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Switzerland: Arbitration 2017

Switzerland remains a key location worldwide for major, high-value commercial arbitrations and, as a result, it maintains a superb standard of experienced arbitrators and dynamic arbitration counsel with expertise across a comprehensive range of industries and sectors. In all, 83 of the best are listed this year.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
2. Laurent Lévy Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
3. Michael Schneider Lalive, Geneva
4. Philipp Habegger Habegger Arbitration, Zurich
5. Pierre Tercier Independent Arbitrator, Fribourg
6. Sébastien Besson Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
7. Bernhard Berger Kellerhals Carrard, Berne

LALIVE offers a comprehensive range of dispute resolution services, including commercial and investment arbitration. It is a leading firm in the field and some of its most highly regarded practitioners are listed here.
Peers describe Bernd Ehle as an “absolutely excellent” arbitrator and counsel. He is highly regarded by peers and has experience handing a comprehensive range of commercial transactions in a broad variety of jurisdictions.
With over 40 years working as counsel and vast experience as an international arbitrator in complex cases, Michael Schneider has a strong reputation in the market. He is an expert across a range of industries including telecoms, energy and pharmaceuticals.
One source describes Domitille Baizeau as “really impressive, very active and a quick thinker.” She focuses on commercial and investment arbitration and is experienced acting as counsel and arbitrator under the governing rules of numerous international bodies. Matthias Scherer represents corporate and state clients in in various arbitration settings and also sits as an arbitrator. He is particularly knowledgeable on construction and engineering disputes. Sources describe him as “an impressive practitioner with good knowledge who has perfectly mastered the science of arbitration.”
Joachim Knoll is an “excellent lawyer” with almost 20 years of international arbitration and enforcement experience. He has acted in over 60 arbitrations under various laws including those of Switzerland, England and New York.  

HOMBURGER’s arbitration practice focuses on international disputes. Eight practitioners are listed in the guide this year.
Peers regard Markus Wirth as “one of the best arbitrators in the country.” He is able to bring over 40 years’ experience to his role.
Felix Dasser is a “first-class” arbitrator and counsel with expertise across a diverse range of commercial subject matters such as insurance, M&A and banking deals.
“Rising star” Melissa Magliana primarily acts as counsel in arbitration proceedings, although she also has experience sitting as arbitrator. She specialises in commercial issues and is particularly knowledgeable in construction, transport and pharmaceutical disputes.
Gabrielle Nater-Bass is a “highly professional” specialist in international commercial arbitration with extensive experience across a wide array of matters, both as arbitrator and counsel.
The “excellent” Mariella Orelli specialises in international commercial arbitration. She acts in a number of high-profile and complex cases.

Full-service firm BÄR & KARRER offer clients deep expertise in commercial arbitration proceedings. The team handles complex cases under both Swiss and foreign law. Six of its most highly regarded practitioners are listed in this edition.
The “highly sought after” Daniel Hochstrasser is an active arbitrator who is experienced under the rules of various institutions. He specialises in complex commercial disputes and is praised by peers for his “very impressive contributions in recent arbitrations”.
Alexandra Johnson sits as arbitrator and is also an extremely experienced counsel in international proceedings. Among other things, she often deals with construction and energy disputes. Sources confirm that she “handles tricky cases well.”

SCHELLENBERG WITTMER has one of Switzerland’s largest dispute resolution teams. The firm’s expertise spans a great variety of legal issues and industries.
The “highly recommended” Elliott Geisinger has over 20 years’ experience in international arbitration and regarded as “one of the best Swiss arbitrators and counsel” by impressed commentators. Sources report that he is “extremely well regarded, efficient and organised.”
Christopher Boog is “very active as an arbitrator”. He is experienced under rules of various jurisdictions and has expertise across a range of subject matters including energy, commodities, construction and infrastructure.
Philippe Bärtsch has broad expertise in commercial dispute resolution. He manages complex issues and is an accomplished practitioner in international proceedings under many different bodies of law.
Nathalie Voser is a highly skilful arbitrator and counsel in complex disputes. She focuses on contract law across a wide array of industries including energy, pharmaceuticals and construction. Peers describe her as a “leading figure on the scene.”
Martin Bernet has extensive experience as counsel and arbitrator in international proceedings. Peers confidently state that “he is the one I would go to” for complex cases.

LÉVY KAUFMANN-KOHLER is a Swiss law firm focusing on international arbitration. Lawyers provide highly specialist advice to corporate clients from a vast range of industries.
Sources describe Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler as “one of the leading arbitrators in the world.” She is extremely well regarded for her experience acting as an arbitrator in international investment, commercial and sporting disputes.
“Outstanding” arbitrator Laurent Lévy specialises in corporate disputes.  He has extensive experience in proceedings under rules of various institutions and jurisdictions, and sources describe him as being “in a league of his own.”
Sébastien Besson is a highly regarded arbitrator and counsel, described as “top of the line” and “a star in Switzerland,” by peers. He has extensive experience in varied proceedings including finance, M&A and sporting disputes.
The “very active” Antonio Rigozzi is a prominent figure in sports arbitration, where he acts as both counsel and arbitrator. He also handles a wide range of other commercial disputes.

WALDER WYSS is a Swiss commercial law firm providing domestic and international arbitration services. Four practitioners are listed here.
Maurice Courvoisier is an “outstanding” specialist in corporate and commercial arbitration. He has a diverse range of expertise in areas such as civil engineering, as well as in M&A and joint venture disputes.
Micha Bühler is highly recommended by peers for his international arbitration expertise and experience across a wide array of commercial transactions.

LUSTENBERGER RECHTSANWÄLTE represents clients and acts as arbitrator in international commercial disputes. Its client base extends across a diverse range of industries and countries.   
Tobias Zuberbühler is a highly recommended arbitrator and counsel. He represents numerous clients in high-value disputes and has particular experience in construction, trade, commodities and pharmaceuticals matters.
Christoph Pestalozzi is a “highly active arbitrator” who boasts extensive experience in international commercial proceedings. He has notable expertise in pharmaceuticals and banking matters. 
Michael Lazopoulos “does an outstanding job as counsel” and also sits as arbitrator in international and domestic commercial arbitrations.

PESTALOZZI represents businesses in Swiss and international proceedings across a variety of industries.
Laurent Killias focuses on complex commercial cases and has long-standing experience in international arbitration. Sources who have worked with him describe him as “brilliant.”
Thomas Legler has a strong reputation among peers, who describe him as a “calm, prepared arbitrator”. He acts as counsel and arbitrator in proceedings involving IP and telecommunications issues.
Thomas Rohner has expertise handling complex arbitration proceedings across an array of sectors including IT, pharmaceuticals, banking and energy. He acts as counsel for corporations and sits as arbitrator on both domestic and international issues.

SIDLEY AUSTIN is a leading global firm with wide-ranging arbitration expertise in international commercial disputes and investment treaty proceedings. 
David Roney specialises in international commercial and investment arbitration disputes. He is a prominent name in the field and peers commend his “excellent job as counsel.”
Dorothee Schramm has broad experience as counsel in international commercial arbitration and also sits as arbitrator in numerous cases. She is an experienced handler of complex disputes and possesses specialist expertise in engineering and technology.

LENZ & STAEHELIN is a prominent Swiss firm with expertise across a range of jurisdictions, practice areas and industries.
“Leading practitioner” Xavier Favre-Bulle is an accomplished arbitrator and counsel with expertise spanning from broad commercial disputes to sports law cases. He is described by peers as “very smart, thorough and dedicated” and is commended for his “very meticulous approach” and “high level of scientific knowledge”.
Harold Frey is an international arbitrator with experience representing clients in a diverse range of legal proceedings such as merger disputes and contractual issues. Sources observe his “talent for keeping control of proceedings” as a particular strength.

PATOCCHI & MARZOLINI represents clients from the corporate and financial industries. They are specialists in international commercial and investment arbitration.
The “impressive” and “very reliable” Paolo Michele Patocchi is experienced at handling cases under the laws of various jurisdictions and international arbitration bodies. Sources state that he is “outstanding” and “one of the best arbitrators in the country”.
The “excellent” Paolo Marzolini is extremely highly regarded by peers. He acts as both counsel and arbitrator on a broad range of commercial cases.

PETER & PARTNERS is a Swiss arbitration firm specialising in complex international commercial matters. They have experience handling a range of contractual disputes across an assortment of industries.
Wolfgang Peter is a “a high-level international arbitrator with good business sense”, according to sources. He regularly undertakes complex valuation cases and possesses particular expertise in the oil and gas industry.
The “outstanding” Christoph Brunner is an extremely proficient arbitrator, counsel and expert in international commercial arbitration scenarios, with experience in an array of high-value cases.

WENGER & VIELI features two very strong practitioners.
The excellent Urs Weber-Stecher is regularly sighted by sources acting as arbitrator and counsel on commercial arbitration cases..
Daniel Girsberger is a highly accomplished international arbitrator, counsel and expert. Sources say he is “incredibly efficient as chair in intense proceedings”.

Philipp Habegger of HABEGGER ARBITRATION is an “amazingly efficient and very responsive” practitioner. Peers describe him as a “well-deserved” entry in this year’s listing due to his skilfulness as counsel and arbitrator in global proceedings.

At KELLERHALS CARRARD, the “first-class” Bernhard Berger is a highly acclaimed arbitrator with considerable expertise in international arbitration and litigation. Sources refer to him as “one of the best arbitrators in Switzerland.”

Anne Véronique Schlaepfer, partner in WHITE & CASE’s international arbitration practice, is described by sources as “one of the best counsel in Geneva.” She is also noted for her work as arbitrator on a variety of disputes.

Georg von Segesser of VON SEGESSER LAW OFFICES is an independent arbitrator with expert knowledge on matters ranging from commercial law to sporting disputes. Clients commend his “ability understanding client needs”.

BRATSCHI WIEDERKEHR & BUOB’s Sandra De Vito Bieri is “very engaged, proactive and organised” in the arbitration field. She advises clients on a range of legal issues and also acts as arbitrator in a number of proceedings.

WARTMANN & MERKER’s Andrea Meier is a commercial arbitrator and counsel with expertise in industrial projects, international trade and corporate liability matters, to name a few. She is praised by peers for her “content-driven, reasonable approach”.

The “excellent” Jean Marguerat of FRORIEP is a highly regarded and experienced counsel and arbitrator in areas such as commodities, construction, sport and M&A.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Pierre Tercier is a highly experienced arbitrator focusing on commercial and investment matters. Peers regard him as “one of the big names for arbitration work.”

SOLE PRACTITIONER Martin Wiebecke is highly experienced as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitrations concerning international trade and commercial contracts. According to sources, he is “very, careful, reliable and good to work with”.

Expert Witnesses

PMG INGÉNIEURS-ECONOMISTES-CONSEILS specialises providing expert advice in disputes arising from construction and industrial agreements. Its practitioners have extensive experience across a range of areas including energy, transport and infrastructure.
Pierre Michel Genton has considerable expertise as an expert, mediator and arbitrator in infrastructure and energy disputes. He is highly regarded amongst peers for his work in cases around the world.
Michel Nardin is an engineering and construction specialist with notable experience in cases in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. 
Radu Ionescu has extensive experience appearing as an expert before a number of national and international arbitral authorities. He is particularly active in European and African disputes regarding energy and infrastructure projects.
François Vermeille is an accomplished expert, arbitrator and mediator. Recent projects have seen him involved in the settlement of construction and transportation disputes in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Geoffrey Senogles of CHARLES RIVER ASSOCIATES is a well-known quantum expert with particular expertise in both commercial and treaty-based arbitration. His practice covers energy and industrial matters.

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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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