The private client team at Bär & Karrer Ltd. includes 'an impressive number of excellent experts in all relevant law fields'. It handles the full scope of matters, including wealth and succession planning, inheritance and trust disputes, estates and marital agreements. The close, interdisciplinary collaboration with the firm's corporate, tax, regulatory and employment groups is a draw for clients. The practice is led by the highly regarded Tina Wüstemann, 'one of the top trusts and estates litigators in Switzerland'. Daniel Leu is also well versed in art and inheritance law. 'Top private client lawyer' Daniel Bader and Ruth Bloch-Riemer are the tax experts in the group, and are noted alongside disputes specialist Aurélie Conrad Hari in Geneva.
Private client in Switzerland
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Leu; Daniel Bader; Ruth Bloch-Riemer; Aurélie Conrad Hari
‘A very hands-on and thorough team that has an outstanding commitment to its clients. ’
‘Tina Wüstemann is clearly outstanding and a star in the Swiss legal community. ’
‘Aurelie Conrad Hari is a stand out partner. She is extremely easy to deal with, sensible, commercial and offers appropriate solutions rather than just present problems or legal blocks.’
‘Extraordinary team! Responsive and always available to their clients.’
‘Tina Wüstemann is our go to lawyer in Switzerland. Tina’s commitment to her clients is absolutely remarkable.
‘Daniel Bader is also an extraordinary lawyer who provides excellent advice.’
‘Bär & Karrer is surely one of, if not the most eminent private client practice in Switzerland. Its lawyers in this field are exceptional and the best in the industry. They offer the complete range of services, from wealth structuring, advisory work to a great private client dispute resolution team. It is a delight to work with them. They are prompt in their response and have a immediate grasp of the relevant issues.’
‘Tina Wüstermann’s stature in this field is second to none. She is a fierce fighter for her clients and one can be glad to have her in one’s own field. She has an immense network and is widely recognized as one of the great names in the industry.’
‘Aurélie Conrad Hari is a fantastic lawyer, knowledgeable, prompt, available and able to provide excellent strategic input. She is used to working in international and cross-border cases and has a great command of the English language, which makes it easy to work with her in an international context.’
‘Ruth Bloch-Riemer and Daniel Leu are highlighted.’
‘The team is very responsive, apply great analytical skills to the problem and generate creative solutions. The lawyers are very helpful and easy to work with.’
‘Tina Wustemann and Daniel Leu have been very helpful, energetic and responsive. Their approach has been pro-active and creative. It has been a great pleasure to work with them both personally and professionally. I have always felt I am in the best of hands. They are excellent lawyers and great strategists.’
‘The Bär & Karrer Private Clients practice gathers an impressive number of excellent experts in all law fields relevant for wealthy individuals. Starting from all relevant aspects of tax law, they also cover family law, corporate law relevant for families as well as all aspects of succession, all with a particular focus on cross border cases including many different jurisdictions. The breadth and depth of technical competence as well as the ability to keep an eye on the broader picture are unique.’
‘Tina Wüstemann and Daniel Bader: exceptional private clients lawyers who stand out.’
‘They are first rate and we have worked with them, both in litigation and on cross-border tax and trust planning, on a number of very interesting matters for many years.’
‘We have worked most closely with Tina Wüstemann, Daniel Bader, Daniel Leu and Daniel Hochstrasser. They are highly skilled, very experienced, excellent lawyers.’
‘Tina Wüstemann is one of the top trusts and estates litigators in Switzerland, with extensive experience in the largest and most complex international trust disputes. She has excellent judgement and strategic litigation skills. She is a delightful person with whom to work and I never would want her as an opponent.’
‘Daniel Bader is a top private client lawyer with deep expertise in cross-border planning.’
‘Daniel Leu is a trust litigator and very impressed.’
‘The members are extremely experienced in tax and succession planning. Their excellent reputation is well deserved as their advice is always pragmatic and responsive and still thorough and detailed.’
‘Daniel Bader is a deeply knowledgeable lawyer in tax and succession planning. His advice is rock solid and yet always straight to the point and pragmatic.’
‘Ruth Bloch-Riemer is responsive and thorough in her analyses and clients gain very quickly her trust.’
‘Top of its game.’
‘Tina Wüstemann – simply the best.’
Lenz & Staehelin's practice stands out through its 'scope of knowledge, practical experience and deep approach'. The team has considerable expertise in cross-border mandates requiring assistance with wealth and estate planning; relocations to Switzerland; contentious and non-contentious inheritance law matters. Other areas of expertise are advising family offices on dealings with art, yachts, real estate and airplanes, as well as the set-up and management of trusts. Geneva-practice head Lucien Masmejan is noted for his 'excellent judgement and creative strategic litigation skills'. Mark Barmes, also in Geneva, specialises in wealth planning. Practice co-head, the 'very knowledgeable and approachable' Heini Rüdisühli is well versed in tax and succession planning. Alexander Greter made partner in early 2020. Géraldine Auberson in Lausanne and Alexandra Hirt are key names at associate level.
Lucien Masmejan; Heini Rüdisühli
Other key lawyers:
Mark Barmes; Alexander Greter; Géraldine Auberson; Alexandra Hirt
‘Lenz & Staehelin has a complex, very reputable private clients practice. The scope of knowledge, practical experience and deep approach distinguish the practice from other firms.’
‘Mark Barmes has a strong reputation both in the professional world and with the clients who were lucky to work with him.’
‘Heini Rüdishüli is the key leading person who stands out. Very experienced, nice to work with.’
‘The team has a strong mix of technical skills, commerciality and practicality. It is easy to work with and supportive.’
‘Lucien Masmejan – sophisticated, economically and commercially aware, someone who has a very good client manner.’
‘Géraldine Auberson is a very capable private client lawyer with a good understanding of both civil law and common law issues.’
‘Heini Rüdisühli: very knowledgeable and approachable expert in tax and succession law.’
‘Alexander Greter is a thoughtful and bright tax and private client lawyer.’
‘Alexandra Hirt: a good lawyer and team member.’
‘Top guys in the market ’
‘The lawyers are first rate; we place Lenz & Staehelin at the top tier of the firms.’
‘Lucien Masmejan and Mark Barmes are both highly skilled, very experienced, excellent lawyers.’
‘Lucien Masmejan is equally strong on contentious and non-contentious trust and private client matters, and is known as a superb corporate lawyer as well. We have worked closely with him on a complex international trust litigation that involved novel areas of the law in a highly publicized case. He is a super litigator, with excellent judgement and creative strategic litigation skills. He is extremely bright and a delightful person with whom to work. Lucien cuts through all the issues to the heart of the matter and finds a novel strategic solution.’
‘Mark Barmes is widely recognized as one of the leading international private client lawyers in Switzerland, with an extraordinary cross-border practice of clients from around the world. He is a great pleasure to work with, very bright, creative, thoughtful, deeply experienced.’
The team at Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd has a ‘wide base of experience and expertise for private clients‘. The client portfolio includes Swiss and foreign high-net-worth individuals, families, private banks, family offices and trust companies, which instruct the practice in the administration of trusts and estates; estate planning and structuring; inheritance disputes; and the acquisition or sale of unique assets, such as art, real estate and yachts, among other matters. Bernard Vischer in Geneva, who specialises in advising controlled businesses on governance, dispute prevention and succession, and recently promoted partner Andrea-Dorjee Good jointly lead the practice. Christian Girod is the key contact in Geneva for trust and estate proceedings, while David Wallace Wilson is experienced in wealth structuring and estate planning. Other names to note are DR-specialist Alexander Jolles and Geneva-based counsel Caroline López Nagai, who has an ‘enquiring mind‘.
Bernard Vischer; Andrea-Dorjee Good
Other key lawyers:
Alexander Jolles; Caroline López Nagai; David Wallace Wilson; Christian Girod; Grégoire Wuest
‘Special attention to client needs. Very good comprehension of Middle East clients, their culture and their specific requirements.’
‘Bernard Vischer – especially good at complex estate planning structures such as family mutual funds, trusts and foundations.’
‘One of the best practices in Switzerland, with a wide base of experience and expertise for private clients.’
‘Bernard Vischer – a top tier international private client lawyer, with a very incisive mind.
‘Caroline Lopez-Nagai is a very talented young lawyer who goes the extra mile when providing legal advice, always adds an idea which others have not thought of, has an enquiring mind and is an extremely pleasant person to work with. Caroline is not afraid to speak her mind and challenge a legal point after thorough research and investigation.’
‘Andrea Dorjee-Good – a delight to work alongside and a very savvy private client lawyer, particularly in respect of complex international cases.’
‘The scope of knowledge and the work done by the firm has encompassed all aspects of life in Switzerland, taxes, customs, rules, laws, real estate, insurance etc.’
‘Caroline Lopez Nagai and David Wilson stand out, not only for their professionalism and knowledge of Swiss law but also because they add a human touch to the relationship. They have taken a personal interest and have forged a true relationship/friendship with the client. The human touch and genuine interest have made communication and work much more fluid.’
‘The team has strong expertise in trusts and is well-known in the field for their expertise, in particular David Wilson.’
‘David Wilson and Caroline Lopez-Nagai are extremely responsive and thorough when providing legal advice. They are on top of the matter and I feel I am in good hands when instructing them on a legal issue.’
‘David Wilson is an exceptional lawyer. He is knowledgeable, extremely hard-working and dedicated.’
‘Excellent private client practice.’
‘Christian Girod: excellent inheritance lawyer and litigator; also remarkable in negotiation.’
‘David Wilson: knowledgeable in general in private client law and outstanding for trust matters.’
‘Excellent team. Knowledgeable, insightful, responsive’
‘Andrea Dorjee-Good is an excellent partner in advising US-Swiss based clients. She understands international private client law and is able to think within and without her area of expertise to issue spot planning issues efficiently and competently.’
‘The team is very competent and very reactive. They are able to work on very complex cross border cases and are very quick at understanding and comparing foreign issues to Swiss law mechanisms.’
‘Caroline Lopez Nagai is very quick, knowledgeable and tough. Her background allows her to work with proficiency on a very wide array of cases and matter.’
‘David Wilson is very responsive and good at thinking outside the box, aside from being very knowledgeable and an expert on cross border private client matters.’
Rhone Trust (Trust company affiliated with Pictet Group)
NBK Banque Privée (Suisse) SA
Walder Wyss Ltd. has a strong track record in advising Swiss and foreign entrepreneurs from a variety of industries. The firm is noted for fielding the 'complete set of skills, languages and experts' and the team is active in succession planning, including matrimonial, inheritance, corporate and tax law, and related disputes. Through collaboration with the labour and real estate teams, it also often advises on relocations. Kinga Weiss has more than 20 years of experience acting as an adviser to private clients, banks and family offices. She and tax specialist Stephan Neidhardt head up the Zurich practice, and Philippe Pulfer leads in Geneva. Olivier Sigg combines his private client practice with employment law. Robert Desax and Geneva-based Fouad Sayegh are other names to note.
Kinga Weiss; Stephan Neidhardt; Philippe Pulfer
Other key lawyers:
Robert Desax; Fouad Sayegh; Olivier Sigg
‘Walder Wyss is very well established in Switzerland and lawyers are able to provide their clients with very detailed answers, whichever canton they are located in. They are very reactive.’
‘A complete set of skills, languages and experts: the quality of their advice is second to none and they truly make clients comfortable at once.’
‘Robert Desax is a very talented tax lawyer. He is very available and appreciated. He knows the wealth management sector well and is strongly recommended for Switzerland-France tax issues.’
‘Robert Desax is very responsive and efficient on Swiss tax matters, especially in an international context’
‘Very professional team of Swiss lawyers, very available and competent. They are excellent in terms of tax and estate planning with Swiss ramifications (relocation of individuals to Switzerland, negotiation of tax rulings with the authorities, drafting of wills, advice on trust structures, etc.). Strong presence in different Swiss cities.’
‘Olivier Sigg: very skilled and knowledgeable, strong knowledge of Swiss succession regulations and organisation of wealth involving the use of trusts, foundations and other complex structures. Very available and friendly.’
‘Fouad Sayegh: a tax expert in the Swiss field, a reference in the matter of relocation of individuals to Switzerland, negotiating lump-sum taxation in Switzerland and tax planning in general with an international flavour.’
‘A sophisticated practice with a strong client base and a well-thought of team of lawyers.’
‘Philippe Pulfer – an excellent international private client lawyer, with particular expertise in arts and charities. Very easy to work with.’
‘Philippe Pulfer and his team know how to service international work and how to collaborate.’
‘Philippe Pulfer is a go-to Swiss lawyer. He has a great team and great coverage in terms of expertise.’
‘Technically excellent, great strength in depth’
‘Fouad Sayegh – technically excellent.’
‘Philippe Pulfer has very commercial and sound judgement.’
‘Olivier Sigg: pragmatic and a good communicator.’
‘Philippe Pulfer and Olivier Sigg are very experienced tax/trust/charity/private client lawyers, with a strong team behind them.’
‘Philippe Pulfer and Olivier Sigg are approachable, experienced and have a very practical approach.’
‘Top notch service in the prime Swiss location. Both Geneva and Zurich people are great ’
‘Kinga Weiss is great and super technical.’
‘Philippe Pulfer is also extremely good to work with.’
‘The Walder Wyss private client team specialises in advising high net worth families with a connection to Switzerland. Their team has experience in the international market and they are fully conversant with both common law and civil law matters, with a long established track record in advising on private client, tax and structuring. ’
‘Philippe Pulfer is a highly respected and well known figure in the Swiss private client advisory network. He is extremely client focussed and will go above and beyond what is required of him in order to satisfy tight deadlines.’
‘Olivier Sigg is a key individual in the trust industry and he is an approachable and dedicated private client advisor. Having worked together for many years, Philippe and Olivier operate as a strong unit and have built a solid client base.’
‘This is a very classy firm – discreet and utterly professional.’
‘Philippe Pulfer is a really first rate private client lawyer – immensely knowledgeable and a complete pleasure to deal with.’
‘Olivier Sigg is stands out as one of their rising stars. He is particularly good on cross border matters involving the UK. ’
‘Their advice is usually concise and on point, which is exactly what you would want when instructing overseas lawyers.’
‘Philippe Pulfer & Olivier Sigg are a great team as they have complementary skills.’
‘One of the leading practices, if not the leading, in the private clients field. The team is extremely strong due also to the hiring a few years ago of Philippe Pulfer and Olivier Sigg who are outstanding professionals. The team is extremely responsive, available and a pleasure to work with. The relationship with clients is very personal and this makes clients very comfortable and reassured. It seems that partners are massively involved on the files rather than delegating much to associates.’
‘Philippe Pulfer and Olivier Sigg. Both are extremely capable and a pleasure to work with. Both are great technicians and sharp lawyers. Philippe is already a star in the Swiss scene but I am confident that Olivier, already recognised, will be there at the same level soon. ’
‘A quality firm that competes at the top level.’
‘Philippe Pulfer is an excellent technical lawyer with sound judgement and a good strategic approach.’
‘Clients of Philippe Pulfer not only enjoy his excellent advice and benefit from his knowledge but also see outcomes that were those originally intended.’
‘Philippe Pulfer is the safest pair of hands for trust and fiduciary matters in Geneva – I would trust him with any mandate.’
Baker McKenzie's team is regularly instructed by individuals, private businesses, families and private wealth service providers in matters that frequently have an international nexus, including the US and Europe. The group is experienced in a variety of taxation matters, regulatory queries and relevant disputes. The group is jointly led by Marnin Michaels, is well versed in insurance questions and contentious tax matters; Lyubomir Georgiev, who is admitted in the US, UK and Switzerland; and Geneva-based Elliott Murray. Gregory Walsh made partner in January 2020.
Marnin Michaels; Lyubomir Georgiev; Elliott Murray
Other key lawyers:
Gregory Walsh; Jacopo Crivellaro
‘Marnin Michaels in particular is an outstanding and very creative lawyer. He has also been especially responsive notwithstanding that we are separated by nine time zones.’
‘The private client practice group at Baker in Zurich is a highly competent and motivated team that covers all legal areas of law relevant for private clients.’
‘Marnin Michaels is a trusted advisor with rich experience and expertise, who aims to find the perfect solution for its clients specific needs. Working with Mr. Michaels is an enriching experience, both intellectually and personally.’
‘Gregory Walsh is a highly committed young partner with superb response times and a very accurate and sound analysis of complex legal matters, in particular matters of U.S. tax law. Mr. Walsh exemplifies balanced judgement and is always eager to come to a pragmatic solution.’
‘The Private client practice is formed by lawyers with an outstanding background and a wide expertise. In complex scenarios the team is able to analyse different issues and provide the client with a clear picture of pros & cons. It is able to advise the client with a very practical approach that differentiates the firm compared to other firms.’
‘Baker McKenzie has a global presence and breath that very few law firms can lay claim to. For an American-based business, its long-standing US presence is a real plus as the team is able to analyze situations from a US as well as a non-US standpoint.’
‘I have worked with Marnin Michaels and Gregory Walsh and find them to be first-class lawyers technically as well as understanding. Their teamwork is excellent and they strive to find the right answer for the situation.’
‘The members all have a very hands-on and pragmatic approach without losing sight of all technical details necessary to be considered in complex transactions.’
‘They are very responsive and great at explaining complex legal issues in a clear manner. The individuals are Marnin Michaels, Lyubomir Georgiev, Jacopo Crivellaro, Elliott Murray.’
‘We use them specifically for their US tax expertise so our European business and legal teams have real time access for our deals. Being in the same time zone is a huge value in and of itself. On top of that, they are substantively very solid, current on tax laws, and practical in the delivery of their services.’
‘Lyubo Georgiev is our relationship partner and is like our trusted inhouse counsel.’
‘Access to legal services in different disciplines (tax, corporate, etc.) and various jurisdictions all over the world from one firm with one point of contact. Have attorneys where the same person can practice in several jurisdictions.’
‘Marnin Michaels is very accessible and responsive.’
‘Jacopo Crivellaro is very conscious and understanding also of the soft factors which is very important in the private client world.’
‘Lyubomir Georgiev can provide multi-jurisdictional advice for the UK and US which is very useful.’
Charles Russell Speechlys AG
Charles Russell Speechlys AG stands out for handling predominantly international mandates, in which it showcases 'a broad range of expertise'. The team handles the full range of private client matters, with special expertise in highly regulated and taxed jurisdictions, wealth structuring and relocations. The group's client portfolio includes individuals, families, financial institutions and fiduciaries. The 'technically brilliant and diplomatic' Michael Wells-Greco in Geneva is often active in family matters and Mark Summers excels in tax and estate planning; together, they lead the practice. Grégoire Uldry and Bruno Ledrappier are other key specialists in Geneva. Dharshi Wijetunga is 'a seasoned professional'.
Mark Summers; Michael Wells-Greco
Other key lawyers:
Dharshi Wijetunga; Grégoire Uldry; Bruno Ledrappier; Christophe Levet; Sirin Yüce
‘The team at Charles Russell Speechlys has a practical and business-focused approach that resonates well with clients and positions them “in the client’s world” making its advice clear and relevant.’
‘Michael Wells-Greco is always flexible, extremely knowledgeable and commercial when dealing with clients. Michael’s knowledgebase in the private client world is second to none, for me this coupled with his practical and business minded approach is the reason why he is so successful and someone I trust and value as a great partner.’
‘Dharshi Wijetunga – highly precise and thorough, a person who truly cares about the end client and their needs and objectives.’
‘Michael Wells-Greco is a technically brilliant and diplomatic lawyer able to offer Anglo and Swiss advice. He is highly sought after by high net worth couples as the specialist in surrogacy arrangements, surrogacy with an international element, co-parenting agreements and donor conceived parenting cases.’
‘Michael Wells-Greco is an outstanding lawyer because when advising clients, he adds his wide experience to his academical skills.’
‘Sirin Yüce is a young and resolute lawyer who is entirely dedicating her good knowledge of the family law to her clients. This does not prevent her, when in the best interest of her client, to settle.’
‘The Charles Russell Speechlys team are able to provide a broad range of expertise and coordination in cross-border European and international succession and family law matters, as well as advising on litigious matters. They are one of the few law firms which have individual lawyers able to provide integrated Anglo-Swiss advice.’
‘Mark Summers offers truly international advice for high net worth families, particularly those with family members in the USA. An exceptionally good lawyer. ’
‘The CRS Switzerland team now has a range of Swiss-based specialists who are able to advise not only on English law but also on Swiss law. For clients needing advice on both, this “one stop shop” is very-well placed to assist. The firm is increasingly international and even their Swiss partners spend most – if not all – of their time on purely international matters.’
‘Mark Summers has an excellent knowledge of the workings of the tax and regulatory regimes in many European jurisdictions. This is exceptionally useful when ultra high net worth clients are considering relocating as it can quickly allow them to produce a short-list of possible target jurisdictions. Linked to that, he also has great contacts in the key jurisdictions in which the firm does not have offices, so is good at helping to coordinate complicated multi-jurisdictional matters.’
‘Michael Wells-Greco is the go-to person where cross-border issues involving children arise. His knowledge of this niche (but hugely important) field is first rate and unparalleled.’
‘The service is very personal and timely. The issues are all very thought through. ’
‘Dharshi Wijetunga is considerate on the issues and she truly looks after the needs of the client. A very trusted lawyer whom we can rely on. She gives the client a sense of security which is very much needed.’
‘Dharshi Wijetunga is a seasoned professional with wide experience in the private client estate planning area. The team she is part of has a growing reputation in the industry and the fact that the office is in Zurich is a big plus.’
‘I have worked with Dharshi Wijetunga for some years and her knowledge and experience particularly in Asian markets and in the trust field is very helpful for us. She tries to be available at short notice and turns assignments around within deadlines.’
‘Each of the lawyers have complementary experience and diversity that is an extreme added value for clients. CRS is the right size. Not too big so that it has become bureacratic and inflexible, which makes them great to works with on tailor-made projects’
MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep Ltd is a result of the 2021 merger between Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd and Froriep. The team has established itself as a go-to counsellor for Swiss and foreign high-net-worth families, heirs, entrepreneurs and investors. Under the lead of the highly regarded Patricia Guerra and Geneva-based Serge Calame, the 'proactive and very reliable' team advises on the full scope of relocations, family asset structuring, family law, inheritance disputes, and tax and succession planning. It also covers a wide range of philanthropy matters. Geneva-based Maud Udry-Alhanko handles divorces and estates issues, while Julien Tron is a key contact for wealth and estate planning. Associate Annaïg Vogt advises on asset restructurings. Julie Wynne in Geneva and of counsel Oliver Arter are other key names.
Serge Calame; Patricia Guerra
Other key lawyers:
Maud Udry-Alhanko; Annaïg Vogt; Julien Tron; Julie Wynne; Oliver Arter; Dmitry Pentsov
‘You seldom come across a stronger Swiss team than the one under the leadership of Patricia Guerra who is pragmatic and creative and very much client conscious. She has made the team proactive and very reliable.’
‘Patricia Guerra is one of the most “global” counsellors you can meet. Her skills are especially extremely valuable in cross border situations between Latin America and Europe.’
‘Annaig Voigt is Patricia Guerra’s brilliant 2nd in command.’
‘Phenomenal client service and focus. Great attention to detail whilst still focussing on what really matters to clients and how to integrate the advice into their wider lives and family issues.’
‘Patricia Guerra is second to none for her empathy and client focus. She tailors her advice elegantly and effortlessly for each situation and individual and is both practical but also imaginative in the approaches she takes.’
‘Partner led, extremely conscientious about client care and Patricia Guerra is an excellent example of an international private client lawyer.’
‘Team is responsive and capable.’
‘Mainly work with Patricia Guerra who is good at communication with client.’
‘Serge Caleme and Maud Udry-Alhanko are extremely knowledgeable and personable. Both are prompt and efficient, not to mention extremely willing to assist with any wider Swiss tax and law questions.’
‘The team at Froriep offers unparalleled knowledge of very complex legal issues, it will do amazing background work and execute superbly. Its approach leads to superb results in the most challenging legal cases. In my experience Froriep outperforms its peers in terms of client dedication and results.’
‘The partners and associates at Froriep deliver an outstanding level of client commitment. This leads to an upmost result.’
‘Attentive service and high-quality delivery; fast return.’
‘Julie Wynne is an excellent partner, very attentive and delivers a high-quality service that exceeds expectations.’
‘Human spirit and great experts.’
‘More than just a law firm, the lawyers are very active in social activities, connecting people and skills. Much appreciated!’
‘Responsiveness, availability, always fielding the best/most appropriate person for a particular task.’
‘Dmitry Pentsov – knowledgeable, responsive, creative in finding solutions, client-friendly / pleasure to work with.’
‘Teamwork is a requirement in most work settings, especially in law sphere. To my mind the Private Clients practice built successful collaboration including excellent communication skills, patience, tolerance and dedication, as well as taking initiative when needed and listening more than speaking.’
‘The individuals differentiate themselves from competitors in its exceptional knowledge and expertise in the subject, reliability, time-management, confidence and productivity.’
Pestalozzi covers a wide range of private client matters, with particular expertise in the dispute resolution space relating to inheritance, estate and trust matters, immigration and relocation queries, execution of wills and the planning of taxes and estates. The team acts for individuals, families, foundations, private banks and wealth management service providers from Switzerland and abroad. Finance law specialist Oliver Widmer, DR-practitioner Thomas Rohner and Geneva-based Christophe Emonet, who handles litigation and estate planning, are the practice heads. Michael Lips is the key contact for real estate mandates.
Oliver Widmer; Thomas Rohner; Christophe Emonet
Other key lawyers:
Michael Lips; Andrea Rohrer-Lippuner
Bank Maerki Baumann
Banque Cantonale de Genève
CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research
Cofra Holding AG
Deutsche Bank Private Banking
Fleming Family & Partners (Suisse) AG
Hauck und Auhäuser
Maerki Baumann & CO
Merrill Lynch Trust Services
Private Clients Partner
Stonehage (Zürich) AG
- Advised Maerki Baumann & Co. on purchasing a private bank.
- Advised Elysian Invest AG on selling a large stake in a film content library.
Bratschi Ltd is noted for providing 'clear and swift advice'. The core pillars of its practice are trusts and foundations, estate planning and structured assets. The team is often approached by wealthy families from Russia and wider Europe to assist with relocations to Switzerland. Practice head Ingmar Snijders and Walter Boss are also active as foundation members and trustees of various companies.
Other key lawyers:
Liv Bahner; Walter Boss
‘Very clear and swift advice, both legally precise and comprehensible for clients. ’
‘Liv Bahner always gives intelligent advice, quick and practically useful. Very good legal and practical understanding of cross border cases.’
‘The team has a practice which is familiar with cross-border issues.’
‘Ingmar Snijders is practical and commercial in advising his clients.’
‘Despite being a Swiss law firm, Bratschi has a diverse team of partners. Very little rotation of lawyers. Well rounded in private and corporate tax matters and willing to look into international tax matters.’
‘Ingmar Snijders provides a personalized service.’
‘Bratschi is a reputable, competent and responsive professional service provider for managing complex cross border tax issues and ramifications related to private clients and in general to trust estate and private wealth.’
CMS has considerable expertise in advising wealthy individuals and families, entrepreneurs, family offices and banks in estate planning and litigation. Led by the 'experienced and knowledgeable' Tobias Somary and the 'brilliant lawyer' Pierre Ducret in Geneva, the group advises on matrimonial property and succession planning, including the drafting of wills, and philanthropy. Andrio Orler and Sarah Busca Bonvin, both in Geneva, as well as David Hürlimann are tax specialists.
Tobias Somary; Pierre Ducret
Other key lawyers:
Max Albers; David Hürlimann; Andrio Orler; Sarah Busca Bonvin; Louise Lutz Sciamanna
‘Tobias Somary is an excellent lawyer, very solution-oriented, pragmatic and trustworthy.’
‘The Private Client team of CMS in Geneva is very strong. It is made of highly experienced and respected lawyers, who have gone through the most valuable and demanding enterprises to gain experience.’
‘Andrio Orler is one of the best tax experts in Switzerland. He is a very hard-working professional, who never leaves any detail aside.’
‘Sarah Busca-Bonvin gained very precious experience during her time with the Geneva tax administration. She has a significant network of peers and a great experience of the institutions.’
‘Pierre Ducret is a brilliant lawyer, who frequently issues publications on civil law and frequently makes presentations.’
‘Tobias Somary is uniquely empathetic, next to being technically on top of course. He knows to find the right language and tone to speak to clients.’
‘CMS has a strong team, with competent lawyers, experienced in negotiation’
‘Tobias Somary: experienced and knowledgeable Private client lawyer, skilled in negotiating agreements.’
‘Sarah Busca: excellent tax advisor.’
‘Tobias Somary is an exceptional practitioner of cross-border tax and estate planning. He is extremely knowledgeable and technically proficient, but has excellent communication skills and a bedside manner with clients.’
‘The collaboration between the members of the practice with their different capabilities is outstanding. They work strongly together with a clear focus on the client needs and a very good understanding of cross border topics as they are relevant for most of the wealthy private clients. Outstanding is the private client team for their law of succession expertise and their involvement in the current Swiss law of inheritance reform.’
‘The practice is first class.’
‘The team led by Tobias Somary is on one side very efficient and on the other side always solution driven (not confrontative). Their knowledge of cross border issues is outstanding. Very pleasant team to work with.’
‘Tobias Somary is one of the best practitioners in succession law and estate planning in Switzerland. He handles also delicate situations in negotiations with calm, profound knowledge and sovereignty. It is always a pleasure to work him.’
FBT Attorneys-at-Law advises a breadth of clients, among them banks, family offices and high-net-worth individuals as well as fund management companies, wealth managers and investment funds. The team is composed of individuals with different focuses: Pascale Cano in Paris covers international private family law, while Frédérique Bensahel is the key contact for private banking issues, trusts and funds. Michel Abt and Jean-Luc Bochatay jointly lead the tax practice, which assists clients in tax and estate planning.
Pascal Cano; Frédérique Bensahel; Michel Abt; Jean-Luc Bochatay
‘Client relationship: despite being very busy, partners always make themselves available in case of emergency or important file.’
‘Excellent technical skills, very good support and always clients oriented.’
‘The attention given to clients’ problems and the creativity put into looking into solutions to address problems with the best approach.’
‘Michel Abt : excellent tax practice.’
‘Its legal practice is unique, in that the lawyers respond quickly and professionally to problems and questions and we get the right conclusion and the solution at a reasonable cost.’
‘FBT has an excellent reputation for fiscal advice , in particular for the Swiss and French area. Having offices in Geneva and Paris is useful for certain clients.’
‘Personal contact with Michel Abt makes the relationship pleasant and efficient.’
- Assisted a HNWI with international estate planning in the context of estate planning and advising a family, whose members are domiciled in several countries, that owns protected real estate in France.
- Advised a strategic minority shareholder in a group active in distribution of goods on the future devolution of his estate.
- Providing estate planning advice to a family who owns, via a trust, an international group in the field of fossil energy, paying particular attention to the matrimonial regime of certain members and risks in the event of divorce or death.
The 'business-minded, pragmatic and solution-oriented' boutique Fischer Ramp Buchmann is specialised in advising entrepreneurs, ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families on the full scope of private client matters. The team has experience in tax litigation, international tax structuring and estate, succession and social security planning. The practice is headed up by tax specialist Michael Fischer, whose 'approach always shows the right element of composure', and Samuel Ramp, who is well versed in real estate matters. Marc Buchmann is also active in wealth and succession planning.
Michael Fischer; Samuel Ramp
Other key lawyers:
‘Small practice with direct contact to partners; competent tax lawyers and quick responses.’
‘Excellent tax team. Quick and always a pleasure to work with.’
‘Samuel Ramp is an excellent lawyer and a smart and nice guy ’
‘Very practical advice.’
‘Michael Fischer is very knowledgeable and willing to share knowledge and ideas.’
‘Michael Fischer: One of the A-list private client lawyers in Switzerland, immense experience in cross-border matters, unique know-how on trust and estate law and how it works in Switzerland, very well connected internationally and in Switzerland, creative, fun to work with. A star, but humble.’
‘It is not always easy to find a Swiss firm which looks after private clients in the way that the best UK firms do. Although perhaps not unique, Fischer Ramp is one of a small group of Swiss law firms that do exactly that. So strengths include being pro-active, responsive, ability to give practical advice, not just a legal treatise leaving the client/his or her other advisers to work out how in practice Swiss law applies to their affairs.’
‘Michael Fischer: charming, client friendly and popular with everyone who knows him. He is clearly very clever but is not arrogant. He is very responsive and only too pleased to be able to help. A pleasure to work with! ’
‘Not only does the team, headed by Michael Fischer, excel in legal knowledge and experience but also in customer service.’
‘Michael Fischer is truly awesome. My go-to person for all Swiss legal matters.’
‘Only pure-play private client boutique in Switzerland. Clients get maximum partner attention. Business minded, pragmatic, solution-oriented, straight-forward, efficient, never create work when it’s not necessary, entrepreneurial thinking, capable to think outside the box and to be creative. Service: responsive, flexible, bespoke, friendly, honest. Particular strength in complex cross-border tax structuring and in trust and estate law (and reflection/translation of these common law concepts in Swiss law). Capable to act as international lead counsel in large matters. Strong in real estate matters (particularly Samuel Ramp), including valuation and taxation.’
‘Michael Fischer: One of the A-list private client lawyers in Switzerland, immense experience in cross-border matters, unique know-how on trust and estate law and how it works in Switzerland, very well connected internationally and in Switzerland, creative, fun to work with. A star, but humble.’
‘Samuel Ramp: one of the strongest private client lawyers on real estate matters, down-to-earth, cool, strong negotiator, hands-on, sees the big picture, straight-forward, entrepreneurial.’
‘Marc Buchmann: smart, hard-working, tenacious, young but very experienced in international tax structuring, super value for money, a joy to work with.’
‘Very active and pro-active team. Thinking out of the box and finding solutions.’
‘Fast and quick understanding of client needs. Efficient and straightforward solutions provided. Efficient and cost sensitive work behaviour.’
‘The FRP team is always quick to respond and are a great partner in problem solving, even the most difficult of issues.’
‘Michael Fischer is a true professional in every interaction; through good and bad, his approach always shows the right element of composure and provides comfort to those requiring advice.’
‘Michael Fischer has a unique charm and insight compared to other Swiss lawyers which makes him a pleasure to work with. He is thoughtful and innovative.’
‘We chose this firm because of its experience in the charitable foundation sector and it has brought to bear everything we expected in this regard. Its anticipation of supervisory authority queries and its acquaintance and effective dialogue with both the supervisory authority and the tax authority have proven to be most helpful.’
‘Michael Fischer definitely stands out in his ability to progress swiftly with regard to his dialogue with respective local authorities as well as his delivery of outputs. He provides effective solutions and does to waste time by proactively advising if a demand is not plausible.’
‘Fischer Ramp Partner is a boutique tax firm specialized in private clients; they are excellent in the tax field offering a high quality service to their clients. They have a deep knowledge of the tax framework and their pragmatic approach is an added value.’
‘Michael Fischer is a very seasoned practitioner, super smart in understanding the needs of clients and has a very good and practical knowledge of fiscal and legal issues. His quick response capacity and practical approach is an element of distinction from other competitors.’
‘All experts in the field tax.’
‘Great work results; always achieve best possible outcome; great negotiators and people skills.’
- Advising a foreign UHNW entrepreneur, owning a large international company and several trusts, on his relocation to Switzerland.
- Advising the owners of a foreign industrial group on cross-border tax structuring and on founding a Swiss holding company held by two Liechtenstein foundations.
- Acting as lead counsel in creating a Swiss charitable foundation for a foreign UHNW family.
Homburger is noted for its seamless collaboration across practice groups, so that it can offer banking, tax, regulatory and real estate assistance under one roof. The private client team is particularly involved in cross-border tax planning and structuring, matrimonial law, trust and estates, and related litigation mandates. It is led by Claudia Suter, who is a dedicated tax and inheritance practitioner. Gabrielle Nater-Bass is the key contact for disputes.
Other key lawyers:
‘Plenty of experience in doing all kinds of work for private clients, deeply professional in all relevant aspects, provide their clients with solid advice and creative solutions. Highly regarded in this industry, and accordingly have an impressive client base.’
‘Gabrielle Nater – very smart and knowledgeable, energetic, creative, hands-on everything. She is the attorney you want to advise you in such matters.’
‘Claudia Suter is a noteworthy team member.’
Executor of Estate of Marc Rich
- Representing members of an entrepreneur family as international lead counsel in cross-border litigation against another family member.
- Advising a self-made Swiss billionaire as international lead counsel on international estate planning.
- Advising a UHNWI as international co-lead counsel on the relocation to Switzerland and the reorganisation of the holding structure of his companies.
Niederer Kraft Frey AG is highlighted for fielding an 'extremely savvy, exceptionally trained, highly experienced and truly engaged' team. With its integrated private client and tax practice, the group assists Swiss and foreign (U)HNWIs in estate planning, asset transfers, matrimonial property law matters and the acquisition of real estate and art. It also handles divorces, foundations and philanthropy issues. The practice is jointly led by 'exceptionally committed' private client specialist Catherine Grun Meyer and tax expert Thomas Graf. Senior associates Daniel Antognini and Thomas Hochstrasser are well versed in dispute resolution.
Catherine Grun Meyer; Thomas Graf
Other key lawyers:
Daniel Antognini; Thomas Hochstrasser
‘NKF rightfully enjoys a prime reputation as the top law firm in Zurich for private client matters and beyond. Its level of professionalism, client focus, expertise and responsiveness is truly unique. As in any people’s business industry, it in my view more than anything is NKF’s team that makes them stand apart: extremely savvy, exceptionally trained, highly experienced and truly engaged, they’re acting as their client’s advisors in all aspects.’
‘In particular, I value the thought-through strategy for the case, unparalleled research and subject matter expertise, case-specific application of the applicable laws, outstanding collaboration with my lawyers in other jurisdictions as well as highest level of both preparedness and sovereignty in written disputes as well as courtroom hearings. NKF has a team of highly qualified and very motivated professionals tirelessly and seamlessly working towards achieving my goals.’
‘Catherine Grun Meyer is an outstanding lawyer, exceptional strategic thinker and second to none expert in her field. Always available despite her very busy agenda, she is fully dedicated to excellently represent her clients.’
‘Catherine Grun Meyer developed a thought-through strategy for our cases and follows it through with an unparalleled level of experience and expertise – she not only delivers outstanding analysis and application of the law in an innovative, robust and coherent way on constantly extremely high quality levels, she also knows how to read personal profiles of the disputants and how to best handle the different authorities and governmental bodies/ agencies involved. She is an exceptionally committed partner to have at your side in a huge amount of difficult situations, and works non-stop, following the agreed strategy she permanently improves, to meet the goals.’
‘The team is worldly-wise and very cognisant of issues and conflict of law issues for international individuals and their estate planning.’
‘Thomas Graf – an expert on international tax matters and very pragmatic.’
‘Catherine Grun Meyer is very knowledgeable in complex succession law matters across jurisdictions.’
‘Top notch attorneys with broad experience.’
‘Very collegial and a great partner for foreign lawyers looking for excellent Swiss counsel.’
‘Daniel Antognini is an excellent litigation lawyer with impressive knowledge and experience, extremely focused, who doesn’t stop researching a case before having found the best applicable legal argument to cover all aspects involved. He tirelessly works towards the strategy developed, outperforms highest standards and never falls short of ensuring the argument made is consistent and well-rounded. A true pleasure to work with and rely on.’
‘NKF have one of the most experienced private client practice in Switzerland. I truly appreciate their dedication and way to work with clients and peers.’
‘Catherine Grun Meyer is easy to work with, highly experienced and genuinely dedicated to her clients’ case.’
The team at Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd covers a broad scope of private client matters and provides 'clear practical, and business-oriented guidance and solutions'. Clients approach the group for assistance with estate, tax and succession planning, charitable foundations, and matrimonial and family law. Its caseload comprises a number of matters that are international in nature and practice co-head Georgia Fotiou has a particular following among Greek clients. She leads the practice with Michael Hamm, who specialises in inheritance law. Andreas von Erlach is a key contact for entrepreneurs.
Georgia Fotiou; Michael Hamm
Other key lawyers:
Andreas von Erlach; Severine Vogel
‘Large, very experienced private client team, capable of handling large, international matters as the lead counsel. Clients get a lot of attention from the partners. Good value for money. The team is among the best private client teams in Switzerland.’
‘Georgia Fotiou sees the big picture, is very experienced, especially in cross-border matters, and is great to work with. She is well organized. Her dual background as a Greek and a Swiss lawyer is quite unique.’
‘Reactive and flexible, Staiger Attorneys at Law provides clear, practical, and business-oriented guidance and solutions.’
‘Andreas von Erlach and Michael Hamm have strong knowledge and experience in inheritance law and succession planning.’
‘Know-how, care, attention to detail, accuracy, timeliness, knowledge.’
‘Extremely reliable, supportive, takes initiative.’
‘The firm’s set-up is very professional and it’s a dynamic and well-experienced team. Michael Hamm’s input was always very much appreciated by clients. He has profound knowledge, acts efficiently and to the point.’
Nesinco Group Ltd.
Andritz Soutec Ltd.
L.A.M. – Les Arts Mécaniques SA
New Energy Horizons Ltd.
Private Capital Partners Ltd.
- Advising a family trust as international lead counsel on restructuring their international musical instrument business.
- Advising a HNW family as international lead counsel on the administration and division of an multi-jurisdictional estate.
- Advising a HNW family on establishing a Luxembourg private label fund for family members.
Kellerhals Carrard acts for Swiss and foreign (U)HNWI, entrepreneurs, private banks and family offices in various locations throughout Switzerland. The key contacts are 'outstanding inheritance law expert' Ingrid Iselin, family law specialist Annette Spycher, Nicolas Gillard and Thomas Hentz in Geneva, Bern, Lausanne and Basel, respectively; the team also includes practitioners in Zurich and Lugano. The team advises on wills, estate planning and structuring of private investments, among other work.
Ingrid Iselin; Annette Spycher
Other key lawyers:
Nicolas Gillard; Thomas Hentz; Sabine Wyss; Nicolas Hoffmann
‘Ingrid Iselin is very knowledgeable and fights very hard for the interests of her clients.’
‘Annette Spycher is very much to the point and very responsive.’
‘Personal treatment on sensitive matters.’
‘Annette Spycher was well available at any moment to support the client, even out of office.’
‘The Geneva firm has an excellent reputation in the private client sector. It is very responsive and customer oriented. You never have to wait for a qualitatively good and timely response.’
‘Geneva-based Ingrid Iselin-Zellweger is an outstanding inheritance law expert. We always work with her when we have a legal procedure in the French speaking part of Switzerland. She regularly achieves stunning results in negotiations. Her team’s responsiveness is also outstanding.’
‘Strong, clear advice and proven ability to collaborate effectively on international matters.’
‘Ingrid Iselin is a thorough inheritance specialist.’
‘Annette Spycher is a focussed and practical source of strategic input on a complex jurisdictional matter, providing invaluable insight in a timely manner.’
The team at LALIVE is active in litigation and arbitration proceedings such as divorces, disputes between individuals and private banks, and international inheritance law. It also assists with art law and philanthropy issues and advises trusts. The practice is led by litigators Alexander Troller and Sandrine Giroud in Geneva and inheritance law expert Werner Jahnel and Simone Nadelhofer in Zurich.
Alexander Troller; Werner Jahnel; Sandrine Giroud; Simone Nadelhofer
Other key lawyers:
‘Lalive is very efficient and fast in answering legal questions. Whenever something is coming up, they search the best solution that fits to the company. They are very good in arbitration matters or closing a case by settlement.’
‘Sandrine Giroud is tough, very smart and an excellent communicator and strategist. She is also highly responsive.’
‘Werner Jahnel and Alexander Troller are knowledgeable, responsive and confident legal professionals. They have demonstrated flexibility and agility, which has been key for our fluid and dynamic legal situation.’
‘Sandrine Giroud is an excellent operator.’
‘Werner Jahnel and his team are smart and work fast but what sets this team apart are its empathy and humanity.’
‘Werner Jahnel was creative and has an excellent network of contacts around the world that proved helpful to this case. Mr. Jahnel also has a remarkable ability to read the court’s mind: he proved prescient in his predictions of what the court would decide and in what timeframe.’
‘The firm has done a great job helping us navigate a rather complex estate; throughout the process they have given us confidence they are working in the best interest of my family. In addition, they have also been able to help us navigate another legal situation, which is linked to the inheritance proceeding. Even though this second situation is not part of their core capabilities, they have shown themselves to be agile and flexible to accommodate all our legal needs.’
‘Werner Jahnel is a managing partner at Lalive. He is excellent, caring and very knowledgeable about inheritance law matters. He knows how to handle difficult cases and people. He is keen to bring matters/cases to a successful end ASAP. He speaks many languages and is a very good listener. Werner Jahnel is conscientious, hard-working and determined to win his cases. Very dynamic.’
‘Werner Jahnel is brilliant, multi-lingual, and an exceptionally good lawyer. With remarkably good instincts, a kind disposition, and offers outstanding intelligent advise. At the end of the day, Werner Jahnel is there for you and he respects the trust his client expects from him and is exceptional in his field.’
‘Personalized and fast service.’
‘Alexander Troller and his team very quickly became part of our team working very closely together in full trust. Whenever we needed them, they were available without any attempt of imposing themselves to bill inadequately. Their advice was a unique combination of knowledge, pragmatism and smartness.’
‘Alexander Troller is as good as a senior advisor gets: knowledgeable, experienced, approachable and pleasant. A joy to have around the table. From the very beginning I trusted him and got a great service. He is full of integrity and thinks before he talks.’
- Representing an UHNWI and related entities in Swiss civil and criminal proceedings for the recovery of assets as a result of alleged fraud in relation to artwork transactions exceeding $1bn involving several jurisdictions.
- Acting for a UHNW family in relation to its interests as principal shareholders of a luxury hotel company in relation to corporate and governance matters and to the planning of the privately-owned estate, in a matter valued at $120m.
- Acting for an UHNWI in relation to a $40m inheritance cross-border dispute featuring multiple assets in several jurisdictions.
The core pillars of MME Legal | Tax | Compliance‘s private client practice are inheritance law, matrimonial law, real estate and tax mandates. Other fields covered include family governance and structures as well as foundations and fund structures. The team is led by ‘excellent adviser‘ Balz Hösly and Alexandra Geiger, who are both specialists in inheritance law, and the real estate-focused Christoph Nater.
Balz Hösly; Christoph Nater; Alexandra Geiger
‘Balz Hösly is very experienced and an excellent adviser. He is also very good as mediator for family disputes.’
‘Very good private clients practice.’
‘Balz Hösly: excellent inheritance lawyer with a vision and strategic skills.’
‘Great experience in the field of succession law with Balz Hösly as a member of the group working on the current revision of Swiss succession law.’
‘Alexandra Geiger is a junior partner who stands out; she has in-depth experience in employment and inheritance law matters.’
‘Great expertise, very practical approach to problems.’
‘The team at MME is outstanding. They make you feel like your case matters to them and that they have your back. They dive right in. They come prepared and their results speak volumes.’
‘Balz Hösly and Alexandra Geiger are an outstanding team. They are smart and prepared. They always had my back. They communicated well with each other.’
‘Very sound knowledge of the legal matter combined with a very accommodating and personable approach. Very time efficient and always showed a clear path going forward.’
‘Alexandra Geiger has an excellent knowledge of the legal matter but also very good social skills to communicate with the opponent party and the authorities. She also splits the work extremely well between her and her associates. Her approach made the whole case extremely time and cost efficient.’
‘Balz Hösly is an exceptional lawyer with a great network.’
‘The team has a clear client focus. Further, they have a strong focus on practical things without losing details and the big picture. But most important they are extremely passionate about their work and bring a positive vibe into the rather dry topic of law. ’
‘Christoph Nater is not only an outstanding lawyer but an incredible leader. From the outside, he seems to be a great mentor and caring about diversity.’
Private Bank Rahn+Bodmer Co.
Foundation Frieda Locher-Hofmann
Swiss Ministry of Justice
- Advising the Foundation Hatt-Bucher on real estate matters.
- Advising several bank customers of the oldest private bank in Zürich, Rahn+Bodmer Co., on personal matters.
- Acting as trusted advisor and family lawyer for legal matters and the estate planning of an UNWH-German-Swiss family of three generations who holds a significant stake in a globally operating German corporation.
Wenger & Vieli LTD is specialised in advising small- to mid-sized entrepreneurs on estate planning matters. The team, which is led by Michael Huber and Bruno Bächli, also assists clients in a range of legal and tax related queries. Dominik Bürgy joined the practice in October 2019 from EY; he is also active in tax matters.
Wenger Plattner's practice focuses on tax planning but also covers setting up and managing charitable foundations, business succession planning, civil and administrative proceedings. The team is instructed by entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals, and is led by Filippo Beck; he also covers finance and banking law. Employment specialist Roland Bachmann is also active in this area.
Other key lawyers: