Employment in Switzerland
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.
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'.
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 AG 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.
MME Legal | Tax | Compliance
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.