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Alexander von Ziegler

Alexander von Ziegler

Schellenberg Wittmer LtdLöwenstrasse 19PO Box 2201ZurichZurichSwitzerland8021

Thought Leader

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

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler is a widely recognised figure in the Swiss transport market where he enjoys a strong reputation for his outstanding work handling complex insurance matters across both the aviation and shipping sectors.

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.

What drew you to a career in law?

After a college degree I was still engrossed in the world of history, philosophy and ancient languages. I wanted, like so many of my (then) age, to get involved in real social matters and make a difference for society. I had in mind to follow a diplomatic career, and viewed legal studies as the perfect platform. It was only during those studies that I fell in love with legal practice: less with the professional opportunities that it offered and more with the analytical exercise and the immense service it provides to society, locally and internationally.

You enjoy an impressively diverse practice. Which areas do you find most stimulating?

I was always attracted by the interactions between different legal regimes, and by the relationships resulting from international trade and the movement of goods and persons. At the same time, the trade mechanics, shipping and aviation industries fascinated me and mirrored my family roots. What captivates me is less a particular area and more the layering of legal issues and the constant interactions between people, entities, jurisdictions and legal relationships, which together create a fascinating world. It is like playing multidimensional chess intellectually, all of this within a commercial environment built upon thousands of years of tradition and in constant evolution. The mobility of people and goods has dramatically increased during the course of my career, and I am glad and proud to have been able to witness and shape it with my modest contributions.

You have held several positions in the maritime and marine insurance sector, including as member of the Swiss delegation at UNCITRAL working towards a new Convention on the Recognition of Judicial Sales of Ships. How have these posts helped to shape your career?

As a lawyer in a landlocked country I realised that if I wanted to be on top of the subjects involving international trade – aviation, maritime transport and insurance – I would need to build my career on four pillars: my practice as a lawyer, my in-depth knowledge of trade practices in all relevant industries, my academic work and my involvement in the international legislative platforms. All of this would only work if I had a constant and direct link to the industries involved in this area. That led me to contribute to the development of INCOTERMS for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC); to develop policy involvements for the insurance industry (for IUMI) and to engage into the harmonisation of trade law in several projects (for the Comité Maritime International and later the Swiss government at UNCITRAL).

You are professor of international trade law at the University of Zurich and a prolific writer. How has this affected your private practice?

To be a lecturer and an academic forces you to regain a full overview of a subject, select the most important elements and simplify matters that can be extraordinarily complicated – unlike in legal practice, where you only focus on issues raised by a mandate. It is going back to the big picture that is so enriching and gives you a direct advantage when explaining to clients how their case is embedded into this wider trade environment. But the most important element is the contact with students and the future generation. Many of them have become good clients, competitors or colleagues.

You have recently received accreditation as a mediator. What motivated you to pursue mediation?

Some of my cases showed that the legal profession (including judges, legislators, authorities, lawyers, prosecutors) can be limited by the sometimes-arbitrary output of an algorithm that we call law. Law is a great tool, crucial for democratic society and courts play a vital role in all of this. However, law can rarely offer adapted real-time solutions, taking into consideration elements that are irrelevant in the legal equation. Mediation is an additional tool offering parties the opportunity to find a solution that is often far more creative than a “traditional” settlement in the course of painful litigations.

How is the generational shift changing legal practice at your firm? What do younger lawyers do differently?

I see no great difference other that when we started our practice we were a small group of pioneers starting a law firm from scratch, taking risks and having fun developing it to one of the most respected law firms in Switzerland. The younger generation entered this established environment with different dynamics and expectations, but I am thrilled to see that they have similar energies in taking our firm into a new phase.

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

I do not foresee a great change in the next five years. There is, however, a great number of highly qualified lawyers from Swiss or international universities entering the Swiss market each year. The competition increases and the “fight” for top-tier positions for firms, practice groups and individuals keeps getting tougher. The market has become more fluid, and entire existing teams could be replaced with competing teams coming from other firms.

You have enjoyed a very successful career to date. What would you like to accomplish that you have not yet achieved?

I would love to be able to say on my last day of work (if that ever happens) that the work done on that very last day was as challenging as the first mandate I had received many decades ago. I think that our profession can accommodate professional work up to quite a mature age – of course, only to the extent that the energy, curiosity and interest remains and and even grows, as health allows such continued involvement.

Global Leader

Insurance & Reinsurance 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler is a “very highly regarded marine insurance specialist”, with impressive regulatory knowledge and dispute resolution expertise.

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 by 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 a very well-regarded aviation practitioner with outstanding expertise on contentious and regulatory 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 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). He continues to hold posts in many national and international organisations. He also was a member of the Swiss delegation at UNCITRAL tasked with creating a new Transport Convention (Rotterdam Rules).

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, he 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 that same year, and became a partner in 1993. Since 1990 he has lectured at the University of Zurich, where he became associate professor in 1999 and professor in 2005 for international trade law; he teaches transport, trade and insurance law.

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.

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler is very well regarded for his dispute resolution work involving aviation and 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). He continues to hold posts in many national and international organisations. He also was a member of the Swiss delegation at UNCITRAL tasked with creating a new Transport Convention (Rotterdam Rules).

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, he 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 that same year, and became a partner in 1993. Since 1990 he has lectured at the University of Zurich, where he became associate professor in 1999 and professor in 2005 for international trade law; he teaches transport, trade and insurance law.

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.

Transport - Shipping 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler draws high praise from market sources who consider him a top name for contracts, logistics and disputes across the shipping sector.

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). He continues to hold posts in many national and international organisations. He also was a member of the Swiss delegation at UNCITRAL tasked with creating a new Transport Convention (Rotterdam Rules).

After graduating from the University of Zurich School of Law in 1981, he 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 that same year, and became a partner in 1993. Since 1990 he has lectured at the University of Zurich, where he became associate professor in 1999 and professor in 2005 for international trade law; he teaches transport, trade and insurance law.

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.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Alexander von Ziegler enjoys a stellar reputation as “of the very best lawyers” in his field. He is “a specialist for marine insurance”, an area in which he is very “highly regarded” by peers and clients alike. 

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 by 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.

Switzerland - Transport 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

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.

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.

Awards won by Alexander von Ziegler

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