The life sciences industry has always faced a complex system of legal and structural challenges. Nowadays, however, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device companies face tougher regulatory enforcement, a stronger plaintiff bar, greater competition over patents and product pipeline issues – as well as an uncertain economic environment. This has led to profound changes in the legal marketplace in recent years.
Switzerland is one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to environmental protection and sustainable development. Environmental law is legislated at the federal level under the auspices of the Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). DETEC has broadened its focus, based on the concept of a “green economy”, taking greater steps to tackle ecological damage. Recently, the country revised its Carbon Dioxide Act to significantly reduce the emission of greenhouse gas, and it also signed the Minamate Convention on mercury to minimise the effect of the highly toxic metal. We have identified 14 lawyers who lead the way in this field.
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.
In this chapter, we identify the leading aviation, maritime and rail experts in Switzerland, with 33 individuals listed below.
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.
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.
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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.