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Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Area Review


Alexander Nikitine, Sarah Schulthess and Markus Pfenninger of Walder Wyss analyse the recent flurry of activity in the M&A market.

Mergers & Acquisitions Marketplace Analysis

There has been greater activity in the field of public M&A as well as steady growth on the private side over the past year. KPMG stated that the first half of 2014 saw a number of high-value transactions with several valued over US$1 billion. With momentum expected to continue and a general increase in M&A activities anticipated in the coming months, there is increased demand for top M&A practitioners. We list 26 leading lawyers this year. 

Transport Marketplace Analysis

In this chapter, we identify the leading aviation, maritime and rail experts in Switzerland, with 33 individuals listed below.

Management Labour & Employment Marketplace Analysis

Switzerland has some of the most flexible, business-friendly labour laws in the world. However, the employment courts tend to side with employees and they are known to serve heavy penalties to businesses for infractions. As a result, litigation is prevalent. As a legacy of the financial crisis, the courts have seen a surge in activity due to bonus claims. Respondents have also pointed to the growing importance of data protection. We have listed 29 lawyers who are considered leading experts in this area.

Trademarks Marketplace Analysis

Practitioners reported another strong year for trademark activity in Switzerland, with some commenting on a particular increase in pharmaceutical-related cases. The new legislation under the Trademark Act regarding the use of geographical indications looks set to come into effect later this year, following final consultations and approval from the Federal Council. As a result lawyers are continuing to see clients working to make sure they will be compliant, and that their trademarks will be fully protected. This year we feature 31 “outstanding” trademark lawyers in this chapter.

Life Sciences Marketplace Analysis

Switzerland is a leading life sciences market and the headquarters for some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. This fact alone attracts a number of practitioners to specialise in the area. Lawyers are predicting an active 2015 as companies seek advice on the implementation of end-of-life-cycle strategies and branding campaigns for their products. The newly proposed Swiss corporate tax reform (CTR III) may also have a distinct effect on the operation of global life sciences companies based in Switzerland, and as such there will be strong competition between leading firms and individuals for the advisory work available. Our research identifies 26 lawyers who stand out for their expertise in the field.

Trade & Customs Marketplace Analysis

Recent developments in Switzerland indicate that a growing number of countries are employing bilateral and regional trade agreements rather than negotiating a multilateral approach as favoured by the World Trade Organization. Many claim that the WTO’s legislative arm is not as effective as they would hope, driving them to enforce their own rights. However, there is a core group of practitioners actively engaged in this area and we list 17 practitioners well versed in the fluctuating climate trade and customs.

Telecoms Media & Technology Marketplace Analysis

As the domicile of many international banks, data protection continues to drive an increased share of work in this field, along with traditional outsourcing services. In particular, lawyers have reported ongoing compliance issues as concerns are raised over the security of company and client data. Concurrently, the Swiss federal government has looked to reform the telecoms market after its 2014 report concluded that the Telecommunications Act does not adequately provide for developments in the field and should be revised. As the TMT sector continues to develop, we have selected 36 lawyers for their stand-out expertise in these areas.

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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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W11 1QQ, UK