Real estate and construction in Switzerland

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie acts for all types of players in the real estate market, including established national and international institutional investors, asset managers, real estate developers, construction companies, industrial companies as well as hotel owners and operators. The unit has a ‘transaction orientation‘, focusing on real estate M&A, hotel transactions, corporate real estate, tax efficient restructurings, real estate investment schemes as well as real estate development projects. Martin Furrer, Alexander Wyss and Samuel Marbacher lead the Zurich office while Charles Gschwind leads the Geneva office. Clients feel that the ‘deep collective knowledge of sale and lease back transactions is very good‘ and find that the ‘availability of the partners is impressive‘. Olivier Ducrey left in October 2021.

Testimonials

‘Their deep collective knowledge of sale and lease back transactions is very good. Availability of the partners is impressive.’

‘People, combination of business sense & law, want to get things done, transaction orientation.’

‘Charles Gschwind is very responsive, proactive, qualified, professional.’

Key clients

Swiss Life

CSL Behring

Banque Pictet & Cie. SA

Mandarin Oriental

Stone Estate.Swiss

COVID-19

Helvetica Property

Reichle Immobilien AG

Neue Hotel Atlantis AG

Ultima Capital AG

Swisscanto Invest

Work highlights

  • Advised Swiss Life AG and European funds managed by Swiss Life domiciled in France, Luxembourg and Germany on the acquisition of the shopping center Glattzentrum near Zurich, one of the largest and most popular shopping centers in Switzerland, from Migros, Switzerland’s largest retailer.
  • Advised CSL Limited, a listed global biotechnology company, on all legal matters on its strategic partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.
  • Advised Pictet on the sale of its iconic global headquarter building in the Acacias district of Geneva to Deka Immobilien in a sale and lease back transaction.

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. advises on all types of real estate transactions, including capital market transactions such as initial public offerings and capital increases. A further speciality of the practice are restructurings of real estate holdings, in particular with regard to tax-neutrality and tax-efficiency. The versatile practice head Corrado Rampini acts for both lenders and borrowers in financings of real estate portfolios in addition to shouldering a hefty transactional caseload. Ralph Malacrida, Lukas Roesler and Daniel Bader are the key contacts in the Zurich office for M&A and corporate finance transactions, banking and finance as well as tax issues related to real estate matters. In Lugano, banking law specialist Massimo Vanotti  is the key contact.

Practice head(s):

Corrado Rampini

Key clients

PSP Swiss Property

Huntsman

Pensionskasse Conzzeta

Syngenta

Migros Genossenschafts-Bund

AXA

Swiss Life

Implenia/Ina Invest

Swiss Prime Site

Novartis

Work highlights

  • Advised PSP Swiss Property on the acquisition of three commercial buildings in the CBD of Geneva for CHF295m (plus transaction costs).
  • Advised Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund on the sale of the Shopping Center Glatt, one of Switzerland’s largest and most popular shopping centers, for a purchase price above CHF1bn.
  • Advised Huntsman on a sale-and-lease-back transaction regarding the European headquarters of its Advanced Materials Division in Basel.

CMS

The real estate practice at CMS focuses on advising national and international institutional investors on all aspects of transactions. This includes acquisitions and divestments in asset and share deals, developments of various types of real estate, financings and sale-and-lease back transactions of office, hotel and logistics properties. Stefan Gerster and Olivier Carrard jointly head the team, which ‘distinguishes itself by an efficient and hands-on attitude‘, and further advises on corporate real estate matters, including real estate litigation. Sibylle Schnyder is a further key contact. Sidonie Morvan, who has a focus on acquisitions, construction and development projects, joined from OA LEGAL in January 2021.

Practice head(s):

Stefan Gerster; Olivier Carrard

Other key lawyers:

Sibylle Schnyder; Thomas Zweifel; Sidonie Morvan

Testimonials

‘CMS’ experienced team assists clients in achieving their business goals supporting them with their deep knowledge and understanding of local and international law. The team distinguishes itself by an efficient and hands-on attitude making them one of the top partners for real estate and construction law in Switzerland.’

‘Thomas Zweifel has gained experience in many real estate and M&A related transactions and uses his vast knowledge to assist his clients in all legal matters. Especially his out-of-the-box thinking is valuable to master complex transactions. His responsive work ethic makes him a reliable partner.’

‘Highly experienced law firm, want to get things done.’

‘Stefan Gerster and Sibylle Schnyder are highly experienced, very responsive.’

‘Great network.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse Asset Management (Switzerland) Ltd.

Swiss Prime Site Immobilien Ltd.

Swiss Prime Investment Foundation

Allianz Suisse Real Estate Inc

Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH

Work highlights

  • Assisted Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH with the acquisition of a large office building in Geneva by means of a sale and lease back transaction from Banque Pictet.
  • Assisted private Swiss real estate owners with the sale of a commercial property located in the CBD of Zurich to an institutional investor.
  • Assisted Credit Suisse Funds AG with the sale of a business hotel in Basel.

Lenz & Staehelin

Lenz & Staehelin covers the full range of advice regarding real estate transactions and construction matters, including development and planning projects, land acquisitions, public private partnerships, public procurement and project negotiations. ‘Excellent lawyerBeat Kühni stands out with his ‘very good negotiating skills and high business acumen‘. The ‘very efficient and cleverCécile Berger Meyer advises on civil as well as administrative law matters regarding real estate projects and ‘can draft a solid contract in a few hours‘. The ‘flexible, responsive‘ team, which includes ‘excellent real estate lawyerFabiano Menghini and Andreas Rötheli, frequently advises on in- and outbound investments in infrastructure projects concerning, among others, the transportation, energy and water industries.

Testimonials

‘Beat Kühni is an excellent lawyer who provides deep knowledge and has very strong negotiation skills.’

‘Easy to reach out to; excellent knowledge of different cantonal practices; fluency in German & French. Pragmatic & solution-oriented approach.’

‘Cécile Berger Meyer & team are fast thinking & very skilled real estate lawyers; they excel at finding solutions to complex situations in a very short period of time.’

‘The team has a holistic approach to the transactions about which they advise clients, which means that, beyond the purely legal aspects, they understand and contribute to the transactions in a holistic way.’

‘The Lenz team has in-depth knowledge of the market, including a detailed understanding of the various Swiss Cantons.’

‘With Lenz, I am confident that I am getting top-flight talent and sound advice. I have worked with Beat Kühni specifically and found his guidance invaluable in navigating complex negotiations.’

‘They have wide experience, are really responsive, can work day and night when it is necessary. As far as real estate and construction matters are concerned, they have many specialists and are always aware of the new procedures or tax impact. As a major firm with many specialised lawyers in various matters, the service is global, even if the problem concerns only one subject.’

‘Cécile Berger is a lawyer I highly recommend as she always finds the time, even if it is late. She is very very efficient and clever and she can draft a solid contract in a few hours.’

‘Fabiano Menghini is not only an excellent real estate lawyer, providing all required legal knowledge and experience, he also has experience in industrial multi-site partnerships, has great negotiation skills, forms and expresses highly valued opinions on associated risks and benefits, delivers quickly and diligently and is always a pleasure to meet, discuss, negotiate or chat with.’

Key clients

Bain/Cinven

FIVE Resorts Group

Solvay SA

Vicat

BMS

Work highlights

  • Advised Bain Capital Private Equity and Cinven on the CHF4.2bn acquisition of Lonza Specialty Ingredients.
  • Advised FIVE Hotels & Resorts group on the acquisition of 5-star hotel Atlantis in Zürich city, including the structuring, financing, renovation and expansion.
  • Assisted BMS (Building Materials Suisse) with the sale of a real estate portfolio, composed of 17 industrial properties located in various regions of the country.

MLL Legal

The ‘very competent people‘ at MLL LegalComparative Guides promotional iconComparative Guides promotional icon give ‘very clear advice‘ and ‘efficiently propose adequate solutions for complex problems‘ across all types of real estate matters. A specialism of the unit are real estate transactions with complex cross-border financing elements involving foreign investors and financial institutions. Further areas of expertise relate to project developments and real estate litigation, the latter in particular with respect to construction law and zoning issues. The Zurich-based Wolfgang Müller is lauded for his ‘outstanding knowledge and supportive attitude‘. The ‘extremely effective‘ Geneva-based Philippe Prost has a focus on real estate transactions and litigation, as does Romina Brogini. Catrina Luchsinger Gähwiler brings environmental law expertise to the table, in particular with respect to polluted sites. Cosima Trabichet-Castan and Walter Häberling are further key contacts.

Testimonials

‘They respond very quickly and efficiently, proposing adequate solutions for complex problems.’

‘Wolfgang Müller finds adequate solutions for all arising issues and puts across legal matters in detail. He is a flexible thinker who can easily adapt to any different situation. We highly appreciate his directness in addressing problems facing the essential and not losing himself in trivial details.’

‘MLL provided us with a highly professional legal opinion in a fast response time.’

‘Very competent people, very responsive, very professional.’

‘Effective face to face discussions in order to analyse legal situations and opportunities and share possible options. Philippe Prost has been extremely effective in managing our interests.’

‘We received clear and quick answers from our lawyer. He was readily available to answer our questions.’

‘The team is very reliable, you always get answers soon and for every question (different kind of topics) there is a person who can support you.’

‘Everyone I worked with was very supportive and had excellent knowledge within his or her business field. Wolfgang Müller has an outstanding knowledge and supportive attitude.’

Key clients

Allianz (Allianz Suisse Immobilien AG)

Allreal Holding AG

Calida Holding AG

Central Real Estate Basel AG

Generali (Generali Personenversicherungen AG)

Masimo Corporation

Meyer Burger Technology AG

Nova Property Fund Management AG

poenina holding ag

Rystadt AG (formerly Central Real Estate Basel AG)

Sunrise (Sunrise Communications AG)

Swiss Life AG

Züblin Immobilien AG

1291 Die Schweizer Anlagestiftung

Work highlights

  • Advised Swiss Life on the acquisition of a real estate portfolio comprising 26 real properties in 4 cantons for a purchase price of CHF360.3m.
  • Advised Generali on the acquisition of a real estate portfolio comprising two residential and two mixed-use buildings located in the center of Geneva.
  • Advised the owner of the largest industrial site in Basel on transforming the site into a new urban district in the heart of the city of Basel.

Niederer Kraft Frey AG

Niederer Kraft Frey AG assists clients with the full range of real estate matters across all asset classes as well as in all language areas in Switzerland with expertise ‘ranging from construction, transactions, asset and portfolio-management to tax and tenant law‘ as well as litigation. The real estate practice is headed by Andreas F Vögeli who makes use of his ‘exceptional negotiation and argumentation skills‘ when assisting clients with sale and lease back transactions, the development of former industrial sites and hotel and leisure projects. ‘Excellent real estate lawyerOliver Zbinden advises clients on matters regarding tenancy law, private and public construction as well as zoning law, environmental law and Lex Koller issues.

Practice head(s):

Andreas F Vögeli

Other key lawyers:

Oliver Zbinden

Testimonials

‘Andreas Vögeli and his team (Oliver Zbinden, among others) have delivered outstanding service. I very much value the direct approach and their ability to deliver in a timely manner, working precisely and efficiently.’

‘Andreas Vögeli, but also his whole team, have been always quick to respond, proactive and well versed, especially taking into account the various mentalities and local regulations we deal with all over Switzerland.’

‘The team is interdisciplinary, has a deep understanding of the Swiss Real Estate market and its legal issues. The whole team is alert and eager to assist. NKF offers just the best value for money.’

‘Andreas Vögeli: specialist and team leader. He’s the best real estate lawyer in Switzerland. Oliver Zbinden: excellent real estate lawyer.’

‘Top real estate lawyers in Switzerland, they work as a team and have very deep knowledge of the Swiss real estate market.’

‘Andreas Vögeli and his team act very professionally, have exceptional knowledge of the whole industry, keep their promises and are proactive. The price-performance ratio is very good; they think not only in paragraphs and law topics – they also think in industry categories. They are very client-oriented and they understand the challenges and needs of their clients.’

‘Andreas Vögeli is very well experienced, specialised and his knowledge helps to solve difficult problems. He’s also very active in negotiations.’

‘The client service of NKF and especially of Oliver Zbinden is very client-oriented. Oliver Zbinden is available more or less all the time, while he is permanently patient with my questions. NKF is providing us with solutions and fact-based recommendations which generates an added value for us.’

‘Oliver Zbinden’s approach is very solution-oriented, focused and very efficient. I appreciate his knowledge transfer to someone who is not that deep in legal processes as well as his foresight regarding the high complexity of the various topics we are dealing with in a developing area.’

‘Client focus, outstanding service. They all know the industry very well. Easy-going. Fair pricing. Very well connected, good network. Great team. Superb, and helpful advice.’

‘Excellent network, in-depth expertise, broad range of services and good know-how of the Swiss real estate market.’

‘Balanced team consisting of seniors and juniors, effectively and timely when working on deadlines, offering valuable solutions. Expertise ranging from construction, transactions, asset and portfolio-management, tax and tenant law. Also working beyond usual office hours.’

Key clients

AXA Investment Managers (Schweiz) AG

BVK Personalvorsorge des Kantons Zürich (Pension Fund of the Canton of Zurich)

Canton of Zug

Credit Suisse Asset Management AG (resp. its Real Estate Funds and Real Estate Foundation; SIX Swiss Exchange listed)

EQT Partner AG

RUAG Real Estate AG

Rhystadt AG

REWE Group (www.rewe-group.com)

Schroder Investment Management (Switzerland) AG (resp. the Real Estate Fund Schroder ImmoPlus (SIX Swiss Exchange listed)

ZKB / Swisscanto Invest

Work highlights

  • Advised Rhystadt AG, a consortium of institutional investors (including Baloise insurance group, Credit Suisse Anlagestiftung, Safra Sarasin Anlagestiftung and Pensionskasse Zug), on the gradual transformation of one of the largest development areas in Switzerland from an industrial site into a versatile mix of living, working and residential space (over the next two decades).
  • Advised ZKB/Swisscanto Invest and the pension fund of ZKB as leading firm in various due diligences and real estate sale and purchase transactions in several Swiss cantons such as Zurich, Geneva, St. Gallen, Lucerne, Zug, Basel-Landschaft and Schaffhausen.
  • Advised the Canton of Zug regarding the granting of a building right on the site of the former cantonal hospital to a real estate developer in a bidding process in private law as well as public law matters.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd advises clients on the drafting, negotiating, implementing and enforcing of all types of real estate contracts as well as on real estate-related matters, including environmental law, tax and administrative matters. The ‘very well organised‘ and ‘efficient‘ team further represents clients in contentious matters, such as post-closing, lease and construction disputes. Practice heads Yves Jeanrenaud and ‘hard-working and successfulJosef Caleff specialise in real estate investments and transactions, including sale and lease back transactions, share and asset deals, as well as commercial leases and general contracts. Elliott Geisinger and Christopher Boog are the names to note for construction litigation and arbitration. Head of the Zurich construction team Katherine Bell made partner in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Yves Jeanrenaud; Josef Caleff

Other key lawyers:

Elliott Geisinger; Christopher Boog; Katherine Bell

Testimonials

‘The Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd team has always been available to meet our needs, even in an emergency, providing us with qualified skills in highly specialized areas of construction. Taking into account the legal and contractual aspects goes hand in hand with the operational aspects and the proper functioning of a company. Schellenberg Wittmer understands these issues perfectly and adapts its services to best serve our needs.’

‘The individual relationships with the team members are always very pleasant. The fact of having almost always only one interlocutor, having the mastery of the file, is an asset and an appreciable saving of time. The availability of the team members is, once again, remarkable.’

‘Internally very well organised (both in Geneva and Zurich), no overstaffing of project teams; efficient project work and the right persons on the job. ‘Can do’ attitude, extremely high level of responsiveness and availability. Very pleasant to work with (also in situations of stress).’

‘Josef Caleff: A hard-working and successful lawyer, but nevertheless a humble person. He  can explain complex issues in a very comprehensible way and remains calm in every moment of the transaction. Josef is proactive and also thinks in options and two steps ahead.’

‘Availability and response times of Josef Caleff were always excellent.’

Key clients

International Labour Organization

Bouygues Construction

BMS – Bristol Myers Squibb

BASF

Credit Suisse AG

Digital Realty

Procimmo AG

Christie’s

UK Land Estates

Hotel Beaulac, Neuchatel

Implenia SA

Parker Hannifin Group

Société Privée de Gérance

Patrizia AG

SV Group AG

SPG Intercity

Vantage Data Center

Barry Callebaut AG

Lokales Wasster 37 AG

Celgene International II Sarl

DuPont de Nemours

Goldman Sachs

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to DuPont de Nemours on the sale of a 57,000sqm facility in the Canton of St. Gallen to the Waste Disposal Association VfA of the region.
  • Advised Vantage Data Center on Swiss aspects in its pan-European expansion with a total value of $2bn.
  • Assisted Celgene with the negotiation, drafting and signing of a business transfer agreement related to the operation of a pharmaceutical production site located in Couvet, Neuchâtel by way of a bulk asset transfer pursuant to the Merger Act (including plots land, buildings, contracts and employment agreements).

Walder Wyss Ltd.

Walder Wyss Ltd. has a strong track record of advising on large-scale transactions, in particular for institutional investors on the buy-side. The ‘professional, proactive and solution-orientated‘ team also handles real estate disputes for a variety of clients and advises on corporate real estate matters and urban development projects. ‘Practical and knowledgable lawyerFrancis Nordmann and the ‘very commercially mindedJohannes Bürgi and Marco Strahm head the practice, all specialised in transactions with experience in acting for international institutional investors, wealth funds and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Katja Schott-Morgenroth acts for private as well as institutional clients on all real estate matters. ‘Valuable partnerDavide Jermini is the key contact in the Lugano office. Christian Eichenberger is another name to note.

Testimonials

‘The most important and leading strength of the team we have delt with in the past numerous times is their professional, proactive and most of all solution-orientated way of working. More than any other law firm for us, Walder Wyss always works with the final goal in mind, helping us to achieve the best result possible without risking a deal.’

‘We believe that Davide Jermini stands out especially for the following characteristics: expert in his field, fast and efficient, honest, proactive, solution-orientated and practical.’

‘Outstanding knowledge and efficient support.’

‘Christian Eichenberger has a very good understanding of our company and its needs and special structure and therefore provides very useful and business-oriented support.’

‘Compared to other Swiss practices, Walder Wyss staff from the juniors up to the partners have relevant international experience and they manage to translate the Swiss local environment into concepts for foreigners.’

‘Johanes Buergi has a very commercial mind in approaching the contractual negotiations and a didactic approach to explaining to his client management the pros and cons of the different options.’

‘Very responsive, practical and effective team.’

‘Francis Nordmann: a practical and knowledgable lawyer.’

Key clients

Artisa Group

Credit Suisse Asset Management (Schweiz) AG

Artam

Immofonds

Gold Tree

Swiss Finance & Property

Akara Funds

Immozins

Zueblin Immobilien Holding

Rhystadt Ltd (consortium of Swiss Pensions Funds)

Bratschi Ltd

Bratschi Ltd covers all aspects of real estate, including transactions, construction and tenancy law matters. The unit is particularly adept at advising at the intersection with public and administrative law, frequently advising local municipalities, cantonal authorities or the confederation as well as parastatal entities. The practice attracts praise for its ‘extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry‘, a sector focus of Ion Eglin who specialises in lease, franchise and hotel management agreements. ‘Excellent negotiatorMarkus Aeschbacher always gives pragmatic advice‘, among others on transactions, plant construction and tenancy law. ‘High-profile professional’ Thomas Schönenberger, Marco Colombini and Ulrich Keusen are further key contacts. Niklaus Hutzli joined in the Berne office in March 2021 from Frey Hueber & Partner.

Practice head(s):

Ion Eglin; Markus Aeschbacher

Testimonials

‘Ion Eglin is very approachable and reachable, has fantastic knowledge of the hospitality sector and practices. His broad knowledge enables him to spot risky points quickly and find a pragmatic solution rapidly.’

‘Marco Colombini and Markus Aeschbacher are providing an excellent level of service, have very short response times and are abl to rapidly grasp the relevant issues.’

‘The company appears to us to be very agile, uncomplicated, multicultural and solution-oriented. They clearly benefit from their vast experience, their network within the group and also different levels of competencies. High ability to ensure the proper level of support in any situation.’

‘Thomas Schönenberger is a high-profile professional. He was always able to recognise the core of the problem and proposes immediate, very prompt corrective actions. What we appreciate a lot is his ability to break down very complex legal topics into simple explanations, understandable also by non-legal professionals. The matters were always handled with care and having the cost in focus and control.’

‘Great team with very efficient lawyers. Solution- and results-oriented. Pragmatic. Caring for the best interest of their client and very responsive. Excellent knowledge of real estate law.’

‘Markus Aeschbacher: Availability and great experience of many years in the field. Excellent negotiator. Close to his clients. Always gives pragmatic advice. Marius Reinhardt: very efficient, available and tailor-made advice and services.’

‘Ion Eglin has deep expertise in the hospitality industry which is quite rare to find in other firms.’

‘Alexander Blarer has very deep expertise in commercial, real estate and construction law, working seamlessly with the client. Very high sustained engagement going the essential extra mile to win very complex, high stakes and multiple layered proceedings. Ivo Hungerbühler: Excellent expert in commercial, execution, real estate and construction law. Very sharp in dissecting any argumentation of a counter party. Thomas Schönenberger: THE expert and sparring partner for real estate and construction law. Very engaged and resourceful.’

Key clients

BP Europe SE, Hamburg, Zweigniederlassung BP (Switzerland) Zug

SPAR Group, including TopCC AG

Intershop Management AG/Intershop Holding AG

Realstone SA

Steigenberger Hotels AG

Radisson Hotel Group

Merck & Cie.

DPR Constructions

Blumer-Lehmann AG

CSL Behring Bern AG

Spitalanlagengesellschaft Spitalregion Fürstenland-Toggenburg

Meier Tobler AG

Genossenschaft Migros Ostschweiz

Arbonia AG

Asga Pensionskasse Genossenschaft

Kantonsspital St. Gallen

RIMC Schweiz Hotels & Resorts AG

Säntis Home AG

Fortimo AG

Hälg & Co. AG

Westoffice Real Estate AG

Ego Kiefer AG

St. Galler Kantonalbank

Work highlights

  • Advised on a “purchase-sale-and-lease-back”-transaction between Aspiag Management AG, a company of the Austrian SPAR retail group, as seller of real estate property, to a new investor – while TopCC, a large retail group and a company of the Swiss SPAR group, simultaneously leased it back from the new owner.
  • Advised on adjustments regarding a zoning plan and building permit in relation to the implementation of an additional production plant expansion in the middle of a residential area with a deal value of over 100m Swiss Francs.
  • Provided legal support for a hotel in Arosa which was destroyed by a fire in 2016, in all following real estate and legal matters (deconstruction, insurance, tax, zoning, interim use and partial use of the land, etc.), and finally the bidding process and the sale of the land in autumn/winter 2021.

Homburger

Homburger assists clients with real estate transactions as well as with the regulatory and contractual aspects of property developments, construction and leases. Daniel Hasler has a focus on M&A, capital markets, and financing matters. Certified real estate and construction law specialist Stefan Gäumann, who made partner in 2021, is noted for his ‘very deep real estate know-how‘, among others with respect to the planning and implementation of construction projects as well as of arbitration and court proceedings. Marcel Dietrich is the key contact for competition and administrative law.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Hasler; Stefan Gäumann

Other key lawyers:

Marcel Dietrich

Testimonials

‘Very high competence, very professional, always on time.’

‘Stefan Gäumann: very deep real estate know-how.’

Key clients

Novartis Pharma

Hornbach Baumarkt (Schweiz)

Kimberly-Clark

AMAG Import

RUAG

Givaudan

Medical Properties Trust

Marc Rich Real Estate

Novartis Pharma

Hornbach Baumarkt (Schweiz)

Kimberly-Clark

AMAG Import

RUAG

Givaudan

Medical Properties Trust

Marc Rich Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Novartis Pharma on all real estate-related aspects of its sale of a production facility to Syngenta.
  • Advised AMAG on the construction of a multi-storey public parking facility with more than 450 parking spaces in the greater Zug area.

Kellerhals Carrard

Kellerhals Carrard covers a wide variety of real estate advice and focuses on advising clients from the real estate consulting industry, such as architects and engineers. The group also assists with public procurement issues relating to real estate and real estate-related litigation and is considered among the ‘best for construction law‘. Practice head Bernd Hauck is ‘excellent in contract drafting and disputes‘. New arrival Isabelle Romy joined from Froriep in June 2021 and adds environmental law expertise, especially in regard to the clean-up of polluted sites. The ‘very competent and supportiveMario Marti and Andreas Guengerich are key contacts in Berne. Alexandre Kirschmann made partner in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Bernd Hauck 

Testimonials

‘The team of Fabrizio Gabrielli is very responsive, competent and very professional.’

‘The best for construction law and public markets law.’

‘Mario Marti; very competent and supportive.’

‘They are my firm of choice whenever I have a question on Swiss construction law. Whilst they might not have lawyers everywhere, they know people everywhere. They really have got their international relations sorted out.’

‘I am a big fan of Bernd Hauck. He is very available and very willing to help. He is also very knowledgeable about his area of law.’

‘Kellerhals Carrard is known for its excellent reputation in the construction sector. They cover the entire country by having offices in each region where they speak different languages. The real estate and construction team is outstanding and is especially known for its knowledge in the digitalisation of the construction sector and the respective legal complications.’

‘The team is very dedicated, friendly and great to work with. They have an excellent reputation and are brilliant construction lawyers.’

‘Mario Marti is an outstanding construction lawyer. He has a deep understanding and knowledge on international construction projects. He is also one of the leading international figures in the area of digitalisation in construction. He is very friendly, to the point, pragmatic and great to work with.’

Key clients

EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg

University of Basel

Bricks Group AG

CSL Behring

Itten+Brechbühl AG

Swiss Association of Consulting Engineers/usic-Stiftung

Implenia

STS Group/STS Group Switzerland AG

UBS Fund Management/UBS „Sima“

Public Transport Canton on Baselland (BLT Baselland Transport AG)

Rhystadt AG

Immobilienpartner AG

Cand Landi SA

Bci Betriebs AG

Ville de Lausanne

Gesdec (Canton of Geneva)

Etat de Neuchâtel

Etat de Neuchâtel

Work highlights

  • Advised the client on all aspects of the construction of two pharmaceutical plants with a construction value of more than CHF1bn.
  • Represented bci in an administrative proceeding for a clean-up of the Bonfol’s hazardous waste landfill in the Canton of Jura, one of the largest contaminated sites in Switzerland; matter value above CHF380m.
  • Assisted the client and its consortium partner with the construction management services of one of the biggest constructions sites of the pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland with construction costs of more than CHF600m.

Pestalozzi

Pestalozzi‘s real estate team covers all aspects of transactions, such as acquisition, financing, portfolio transactions and sale and lease back agreements, as well as contractual matters regarding construction projects, including zoning law and permits, and all related disputes. The ‘very hands-on, engaged‘ and ‘very entrepreneurial‘ team has a specialisation in real estate developments concerning hotel resorts. Practice head Michael Lips is ‘absolutely top in terms of competence and character‘ and advises on, among others, environmental and regulatory compliance, as does Andrea Rohrer-Lippuner. Litigation and arbitration specialist Paola Wullschleger advises clients on easements, building rights and building and work contracts.

Practice head(s):

Michael Lips

Testimonials

‘Very hands-on and engaged. Not your typical law firm focused only on billable hours. Very entrepreneurial. Highly responsive and proactive.’

‘Michael Lips is absolutely top in terms of competence and character.’

Key clients

Navigare Hotel Resorts AG

Matterhorn Peak AG

Froneri International Limited

COSI Hospitality GmbH

Urban Campus

Johnson & Johnson (various group entities)

Holcim

McDonald’s (various group entities)

Riken Yamamoto & Field Shop

The Capra Hotel

Sonder USA Inc.

Zurich University Hospital

Work highlights

  • Advised Navigare Hotel Resorts on all Swiss legal matters relating to the development of a major hotel resort in Saas-Fee, ultimately consisting of eight buildings with over 60 luxury apartments.
  • Advised Matterhorn Peak AG on all Swiss legal matters relating to the development of a major hotel resort in Zermatt with approximatively 70 luxury guest rooms and 25 luxury hotel-apartments in separate residence buildings.
  • Advised McDonald’s on Swiss legal matters relating to its existing and relating to new restaurants in Switzerland, including for example long-term rental agreements, building rights, construction projects and related proceedings.

VISCHER

Full-service law firm VISCHER ‘has specialised lawyers‘ which advise on all real estate matters, including related issues such as taxes, contracts for work and services, public procurement, intellectual property and environmental law. The team, headed by Maxime Chollet and Roland Müller, has a ‘great deal of practical experience in supporting demanding real estate projects‘ and ‘is also extremely experienced and skilled in conducting difficult and complex negotiations‘. Andreas Albrecht and Beatrice Wagner Pfeifer are key contacts for planning and zoning law as well as environmental law. Litigation and arbitration specialist Raphael Butz made partner in 2021.

Testimonials

‘Vischer has specialised lawyers for all relevant requirements (public building and planning law, contract for work and services, public procurement law, intellectual property law, etc.) whom they can call in immediately if necessary. They have a great deal of practical experience in supporting demanding real estate projects. Vischer always responds very quickly to requests; our wishes are processed on time.’

‘Andreas Albrecht is an excellent lawyer; he is also extremely experienced and skilled in conducting difficult and complex negotiations. He is efficient, solution-oriented, conveys clear messages, has valuable know-how (not only concerning legal matters) and is quick to recognise the needs of his clients.’

‘My impression is that the whole team works excellently hand in hand without any redundancies.’

‘Peter Kühn and Urs Haegi are very supportive and service-orientated, meaning we always receive swift and competent replies in written or oral form. Beside that there is a always a personal note and much empathy. They really try to understand our business.’

Key clients

University Hospital Basel

Migros/Sigma, Partner Central Group

Huntsman Advanced Materials (Switzerland) GmbH

Spiegelfeld Immobilien AG

Glanzmann Generalunternehmung AG

Helvetia Insurance Switzerland

Procimmo SA, Le Mont-sur-Lausanne

SF Urban Properties AG

Einwohnergemeinde Reinach

Aluminium Laufen AG, Liesberg

MEININGER Hotels Group

Thanasis Martinos

Spaeter Pension Fund

SUN Bürglen

Work highlights

  • Advised University Hospital Basel on the construction of new and additional clinic buildings.
  • Represented Glanzmann Generalunternehmung AG in complex litigation proceedings against its subcontractors concerning a multi-level car parking project for F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG.
  • Notarized the sale of major real estate transactions (Globus/Migros; Huntsman/Turidomus).

BianchiSchwald LLC

BianchiSchwald LLC advises clients, with a specialisation on hotel and pharma industry clients, on all local and national real estate issues. The ‘highly efficient‘ team covers transactions, financing and investment vehicles, construction, asset management, leases, public procurement and zoning. Yves de Coulon has an ‘incisive mind and deep understanding of the construction laws‘, in particular of the French-speaking part of Switzerland. ‘Excellent practitionerMarc Metzger has a specialism in advising real estate investors and construction companies. ‘Very valuable strategic adviserHans-Peter Schwald and Andreas Suter are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Yves de Coulon; Marc Metzger

Testimonials

‘BianchiSchwald has integrated the latest technologies into their workflows, making them a highly efficient team to work with. From the attorney-at-law who helped us to his assistant and the front office, everyone at BianchiSchwald has consistently displayed professionalism, humanity and efficiency, a testimony of BianchiSchwald’s exemplary values.’

‘Yves de Coulon’s incisive mind and deep understanding of the construction laws of Geneva has helped us navigate through our challenges effortlessly. A true professional at heart, his enthusiasm in pursuit of excellence has made our experience with Yves de Coulon all the more memorable.’

‘Very good communication, high quality of work delivered, 100% availability.’

‘The firm is very well known for its vast experience in the field, they are very much familiar with the real estate market (as well as the health clinic market). BianchiSchwald has in-depth knowledge and a broad team for real estate matters. The firm’s partners and associates are very skilled and highly committed. They are extremely responsive and flexible, very knowledgeable and accurate.’

‘Hans-Peter Schwald is a very valuable strategic adviser to us. He is extremely committed and absolutely brilliant strategically and concentrates on what is essential. He is a leading figure in the business lawyers’ industry.’

‘Marc Metzger is as senior figure and an excellent practitioner. He knows everything about real estate transactions. Also, he is very experienced in the field of lease and rental agreements, construction law, financing arrangements (as well as healthcare law). Marc is very smart, insightful and an outstanding negotiator.’

‘Andreas Suter has vast know-how about the various aspects of real estate and construction law. He is very skilled and works highly efficiently.’

‘Availability, reliability and speed are very good, especially with Marc Metzger.’

Key clients

Casacuberta Immeubles

Hôtel Beau-Rivage SA Genève

Fondation Patrimonia

VAMED Management und Services Schweiz AG

Rehaklinik Dussnang AG

Rehaklinik Seewis AG

Rehaklinik Zihlschlacht AG

VAMED Health Project Schweiz AG

ZSC Lions Arena Immobilien AG

ZSC Lions AG

Casacuberta Immeubles

Hôtel Beau-Rivage SA Genève

Fondation Patrimonia

VAMED Management und Services Schweiz AG

Rehaklinik Dussnang AG

Rehaklinik Seewis AG

Rehaklinik Zihlschlacht AG

VAMED Health Project Schweiz AG

ZSC Lions Arena Immobilien AG

ZSC Lions AG

Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law Ltd

Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law Ltd focuses on advising transactional real estate matters, such as sale and lease back transactions, real estate portfolio transactions and joint venture structures, as well on construction and tenancy law. David Schwaninger is a ‘pioneer‘ in combining ‘technological knowledge with IT and building law‘ and advises on the legal aspects of real estate data management and building information modelling. Gian Marchet Kasper has ‘excellent know-how‘, in particular in his areas of expertise; real estate acquisition and financing transactions and real estate M&A, also a specialisation of Adrian Hirzel.

Testimonials

‘Perfect allround service, for all different legal questions – very solution-orientated and always available!’

‘Quite simply the best private lawyers and associates! Always ready to help, understanding, patient, very versatile in all questions. Would never move to another law office!’

‘A very reliable partner during transactions.’

‘Gian Kasper has excellent know-how in the real estate field.’

‘Very fast, well-founded response.’

‘The company is a good size, has a lean organization, is very expeditious and takes a pragmatic approach. I especially appreciate the business-oriented approach without the need to write many hours.’

‘I have rarely experienced such professionalism. One of the best-known and most renowned law firms in this area.’

‘Professional competence paired with communicative competence shows that legal issues in construction can be well structured and are not mutually exclusive. The question here is why others cannot follow David Schwaninger’s example of making the most of this. He combines technological knowledge with IT and building law, a future topic that receives far too little attention in Switzerland. He is a pioneer here.’

Key clients

ELEKTRO-MATERIAL AG

Siemens Switzerland Ltd

Zaltana Properties Ltd

Viva Real AG

Zürichparis AG

Tiger Stores (Switzerland AG)

Wireless Communications AG

Meier + Steinauer Partner AG

WieInvest AG

WieRe AG

Property One Partners AG

Property One Investors AG

Hyrock AG

Loreda Real Estate GmbH

C Land AG

Work highlights

  • Advised Loreda Real Estate GmbH on the sale of a large real estate portfolio with estates all across Switzerland to one of the major Swiss Banks, total transaction volume >CHF 500m.
  • Advised WieInvest AG on over fifteen mezzanine financings to various private and institutional real estate investors and developers, including the negotiation of financing and security (including alternative security) documentation.
  • Advised Wireless Communications AG on leasing and further real estate matters in the mobile technology sector.

BMG Avocats

BMG Avocats specialises in advising public entities and private companies on real estate developments and the application of planning instruments. Typical clients of the unit are real estate investors, real estate companies, property management companies and pension funds. The ‘very sympathetic, welcoming and available‘ team is headed by Isabelle Salomé Daïna and Nicolas Wisard who specialise in real estate-related contracts, such as architects contracts, lease and rental contracts and contracts for work and services, as well as planning and environmental regulations.

Testimonials

‘Competence, to-the-point advice and mastery of the files.’

‘Extraordinary competence, quick and incisive analysis of matters. Responsiveness and availability with a good quality of discussion, especially with Isabelle Salomé Daïna.’

‘We work with the team of Lausanne: very sympathetic, welcoming and available.’

‘Excellent knowledge of our business, practice and concrete.’

LALIVE

LALIVE has a strong focus on dispute resolution in an international construction and real estate context. The team frequently represents clients, such as private companies as well as states and statal entities, in domestic and cross-border litigation proceedings, commercial and investor-state construction arbitrations as well as transactions. Arbitration specialists Melissa Magliana, Matthias Scherer, Michael Schneider, Bernd Ehle and Joachim Knoll are commended for their ‘ability to develop a reliable strategy and gain client trust‘ as well as their ‘wide international knowledge‘ as they also act in dispute resolution under foreign law.

Testimonials

‘Very professional, excellent client attention, ability to develop a reliable strategy and gain client trust. Wide international knowledge.’

‘Very professional, knowledgable and responsive, it’s not only one individual, it’s the whole team, great teamwork at all times.’

‘The team was indeed very helpful and responsive to all the raised queries and concerns. All the team members demonstrated professionalism and personal attention to the details of the arbitration case.’

‘Veijo Heiskanen and Sam Moss both have strong analytical thinking skills that have been demonstrated in their ability of targeted questioning and effective problem-solving within the arbitration case.’

Key clients

Switzerland

DSG Yapi San Tic A.S.

Republic of Latvia

Work highlights

  • Represented Switzerland in the first ICSID arbitration against the country, arisen from an alleged expropriation of real estate property with the claimant invoking the Switzerland-Hungary BIT for a $1.2bn claim.
  • Represented a Middle Eastern design company in an $798m ICC arbitration regarding a dispute related to an infrastructure project in the Middle East.
  • Represented a Turkish construction company in a USD 300 million ICSID investment treaty arbitration against Saudi Arabia in relation to a construction project. The investor invoked the 2006 Turkey-Saudi Arabia bilateral investment treaty.

Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC

The Geneva-based Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC acts for public and private companies on a variety of real estate and construction matters. This encompasses in particular multi-year real estate development projects, contracts, sale and lease back transactions, financing and securitisation as well as permits for acquisitions of real estate. Joël Chevallaz has a focus on high-value transactions, Pierre Rüttimann is experienced in real estate securitisation and the development of residential portfolios.

Key clients

Les Fayards SA

Rivlin France SA

RES-Invest SA

Copimmob Esplanade/Petit-Senn société coopérative

Egg-Telsa SA (Pont-Rouge and Espace Tourbillon projets)

Egg-Telsa SA (Les Mines project)

JDRM Immobilier SA

Python

The real estate practice at Python advises institutional investors as well as corporate and private clients on real estate transactions as well as on all aspects of foreign and domestic real estate and construction projects. This includes construction contracts and general contractor agreements as well as the environmental law issues relating to real estate. The ‘responsive, proactive, reliableMarc Iynedjian and Christophe de Kalbermatten jointly head the team which, in assistance with the litigation team, represents clients in judicial and arbitral construction proceedings.

Testimonials

‘We only work with Olivier Klunge – to our total satisfaction.’

‘Ability to deal with complex legal issues, responsiveness, budget respected.’

‘Marc Iynedjian, Philippe Florinetti: Both are responsive, proactive, reliable. They have strong legal skills, negotiation skills and give good strategic advice.’

Wenger Plattner

Wenger Plattner acts for real estate and construction management companies as well as investment entities, such as pension funds, on a number of real estate and construction matters. Additionally the group also offers litigation expertise for all types of real estate and construction disputes. Practice head Thomas Wetzel has particular experience in advising on construction law issues with regard to the purchase and sale of properties. Recently, the unit of ‘real experts‘ has seen increased activity in procedures for site developments and building permits. Placidus Plattner and Gaudenz Schwitter are further key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Wetzel

Testimonials

‘Strong reputation – real experts in several fields – powerful network.’

‘Real experts, strong experience, client-minded.’

Key clients

Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Geschichte

VERIT Investment Management AG

Energie 360° AG

Immobilien ETHZF AG

Brandenberger + Ruosch AG

IST Investmentstiftung

The Swiss Federal Pension Fund PUBLICA

Genossenschaft Migros Aare

Terresta Immobilien und Verwaltungs AG

Wenger Vieli Ltd

Wenger Vieli Ltd covers all private or public law aspects of legal advice relating to real estate matters, including related disputes. The team of ‘trusted advisors‘ advises on all contractual and regulatory aspects of property developments, construction projects and leases as well as on real estate transactions. Practice head Roman Heiz has a focus on real estate transactions, including bidding processes, property purchase agreements, sale and lease back transactions, as well as real estate contracts, including general contractor, work, planning and architects contracts. Clients appreciate the ‘depth‘ and ‘quality of the team‘.

Practice head(s):

Roman Heiz 

Other key lawyers:

Nadine Zanetti 

Testimonials

‘Very professional, fair billing, very good advice, very flexible.’

‘Wenger & Vieli: highly professional, never ever does one need to wait more than a workday to get a response, usually on the same day, excellent legal advice and support, deep commitment, kindness and respect, I could go on and on but could simply say: I believe they are the best law firm I could ever get.’

‘Roman Heiz and his team have an above-average ability to grasp things quickly and acts very professionally. They were very personable, competent and committed right from the start. Highly recommended!’

‘We were impressed with them as they had our interest at heart right from the start, they established themselves as our trusted advisors and they demonstrated strong expertise in their area.’

‘The people and their knowledge and solutions provided were absolutely excellent.’

‘Roman Heiz and Nadine Zanetti understood what we wanted to achieve and helped us get there.  They explained the legal points extremely well and we worked as one team. Excellent!’

‘I truly believe that the people at Wenger & Vieli with whom to work I have been so fortunate, are each and every one unusual in their standards, thinking, competence, professionalism, ethical and moral attitude. I valued that they took great care in explaining everything to me. Qualities I have valued- besides of course the most outstanding legal expertise-: kindness, intelligence, commitment, charisma, the capacity to listen, patience to explain, and everyone I dealt with had a great sense of humour! I would like to mention Roman Heiz and Nadine Zanetti.’

Key clients

SIGNA Group

CENTRAL

Work highlights

  • Advised private clients on the sale of the prime property ‘Titanhaus’, an architectural landmark building located in the heart of Zürich, to Pensimo.
  • Advised a consortium of investors on the acquisition of industrial properties for CHF435m.
  • Advised a private client on the sale of an industrial and a commercial property for CHF27m in total.