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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 > Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland 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


Lenz & Staehelin in Geneva and Lausanne is one of the market leaders in banking, capital markets, corporate, private client and tax law. Key lawyers include Shelby du Pasquier, Olivier Stahler, François Rayroux, Lucien Masmejan, Andreas Rötheli and Jean-Blaise Eckert. Benoît Merkt is recommended for his competition law expertise.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is ‘far ahead of other firms in terms of quality, efficiency and rapidity of its services’. The firm has particular strength in arbitration, insolvency, private client, banking and real estate matters. Elliott Geisinger, Vincent Jeanneret, Bernard Vischer and Yves Jeanrenaud are all ‘top’. Banking lawyer Grégoire Wuest is another name to note.

Baker McKenzie’s mainstays are banking, corporate and M&A, employment, private client and tax advice which are complemented by expertise in capital markets and competition law. Stephanie Jarrett are highly recommended, as is employment law expert Serge Pannatier. Martin Anderson is now with Bär & Karrer Ltd.

The French-speaking team of Bär & Karrer Ltd. is best known for banking, insolvency, arbitration and litigation work. Cédric Chapuis, Pierre-Yves Gunter and Saverio Lembo are the key partners. Tax lawyer Christoph Suter joined from EY Law AG. Martin Anderson was a new arrival from Baker McKenzie in August 2018.

Walder Wyss provides ‘excellent service’ in private client and litigious matters, for which Philippe Pulfer and Rodolphe Gautier are well known. Banking lawyer Hubertus Hillerström and private client associate Olivier Sigg are also highly recommended.

BianchiSchwald LLC is a prominent player in the banking and finance, corporate and M&A, as well as employment arena. Thierry Amy, Thomas Goossens, Manuel Bianchi della Porta and Stéphanie Fuld are the key practitioners.

FBT Attorneys-at-Law’s ‘banking department is composed of experienced lawyers’, namely Frédérique Bensahel, Jean-Louis Tsimaratos and Pierre-Olivier Etique. Other focus areas include corporate and M&A and private client advice, for which Jean-Luc Bochatay is particularly recommended.

Froriep’s Geneva practice is recommended for its expertise in banking, corporate and private client matters, with key lawyers including Jean-Luc Herbez, Jérôme de Montmollin and Julie Wynne. Litigator Jean Marguerat is the other name to note. Frédéric Serra joined LBM AVOCATS & ASSOCIES SA in 2018.

Kellerhals Carrard’s Lausanne practice is strong in arbitration as well as litigation and has a particular good standing in the TMT and sports sectors. François Kaiser, Nicolas Gillard, Ross Wenzel and Edgar Philippin are recommended.

Lalive is best known for its expertise in banking, litigation, arbitration and private client matters. Clients recommend Alexander Troller, Marc Henzelin and Sandrine Giroud.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd stands out for its experience in banking and finance, private client and litigation matters. Christophe Rapin, Serge Calame, Nicolas Didisheim and Bernard Lachenal are the names to note.

Oberson Abels Ltd packs a particular punch in assisting with tax issues, for which Xavier Oberson is the key contact. Antoine Amiguet and Philipp Fischer provide banking and finance advice, while Sébastien Bettschart and Stefan Eberhard predominantly handle corporate and M&A matters.

Pestalozzi in Geneva is recommended for its banking and finance, corporate, IP and IT services. Clients can rely on Sébastien Roy, Christophe Emonet and Michèle Burnier.

Python’s central pillars are banking and corporate advice as well as representation in contentious matters. Nicolas de Gottrau, Marc Iynedjian and Homayoon Arfazadeh are the main contacts.

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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.