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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

Thought Leaders - Litigation

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Biography

Dr Nicolas Herzog (admitted to the Swiss Bar in 2001; LLM, NYU School of Law, 2004) is a partner of Zurich-based law firm Niedermann, a firm that specialises in the resolution of commercial disputes. Owing to its practice focus, it is virtually conflict-free and well versed in successfully guiding international and national clients through the vicissitudes of adversarial proceedings. Cross-border disputes are an important part of Nicolas’ practice. He also deals regularly with inbound enforcement matters.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career?

The fascination of being a litigating advocate is that you are professionally called upon to enter the fray, and that you are engaging in direct controversy. Exchanging arguments as such is an exhilarating activity. In order to excel at it, you must not only harness the most astute reasoning in favour of your client, but also show tactical smartness.

What do you enjoy most about working as a litigator?

I feel that it is a real privilege to be working in that practice area. Every assignment affords you the opportunity to delve deeply into the substance of a given problem, by which you gain insights in various industries and trade, and thereby become privy to an enhanced understanding of commercial undertakings as they happen in practice. And if, on top of that, you ultimately carry the day for your client in court, what could be better?

How has the market changed since you first started practising?

The overall pace has increased as well for litigators, of whom responsiveness is equally expected. Owing to the abundance of international trade and transactions, cross-border disputes have become more frequent, complex and important. Moreover, clients have changed in that they are not only open for alternative billing methods, but also appreciate the possibilities litigation finance is offering them. As counsel, you are these days also expected to set out the financing options that are available in the marketplace.

What is the most memorable case you have been a part of?

It is an ongoing large-scale fraud case with various respondents, in which almost every procedural tactic and option is being invoked by the various actors. Ultimately, the court seised will have to address some novel legal issues. It is very exciting to be part of cases that may one day become landmark cases and shape the Swiss Federal Supreme Court’s case law.

What makes Niedermann stand out from its competitors in the market?

Niedermann prides itself on abiding by the highest quality standards, and as a niche player in the field, it is not unduly limited by a conflict of interests. At the same time, we can approach client needs with flexibility and hence offer truly bespoke solutions. Our founding partner, Marco Niedermann, brings decades of experience to the table, such that as a team with younger partners, we are what I consider a forceful and staunch group of litigators.

What are the most significant trends you are seeing in litigation at the moment?

Litigations have tended to become increasingly labour-intensive. For instance, in Swiss court litigations, you have an almost unlimited right to file legal briefs based on the right of reply as sanctioned by the European Court of Human Rights and the ensuing interpretation of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. Overall, litigation and arbitration costs tend to increase. This phenomenon, however, can sometimes be alleviated by the emergence of internationally acting third-party litigation funders.

What has been your greatest achievement?

On the winning side, the novel and successful “importation” of an English Receivership Order issued against a third party on Swiss territory. On the losing side, the defeat in a jurisdiction matter before the highest court – the client was nevertheless impressed with the dedication and work we had delivered to him, the grit with which we had represented its cause. Years later, out of the blue, the same client engaged us again for an even bigger matter.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Never get caught in a foregone conclusion – keep the openness to revisit your assumptions all along the way.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Nicolas Herzog is a highly experienced commercial litigator and a big name in the Swiss market. He is regularly engaged in cross-border disputes and possesses deep expertise in financial and corporate disputes.

Questions & Answers

Dr Nicolas Herzog (admitted to the Swiss bar in 2001; LLM, NYU School of Law, 2004) is a partner of Zurich-based law firm Niedermann, which specialises in the resolution of commercial disputes. Owing to its practice focus it is virtually conflict-free and well versed in successfully guiding international and national clients through the vicissitudes of adversarial proceedings. Cross-border disputes are an important part of Nicolas’ practice; he also deals regularly with inbound enforcement matters.

How would you describe your current practice?

My current practice is a good mix of state court litigation and international commercial arbitration. Practising simultaneously in both areas is enriching, and allows you to hone and apply your skills in culturally and legally different settings.

What do you enjoy most about working as a litigator?

I feel that it is a real privilege to be working in that practice area. Every assignment affords you the opportunity to delve deeply into the substance of a given problem, by which you gain insights into various industries and trades, and thereby become privy to an enhanced understanding of commercial undertakings as they happen in practice. And if, on top of that, ultimately you carry the day for your client in court, what could be better?

What industries do you most actively represent as a litigation specialist?

We have a strong presence in damages recovery and fraud cases. Currently, we represent clients from the pharmaceutical, insurance, mining and real estate industries.

What makes Niedermann stand out from its competitors in the market?

Niedermann prides itself in abiding by the highest-quality standards, and as a niche player in the field it is not unduly limited by conflicts of interests. At the same time, we can approach client needs with flexibility, and hence offer them true bespoke solutions. Our founding partner Marco Niedermann brings decades of experience to the table – such that, as a team with younger partners, we are what I consider a forceful and staunch group of litigators.

What are the most significant trends you are seeing in litigation at the moment?

The advent of third-party funding has enlarged the economic prowess of various players (such as bankruptcy estates) to pursue claims that, but for third-party funding, they could not afford to do. Overall this tends to increase the amount of contentious work.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

Never get caught in a foregone conclusion. Keep an openness, so you can revisit your assumptions along the way.

How is the generational shift changing legal practice at your firm? What do younger lawyers do differently?

Younger lawyers are more tech-savvy and more adept at using all sorts of online tools and software features in their daily work. They contribute to the modernisation of how lawyers will work in the near future – relying more, for instance, on electronic files rather than paper files.

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

Third-party funding of disputes will increase, as more providers enter the market and the commercial clientele begins to realise the advantages of such services. Five years from now digital filings to courts will be more common and technically easier to use. The Swiss judiciary is currently preparing a sweeping digitalisation project for the state courts.

Global Leader

Asset Recovery 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Nicolas Herzog is a highly distinguished Swiss litigation expert, with extensive experience in cross-border disputes involving fraud, licensing issues and financial litigation. 

Biography

Nicolas Herzog is a partner of the law firm Niedermann Attorneys-at-Law, a pure-play dispute resolution boutique firm, which owing to its practice focus is virtually conflict-free.

Nicolas Herzog’s practice is an epitome of commercial litigation. He advises and represents clients from various industries and guides them through the entire litigation process. He is regularly retained in cross-border disputes, and draws on a wide range of experience gained in financial, commercial lease, shareholder, joint venture, licensing and fraud litigations. Instructions regularly include enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland, obtaining attachment orders and other injunctive relief. Of note are also assignments in which English court orders such as receivership and worldwide freezing orders had to be recognised and enforced in Switzerland. Notable clients are active in the telecommunications, financial and real estate industries. He also sits as arbitrator and advocates as party counsel before arbitral tribunals.

Nicolas Herzog, born 1969, is a graduate of New York University School of Law (LLM, 2004) and the University of Zurich (Dr iur, 1999, summa cum laude), and is admitted to the Swiss Bar (2001). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and regularly publishes on Swiss procedural law. He served as a clerk at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and is fluent in English, German and French, with a working knowledge of Spanish.

Litigation 2019

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Nicolas Herzog impresses market sources with his first-rate work on cross-border disputes including joint venture and fraud proceedings.

Biography

Nicolas Herzog is a partner of the law firm Niedermann Attorneys-at-Law, a pure-play dispute resolution boutique firm, which owing to its practice focus is virtually conflict-free.

Nicolas Herzog’s practice is an epitome of commercial litigation. He advises and represents clients from various industries and guides them through the entire litigation process. He is regularly retained in cross-border disputes, and draws on a wide range of experience gained in financial, commercial lease, shareholder, joint venture, licensing and fraud litigations. Instructions regularly include enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland, obtaining attachment orders and other injunctive relief. Of note are also assignments in which English court orders such as receivership and worldwide freezing orders had to be recognised and enforced in Switzerland. Notable clients are active in the telecommunications, financial and real estate industries. He also sits as arbitrator and advocates as party counsel before arbitral tribunals.

Nicolas Herzog, born 1969, is a graduate of New York University School of Law (LLM, 2004) and the University of Zurich (Dr iur, 1999, summa cum laude), and is admitted to the Swiss Bar (2001). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and regularly publishes on Swiss procedural law. He served as a clerk at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and is fluent in English, German and French, with a working knowledge of Spanish.

National Leader

Switzerland - Asset Recovery

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Nicolas Herzog wins high praise for his impressive expertise in the implementation of international enforcement orders against domestic assets.

Biography

Nicolas Herzog is a partner of the law firm Niedermann Attorneys-at-Law, a pure-play dispute resolution boutique firm, which owing to its practice focus is virtually conflict-free.

Nicolas Herzog’s practice is an epitome of commercial litigation. He advises and represents clients from various industries and guides them through the entire litigation process. He is regularly retained in cross-border disputes, and draws on a wide range of experience gained in financial, commercial lease, shareholder, joint venture, licensing and fraud litigations. Instructions regularly include enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland, obtaining attachment orders and other injunctive relief. Of note are also assignments in which English court orders such as receivership and worldwide freezing orders had to be recognised and enforced in Switzerland. Notable clients are active in the telecommunications, financial and real estate industries. He also sits as arbitrator and advocates as party counsel before arbitral tribunals.

Nicolas Herzog, born 1969, is a graduate of New York University School of Law (LLM, 2004) and the University of Zurich (Dr iur, 1999, summa cum laude), and is admitted to the Swiss Bar (2001). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and regularly publishes on Swiss procedural law. He served as a clerk at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and is fluent in English, German and French, with a working knowledge of Spanish.

Switzerland - Litigation

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Nicolas Herzog is a highly experienced commercial litigator and a big name in the Swiss market. He is regularly engaged in cross-border disputes and possesses deep expertise in financial and corporate disputes.

Biography

Nicolas Herzog is a partner of the law firm Niedermann Attorneys-at-Law, a pure-play dispute resolution boutique firm, which owing to its practice focus is virtually conflict-free.

Nicolas Herzog’s practice is an epitome of commercial litigation. He advises and represents clients from various industries and guides them through the entire litigation process. He is regularly retained in cross-border disputes, and draws on a wide range of experience gained in financial, commercial lease, shareholder, joint venture, licensing and fraud litigations. Instructions regularly include enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland, obtaining attachment orders and other injunctive relief. Of note are also assignments in which English court orders such as receivership and worldwide freezing orders had to be recognised and enforced in Switzerland. Notable clients are active in the telecommunications, financial and real estate industries. He also sits as arbitrator and advocates as party counsel before arbitral tribunals.

Nicolas Herzog, born 1969, is a graduate of New York University School of Law (LLM, 2004) and the University of Zurich (Dr iur, 1999, summa cum laude), and is admitted to the Swiss Bar (2001). He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, and regularly publishes on Swiss procedural law. He served as a clerk at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and is fluent in English, German and French, with a working knowledge of Spanish.

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