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

FBT Attorneys-at-Law
1211 GENEVA 6

Banking and finance: Geneva Tier 2

A core focus of FBT Attorneys-at-Law's team is banking and finance regulations, which includes advice on matters relating to securities dealers, collective investment schemes and money laundering. It is further active for a variety of clients in enforcement, civil and criminal proceedings. Frédérique Bensahel leads the team. Marco Villa, who also well versed in contract law, has recently shifted his focus more to the banking and finance space.

Practice head(s):

Frédérique Bensahel

Other key lawyers:

Marco Villa; Jean-Marie Kiener


‘Competent, rapid, accessible, honest approach when doing a job for us – not “over-selling” work and time.’

‘Their approach is very professional and straight forward with clear answers to the questions. They are to the point and helpful from a practical/implementation point of view.’

‘Very professional and yet accessible and always open to receive small questions here and then.’

‘Very experienced and knowledgeable. Great availability. Very pragmatic and innovative. Trusted advisers. Fine lawyers.’

‘Frédérique Bensahel: Amazing availability, great knowledge in particular about competitors’ practice.’

‘Skilled and pragmatic approach; available upon short notice.’

‘Professional and intelligent solutions given by the partner.’

‘Very flexible, dynamic, efficient and pragmatic; always there to help; fast and efficient.’

‘Frédérique Bensahel – very friendly and efficient lawyer. Pragmatic and willing to help.’

‘Technically very good and also pragmatic team. Service minded and always available.’

Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland Tier 3

FBT Attorneys-at-Law has 'extensive expertise in the financial, litigation and commercial sectors'. The team includes Frédérique Bensahel, who is well versed in banking and finance matters; tax specialists Jean-Luc Bochatay and Michel Abt; and dispute resolution practitioner Serge FaselPierre-Olivier Etique and Jean-Louis Tsimaratos are also noted.

Other key lawyers:

Frédérique Bensahel; Jean-Luc Bochatay; Michel Abt; Serge Fasel; Pierre-Olivier Etique; Jean-Louis Tsimaratos


‘Extensive expertise in the financial, litigation and commercial sectors. Very proactive and business oriented. Efficient legal survey.’

‘Skilled/pragmatic approach/available upon short notice.’

‘Very dedicated team of ultra professionals, combination of legal and tax expertise, know-how across the board.’

‘Very responsive and professional attitude. Original and highly skilful approach to a wide range of legal problems.’

‘High capability to create and successfully lead international teams of lawyers being part of different firms.’

Private client Tier 3

FBT Attorneys-at-Law advises a breadth of clients, among them banks, family offices and high-net-worth individuals as well as fund management companies, wealth managers and investment funds. The team is composed of individuals with different focuses: Pascale Cano in Paris covers international private family law, while Frédérique Bensahel is the key contact for private banking issues, trusts and funds. Michel Abt and Jean-Luc Bochatay jointly lead the tax practice, which assists clients in tax and estate planning.

Practice head(s):

Pascal Cano; Frédérique Bensahel; Michel Abt; Jean-Luc Bochatay


‘Client relationship: despite being very busy, partners always make themselves available in case of emergency or important file.’

‘Excellent technical skills, very good support and always clients oriented.’

‘The attention given to clients’ problems and the creativity put into looking into solutions to address problems with the best approach.’

‘Michel Abt : excellent tax practice.’

‘Its legal practice is unique, in that the lawyers respond quickly and professionally to problems and questions and we get the right conclusion and the solution at a reasonable cost.’

‘FBT has an excellent reputation for fiscal advice , in particular for the Swiss and French area. Having offices in Geneva and Paris is useful for certain clients.’

‘Personal contact with Michel Abt makes the relationship pleasant and efficient.’

Tax Tier 4

The team at FBT Attorneys-at-Law acts for investment managers, high-net-worth individuals and family offices, covering tax planning, disputes, tax transparency issues and criminal proceedings. The key contacts are Michel Abt and Jean-Luc Bochatay.

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 +41 22 849 60 40
Tax Michel Abt
Tax Jean-Luc Bochatay
Corporate and commercial Marco Villa
Litigation Serge Fasel
Litigation Michaël Biot
Private clients Frédérique Bensahel
Private clients Jean-Luc Bochatay
Photo Name Position Profile
 Michel Abt photo Michel Abt Michel Abt is the co-head of FBT’s Tax Group and a member…
 Frédérique Bensahel  photo Frédérique Bensahel Frédérique Bensahel is head of the banking and finance group of FBT…
 Jean-Luc Bochatay photo Jean-Luc Bochatay Partner with FBT in the Tax Group; co-founder and chairman of FBT.…
 Véronique Chatelain Gomez  photo Véronique Chatelain Gomez Associate and member of the Banking and Finance Group. Véronique Chatelain Gomez…
 Serge Fasel photo Serge Fasel Founding partner and head of the Litigation and Arbitration Group. Serge Fasel…
 Théo Goetschin  photo Théo Goetschin Théo Goetschin is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of its Litigation…
 Jean-Marie Kiener photo Jean-Marie Kiener Jean-Marie Kiener is an associate with FBT and a member of its Banking…
 Julien Le Fort photo Julien Le Fort Julien Le Fort  is a Lawyer with FBT and a member of…
 Sophie Moreillon photo Sophie Moreillon Sophie Moreillon is a lawyer and a member of FBT’s Litigation and…
 Jean-Louis Tsimaratos photo Jean-Louis Tsimaratos Partner and member of the Banking and Finance Group. Jean-Louis Tsimaratos advises…
Dr Marco Villa photo Dr Marco Villa Partner – Marco Villa is a leading contract and commercial law expert.…
 Olivia de Weck photo Olivia de Weck Associate and member of the Litigation and Arbitration Group. Her fields of activities…
Number of lawyers : 28
at this office : 21
Other offices : Paris