Firms in the Spotlight Public law

Umbricht Rechtsanwälte

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Umbricht Attorneys is a renowned, internationally orientated law firm which has been active for over 40 years in the very heart of Zurich. Our main areas of expertise are commercial and public law.

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Public law in Switzerland

Kellerhals Carrard

Kellerhals Carrard offers ‘high level quality’ advice across all economy related areas of public law, including litigation, from both a Swiss and international perspective. The team has specific expertise in public procurement law, acting for both tenderers and awarding bodies as well as in public construction, planning and environmental law. The ‘excellentChristoph Jäger is specialised in litigating in areas of regulatory affairs, especially concerning key public infrastructures, and heads the Bern office together with Andreas Güngerich. The Lugano office is headed by Ivan Paparelli, who is experienced in litigation concerning, among others, construction law, and Jonathan Bernasconi.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Jäger; Andreas Güngerich; Ivan Paparelli; Jonathan Bernasconi

Testimonials

‘Cases, regardless of specialization, are handled very professionally, comprehensively, competently and extremely quickly (on time).’

‘All partners perform exceptionally well.’

‘Christoph Jäger and Thomas Geiger are very experienced litigators in the field of administrative law, work very customer-orientated, but give legal guidance whenever it is necessary. Highly professional litigators, also for complex cases!’

‘Very high focus on conceptual rule-of-law issues combined with high attention to fact-finding and willingness to defend a client’s position also against regulatory bodies. Very responsive and detail-minded while maintaining the ability to clearly and abstractly bring legal concepts to bear and convincingly argue against contrarian views.’

‘The team, headed by Christoph Jäger, always provides the support you need in the desired time. High level quality. You always can rely on their advices. High availability when needed. Fair pricing regarding the quality of services and results.’

‘Christoph Jäger is an excellent and trustworthy lawyer, highly qualified, with a deep understanding of business issues. At the same time he is socially competent, co-operative and engaged. It is a pleasure to work with him. Uncomplicated, close to our practical issues, very pragmatic in finding executable and reasonable solutions. Very fast in capturing new issues.’

Key clients

BKW Energie AG

AVAG AG

Losinger Marazzi AG

BLS AG

Vigier Group

eOperations Schweiz AG

Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation

Canton of Berne, several agencies

Swiss Federal Administration, several agencies

Work highlights

  • Represented Tamedia in the proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court regarding the award of the SBB outdoor advertising, one of the three largest such awards in Europe in the relevant year.
  • Acted for IWF AG in a case before the Federal Supreme Court that upheld the appeal in a public deliberation/trial and referred the case back for a new decision.
  • Advised the EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg on its €250m expansion in construction, public procurement, contracts and public law matters.

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin advises on all areas of public law, such as general administrative law including zoning, building, environmental and property law and across all sectors, such as energy, telecoms and media. The ‘very responsive and capable’ team advises clients on contentious and non-contentious matters and represents clients in the field of public procurement before all cantonal and federal authorities and courts. Rayan Houdrouge and Benoît Merkt, specialising in public procurement, are the key names in the Geneva office. Marcel Meinhardt, with specialisms in the postal services area as well as the energy, media and telecoms sectors, and Astrid Waser are the names to note in Zurich.

Practice head(s):

Rayan Houdrouge; Benoît Merkt; Marcel Meinhardt; Astrid Waser

Testimonials

‘Involvement in the big lawsuits in Switzerland. Therefore know how about practice of competition authority and law courts like nobody else. Smart, strong in strategies and in-house politics.’

‘Marcel Meinhardt is extremely bright, smart, fast, clever, strategy-oriented. He has huge know-how and experience – genial.’

‘The team has large know-how, is very responsive and capable to think not only legally but also in the position of CEO/responsible. Fast comprehension of complex issues.’

‘Benoît Merkt has a big network and takes a global approach to issues, not only legal.’

Key clients

City of Zurich (EWZ)

Expedia

Mastercard

NRJ SA

Pro7Sat.1 AG

SAP

Sunrise

Swiss Post

Telecommunications SA

UBER

Various Export Credit Agencies and various International Banks

Work highlights

  • Represented Swiss Post before the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Supreme Court in a matter concerning a complaint by the Swiss postal regulator.
  • Advised and represented Uber B.V. and Uber Switzerland GmbH (Uber) in the context of disputes and decision proceedings regarding the obligations from Uber from a social security and regulatory perspective.
  • Advised the city of Zurich (ewz) in proceedings and appeals related to grid tariffs and allocation of costs.

VISCHER

VISCHER’s public law practice is highly focused on the energy and healthcare sectors but is also experienced in other regulated industries, including gambling and financial services. The team handles disputes with regulatory bodies at all governmental levels as well as regulatory issues regarding transactions, concessions, tariffs and contracts. Stefan Rechsteiner heads the firms’ energy practice and represents companies active in regulated markets before regulators and administrative courts. Head of the healthcare practice Michael Waldner represents hospitals before courts in regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Rechsteiner

Other key lawyers:

Michael Waldner

Key clients

Axpo Service AG

Rheinkraftwerk Säckingen AG, Kraftwerk Ryburg-Schwörstadt AG, Kraftwerk Reckingen AG

Repower AG

Energie 360 Grad AG

EBL (Genossenschaft Elektra Baselland)

Energiedienst Holding AG

University Hospital of Zurich

University Hospital of Bern (“Inselspital”)

University Hospital of Basel

Cantonal Hospital of St. Gall

Cantonal Hospital of Aarau

Cantonal Hospital of Lucerne

Claraspital, Basel

Work highlights

  • Advised the Axpo Group on all legal aspects in the process of adapting its corporate structure and transferring its grid business by way of a transfer of assets pursuant to the Swiss Federal Merger Act to Axpo Grid AG.
  • Successfully acted as Swiss legal counsel to the hydro power plants Rheinkraftwerk Säckingen AG, Kraftwerk Ryburg-Schwörstadt AG, Kraftwerk Reckingen AG at the Swiss-German border in an appeal, granting them priority rights to use the high voltage grid to transport electricity generated in the plant across the border.
  • Represented University Hospital of Zurich in a landmark dispute with health care insurances relating to the tariffs for hospital treatment as of the year 2012.

Walder Wyss Ltd.

Walder Wyss Ltd. has an enviable track record of advising the Swiss government and various other Swiss public bodies. The team covers the full spectrum of public law issues, including procurement, energy, natural resources and open access law as well as data protection, infrastructure and transport. Practice head Hans Rudolf Trüeb represents public clients before court and arbitral tribunals and is experienced in energy, telecoms and procurement law. Ramona Wyss has a focus on regulated industries, in particular the energy sector, and Martin Zobl, who ‘clearly stands out from other lawyers’, specialises in administrative law and procedure.

Practice head(s):

Hans Rudolf Trüeb

Other key lawyers:

Ramona Wyss; Martin Zobl; Daniel Zimmerli

Testimonials

‘Very qualified advice and a very pleasant and solution-oriented cooperation.’

‘Superior knowledge in health industry issues. Deal maker qualities.’

‘Very solid knowledge of the market and its trends. Strong negotiation skills.’

‘The team is very responsive. It has the capacity to tackle different complicated subjects at the same time. The legal advice is always practical and can be applied to solve the problem at hand.’

‘Walder Wyss has managed to build up a dedicated public law team which is led by Rudolf Trüeb. The team, made of some 10 practitioners, uniquely caters to the requirements of public clients.’

‘Walder Wyss supported us in an area of law in which there is little literature and case matters. Thanks to their partner, who has an extensive knowledge in public law, we were able to win valuable support.’

‘Rudolf Trüeb has led and won many cases for us before federal courts. He is approachable and responsive, well known in the market and praised by clients. The team has become deep and diverse in the last years. We very much appreciate working with Martin Zobl who specializes in public law litigation. Martin Zobl clearly stands out from other lawyers we worked with as regards to quality, experience and responsiveness. Also, Ramona Wyss, now a partner, has provided very valuable assistance. Reto Jacobs, a senior competition lawyer and partner at Walder Wyss, regularly provides us with expert advice in transactions and projects. Also, Daniel Zimmerli, counsel in Walder Wyss’

‘Walder Wyss is staffed by various persons very competent in the legal field for which we have engaged them. They have extensive experience in public procurement law and regularly publish interesting articles on the subject.’

‘The legal opinion was prepared by Hans Rudolf Trüeb together with Daniel Zimmerli. These persons have special knowledge in public procurement law. They regularly work with public companies and are familiar with the relevant legal topics and problems. This makes cooperation much easier. They work very carefully and objectively.’

Key clients

Swiss Confederation (with all its administrative branches)

Canton of Zurich

Axpo Group (Axpo Holding, Axpo Power, Axpo Trading)

Energie 360 Grad AG

SBB – Swiss Federal Railways

SBB Cargo AG

ETH Zürich

Zurich University

Universitätsspital Zürich

Universität Kinderspital Zürich Eleonorenstiftung

Hirslanden AG

Zuger Kantonsspital AG

Spital Thurgau AG

Helsana Versicherung AG

Tertianum Gruppe

Work highlights

  • Acted for SBB, the Swiss federal railway service, in a collective appeal proceedings regarding the Disability Equality Act.
  • Successfully defended Axpo Power AG regarding the impending decommissioning of the Beznau nuclear power plant.
  • Acted for Hirslanden AG in administrative litigation before the Federal Administrative Court against the refusal of a mandate in highly specialised medicine of the relevant intercantonal association.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. acts for public entities, authorities and private clients on matters relating to public and governmental services and is active in litigation, arbitration, investigations and administrative proceedings. In particular, the team has expertise in the energy, healthcare, financial services, education and infrastructure sectors and also advises on gambling and export control issues. Practice head Markus Schott is specialised in regulatory and administrative law issues, including public procurement, and advises on administrative sanctions and governmental supervision, among other matters.

Practice head(s):

Markus Schott

Key clients

Republic and Canton of Geneva

Syngenta

Work highlights

  • Advised the Canton of Geneva on the issue of green bonds listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange in an aggregate amount of CHF660m.

Bratschi Ltd

Bratschi Ltd advises a broad range of clients on a myriad of public law issues, including areas such as subsidy law, state organisation law, constitutional law, media law and road traffic law. Clients of the firm range from municipalities over Cantons and their entities to parastatal entities, such as public transport organisations and hospitals, as well as private companies. Isabelle Häner, Ulrich Keusen and Jürg Bereuter head the team from the Zurich, Bern and St. Gallen offices respectively.

Practice head(s):

Isabelle Häner; Ulrich Keusen; Jürg Bereuter

Key clients

Politische Gemeinde Diepoldsau

Politische Gemeinde Balgach

Politische Gemeinde Schänis

Politische Gemeinde Wil

Politische Gemeinde Berg SG

Politische Gemeinde Berneck

Politische Gemeinde Eichberg

Baudepartement des Kantons St.Gallen

Vereinigung St.Galler Gemeindepräsidentinnen und Gemeindepräsidenten

St.Gallisch Appenzellische Kraftwerke AG (SAK)

Fortimo Invest AG

Selectivbau AG

Thoma Immobilien Treuhand AG

Bücheler Immobilien AG

Bernet Gruppe

Kantonalverband Steine, Kies und Beton

HASTAG St.Gallen Bau AG

Work highlights

  • Assisted transport publics biennois in a procurement procedure for the award of bus routes, both in the award procedure and later in litigation.
  • Supported HASTAG St.Gallen Bau AG, especially in the area of gravel mining and landfill contracts and easements in general.

Homburger

Homburger advises clients active in regulated industries and in sectors including life sciences, telecoms, construction, energy and financial services. The firm’s lawyers are frequently active in international proceedings that involve foreign public authorities and act for sovereign states in international arbitration cases. Marcel Dietrich is head of the competition and regulatory team and advises clients on regulatory matters, compliance and investigations, among others. Mariella Orelli specialises in international dispute resolution and regularly advises foreign states and state-owned companies. Richard Stäuber made partner in January 2020.

Practice head(s):

Marcel Dietrich; Mariella Orelli

Other key lawyers:

Richard Stäuber

Key clients

Liberty Global

SIX

Philip Morris

Alpiq

Pawlowski

AMAG (independent Swiss car importer of Volkswagen Group)

Implenia

Work highlights

  • Advised Liberty Global on regulatory filings for the transfer of telecoms spectrum licences in connection with its planned public tender offer for Sunrise.
  • Advised SIX on its new open banking platform b.Link.
  • Represented a company of the state-owned Palestinian Investment Fund against a $1.6bn claim.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

The administrative law and public procurement practice at Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd has a focus on representing parties in administrative procedures before courts on a cantonal and federal level as well as dealing with public authorities in regard to public procurement. The group drafts, reviews and negotiates tender notices, documents and procurement contracts and advises gas and electricity producers and distributors on grid tariffs, partial grid transfers and joint ventures, among others. David Mamane, Roland Mathys and Yves Jeanrenaud are the practice heads. Counsel Frank Bremer is also noted.

Practice head(s):

David Mamane; Roland Mathys; Yves Jeanrenaud

Other key lawyers:

Frank Bremer

Testimonials

‘The team is dedicated, reliable and very competent with respect to IT related law.’

‘Very focused, goal oriented and competent.’

Key clients

Axpo Energy Utility

BKW (Utility company for the canton of Bern)

Uber

Varo Energy

Sopra Steria

ELCA Informatique

CSC Computer Science Corporation

Fairtiq

Bouygues Construction

Husqvarna

Orphanhealthcare

Gasverbund MIttelland (GVM)

Industrielle Werke Basel (IWB)

Energie Wasser Luzern

Erdgas Zentralschweiz

SWITCH

Paul Scherrer Institute

Pandemic Taskforce of the Information Security Society Switzerland (ISSS)

Work highlights

  • Advising Uber on regulatory, competition law, and corporate matters.
  • Represented the utilities companies Energie Wasser Luzern and Erdgas Zentralschweiz in a competition law investigation by the Swiss Competition Commission concerning access to the gas infrastructure of these companies.

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd

The team at Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd has ‘outstanding knowledge of the energy market in Switzerland’ and advises both national and international clients, in particular from the electricity, oil and gas industries, on corporate, regulatory, tax and financing issues as well as restructurings and disputes. Marc Bernheim is experienced in matters relating to regulated network industries and Gaudenz Geiger advises on issues such as CO₂ emissions and tariff arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Marc Bernheim; Gaudenz Geiger

Testimonials

‘In addition to its legal expertise, the energy law team has outstanding knowledge of the energy market in Switzerland. This makes it possible to deal with any concerns very quickly and in a goal-oriented and efficient manner. Gaudenz Geiger has an excellent network of energy law specialists throughout Europe with whom he is in close contact. In many cases, cross-border questions can be answered very quickly and cost-effectively.’

‘Mr. Gaudenz Geiger has a “hands on” approach and is down to the earth. He keeps things simple and does not “make an elephant out of a mosquito” just to generate additional – and from a business view unnecessary – work and fees.’

Key clients

Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke AG

Enerprice Partners AG, Enerprice Service AG

First Energy AG

Swiss Climate Cent Foundation

Avenergy Suisse (Association of Swiss fuel oil importers and producers)

SN Energie AG

Work highlights

  • Represented Centralschweizerische Kraftwerke in a landmark dispute on concession fees as part of grid usage tariffs.
  • Advised Enerprice on the Swiss and European regulatory framework of its business and on other public law related matters.
  • Advised First Energy on public law-related matters of its international business.