2018: Leading Firms

In the latest edition of WWL: Switzerland we feature practitioners at 245 firms, from boutiques through to full-service outfits. However over half of all listings this year come from just 12 standout firms which we profile here.


BAKER MCKENZIE showcases its impressive capabilities by being the only international firm with a significant footprint in the Swiss market. It achieves 23 listings overall, operating across 14 practice areas. The firm has offices in both Geneva and Zurich, boasting a nationwide with over 130 lawyers in the country in total.

The firm has a substantial offering in the corporate sphere, with lawyers listed in our banking, capital markets, corporate tax and M&A chapters with lawyers regularly acting on major transactions across multiple industries.

Private client work is another area in which the firm particularly excels, with four impressive practitioners recognised for their exceptional work in the field. The team are well equipped to handle a range of wealth management, inheritance and estate planning matters on behalf of clients.

Standout practitioners include Matthias Courvoisier in the capital markets and M&A space, Martin Furrer for his prowess in real estate-related matters and Richard Gassmann for his expertise in litigation as well as his work acting for private clients.

Top-tier Swiss law firm BÄR & KARRER showcases its prominent presence in the national market in our research this year. The firm achieves 54 listings across 20 practice areas, illustrating the great depth and breadth of its first-class offering from its office in domestic hubs Geneva and Zurich.

Corporate finance is an area in which the firm particularly excels, receiving high nominations across our banking, capital markets, M&A and corporate tax chapters. Its lawyers are well equipped to counsel clients on a range of related transactional and regulatory matters both in Switzerland and abroad.

The firm is also renowned for its exceptional dispute resolution offering, which is illustrated in our research this year, with lawyers receiving listings for their outstanding work in arbitration and litigation proceedings.

Prominent practitioners at the firm include Saverio Lembo, who stands out as one of the leading white-collar crime and investigations experts in the country and Tina Wüstemann ,who draws high praise for her stellar work in the private client space. Daniel Hochstrasser is recognised for his world-class advocacy work while Michele Bernasconi receives plaudits for his leading sports law expertise.

HOMBURGER is a heavyweight player in the Swiss market and represents corporations across the full gamut of corporate and commercial law. It boasts a strong reputation as a go-to firm among major clients seeking sophisticated commercial advice, and demonstrates its prowess across the full panoply of its full-service offering achieving 64 listings across 21 practice areas in this edition.

Capital markets is an area of particular strength for the firm, with Frank Gerhard and René Bösch occupying prominent positions at the forefront of this year’s research. The team is well versed in providing counsel on related transactions and financings for various clients including banks, corporates and insurance companies.

The firm’s market leading financial expertise filters through to its banking group which is home to three of the most highly regarded practitioners in this year’s research - René Bösch, Benedikt Maurenbrecher and Jürg Frick.

The firm is also among the leading players for dispute resolution, and its lawyers are regularly engaged to advise and represent clients in some of the most complex disputes in the market. Prominent practitioners include Kirstin Dodge, a leader in the mediation space, and Balz Gross and Georg Naegeli, who stand out among the top litigators in the Swiss market.

Other leading individuals at the firm include Stefan Oesterhelt, Reto Heuberger and Peter Riedweg, who are big names in the corporate tax arena while Daniel Daeniker, Dieter Gericke and Frank Gerhard come highly regarded for their M&A work. Franz Hoffet and Marcel Dietrich are revered competition specialists, while David Rosenthal and Georg Rauber are market leaders in the TMT space. Andri Hess comes highly recommended for his first-class life sciences and patent work, and Flavio Romerio is highlighted as the country’s foremost investigations specialist.  

Leading full-service law firm KELLERHALS CARRAD holds a strong position in the market, achieving 20 listings in this edition. Home to more than 160 professionals, the firm offers a full range of legal services to companies and individuals around the globe across all industry and economic sectors.

The firm has a wide range of specialisms and is particularly strong in the sports law space, with members demonstrating extensive expertise in the resolution of sports disputes before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. It is therefore unsurprising that the firm performs particularly well in our sports and entertainment chapter, achieving more listings than any other firm.

The firm also illustrates its outstanding financial expertise in our research this year, with members performing well across a range of areas including capital markets, investment management, and insurance and reinsurance.

Key players in our listings include Bernhard Berger, who stands out as one of the leading arbitration lawyers in the country, and Thomas Eichenberger who ranks prominently for his leading life sciences practice. Other top-tier individuals identified by our research include prominent restructuring and insolvency practitioner Daniel Staehelin; and Dominik Oberholzer, who stands out for his excellent work in the investment management space.

Independent national law firm LALIVE boasts a prominent presence in the Swiss market where it is renowned most notably for its exceptional disputes offering. The depth and breadth of the firm’s expertise is illustrated in our research this year, as it receives a total of 28 nominations across eight practice areas.

It stands out particularly in this edition for its world-class arbitration team. The firm boasts the foremost arbitration offering in the Swiss market, with nine practitioners recognised as leading names in the field. The team is well equipped to handle a range of international commercial and investment arbitration proceedings, with members highlighted both for their work as counsel and arbitrator.

The firm also performs well in our litigation chapter, with five top-tier lawyers identified for their impressive advocacy work across a range of legal proceedings. White-collar crime and investigations is an additional area in which the firm excels with individuals highlighted for their expert handling of asset recovery, fraud and corruption matters on both a domestic and international level.

Star practitioners at the firm include Michael Schneider, Matthias Scherer and Domitille Baizeau who feature among the leading arbitration practitioners in the country. Meanwhile Marc Henzelin and Sonja Maeder Morvant stand out as two of the foremost investigations and business crime experts in our research.

Premier Swiss law firm LENZ & STAEHELIN remains the leading firm in Switzerland, with an impressive 76 practitioners highlighted across 22 practice areas. The firm is the largest independent law firm in Switzerland, with more than 200 lawyers and tax experts spread across its offices in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne. Drawing on more than 100 years’ experience, the firm has built up an international reputation as one of the leading business law providers in the jurisdiction.

The firm is renowned for its outstanding banking and corporate offering, and is home to some of Switzerland’s top practitioners in these areas. In our banking, corporate tax and M&A chapters the firm is particularly prominent, achieving more listings than any other firm. The firm performs similarly well in our corporate tax and private client chapters, achieving six and seven listings respectively and illustrating the breadth of expertise on offer at the firm.

Standout practitioners at the firm include Marcel Meinhardt, who ranks highly in our competition research and François Rayroux, who impresses market commentators with his leading investment management practice. A number of individuals stand out for their expertise in multiple areas, including Shelby du Pasquier and Daniel Tunik, who are recommended in six and five chapters respectively. Also performing well are Thierry Calame who is recognised for his excellent work across the IP and life sciences sectors, while Miguel Oural is highlighted for his exceptional work in asset recovery, business crime defence and investigations.

Swiss law firm MEYERLUSTENBERGER LACHENAL is a prominent player in the domestic market and enjoys a prestigious reputation in the international arena. The firm stands out for its ability to tackle some of the most complex legal matters as well as its commitment to helping clients achieve their commercial objectives. It performs particularly well this year achieving 25 listings across 11 practice areas, demonstrating the depth and breadth of its offering.

It is among the most dominant players in the construction and real estate market, with the practice group regularly engaged by industry leaders to provide counsel on major transactions, administrative procedures and contracts.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal boasts a well-established patents and life sciences practice, and achieves more listings for patent work than any other firm in this year’s research. The private client practice group also performs well and enjoys a superb reputation for its high-quality advice and dispute resolution services. We feature four leading practitioners in this chapter who stand out for their exceptional work in the field.

Prominent individuals at the firm include Lukas Bühlmann who is recognised as one of the leading franchise lawyers in the country. Patricia Guerra leads the private client practice in Zurich and is one of the most highly regarded attorneys in the space. Meanwhile patents and life sciences practice head Simon Holzer demonstrates his superb reputation in the national market as one of the leading lawyers in the fields.  

Leading Swiss law firm NIEDERER KRAFT & FREY is renowned for its prominent position in the domestic market. Although based solely in Zurich, the firm stands out for its ability to provide top-tier legal services to both national and international clients on significant transactions and complex disputes. The firm demonstrates the strength of its offering in our research this year by achieving 40 listings across 16 practice areas.

Banking and finance is an area in which the firm particularly stands out, most notably when it comes to capital markets transactions where it boasts the foremost team in the country. It also enjoys a strong reputation for its corporate expertise, achieving 10 listings in total across our M&A and corporate governance chapters.

The firm’s sector-related offering is also illustrated in this edition, with leading practitioners from the firm highlighted for their excellent work throughout the construction, sports, transport and TMT sectors.

Prominent names at the firm include Philippe Weber and Till Spillmann, who both feature among the most impressive capital markets practitioners in the country. Clara-Ann Gordon gains recognition for her exceptional TMT expertise while Sandro Abegglen is highlighted as the leading investment management expert in the Swiss market.


PESTALOZZI is one of the oldest law firms in the Swiss market and is renowned for its leading expertise in domestic and international commercial and business law matters. The firm demonstrates the breadth of its offering across 16 practice areas, achieving 34 listings this year from its offices in Geneva and Zurich. 

The firm performs particularly well in the disputes arena and sees lawyers recognised for their outstanding work across our arbitration and litigation chapters. The group regularly represents clients on a range of financial, commercial and business-related disputes in both national and international proceedings.

It also boasts deep expertise across a range of industry sectors. This is illustrated in our research this year as it receives plaudits for its offerings in life sciences, TMT, construction and banking-related matters.

Standout lawyers at the firm include Jacob Hoehn, one of the country’s premier M&A and governance specialists. Thomas Legler and Laurent Killias are recognised for their first-rate disputes work while Lorenza Ferrari Hofer is commended for her leading expertise across four areas – life sciences, product liability defence, TMT and trademarks.

Full-service national outfit SCHELLENBERG WITTMER achieves the second highest number of nominations of any firm in our research this year, demonstrating its prominent presence in the Swiss market. The firm achieves 71 listings across its two offices in Zurich and Geneva, from which it coordinates its efforts across Switzerland.

The firm performs particularly well in the disputes space, achieving a strong seven listings for its arbitration offering. It achieves a further six listings in our litigation chapter, boasting the foremost litigation group in the country. The firm’s disputes team is well equipped to handle some of the country’s largest business-related disputes across litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

Banking and private client work are other areas in which the firm excels. Its lawyers frequently advise on high-level transactions as well as banking regulatory matters, and are also renowned for their exceptional work handling both contentious and non-contentious matters on behalf of private clients.

Leading practitioners include Paul Gully-Hart and Peter Burckhardt, who are among Switzerland’s pre-eminent business crime and investigations specialists. David Wallace Wilson and Manuel Liatowitsch are highlighted for their world-class private client practices while Roland Mathys and David Mamane are leading figures in the TMT and competition spaces respectively.

Full-service firm VISCHER demonstrates its leading presence in the Swiss market with 26 listings across 17 practice areas. With offices in Zurich and Basle it can claim to be one of the foremost law firms in German-speaking Switzerland.

The firm is particularly well regarded for its disputes practice, with three practitioners listed in our litigation chapter, one of whom is also listed for arbitration. The firm excels in financial services litigation and real estate litigation, and accordingly performs strongly in our research across these areas. It achieves two listings in banking, two in restructuring and insolvency, and three in construction and real estate.

Leading names include Daniele Favalli, who is highly respected for his work in disputes across Europe and the CIS countries; and Markus Guggenbühl, the firm’s head of banking and capital markets and a leading light in structured finance, transactions and regulatory matters. Christian Oetiker is recognised as a national specialist in arbitration.

Leading Swiss full-service law firm WALDER WYSS showcases its exceptional offering in our research this year. It achieves 60 nominations across 21 practice areas, illustrating its breadth of expertise as well as its prominent presence in the domestic market.

The firm particularly stands out for its top-tier corporate finance offering, achieving multiple listings across our banking, capital markets, M&A and corporate tax chapters. Practitioners from the firm are widely recognised for their work handling both advisory and transactional matters for a range of domestic and international clients.

Private client work is another area in which the firm excels; six individuals are highlighted in this edition for their leading expertise in the field. The practice stands out as one of the foremost private client groups in the country. The firm also boasts strong sector expertise, performing particularly well this year across our construction and TMT chapters.

Prominent individuals at the firm include Jurg Schneider, distinguished as the most highly regarded TMT lawyer in the country, while Philippe Pulfer is recognised for his excellence in the private client space. Urs Schenker is regarded as an excellent name in the corporate market and Markus Frick wins praise for his impressive trademarks expertise.

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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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