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Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Patricia Guerra wins glowing praise from peers as “extremely dedicated” and experienced in dealing with complex cross-border matters relating to family assets and philanthropic matters. 

Questions & Answers

Patricia Guerra is head of the private clients team in Zurich, and of the Latin America desk. She has extensive experience in advising UHNW/HNW individuals in personal matters, estate planning, family asset structuring and philanthropic endeavours. Patricia deals with complex cross-border issues and regularly coordinates teams across various jurisdictions. She is fluent in English, Spanish, German and French. She is a board member of several Swiss charitable foundations and of a Swiss private bank dedicated to HNW entrepreneurs and the next generation.

What attracted you to work in private client law?

The human element, and the challenge of understanding, coordinating and amalgamating different needs between various individuals or a family. I was also attracted to the cross-border work, and discovering and learning about different cultures, mentalities, laws and practices.

How has the market changed since you first started practising?

The market is in constant and rapid evolution, especially since covid-19. It is more necessary than ever to follow up on daily happenings, technical and legal developments, and changes in policy.

Has covid-19 presented any challenges to your work in the private client sector?

The biggest challenge is not being able to communicate with my clients through personal meetings, and replacing personal encounters by telephone or video calls. This has worked quite well with today’s technological possibilities; however, from a long-term perspective I believe that personal meetings will need to happen again, as the quality of communication and the dynamism that can be created by personal contact is better.

As head of the private client team in Zurich, what are your main priorities for the group’s development over the next year?

We have to look at the impact of developments and adapt. The main priority will be to recognise trends and 

adapt to the new world, in order to continue to offer the best services to the clients. Discovering and developing talents and team-building remains, of course, a priority.

How do you effectively coordinate complex cross-border work?

It is vital to: have excellent teams in every jurisdiction, with a partner who is personally in charge of, and present in, the transaction; assure regular and efficient communication and coordination among teams; and involve the client-handling partner as project manager, to make sure that the client’s wishes, needs and requirements are always considered and understood by the different teams.

What qualities make for an effective private client lawyer?

Empathy, an open mind, creativity and pragmatism.

What advice would you give someone starting their career in private client law?

Have excellent qualifications; master various languages; recognise trends; be flexible, empathetic and hard-working; and, especially, be passionate about your work.

WWL says

Patricia Guerra is “one of the best private client lawyers in Switzerland” and a “true pioneer”, recognised for her “successful reputation” according to impressed peers. 

Questions & Answers

Patricia Guerra is head of the private clients team in Zurich, and of the Latin America desk. She has extensive experience in advising UHNW/HNW individuals in personal matters, estate planning, family asset structuring and philanthropic endeavours. Patricia deals with complex cross-border issues and regularly coordinates teams across various jurisdictions. She is fluent in English, Spanish, German and French. She is a board member of several Swiss charitable foundations and of a Swiss private bank dedicated to HNW entrepreneurs and the next generation.

What attracted you to work in private client law? 

The human element, and the challenge of understanding, coordinating and amalgamating different needs between various individuals or a family. I was also attracted to the cross-border work, and discovering and learning about different cultures, mentalities, laws and practices.

How has the market changed since you first started practising?

The market is in constant and rapid evolution, especially since covid-19. It is more necessary than ever to follow up on daily happenings, technical and legal developments, and changes in policy.

Has covid-19 presented any challenges to your work in the private client sector?

The biggest challenge is not being able to communicate with my clients through personal meetings, and replacing personal encounters by telephone or video calls. This has worked quite well with today’s technological possibilities; however, from a long-term perspective I believe that personal meetings will need to happen again, as the quality of communication and the dynamism that can be created by personal contact is better.

As head of the private client team in Zurich, what are your main priorities for the group’s development over the next year?

We have to look at the impact of developments and adapt. The main priority will be to recognise trends and  

adapt to the new world, in order to continue to offer the best services to the clients. Discovering and developing talents and team-building remains, of course, a priority.

How do you effectively coordinate complex cross-border work? 

It is vital to: have excellent teams in every jurisdiction, with a partner who is personally in charge of, and present in, the transaction; assure regular and efficient communication and coordination among teams; and involve the client-handling partner as project manager, to make sure that the client’s wishes, needs and requirements are always considered and understood by the different teams.

What qualities make for an effective private client lawyer?

Empathy, an open mind, creativity and pragmatism.

What advice would you give someone starting their career in private client law?

Have excellent qualifications; master various languages; recognise trends; be flexible, empathetic and hard-working; and, especially, be passionate about your work.

Global Leader

Private Client 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Patricia Guerra is an “excellent” private client lawyer, and "one of the best in Switzerland". She has ample experience with ultra-high-net-worth, including on philanthropic issues.

Biography

Patricia Guerra is head of the private client team in Zurich, and of the firm’s Latin America desk. She has extensive experience in advising UHNW and HNW individuals and families in all personal matters and matters concerning family assets, including succession planning; estate partition and administration; asset structuring and asset protection; family governance; and family settlements, as well as philanthropic endeavors. Patricia regularly deals with complex cross-border issues for her clients and takes on the legal leadership necessary to coordinate teams across various jurisdictions in various languages. She is fluent in English, Spanish, German and French and has a good command of Portuguese and Italian. Patricia is a board member of various Swiss charitable foundations supporting projects internationally, including her law firm's umbrella foundation, and of a Swiss private bank. She is also a board member of Meyerlustenberger Lachenal AG and is honorary consul of Ecuador in Zurich.

Patricia Guerra graduated from the University of Geneva Law School. She is admitted to the bars of Switzerland and New York. Patricia obtained her LLM at the University of Michigan Law School. She worked as an associate with Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago; and with Meyerlustenberger Lachenal in Zurich, where she has been partner since 1997.

Patricia has been consistently recognised in legal directories and publications for decades, including The Legal 500, Chambers and Partners, Who's Who Legal, Best Lawyers in Switzerland and Private Client Global Elite. She is a regular speaker at industry events such as the IBA's 25th International Private Client Conference in London. Patricia is also a mentor for Rising Leader private client lawyers as part of the Private Client Global Elite's (PCGE) mentoring program. Patricia has been recognised for her female leadership by leading Swiss business news publications and in her role as member of the board of directors of our law firm, she has drafted the anti-discrimination policy of the firm and is involved in the annual salary equality audit.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal is a leading full-service Swiss law firm with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Zug and Lausanne. The firm's international private client team offers pragmatic, creative and solution-oriented advice, and a client-centric approach with high partner involvement.

National Leader

Switzerland - Private Client 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Patricia Guerra is “in the top five list of Swiss practitioners” praise sources who regard her as “an impossible opponent” and “a real asset” who “works hard for her client”. 

Biography

Patricia Guerra is head of the private client team in Zurich, and of the firm’s Latin America desk. She has extensive experience in advising UHNW and HNW individuals and families in all personal matters and matters concerning family assets, including succession planning; estate partition and administration; asset structuring and asset protection; family governance; and family settlements, as well as philanthropic endeavors. Patricia regularly deals with complex cross-border issues for her clients and takes on the legal leadership necessary to coordinate teams across various jurisdictions in various languages. She is fluent in English, Spanish, German and French and has a good command of Portuguese and Italian. Patricia is board member of various Swiss charitable foundations supporting educational, female development, environmental, health and other projects in Switzerland and internationally, including her law firm's Swiss umbrella foundation, Sombrilla Foundation, and of a Swiss private bank. She is the honorary consul of Ecuador in Zurich.

Patricia Guerra graduated from the University of Geneva Law School. She is admitted to the bars of Switzerland and New York. Patricia obtained her LLM at the University of Michigan Law School. She worked as an associate with Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago; and with Meyerlustenberger Lachenal in Zurich, where she has been partner since 1997.

Patricia has been consistently recognised in legal directories and publications for decades, including The Legal 500, Chambers and Partners, Who's Who Legal, Best Lawyers in Switzerland and Private Client Global Elite. Patricia has also been recognised for her female leadership by leading Swiss business news publications and in her role as a female partner of our law firm, she supports female career development and has drafted the anti-discrimination and inclusion policy of the firm.

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal is a leading full-service Swiss law firm. In July 2021 Meyerlustenberger Lachenal will be merging with another leading Swiss law firm: Froriep, to establish one of the largest commercial law firms in Switzerland with 155 lawyers in four offices in Switzerland and two offices abroad: in London and Madrid. The new law firm will have a strong international profile and one of the largest private  client  teams in Switzerland, offering pragmatic, creative and solution-oriented advice, and a client-centric approach with high partner involvement.

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