Switzerland: Arbitration 2019

In this chapter we recognise the top 100 arbitration practitioners in the Swiss market who stand out for their work as counsel and arbitrator in a wide range of commercial disputes.

Most Highly Regarded
1. Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva 
2. Philippe Pinsolle  Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Geneva
3. Laurent Lévy  Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
4. Michael E Schneider Lalive, Geneva
5. Domitille Baizeau  Lalive, Geneva
6. Pierre Tercier  Pierre Tercier, Fribourg
7. Nathalie Voser  Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd, Zurich 
8. Joachim Knoll  Lalive, Geneva
9. Bernd Ehle Lalive, Geneva
10. Noradèle Radjai  Lalive, Geneva
11. Philipp Habegger  Habegger Arbitration, Zurich
12. Wolfgang Peter  Peter & Partners, Geneva
13. Matthias Scherer  Lalive, Geneva
14. Christopher Boog  Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd, Zurich
   

Arbitration specialist Lalive emerges as the leading firm for arbitration, with an impressive total of 11 listings for its arbitration specialists.
Michael E Schneider is “one of the most prominent figures in Switzerland” for arbitration and is a “very impressive” practitioner”, comment sources. His expertise covers disputes in the construction, infrastructure, telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors and involving both states and corporations.
Bernd Ehle is praised by peers across Europe as “a very thorough and on point practitioner, who is clear and business-oriented”. His focus in international infrastructure and construction disputes, where he acts as both counsel and arbitrator.
Matthias Scherer is described by respondents as “a leading arbitration practitioner, with a specialty in construction disputes”. He is also well versed in advising corporate, public and private clients on a range of other commercial disputes.
Domitille Baizeau “impresses with the quality of her preparation and her proactive approach”, say interviewees. She has 23 years of experience as a counsel and, according to sources, is also “really progressing well and gaining important appointments” as arbitrator.
Sources comment that Noradèle Radjai is a “very active” figure in the market and “find her excellent". Her speciality is in commercial and investment arbitrations within the energy, telecoms and constructions sectors.
Joachim Knoll is identified as “an outstanding practitioner” who is “precise, hard-working and a pleasure to work with” by respondents this year. He commands nearly 20 years of experience in commercial and investment treaty arbitrations.
New partner Melissa Magliana is “an excellent practitioner” who has “mastered the arbitration process very well”. She has significant experience as both counsel and arbitrator across the construction, pharmaceutical and transport sectors.
Veijo Heiskanen is a well-regarded name in the Swiss market and an “excellent counsel and arbitrator”. He is particularly well known for his work in investment treaty arbitrations situated within the energy, infrastructure and mining sectors.
Founding partner Teresa Giovannini is an experienced and prominent name in the international arbitration market who earns plaudits as "very conscientious and prepared, and a pleasure to work with", according to impressed peers.

Schellenberg Wittmer performs very well this year, with seven of its lawyers listed for their work in the arbitration field.  
Christopher Boog is a renowned and “internationally respected name” in the Swiss arbitration community, with peers describing him as an “excellent and impressive practitioner”. His practice spans international commercial, investment and sports arbitration matters.
Elliott Geisinger is “a highly qualified and very balanced arbitrator in the Swiss market”. He acts as both counsel and arbitrator in international commercial disputes regarding construction contracts and joint venture agreements and has 25 years’ experience in the area.
Philippe Bärtsch “makes arguments very well, and in an efficient way” opine interviewees, who say that they “find him excellent”. He has expertise in both ad hoc and institutional arbitrations pertaining to the construction and energy sectors.
Nathalie Voser continues to be regarded as an “obvious inclusion” in the listings and is equally well regarded by sources for her work as arbitrator and counsel. She offers a broad array of industry expertise covering energy, construction and distribution agreements among other matters.

Walder Wyss distinguishes itself with a total of five listings this year.
Maurice Courvoisier “does a terrific job” in arbitration settings, according to peers who note his ability to “really get to the point of the case with no problems”. His speciality lies in disputes arising from distribution agreements, construction projects and joint ventures to name a few.
The “very impressive” Micha Bühler is identified by market commentators as “a great arbitration lawyer whom I would recommend”. His expertise covers cross-border infrastructure and construction projects as well as M&A disputes.
Michael Cartier is recognised by respondents for his “amazing contribution to the arbitration community’s development in IT”. He has wide-ranging experience as counsel, arbitrator and expert witness.

Homburger achieves strongly with six listings to its name in our research this year.
Felix Dasser is “a great arbitrator” who is commended by peers for his extensive experience handling disputes across the banking, insurance and M&A fields.
Balz Gross is “an extremely active practitioner in the Swiss market" who is well versed in arbitration proceedings pertaining to M&A, joint venture and distribution contract disputes.
Markus Wirth can be counted as “one of the top arbitrators in the market” according to interviewees, who cite him as “excellent in his preparation”. He commands over 30 years of experience in international arbitrations.
Gabrielle Nater-Bass is a standout name in the arbitration community in Switzerland. Clients note that "she is a smart and talented lawyer with a natural authority".

Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler sees five of its members highlighted for their impressive arbitration practice.
Sébastien Besson is “one of the top experts in the market and is very sought after as an arbitrator”, say sources. His expertise lies in commercial disputes, including joint venture, finance and construction matters.
Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler is a Global Elite Thought Leader and described as “one of Switzerland’s best-known arbitrators”, a “top name” and “really outstanding lawyer” by various sources. She offers exceptional expertise and experience across a variety of international commercial and investment arbitrations.
Antonio Rigozzi attracts plaudits from peers across Switzerland for his stand-out work in the arbitration field, with sources calling him “a prominent name”. Sources say: “Antonio is sharp-minded and outspoken in his pleadings while at the same time being a fair opponent and reliable settlement negotiation partner”.
Laurent Lévy is one of Switzerland’s top arbitration specialists praised by sources as a “fantastic arbitrator”. He brings an exceptional depth of experience to disputes involving the oil, gas airspace and financial services sectors among others.

Philippe Pinsolle of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan stands out as a Global Elite Thought Leader in the arbitration space. Peers laud him as “a top-notch lawyer” with phenomenal expertise in both international investment treaty and commercial arbitrations.

Xavier Favre-Bulle of Lenz & Staehelin is a top name in the Swiss arbitration space who is recognised by sources for “his excellent arguments, and meticulous organisation and preparation”. He has experience in a wide variety of commercial proceedings, including post-M&A, joint venture and distribution disputes.
Harold Frey is “an excellent practitioner the field” who is recognised for his outstanding work on commercial disputes across the telecoms, pharmaceutical and construction sectors.

“Excellent arbitrator” Philipp Habegger at Habegger Arbitration is a renowned practitioner described as “the best in Zurich” by one source. He has an extraordinary breadth of experience, having acted under the arbitration rules of dozens of organisations and countries.

Diana Akikol of ABR Avocats is “a really superb arbitrator and rising star in the field”, according to sources. Her experience in arbitration covers M&A, joint ventures and a variety of construction projects.

Martin Bernet with Bernet Arbitration is described by peers as “a top-notch arbitrator and one of the most prominent figures in Switzerland today for arbitration”. He acts as both counsel and arbitrator in commercial matters, including joint venture disputes, shareholder agreements and licensing issues.

Bernhard Berger of Kellerhals Carrard earns high praise from market commentators, who consider him “an eminent and outstanding name in the arbitration field”. He commands experience as both arbitrator and counsel in a wide variety of international commercial arbitrations.

Independent arbitrator Pierre Tercier is “an established figure in the market and one of the best arbitrators Switzerland has to offer”, according to impressed interviewees. He has significant experience in large international disputes across a wide range of sectors.

Frank Spoorenberg at Tavernier Tschanz earns plaudits as “a very effective and deeply analytical practitioner” whose “work is appreciated” by commentators. He stands out for his “excellent legal skills and pragmatism” across a range of commercial matters.

Christoph Brunner of Peter & Partners has “a brilliant mind” say sources who note his combination of “a calm attitude and excellent knowledge of international contract law” as key to his success. He commands over 20 years of experience in commercial arbitration matters.
Wolfgang Peter is an "impressive practitioner" who stands out for his combination of "excellent knowledge and deep experience", gained through hundreds of arbitrations during the course of his storied career.

Andrea Meier at Wartmann Merker is identified as “a go-to specialist in the Swiss market” by peers in the market. Her expertise lies in disputes arising from joint venture projects, distribution agreements and construction contracts.

Pierre-Yves Gunter of Bär & Karrer draws praise as “a big name in the field”. He has considerable experience as both counsel and arbitrator in a wide spectrum of disputes arising from joint ventures, construction, IP and M&A projects.
Daniel Hochstrasser is described by peers as “a heavyweight in the market and one of the best-known arbitrators” in Switzerland. He is a seasoned expert in disputes arising from M&A matters, infrastructure projects and finance transactions.
Nadja Jaisli Kull is “an established figure and a tough practitioner” in the arbitration space, according to impressed sources. Clients are “impressed by her business understanding, expertise in ICC procedures and her excellent legal and social skills”.  

Paolo Michele Patocchi of Patocchi & Marzolini gains emphatic recognition from peers this year as “one of the best names in the market”. He is highlighted for “his huge experience in arbitration and mastery of the law, as well as his great sense of strategy”. 

Thomas Legler of Pestalozzi is “responsive, well prepared, very experienced and pleasant to work with” in an arbitration context, say sources. Clients emphasise that he is “one of the few practitioners to specialise in both IP and arbitration matters”.
Florian Mohs is recognised by peers as “a very significant name in the Swiss market”. He has expertise in a broad range of commercial arbitration matters across numerous industries and sectors. 

Simon Gabriel at Gabriel Arbitration is “an extremely important name to know in the market”, according to interviewees, who identify him as “an outstanding arbitrator in the younger generation”.

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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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