Switzerland: Arbitration 2018

In this chapter we highlight 89 practitioners for their exceptional work acting as counsel or arbitrator in both domestic and international arbitral seats. 

Most Highly Regarded
1. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
2. Bernhard Berger Kellerhals Carrard, Berne
3. Laurent Lévy – Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
4. Philipp Habegger Habegger Arbitration, Zurich
5. Sébastien Besson Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
6. Michael Schneider Lalive, Geneva
7. Pierre Tercier Pierre  Tercier, Fribourg
8. Matthias Scherer Lalive, Geneva
9. Martin Bernet Bernet Arbitration/ Dispute Management, Zurich
10. Domitille Baizeau Lalive, Geneva

LALIVE boasts the foremost arbitration offering in the Swiss market, with nine practitioners highlighted this year for their leading work in the field.
Michael Schneider wins praise from respondents as “a grand statesman” of the arbitration bar in Switzerland and boasts over 40 years’ experience in the field. He is recognised for his “outstanding” work in proceedings under a wide array of rules from LCIA to ICC and ICSID.  
Matthias Scherer is “a big name” in the arbitration space according to sources, one of whom considers him “one of the smartest guys out there”. He stands out particularly for his excellent work handling construction and engineering disputes.
Domitille Baizeau receives plaudits as “a very smart lawyer” and “a great specialist” when it comes to arbitration proceedings. One source effuses: “She is at the top of her game and is very pragmatic, particularly in early procedural discussions.”
Bernd Ehle is “a brilliant arbitrator”, highly sought after by clients who consider him “reliable, experienced and smart” and praise his “straightforward and clear approach”.
Joachim Knoll is “a top name” in the Swiss arbitration market, who focuses his first-class practice on both investment and commercial cases.
Noradèle Radjai “always delivers” according to clients, who describe her as “brilliant” when it comes to handling arbitration proceedings across the energy, construction and telecommunications sectors.
Veijo Heiskanen draws high praise from market sources who are “very impressed by his work” in the arbitration space. They commend his “incredible work capacity” and highlight him as “a fantastic lawyer”.

HOMBURGER also performs well this year, with seven practitioners recognised for their excellence in the arbitration space.
Melissa Magliana is “one of the leaders of her generation” according to respondents, who consider her “excellent as both counsel and arbitrator” and effuse, “She masters the proceedings very well.”
The “distinguished” Felix Dasser stands out as “one of the top arbitrators in the country”, an area in which he “always does an excellent job”.
Gabrielle Nater-Bass is a highly respected arbitration practitioner who draws widespread commendation from peers for her expert handling of proceedings as counsel and arbitrator.
Mariella Orelli is a disputes specialist recognised for her superb work in relation to both national and international arbitration proceedings. 
Balz Gross impresses respondents who regard him as “a smart and practical lawyer” and “one of the best arbitration advocates in Switzerland”. He is “extremely strong” when it comes to complex arbitration disputes where one source effuses: “He is one of my favourites.” 

Full-service national firm SCHELLENBERG WITTMER also sees seven individuals highlighted in this chapter.
“Senior statesman” Elliott Geisinger heads the firm’s international arbitration group and is widely recognised as a leading name in the space. He is recommended for his “excellent” work as both counsel and arbitrator.
Philippe Bärtsch stands out for his “constructive approach” to high-value disputes. Sources note, “He always knows where he should not push the point too far.”
Nathalie Voser wins praise as “an excellent arbitrator” who features “in the top category” when it comes to contracts work.
Christopher Boog boasts a world-class international arbitration practice and frequently acts as counsel and arbitrator across a range of disputes, from construction and energy to sports.

We feature five arbitration practitioners from BÄR & KARRER this year.
Daniel Hochstrasser enjoys “a very strong standing in the country” when it comes to arbitration work, where he “stands out as both counsel and arbitrator”.
Pierre-Yves Gunter is “a very experienced and senior figure in the field” who is recognised for his particular expertise in construction matters. One peer notes, “It really is a pleasure to sit with him in arbitrations.”
Nadja Jaisli Kull is “a very talented practitioner” commended for her standout work as both counsel and arbitrator. Sources praise her “hardworking and no-nonsense approach” and note, “She is always extremely accurate.”

LÉVY KAUFMANN-KOHLER achieves four listings in this chapter.
Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler sits “absolutely in the top-tier of arbitration practitioners” according to sources who consider her “a big star” when it comes to handling high-level investment disputes.
Laurent Lévy is “incredibly strong in investment arbitration” and draws widespread praise for his expert handling of disputes across the energy and finance sectors.
The “outstanding” Sébastien Besson enjoys a great reputation as “one of the very top practitioners and academics on arbitration in Switzerland”. Sources are “really impressed by his ability as counsel” where he “always puts his argument across in a very convincing way”.
Antonio Rigozzi gains recognition as “an arbitration specialist” who is "extremely well known in the market". He continues to be regarded as the pre-eminent name in sports arbitration, with sources calling him “the man; the standout name” in that field.

WALDER WYSS also sees four practitioners recognised in this chapter.
Maurice Courvoisier is “a firm favourite” among clients seeking counsel in the arbitration space, who highlight his “brilliant advocacy” and “very diligent and well-presented work”.
The "excellent" Micha Bühler is “a smart lawyer” commended for his outstanding handling of arbitration proceedings in relation to construction and finance disputes.
Dieter Hofmann is “a very well-respected name” in the Swiss arbitration market where he stands out for his “hands-on approach” to complex disputes.
Michael Cartier garners praise from sources for his impressive work as arbitrator in both international and ad hoc proceedings.

Four arbitration practitioners from LUSTENBERGER gain recognition in this edition.
Christoph Pestalozzi possesses over 25 years’ experience dealing with international arbitration proceedings, and is well equipped to handle disputes under a wide array of institutional rules including HKIAC, ICC and UNCITRAL.
Tobias Zuberbühler focuses his top-tier practice on disputes and wins high praise for his extensive experience dealing with both domestic and international arbitration proceedings.
Gino Koenig is “a very experienced practitioner” who is “well regarded in the market” for his superb work as counsel, sole arbitrator and president in arbitration proceedings.
Michael Lazopoulos practices both as counsel and arbitrator and is widely respected for his impressive work on behalf of international and Swiss clients.

PESTALOZZI’s Thomas Legler stands out as “pragmatic and highly experienced counsel and arbitrator” who is “well known in the market” for his exceptional work in the field.
Laurent Killias wins praise from market commentators for his first-rate work as arbitrator in high-value and complex international proceedings.
Thomas Rohner is “definitely a standout name” in the Swiss arbitration market. He is well regarded for his impressive work in both litigation and arbitration proceedings.

At FRORIEP LEGAL, Jean Marguerat is “always well prepared as counsel and arbitrator” according to sources, one of whom effuses: “He masters his files quite brilliantly and puts his argument forward very well.”
Franz Stirnimann Fuentes stands out as “one of the best names in the Swiss arbitration market” where he is recognised for the “impressive quality of his work”, most notably in relation to cases involving Latin American parties.
Managing partner Jean Marie Vulliemin is a highly respected figure in the international arbitration space, recognised particularly for his “excellent” work as both counsel and arbitrator in sports law matters.

At KELLERHALS CARRARD Bernhard Berger is recognised as “one of the leading lights in Switzerland”, hailed by market commentators as “a very knowledgeable specialist” in the field of international arbitration.
Martin Molina draws praise for his first-class arbitration practice and is regarded by peers as “strong as counsel” and “very impressive as arbitrator”.

PATOCCHI & MARZOLINI’s Paolo Michele Patocchi is “a master of both facts and law” according to sources – one of whom praises his performance in arbitration proceedings, noting: “He is able to drive and streamline the process in a very efficient way.”
Paolo Marzolini is “definitely one to watch” in the arbitration space. He possesses invaluable experience handling proceedings under various international rules including ICC, Swiss and UNCITRAL Rules.

At HABEGGER ARBITRATION, Philipp Habegger is recognised as “a truly outstanding figure in the arbitration market” who is “famous” for his work in international commercial arbitration matters as both counsel and arbitrator.

INDEPENDENT ARBITRATOR Pierre Tercier is “a heavyweight arbitrator” who is “very well established” in the Swiss market. One source effuses: “I have a lot of respect for him – he is one of the top arbitrators in the country.”

At BERNET ARBITRATION/ DISPUTE MANAGEMENT, Martin Bernet receives plaudits as “one of the best of the best arbitration practitioners in Switzerland” who stands out as “a very smart, reliable and experienced lawyer”. One peer notes, “He is top tier in both litigation and arbitration which is extremely impressive.”

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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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