clients from all sectors on major transactions, restructurings and outsourcings, as well as all aspects of labour relations, including bonus packages, dismissals and pension matters. Nadine Von Büren-Maier, Guy-Philippe Rubeli and Martin Ammann are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Kälin; Alain Gros

Testimonials

‘What makes this practice unique is both the broad range in expertise as well as very skilled individuals on all levels. What also impressed us is the very open and modern culture of the firm which certainly helps to attract such skilled talents.’

‘Thomas Kälin continues to impress us with his skills in employment law, both as an expert in employment law as well as his experience as a litigator.’

‘Thomas Kälin: Very pragmatic approach, subject matter expert, broad knowledge.’

‘Martin Ammann: Highly professional, knows the market and legal practice very well and I enjoy working with him.’

‘Never had a lawyer who answered so quickly!’

‘Very flexible, pragmatic, fast, with a sense of humour.’

‘MLLL is extremely reliable. You get helpful, goal-oriented and precise answers fast. The legal advice is practical and always focused on the relevant legal questions.’

‘Thomas Kälin: very responsive, can easily adapt to his audience, clear and practical advice which focuses on the relevant topics and does not get lost in minor legal topics. He clearly has experience with cross-border topics and the need of clients who are not familiar with the Swiss legal system.’

Key clients

Avobis Group

Calida group of companies

Coca-Cola

GANT

Gold Standard Foundation

H&H Group

HolidayCheck

Jabil

Maisons du Monde

Nets Group / Concardis

Neurim Pharmaceuticals

PADI EMEA

RENAULT

STIHL Vertriebs AG

Swiss Export Risk Insurance

Swiss International Air Lines Ltd

Swiss Retail Federation

Switzerland for UNHCR Foundation

Tesla

Unicef

Veeam Software Group GmbH

Willis Towers Watson

Zurich Insurance Company

Work highlights

  • Assisted SWISS with the planning, preparation and execution of a mass dismissal process, conducting several parallel consultation proceedings with different employee groups and their respective unions and negotiating several social plans in parallel.
  • Assisted the US-based manufacturing solutions provider JABIL with the employment aspects of a substantial business transfer involving more than 2,300 employees in Switzerland.
  • Successfully defended a major Swiss bank in a bonus litigation case, securing full dismissal of the claims by the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

MME Legal | Tax | Compliance

The ‘fast-growing employment practice‘ at MME Legal | Tax | Compliance provides ‘excellent solutions and service‘ ‘that are tailor-made to the client’s business needs‘. The ‘excellent team‘ covers the full array of advisory and litigation employment services for corporate clients and individuals, including representation in proceedings regarding discrimination and wrongful termination matters as well as in disputes with labour unions. Practice head Michèle Stutz ‘is a profound and very experienced employment practitioner‘ and a member of the commission for specialised employment lawyers of the Swiss bar association. The ‘outstandingMartina Aepli, who made partner in 2022, as well as Raphael BrunnerAlexandra Geiger and Raffael Blattmann are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Michèle Stutz

Other key lawyers:

Martina Aepli; Raffael Blattmann; Raphael Brunner; Alexandra Geiger

Testimonials

‘They are technically excellent, commercially very astute and incredibly pleasant to work with.’

‘Michèle Stutz and Martina Aepli are outstanding individuals.’

‘Fast-growing employment practice; innovative in offering useful client information/updates.’

‘Michèle Stutz is a profound and very experienced employment practitioner’

‘A personalised touch that made me feel that MME cares about my topic and questions, always available and excellent knowledge and articulation’

‘Michèle Stutz is very polite and in the meantime competent; she has a practical approach to all the employment law matters and gives precise answers. I recommend her without hesitation.’

‘The team is amazing and very well suited to handle complex cross-border issues. They are very knowledgable and passionate about their work. They really want to make a difference for the client’s business; not only provide a legal answer but find practical, smart solutions that are tailor-made to the client’s business needs.’

‘Michèle Stutz is very smart and committed. She is a top notch professional.’

Pestalozzi

Pestalozzi advises corporate clients and senior employees on the full range of employment matters as well as all related aspects of immigration and labour law. The unit is particularly adept at advising on agreements regarding senior employees, such as executive remuneration, bonus schemes and any related disputes, as well as terminations, mass redundancies, and employee transfers following corporate restructurings. Clients ‘particularly like to work with‘ Martin L Müller, who has vast experience with board-level disputes, discrimination and whistleblowing cases. The ‘very pragmaticChristian Roos specialises in mass dismissals, restrictive covenants and social plan negotiations.

Testimonials

‘Very client-oriented and responsive. More pragmatic and hands-on than other firms we worked with.’

‘We particularly like to work with Martin Müller in the field of employment law.’

‘Christian Roos is very pragmatic, responsive, clear and solutions-focused.’

‘Very fast response time and pragmatic advise.’

‘Very good availability of the partners and detailed knowledge on the company I work in.’

Key clients

Agilent Technologies

APG

AXA XL

Covagen

Ferrexpo AG

Froneri International Limited

Glencore

Johnson&Johnson

Medos International SA

Senior Executive of SIX (Swiss Stock Exchange)

Shire International LLC

Synthes GmbH, Synthes Produktions GmbH

Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Zimmer GmbH

Work highlights

  • Advised AXA XL on the variation of contracts of all its 300 Swiss employees, triggering a mass dismissal and the roll-out of amended work conditions.
  • Advised Medos International SA, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, on the closure of three different sites in the canton of Neuenburg.
  • Advised the board of listed APG, an outdoor advertising company, on the remuneration of its top senior management under the Swiss say on pay rules in light of the business disruption caused by COVID-19.

VISCHER

VISCHER‘s employment practice advises on all aspects of employment and labour law as well as related fields of immigration, social security, pensions and data protection. The team is highly experienced in major corporate restructurings and all related issues, such as union disputes and strikes, and has further notable experience with internal investigations regarding gender discrimination and harassment. Specialist for executive remuneration, staffing and all employment related issues of restructurings Marc Ph. Prinz heads the practice and is supported by co-heads Anela Lucic and Gerald Virieux from the Basel and Geneva offices respectively.

Key clients

Covance/LabCorp

Acino

Audatex/Solera

Alpha Financial Markets

Nobel Biocare

Invacare Corporation

FARO Technologies Yes

Robeco Switzerland Ltd. Yes

HAYS plc No

Proman Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Covance/LabCorp on a contentious restructuring of its Geneva operations.
  • Assisted HAYS Switzerland on all matters involving the highly regulated staffing business (placement and staff leasing).
  • Advised Nobel Biocare on various ongoing court cases including a contentious harassment matter and various bonus disputes.

Bratschi Ltd

The employment practice at Bratschi Ltd is headed by certified specialist employment lawyer Angela Hensch and Tobias Herren and offers a broad array of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law advice in addition to covering related topics. This includes support regarding employment issues in transactions, employee incentive schemes, including share and stock option plans, business transfers, collective redundancies and social plans. The team has a particular specialisation in public law-related employment advice regarding, among others, civil servants.

Practice head(s):

Angela Hensch; Tobias Herren

Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés

One of the focus areas of boutique business law firm Gillioz Dorsaz & Associés is employment law where the unit advises on all aspects of private and public employment law, including related areas such as pensions, social insurance, data protection and unfair competition. The team surrounding practice head Vanessa Maraia-Rossel is adept at advising on employee remuneration schemes, business transfers, transfers of employees, individual as well as collective dismissals and assists clients with the resolution of any corresponding disputes before judicial and administrative authorities.

Practice head(s):

Vanessa Maraia-Rossel

id est avocats sàrl

id est avocats sàrl acts for individuals and corporate clients on a wide range of employment matters, including the day-to-day employment issues, such as employee contracts, transfers and terminations, as well as assistance with internal investigations and support on the employment issues in connection with corporate transactions. Juliette Ancelle heads the employment practice and is experienced in the setting up of employee incentive schemes, negotiating work packages for senior executives and assisting with internal investigations and employment disputes.

Practice head(s):

Juliette Ancelle 

Lustenberger + Partners

Boutique Lustenberger Rechtsanwälte focuses on dispute resolution and non-contentious employment matters, including the related areas of immigration law and data protection. The team, which includes Caroline Lutz, acts for individuals as well as national and international corporations and is adept at handling the employment aspects of restructurings, internal investigations and transactions. Alternative methods of dispute resolution are also offered. Practice head Monika McQuillen provides ‘provides practical, actionable answers‘ when resolving complex employment disputes in and out of court.

Practice head(s):

Monika McQuillen

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Lutz

Testimonials

‘This practice is unique in Switzerland because the team really understand the implications of running a business and how to apply the law to individual client situations, particularly within multinationals. This distinguishes them from many other Swiss lawyers.’

‘Monika McQuillen is an excellent listener, takes the time to understand the situation from all angles, and provides practical, actionable answers. She is always a pleasure to work with.’

‘Fast, goal-oriented support.’

‘The firm has profound legal know-how and extensive practical experience in private as well as public employment law and social security law. Furthermore, the practice combines in an excellent way its technical legal expertise and its understanding for practical solutions, using its mediation and arbitration skills.’

‘In addition to their legal qualities and skills, the involved attorneys-at-law disposed of a pronounced sense for interpersonal challenges and emotions.’

‘Lustenberger Attorneys provide tailor-made advice in a timely and cost-effective way. Their friendly approach is also much appreciated.’

‘They know our business activities and provide their advice and assistance to meet our specific needs and requirements. Communication is easy and friendly.’

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte offers employment advice across a broad spectrum of matters ranging from ‘giving advice on day-to-day employment concerns to advising on complex employment strategies and questions‘. The team, headed by Thomas Loher, is specialised in matters concerning executive employees, such as CEOs and managing directors, frequently negotiating hiring and termination packages whilst acting for both the employer as well as employee side. ‘Outstanding employment law expert’ Anna Neukom Chaney made partner in 2022. Arlette Pfister and Markus Alder are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Loher

Testimonials

‘Anna Neukom Chaney is an outstanding employment law expert with vast experience also in litigation matters. She not only has profound knowledge and experience in both fields, but also a very quick mind.’

‘Thouvenin gets concrete results and doesn’t shy away from giving practical advice.’

‘Anna Neukom Chaney is one of the top employment law specialists on the Swiss market, professional, results-oriented and highly respected by clients and colleagues for her practice-based knowledge and straightforward, practical advice.’

‘Extremely dedicated, fast, reliable, with a deep understanding of our business aspects. High social competence, ideal for long-term relationships.’

‘The cooperation is valued by both sides. We are supported and advised extremely well.’

‘Anna Neukom Chaney is an outstanding employment law specialist and communicates at eye level. She is reliable, duteous and takes on any topic.’

‘The team’s practitioners are dedicated and provide timely and valued advice for all our employment law issues, including representation in court.’

‘Anna Neukom Chaney is of an entrepreneurial nature and she is personally invested in the success of her clients. She understands not only our legal, but also our business needs as well as internal processes. She is extremely reliable and renders tailor-made, but still pragmatic advice and follows a cost-efficient approach. We greatly appreciate her hands-on client relationship management and her open and friendly nature – she is perfect to work with!’

Wenger Plattner

Wenger Plattner‘s employment team acts for companies and high-level employees with a focus on dispute resolution, in particular regarding complex termination and bonus disputes. Additionally, the practice, which is headed by Roland Bachmann, handles related disputes, such as non-competition clauses, conducts arbitral proceedings in collective labour law disputes and assists with the employment aspects of company transactions, restructurings and outsourcing projects, including mass dismissals and social plans matters. Damian Schai joined the unit from Lenz · Caemmerer · Bender in 2020.

Practice head(s):

Roland Bachmann 

Other key lawyers:

Damian Schai