HFW > Geneva, Switzerland > Firm Profile


Switzerland > Banking and finance: Geneva Tier 3

HFW adds value with a ‘pragmatic and business-oriented approach.‘ The group is the key address in Geneva for trade finance matters, acting  for producers, financiers, traders, transporters and end users on a regular basis. Practice head Olivier Bazin specialises in financings, revolving trade facilities, advanced payment facilities and export credit insurance. Sustainable finance is another area of strength. The team works well as part of the firm’s international network.

Practice head(s):

Olivier Bazin

Other key lawyers:

Anne-Marie Pearce


‘Great team that always pulls the best subject matter experts for a case. The pragmatic and business-oriented approach is very valuable for in-house teams.’

‘Oliver Bazin: excellent understanding of finance and trade matters; very good negotiator.’

‘Well organised, very knowledgeable, down to earth, hands-on approach.’

‘Good communication, pragmatic, experts.’

Key clients


MUFG Bank Ltd


ING Bank N.V. Lancy/ Geneva Branch



Rabobank London

Puma Energy

UBS Switzerland AG

Amsterdam Trade Bank NV

BIC-BRED (Suisse) SA

Gunvor SA

Mauritius Commercial Bank

UniCredit Bank AG


Reuben Brothers

Hogan Lovells CIS

Allen & Overy Moscow

Integrites LLP



Massoel Shipping

Work highlights

  • Advised Sucafina on the refinancing of its sustainability-linked senior secured borrowing base facility, under which a syndicate of 16 banks, led by ING Bank N.V., are making available up to $500m to the client.

Switzerland > Transport Tier 3

HFW is highly specialised in advising banks, insurers, traders, brokers, operators and governments on, in particular, disputes arising out of the trading, financing and the global transport of goods. The ‘reliable and very professional‘ team handles worldwide commercial, regulatory and litigation work, also with regard to rail, aviation or road transport, and clients ‘believe this firm is the best to handle shipping disputes‘. Practice head Michael Buisset specialises in dry shipping litigation and arbitration matters regarding, among others, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment, ship sale and purchase as well as marine insurance.

Practice head(s):


‘I love the fact that HFW have a dedicated team in Geneva which is quite focused on commodity trading practice area (from shipping, to trading and trade finance).’

‘The team have an astute ability to clearly communicate issues and advice to their clients in a practical manner, this is also demonstrated by their presenting/teaching efforts to commodity trading professionals.’

‘They can meet client’s expectations in all the circumstances. They are reliable and very professional.’

‘The firm offers a quick and clear service.’

‘I worked with Michael Buisset and I am very satisfied with his service. I will not hesitate to contact him again.’

‘Capability to provide legal assistance in complex shipping and trading matters involving different jurisdictions. Personalised legal advice adapted to the circumstances of the client and of the case.’

‘Very kowledgable in international sales and incoterms, very cost-efficient.’

Key clients

Arab Bank (Switzerland) Ltd

Apix (Agency for Foreign Investment and Major Works of the Republic of Senegal)

Japan P&I Club

Banque de Commerce et de Placement SA

UniCredit Bank AG

Hafesa Energia SL

Work highlights

  • Advised the Agence de Promotion des Investissements et Grands Travaux-APIX- (agency for the promotion of foreign investment and major works) of the Republic of Senegal on all corporate issues connected with the high value Dakar-Diamniadio-AIBD Express Regional Train project, an extremely high profile infrastructure project in Senegal, including the negotiation of all project-related agreements with various contractors and suppliers.
  • Acted for the sellers in eight separate sale & purchase transactions, comprising the client’s entire fleet of trading vessels, including advising on the MOA and utilising the team’s cross-jurisdictional expertise in the sale of Swiss-flagged vessels.
  • Acted for the financing bank in a dispute with the owner of a vessel over an alleged misdelivery of cargo, involving a complicated contractual matrix, the disappearance of over 100,000 tons of oil, and parties across at least three jurisdictions.

Switzerland > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 5


Practice head(s):


The firm

HFW is a global, sector-focused law firm providing expert advice to clients in aviation, commodities, construction, energy and resources, insurance and reinsurance, and shipping.

The firm prides itself on the deep industry expertise of its lawyers, and its entrepreneurial, creative and collaborative culture. HFW has over 600 lawyers operating in 20 offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Areas of practice

Geneva is considered the most important centre in the world for physical commodity trading, and is home to trading companies, and is also a very important centre for trade finance and for chartering. Since the Geneva office opened in 2010, it has been integral to the continued development of the firm’s world-renowned shipping and commodities practices.

HFW is committed to supporting the trading and shipping interest active in Switzerland and this is reflected in the teaching and seminars the firm’s lawyers undertake in Geneva, Zug, Lugano and elsewhere.

The lawyers in the Geneva office include partners and associates qualified in England and Wales, Switzerland, Canada, France and Australia, who are familiar with the local business environment and have extensive experience in the legal systems within which their clients operate. They have experience in the international sale of goods and shipping, as well as in all those areas of law, which are nowadays vital to thriving trading companies: trade finance, corporate, commercial, regulatory, sanctions and compliance.

Many of the lawyers have worked in the trading and related industries and bring practical experience to the table as well as legal advice.


International Arbitration Michael Buisset
International Arbitration William Hold
International Arbitration Sarah Hunt
Corporate/commercial Georges Racine
Dispute resolution Michael Buisset
Dispute resolution Sarah Hunt
International trade/commodities Michael Buisset
International trade/commodities Sarah Hunt
Shipping and transport Michael Buisset
Shipping and transport Sarah Hunt
Swiss law William Hold
Trade finance and bank lending (investment grade debt and syndicated loans) Olivier Bazin
Number of lawyers : 615
at this office : 15
Other offices : Brussels
Other offices : Dubai
Other offices : Hong Kong
Other offices : Houston
Other offices : London
Other offices : Melbourne
Other offices : Paris
Other offices : Perth
Other offices : Piraeus
Other offices : São Paulo
Other offices : Shanghai
Other offices : Singapore
Other offices : Sydney
Associations : Abu Dhabi
Associations : Beirut
Associations : Jakarta
Associations : Kuwait
Associations : Riyadh
Associations : Singapore