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WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader
WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

“Veteran in the field” Alexander von Ziegler is highly esteemed by fellow practitioners who consider him an “absolute authority on maritime matters” including domestic and international insurance issues and disputes.

Questions & Answers

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s dispute resolution group in Zurich and he also heads the firm’s trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As an expert in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover disputes and regulatory issues. He also acts as mediator (accredited by SKWM, SAV and CEDR).

Describe your career to date. 

I do not look at my professional life as a career but rather as a continuous development on a fascinating path that was partly shaped by a basic desire, partly by strategic considerations but mostly by coincidence, which in my case I would like to describe as luck. Part of my personality is a passion for challenge, empathy, creativity, and intellectual and economical exercises. Thus, in my college years I studied ancient languages (Latin and Greek), history and philosophy.

I continued to choose during my studies in Zurich and New Orleans (Tulane) the “not-so obvious” by selecting early on a specialisation in maritime law (unique for a land-locked lawyer).

It was first of all the longing for internationality and its inherent multi-cultural exposure that brought me to the maritime world, which quickly broadened to include all means of transport and international commercial insurance.

The benefit of being drawn by pure interest is that doors open accordingly. You will not be content to start a legal practice in the chosen or available field but you are self-driven to fully understand the world that you have dived into, in my case the transport and insurance world. This led me to work at the front in insurance companies while at university and during my legal career at my office, a fact that may have opened the opportunity to become – at a very young age – the secretary general of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), president of the Swiss Maritime Law Association and active member of the Comité Maritime International (CMI), for which I held offices as secretary general and later executive counsellor. The same energy and in fact hunger for a fuller understanding of the commercial and legal sectors I have chosen as my home turf led me, again at a very young age, to start as lecturer at the University of Zurich, where I obtained after delivering two substantial publications in this field the title of Dr. iur. and later a (part-time) professor. This package of academia and legal practice as an attorney was completed, again quite early on, by a practice that included mandates representing NGO’s or the Swiss Government in UN bodies such as UNCTAD and UNCITRAL, but also UNIDROIT and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in the field of INCOTERMS. My aim was not to specialise in a particular legal area but in a phenomenon that is best described as the mechanics of international trade. 

Can you tell us about the most challenging cases you have worked on?

It would be a big mistake to list the most important cases or the cases with the highest litigation value, as the challenges in handling the cases are totally independent of their importance and value. Each and every case is full of multi-layered complexity and needs the same attention and level of care. 

Nevertheless, when thinking of the most challenging cases, I immediately think of my mandate in the Ueberlingen Mid-Air Collision case, which absorbed most of my (and my team’s) capacity. This put me (unwillingly) in the forefront of media attention and required – aside from legal skills – media, mediation, political and communication skills that I had the chance to discover and develop in this case.

I was also involved in probably one of the biggest insurance cover cases (eventually tried before the UK courts), which offered me one of my first challenges to manage and mediate the insurance and re-insurance markets’ absorption of this case. Cases like this are door openers for complex cases within those specific markets, as they offer an in-depth insight into the mechanics and dynamics in the world of international co- and reinsurance.

As insurance companies look to provide products with a preventative approach as opposed to the traditional protective model, how must lawyers adapt their own approach to advising clients? 

I have detected little differences so far in my practice. What I detect is that mandates increase in relation to cover issues, a legal market that has been quite silent in the last decade.

To what extent are you seeing consolidation in the insurance sector? What impact will this have on the market landscape over the next few years?

Consolidating has an impact first of all on conflicts (for the lawyers but also for the insurers). However, the mandates are coming through the traditional routes, irrespective of consolidation.

In your opinion, what will be the long-term effects of the covid-19 pandemic on the insurance and transport industry? 

All will depend on the mid-term impact on the global economy and the possible changes in the political approaches towards globalisation. Those are actually already happening without covid-19, but the pandemic has accelerated this process. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field of insurance and transport law?

See the wider beauty of the field. Get interested not just in the day-to-day issues that mandates offer, but go deep into the mechanics of the industry you are about to serve. Do not stay at your desk, but get dirty in the ports and terminals, or if lucky on board vessels or aircraft.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

“Veteran in the field” Alexander von Ziegler is highly esteemed by fellow practitioners who consider him an “absolute authority on maritime matters” including domestic and international insurance issues and disputes.

Questions & Answers

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s dispute resolution group in Zurich and he also heads the firm’s trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As an expert in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover disputes and regulatory issues. He also acts as mediator (accredited by SKWM, SAV and CEDR).

Describe your career to date. 

I do not look at my professional life as a career but rather as a continuous development on a fascinating path that was partly shaped by a basic desire, partly by strategic considerations but mostly by coincidence, which in my case I would like to describe as luck. Part of my personality is a passion for challenge, empathy, creativity, and intellectual and economical exercises. Thus, in my college years I studied ancient languages (Latin and Greek), history and philosophy.

I continued to choose during my studies in Zurich and New Orleans (Tulane) the “not-so obvious” by selecting early on a specialisation in maritime law (unique for a land-locked lawyer).

It was first of all the longing for internationality and its inherent multi-cultural exposure that brought me to the maritime world, which quickly broadened to include all means of transport and international commercial insurance.

The benefit of being drawn by pure interest is that doors open accordingly. You will not be content to start a legal practice in the chosen or available field but you are self-driven to fully understand the world that you have dived into, in my case the transport and insurance world. This led me to work at the front in insurance companies while at university and during my legal career at my office, a fact that may have opened the opportunity to become – at a very young age – the secretary general of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI), president of the Swiss Maritime Law Association and active member of the Comité Maritime International (CMI), for which I held offices as secretary general and later executive counsellor. The same energy and in fact hunger for a fuller understanding of the commercial and legal sectors I have chosen as my home turf led me, again at a very young age, to start as lecturer at the University of Zurich, where I obtained after delivering two substantial publications in this field the title of Dr. iur. and later a (part-time) professor. This package of academia and legal practice as an attorney was completed, again quite early on, by a practice that included mandates representing NGO’s or the Swiss Government in UN bodies such as UNCTAD and UNCITRAL, but also UNIDROIT and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in the field of INCOTERMS. My aim was not to specialise in a particular legal area but in a phenomenon that is best described as the mechanics of international trade. 

Can you tell us about the most challenging cases you have worked on?

It would be a big mistake to list the most important cases or the cases with the highest litigation value, as the challenges in handling the cases are totally independent of their importance and value. Each and every case is full of multi-layered complexity and needs the same attention and level of care. 

Nevertheless, when thinking of the most challenging cases, I immediately think of my mandate in the Ueberlingen Mid-Air Collision case, which absorbed most of my (and my team’s) capacity. This put me (unwillingly) in the forefront of media attention and required – aside from legal skills – media, mediation, political and communication skills that I had the chance to discover and develop in this case.

I was also involved in probably one of the biggest insurance cover cases (eventually tried before the UK courts), which offered me one of my first challenges to manage and mediate the insurance and re-insurance markets’ absorption of this case. Cases like this are door openers for complex cases within those specific markets, as they offer an in-depth insight into the mechanics and dynamics in the world of international co- and reinsurance.

As insurance companies look to provide products with a preventative approach as opposed to the traditional protective model, how must lawyers adapt their own approach to advising clients? 

I have detected little differences so far in my practice. What I detect is that mandates increase in relation to cover issues, a legal market that has been quite silent in the last decade.

To what extent are you seeing consolidation in the insurance sector? What impact will this have on the market landscape over the next few years?

Consolidating has an impact first of all on conflicts (for the lawyers but also for the insurers). However, the mandates are coming through the traditional routes, irrespective of consolidation.

In your opinion, what will be the long-term effects of the covid-19 pandemic on the insurance and transport industry? 

All will depend on the mid-term impact on the global economy and the possible changes in the political approaches towards globalisation. Those are actually already happening without covid-19, but the pandemic has accelerated this process. 

What advice would you give to someone starting out in the field of insurance and transport law?

See the wider beauty of the field. Get interested not just in the day-to-day issues that mandates offer, but go deep into the mechanics of the industry you are about to serve. Do not stay at your desk, but get dirty in the ports and terminals, or if lucky on board vessels or aircraft.

Global Leader

Insurance & Reinsurance 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler possesses "standout expertise in aviation insurance", where he represents and advises clients in contentious and transactional matters.

Biography

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zurich, and he also heads the firm's trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As a specialist in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover.

Alexander has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation. He has served as Secretary General of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) (1992–1997) and Secretary General to the Comité Maritime International (CMI) (1996–2003). In 2018, he attained his accreditation as mediator by SKWM, SAV and CEDR. He is (or was over many decades) board member / chair of numerous international or national associations specialized in his field of activities.

Alexander is a member of the swiss delegation at UNCITRAL tasked with creating a new convention on the recognition of judicial sales to ships. He also acts as expert appointed by UNCITRAL in several projects involving international transportation and trade. Alexander teaches international maritime, aviation, trade, transportation and insurance law at the law faculty of the University of Zurich. Since many years, he is also part of the faculty of the LLM programme of the University of Zurich for international trade, commercial law and b2b mediation.

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, Alexander obtained a Master of Laws from Tulane University, New Orleans in 1984. He was admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1988 after joining Schellenberg Wittmer and became a partner in 1993.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler is a “very experienced” and “knowledgeable” practitioner who excels at advising insurers on coverage disputes and related regulatory issues.  

Biography

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zurich and he also heads the firm's trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As a specialist in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover disputes and regulatory issues.

Alexander von Ziegler has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation. He has served as secretary general of the International Union of Marine Insurance (1992–1997) and secretary general to the Comité Maritime International (1996–2003). In 2018 he attained his accreditation as mediator SKWM, SAV and CEDR.

Alexander von Ziegler teaches international maritime, aviation, trade, transportation and insurance law at the law faculty of the University of Zurich. For many years he has also been part of the faculty of the LLM programme of the University of Zurich in the field of international trade and commercial law. He is a regular guest lecturer for many foreign universities. He has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation.

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, Alexander obtained a Master of Laws from Tulane University, New Orleans (maritime law programme, LLM in admiralty) in 1984. He was admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1988 after joining Schellenberg Wittmer and became a partner in 1993.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler is very well regarded among peers thanks to his in-depth understanding of aviation regulation. 

Biography

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zurich and he also heads the firm's trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As a specialist in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover disputes and regulatory issues.

Alexander von Ziegler has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation. He has served as secretary general of the International Union of Marine Insurance (1992–1997) and secretary general to the Comité Maritime International (1996–2003). In 2018 he attained his accreditation as mediator SKWM, SAV and CEDR.

Alexander von Ziegler teaches international maritime, aviation, trade, transportation and insurance law at the law faculty of the University of Zurich. For many years he has also been part of the faculty of the LLM programme of the University of Zurich in the field of international trade and commercial law. He is a regular guest lecturer for many foreign universities. He has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation.

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, Alexander obtained a Master of Laws from Tulane University, New Orleans (maritime law programme, LLM in admiralty) in 1984. He was admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1988 after joining Schellenberg Wittmer and became a partner in 1993.

Transport - Shipping 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler impresses market commentators with his adept handling of international trade and shipping disputes, as well as related insurance issues.

Biography

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zurich and he also heads the firm's trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As a specialist in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover disputes and regulatory issues.

Alexander von Ziegler has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation. He has served as secretary general of the International Union of Marine Insurance (1992–1997) and secretary general to the Comité Maritime International (1996–2003). In 2018 he attained his accreditation as mediator SKWM, SAV and CEDR.

Alexander von Ziegler teaches international maritime, aviation, trade, transportation and insurance law at the law faculty of the University of Zurich. For many years he has also been part of the faculty of the LLM programme of the University of Zurich in the field of international trade and commercial law. He is a regular guest lecturer for many foreign universities. He has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation.

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, Alexander obtained a Master of Laws from Tulane University, New Orleans (maritime law programme, LLM in admiralty) in 1984. He was admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1988 after joining Schellenberg Wittmer and became a partner in 1993.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler stands out as “one of the most experienced” practitioners in the market. He is particularly “very knowledgeable” on aviation insurance matters. 

Biography

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zurich, and he also heads the firm's trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As a specialist in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover.

Alexander has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation. He has served as Secretary General of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) (1992–1997) and Secretary General to the Comité Maritime International (CMI) (1996–2003). In 2018, he attained his accreditation as mediator by SKWM, SAV and CEDR. He is (or was over many decades) board member / chair of numerous international or national associations specialized in his field of activities.

Alexander is a member of the swiss delegation at UNCITRAL tasked with creating a new convention on the recognition of judicial sales to ships. He also acts as expert appointed by UNCITRAL in several projects involving international transportation and trade. Alexander teaches international maritime, aviation, trade, transportation and insurance law at the law faculty of the University of Zurich. Since many years, he is also part of the faculty of the LLM programme of the University of Zurich for international trade, commercial law and b2b mediation.

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, Alexander obtained a Master of Laws from Tulane University, New Orleans in 1984. He was admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1988 after joining Schellenberg Wittmer and became a partner in 1993.

Switzerland - Transport 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler comes highly recommended for his market-leading expertise in aviation insurance and receives praise for his “strategic and technical approach”.

Biography

Alexander von Ziegler is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zurich, and he also heads the firm's trade and transport group, as well as the insurance practice group. He has specialised in all aspects of trade and transportation, including maritime and aviation law. As a specialist in the field of insurance and reinsurance law, he advises national and international insurers in high-profile defence or cover disputes and regulatory issues.

Alexander von Ziegler has authored numerous publications in his fields of specialisation. He has served as Secretary General of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) (1992–1997) and Secretary General to the Comité Maritime International (CMI) (1996–2003). In 2018, he attained his accreditation as mediator by SKWM, SAV and CEDR. He is (or was over many decades) board member / chair of numerous international or national associations specialized in his field of activities.

Alexander is a member of the swiss delegation at UNCITRAL tasked with creating a new convention on the recognition of judicial sales to ships. He also acts as expert appointed by UNCITRAL in several projects involving international transportation and trade.

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, Alexander obtained a Master of Laws from Tulane University, New Orleans (maritime law programme, LLM in admiralty) in 1984. He was admitted to the bar in Switzerland in 1988 after joining Schellenberg Wittmer and became a partner in 1993.

Awards won by Alexander von Ziegler

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