FBT Attorneys-at-Law > Geneva, Switzerland > Firm Profile

FBT Attorneys-at-Law
1211 GENEVA 6

Switzerland > Banking and finance: Geneva Tier 2

FBT Attorneys-at-Law‘s ‘very experienced and knowledgeable‘ team specialises in banking and finance regulations, and has a history of representing clients throughout licensing processes and enforcement proceedings. Frédérique Bensahel leads the team, and advises banks, securities dealers, asset managers, funds, and fund managers, with areas of expertise including asset management issues, banking and financial regulations and financial disputes. Marco Villa handles transactions, trade finance work and M&A matters, with experience in cross-border activities. Associate Jean-Marie Kiener is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘FBT’s team is great. They have very good knowledge of practices in banking and financial sector. The team is always up to date with respect to recent case law and working with them is always a great experience.’

‘FBT’s banking and finance team is very experienced and knowledgeable in all legal issues related to the investment fund industry, including hedge funds and alternative funds, and asset management.’

Work highlights

  • Advised a Swiss insurance group on its licensing process for $6bn under management.
  • Advised several portfolio managers on their licensing process for CHF2bn.
  • Advising a major Swiss company on the purchase of the share capital of a Swiss bank.

Switzerland > Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland Tier 3

FBT Attorneys-at-Law's Geneva office fields a team of 'genuine experts in their fields'. Serge Fasel, head of the litigation and arbitration team, is 'always reliable' and an 'excellent lawyer'. Other key names include banking and finance head Frédérique Bensahel, tax practice heads Michel Abt and Jean-Luc Bochatay, and Marco Villa, who heads the corporate and commercial team.


‘Very good firm with personalised services. The attorneys are genuine experts in their fields and have a very good knowledge of industry’s need. They are accessible and deliver with efficiency. Deep knowledge of banking and financial law, both from a regulatory and contractual perspective, which allows them to come up with pragmatic results-driven solutions. Excellent professionals and very good cooperation with the law firm. Immediate response to any enquires and request and more than helpful partners.’

‘Serge is an excellent lawyer who is always reliable and very cooperative with the bank.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a bank in an international dispute where the bank is sued for over $250m.
  • Acted for a client seeking a FINMA licence for its asset manager of over CHF 6 billion of insurances and pension fund assets.
  • Advised a Swiss bank on a EUR 100 million secured loan. Foreign corporate guaranties and securities were granted by the borrower.

Switzerland > Private client Tier 3

Boutique firm FBT Attorneys-at-Law has a specific focus on cross-border issues between France and Switzerland, with particular expertise in international tax issues. Other key areas include handling individual relocations, succession planning and estate management issues, and restructurings. The practice includes Jean-Luc Bochatay, Michel Abt and Pascale Cano, and clients include names from the asset management and banking industries, as well as family offices.

Practice head(s):

Jean-Luc Bochatay; Pascal Cano

Other key lawyers:

Frederique Bensahel; Michel Abt


‘Always received the appropriate and requested advice from Jean-Luc Bochatay.’

‘Good understanding of international cross border tax issues, and a sensible understanding of the nuances of how Anglo-Saxon trusts operate.’

‘Jean-Luc Bochatay and Frederique Bensahel are particularly efficient and focused in the questions they pose, and solutions they provide for their clients.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on a complex and high-stake cross-border tax and estate planning issue.
  • Advised on the transmission of assets to the heirs of several marriages domiciled in different countries.
  • Advised a founder and principal shareholder on the sale of a company active in the new digital economy.

Switzerland > Tax Tier 4

FBT Attorneys-at-Law advises high-net-worth individuals, banks, investment managers, trust companies and family offices on a variety of tax matters, and has notable expertise in cross-border matters. Jean-Luc Bochatay specialises in tax proceedings, assisting banks and their clients before tax authorities. Bochatay co-leads the practice with Michel Abt, who has additional experience in banking and finance work.

Practice head(s):


‘The difference with other firms is the professionalism, the seriousness, the desire to do even better, the friendliness, the connection, etc.’

Work highlights

  • Advised on the transmission of assets to the heirs of several marriages domiciled in different countries and some of whom are minors.
  • Advised a family which inherited artistic wealth.
  • Advised a founder on the sale of the company.

The firm: FBT Attorneys-at-Law (FBT) is a multidisciplinary law firm, based in Geneva and Paris, which operates in the financial and commercial sectors as well as in niche activities, with a predominantly cross-border dimension.  FBT was founded in 1993 in Geneva by Serge Fasel, Jean-Luc Bochatay and Jean-Louis Tsimaratos. Nowadays, FBT counts ten partners out of a total of 33 lawyers. From a generalist Swiss law firm, FBT opted back in the 90s to specialise in four, now six, specific legal domains.

FBT also decided from the very beginning to provide its clients with specialised advice on cross-border transactions with France. From this perspective, it chose to work closely with another law firm in Paris. A few years later, FBT decided to open its own offices in France with the French lawyers that had accompanied the Swiss firm successfully from the beginning of its special focus on Swiss-French cross-border issues. Besides this special  focus on Swiss-French cross-border issues, FBT has developped a network of lawyers around the world, enabling it to mobilize and coordinate specialized teams in many countries.

Areas of practice: FBT is organised in six specialised and complementary legal teams which advises its Swiss and foreign clients on domestic and cross-border issues in the following areas:

Banking and finance:

  • Banking and financial regulations, including authorizations  and FINMA enforcement procedures
  • Collective investment schemes and other similar structures
  • Private insurance
  • Asset management
  • Financing
  • Financial litigation


  • Individual taxation, including top executives taxation
  • Corporate taxation
  • Taxation related to financial activities
  • Real estate taxation
  • Tax procedures and litigation, including international assistance in tax matters

Corporate and commercial:

  • Corporate affairs
  • Entrepreneurs’ legal framework
  • Shareholders’ legal framework
  • Contractual law
  • Corporate asset protection
  • Assistance to companies in critical financial situations

Litigation and arbitration:

  • Commercial litigation
  • Banking and financial litigation
  • Arbitration
  • Forced execution
  • Economic crime
  • Mutual assistance in criminal and administrative matters

Labour and social insurance:

  • Individual and collective litigation
  • Collective labour agreement
  • transfers and relocation
  • Work permits

Family estate:

  • Wealth structuring and estate planning
  • Unions (marriage and partnerships)
  • Philanthropic activities
  • Succession
  • Residence transfer (expatriation and impatriation)

Each group is led by a partner highly experienced in the group’s field of activity. A constant exchange among the practice groups allows the sharing of up-to-date information in each field of specialisation. Depending on the case, FBT sets up a ‘multidisciplinary legal team’ capable of devising a pragmatic overall approach to the various aspects of the case, responding rapidly while maintaining a high degree of legal safety and ensuring optimal cost control.

Department Name Email Telephone
Banking and finance Frédérique Bensahel fbensahel@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Tax Michel Abt mabt@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Tax Jean-Luc Bochatay jlbochatay@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Corporate and commercial Marco Villa mvilla@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Litigation Serge Fasel sfasel@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Private clients Frédérique Bensahel fbensahel@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Private clients Jean-Luc Bochatay jlbochatay@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Labour & Social Insurance Serge Fasel sfasel@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Family Estate Jean-Luc Bochatay jlbochatay@fbt.ch +41 22 849 60 40
Tax (Paris office) Alain Moreau amoreau@fbt-avocats.fr +33 1 45 61 18 00
Family Estate (Paris office) Pascale Cano pcano@fbt-avocats.fr +33 1 45 61 18 00
Photo Name Position Profile
Michel Abt photo Me Michel Abt Michel Abt is the co-head of FBT’s Tax Group and a member…
Romain Baume photo Me Romain Baume Romain Baume is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of its Tax…
Frederique  Bensahel photo Frederique Bensahel Frédérique Bensahel is considered as a leading lawyer in the banking and financial…
Jean-Luc Bochatay photo Me Jean-Luc Bochatay EXPERTISE Jean-Luc Bochatay is a co-founder and Chairman of FBT Avocats SA.…
Veronique Chatelain Gomez photo Veronique Chatelain Gomez Associate and member of the Banking and Finance Group. Véronique Chatelain Gomez…
Jean De Skowronski photo Me Jean De Skowronski Jean de Skowronski is an Attorney-at-Law and holds an MBA from INSEAD. He…
Serge Fasel photo Me Serge Fasel Founding partner and head of the Litigation and Arbitration Group. Serge Fasel…
Jean-Marie Kiener photo Jean-Marie Kiener Jean-Marie Kiener is a Counsel and a member of FBT’s Banking and Finance…
Julien Le Fort photo Me Julien Le Fort Julien Le Fort is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of both…
Aurélie Moyal-Azra photo Me Aurélie Moyal-Azra Aurélie Moyal-Azra is a lawyer and member of FBT’s Banking & Finance group. …
Noemie Pauli photo Me Noemie Pauli Noémie Pauli is a lawyer and member of FBT’s Banking & Finance group. …
Sara Pugliese-Charfadi photo Me Sara Pugliese-Charfadi Sara Pugliese-Charfadi is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of its…
Sara Pugliese-Charfadi photo Me Sara Pugliese-Charfadi Sara Pugliese-Charfadi is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of its…
Jean-Louis Tsimaratos photo Me Jean-Louis Tsimaratos Partner and member of the Banking and Finance Group. Jean-Louis Tsimaratos advises…
Marco Villa photo Dr Marco Villa Partner – Marco Villa is a leading contract and commercial law expert.…
Joanna Ybarra photo Me Joanna Ybarra Joanna Ybarra is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of both…
Olivia de Weck photo Me Olivia de Weck As a Partner in FBT’s Litigation and Arbitration group, Olivia de Weck advises and…
Number of lawyers : 30
at this office : 21
Other offices : Paris