Sports law in Switzerland
As 'one of the best firms in the sector', the 'highly specialised and effective sports law team' at Bär & Karrer Ltd. 'is very skilled in applying Swiss-law matters to international jurisdictions'. With a major focus on diverse sports arbitration, as well as sector-related commercial, TMT and intellectual property disputes, Michele Bernasconi is considered to be 'among the best CAS arbitrators', with 'almost incomparable knowledge and experience'. He represents Uefa in several disciplinary and media-related arbitration matters.
Baker McKenzie's cross-practice sports team focuses on resolving commercial and arbitration disputes for federations, executives, banks, media companies and athletes, while also assisting with intellectual property, employment and tax matters. Olivier Ducrey acts as sole judge for the Basketball Champions League and the Fiba 2019 World Cup. The Union Cycliste Internationale receives advice from him on the sale of television rights for its cycling tours.
The 'extensively knowledgeable, experienced and very responsive' sports law team at Kellerhals Carrard 'demonstrates a comprehensive approach' and provides 'flexible solutions and clear explanations of possible consequences'. Its range of services includes anti-doping proceedings, football disputes and governance issues, as well as commercial, media-related and regulatory advice. The 'pragmatic' Jean-Pierre Morand leads the representation of the International Olympic Committee against the appeals brought by more than 40 Russian athletes concerning violations of anti-doping rules, while 'globally leading doping arbitration expert' Ross Wenzel defended the International Association of Athletics Federation against an appeal brought by an athlete who had participated in the 2011 World Athletics Championships. 'Deeply knowledgeable, fully dedicated, organised and coherent' attorney and barrister David Casserly, who joined the firm in 2017, 'stands out as an advocate in oral hearings'. François Carrard, who has an 'analytical' approach, is another name to note.
Best known for acting for athletes and sports organisations, Lenz & Staehelin provides a broad range of services, including dispute resolution, corporate and commercial law, competition, immigration, intellectual property and tax matters. Marcel Meinhardt acts for Swisscom, CT Cinetrade and Teleclub in the foreclosure of ice-hockey content on pay TV being distributed over Swisscom's TV platforms. Head of arbitration Xavier Favre-Bulle has expertise in CAS and tribunal disputes.
'Go-to law firm' Niederer Kraft Frey AG 'has a very experienced, well-versed and reputable sports law practice' that receives particular recommendation for its expertise in relation to the 'commercialisation of international sporting events and international tax structuring'. It has additional strength in sports-related arbitration, governance and data protection. 'Strong technical lawyer' András Gurovits advises Fifa on its GDPR readiness and also serves as a CAS arbitrator and chairman. Clients also recommend 'trusted contract adviser and prestigious litigator' Daniel Eisele, as well as 'safe pair of hands' Tamir Livschitz.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH
The Zurich office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (Schweiz) GmbH houses 'a very responsive and highly professional' sports law practice, which focuses on white-collar criminal law, civil fraud, financial and shareholder litigation, as well as strategic business advice in relation to M&A deals, intellectual property, crisis management, corporate governance and compliance. 'Goal-oriented litigator' Thomas Werlen, who has 'a rapid understanding of complex situations and an excellent network', represents Fifa in criminal investigations against several former football officials who have been accused of bribery and corruption.
The 'Swiss-law experts' at Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd have 'enormous experience in arbitration' and are recommended for their 'competence, availability and international expertise'. Areas of expertise includes doping cases, unfair competition and dismissal claims, media, broadcasting and transfer rights, sponsorship matters, corruption, as well as contractual and employment issues. The team has a track record representing Olympic athletes; it acted for 39 Russian athletes in individual cases against the doping bans imposed by the International Olympic Committee. Philippe Bärtsch and Christopher Boog 'stand out for their swift approach to finding feasible solutions'.
The client base of Bratschi Ltd includes sports clubs and athletes, as well as events and marketing organisations that require assistance with transfers, M&A, sponsoring, tax and broadcasting rights matters. Reto Arpagaus acted for IFM International Football Management on the transfer of its client, a football player, from FC Basel to Borussia Mönchengladbach, while Mirco Ceregato successfully represented Advancesport in an arbitration claim to enforce outstanding agent fees against Polish football club Wisła Kraków, which refused to pay for a rights transfer service after its management changed.
Froriep's 'knowlegeable' sports law team 'impresses with its vigour, high degree of involvement and its combination of empathy and professional integrity'. Key areas of expertise include employment and transfer matters, the drafting and negotiation of various contracts, as well as disciplinary and litigation matters. Lucien Valloni and Jean Marguerat are representing football club Trabzonspor as the claimant in a match-fixing scandal concerning the 2010/2011 Super League season. The Swiss Association of Football Players is also a client.
Homburger has 'a great reputation in the market' and impresses with its 'impeccable delivery times and advice in accordance with all perspectives'. Specialising in M&A, fraud law, commercial, intellectual property and finance disputes involving marketing companies and sports organisations, the multilingual team, led by Georg Rauber and Balz Gross, mostly works on international matters. Gregor Bühler 'makes one feel like the most important client of his firm' and provides 'excellent results by an agreed deadline'.
'Superb boutique firm' TIMES Attorneys houses 'exceptional sports lawyers who are extremely well connected and knowledgeable about current law', 'sparing clients the need to explain everything from scratch'. The group primarily acts for sports federations and associations in arbitration and intellectual property matters, with recent clients including the International Ski Federation, European Athletics and the International Hockey Federation. The 'hardworking, meticulous and accessible' Stephan Netzle is 'one of the leading sports lawyers in Europe', and has considerable 'experience in anti-doping matters'.