Thomas U Reutter
Office:
Brandschenkestrasse 90
8027
City:
Zurich
State:
Zurich
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 58 261 52 84
Fax:
+41 58 263 52 84

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

Thomas Reutter studied at the University of St Gallen and graduated in economics (lic. oec. HSG) in 1991. Before graduation, he participated in an exchange programme with Bocconi University in Milan. He graduated in law from the University of St Gallen in 1994 and subsequently received a doctorate for his thesis in takeover law. In 2001, he obtained an LLM from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he won a prize for the most distinguished academic performance, leading to a Master of Laws degree in securities and financial regulation. He is interested in history and sports, and his time that is not absorbed by the (fascinating) legal profession is spent with his family.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career?

I like the intellectual challenge related to legal studies and work, which I felt was missing in my first degree of business administration.

What do you enjoy most about capital markets work?

I am fascinated by the dynamics of transactions, the pressure and the team spirit related to it. I am happy to be part of a very committed, bright and young team. I also like the constant challenge posed by the implementation of new regulations.

Which has been your most interesting case so far?

That is a tough one. “Rescue” capital market transactions, such as those of ABB and UBS, have certainly been emotionally very intense and interesting. But sometimes even a small convertible bond can become hugely interesting, because of its features and the challenge to make all clauses work alongside each other in the legal and regulatory environment.

What is the most important thing large institutional clients look for in a transactional practitioner?

They certainly expect technical expertise, but also familiarity with their business models, responsiveness, pragmatism and the necessary experience and seniority for important judgement calls.

How does Bär & Karrer stay ahead in a competitive legal market?

We tried early on to make sure our people have the necessary soft and business skills in addition to their technical legal expertise by putting an enormous effort on education.

How do you think the practice area will evolve in the next five years?

It will certainly become even more dynamic and challenging in terms of pace and in light of new regulations.

What advice would you give to younger practitioners who hope to be in your position?

Be enthusiastic and committed; enjoy interacting and engaging with people; and be interested in the law and structuring transactions.

You have had a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I would like to be a world champion in football, but it seems that this will not happen now.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Switzerland

Thomas Reutter studied at the University of St Gallen and graduated in economics (lic. oec. HSG) in 1991. Before graduation, he participated in an exchange programme with Bocconi University in Milan. He graduated in law from the University of St Gallen in 1994 and subsequently received a doctorate for his theses in takeover law. In 2001, he obtained an LLM from Georgetown University, where he won a prize for the most distinguished academic performance leading to a Master of Laws degree in securities and financial regulation. He is interested in history and sports and spends time with his family in the time that is not absorbed by the (fascinating) legal profession. 

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

After graduation I worked at two large Swiss law firms (with Homburger as a trainee, and with Froriep as associate) before joining Bär & Karrer in 2001. I became partner in 2005 and head of the capital markets practice a few years later. 

YOUR PRACTICE COVERS BOTH CAPITAL MARKETS AND M&A. WHAT ADVANTAGES DOES THIS BROAD EXPERIENCE GIVE TO YOUR PRACTICE?

I think it provides a wealth of expertise and insights that are valuable for both markets. Often, the topics are very interrelated – for example, in acquisition finance. Apart from that, I am probably less exposed to market cycles and the associates like to have varied and interesting cases, rather than commodity work. 

WHAT AREAS OF CAPITAL MARKETS LAW HAS YOUR PRACTICE BEEN FOCUSED ON IN RECENT MONTHS?

One is IPOs (eg, CEVA, the largest IPO so far in Switzerland) and the other is hybrid debt and convertible markets (eg, Swiss Re, Vontobel). 

DO YOU EXPECT THE POPULARITY OF ICOS TO CONTINUE IN THE COMING YEARS?

No, stricter regulation will lead to fewer ICOs. However, the blockchain technology will offer new opportunities – for law firms as well. 

HOW WILL SMART CONTRACTS AFFECT THE WAY PARTIES CARRY OUT INVESTMENTS?

It is conceivable that future debt and other instruments will be structured as smart contracts. Plain vanilla bonds are probably the first ones that could be designed as smart contracts because of their low level of complexity. However, legal and enforcement issues remain an obstacle. Fortunately for lawyers, contracts and their enforcement are in most cases not just based on a simple “If A then B” scheme, which is the model for smart contracts. 

DIGITAL PLATFORMS ARE TAKING AN EVER MORE CENTRAL ROLE IN MANY AREAS OF INVESTMENT. DO YOU EXPECT THIS TO BE THE CASE FOR ECM INVESTMENT ALSO?

On the ECM side, we have seen this mainly for crowd funding and – based on blockchain – for ICOS (some of which were offering tokens with equity security character). On the debt side, we see it happening on a larger scale. Debt markets are more commoditised and therefore better suitable for standardisation and digitisation. 

HOW WILL FINMA’S CHANGES TO THE REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS FOR COMPANIES TO BE LISTED AFFECT THE SWISS CAPITAL MARKETS FIELD?

This remains to be seen. There is hope that the new listing regulator will remain pragmatic and approachable. If that is indeed the case, we expect little change in practice. 

WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?

Having built a team of committed and talented young lawyers.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Capital Markets: Debt and Equity

Thomas U Reutter heads the capital market practice at Bär & Karrer. He is based in Zurich and has been partner since 2005. He is a member of the managing board of the firm.

Thomas U Reutter specialises in capital market and M&A transactions mainly of listed companies. He is regularly retained by issuers and underwriters to advise on IPOs, rights issues, convertible bonds, hybrid capital issues and other capital market transactions.

Furthermore, he frequently represents corporate clients in takeover offers and mergers of SIX-listed companies as well as in private M&A transactions. In addition, Thomas U Reutter advises listed companies on corporate and regulatory matters.

He is co-editor of CapLaw (Swiss Capital Markets Law), author of numerous articles within his fields of specialisation and a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences.

Thomas Reutter holds a Dr iur from the University of St Gallen and an LLM in securities and financial regulation from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He is a member of the Zurich as well as the Swiss Bar Association. Thomas U Reutter speaks German, English and French.

WWL says: Thomas Reutter is an "available and friendly” practitioner, say clients, who commend “his quick turn round and pragmatic answers to complex legal questions".

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Capital Markets which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Capital Markets

Thomas U Reutter heads the capital market practice at Bär & Karrer. He is based in Zurich and has been partner since 2005. He is a member of the managing board of Bär & Karrer.

Thomas Reutter specialises in capital market and M&A transactions mainly of listed companies. He is regularly retained by issuers and underwriters to advise on IPOs, rights issues, convertible bonds, hybrid capital issues and other capital market transactions.

Furthermore, he frequently represents corporate clients in takeover offers and mergers of SIX-listed companies as well as in private M&A transactions. In addition, Thomas U Reutter advises listed companies on corporate and regulatory matters.

He is co-editor of CapLaw (Swiss capital markets law), author of numerous articles within his fields of specialisation and a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences.

Thomas Reutter holds a Dr iur from the University of St Gallen and an LLM  in securities and financial regulation from Georgetown University, Washington, DC. He is a member of the Zurich and Swiss Bar Association. Thomas U Reutter speaks German, English and French.

He is recognised as a leading lawyer by Chambers and Partners Europe and Global, IFLR and The Legal 500 in the categories capital markets and corporate/M&A. Who's Who Legal 2017 listed him as the most highly regarded practitioner for capital markets in Switzerland. Thomas Reutter won the ILO Client Choice Award Switzerland 2016 in the category capital markets.

Bär & Karrer is a renowned Swiss law firm with more than 150 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. Its core business is advising clients on innovative and complex transactions and representing them in litigation, arbitration and regulatory proceedings. The firm's clients range from multinational corporations to private individuals in Switzerland and around the world.

Bär & Karrer has been repeatedly awarded Switzerland's "Law Firm of the Year" by the most prestigious international legal ranking agencies.

WWL says: Thomas Reutter “stands out” among peers as “a leading lawyer” in the capital markets space. He is commended most notably by sources for his exceptional work on IPOs. 

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

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