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Thought Leader

WWL says

Michael Nordin is a “great technical lawyer” who is “experienced and smart” when it comes to high-value corporate tax matters. 

Questions & Answers

Michael Nordin is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer’s Zurich office, heading its taxation group. Michael focuses on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations and restructurings, and those related to financing and capital markets. He has a strong focus on the finance industry. Michael conducts internal corporate investigations focusing on tax-related matters, and advises high-net-worth individuals.

Describe your career to date. 

After my studies at the University of St Gallen and New York University and internships needed for the bar exam, I worked in a law firm, a Big 4 firm and a large bank. In 2003, I joined Schellenberg Wittmer as partner. I currently advise corporations with a focus on the finance industry as well as wealthy families and family offices. 

How has the market changed since you first started practising?

Due to increased complexity and transparency, the market has become more sophisticated, more demanding and more professional. Further, tax administrations are less informal than in the past, and tax litigation is now more common. Therefore, a higher level of sophisticated advice is now required.

What is the most memorable case you have advised on?

The Swiss – US tax matter of a major Swiss bank which started in 2011 and is still ongoing. The case involves investigations as well as contact and coordination with domestic and foreign authorities.

What steps have financial institutions taken to protect themselves in the difficult economic environment?

European banks have generally become more prudent and defensive in their business behaviour and have increased their capitalisation. Compliance and best practice have become more important.

Do you expect a spike in restructuring and reorganisation work as clients begin to deal with the economic fallout of covid-19? If so, how is the firm preparing for this?

Schellenberg Wittmer has a dedicated team composed of corporate, insolvency, tax and banking lawyers who are prepared to act.

To what extent is the increasingly virtual nature of internal investigations in a covid-19 landscape making for a more efficient process?

IT solutions are currently being used in this instance to the greatest extent possible. Nevertheless, despite significant progress in technology, in-person man power cannot be fully substituted by IT solutions.

How does Schellenberg Wittmer distinguish itself from its competitors?

The firm has a unique combination of professionalism at the highest level and a very strong value-based corporate culture.

As head of the firm’s taxation group, how would you like to focus and develop the practice in the next five years?

I would like to continue evolving the team to continuously and organically build up our tax practice. I would also like to promote specialisation within the team, for example increase the team’s capacities in more niche areas like fintech/blockchain and life sciences.

Global Leader

Corporate Tax - Advisory 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Nordin is a highly regarded tax expert whose practice centres on finance and capital markets mandates.

Biography

Michael Nordin is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's Zurich office, heading its taxation group. Michael focuses on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations and restructurings, and those related to financing and capital markets. He has a strong focus on the finance industry. Michael conducts internal corporate investigations focusing on tax-related matters, and advises high net worth individuals.

Michael's expertise includes counsel to a large bank on an internal business reorganisation, including the negotiation of the tax treatment of an offshore structure with the tax administration; counsel to a multinational Swiss company in a major acquisition and reorganisation; and representation of a large Swiss financial institution in major tax litigation. Further, Michael is advising major banks on capital market issues on an ongoing basis.

Michael earned a law degree from the University of St Gallen in 1991 and a doctorate in law in 1996. He was admitted to the Swiss Bar in 1993 and attended New York University, where he graduated with an LLM in international taxation in 1997. In 2000, he qualified as a Swiss-certified tax expert.

Before joining Schellenberg Wittmer, he worked in the group tax department of a major Swiss bank, the tax departments of two international "Big Four" audit firms and for a large business law firm in Zurich.

National Leader

Switzerland - Corporate Tax 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

The “very experienced” Michael Nordin is very well known among peers and excels at advising clients on tax aspects of transactions, mergers and reorganisations. 

Biography

Michael Nordin is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's Zurich office, heading its taxation group. Michael focuses on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, reorganisations and restructurings, and those related to financing and capital markets. He has a strong focus on the finance industry. Michael conducts internal corporate investigations focusing on tax-related matters, and advises high- net-worth individuals.

Michael's expertise includes counsel to a large bank on an internal business reorganisation, including the negotiation of the tax treatment of an offshore structure with the tax administration; counsel to a multinational Swiss company in a major acquisition and reorganisation; and representation of a large Swiss financial institution in major tax litigation. Furthermore, Michael is advising major banks on capital market issues on an on-going basis.

Michael earned a law degree from the University of St Gallen in 1991 and a doctorate in law in 1996. He was admitted to the Swiss Bar in 1993 and attended New York University, where he graduated with an LLM in international taxation in 1997. In 2000, Michael qualified as a Swiss-certified tax expert.

Before joining Schellenberg Wittmer, he worked in the group tax department of a major Swiss bank, the tax departments of two international "Big Four" audit firms and for a large business law firm in Zurich.

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