As the world economy continues to improve there have been no new major insolvencies in the last couple of years. At present there is still work following some of the larger insolvencies of the financial crisis, but practitioners comment that this can only last for so long. Despite this, lawyers are reporting a steady stream of advisory work, particularly in relation to restructuring and pre-insolvency. This is partly a result of the Swiss Insolvency Law, which was introduced in January 2014, and respondents expect to see this trend continue into 2015. In this field, 15 leading insolvency lawyers are recommended.
Switzerland remains a leading offshore centre for private wealth holding 26 per cent of all global offshore assets in 2013. Despite its dominant position, Switzerland is starting to face challenges from Singapore and Hong Kong; as such, the Swiss finance industry is working to ensure its products and services are attractive and tailor-made. In this chapter we single out 55 private client lawyers and eight private client trust and advisory professionals.
It has been a busy year for Swiss patent lawyers as the country maintains its position as a leading jurisdiction for patent registrations. Lawyers are experiencing strong demands to provide complementary regulatory and distribution services to help clients keep abreast of the growing competition in IP-focused industries. We recognise 29 “outstanding” practitioners in this chapter.
The Swiss legal market is favourable for franchising with far fewer restrictions than many other legal systems. It is known as one of the safest places in the world for foreign investment, and foreign franchisors offering or selling franchises in Switzerland are not legally required to form a Swiss corporate vehicle. We list eight leading franchise lawyers in this section.
The summer of 2014 saw Switzerland resume talks with EU regulators with the aim of creating a cross-border common energy market. It is hoped that this will help improve security of the region’s energy supply and infrastructure. With negotiations still ongoing, sources are awaiting news as to whether Switzerland will be integrated into the bloc’s single market. In this edition we feature nine “excellent” energy lawyers.
One of the most pressing issues facing corporate tax lawyers in Switzerland is the proposed Corporate Tax Reform III (CTR), which will have a significant effect on the jurisdiction’s existing tax system. The objective is to strengthen Switzerland’s established status as a desirable international location for major corporations and it is expected that the reform will have a distinct effect on most companies with operations in Switzerland. As lawyers continue to field enquiries from major clients regarding the CTR’s applicability, we recognise 45 practitioners who stand out for their corporate tax expertise.
Immigration was an issue subjected to widespread debate in Switzerland in 2014. Corporate immigration lawyers are in a state of uncertainty as it is unclear how the Swiss government will proceed with its immigration policy following the February and November referendums. Relations with the EU are showing no sign of improvement in the short-term and fears abound that Switzerland may begin to appear an unattractive option for international companies. We acknowledge 14 practitioners in this chapter who have been recommended for their work in the sector.
Our research identifies 19 lawyers who are widely regarded as pre-eminent for their advice to directors and officers in all manner of governance-related issues.
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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.