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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 > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in Switzerland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Homburger advises on the full spectrum of patents, trade marks and copyright matters and exhibits particular expertise in the pharma, life sciences, TMT and sports industries. Recent highlights include the representation of Illumina and Nestlé/Nespresso in separate patent infringement proceedings before the Swiss Federal Patent Court and advising Volkswagen on the protection of its trade mark at the Geneva Motor Show. Andri Hess, Gregor Bühler and Georg Rauber are the key contacts.

Top-tier firmLenz & Staehelin provides an ‘excellent level of service’, ‘gives appropriate advice’, is ‘extremely responsive’ and ‘has deep industry knowledge’, particularly in the pharmaceutical, food and beverages, IT and retail sectors. The group handles the full spread of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and geographical indications issues and recently defended Migros in a patent infringement dispute regarding coffee capsules and also supported Emmentaler in an appellation of origin matter in Italy. The ‘knowledgeable, sensible and straight-forwardThierry Calame and counsel Lara Dorigo are recommended. Jürg Simon and Geneva-based Daniel Tunik are other notable practitioners.


Weinmann Zimmerli

WEINMANN ZIMMERLI is a leading Swiss IP firm based in Zurich and Zug specialising in Swiss and international trade mark, patent, copyright and design law, as well as unfair competition and antitrust law. The firm is handling prosecution and litigation. It was formed in January 2013 through the merger of two firms: KRSW WEINMANN and Zimmerli, Wagner & Partner AG. Since its foundation it has been the fastest growing IP law firm in Switzerland with a very good success rate in court.

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As one of the ‘leading firms in Switzerland’, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) also fields a highly reputed IP practice that covers trade mark, copyright and design matters, patent litigation and advertising. The group is particularly often retained by pharmaceutical industry clients and recently represented Gilead Sciences in all patent disputes related to tenofovir. Other highlight work included representing Max Bill Stiftung in a copyright infringement matter concerning its design icons. Michael Ritscherthinks strategically and has extensive knowledge of the court system’, while pharma patent lawyer Simon Holzer and trade mark and design expert Peter Schramm are other prominent practitioners. Michael Reinle and Lukas Bühlmann joined from their former boutique firm Bühlmann Rechtsanwälte.

Walder Wyss Ltd´s IP team gives ‘commercial, no-nonsense advice’, is ‘willing to be creative when it comes to problem-solving’ and ‘continues to impress with the speed of its responses and the results it achieves’. The practice focuses primarily on trade mark and patent litigation, as well as on IP advice related to technology transactions and recently represented the German and Swiss entities of Merck in a trade mark and unfair competition dispute against MSD. ‘True professional’ Markus Frick ‘ensures that clients receive timely, effective and budget-conscious advice’; IP litigator Magda Streuli-Youssef and newly promoted partner Michael Isler are also key individuals. Roger Staub and counsel David Vasella joined from Froriep in January 2017.

Baker McKenzie impresses with ‘very good response times, broad knowledge, excellent cooperation and a customer-friendly service’. The team is renowned for its work in trade mark, design and copyright litigation, IP right enforcement and prosecution, as well as unfair competition matters; additional non-contentious expertise is provided in trade mark registration and with regards to commercial contracts and transactions. The practice provides ongoing advice to Swarovski on trade mark clearance, design filings as well as on the enforcement and prosecution of both. Other key clients include Abbott, Estee Lauder and Swatch Group. The ‘quick and pragmatic’ Eva-Maria Strobel offers ‘very practical advice and a hands-on approach’, especially in connection with trade mark infringements, while ‘trade mark law expert’ Michael Treis is ‘dedicated to his work and has a very good business sense’. Former ITC head Nicolas Passadelis left for an in-house position at Swisscom in May 2017.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. is adept at advising on IP aspects of M&A and capital market transactions as well as on licensing arbitration matters for pharmaceutical and technology companies. The team assisted Bank Coop with IP issues related to its rebranding to Bank Cler and advised chemicals company Lonza on cross-licensing structures related to its strategic partnership with Sanofi. Volkswagen Truck & Bus, Sanofi and EQT are other active clients. Practice lead Markus Wang is a ‘very experienced lawyer with great expertise’. Pierre-Yves Gunter joined from Python in January 2017.

BianchiSchwald LLC‘s IP practice is well versed on the full spectrum of trade mark portfolio management, including advice on filings, renewals and enforcement both for corporate and private clients. The team also represents clients in IP-related arbitration proceedings and unfair competition disputes. Recent highlights include representing Stadler Rail in an international patent litigation against Bombardier, which concerned the construction of rail vehicles, as well as advising Tyco on international trade mark and design registrations related to its merger with Johnson Controls. Christoph Gasser, who joined after the merger of parts of formerly Staiger, Schwald & Partner with BCCC, and managing associate Stéphanie Chuffart-Finsterwald are the main practitioners. Andreas Bättig is another name to note.

Froriep exhibits particular strength in advising clients from the retail, fashion, healthcare, technology, automotive and media sectors on the whole array of IP right prosecution and enforcement. Meltwater relies on the practice’s strategic advice regarding its global trade mark portfolio and the group also represented Christian Louboutin as claimant in an unfair competition court case against two shops in Geneva who allegedly took advantage of the client’s unregistered red-sole trade mark in Switzerland. Bentley Motors and Richemont International are other active clients. Nicola Benz in Zurich is the key partner. Frédéric Serra joined LBM AVOCATS & ASSOCIES SA in 2018.

Fuhrer Marbach & Partners’ IP practice focuses on the protection of trade marks, designs, patents as well as on copyright. The group has further experience in the advertising and media sector and also assists with IP-related unfair competition issues. Eugen Marbach is the name to note.

Niederer Kraft Frey‘s ‘small, but strong and growing practice’ is ‘highly effective at delivering results for clients’ and has ‘considerable experience in the life sciences sector’. The group regularly assists with trade mark, design and domain name registration and administration, as well as with IP dispute settlement and unfair competition matters. The recent caseload includes advising FIFA on IP aspects of broadcasting sponsorship agreements and product licences and assisting Procter & Gamble with IP and advertising issues. The ‘highly intelligent, dedicated and focused’ Nicholas Birkhäuser is a ‘pleasure to work with’. Clara-Ann Gordon is the second key partner.

Pestalozzigoes way beyond just delivering a good result’, provides ‘invaluable input on strategic questions’ and is ‘very strong in IP and advertising legislation’. The practice focuses on patent, trade mark, copyright and unfair competition law for life sciences, food, luxury and ICT companies. A recent highlight was the representation of a global pharmaceutical company as claimant in an enforcement dispute regarding licensing royalties; British American Tobacco and McDonald’s Switzerland are also among the team´s notable clients. Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, Michèle Burnier and associate Janine Demont all have a ‘particularly noteworthy eye for detail and quality’.

Rentsch Partner AG combines patent expertise with experience in non-contentious and contentious designs and trade marks matters as well as product labelling. Matthias Städeli and Christian Hilti are the key contacts for IP litigation, while Louis Lagler, Alfred Köpf and Dany Vogel serve as patent lawyers.

Troller Hitz Troller is a boutique firm based in Luzern and Bern. It handles the filing and administration of trade marks and designs, IP searches, monitoring and licence agreements. Patrick Troller is recommended.

Vischer’s biggest strengths are advisory and contentious IP services in the broadcasting media and life sciences industries. The team is representing Swisscom in the first Swiss ISP blocking case against film rights holders and regularly advises Netflix on copyright issues in Switzerland. Private TV network 3 Plus Group is another key client. Rolf Auf der Maurprovides pragmatic, useful advice in a timely fashion’.

BMG Avocats has a focus on the protection and enforcement of trade marks and designs. Another major area of expertise is the strategic portfolio management and contractual advice. Sylvie Gurry-Veit and Anne-Virginie La Spada are the main advisers.

id est avocats sàrl provides advice at the interface between IP and M&A transactions, product launches, e-commerce, contracts and litigation. The team manages energy technology company DEPSys’ IP portfolio. Juliette Ancelle and Michel Jaccard are supported by three associates.

Kellerhals Carrard covers patent, copyright and trade mark matters as well as IP issues related to technology transfers. The team advises Magnolia International on all IP structuring, strategy development and rights protection aspects. Daniel Alder and Nicolas Mosimann are the leading individuals of the practice.

Lalive mainly handles contentious IP matters, but also advises clients on trade mark portfolio management. ‘Proactive and extremely knowledgeable’ counsel Thomas Widmerresponds very quickly and keeps clients updated’; he represented IKKS in proceedings against third-party usage of its trade mark.

Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG´s Mathis Berger focuses entirely on contentious IP issues. Recent matters include the enforcement of patents, copyright, trade marks and designs, contractual disputes and infringement claims.

Python handles IP rights prosecution, IP-related transactional matters as well as contentious issues and is particularly experienced in the technology, e-commerce and entertainment sector. Felix Locher is assisted by counsels Dominique Graz and Inge Hochreutener.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd‘s ‘impressive’ IP practice exhibits ‘unique experience’ and ‘excellent court decision know-how’ in contentious patent, trade mark, copyright and licensing matters for pharmaceutical, biotechnological and medical devices companies. The team defended Quark Pharmaceuticals in an ICC arbitration concerning a patent licensing agreement. Brother Industries, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Bayer are also active clients. ‘To-the-point, commercial and strong advocatPhilipp Groz and Roland Mathys are the key partners. Andrea Mondini left for Times Attorneys in October 2017.

Weinmann Zimmerli is ‘very responsive and delivers good quality for a reasonable price’. Focus areas include international trade mark, patent, design, copyright and licensing law, including the registration and prosecution of intellectual property and IP disputes. The ‘driven, proactive and straightforwardAlban Shabaniis immediately liked by demanding clients’; Madeleine Schim van der Loeff is ‘very experienced and pleasant-to-work-with’ and Conrad Weinmann leads the practice.

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  • 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.