Switzerland: Sports & Entertainment 2019

In this year’s sports and entertainment chapter we identify 34 outstanding lawyers for their work in the field. 

Most Highly Regarded
1. Michele Bernasconi  Bär & Karrer Ltd, Zurich
2. Antonio Rigozzi  Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler, Geneva
3. Jan Kleiner  Kleiner & Cavaliero, Zurich
4. Ross Wenzel  Kellerhals Carrard, Lausanne

Kellerhals Carrard dominates the market with six outstanding lawyers recognised here.
Ross Wenzel is widely recognised as an outstanding sports lawyer in both contentious and non-contentious matters. He is highly commended by peers, who remark that he is “an excellent anti-doping lawyer,” who brings “creative arguments” to the table.
François Kaiser is recognised for his excellence in sports law, particularly in an arbitration context, where he has extensive experience appearing before the CAS.
Jean-Pierre Morand is a key name in the sports legal space. With a wealth of experience in the field, he offers first-class counsel to sports federations, and is regularly involved in arbitration proceedings.
François Carrard is a very well-regarded lawyer with “a very strong sports practice”, comment interviewees. He is a legendary figure in the Olympic movement and continues to be involved in sports arbitration.
Philippe Frésard is recognised for his wide-ranging experience in the field of sports law. He advises a number of clients both domestically and internationally.
David Casserly is highlighted as a "leading sports law barrister" who stands out in particular for his depth of expertise in football.

New boutique firm Kleiner & Cavaliero performs very well in this year’s research with two practitioners listed.
Jan Kleiner is one of the most prominent figures in Swiss sports law with a “profound knowledge of all Swiss law aspects”. He is highly praised by sources who commend him for his “detail, great understanding, and excellent presentation skills”.
Marc Cavaliero is an exceptional sports lawyer with impressive experience in the field. He is an expert in regulatory and governance matters, and is praised by sources for being “extremely efficient”.

Times Attorneys sees two lawyers listed here.
Stephan Netzle is “extremely experienced in sports law matters,” according to commentators who note him as a standout name in the field. He advises a wide range of sporting bodies, as well as clubs and athletes.
Ulrich Haas is a leading figure in the sports legal space and is “highly respected for his knowledge and expertise on a range of topics”. He is well known as a CAS arbitrator, with sources noting that he is “always impeccably prepared and the depth of his analysis is second to none”.

Boutique firm Libra Law achieves two listings this year.
Jorge Ibarrola is a sports law specialist and a stand-out name in the field. He is praised by sources as “a really great lawyer”, thanks to his exceptional experience of the workings of the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Claude Ramoni is widely recognised among peers in Switzerland for his skill in the field. He covers a broad array of matters including governance as well as disciplinary and doping mandates.

Michele Bernasconi of Bär & Karrer is “one of the most important arbitrators at the CAS,” say interviewees – a view echoed in our research, which he tops again this year. He is “the best of the best”, and “his experience can bring the added value that is sometimes needed to solve a very complicated matter”, according to commentators.

Antonio Rigozzi of Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler has a “stellar reputation” and is “widely acknowledged for his in-depth expertise in sports law”. One impressed interviewee states, “Antonio has unparalleled knowledge and understanding of both the inner working of CAS proceedings and the legal framework governing CAS arbitration.”

Patrick Lafranchi of Lafranchi Meyer is a highly skilled sports lawyer and “a well-known arbitrator” with a wealth of experience in the field. He is recognised for both contentious and non-contentious matters, and works with a number of sports associations.

Lenz & Staehelin’s Xavier Favre-Bulle stands out in the market for his excellent sports law practice and is recognised for his top-class work handling related disputes in both international and domestic arbitration proceedings.

Despina Mavromati of SportLegis is “an extremely clever lawyer” with an impressive practice. She is widely recognised for her skill in arbitration, representing various parties including sports federations, clubs and individual athletes.

Nater Dallafior’s Hans Nater is a very well-established practitioner and “a great arbitrator” in the sports legal space. He has exceptional experience as a CAS arbitrator.

Quentin Byrne-Sutton of Byrne-Sutton Bollen Kern is “extremely experienced” and is regarded as recognised as an “excellent” name in sports law. He regularly acts as arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Alexis Schoeb of Schoeb Baumgartner Attorneys is widely recognised as a strong name in the Geneva market for sports work. He is particularly well regarded for his corporate work and acts for a number of prominent clubs and sporting bodies.

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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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