Following thousands of votes from clients and private practitioners, 562 individuals from 170 different firms have been selected for inclusion in our first edition of Who’s Who Legal: Switzerland. In this special country report we take an in-depth look at the Swiss legal market and select the most highly regarded lawyers in 32 different practice areas. Switzerland is in a state of flux. It is traditionally known for its banking secrecy, preferential tax system and neutrality but in light of the crackdown by governments around the world on tax evasion, many are asking whether banking secrecy will be able to survive. Furthermore, pressure to align financial regulations with those of the EU is mounting and it could spell the end of Switzerland’s light-touch approach to regulation. With calls for more transparency, oversight and stability in the financial sector, the country’s long-accepted customs look set to change. As Switzerland modernises and takes stock of the changes set to come, its lawyers are actively advising clients on developments, the potential impact of new regulation and ensuring their compliance. Click here to view the results of our research
The past year has been a busy one for Swiss lawyers and with the changing and challenging regulatory environment the legal market is thriving. Ten prominent firms are singled out in this edition, nine of which are Swiss-founded. Switzerland’s largest law firm Lenz & Staehelin fields the most lawyers to this edition, with a very impressive 58 individuals recognised in 23 different chapters. It boasts particularly strong representation in our M&A, banking and commercial litigation chapters. Homburger has 56 listings, including 13 in the field of dispute resolution, which is a particular strength of the firm. Following closely behind with 50 listings is Schellenberg Wittmer. Founded 13 years ago through the merger of Schellenberg & Haissly and Brunschwig Wittmer, the firm is considered “one of the best in country”. Baker & McKenzie is the only international firm to make it into our top ten of leading law firms in Switzerland. With large teams in its Zurich and Geneva offices, it has a prominent presence in the market and fields 19 listings in this edition. View the profiles of the leading law firms in 2013
This edition covers 32 different practice areas and includes chapters on three new sectors specific to this report: investment management, private client, and sports and entertainment. The largest chapter in this edition by far is arbitration, with 75 lawyers selected for inclusion, reflecting the Swiss arbitration market’s pre-eminence and global standing. Private client work is another strong sector with 44 leading individuals selected for inclusion in this chapter. The favourable tax regime and the wealth management services on offer mean that local specialists are highly sought after. The same number of practitioners also feature in our commercial litigation chapter, reflecting the increased amount of litigation in the country, most notably in the finance sector. This edition also boasts sizeable banking, corporate tax and construction and real estate chapters, indicating that although the country is going through a period of change, lawyers in a range of sectors are remain in demand for their expertise. View the editorial analysis for all practice areas here
John Elliot of Clayton Utz takes an in-depth look at the Australian M&A market, focusing on the significance of the association rules. “The association rules are so broad that Australia’s corporate regulator once argued in court that two shareholders were associated with each other in relation to resources giant BHP because, among other things, they were both directors of the same football club in Melbourne.”
Mark H Tuohey and Mark Beardsworth of Brown Rudnick LLP discuss the impact of the growing trend for collaboration between international authorities on the business crime defence market. “The trend for many businesses to have a large footprint lacking in depth puts them at risk of transgression. As international government authorities increase their cooperation, so should international defence lawyers, to best serve their clients.”
The International Who’s Who of Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyers has brought together four of the leading practitioners in the world to discuss the key issues facing lawyers today. In this feature Adam Green of Mannheimer Swartling, Katarína Čechová of Čechová & Partners, Ira Andamara Eddymurthy of Soewito Suhardiman Eddymurthy Kardono and Yang Wantao of Zhong Lun address questions on the current state of the M&A market in their jurisdictions and point to future developments.
Four internationally renowned business crime defence lawyers come together in this feature to discuss the key issues facing lawyers in this field today. Gary Lincenberg of Bird Marella Boxer Wolpert Nessim Drooks & Lincenberg, Gerallt Owen of Withers Singapore, David Stetler of Stetler Duffy & Robert Ltd and Harry Travers of BCL Burton Copeland talk about levels of activity, enforcement and competition in the legal market in their jurisdictions.
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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.