Prager Dreifuss AG > Zurich, Switzerland > Firm Profile

Prager Dreifuss AG
MÜHLEBACHSTRASSE 6
8008 ZURICH
Switzerland

Switzerland > Insurance Tier 1

Prager Dreifuss AG‘s insurance team, regarded as a ‘highly skilled and very dedicated team’, has been involved in high-profile insurance and reinsurance investigations and disputes in connection with a number of areas, including professional indemnity, errors and product liability. The practice also handles regulatory matters. Members of the insurance team are also regularly designated by insurers as defence counsel for policyholders. The team is led by Christoph Graber who has vast experience in the field of banking and financial services, E&O, D&O, EPL and product liability insurance. Hans-Ulrich Brunner, with more than 25 years’ experience in defence litigation, has expertise in insurance and tort. Alongside them, Gion Christian Casanova and Reto Jenny strengthen the team. Counsel Andrea Stäubli is a key name.

Practice head(s):

Christoph Graber

Other key lawyers:

Hans-Ulrich Brunner; Gion Christian Casanova; Reto Jenny; Andrea Stäubli

Testimonials

‘The team is the right size (neither too big nor too small). The partners are experts in their fields and the associates deliver high quality work. The firm is well networked and cooperates profitably with other firms when necessary. As far as we can tell, the firm offers associates a better work-life balance than comparable firms.’

‘We appreciate the consistently excellent quality of the cooperation, Dr. Graber’s profound knowledge of insurance, contract and procedural law, his experience, his tactical skills, his understanding of the insurance market and his weight as one of the best-known insurance law specialists in Switzerland, whose published doctrinal opinions are not only dogmatically well-founded but also always the result of balanced considerations of interests.’

‘Not only are they very skilled from a thematical point of view, but they are also able to bring calm back on disputes that have been escalated already. Prager Dreifuss now also has a specific Cyber practice, which is one of the most advanced among law-firms.’

‘Christoph Graber is very well known on the market for his negotiation skills, his creativity when analyzing complex matters. He is able to bring structure into the most confusing disputes. His communication skills are widely known to the market.’

‘Reto Jenny: what distinguishes him most from his peers is that he is not just trusting his experience, but he is very patient and diligent when having to analyze extensive documents received from the client or the claimant in a dispute. He is very well organized and able to quickly understand and put a memo in place for any large and chaotic cases. Also his writs are well received.’

‘Christoph Graber has a very large experience and a very practical approach combined with good know-how.’

‘They field one of the largest insurance teams in Switzerland and regularly advise and represent Zurich in insurance matters, in particular in complex claims. Their team is highly skilled and very dedicated to its clients, making them one of the leading providers in this field.’

Switzerland > Insolvency and corporate recovery Tier 2

Prager Dreifuss AG‘s ‘compact, experienced, and insightful team’ represents creditors, including banks, hedge funds, and other financial institutions, in national and international insolvency and restructuring proceedings. Team lead Daniel Hayek has significant experience representing creditors in bankruptcy-related litigation, and has broad expertise in corporate matters. Gion Christian Casanova covers civil and commercial disputes, and both the protection and recovery of assets, while Gion Jegher focuses on reorganisations and restructurings, in connection with insolvencies. Counsel Mark Meili is also key.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘The Prager team has a profound knowledge of the market which makes it very easy to work with them.’

Easy to work with, friendly, and very sharp.’

‘They are a compact, experienced, and insightful team led by Daniel Hayek, an excellent restructuring lawyer.’

‘Daniel stands out as a brilliant lawyer and master strategist. One of the best. Gion Jhegher is a great lawyer and same goes for Mark Meili. They work seamlessly together.’

Key clients

Trinity Investments DAC

Hestia Investments DAC

Kommunalkredit Austria AG

Attestor Value Master Fund LP

Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas (Security Agent)

Wilmington Trust National Association (Indenture Trustee)

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Centerbridge Partners LP

Work highlights

  • Advised on the EUR 2.5 bn tender offer submitted for Europcar in July 2021 by a consortium consisting of Volkswagen AG, Trinity Investments Designated Activity Company and PON Holdings. Closing of the transaction in Q2 2022.

Switzerland > Capital markets Tier 3

Prager Dreifuss AG advises companies on IPOs and all aspects of stock exchange law. The department also provides support on public and private placements, management transactions, and token offerings. Urs Bertschinger leads the department, which includes corporate finance expert Andreas Moll.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Switzerland > Banking and finance: Zurich Tier 4

Prager Dreifuss AG focuses on cross-border project and transaction financings, and has expertise in syndicated loans. Daniel Hayek and Andreas Moll co-lead the department; Hayek’s practice includes finance transactions, debt restructurings, and contentious matters, while Moll covers corporate finance and general corporate affairs. Counsel Christian Schönfeld is also a key name.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Switzerland > Competition Tier 4

Prager Dreifuss AG regularly represents clients in merger and cartel proceedings before the Swiss competition authorities, and is often a go-to for collaboration with international firms. The firm has broad knowledge of both EU and Swiss law and remains actively involved in legislative affairs. Practice head Philipp E. Zurkinden  is reputed for his experience in cartels and dominance matters, as well as his skilled handling of merger controls.

Practice head(s):

Philipp E. Zurkinden

Testimonials

‘Collegial and easily accessible, but always very competent and efficient.’

‘Philip E. Zurkinden has great experience and very broad knowledge with regard to complex competition law cases; Bernhard Lauterburg has an extremely efficient way of working and impressive grasp and sharpness of written expression.’

‘Great support in fields of antitrust, anti-bribery – well explanations of legal environment and how to put in practice.’

‘Very down to earth approach even as a no expert you can follow the discussion, they do not use too many legal terms during a discussion with the client.’

‘Prof Dr Zurkinden is very experienced. Dr Lauterburg is very strong in reflecting and analysing the situation and to find a workable way. As a team together, they seem to be very strong.’

‘Prof. Dr. Zurkinden and his team, are always ready to go the extra mile and to holistically address a problem.’

‘Prof. Dr. Zurkinden shows exceptional availability and engagement, as well as good anticipation.’

‘Extremely high level of competence – reliability – very quick and uncomplicated feedback – acceptable price-performance ratio – Prof. Zurkinden as an absolute luminary.’

Key clients

Auto Sport GmbH / FIA

Swisscom

Deponie Höli

VAKA (Aargauische Spitäler, Kliniken und Pflegeinstitutionen)

Promarca (Swiss Brands Association)

Work highlights

  • Represented Auto Sport GmbH, the Swiss representative of FIA, before the ComCo and a Civil court in a case raising interesting and complex competition law issues with regard to the organisation of car races in Switzerland.
  • Advised Promarca in the proceedings against a retailer alliance and Coop.
  • Advised Swisscom in complex issues with regard to the relationship between competition law and sector specific rules.

Switzerland > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 4

Prager Dreifuss AG handles a range of domestic and international commercial disputes, including any associated criminal proceedings. Urs Feller, who leads the team, specialises in insolvency proceedings, asset recovery work, and inheritance related issues. Christian Casanova has particular expertise in the insurance and reinsurance sectors, while counsel Marcel Frey is the key contact in the team for white-collar crime mandates.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘High competence in tactical negotiation. Deep interest in new topics and availability for the extra mile to prepare legal documents.’

‘Urs Feller: Always highly concentrated on the topic, smart tactical moves in the hearing by the court. Strong capacity for negotiating.’

Work highlights

  • Advised an individual in his capacity as representative of the holders of the FRESH 2008 bonds, Trinity Investments DAC, Bybrook Capital LLP, Whitebox Advisors LLC.
  • Advised Attestor Value Master Fund/Trinity Investments Limited on the recovery of capital and interest under sovereign bonds.

Switzerland > Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland Tier 4

Prager Dreifuss AG's team offers assistance in areas including employment, capital markets, corporate M&A, intellectual property, tax, white-collar criminal law, banking, and dispute resolution.

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Hayek; Roland Böhi; Philipp Zurkinden; Gion Christian Casanova; Christoph Graber; Urs Bertschinger

Switzerland > Real estate and construction Tier 4

Prager Dreifuss AG has capabilities in the fields of real estate transactions, financing, private construction law and commercial leases. The team regularly advises hotel operators and project developers and has overseen several hotel developments projects, and has expertise in representing private clients and high-net-worth individuals. Hans-Ulrich Brunner heads the practice and has extensive knowledge in construction business operations, architecture and engineering practices and real estate transactions.

Practice head(s):

Dr. Hans-Ulrich Brunner

Work highlights

  • Advised a real estate company on a CHF 70 million residential property project.

Switzerland > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 5

Prager Dreifuss AG is active on the full range of corporate and M&A matters. The department advise companies on set-ups, restructruings, housekeeping and compliance, in addition to handling mergers and other restructurings. Andreas Moll, who specialises in energy and infrastructure related matters, co-leads with Daniel Hayek, who acts on a range of M&A and corporate finance matters. Guy Deillon joined as an associated partner from Homburger in February 2022.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘I use Andreas Moll for all Swiss employment issues. He is the best in the business; smart, pragmatic, client-friendly, a joy to work with.’

‘Guy Deillon is an amazing corporate and M&A lawyer.’

‘PD has advised us on the acquisition in Switzerland. They showed strong commitment during the process. Were continuously available and answering. Mostly advised by senior lawyer, which is a clear positive.’

‘Andreas Moll provided us with solid and quick advice on relevant topics during the process.’

Work highlights

Switzerland > Healthcare and life sciences

The firm: Prager Dreifuss is an independent, full-service law firm with over 37 years of experience in commercial law, with specialised expertise in: corporate and M&A; venture capital;  banking and finance; capital markets;  insolvency and restructuring; competition and regulatory law; insurance and reinsurance law; dispute resolution; private clients; tax; IP/IT, employment and pensions; real estate and construction and white-collar crime and investigations. The firm is ideally placed to assist international and domestic clients in a wide range of legal matters.

Entrepreneurial thinking, outstanding expertise and lean overhead structures help the team to achieve cost efficient and innovative advice also in the most complex matters – tailored, efficient and dedicated to its clients’ needs.

Areas of practice
Banking and finance: A special focus of our practice is on cross-border project and transaction financing. We advise investors and companies in choosing an adequate financing structure and ensuring professional implementation. The Banking & Finance Team of Prager Dreifuss was a pioneer in the introduction of syndicated loans in the Swiss market in connection with leveraged finance and project-financing transactions in various industries (e.g., technology, communication, automotive, chemicals and transport, etc.).

Our services include the following:

  • Advice on syndicated loans for working capital, acquisition and project financing
  • Structured finance and leveraged-buyout financing that combines senior loans and mezzanine loans
  • Acquisition financing for private-equity firms
  • Representing entities offering senior and mezzanine debt
  • Advice in connection with international OTC derivatives, securities lending and repo framework contracts

Capital markets: We advise banks, insurance companies and other financial service providers on complex national and international capital markets law  issues. The SIX Swiss Exchange recognizes lawyers of the firm as knowledgeable representatives of issuers. On this basis, we support companies planning an IPO. We advise listed companies on all matters relating to stock-exchange legislation, such as ad-hoc disclosures and the reporting of management transactions.

Our services include the following:

  • Structuring and transaction advisory services for issuers
  • Public and private placements (incl. IPOs)
  • Drafting contracts and prospectuses
  • “Swiss finish” for international issuance programmes or offering documentation
  • Advice in dealing with regulatory compliance in connection with securities offerings
  • Advice regarding legal issues relating to collective investment schemes
  • Ad-hoc disclosures, management transactions, prohibition on insider trading and other market conduct rules
  • Corporate governance, compensation

Competition and regulatory matters: Prager Dreifuss has established an internationally recognized experience in competition law and regulatory matters. We regularly represent companies of all sizes in antitrust and merger control proceedings before the Swiss competition authorities and support our clients with regard to compliance with competition law for distribution and licensing matters, collaborations and other day-to-day business. Excellent knowledge of EC competition law and proficiency in various languages facilitate cooperation with law firms abroad on international matters.

We advise and represent clients in particular in the following areas:

  • National and international merger control proceedings, reporting to the Swiss Competition Commission
  • Antitrust investigation proceedings, subpoenas, sanction proceedings
  • Sales and licensing contractual arrangements
  • Practices of market-dominant companies
  • Compliance Programmes competition law
  • Civil antitrust proceedings (e.g., actions for damages)
  • Public procurement and State aid law
  • Regulatory issues
  • EU monitoring services in sector-specific areas through our office in Brussels

Clients appreciate the team’s “responsiveness and client dedicattion” and admire their “high levels of availability, quick perception and excellent analytical thinking” alongside a “very customer-focused approach.” (Chambers Europe 2018)

Corporate and M&A: Our core business includes advising clients in the the acquisition of companies and business groups, as well as M&A and other restructuring. We perform tasks for our clients in connection with contracts required for such transactions, including legal due diligence of a target company, setting up acquisition vehicles and optimizing the capital and tax structure. In this regard, we draw on our excellent interdisciplinary knowledge, including in the areas of tax, competition, banking, employment and intellectual property law.

Our services include the following:

  • Acquisitions and sales, mergers and spin-offs
  • M&A
  • Joint ventures
  • Private equity transactions
  • Preparation for and conducting of general shareholder meetings
  • General legal issues in connection with M&A and corporate law
  • Advice to boards of directors with regard to director’s liabilities and legal strategy aspects
  • Support of companies within the framework of corporate housekeeping and corporate compliance

Dispute resolution: Dispute resolution has a long standing tradition at Prager Dreifuss. We appear as counsel representing parties before courts and administrative authorities. In debt collection and bankruptcy matters, our attorneys draw on their experience as counsel representing parties or as private bankruptcy and debt-restructuring administrators. International arbitration has attained a special significance in our firm. A number of our attorneys are regularly appointed as arbitrators in institutional and ad-hoc arbitration tribunals.

Our services include the following:

  • Dispute resolution before national courts
  • Representation before arbitration tribunals and in ADR proceedings
  • Strategic advice for the settlement of disputes
  • Legal assistance in civil and criminal matters
  • Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments

Employment and pensions: We advise companies and staff in senior management roles on personnel issues, obtain official permits and provide advice on regulatory matters. Based on our extensive experience in all areas of employment law, we offer customized solutions in the HR field and assistance in the restructuring of companies. We advise our clients in the preparation of up-to-date compensation structures that make them attractive employers.

Our expertise in the area of employment law includes:

  • Drafting of employment contract concepts, regulations and operating manuals
  • Contractual arrangements for senior executives
  • Drafting of standard employment contracts
  • Incentive and employee participation programmes
  • Transfer of businesses or business units, outsourcing
  • Terminations, exemptions and collective redundancies
  • Compliance with data protection regulations
  • Social security law
  • Posting of employees and work permits

Insolvency and restructuring: With extensive experience, Prager Dreifuss advises banks and other financial institutions as well as corporate debtors and their governing bodies on all issues that arise in connection with an impending insolvency or bankruptcy and in reorganizations and restructurings. We represent creditors in bankruptcy-related litigation, whether in registering or purchasing claims or in enforcing disputed claims vis-à-vis bankruptcy administrators and before courts.

Our practice in the area of insolvency & restructuring includes:

  • Capitalisation and structural measures in reorganisation and liquidation scenarios
  • Representing the interests of creditors in complex Swiss bankruptcies as well as in cross-border cases
  • Advice on the purchases and sales of distressed-debt claims
  • Advice in the area of national and international enforcement
  • Managing proceedings involving scheduling and avoidance of claims
  • Representing parties in proceedings of recognition of foreign bankruptcies

Insurance and reinsurance: Prager Dreifuss has many years of experience in Swiss and international insurance and reinsurance law and is one of the leading providers of legal services in this field. We advise insurers and reinsurers on national and international matters involving contract law and regulatory issues. A focus of our activity in the area of insurance law is the processing of complex claims, ranging from examining the claim to assess coverage issues and handling claims to representing our clients before courts and arbitration tribunals.

Our services in the field of insurance and reinsurance include the following:

  • Advice on regulatory, contractual and supervisory issues
  • Advice on (re-)insurance and broker contracts
  • Permits for insurance companies
  • Handling complex insurance claims, including in the areas of professional and public liability, liability of corporate bodies, justified reliance, product liability as well as air and transport law
  • Representation before courts, arbitration tribunals and vis-à-vis supervisory authorities (FINMA, etc.)

IP and IT: We advise public and private companies on media and intellectual property issues, draft contracts and manage cases. We have been able to gather experience over an extended period in the licensing of rights to films and sporting events. Another focus of our activities has been on Information technology law. In recent years, we have planned, supported and conducted numerous outsourcing transactions and technology transfers.

Our services include the following:

  • Licensing of intellectual property rights, marketing of sports rights
  • Sales, including parallel imports
  • Patent law
  • Trademarks and design rights
  • Copyrights, computer software and information technology
  • Unfair competition
  • Protection of know-how and trade secrets
  • Investment financing and guarantees on intellectual property rights
  • Data protection

Private client: We advise our clients in connection with the administration and transfer of their assets during and beyond their lifetime. We have a long tradition of advising private clients, which for us implies a partnership based on mutual trust. We assist entrepreneurs in comprehensive succession planning and in drafting the instruments necessary for such planning. We develop and implement exit strategies. For individuals, we handle estate matters and execution of wills as well as legal representation in inheritance matters.

Our practice in the area of private clients includes:

  • Trusts and estate planning
  • Succession planning for family businesses
  • Testamentary contracts and assets agreements
  • Wills and donations
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Execution of wills, estate administration, estate distributions
  • International disputes relating to trusts and foundations, estate and inheritance matters
  • Change of residence within Switzerland and abroad
  • International divorce proceedings

Real estate and construction: Our specialized attorneys have many years of experience in the fields of real estate transactions, private construction law and tourism. We have supported numerous and prominent hotel projects from financing through opening, advised our clients in the tender process and executed complex, multi-use property developments as well as tailor-made financing packages. We advise architects, engineers and other specialists as well as entrepreneurs, landowners, project developers and hotel operators. Our fields of expertise include the following areas:

  • Real estate transactions
  • Real estate financing
  • Service contracts, general and total service contracts for major construction projects
  • Commercial leases (contract drafting, negotiation, enforcement)
  • Damages and delays in construction and infrastructure projects
  • Payment disputes
  • Builder’s liens

Tax Changing market demands force companies to continually review their locations, structures and processes. The tax burden is an important cost factor in this review. We develop tailored solutions in the context of tax optimization, tax planning and structuring of holding structures. In addition to expertise in taxation and its financial reporting, our tax team has extensive practical experience in advising individuals and corporations and representing them before tax authorities. Thanks to our international network of contacts, we handle cross-border projects smoothly and effectively.

Our services include the following:

  • Tax-favourable company and transaction structuring
  • Tax-favourable financing of international groups
  • Planning and implementation of international structures for groups
  • Cross-border tax planning and optimization for companies and individuals
  • Executive compensation plans
  • Relocations
  • Tax-favourable estate planning and consulting for substantial family assets
  • Cross-border VAT issues
  • Avoiding international double taxation

Venture capital: We advise founders and all kinds of investors in connection with debt-, mezzanine-, or equity financings of venture companies as well as in connection with token sales (initial coin offerings or ICO). Our VC experienced specialists are capable of preparing, negotiating and executing financing rounds of companies regardless of its growth stage in a pragmatic and cost efficient, yet all-inclusive manner (incl. notarization). After the completion of the investment process, we advise our clients during the holding period and in an exit event (cf. corporate and M&A and capital markets).

Our services include among others:

  • Tax and regulatory structuring of the investment
  • Drafting and negotiating term sheets
  • Preparation of capitalization tables
  • Drafting, negotiating and executing investment, loan, convertible loan, and/or shareholders’ agreements
  • Drafting and negotiating of other transaction documents (e.g. employment agreements and employee participation programs)
  • Advising the preparation of white papers and regulatory assessment of initial coin offerings
  • Notarization of the financing

White-collar crimes and investigations: Prager Dreifuss advises companies and executives in connection with official inquiries, compliance and internal and external investigations. We advise and represent clients in various white-collar sectors, including property crimes, infringements of regulations, insider trading, money laundering and the fight against corruption.

Our services include the following:

  • Internal and regulatory white-collar crime investigations in the financial services sector and antitrust law
  • Representing interests in internal and governmental investigations before domestic and foreign supervisory and law enforcement authorities
  • Clarification of possible criminal acts and regulatory offences by managers and employees as well as advice with respect to measures to correct perceived shortcomings
  • Compliance programmes, internal codes of conduct
  • Corruption prevention
Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Daniel S Hayek daniel.hayek@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Banking and finance Dr Andreas Moll andreas.moll@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Capital markets Prof Dr Urs Bertschinger urs.bertschinger@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Capital markets Daniel S Hayek daniel.hayek@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Competition and regulatory matters Prof Dr Philipp E Zurkinden philipp.zurkinden@prager-dreifuss.com +41 31 327 54 54
Competition and regulatory matters Prof Dr Urs Bertschinger urs.bertschinger@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Corporate and M&A Daniel S Hayek daniel.hayek@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Corporate and M&A Dr Hans-Ulrich Brunner hans-ulrich.brunner@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Corporate and M&A Dr Andreas Moll andreas.moll@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Corporate and M&A Verena Morscher verena.morscher@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Dispute resolution Dr Urs Feller urs.feller@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Dispute resolution Dr Christoph K Graber christoph.graber@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Dispute resolution Gaudenz F Domenig gaudenz.domenig@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Employment and pensions Dr Urs Brunner urs.brunner@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Employment and pensions Ralph Butz ralph.butz@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Insolvency and restructuring Daniel S Hayek daniel.hayek@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Insurance and reinsurance Dr Christoph K Graber christoph.graber@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Insurance and reinsurance Dr Hans-Ulrich Brunner hans-ulrich.brunner@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
IP and IT Ralph Butz ralph.butz@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
IP and IT Gaudenz F Domenig gaudenz.domenig@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Private clients Dr Urs Brunner urs.brunner@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Private clients Ralph Butz ralph.butz@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Private clients Dr Tis Prager tis.prager@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Real estate and construction Dr Hans-Ulrich Brunner hans-ulrich.brunner@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Real estate and construction Dr Tis Prager tis.prager@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Real estate and construction Dr Urs Feller urs.feller@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Real estate and construction Dr Jvo Grundler jvo.grundler@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
White-collar crimes and investigations Dr Urs Feller urs.feller@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
White-collar crimes and investigations Dr Christoph K Graber christoph.graber@prager-dreifuss.com +41 44 254 55 55
Number of lawyers : 40
English
French
German
Italian
Mandarin
Spanish
Swedish
Dutch
Portuguese
Russian
Afrikaans
Other offices : Berne
Other offices : Brussels

Daniel Hayek, Managing Partner  

Hayek Daniel Kopie photo Daniel Hayek provides his views on the current and near-future challenges of the Prager Dreifuss law firm.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Prager Dreifuss from your competitors?

As one of the larger full-service law firms based in Switzerland, Prager Dreifuss is made up of a team of highly qualified and trained individuals, speaking 10 languages, admitted in various jurisdictions with extensive study- and work experience abroad. Many of our lawyers are part one or two practice area teams which enables them to work on complex cases entailing multiple areas of law.

We have realized that shared values are our main driver of success and we take pride in our culture, in particular the culture of equality. We do not function very hierarchically; every employee can contribute to the firm easily without any hurdles.

One aspect that differentiates Prager Dreifuss is our client-centric approach. Our lawyers strive to exceed our clients’ expectations and provide personalized services.

Prager Dreifuss is a forward-thinking organization and we are constantly adopting innovative technologies such as legal software to streamline processes and provide clients with faster and more efficient service.

Lastly, Prager Dreifuss is very well connected around the globe with other law firms, business advisors, political consultants, PR firms and asset tracing firms.

All of these factors make Prager Dreifuss stand out from other law firms in Switzerland.

Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

The effects of the pandemic and the war raging in Ukraine will continue to concern us throughout the coming year. Obligations to repay Covid loans granted by governments, together with sharply rising interest rates as central banks are trying to combat inflation, are taking their toll on businesses around the world, as can be seen in the Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse cases. Restructuring and insolvency advice will therefore be a central part of our business in the coming years, also as the public‘s confidence in the banking system has suffered lately. There certainly will also be a lot of work in litigation and international arbitration in these respects.

On the other hand, we see positive indicators regarding the start-up segment. This is where we also have built up new resources and set-up our Start Up Desk to help young businesses build and grow successfully. We are close to the start-up centers around Zurich and support founders setting up their companies, legal frameworks, shareholder agreements and cooperation models and finding their financing solutions.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

We heavily invested in IT environment and legal tech already before the pandemic. This has ensured continuous service for our clients when our lawyers were working from home. In the future, this will allow us to work and stay in contact with colleagues and clients when working remotely and travelling. Of course, the digitalization process is also aiding us in drastically reducing our use of paper.

Prager Dreifuss has also made a major investment in cyber security. We are aware that this is where the future lies and that we must give our clients the assurance that sensitive data is treated appropriately. Only with this certainty customers want to work with us digitally. In our firm, we have done our homework and we are ready for the next steps with our clients.

Prager Dreifuss is also heavily investing into its staff and legal employees to ensure that long-term retainments. We have introduced new part-time and remote working models to accommodate our employees‘ needs. Clients can thus benefit from longstanding relationships with the same legal advisors at our firm, building a trusting and efficient working relationship.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

The video conferencing systems have certainly changed the way we interact with our clients. Holding certain discussions and negotiations online rather than in person means less travel, less unproductive downtime spent at airports and in airplanes and thus less costs for our clients. Further, shared data rooms and shared collaboration platforms are facilitating our work with clients on complex cases. We have introduced automated and improved billing and invoicing systems to increase transparency and billing frequency for clients.

In the future, the adoption of cloud computing, artificial intelligence and automation will be a most relevant topic for us and will hopefully allow us to further streamline our operations, reduce costs and improving our agility in responding to client needs.

Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

We are working intensively with clients, in particular hedge funds, in the distressed assets domain. This is an area where a lawyer progresses from being a cost factor to taking on a strategic core function when analyzing assets to be purchased such as arbitration awards or claims into bankrupt estates. Lawyers can actually contribute to the clients’ earnings which are directly related to their advice. Needless to say, this is a very rewarding task that I am really passionate about.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

Clients are actually looking for a long-term relationship with their strategically savvy lawyers. At the same time, they want us to have the adequate technical support, including where appropriate the upheavals shaped by digitalization in order to work with them successfully. Prager Dreifuss can already offer both, but we strive to grow even more in order to offer our expertise to even more and even larger clients.