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2017: Leading Firms

We list 217 law firms in WWL: Switzerland 2017, demonstrating the breadth of expertise and variety of choice available to clients seeking representation. However, more than half of the 911 listings in this year’s guide are earned by lawyers from just 12 exceptional firms, all of which are profiled below, and together these firms form the backbone of the Swiss legal market. Of these, 11 are Swiss firms, with Baker McKenzie the only international firm to feature.

Baker McKenzie

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Asset Recovery 1
Banking 3
Capital Markets 2
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 3
Corporate Tax 1
Environment 1
Insurance & Reinsurance 1
Labour & Employment 1
Litigation 2
M&A 1
Private Client 4
Sports & Entertainment 1
TMT 1
Trademarks 1

Multinational full-service firm BAKER MCKENZIE remains the only foreign outfit to enjoy a significant presence in the Swiss market, achieving 24 listings across 15 practice areas. The firm performs particularly well in matters with a financial element, with seven of its leading practitioners listed for their private client and banking expertise. Members of its banking and finance practice are regularly engaged in counselling major commercial banks, financial institutions and private banks, while the wealth management team focuses on delivering private client services. Our research also illustrates the firm’s excellence when it comes to advising a wide array of real estate players on all elements of the process, from regulation, selling and financing, to construction.

The firm is home to a number of highly regarded practitioners, highlighted for their exceptional expertise across various practice areas. Marnin Michaels is recognised in our research as a leading private client lawyer, while Alexander Wyss is one of the foremost construction and real estate lawyers in the country. Daniel Peregrina also features as a standout practitioner when it comes to environmental law.


Bär & Karrer

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 5
Asset Recovery 3
Banking 5
Business Crime Defence 3
Capital Markets 5
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 1
Corporate Governance 2
Corporate Immigration 1
Corporate Tax 4
Energy 1
Insurance & Reinsurance 2
Investigations 3
Investment Management 1
Labour & Employment 1
Life Sciences 1
Litigation 3
M&A 3
Private Client 3
Sports & Entertainment 1
TMT 1
Trademarks 1

BÄR & KARRER stands out as a firm with a notable reputation for its arbitration, banking and capital markets expertise. Collectively these practices comprise almost a third of the firm’s listings in this edition, reflecting its substantial capabilities across these areas. Practitioners act for both international and domestic clients in commercial arbitrations, as well as advising banks, securities dealers, insurance and reinsurance companies, in addition to representing issuers and underwriters in securities offerings. Recent work includes advising Bank am Bellevue and Kepler Cheuvreux on the placement of 60 million Swiss francs of convertible bonds in Santhera  Pharmaceuticals. In addition, the firm advised real estate company Pax Anlage on the public takeover offer of Baloise Life. A number of the firm’s lawyers are also recognised for their high level work in corporate tax.

Several lawyers have a notable reputation for the quality of their practices, including Daniel Hochstrasser who is listed in both arbitration and litigation, as well as Thomas Reutter in capital markets and Eric Stupp in banking. Other impressive practitioners at the firm achieve a remarkable quadruple listing across the edition. Andreas Länzlinger is highlighted for the quality of his practice across business crime defence, insurance and reinsurance, investigations, and litigation; Saverio Lembo is recognised for his work in asset recovery, business crime defence, investigations and litigation; and Rolf Watter receives praise for his banking, capital markets, corporate governance and M&A practices. 


Homburger

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 8
Banking 5
Business Crime Defence 1
Capital Markets 6
Competition 2
Corporate Governance 4
Corporate Tax 4
Insurance & Reinsurance 1
Investigations 2
Investment Management 1
Labour & Employment 2
Life Sciences 2
Litigation 5
M&A 5
Mediation 1
Patents 2
Private Client 2
Restructuring & Insolvency 2
Sports & Entertainment 1
TMT 3
Trademarks 1

HOMBURGER is a leading full-service law firm with over 150 lawyers advising domestic and international clients on a wide range of commercial, tax, regulatory and dispute-related issues. The firm performs particularly well in our arbitration, banking, capital markets, litigation and M&A sections and achieves listings in a total of 21 chapters in this guide, highlighting the incredible strength in depth on offer.

The firm’s lawyers are regularly called upon to handle some of the most significant transactional matters in Switzerland. Recently, for example, a team led by René Bösch advised Credit Suisse Group on the establishment of its new US senior debt program resulting in the issuance of US $4 billion of notes.
The firm’s top lawyers include managing partner Daniel Daeniker (M&A), Benedikt Maurenbrecher (banking), René Bösch (banking and capital markets) and disputes specialist Felix Dasser (litigation).


Kellerhals Carrard

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 2
Business Crime Defence 1
Capital Markets 1
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 1
Government Contracts 2
Insurance & Reinsurance 1
Investment Management 2
Life Sciences 1
Mediation 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 1
Sports & Entertainment 5

Formed from the 2015 merger between Kellerhals Attorneys at Law and Carrard & Associés, KELLERHALS CARRARD has established itself as one Switzerland’s strongest commercial law outfits advising national and international clients including businesses and entrepreneurs. The firm has seven offices across the country alongside an international network with lawyers who speak German, French, English, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and Mandarin.

The expertise of its specialist sports and media law team is demonstrated by five of the team’s lawyers being listed in our chapter this year, including François Carrard and Jean-Pierre Morand. The team also has experience conducting arbitrations before the Court of Arbitration for Sport on a number of issues. It is also known for its expertise in cross-border matters and achieves listings in numerous sectors, including a strong showing in the financial services industry.


Lalive

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 10
Asset Recovery 2
Business Crime Defence 2
Construction & Real Estate 4
Investigations 2
Litigation 4
Private Client 2

LALIVE’s specialism and focus on arbitration is highlighted by the outstanding 10 listings it achieves in our arbitration chapter. The team draws on over 50 years’ experience practicing in this space, frequently acting as counsel or arbitrators in proceedings around the world, in all main arbitration venues and under all major arbitration rules. The team has experience handling disputes across the life sciences, construction and infrastructure, telecommunications and energy sectors, among others. A number of the firm’s lawyers are also recognised for their high-level work in construction and real estate as well as litigation. 

The firm is home to a number of preeminent practitioners including Bernd Ehle, who receives a triple listing across arbitration, construction and real estate, and litigation. In addition Marc Henzelin stands out for his impressive practice in asset recovery, business crime defence, investigations and litigation.


Lenz & Staehelin

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 2
Asset Recovery 2
Banking 6
Business Crime Defence 2
Capital Markets 5
Competition 3
Construction & Real Estate 2
Corporate Governance 3
Corporate Tax 5
Insurance & Reinsurance 1
Investigations 3
Investment Management 3
Labour & Employment 3
Life Sciences 1
Litigation 4
M&A 9
Patents 2
Private Client 8
Sports & Entertainment 1
TMT 1
Trademarks 3

LENZ & STAEHELIN comes out at the top of our research this year, with an unmatched 70 listings. It demonstrates its superb capability as a full-service firm, with listings across 21 of the chapters covered in the guide. This said, the firm does have notable areas of substantial strength. In M&A in particular, the firm dominates, with over one quarter of the total listings in the chapter being Lenz & Staehelin lawyers. Notable figures such as Andreas Rötheli, Hans-Jakob Diem and Rudolf Tschäni lead the firm’s charge in the area. Beyond M&A, private client, banking and tax work forms the mainstay of the firm’s practice, highlighting the firm’s staple of acting for significant companies and prominent individuals seeking to invest in Switzerland.

A number of giants of Swiss law can be found at Lenz & Staehelin, notably Shelby du Pasquier, who appears in an extremely impressive six chapters across the guide, while Daniel Tunik appears in five. Other prominent names with multiple listings include Thierry Calame, Miguel Oural, Andreas Rötheli and François Rayroux.


Meyerlustenberger Lachenal

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 2
Banking 1
Capital Markets 1
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 4
Franchise 1
Labour & Employment 1
Life Sciences 2
Patents 3
Private Client 3
Trademarks 1

MEYERLUSTENBERGER LACHENAL is a large Swiss firm which performs well in our research this year, obtaining 19 listings across 11 chapters. It shows off breadth of expertise across a wide range of sectors and industries. Construction and real estate is an important area of expertise at the firm and is the specialist domain of a number of top lawyers, including Alexander Vogel and Wolfgang Müller. Other leading names at the firm include Michael Ritscher, who secures three listings across the related areas of life Sciences, patents and trademarks, while Martin Ammann is an expert in labour and employment and franchise matters.  


Niederer Kraft & Frey

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Banking 4
Capital Markets 9
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 1
Corporate Governance 3
Corporate Tax 3
Investigations 1
Investment Management 2
Litigation 1
M&A 7
Private Client 2
Sports & Entertainment 1
TMT 2
Transport 1

NIEDERER KRAFT & FREY is leading Swiss business law firm offering a complete range of client services. It is an outstanding player in capital markets matters and has been involved in a number of high-value and influential Swiss transactions in the area. Its practitioners make up a quarter of the total number listed in this practice area and include Philippe Weber, one of our most highly regarded practitioners in the field. The firm also has a prestigious M&A department, relied on by a range of domestic and international clients, which achieves seven listings this year, including the impressive Patrik Peyer.

Other top lawyers at the firm include Nicolas Birkhäuser, who is noted for his competition work; Sandro Abegglen in the fields of banking and investment management; and Clara-Ann Gordon, who is prominent in TMT.  


Pestalozzi

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 3
Asset Recovery 3
Banking 3
Competition 1
Construction 2
Corporate Governance 1
Corporate Tax 2
Labour & Employment 1
Life Sciences 1
Litigation 3
M&A 3
TMT 2
Trademarks 2
Transport 1

PESTALOZZI predominantly serves prominent corporations based in Switzerland and abroad. This year, a quarter of its team of 69 lawyers have been included in our research in recognition of their expertise across a multitude of practice areas. The firm has demonstrated efficacy in corporate and financial matters: three M&A practitioners have been listed, including the leading lawyer Jakob Hoehn, alongside three recommendations from the banking practice and two from corporate tax.

Additionally, the firm has also demonstrated strength in IP and TMT matters, with two practitioners recommended in both areas. In addition, four lawyers from the dispute resolution team are highlighted for the strength of their litigation and arbitration practices. 


Schellenberg Wittmer

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 5
Asset Recovery 5
Banking 4
Business Crime Defence 4
Capital Markets 2
Competition 2
Construction & Real Estate 4
Corporate Governance 2
Corporate Immigration 1
Corporate Tax 5
Franchise 1
Insurance & Reinsurance 3
Investigations 4
Investment Management 3
Labour & Employment 1
Life Sciences 2
Litigation 3
M&A 3
Patents 1
Private Client 6
Product Liability Defence 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 1
TMT 1
Trademarks 1
Transport 2

SCHELLENBERG WITTMER has offices in both Zurich and Geneva and is widely regarded as one of the pre-eminent full-service law firms in Switzerland. It sees the second-most lawyers listed in our guide, with only Lenz & Staehelin achieving more.Its lawyers are recognised particularly in the arbitration space, with market-leading arbitrators including Christopher Boog, Elliott Geisinger and Philippe Bärtsch among those listed. The firm also performs well in the private client space, where the team handles both contentious and non-contentious work including estates and trusts matters.

Top practitioners include Bernard Vischer in the Geneva office and Alexander Jolles in the Zurich office. Schellenberg Wittmer also delivers expertise in corporate and financial work including its provision of a renowned corporate investigations group.


Vischer Ltd

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Banking 2
Business Crime Defence 2
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 2
Corporate Immigration 1
Energy 2
Environment 1
Labour & Employment 1
Life Sciences 1
Litigation 2
Restructuring & Insolvency 2
TMT 1
Transport 2

VISCHER is a well-established player in the Swiss market. The firm operates from offices in Zurich and Basel, providing flexible, bespoke advice to clients in the country’s largest business centres. The firm boasts listings in 13 chapters in this year’s edition, highlighting its proficiency across a broad range of practice areas. The group are particularly adept in public law matters, particularly those relating to the energy and life sciences sectors, as well as restructuring and insolvency issues.

Public law and energy practice head Stefan Rechsteiner emerges as one of the most highly regarded practitioners in our energy chapter and is highly sought after for his regulatory expertise. Markus Guggenbühl and David Jenny are also praised for their restructuring and insolvency expertise.


Walder Wyss

Listings in WWL: Switzerland 2017
Arbitration 4
Banking 3
Capital Markets 4
Competition 1
Construction & Real Estate 5
Corporate Governance 1
Corporate Immigration 1
Corporate Tax 4
Environment 1
Government Contracts 2
Investment Management 1
Labour & Employment 2
Life Sciences 3
Litigation 2
M&A 3
Private Client 6
Product Liability Defence 1
Restructuring & Insolvency 2
Sports & Entertainment 1
TMT 5
Trademarks 2

National outfit WALDER WYSS illustrates its leading position in the Swiss market with 54 listings across 21 practice areas in our research this year. The firm stands out for its excellent private client offering, achieving almost 10 per cent of the total listings in the field this year. TMT is also an area in which it excels, with lawyers well versed in all areas of the sector, from the drafting of software licensing agreements, to e-commerce and outsourcing matters. The firm receives further recognition for its top-tier financial expertise, most notably in relation to both banking and corporate tax.

A number of individuals at the firm are counted among the foremost names in the Swiss market. The pre-eminent Jürg Schneider and Hans Rudolf Trüeb are star TMT lawyers, while thought leader Philippe Pulfer and Kinga Weiss are recognised as two of the leading private client practitioners in the country. Markus Pfenninger is highlighted for his strength in the banking sector, while Thomas Meister and Markus Frick are market leaders in relation to corporate tax and trademarks respectively. 

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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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