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Switzerland: Arbitration Analysis 2016

In this chapter we highlight 88 leading arbitration practitioners and four expert witnesses.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Laurent Lévy Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
Michael Schneider Lalive, Geneva
Matthias Scherer Lalive, Geneva
Pierre Tercier Pierre Tercier, Fribourg
Wolfgang Peter Peter & Partners, Geneva
Xavier Favre-Bulle Lenz & Staehelin, Geneva
Philipp Habegger Lalive, Zurich
Daniel Hochstrasser Bär & Karrer, Zurich
Marc Blessing Bär & Karrer, Zurich
Elliott Geisinger Schellenberg Wittmer, Geneva
Nathalie Voser Schellenberg Wittmer, Geneva

 Lalive leads the research this year with an impressive 10 listings. Founding partner Michael Schneider is an “outstanding practitioner” who has more than 40 years of experience in international arbitration. He is joined by Matthias Scherer who regularly provides “strong” advice to corporate and private clients as well as state parties. Philipp Habegger is an “excellent arbitrator” who has dealt with proceedings arising out of disputes regarding joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, franchising and licensing. Domitille Baizeau is known for her “no-nonsense approach” when acting as both counsel and arbitrator. The “well-respected” Bernd Ehle is experienced in disputes involving commercial transactions, and is described by clients as being “very efficient”.

Homburger also performs strongly with eight nominations. Markus Wirth is an “elder statesman” in the field, and is described by peers as a “truly reliable” individual. Alongside him, Gabrielle Nater-Bass runs a “diverse” practice that focuses on international commercial arbitration as well as private client matters. The “remarkable” Felix Dasser heads the firm’s litigation/arbitration practice team in Zurich, and garners praise from clients for his “thorough and focused” approach. Known for his “extensive experience” in the sector, Balz Gross achieves a listing this year for his performance before Swiss state courts and authorities.

Schellenberg Wittmer boasts seven listings in the field, including the “revered” Elliott Geisinger who garners praise for his “sharp” and “well-organised” practice. Alongside him, Nathalie Voser is recognised for her work before state courts, regarding complex multi-jurisdictional disputes. Georg von Segesser is “very well-respected” among peers, and has acted as chairman, co-arbitrator, sole arbitrator and counsel in over 200 domestic and international arbitrations. Martin Bernet is based in the firm’s Zurich office, and is commended by clients for his “keen attention to detail”. The “esteemed” Philippe Bärtsch is a figure who clients “definitely trust”.

Walder Wyss is fielded by five practitioners this year. Dieter Hofmann heads the firm’s litigation and arbitration team, and “certainly knows how to manage different characters”. Maurice Courvoisier “successfully” represents clients regarding various disputes including construction and civil engineering projects, joint ventures and distribution and licence agreements. The “versatile” Micha Bühler regularly publishes and lectures in his fields of specialisation, while Daniel Wyss is commended for his “calm manner” when dealing with sensitive cases. Michael Cartier’s practice focuses on construction disputes and international commercial law. He is a “first rate practitioner” whose “depth and quality of his track record” make him a “definite inclusion on any list”.

Four leading lawyers at Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler garner inclusion. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler is described by clients as a “superb” advocate, while Laurent Lévy is “one of the best arbitrators you can get”. Sébastien Besson has a “well-deserved reputation”, and specialises in international arbitration, commercial contracts and sport-related disputes. Also representing the firm is Antonio Rigozzi, who is admired by peers for his “excellent advocacy skills” and work that he publishes.

Xavier Favre-Bulle is one of three lawyers from Lenz & Staehelin who achieve listings in this chapter. He is praised for his “quick grasp of complex issues” and has “rich experience” in the field of arbitration. The “formidable” Harold Frey leads the firm’s litigation and arbitration practice in Zurich, and has represented clients in numerous international arbitration as well as litigation proceedings before Swiss courts. Thierry Calame is “the perfect IP arbitrator”, and is a permanent lecturer at the University of St Gallen.

Bär & Karrer also achieves three nominations, including the “incomparable” Daniel Hochstrasser who heads the firm’s arbitration practice. He is joined by Marc Blessing, who has more than 30 years of experience in international arbitration. Cesare Jermini is “a real star” in the field, and is known for his “strong academic qualities”.

Sidley Austin receive three listings this year. David Roney is lauded by clients for his “detailed preparation” of cases and “hands-on” approach. Marc Palay is co-leader of the firm’s international arbitration practice, and is heralded by clients as “one of the best arbitrators in Europe”. Dorothee Schramm is a “very analytical lawyer” who “knows her cases inside out”.

Three practitioners from Froriep are recognised in this chapter, including the “gifted” Franz Stirnimann Fuentes whose practice encompasses international arbitration, litigation and Swiss commercial law. Also representing the firm is Jean Marguerat who, according to clients, is a “quick thinker”. Jean-Marie Vulliemin is “very active” in the sector, with a focus on art and sports law, as well as international estate law.

Pestalozzi also achieves three listings. Laurent Killias is a “very bright and skilled” individual, while Thomas Rohner regularly represents corporations and individuals in numerous complex litigation and arbitration matters. Thomas Legler is “one of the IP arbitration specialists in Switzerland” and represents both corporate and private clients.

At Peter & Partners Wolfgang Peter is described by peers as a “top arbitrator” and is recognised for his “strategic approach” to cases. Christoph Brunner’s “fantastic” practice encompasses arbitration, litigation and insolvency, and commercial contracts.

At Patocchi & Marzolini, Paolo Michele Patocchi is lauded as “one of the best arbitrators around”. Alongside him, Paolo Marzolini is regarded as a “rising star” in the field.

Pierre-Yves Gunter at Python & Peter is recognised for his “measured and practical” approach to difficult situations. Alongside him, the “terrific” Alexandra Johnson garners praise for her “unparalleled” counsel.

Pierre Tercier represents his own firm in this chapter, and is commended for his “top expert knowledge in the field”.

At MME Legal, Bernhard Meyer is regarded as a “leading” practitioner in the field.

Hansjörg Stutzer at Thouvenin rechtsanwälte is praised for his “careful handling” of sensitive issues.

Wartmann & Merker is represented by the “reliable and trustworthy” Andrea Meier, who regularly represents parties before tribunals and Swiss courts in commercial matters.

Sandra De Vito Bieri at Bratschi Wiederkehr & Buob is commended for her “professional” and “dedicated” practice.

At Barandun von Graffenried, Raphaëlle Favre Schnyder wins praise for the “creative” advice that she delivers to clients.

Representing his own firm in this chapter, Simon Gabriel is known for his “perfect understanding of the market”.

Douglas Reichert also represents his own firm, and is “greatly admired” by peers and clients alike.

Diana Akikol of Akikol, Béguin & Richa runs an “excellent” and “flexible” practice.

At his own firm, Martin Wiebecke commands a "leading position" in the market, with his "meticulous approach" making him a "point of references in the market" for many.

Arbitration Expert Witnesses

Michel Nardin at PMG Ingénieurs-Economistes-Conseils is a “stand-out” figure regarding arbitration disputes, and specialises in the fields of civil engineering, hydraulic construction, transportation and infrastructure. Alongside him, founder of the firm Pierre-Michel Genton “continues to impress”, and is known for his “invaluable experience”.

At Charles River Associates, Geoffrey Senogles heads the firm’s team of forensic accountants, and is often invited to lead seminars at the Swiss Arbitration Academy.

Chris Phillips at Deloitte leads the forensic services team in Switzerland, and works on behalf of law firms and multinational corporations.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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