LALIVE > Geneva, Switzerland > Firm Profile

LALIVE
35 RUE DE LA MAIRIE
PO BOX 6569
1211 GENEVA 6
Switzerland

Switzerland > Dispute resolution: arbitration Tier 1

LALIVE operates on a worldwide basis, and represents individuals, multinationals, states and state entities in the full range of disputes, with notable sector expertise in the construction and infrastructure, energy, mining, and pharmaceuticals industries. Matthias Scherer co-leads the team with Joachim Knoll; Knoll has expertise in disputes arising from commercial transactions, while Scherer is a prominent name for investor-state arbitrations. Founding partners Michael Schneider and Teresa Giovannini have expertise in complex commercial disputes, with Schneider focusing particularly on the energy and construction sectors, and Giovanni covering infrastructure, technology, pharmaceuticals, and aviation matters. Also key are investor-state dispute specialist Veijo Heiskanen, energy sector expert Marc Veit, and Melissa Magliana.

Practice head(s):

Testimonials

‘Lalive has extensive experience in both international investment law and dispute resolution. Lalive was always willing to help and gave our needs full attention. The legal firm’s partners were constantly accessible and provided their undivided attention. Lalive always lays forth the legal course of action with exceptional simplicity and clarity. They simplify and condense complex situations, putting the focus on what matters.’

‘Veijo Heiskenen and Joachim Knoll, together with other colleagues from Lalive, built an outstanding team, who are highly professional lawyers and very nice people too. Their personalities are what allow them to complete even the most challenging tasks with a smile.’

Key clients

Romania

Gate gourmet

Prairie Mining

Switzerland

Ukrenergo

Mauritius

DSG Yapi San Tic A.S.

Republic of Latvia

Indiana Resources and Winshear Gold Corporation

Lupaka Gold Corporation

Work highlights

  • Representing Romania in an $2.1bn ICSID dispute with Swedish investors relating to tax enforcement measures in the food and beverage industry.
  • Representing four related Australian and UK entities in an UNCITRAL arbitration invoking the Australian/Poland BIT and arising out of a mine and hard coking coal project in Poland.
  • Representing a global airline services provider in a $1.75bn ICC arbitration over the interpretation and enforcement of a 30-year services agreement.

Switzerland > Dispute resolution: litigation Tier 2

LALIVE‘s Geneva and Zurich offices work cohesively as a fully integrated unit, which handles a range of top-level international and domestic civil and criminal litigation. Geneva team leader Sandrine Giroud has a diverse practice focused on multi-jurisdictional commercial and private wealth disputes, while André Brunschweiler, who leads in Zurich, specialises in corporate litigation and the related advisory disputes. Alexander Troller covers financial matters and corporate and shareholder disputes, in addition to a focus on white-collar crime matters, which is shared by Marc Henzelin and Simone Nadelhofer.

Testimonials

‘I have worked with many international law firms because of my global career. Lalive is the most outstanding firm among them all.’

‘The team of Lalive have extraordinary professional knowledge and rich practical experience, while being honest and loyal to the clients.’

‘Creative, indefatigable, user friendly.’

‘Sandrine Giroud: Brilliant – I would use Sandrine for any difficult litigation in Switzerland. Responsive, creative, a pleasure to work with. Gives realistic advice and is creative in tricky circumstances.’

‘Dominick Elmiger: Very, very good lawyer. We used him to appeal a bad first instance order; in a matter of days they put together an excellent and persuasive (and ultimately successful) set of appeal papers.’

‘Sandrine Giroud and Dominik Elmiger have been extremely pleasant to work with and get the right result, despite meeting several procedural bumps on the road. Their legal advice has been very clear and easy to follow, and their availability for meetings have been very good.’

‘Deep experience of litigation in its many forms and very user-friendly.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for several major institutional and private UHNW investors on potential major losses incurred in connection with the Greensill collapse.
  • Representing a UHNWI in a high-profile art-related dispute, in Swiss civil and criminal proceedings for the recovery of more than $1.2bn in assets over several jurisdictions as a result of fraudulent artwork transactions.
  • Representing a company active in the commodities trading market in a dispute regarding the allegedly fraudulent financing of a related company using international sales of goods and letters of credit.

Switzerland > Leading firms: French-speaking Switzerland Tier 2

LALIVE's Geneva office offers a range of services such as litigation, private client, public international law, and white collar crime, but is particularly known for its dispute resolution work.

Switzerland > Regulatory, compliance and investigations Tier 2

LALIVE represents corporate clients, executives, state entities and individuals in investigations before regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies, also supporting on the development of risk and compliance management systems. The team regularly conducts internal investigations in cases involving bribery, embezzlement, disloyal management and tax offences. Alexander Troller has broad expertise in asset recovery and judicial assistance as well as financial disputes and white-collar crime, whereas Daniel Lucien Bühr and Simone Nadelhofer specialise in regulatory cross border investigations and ESG compliance. Sandrine Giroud is an expert in business and human rights, with Matthias Gstoehl supporting the team with litigation skills and his expertise in derivative instruments, hedge funds and all financial products.

Practice head(s):

Daniel Lucien Buhr; Alexander Troller; Simone Nadelhofer; Matthias Gstoehl; Sandrine Giroud

Testimonials

‘Extremely responsive, consistent highest-quality work, substantive precision, very efficient. Would highly recommend.’

‘Daniel Buhr was a delight to work with. Very knowledgeable and practical, and he carefully and accurately explained what we could expect at each step of a sensitive Swiss regulatory matter. Daniel came very highly recommended by colleagues whose judgement I value and trust, and he exceeded even those lofty expectations.’

‘Lalive is striving to be a holistic service provider for all legal matters in Switzerland. It has a strong and reliable background in Compliance (consulting, legal support, legal procedures) and criminal law. The team is partly formed from former practitioners which helps understand and contact authorities. Lalive is open and experienced in interworking with international law firms for multi-national cases.’

‘For sure Dr. Daniel Buhr is one of the most active, reputed and experienced legal counsels for Compliance issues in Switzerland. He is well connected in industry and authorities. He is consulting and adding additional members of the Lalive Team wherever additional skill set is relevant.’

‘Commitment and dedication to clients. They really care about your case.’

‘The team worked exceptionally efficiently and reliably. The communication was excellent and the result of the work extremely helpful.’

‘Team leader in our case was Simone Nadelhofer. She was convincing professionally, but also in the way she communicated and worked with us. I would recommend her at any time.’

Key clients

Federative Republic of Brazil

Work highlights

  • Advised and represented Brazil in a large-scale investigation, tracing and recovery of illicit assets and proceeds of crimes held in several banks and fiduciaries in Switzerland and other countries in a USD 1 billion matter.
  • Represented a leading Middle East commodities trading company in fraud proceedings against a global European bank established in Switzerland and a former relationship manager regarding claims of forged bank statements over several years to divert more than USD 200 million.
  • Represented an UHNWI in asset recovery proceedings in allegations of fraud, mismanagement of assets, market manipulation, insider trading, commingling and execution of unauthorised transactions for assets valued at over USD 1 billion.

Switzerland > Banking and finance: Geneva Tier 3

LALIVE is particularly noted for its work acting against banks, frequently representing corporate investors, family offices, and private clients facing matters involving the mismanagement of assets, fraudulent orders, and improper executions. The department also handles regulatory matters, financial transactions, and securitisations. Litigator Alexander Troller co-leads the group alongside Nicolas Ollivier, who has experience in complex banking disputes. Marc Henzelin and Sandrine Giroud are also key names to note.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I have worked with many international law firms because of my global career. Lalive is the most outstanding firm amongst them all.’

‘Sandrine Giroud: a master of negotiation on complex contracts. She was resilient, and able to conduct negotiations by herself up to closing and to follow up on small issues as well as on key issues.’

‘The team of LALIVE have extraordinary professional knowledge and rich practical experience, while also being honest and loyal to the clients.’

‘Technology capability was excellent, and the team was sized to my specific needs was easy as well.’

Key clients

Banka Snoras

Work highlights

  • Representing fifty former clients and counterparts including institutional and high-net-worth individuals in complex proceedings against Banque Privée Espirito Santo (Suisse) S.A., in liquidation, and its auditors, KPMG, which failed to discover the massive losses incurred as a result of investments made by the bank.
  • Representing a company active in the commodities trading market in a dispute regarding the financing of a related company using international sales of goods and letters of credit, which were in turn allegedly used by third parties to defraud the bank guaranteeing the transactions.
  • Counsel to the liquidators of Lithuanian Banka Snoras which went into bankruptcy after the main shareholders diverted over €400m in assets owned by the bank.

Switzerland > Intellectual property Tier 3

LALIVE advises on the full spectrum of IP law, with a particular focus on contentious matters. Led by Thomas Widmer, who is the key contact for all IP issues, the practice advises a varied client base drawn from sectors including gaming, energy, NGOs, pharma and IT.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Widmer

Work highlights

  • Acted as counsel to a global supplier of integrated gambling and gaming systems in a €25m ICC arbitration against an operator in the gaming industry concerning the alleged breach of a limited license for the use of IT products.
  • Represented a multinational computer, technology and IT consulting corporation in civil proceedings against a Swiss bank which is inter alia claiming access to the source code of various software interfaces developed by the client in the frame of a global IT service agreement.
  • Advised a non-profit organisation funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on drafting and negotiating several contractual agreements in relation to intellectual property issues and the mitigation of the consequences of various event cancellations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Switzerland > Real estate and construction Tier 3

LALIVE ‘s real estate group has strong expertise in dispute resolution regarding real estate, construction, and infrastructure matters. The practice regularly provides representation in construction arbitrations, as well as cross border and domestic litigation proceedings. The team heads are Michael E Schneider and and Bernd Ehle.

Practice head(s):

Bernd Ehle; Joachim Knoll

Other key lawyers:

Sam Moss

Key clients

DSG Yapi San Tic A.S.

Republic of Latvia

Work highlights

  • Represented Switzerland in the first ICSID arbitration against the country. The arbitration arose out of an alleged expropriation of real estate property and the claimant invoked the Switzerland-Hungary BIT for a USD 1.2 billion claim.
  • Represented a Middle Eastern design company in an USD 798 million ICC arbitration regarding a dispute related to an infrastructure project in the Middle East.
  • Represented a Turkish construction company in a USD 300 million ICSID investment treaty arbitration against Saudi Arabia in relation to a construction project. The investor is invoking the 2006 Turkey-Saudi Arabia bilateral investment treaty.

Switzerland > Banking and finance: Zurich Tier 4

LALIVE specialises in acting against banks, and represents family offices, international corporate investors, and high-net-worth individuals in a diverse set of contentious mandates. The department has further expertise in sanctions related matters. Simone Nadelhofer, Daniel Lucien Bühr, Matthias Gstoehl and André Brunschweiler co-lead the department, which includes Dominik Elmiger.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Matthias Gstoehl is a highly skilled litigator with profound knowledge of the banking sector.’

Key clients

Banka Snoras

Work highlights

  • Acting for several major institutional and private ultra-high-net-worth investors in regard to potential major losses incurred in connection with the Greensill collapse.
  • Acting as counsel to the liquidators of Lithuanian Banka Snoras which went into bankruptcy after the main shareholders diverted over €400m in assets owned by the bank.
  • Representing a leading global travel retailer in a dispute with a global Swiss bank acting as custodian to release shares held in escrow as part of a business transaction.

Switzerland > Leading firms: German-speaking Switzerland Tier 4

LALIVE's Zurich office handles litigation, private client, public international law, and white-collar criminal law, but is particularly known for its dispute resolution work.

Other key lawyers:

Switzerland > Private client Tier 4

LALIVE's private client group leverages teams in both Zurich and Geneva, with the former practice headed up by Werner Jahnel and Simone Nadelhofer, and the latter led by Alexander Troller and Sandrine Giroud. The practice assists ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals with matters spanning international inheritance law, art law, banking and financial services litigation, and matrimonial proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Werner Jahnel; Alexander Troller; Sandrine Giroud; Simone Nadelhofer

Testimonials

‘Alexandre Troller is amazing: very competent, very efficient and incredibly fast with a great and useful network.’

‘Very efficient. Respond to clients needs very promptly. Clarity. Honesty.’

‘Werner Jahnel: Excellent knowledge of inheritance laws. Looks for a solution without delay. Compassionate and caring to the clients needs. Honest and clear advice. Always there for the client. Speaks several languages. Always keen to obtain a quick and positive outcome for the client.’

‘The LALIVE team is very competent and genuinely has the the client’s best interest in mind. They are very prompt at responding.’

‘Empathy to the client’s situation. Speed of responsiveness. Quality of advice given is very high.’

‘Overall very good reputation in the private client department – especially in the Geneva branch.’

‘Much appreciated collaboration with colleague Sandrine Giroud, a very experienced and knowledgeable colleague in art and cultural property matters. Very friendly and responsive to deal with.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a UHNWI and related entities in one of the largest art fraud cases.
  • Advised a HNWI domiciled in Switzerland in relation to inheritance and asset structuring issues involving conducting a compatibility assessment of complex and successive trust structures with Swiss heirship rules, identifying and finding assets in Europe and Africa and subsequently drafting the wills.
  • Acted for an heiress in a complex cross-border succession dispute over real estate and other assets worth CHF40m located in Switzerland, Europe and North Africa.

LALIVE is an international law firm with offices in Geneva, Zurich and London integrated by lawyers from 30 countries, qualified in 20 jurisdictions, and who together speak over 25 languages. The firm is renowned for its expertise and experience in international disputes and provides global dispute resolution and advisory services to clients worldwide. The firm represents individuals, public and private entities, including multinational corporations, governments and international organisations. Practice areas include international commercial and investment arbitration, litigation, white-collar crime, investigations, regulatory and compliance, public international law and private client. Areas of focus include asset recovery and insolvency; art and cultural property; banking and finance; corporate and commercial; energy and mining; intellectual property and data protection; construction and infrastructure; employment; sports; technology and telecoms; business and human rights and pharma and biotechnology.

Department Name Email Telephone
Dispute resolution – arbitration Matthias Scherer, Joachim Knoll info@lalive.law +41581052000
Dispute resolution – litigation Sandrine Giroud, André Brunschweiler info@lalive.law +41581052000
White-collar crime Marc Henzelin info@lalive.law +41581052000
Asset recovery and investigations Sandrine Giroud, Matthias Gstoehl info@lalive.law +41581052000
Public international law Veijo Heiskanen, Sandrine Giroud info@lalive.law +41581052000
Construction, real estate and infrastructure Joachim Knoll, Bernd Ehle info@lalive.law +41581052000
Regulatory and compliance Daniel Lucien Buhr info@lalive.law +41581052000
Energy Veijo Heiskanen, Noradèle Radjai info@lalive.law +41581052000
Banking and finance Alexander Troller, Nicolas Ollivier info@lalive.law +41581052000
Private client Werner Jahnel, Alexander Troller info@lalive.law +41581052000
Construction, real estate and infrastructure Bernd Ehle, Joachim Knoll info@lalive.law +41581052000
Art and cultural property Sandrine Giroud info@lalive.law +41581052000
Intellectual property Thomas Widmer info@lalive.law +41581052000
LALIVE Lawyers : 107
LALIVE Partners : 25
LALIVE Senior Counsel : 2
LALIVE Counsel : 10
LALIVE Associates : 70
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Other offices : Zurich
Other offices : London