Prof Dr Rolf Watter > Bär & Karrer Ltd. > Zurich, Switzerland > Lawyer Profile

Bär & Karrer Ltd.

Work Department

Mergers & Acquisitions | Listed Companies | Competition Law | Financing | Reorganization & Insolvency | Capital Markets | Corporate Governance


Rolf Watter has broad experience in all types of M&A transactions, including defence mandates. He also specializes in corporate governance questions and capital market transactions.

He is a board member of the listed AP Alternative Portfolio and of the privately held Faber Castell (Holding). He used to be chairman of PostFinance AG (2012/2021), CEVA Logistics (2018/2019) and of Nobel Biocare (2012/2014; member 2007/2012); further he was a board member in a number of other Swiss listed companies, namely Aryzta, Zurich Insurance Group, Syngenta, Centerpulse, and Forbo. In addition, he is a member of the Regulatory Board of the SIX Swiss Exchange.

Rolf teaches as a professor at the University of Zurich since 1996 and is an editor of the GesKR and the Basler Kommentare on the Code of Obligations II, the Financial Infrastructure Act, the Banking and the Merger Act. He regularly publishes in his fields of work.

In Chambers Global and Europe, Rolf Watter is consistently ranked in tier 1 of the leading lawyers for Corporate/ M&A in Switzerland. Rolf Watter is recognized as a leading lawyer in the Legal 500 Hall of Fame. He is listed among the top 30 corporate governance practitioners in the world by Expertguides. Rolf Watter won the ILO Client Choice Awards Switzerland in the category M&A (2016 and 2018) and Capital Markets (2014); WWL has ranked him in 2019 as best Corporate Governance lawyer.


  • Currently board member of AP Alternative Portfolio AG (since 2000) as well as Faber-Castell (Holding) AG (since 1997)
  • Chairman of PostFinance AG (2013-2021), of Ceva Logistics AG (2018-2019), Nobel Biocare AG (2007-2014, chairman as from 2012) and Chairman of Cablecom Holdings GmbH (2003-2008); board member of Aryzta AG (2016-2020), Zurich Insurance Group (2002-2014), Syngenta (2000-2012), Forbo (1999-2005), Feldschlösschen Getränke AG (2001-2004) and Centerpulse (2002-2003)
  • Member of the board of directors of Bär & Karrer AG (2007-2009)
  • Member of the management board of Bär & Karrer (2000-2009)
  • Partner of Bär & Karrer (since 1994)


English, French, German


  • Swiss Bar Association (SAV/FSA)
  • SIX Swiss Exchange: Member of the Admission Board, Member of the Commission of Experts on Disclosure of Shareholdings, Recognised Representative for the Listing of Securities
  • Part-time Professor of Law at the University of Zurich
  • Co-editor of the law journals “Aktuelle Juristische Praxis” and “GesKR” and of the Basler Commentaries on Corporate Law, on the Banking Act, the Stock Exchange Act and the Merger Act


  • University of Zurich: Professor of Law (since 1996), Venia Legendi (1990)
  • Georgetown University, Washington D.C.: LL.M. (1988)
  • Admitted to the Zurich Bar (1986)
  • University of Zurich: Dr. iur. (1985)
  • University of Zurich: lic. iur. (1983)

Lawyer Rankings

Switzerland > Commercial, corporate and M&A

(Hall of Fame)

Rolf WatterBär & Karrer Ltd.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. is appreciated for offering a ‘combination of legal skills with a business mindset.’ With Christoph Neeracher, Philippe Seiler and Raphael Annasohn, the firm can showcase a ‘powerhouse team‘ with strong experience in private M&A and private equity deals. Rolf Watter, Mariel Hoch and Dieter Dubs are specialists in public transactions. The practice is particularly well versed in the life sciences and pharmaceutical, real estate and financial services sectors. Luca Jagmetti is the key contact for transport and logistic clients. Thomas Rohde advises on restructurings. Martin Anderson is the name to note in Geneva.

Switzerland > Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland

Bär & Karrer Ltd. is well respected for its full-service offering across the board with banking, capital markets and insurance as well as corporate, M&A, real estate and dispute resolution particular strengths. Christoph Neeracher, Mariel Hoch, Rolf Watter, Ralph Malacrida, Corrado Rampini and Susanne Schreiber cover all facets of M&A transactions, including venture capital and real estate transactions as well as the corresponding tax aspects. Banking, finance and insurance issues are handles by Peter Hsu and Eric Stupp. Private client specialist Tina Wüstemann and litigation and arbitration expert Andreas Länzlinger are also noted. Daniel Bader has profound knowledge of tax matters while Michele Bernasconi is a sports law specialist.

Switzerland > Capital markets

Bär & Karrer Ltd. demonstrates strength in acting for both issuers and lead managers on IPOs as well as on the issuance of bonds and notes. Other areas of expertise are equity-linked and regulatory capital instruments, private placements and recapitalisation programmes. The practice is regularly active in the banking, insurance, industrials, technology, healthcare & life sciences as well as the real estate sectors. Rolf Watter and Ralph Malacrida both have considerable experience in capital market transactions. Urs Kägi is well versed in capital increases, IPOs, new listings, and dual listings. Other prominent practitioners are Lukas Roesler, Dieter Dubs and Frédéric Bétrisey.

Switzerland > Insolvency and corporate recovery

Bär & Karrer Ltd. has noteworthy expertise in a wide variety of insolvency and restructuring matters. With its full-service offering, it can draw on support in distressed M&A deals, sales/acquisition out of Swiss ‘chapter 11’-proceedings, related litigation and financings as well as tax-efficient structuring of restructurings and impact pension plans. The practice regularly represents debtors, their management, shareholders or creditors. Christoph Neeracher is well versed in out of court restructurings. He leads the practice together with distressed M&A specialist Luca Jagmetti and Thomas Rohde. Martin Anderson and Rolf Watter are also prominent practitioners.