Switzerland: Private Client 2018

In this chapter, 69 standout individuals are recognised for their top-tier private client practices. Those included provide a wide range of private client services to domestic and international clients, including advice on taxation matters, estate management, wealth structuring and succession planning.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Tina Wüstemann Bär & Karrer Ltd, Zurich
2. Philippe Pulfer Walder Wyss Ltd, Geneva
3. David Wallace Wilson Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd, Geneva
4. Justine Markovitz Withers LLP, Geneva
5. Manuel Liatowitsch Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd, Zurich

Renowned Swiss law firm LENZ & STAEHELIN emerges as the leading firm in the private client space, seeing seven leading lawyers highlighted.
Mark John Barmes is “a real expert in the field”. He garners recommendations from commentators who consider him “superb at dealing with trusts and hybrid contentious and non-contentious work”.
The “outstanding” Jean-Blaise Eckert is a prominent figure in this space who stands out for his extensive experience handling domestic and international taxation matters.
Sources describe Lucien Masmejan as “a very practical, affable and supportive lawyer”. He has a broad private client practice and draws praise for his expertise handing tax, trusts and real estate mandates for Swiss and international individuals and families.
Heini Rüdisühli is “an excellent tax practitioner” who focuses his practice on advising foreign and domestic private clients on matters involving trusts, succession planning and inheritance law.

Six top practitioners from WALDER WYSS are recognised for their excellent work in the area.
The “outstanding” Philippe Pulfer enjoys a fantastic reputation in the market and receives international endorsements for his “strong reputation in the trusts area”.
Sources “only have good things to say” about “standout practitioner” Olivier Sigg. He is well regarded by peers and clients alike who appreciate his “efficiency, responsiveness and professionalism”.
Kinga Weiss is “an exceptional individual” who is widely considered a leading expert on EU succession regulations. She is particularly renowned for her impressive work handling cross-border trust and succession issues.
Philippe Nordmann is a seasoned adviser who regularly advises high-net-worth individuals on a wide range of matters including real estate acquisition and taxation.

SCHELLENBERG WITTMER also achieves six listings.
The “excellent” David Wallace Wilson is a leading authority on wealth structuring and estate planning, with one source effusing: “He knows all there is to know.”
Manuel Liatowitsch is “a standout name at the firm” who boasts a “really impressive” private client practice. He has a wealth of experience in the space, regularly advising on succession issues, estate planning and philanthropy.
Andrea Dorjee-Good specialises in estate and succession planning for domestic and international private clients. One source notes they are “very impressed with her attention to detail and her ability to understand complex cross-border issues”.
Bernard Vischer is a long-standing fixture in the market who sources describe as “the full package” thanks to his “extensive knowledge and experience of both private client and commercial matters”.

BÄR & KARRER sees four outstanding practitioners listed this year.
The “brilliant” Tina Wüstemann is one of the leading names in the Swiss market when it comes to private client work. She is “exemplary on the contentious side” according to sources, who describe her as “a strong litigator and arbitrator”.
Daniel Bader is renowned for his adept handling of complex questions from high-net-worth private clients and is considered by one source to be “an outstanding figure in the market”.
The “excellent” Andreas Bär boasts vast experience dealing with wealth planning matters on behalf of both domestic and international private clients.
Daniel Leu is “a terrific practitioner” according to sources, who appreciate his extensive knowledge of wealth and succession planning matters.

Multinational law firm BAKER MCKENZIE sees four practitioners recognised for their excellent work assisting private clients.
Marnin Michaels is “a big hitter in Zurich” who is “renowned in the field”. He is particularly adept at assisting American clients making voluntary disclosures in the US, lending him “an excellent reputation among international clients”.
Peers “have great respect” for Richard Gassmann, and consider him to be “fantastic on contentious matters”. He is a key figure in the market who really stands out for his work on cross-border trust and estate disputes.

MEYERLUSTENBERGER LACHENAL is widely recognised for its leading private client practice. This year, four top-tier individuals are highlighted for inclusion.
Patricia Guerra leads the firm’s private client group in Zurich. She is considered “one of the best” private client practitioners in Switzerland by impressed sources, who describe her as “a fantastic lawyer”.
Serge Calame is one of the best-known litigators in the Swiss private client space who is recommended for his comprehensive understanding of international estate and tax planning.
Bernard Lachenal is “an extensively experienced lawyer” who wins praise for his “excellent client manner”. He regularly works on complex mandates with an international element.
The “excellent” Maud Udry-Alhanko is “loved by clients” according to sources, who commend her considerable expertise when it comes to assisting international private clients with family law matters.

Full-service firm HOMBURGER also boasts a strong private client offering, with two leading lights in the field recommended for inclusion.
Harold Grüninger is “rated very highly” thanks to his first-class practice and draws international praise for his expertise in inheritance law and tax and estate planning matters.
The “outstanding” Gabrielle Nater-Bass is a strong litigator with “an excellent reputation for handling contentious private client matters”.

Justine Markovitz at WITHERS is “simply incredible” according to one source, who describes her as “probably the best English lawyer in Switzerland”. She wins particular recognition from market sources for her “dedication to her clients”.

Tobias Somary at CMS VON ERLACH PONCET is “a very talented private client lawyer” who is applauded for his “exceptional ability to combine technical expertise with common sense to provide clear and useful advice”.

Michael Fischer at FISCHER RAMP PARTNER is “a brilliant tax lawyer” who is “very well known” in the Swiss market for his “excellent manner with clients”.

Natalie Peter at BLUM&GROB ATTORNEYS AT LAW is “very well known for her expertise in private client tax matters” and draws praise for her expert knowledge of taxation structures in cross-border situations.

With more than 30 years’ experience, Xavier Oberson of OBERSON ABELS is a key name in the Swiss market. He is “widely recognised as a tax expert” and is considered a go-to practitioner for complex international taxation questions.

Thomas Sprecher at NIEDERER KRAFT & FREY is described by one source as “superb” when it comes to contentious matters. He is recognised for his particular expertise when it comes to heritage and succession law issues.

Louis Boissier at BOREL & BARBEY is “highly recommended” for his first-class private client practice, with one respondent highlighting his “excellent” work in the space.

Markus Zwicky of ZWICKY WINDLIN & PARTNER is “a key name” thanks to his extensive experience assisting private clients with a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. He particularly “stands out” for his impressive work handling inheritance disputes and matrimonial asset planning.

The “excellent” Olga Boltenko at BOLTENKO LAW is a vastly experienced practitioner who specialises in advising high-net-worth Russian families on a range of matters including international taxation and succession planning.

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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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