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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 > Insolvency and corporate recovery > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Insolvency and corporate recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Who Represents Who

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Clients see Schellenberg Wittmer Ltdat the forefront of Geneva’s legal market’, especially in insolvency matters. The ‘excellent’ team advises distressed companies, acts as receiver or liquidator for the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and also handles foreign bankruptcies. ‘Well-seasoned practitionerVincent Jeanneret, who is ‘very focused on practical solutions and possesses a sharp mind and excellent leadership skills’, was recently appointed as administrator for Petroplus Refining Cressier and the group was also appointed as special liquidator of life insurance group Zenith Vie following its bankruptcy. Other active clients are Foundation Hypotheka and Supra Assurances. ‘Exceptional’ of counsel Olivier Hari is a ‘cutting-edge expert’ and a ‘leading academic in the insolvency field’.

Wenger Plattner regularly receives liquidation appointments by FINMA, but also represents creditors and is further adept at advising both creditors and debtors on business restructuring. In a recent highlight, the team defended Banque Hottinger & Cie’s schedule of claims against creditors who are former bank clients. Swiss Dairy Food, Unifina and Swissair are other clients. Practice lead Karl Wüthrich, Brigitte Umbach-Spahn, Stephan Kesselbach and Fritz Rothenbühler are the key contacts.

Baker McKenzie exhibits experience in advising distressed businesses and creditors on multijurisdictional insolvency matters, while the team is particularly adept at assisting banks with the refinancing of insolvent companies. Recent highlights include advising Credit Suisse on the financing of a European fashion designer. Zurich-based lawyers Lukas Glanzmann and Richard Gassmann form the core team. Rodolphe Gautier joined Walder Wyss and Florian Bommer left to found BommerMathys Rechtsanwälte. Martin Anderson is now with Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. has a strong focus on assisting private equity companies with restructurings, but also represents creditors in insolvency proceedings and advises investors and shareholders on risk mitigation. In a recent highlight, the group assisted Credit Suisse and UBS with the recapitalisation program of Meyer Burger Technology. In other work, the Geneva team acted as supervisors appointed by FINMA on the bankruptcy of Banque Privée Espírito Santo. Thomas Rohde is the main contact; Urs Kägi, Cédric Chapuis and Christoph Neeracher are other names to note. Martin Anderson was a new arrival from Baker McKenzie in August 2018.

Kellerhals Carrardhas successfully established a brand which stands for expertise and reliability’ and is renowned for its experience in insolvency and liquidation proceedings. The team represented a consortium of banks in a liquidation investigation of a developer who had previously been granted a CHF3m overdraft facility by the clients. The lawyers also represented FINMA during the liquidation of a Swiss broker. Lehman Brothers Holdings is another longstanding client. Daniel Staehelin and Lukas Bopp ‘combine technical excellence and precise wording with pragmatism and a focus on the practical result’.

The ‘truly outstandingLenz & Staehelin consists of ‘excellent, very responsive teams’ that ‘pair legal knowledge with practical experience in court, thus providing reliable advice’. A major focus is the representation of creditors in enforcement proceedings, as well as business restructuring advice for companies in and out of court. 2017 highlights included advising international vodka producer and alcohol distributor Roust Group on its restructuring and assisting the creditors and financial institutions with Petroplus Marketing’s insolvency. Team lead Tanja Luginbühl is a ‘good strategic and conceptual thinker’ who offers a ‘very high level of professionalism and a deep understanding of business needs’. Further recommended are the ‘commercial and confidentRoland Fischer, the ‘pleasant-to-work-withDominique Müller and ‘very good’ associate Anja Affolter.

Pestalozzi has ‘good experience in Swiss insolvency law’ and regularly represents debtors, creditors and liquidators in contentious proceedings. Recent highlight work includes advising Metinvest on its debt restructuring through newly listed senior secured notes. Florian Mohs and Thomas Murmann are recommended for the ‘excellent quality of their work’. Other names to note are Zurich team lead Thomas Rohner and his Geneva-based counterpart Christophe Emonet.

Homburger’s ‘industry and product knowledge is a real asset, combined with excellent response times and reliable advice’; clients particularly recommend the ‘well-trained team and the outstanding business acumen of its lawyers’, who predominantly handle bankruptcy proceedings, restructurings as well as related transactional and capital market matters. An ongoing highlight is the development of bail-in instruments and resolution planning advice provided to clients such as Credit Suisse and UBS. René Bösch and Benjamin Leisinger both have ‘deep knowledge in recovery and resolution topics’ and are ‘creative and reliable when developing new products and solutions’. Stefan Kramer took over the practice lead from senior counsel Ueli Huber in January 2017.

Niederer Kraft Frey focuses on restructuring and recovering measures and represents creditors, liquidators, companies and banks in proceedings as well as in related contentious matters. Particular expertise exists regarding the Financial Market Infrastructure Act, banking insolvency regulation and regulatory enforcement proceedings. The team advised Valartis Group on several insolvency and bankruptcy matters following its moratorium, especially with regards to the enforcement of financing and security arrangements. Leclanché, Bundesverband Deutscher Banken and the Association for Financial Markets in Europe also receive legal services from the practice. Thomas Sprecher, Marco Häusermann and Bertrand Schott are the key advisers.

Prager Dreifuss AG’s team is ‘excellent in every way’ and offers ‘great insolvency advice’ to creditors and financial institutions, which often includes cross-border aspects. In a recent highlight, the practice represented Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas as security agent in the insolvency of Petroplus. Klaus Tschira Stiftung, Halcyon Asset Management and Magnetar Capital are also active clients. Daniel Hayek has ‘in-depth knowledge of the market, an outstanding network and superb legal expertise’.

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd provides ‘services of good value’: the lawyers act as and for public receivers in insolvency proceedings, serve as liquidators, administrators or investigating agents and also advise creditors on bankruptcies and defend them in clawback actions, such as the Swiss Climate Cent Foundation against the liquidators of Petroplus Marketing. In another highlight, the group advised Atrib Management and Atrib Group on bankruptcy proceedings. The client roster also includes Healthtronics. Marc Bernheim and the ‘responsive’ Philipp Känzig, who is ‘very pleasant to work with’, are the main contacts.

Vischer is known for its expertise in liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings revolving around banks. The practice successfully defended PwC in its role as liquidator of Lehman Brothers Finance in court proceedings brought by two companies of the Klaus Tschira group. Clients also include Weidenareal Metall and LoneStar. Team lead David Jenny, Markus Guggenbühl, Jana Essebier and Christian Oetiker are the key advisers.

Walder Wyss Ltd regularly handles multijurisdictional insolvency proceedings and restructuring matters. In recent highlights, the group advised the Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders and Lenders as supporting creditors of Pacific Exploration & Production in its DIP financing transaction and also continues to advise foreign administrators and creditors regarding Petroplus’ ongoing insolvency. Counsel Christoph Stäubli and Mark Reutter are the names to note.

Bratschi Ltd’s ‘proactive’ team is ‘very experienced and provides clear practical advice’, predominantly on claim enforcement pertaining to bankruptcy or liquidation proceedings, bankruptcy law and corporate reorganisation. Recent highlights include advising the insolvent multinational company American Apparel on its liquidation and representing Raiffeisen Bank International as creditor on the Erb group insolvency. The ‘friendly and reliable’ Mirco Ceregato ‘shows excellent professional skills which he deploys in a very practical way’ and jointly heads the practice with litigator Daniel Glasl.

Froriep’s insolvency team ‘is really good to work with’ and represents companies, individuals and trustees in insolvency proceedings, restructuring matters, as well as in related disputes. Grub Brugger Rechtsanwälte and Paramount Securities & Trust Company are among the group’s active clients. Sabina Schellenberg is ‘very knowledgeable and hands-on at the same time’. Marcel Steinegger and Jérôme de Montmollin are other names to note.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) acts for companies, creditors and investors on debt collection, transactions, insolvency proceedings and contentious matters. Highlight work included advising DK Company on insolvency proceedings of its Swiss distributor. Marcel Lustenberger, Alexander Vogel, Christian Schilly, Alain Le Fort and Reinhard Oertli are the key contacts.

Wenger & Vieli’s ‘quality team’ is ‘extremely knowledgeable’ and offers ‘excellent value and immediate response times’. A major focus lies on the representation of creditors in contentious insolvency proceedings, while the lawyers also provide insolvency advice to financial institutions and in restructuring cases. The team is advising former board members of Swissair on the company’s insolvency and also served as administrator and then liquidator in Helvetia Wealth’s composition proceedings. The ‘patient yet determinedMartin Hess is recommended, while Georg Zondler and Pascal Honold are also noted.

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Legal Developments in Switzerland for Insolvency and corporate recovery

  • Cowen Acquires Quarton Group

    Cowen Inc., a NASDAQ listed, diversified financial services firm, agreed to acquire the Quarton group, a global financial advisor serving the middle market. Closing is expected in early 2019.

Legal Developments in Switzerland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to

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.