2019: Leading Firms

In the latest edition of WWL: Switzerland we feature practitioners at 265 firms, from specialised boutiques through to full-service outfits. However over 40 per cent of all listings this year come from just eight standout firms, which we profile here.

 

Leading firm Bär & Karrer is well established in the Swiss market and excels in many practice areas. It is revered for its cross-border work and international focus. The firm has a broad scope with practitioners working from Zug, Lugano, Geneva and Zurich. It has a strong transactional capability and is also adept at representing clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings.

This year Bär & Karrer achieves 59 listings, performing very well in several practice areas, particularly in corporate finance-related work. The firm has an outstanding reputation for providing a great service on both contentious and non-contentious matters.

For M&A, five exceptional individuals are recognised for their work. Rolf Watter is a market leader in M&A and remains a well-established figure in the area. Meanwhile, the arbitration chapter sees five outstanding lawyers listed; Pierre-Yves Gunter is a premier arbitrator, and receives high praise from peers in this year’s research. In the capital markets and asset recovery chapters there are also five practitioners from Bär & Karrer listed.

Other leading individuals include Eric Stupp and Tina Wüstemann. Stupp is listed in an impressive four chapters, with standout expertise in banking, business crime defence, capital markets, and construction and real estate. Wüstemann, meanwhile, is recognised for her brilliant work in the areas of asset recovery and private client.

 

 

Full-service firm Homburger is a dominant force in the Swiss legal market, and illustrates its first-rate offering with an outstanding 71 practitioners featured in our guide this year. The firm ranks in the top three firms by number of listings in this edition, and sees lawyers from its base in Zurich recognised for their leading expertise across a range of practice areas.

The firm performs strongly across the board but features particular expertise in a number of key areas. It receives four listings for its corporate governance practice which his complemented by a further seven nominations in our M&A chapter, illustrating the great strength of its corporate offering. The firm’s transactional capability is further bolstered by impressive teams in both the banking and capital markets arenas, where they receive six and seven listings respectively.

Dispute resolution is another area in which the firm excels, with listings across our litigation and arbitration chapters. The teams are well equipped to advise and represent clients on complex, high-value proceedings.

Homburger is home to many standout lawyers, including Thought Leader René Bösch who is distinguished for his excellent work in the banking and capital markets spaces. Reto Heuberger is highlighted for his market-leading ability on corporate tax issues. The firm also performs strongly in the data space, with Gregor Bühler, Georg Rauber and David Rosenthal all considered pre-eminent figures in the field. Marcel Dietrich and Franz Hoffet are key names in the competition field while Daniel Daeniker draws effusive praise for his world-class corporate practice.

 

Swiss firm Lalive is a globally recognised group renowned for its world-class expertise in dispute resolution. With offices in Geneva and Zurich and more than 70 lawyers, the firm has a strong domestic team that it leverages to advise clients internationally. The firm demonstrates its strong position in the Swiss market in our research this year, achieving 30 listings across eight different practice areas.

The firm’s leading dispute resolution practice is reflected in this edition, which sees practitioners achieve an impressive 16 listings across arbitration, litigation and mediation. The team is well versed in representing both companies and individuals in high-stakes contentious proceedings, both domestically and abroad.

In addition, it is highlighted for its standout offering in the corporate crime and investigations space. Practitioners are recognised here for their exceptional work handling white-collar criminal defence, asset recovery and complex corporate investigations. The firm’s capabilities extend to the private client sphere as well as the construction and real estate sector.

The depth of the firm’s arbitration team is notable, with Michael Schneider, Domitille Baizeau, Joachim Knoll, Bernd Ehle, Noradèle Radjai and Matthias Scherer recognised as among the foremost arbitration practitioners in the country. Marc Henzelin is a pre-eminent figure in the corporate crime and investigations space, while Sandrine Giroud is highlighted as a leading name when it comes to asset recovery work. 

 

Lenz & Staehlin is one of the leading full-service corporate firms in the Swiss market, and enjoys a strong reputation for its excellence across a range of practice areas. It illustrates its top-tier offering in our research this year, achieving 83 listings across 23 practice areas, featuring lawyers from its offices in Geneva, Zurich and Lausanne.

The firm showcases its world-class corporate team in this edition, achieving 10 and four listings respectively across our M&A and corporate governance chapters. The group is well equipped to handle a range of related matters from public and private acquisitions to regulatory compliance, restructurings and joint ventures.

Banking is another area in which the firm performs well this year, and cements its position as a leading offering in the Swiss market. Ten lawyers are highlighted this year for their exceptional work advising clients on structured financings, lending, commodities and acquisition finance matters. Its strength in the corporate finance space extends to corporate tax, capital markets, restructuring and insolvency and insurance matters.

The firm demonstrates its complete offering this year with further listings for its work in dispute resolution, as well as across a number of significant sectors including data, life sciences, construction and real estate.

Key individuals at the firm include Thought Leader Patrick Hünerwadel, along with François Rayroux who stand out as two of the foremost lawyers in the banking space. Hans-Jakob Diem is recognised for his first-class M&A practice while Andreas von Planta and Rudolf Tschäni are highlighted as leading figures in the corporate governance sphere. Thierry Calame draws high praise for his excellent work across the patents and life sciences fields.

 

Full-service firm Niederer Kraft Frey is a leading firm in the Swiss market recognised for its excellence across a wide range of business law matters. The firm has over 100 lawyers located in Zurich, and demonstrates its strong position in the market this year by achieving 42 listings across 16 different practice areas.

The firm enjoys a great reputation for its exceptional corporate finance offering. This is reflected in this edition with eight, seven and six practitioners listed across our capital markets, M&A and banking chapters respectively. The team frequently advises clients on a range of matters from asset management and financial products to regulatory issues and fintech.

It performs well across a range of sectors, with lawyers recognised for their outstanding work in sports and entertainment, transport and data-related matters.

Key figures at the firm include Till Spillmann and Philippe Weber who are recognised for their superb work in the capital markets arena. Clara-Ann Gordon is a Thought Leader in the data space while Sandro Abegglen is highlighted as a leading name in investment management.  

 

Long-standing Swiss law firm Pestalozzi is a well-recognised player in the market, known for its leading capabilities across a wide range of practice areas, from competition and intellectual property to dispute resolution and corporate work. The firm’s strong offering is reflected in our research this year, which sees it achieve an impressive 35 total listings across 16 practice areas.

The firm’s dispute resolution team performs well this year, achieving four listings apiece across our litigation and arbitration chapters. With extensive experience in conventional and alternative dispute resolution techniques, the team draws praise for its top-tier work in contentious proceedings both domestically and internationally.

The firm also excels in its corporate offerings, achieving four listings in M&A and three for its banking team. Its experts regularly advise in high-value transactions, private equity and regulatory issues for institutions and companies in the sector.

Its sector-focused expertise is also illustrated in our research this year, as the firm sees practitioners listed in additional areas including life sciences, transport, data and environment.

There are a number of leading figures at the firm, including Laurent Killias and Thomas Rohner who are recognised as standout individuals in the arbitration and litigation fields. Jakob Hoehn is a powerhouse in M&A market and Lorenza Ferrari Hofer draws praise from sources for her top-notch life sciences practice.

 

Distinguished Swiss firm Walder Wyss offers domestic and international clients advice on a comprehensive range of legal areas. It showcases its position as a prominent firm in the Swiss legal market in our research this year, achieving 65 listings across 21 different practice areas.

The private client group performs exceptionally well this year and demonstrates its market-leading expertise and comprehensive advisory services with seven listings. The data practice also performs well in our research, with a total of six listings for its data specialists, who are praised for their expertise in software licensing, e-commerce and licensing matters.

The firm fields a strong arbitration practice group, which sees five lawyers recognised in this edition for their outstanding work in both national and international proceedings under a wide array of arbitration rules, from Swiss Rules to ICC and LCIA.

The firm’s strong sector expertise is also reflected in this year’s research. The construction and real estate and life sciences practice groups distinguish themselves in the Swiss market with five listings apiece, while the firm receives further recognition for its abilities in the banking and environment sectors.

Outstanding performers at the firm this year include Maurice Courvoisier and Micha Bühler, who are identified for their world-class arbitration practices. Sources also highlight private client specialists Philippe Pulfer, Kinga Weiss and Olivier Sigg as leading figures within the Swiss legal community. David Vasella and Michael Isler earn strong praise from peers for their top-notch work in the data sector while Thomas Müller stands out as one of the leading names in the construction and real estate market. Andreas Wildi is singled out by commentators as one of the most distinguished names practising in the life sciences field.

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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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