Firms To Watch: Insurance

Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG is a litigation and arbitration boutique with a specialisation in insurance disputes and a focus on representing policy holders in high-value claims.

Insurance in Switzerland

gbf Attorneys-at-law Ltd

gbf Attorneys-at-law Ltd acts for insurance and reinsurance carriers in insurance claims proceedings and insurance regulatory matters. The practice, jointly headed by Lars Gerspacher, Dominik Skrobala, Clemens von Zedtwitz and Nando Stauffer von May, accompanies clients in all stages of the business life cycle, beginning with the drafting of business plans to obtain licenses all the way to advice during the run-off period following the withdrawal of the relevant license. Clients appreciate that the team ‘fully understands the value chain from corporate and insurance regulatory matters to products and claims‘ and can ‘represent carriers in claims disagreements and disputes‘, all at ‘great value for the money‘.

Testimonials

‘Dominik Skrobala is highly responsible and focused, excellent knowledge in insurance regulatory matters. Very good value for money, pragmatic client- and business-oriented approach.’

‘Definitely a go-to- address for insurance matters.’

‘Clemens von Zedtwitz is an experienced and trusted insurance lawyer. He combines sound business expertise and profound legal knowledge. Always a pleasure working with him and his team.’

‘The people are absolute experts, very hands-on and committed. Reasonable billing and good value for money.’

‘Clemens von Zedtwitz is for me the go-to lawyer for insurance-related cases in Switzerland. He is very experienced, expresses himself very well, his English is outstanding and he has a personal approach. He knows what he is talking about.’

‘Boutique law firm specializing on insurance and insurance regulatory matters. The fully understand the value chain from corporate and insurance regulatory matters to products and claims. They understand the insurance industry and can give comprehensive and well-measured advice in regulatory matters, and also represent carriers in claims disagreements and disputes. Low overhead cost as a boutique firm and therefore great value for the money.’

‘Nando Stauffer von May is highly skilled.’

‘Lars Gerspacher: One of the best non-life insurance lawyers in Zurich, Lars has the ability to advise strategically and navigate difficult litigations and discussions with ease.’

Key clients

AIG Europe

Allianz Suisse

AXA Assurances SA

AXA Corporate Solutions

AXA XL

Beazley Insurance DAC

Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance

Bupa, London

Chubb Insurance

Chubb Insurance

Ergo Insurance

FM Insurance

HDI Global

Helvetia Insurance Co.

Markel Insurance SE Germany

Markel International Insurance UK

MS Amlin AG

Tryg Forsikring A/S, Ballerup, Zurich Branch

XL Insurance Company SE

Prager Dreifuss AG

Prager Dreifuss AG has ‘one of the leading insurance practices in Switzerland‘ acting for national and international insurers and reinsurers on contentious and non-contentious matters. The team is adept at providing advice on all aspects of insurance law and acts as counsel for large insurance companies, both as counsel for primary insurers as well as supervising counsel for reinsurers. An area of particular expertise are insurance and reinsurance investigations in connection with professional indemnity, D&O liability, property and construction losses as well as product liability – an area of particular focus of practice head and ‘excellent litigatorChristoph Graber.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Graber 

Testimonials

‘Their work has a very high quality and they have not only an excellent understanding of the legal aspects in case, but also an excellent understanding of the position of an insurer and the insurance market. They are knowledgeable, savvy in strategical matters, extremely experienced, and also well connected in the French speaking part of Switzerland.’

‘They are one of the leading insurance practices in Switzerland.’

‘Prager Dreifuss AG has just the right dimensions: not too small and not to big. Thus a very pleasant personal contact, but at the same time one knows that you can trust to have a sufficiently large number of people with an ample variety of different profiles and skills in almost all sectors. The teams are all close-knit and well balanced and the level of quality is always kept under control and guaranteed. This makes clients and correspondents feel safe.’

‘The impression is to work with lawyers who are not only very competent, reliable and experienced, but also wise and distinguished. The knowledge of the insurance law and market of Christoph Graber is in my opinion unique and of course his professional and personal contacts in this field are great.’

‘Christoph Graber is a go-to partner for complex insurance and reinsurance advice and dispute work. He understands London and international markets and is commercial as well as technical. He has huge experience in the reinsurance field. Christoph is practical and great to work with.’

‘Christoph Graber has very clear thinking, identifies and advises the client on the key issues concerned and provides the solutions to the problems the client faces. He is very responsive with a hands-on approach. I would certainly opt to work with him in the future and I would strongly recommend him to clients.’

‘The insurance team of Prager Dreifuss has many years of experience in insurance and reinsurance law. Their team is highly skilled and very dedicated to its clients, making them one of the leading providers in this field.’

‘Christoph Graber is a very experienced and highly regarded insurance lawyer with an excellent reputation for insurance and reinsurance litigation. He and his team are very dedicated.’

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd advises on all issues regarding the regulation and establishing of insurers and reinsurers as well as on insurance and reinsurance portfolios. The team, headed by cover disputes specialist Alexander von Ziegler, is further adept at advising on co- and reinsurance schemes, issues concerning insurance brokers, defense matters und all types of liability insurance programmes, fraud defense as well as cover issues and is experienced in multi-jurisdictional litigation. Zurich key contact Olivier Favre has a focus on insurance and re-insurance regulation while Tarek Houdrouge, key contact in the Geneva office, is experienced in insurance broker matters. Grégoire Tribolet made partner in 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Grégoire Tribolet

Key clients

Uber

Work highlights

  • Advised a company on the set-up of a brokerage business in Switzerland.
  • Advised a major insurance company on regulatory aspects of cross-border insurance products.
  • Provided advice and assistance to a major transport company regarding insurance products.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. offers a full-service practice to its clients from the insurance and reinsurance industry, including local and national insurers, insurance groups and intermediaries. A specialty of the team is advice regarding insurance sector-specific M&A and financings, such as portfolio transfers under the Swiss Insurance Supervision Act, share and asset deals, mergers, voluntary group restructurings and cross-border relocations. Practice head Peter Hsu is an outstanding lawyer‘ who advises insurers, reinsurers and insurance intermediaries on regulatory, corporate, M&A and contract law issues and represents them in enforcement proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Peter Hsu

Testimonials

‘Great insurance know-how and a practical approach to solve issues.’

‘Bär & Karrer is undoubtedly one of Switzerland’s leading law firms. They are well integrated and offer a wide range of services.’

‘Peter Hsu is an outstanding lawyer offering both sound business judgement and excellent legal know-how.’

‘The team are efficient and pragmatic, whilst clearly having a deep understanding of Swiss law and regulation and the expectations of FINMA, providing practical advice quickly and with great thought and care.’

‘Peter Hsu is very responsive, clear and to the point and his team is efficient and advice is well structured and user-friendly.’

Key clients

AXA

Zurich Insurance Group

Swiss Life

Swiss Re

Allianz

Chubb

Generali

Mobiliar

AON Schweiz AG

Marsh AG/Mercer (Switzerland) AG

Credendo

CSS Versicherung AG

CMS

CMS has a strong footprint in litigation and arbitration for insurance and reinsurance clients, including intermediaries, with particular strength in D&O liability as well as coverage disputes. Further, the team of practice head Jodok Wicki is experienced in advising on the legal, tax and regulatory aspects of insurance and re-insurance policies, broker agreements as well as on the structuring, issuance, marketing and distribution of insurance products, ‘especially in the area of financial lines insurance products and insurance policies‘.

Practice head(s):

Jodok Wicki

Testimonials

‘Excellent reputation in the industry.’

‘Excellent client focus.’

‘Specialised in the field of insurance law and jurisdiction/case law with many years of experience especially in the area of financial lines insurance products and insurance policies. Specialised knowledge in handling of complex financial losses with a focus on damages of banks and financial institutions with its liability issues.’

‘Specialists with seniority and an excellent reputation in the industry/market.’

Key clients

AIG

AXA XL

Work highlights

  • Provided coverage advice regarding a claim under PI policies for a financial services company.
  • Coverage advice to a Swiss bank regarding Lloyds BBB policy relating to undue actions of employee in connection with structured financial products and handling of client accounts.

Kellerhals Carrard

The insurance and liability team at Kellerhals Carrard advises on all matters relating to private insurance contracts law as well as re-insurance law and has an enviable track record in the resolution of insurance law disputes covering issues such as D&O claims, property damage matters and professional indemnity cases. Recent matters related to coverage disputes over cyber-risks and the COVID-19 pandemic. Christoph Frey, Pascal Grolimund, Thomas Eichenberger, Nicolas Gillard and Ivan Paparelli head the Zurich, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano offices respectively. The team is lauded for being ‘very high-skilled, accessible and swift‘.

Testimonials

‘Very high professional competence and great commitment.’

‘Pragmatic and solution-oriented approach with strong focus on liability insurance carrier needs.’

‘Christoph Frey always manages to provide a very efficient and client-oriented service.’

‘Christoph Frey is always available, reliable and competent with a good sense of humour.’

‘We are impressed by the way Kellerhals Carrard is able to provide high-quality advice in every area of law. Inquiries can be made through our contacts, and in each case, the work is allocated to the specialists within the firm to provide fast support. In addition, the cooperation is also enriching on a personal level.’

‘Thomas Eichenberger has broad experience in the healthcare and insurance market in Switzerland. His strength is his precise, efficient way of working, tailored to our needs.We appreciate their exceptional legal skills and their uncomplicated, pragmatic and solutions orientated approach.’

‘The team and the firm have various knowledges and key capabilities. As a client, we have a single point of contact. This makes it very efficient for us as a client, our requests are treated in one answer.’

‘The individuals I work with are very high-skilled, accessible and swift. Deadlines are always observed.’

Key clients

KPT Versicherungen AG

Visana Services AG

Baloise Insurance Ltd

Chubb Insurance (Switzerland) Limited

AXA Insurance Ltd

AIG Europe S.A., Luxembourg; Branch Opfikon; Zürich Glattbrugg

Swiss Re International SE, Luxembourg, Zurich Branch,

Swiss Mobiliar Insurance Company Ltd

Catlin Europe SE, Cologne, Zurich Branch

Allianz Suisse Insurance Company Ltd

Helvetia Swiss Insurance Company Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented Swiss watchmaker and jewelry company in a $100m coverage dispute against Zurich Insurance Company Ltd.
  • Represented three former board members in a multi-billion dollar D&O litigation.
  • Represented a major insurance company in an arbitration proceeding under Swiss Rules regarding a coverage dispute of a liability insurance, with the amount in dispute approx. $50m.

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin offers ‘seamless service of a very high quality‘ to its broad range of insurance and reinsurance clients, including established multinational life and non-life insurers and reinsurers as well as start-ups, intermediaries, financial institutions, capital providers and regulators. The team headed by co-heads Olivier Stahler and Lukas Morscher gives regulatory, transactional and commercial advice and represents clients in claims regarding, among others, coverage disputes. A speciality of the unit are re-domiciliations and restructurings of insurance market participants as well as advice regarding run-offs. Insurance policies law and portfolio transfers are other areas of strength.

Testimonials

‘We received a seamless service of a very high quality.’

‘Lukas Morscher impressed with the right blend of commercial awareness and ability to explain and apply the Swiss legal and regulatory provisions.’

Key clients

Baloise Insurance Holding

consimo

Caterpillar Insurance Company

Generali

Liberty Mutual

Resolution Life

Schweizerische Mobiliar Versicherungsgesellschaft AG

TransRe

Unilever Reinsurance AG

Vaudoise Assurances Holding SA

Work highlights

  • Advised a global reinsurance group of companies on regulatory and transactional aspects, structuring and negotiations for a long-term strategic collaboration for reinsurance of insurance portfolios of major Swiss insurance company.
  • Advised a Swiss group of social security institutions on the legal and regulatory aspects of negotiating and restructuring a joint venture with other major institutions for the development and licensing of core industry solutions.

Pestalozzi

Pestalozzi advises clients from the insurance industry on a wide range of regulatory, transactional, insurance litigation matters as well as insurance and reinsurance contracts. Working closely with the banking regulatory department of the firm, the team is also adept at advising on insurance-linked financial services products and services. Christoph G Lang, Andrea Huber and Beat Schwarz jointly head the practice. Schwarz is ‘very knowledgeable about corporate transactions in the insurance sector‘ and Huber is ‘very experienced in the field of supervisory law‘. Lang frequently advises clients on policy and governance issues. Counsel Markus Winkler was a new arrival in June 2022.

Other key lawyers:

Markus Winkler

Testimonials

‘The team has always acted very pragmatically, demonstrated an excellent commercial understanding, and proved to have an in depth understanding of Swiss insurance (supervisory) law. It was truly a pleasure to work with the entire Pestalozzi team and we can highly recommend them!’

‘The team has a holistic approach and thinks in a solution-oriented way. Supporting their client is definitively their number one priority. Beat Schwarz: Excellent and efficient advice. Very knowledgeable about corporate transactions in the insurance sector. Andrea Huber: Very experienced in the field of supervisory law.’

‘The team was very knowledgeable, very responsive even at unsocial hours and able to give technical advice, but also suggest commercial solutions.’

‘I really enjoy working with Beat Schwarz – he is very responsive and knowledgeable, has a great relationship with the regulator and is able to suggest commercial alternatives.’

‘Friendly, collaborative and willing to help on small and large matters.’

‘Beat Schwarz is knowledgeable, helpful and efficient on corporate and regulatory insurance matters.’

‘The services of Pestalozzi are absolutely accurate. Legal advice is delivered on the money and without any unnecessary statements. We appreciate the economic and client-driven approach.’

Key clients

Acquiney

AIG

AmTrust Financial

AXA Climate

AXA XL

AXIS

Bolttech (i-surance AG)

Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse Insurance Linked Strategies AG

Howden

Hyperion Insurance Group

Swiss Life

The Prudential Insurance Company of America

Work highlights

  • Advised insurtech unicorn Bolttech on its acquisition of i-surance AG and its expansion in Europe.
  • Advised Swiss Life on transactional matters.
  • Advised AXA XL on regulatory, contract, transactional as well as litigation matters.

VISCHER

The insurance clients of VISCHER, which include insurance companies, brokers and insured parties, come to the firm for regulatory, corporate and coverage issues, including D&O and crime policies, property policies and financial line policies. The practice is headed by Daniele Favalli who has a specialisation in coverage analysis, coverage claims, and coverage litigation. Tina Jäger is noted for her experience in insurance litigation representing insurance companies and their insured before Swiss courts.

Practice head(s):

Daniele Favalli

Other key lawyers:

Tina Jäger

Key clients

AIG

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s insurance team is ‘equally knowledgeable in insurance contract law and regulation‘ and gives cross-border regulatory advice as well as arbitration and litigation advice regarding insurance and re-insurance coverage disputes. The team, headed by the ‘knowledgeable, highly respected and yet down-to-earthJoachim Frick further assists clients with the run-off of insurance portfolios and assists with compliance, enforcement and licensing application proceedings before the regulatory authorities. Since publication, Markus Winkler left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Joachim Frick

Testimonials

‘Baker’s insurance law practice group is definitely a go-to address for the industry as they are equally knowledgable in insurance contract law and regulation.’

‘Joachim Frick has a wealth of experience in the insurance market. He is knowledgable, highly respected and yet down-to-earth, pragmatic and helpful.’

 

Key clients

Swiss Re

Zurich Insurance

Generali

Homburger

Homburger is adept at advising insurance and reinsurance companies on the full array of matters, including regulatory, tax, financing and capital market transactions, disputes, investigations, data protection, intellectual property as well as competition matters. An area of particular expertise are tax matters for insurance companies. The unit is also experienced in dealing with supervisory authorities, such as FINMA. Practice head Hansjürg Appenzeller‘s specialisms include advising insurance and reinsurance companies on M&A and capital market transactions.

Practice head(s):

Hansjürg Appenzeller

Key clients

Zurich Insurance

Swiss Re

Swiss Life

Generali

Munich Re

Helvetia

Axa

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte

Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte focuses on advising insurance companies on insurance law and liability law as well as social security law, occupational pension plans, private insurance law and supervisory law, in particular in contentious matters. The practice is headed by Martin Bürkle, a specialist in judicial and extra-judicial claims management of all varieties for on behalf of insurance companies. The team further assists clients with regards to coverage issues, the drafting of policies as well as settlement issues.

Practice head(s):

Martin Bürkle 

Wartmann Merker Ltd.

Litigation boutique Wartmann & Merker has longstanding experience in representing clients from the insurance industry as well as clients, in particular from the transport and logistics sector, in disputes against insurers. The caseload frequently includes cover issues, recourse actions due to damages, D&O liability and defence of damages. Giovanna Montanaro is experienced in cross-border litigation and arbitration.

Other key lawyers:

Giovanna Montanaro