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Switzerland: Mergers & Acquisitions Analysis 2016

This year, we list 32 leading experts in M&A transactions.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Daniel Daeniker Homburger, Zurich
Urs Schenker Walder Wyss, Zurich
Rudolf Tschäni Lenz & Staehelin, Zurich
Rolf Watter Bär & Karrer, Zurich
Dieter Gericke Homburger, Zurich

Homburger is Switzerland’s leading corporate practice according to our research. Six lawyers are recognised, three of whom are consistently ranked among the most pre-eminent in the country for the seniority of their practice and the high profile nature of their work.  Managing partner Daniel Daeniker is strongly recommended for his “very knowledgeable, practical and client-friendly” manner of his practice. One source adds that “he is a vital component on high end deals.” Team leader Dieter Gericke is the M&A lawyer of choice for many respondents. He is “a natural dealmaker” and “a serious player” in the biggest transactions in the market. Claude Lambert is “an excellent and very experienced M&A lawyer,” who can boast of an impressive number of blue-chip clients.

Lenz & Staehelin also impresses with a strong team in its Zurich and Geneva offices, earning seven listings in total. In particular, the firm is lauded for its ability to work “with efficiency and effectiveness” on large and complex transactions. Head of the practice Rudolf Tschäni is “undoubtedly first-class”. He is vastly experienced in handling complex matters, which he conducts in “a judicious and timely manner”. Hans-Jakob Diem is described as “outstanding”, with one source adding that he is “a fine negotiator”. In Geneva, Jacques Iffland specialises in transactions involving public companies. Clients report that he is “very hands-on and focused on getting the deal done.”  Alongside him, Andreas von Planta is extensively experienced in handling corporate transactions and is recommended as “a strong presence during negotiations.” Andreas Rötheli  heads the M&A practice in Geneva. He is “an effective transactional lawyer, very practical and hands-on.”

Niederer Kraft & Frey is an elite Swiss law firm with an extensive and well-recognised corporate practice. The firm is particularly adept at handling complex transactions, often involving cross-border elements. Andreas Casutt advises on the full range of corporate transactions with a particular emphasis on private equity. According to one source, “He is level-headed and provides practical solutions to problems.” Peter Isler is an elder statesman of the bar with “a top reputation” in corporate and banking law. According to clients, “His experience is a valued asset.” Philipp Haas is “well-versed with details of the transaction”, according to a respondent, while another adds that he is “responsive and deals with matters as they arise”. Peter Honegger boasts a "fearsome reputation" and "superb experience", making him an "invaluable asset to the firm and clients".

Bär & Karrer has an excellent team of M&A lawyers, including three standout partners, who handle a range of small to large transactions. Team head Rolf Watter is “a figurehead, at the top of his game”. He is considered by clients to be “a rainmaker”, who “gets deals done”. Christoph Neeracher is a specialist in private M&A and private equity transactions. Described as “the natural choice for private M&A transactions”, he is considered to be “proactive, knowledgeable and responsive”. Ralph Malacrida is highly recommended for his proficiency in complex multi-jurisdictional M&A.

Walder Wyss has bolstered its corporate practice with the key hire of Urs Schenker, one of the most highly regarded M&A lawyers in our research. Schenker is described as “clearly superior both in strategy and tactics”. A client also notes that he is “solutions-driven, creative, entrepreneurial and he gets things done.” Markus Vischer is seen as “a key figure” in major M&A transactions, particularly in the media, real estate, IT and health-care sectors.

Pestalozzi also earns significant praise for its performances on M&A transactions. Head of the corporate practice Jakob Hoehn is said to drive deals forward with his “practical advice” and “excellent negotiation skills.”

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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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