Insurance in Switzerland
'Competent and commercial' firm CMS houses 'a dedicated insurance group', which is 'very knowledgeable for insurance claims and contracts under Swiss law'. Focus areas include all aspects of the life cycle of insurance products, policies and broker agreements, as well as the representation of insurance and reinsurance companies in a broad range of proceedings before courts, arbitration tribunals and supervisory-law authorities. Clemens von Zedtwitz joined gbf Attorneys-at-law Ltd in September 2019.
The 'pragmatic, client-focused and very approachable' insurance practice at gbf Attorneys-at-law Ltd is recommended for its 'commitment to high quality' work, 'outstanding knowledge of the Swiss insurance and regulatory environment', as well as its 'excellent national and international network'. Frequently acting for insurance and reinsurance carriers, the team handles the obtaining of Swiss licences, regulatory requirements, M&A transactions, recovery actions, while also defending clients against D&O, E&O and professional indemnity claims. 'Proactive and solutions-oriented regulatory expert' Dominik Skrobala, who joined from Prager Dreifuss AG in September 2017, is representing AIG in a coverage assessment and a D&O policy dispute in Poland, and handles advisory and FINMA-related matters for Wertgarantie. Lars Gerspacher, who is 'profoundly knowledgeable in transport liability cases', acts for Helvetia Insurance in a coverage dispute concerning theft from a warehouse against the insured claimant. Clemens von Zedtwitz was a new arrival from CMS in September 2019.
Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd impresses with its 'rare specialist knowledge of insurance regulation'. Other key areas of expertise include private insurance law, review of policies and conditions, insurance fraud and liability defence, co- and re-insurance litigation, as well as its strength in resolving issues with insurance brokers. Transport specialist Alexander von Ziegler heads the practice, while Olivier Favre provides 'great value' to clients and 'understands issues quickly'.
The 'highly experienced and knowledgeable practice group' at Bär & Karrer Ltd. has 'in-depth, practical expertise in insurance regulation matters and FINMA's supervisory standards'. Tied into the banking, life sciences and dispute resolution departments, the nine-partner team counts Allianz Suisse Versicherungs-Gesellschaft, Chubb Insurance and AON Schweiz among its clients. 'Highly knowledgeable, supportive and responsive' lead Peter Hsu advised Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse on a transaction involving Swiss Export Risk Insurance guaranteeing the financing of a Brazilian power plant through a $1bn bond issuance. 'Outstanding, high-calibre lawyer' Roland Truffer assisted Swiss Re with the re-domiciliation of Swiss Re Asia from Zurich to Singapore.
Lenz & Staehelin's client portfolio features international and domestic insurers and re-insurers, financial institutions, funds and regulators, among others. The team is best known for advisory services in a corporate, investment, transactional and outsourcing environment, while also handling insurance policy and risk transfer aspects. Carterpillar Insurance, AXA, Baloise and Schweizerische Mobiliar receive regular assistance from the team, which is headed by Olivier Stahler and Lukas Morscher.
VISCHER specialises in resolving coverage issues regarding financial lines, D&O, crime, cyber and property policies for insurance companies, brokers and insured parties. Daniele Favalli is the key contact. The firm also provides ancillary services to the insurance sector, including handling Baloise's CHF288m acquisition of a majority share in Pax Anlage; Benedict Christ led the advice.
Homburger advises on Swiss insurance regulations and risk transfers, as well as transactions in the insurance sector. It also handles liability disputes, D&O claims, reinsurance litigation and FINMA proceedings. Hansjürg Appenzeller assisted Ergo Versicherung with the sale of DAS Rechtsschutz-Versicherung to Allianz Suisse Versicherungs-Gesellschaft. Felix Dasser is the key contact for dispute resolution.
The 'vastly knowledgeable and solution-driven' insurance team at Kellerhals Carrard is known for its 'reliable, efficient, professional and personable collaboration' with clients and 'a good connection to commercial ancillary practices'. It handles a range of work, including the resolution of disputes, liability and coverage issues and the design of insurance products, as well as regulatory advice and negotiations with FINMA. Basel-based Pascal Grolimund, who 'has a very clear judgement of situations', defended a large insurance company against a multimillion-dollar coverage claim brought by a policy holder, including bringing a counter-claim concerning alleged insurance fraud related to a disability pension. Practice head Christoph Frey produces 'outstanding work' and 'never fails to keep the client informed with to-the-point memos'.
The 'responsive and solution-focused' team at Pestalozzi demonstrates 'thorough regulatory know-how in the Swiss and US insurance fields' and is able to 'adapt to the client's needs'. Other areas of expertise are sector-related M&A transactions, as well as corporate and contractual matters. Practice head Christoph Lang and 'knowledgeable and practical' Beat Schwarz acted for AIG on its $5.56bn acquisition of re-insurer Validus, while 'experienced and flexible' Christian Leuenberger regularly assists the same client with the provision of W&I insurance during M&A transactions.
The team at Thouvenin Rechtsanwälte mainly advises insurance companies on contractual liability, D&O, social security and private insurance law, while also handling claims management, coverage issues and the drafting of policies. Common areas of liability disputes include professional, product, medical negligence, transport and travel claims. Martin Bürkle is the key contact.