This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2013
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FIRM OF THE YEAR - SWITZERLAND
Schellenberg Wittmer was founded in 2000 through the merger of two Swiss law firms. Building upon the traditions of its founding firms, Schellenberg Wittmer has established itself as one of Switzerland’s premier law firms and, for the first time, is named our Swiss law firm of the year. The firm consists of over 130 lawyers across its offices in Zurich and Geneva and is involved some of the most high-profile transactions in the country. In the last year alone, the firm acted as Swiss counsel to Watson Pharmaceuticals on its acquisition of Actavis Group for an upfront payment of 4.25 billion euros. Schellenberg Wittmer achieves a total of 35 listings across 15 practice areas, demonstrating the depth of its lawyers’ expertise across a range of legal sectors. The firm is especially strong in the areas of arbitration, asset recovery, business crime defence and life sciences.
|TOTAL LISTINGS IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 35|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Asset Recovery||4||Corporate Tax||2|
|Aviation||1||Insolvency & Restructuring||1|
|Banking||1||Insurance & Reinsurance||2|
|Business Crime Defence||4||Life Sciences||4|
|Capital Markets||1||Real Estate||2|
Schellenberg Wittmer has a “superb” arbitration practice and garners five listings in the corresponding chapter, three of whom are based in the firm’s Zurich office. Nathalie Voser frequently acts as an arbitrator or counsel and provides clients with “first-rate” advice in complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. She is also a “highly rated” litigator and earns an additional listing in the commercial litigation chapter. Georg von Segesser is a “well-known figure” in the arbitration legal market, both in Switzerland and internationally. He has acted as chairman, co-arbitrator, sole arbitrator and counsel in over two hundred domestic and international arbitrations and is one of the permanent chairpersons for domestic arbitrations of the Zurich Chamber of Commerce. Martin Bernet heads the firm’s dispute resolution group and is “much admired” by his peers for the depth and breadth of his practice. He receives additional recommendations in the asset recovery, commercial litigation and insurance and reinsurance chapters. In Geneva, Elliott E Geisinger boasts nearly 20 years’ experience in the field of arbitration and is considered “one of the best arbitrators in Europe”. He is particularly active in construction disputes and earns an additional listing in that chapter. The “formidable” Anne Véronique Schlaepfer heads the firm’s international arbitration practice group and has acted as counsel in a range of commercial disputes.
The firm fields a quartet of leading individuals to our asset recovery section, three of whom are also lauded for their business crime defence work. Geneva-based Paul Gully-Hart leads the firm’s white-collar crime and compliance group and is “internationally renowned” for his abilities in this sector. Peers praise his “exceptional understanding” of regulatory and compliance issues and describe him as a “specialist” in asset tracing and business crime defence. The “talented” Peter Burckhardt heads the white-collar crime and compliance team in Zurich. He acts as defence counsel for corporate clients and high-profile individuals in regulatory and business crime investigations, conducts internal investigations and advises on compliance, asset tracing and the freezing of assets. Benjamin Borsodi is also recognised for both his asset recovery and business crime defence practice and receives particular praise for his abilities as a fraud and business crime litigator. Vincent Jeanneret features in the business crime defence chapter and is “superb” according to our sources. Based in Geneva, he is “in high demand” as counsel or expert in connection with white-collar crime cases at the federal or state level, as well as with international legal assistance or embargo law proceedings. He also heads the restructuring and insolvency team and was recently selected as one of the two Court appointed receivers of Petroplus Refining Cressier.
Schellenberg Wittmer achieves four listings in our life sciences section, in the areas of IP and regulatory. Philippe Ducor earns a dual listing in both areas of the chapter and has a “wealth of knowledge and experience” in the life sciences field, aided by his background as a fully trained physician. He is “known” for providing “top-notch” regulatory advice to clients and is also “very active” in major transactions in the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals sectors. Andrea Mondini heads the firm’s intellectual property and information technology group. He is considered a “key figure” in the life sciences legal market and the “lawyer of choice” for many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies operating in Switzerland. He is “highly regarded” for both his life sciences IP and regulatory abilities and is also listed in our trademarks chapter.
Schellenberg Wittmer continues to grow in size and reputation while remaining steadfastly committed to providing its clients with the best possible service to help them realise their goals.
Schellenberg Wittmer is one of the leading business law firms in Switzerland. Over 130 lawyers in Zurich and Geneva provide local expertise to both domestic and international clients on all aspects of business law. We offer a comprehensive range of services from focused advice to project management, for local or foreign companies and high net worth individuals.
The firm has a strong understanding of international law through a worldwide network of foreign correspondents, and has considerable experience in managing cross-border projects with law firms in other jurisdictions.
MAIN INTERNATIONAL AREAS OF PRACTICE
Dispute Resolution & International Arbitration: Advising in all aspects of commercial litigation and arbitration, including full representation in proceedings, pre-litigation case assessment and ADR solutions, provisional and interim measures, asset tracing, as well as enforcement of arbitral awards and court judgments. Also, extensive experience as arbitrators.
Banking & Finance: Advising Swiss and foreign banks, borrowers, insurance companies, fund managers and other financial institutions on a full range of legal and regulatory matters, from syndicated lending and acquisition finance to OTC transactions, structured products and prudential rules.
Capital Markets: As authorised representatives at the SIX Swiss Exchange, working with domestic and foreign issuers on all aspects of Swiss equity and debt capital markets transactions, including IPOs, rights offerings, convertibles, share buybacks, derivatives programmes, bond and note issues and public tender offers.
Corporate and Commercial: Assisting companies in all corporate and commercial matters including the establishment of businesses and corporate governance; assisting clients in drafting/negotiating all contracts related to their businesses.
Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity and Venture Capital: Advising on public takeovers, private mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, spin-offs and restructurings; assisting with seed/expansion capital, management buy-outs/buy-ins, pre-IPO investments, and various aspects of asset management for private equity and venture capital.
Employment: Assisting in all employment-related matters, ie, employment documentation, labour litigation, residence and labour permits, employee participation schemes, severance packages, etc.
Taxation: Advising companies and individuals on Swiss tax law, including double taxation treaties and VAT; acting as counsel in tax litigation; extensive experience in tax enforcement matters.
Private Clients, Trusts & Estates, Foundations: Working with individuals and families in the global planning and structuring of their private and business assets to ensure an efficient wealth structure and enable a smooth succession from one generation to the next; representing clients in estate and trust disputes.
Restructuring & Insolvency: Assisting creditors and companies in restructuring, bankruptcy and reorganisation proceedings as well as complex insolvency matters; serving as court or FINMA-appointed trustees, liquidators and receivers.
Trade & Transport: Providing support in all aspects of trade and transport, including sales and import/export contracts, trade finance, marine/cargo insurance, maritime/aviation/land transportation and ship/aircraft finance.
Real Estate & Construction: Assisting on all issues relating to real estate and environment, including finding the best financing and investment structure, negotiating/drafting contracts to lease, purchase or sell Swiss real estate, planning/developing construction projects, and contract management.
Insurance: Representation in insurance and reinsurance-related litigation and arbitration; advising on all aspects of insurance law, including the establishment, relocation, conduct and run-off of insurance/reinsurance related to activities in and from Switzerland, as well as regulatory issues.
Intellectual Property & IT: Advising on all areas of intellectual property, including drafting/negotiating agreements and representing clients in litigation and arbitration; assisting in structuring/negotiating IT projects and in drafting all related contracts.
Competition and Antitrust: Advising comprehensively on merger control and the impact of Swiss and EU competition law on client commercial practices and agreements; representing clients in administrative proceedings brought by the Swiss Competition Commission.
White-Collar Crime and Compliance: Representing companies or officers unwillingly involved in criminal investigations and proceedings; advising on international assistance between foreign and domestic law enforcement authorities and all aspects of compliance.
Sports, Arts and Entertainment: Advising collectors, museums, auction houses, galleries, artists, insurers, etc in all matters relating to art works or entire collections, including sale, loan and consignment, import/export, copyright, insurance and litigation; advising sports organisations, athletes and sponsors, as well as media companies, in all matters related to their businesses.
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