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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Switzerland > Sports law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Sports law
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Sports law clients in Switzerland using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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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.

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.

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.

CMS is renowned for its expertise in dispute resolution, M&A and commercial matters. Pierre Ducret assisted Ineos Football with its acquisition of FC Lausanne-Sport. Olivier Carrard and Philipp J Dickenmann handle CAS arbitration and commercial sports litigation.

Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler is an arbitration boutique firm which also handles sports disputes for international federations and governing bodies, with a particular focus on anti-doping, contractual and regulatory matters. Antonio Rigozzi and Sébastien Besson are the key partners.

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'.

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  • Bär & Karrer awarded by Mergermarket as "Switzerland M&A Legal Adviser of the Year 2018"

    At this year's Mergermarket European Awards Ceremony on 6 December 2018 in London, Bär & Karrer has been awarded as the "Switzerland M&A Legal Adviser of the Year 2018".
  • Bär & Karrer Advises the Sellers of Astes4 SA

    The owners of Astes4 SA, a company based in Balerna, Switzerland, which is engaged in development, production and sales of patented automated sorting solutions for sheet metal laser processing machines, sold their interests in the company to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation. Mitsubishi Electric is active in the manufacture, marketing and sales of electrical and electronic equipment used in information processing and communications, space development and satellite communications, consumer electronics, industrial technology, energy, transportation and building equipment. By acquiring Astes4, Mitsubishi Electric will further strengthen its lineup of automation systems together with sorting solutions for sheet metal laser processing machines to provide its valued customers with integrated solutions that require less manual loading, unloading and sorting to realize higher productivity and efficiency.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Constellium on the Sale of Rolling Business Assets in Sierre, Switzerland, to

    On 23 July 2018, Constellium Valais SA, a company of the Constellium group engaged in the aluminium plate and extrusions businesses for industry, aerospace and transportation applications, successfully completed the sale of its aluminium rolling business assets in Sierre, Switzerland, to Novelis Switzerland SA for EUR 200 million. The assets, consisting of real estate, machinery and equipment, were previously leased by Constellium Valais to Novelis Switzerland and both parties will continue to operate in Sierre following the transaction. Concurrently with the asset sale, Constellium Valais contributed the Sierre site's shared infrastructure to a newly established 50-50 joint venture with Novelis Switzerland.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Bank Cler in Connection with the Public Tender Offer by Cantonal Bank of Basel

    On 20 June 2018, the Cantonal Bank of Basel, which already holds 77.52% of the share capital and the voting rights of Bank Cler Ltd., published the preannouncement for a public tender offer for all publicly held bearer shares of Bank Cler, which is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. Subsequently, Bank Cler concluded a transaction agreement with the Cantonal Bank of Basel regarding the public tender offer. The Cantonal Bank of Basel offers CHF 52 per share of Bank Cler. Taking into consideration the results of the Fairness Opinion of an independent Expert, the board of directors of Bank Cler recommends to its shareholders to accept the offer.
  • Bär & Karrer Successful in Appeal Proceedings before the Federal Administrative Court Against the F

    On 11 May 2016, the French tax authorities requested administrative assistance from the Swiss Federal Tax Administration. The request was made based on lists containing several thousand UBS Switzerland AG account numbers which are or were held by persons presumed to be French residents for tax purposes. The French tax authorities were asking for Switzerland to provide names and dates of birth of the persons connected to the accounts as well as the account balances. UBS Switzerland AG (which the Federal Administrative Court ("FAC") had granted party status in its judgment A-4974/2016 of 25 October 2016) and private individuals directly affected lodged appeals with the FAC against the Federal Tax Administration’s final decisions, which were issued on 9 February 2018.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises BZ Bank on Purchase of United Grinding Group

    BZ Bank Aktiengesellschaft, through its acquisition company LEMRO AG, purchased the United Grinding Group from Körber Beteiligungen GmbH. The United Grinding Group is one of the world's leading suppliers of precision grinding machines.
  • Bär & Karrer advised PSP Swiss Property on Sale of a Commercial Property

    PSP Swiss Property sold a commercial property in Petit-Lancy, Geneva. The property at the Av. des Morgines 8/10 (approx. 14'000 m2 of rentable space) was sold for CHF 55 million to an affiliate company of Epic Suisse AG.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs in a Combined Offering on the Placement of Sha

    Idorsia Ltd successfully placed 11,912,000 new shares by way of an accelerated bookbuilding in a private placement with institutional investors. The placed shares are sourced from the company's existing authorized share capital and the pre-emptive rights of the existing shareholders have been excluded. The offer price was set at CHF 25.62 per share. Additionally, Idorsia successfully placed CHF 200 million of senior unsecured convertible bonds due 2024 in a private placement with institutional investors.
  • Bär & Karrer Advises Vontobel on the Placement of CHF 450 Million Tier 1 Bonds to fund the acquisit

    Vontobel Holding AG successfully completed the placement of CHF 450 million perpetual additional tier 1 subordinated bonds. The additional tier 1 subordinated bonds were issued at 100% of their nominal amount with an interest of 2.625% until 2023. The proceeds of this capital market transaction will be mainly used to finance the acquisition of Notenstein La Roche Private Bank.
  • Bär & Karrer Advised Swiss Re in the Offering of USD 500 Million Senior Exchangeable Notes with Iss

    Swiss Re Ltd (Swiss Re) has completed an offering of USD 500 million, 6-year senior exchangeable notes, which may be stock settled at the option of Swiss Re or may be exchanged at the option of noteholders for registered shares of Swiss Re, unless Swiss Re elects to settle the exchange of notes in cash. Swiss Re has purchased call options on its own shares, which allow it to settle an exchange by noteholders without issuing new shares.