Andrio Orler
Office:
Rue Bovy-Lysberg 2
PO Box 5824
1211
City:
Geneva
State:
Geneva
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 22 311 00 10
Fax:
+41 22 311 00 20

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Switzerland

Andrio has been the head of the Geneva tax practice of CMS von Erlach Poncet SA since 2015. Prior to that, he headed the tax practice of a Geneva boutique law firm for 10 years. Andrio is secretary of the Swiss branch of the IFA and president of the Geneva tax chapter of the Swiss American Chamber of Commerce; he also sits on the board of the Association of Certified Tax Experts of French-speaking Switzerland (OREF). Andrio is mainly active in corporate tax. He also frequently assists entrepreneurs and company owners with their personal tax issues. 

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I started my tax career as a clerk at the Supreme Court. While working in that position, I became a certified tax expert. I then moved to private practice and, after having worked as a tax associate for a major law firm, became the head of the tax practice of a boutique law firm.

HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE SWISS CORPORATE TAX REFORM TO IMPACT MOVEMENT OF COMPANIES INTO AND OUT OF SWITZERLAND? 

The entry into force of the corporate tax reform will bring an end to a period of uncertainty that has limited the transfer of companies to Switzerland. Its introduction will give Switzerland a more attractive system in line with international standards. Thus, we will likely see more companies moving to Switzerland. The freedom to manoeuvre given to the cantons in the implementation of the tax reform might also accelerate the (already ongoing) specialisation of the cantons in certain business sectors.

HOW HAS THE PRACTICE OF TAX LAW CHANGED OVER THE COURSE OF YOUR CAREER? 

Over time, my practice has included more litigation and criminal tax work. This development started three to four years ago and has increased ever since. At present time, a significant part of our tax practice involves tax litigation work.

WHAT ARE THE GREATEST CHALLENGES CURRENTLY FACING CORPORATE TAX LAWYERS IN SWITZERLAND?

The corporate tax world evolves much faster than it ever did. Politicians want to find quick solutions to complex issues arising from a globalised world. It is increasingly difficult to foresee future tax developments in order to give groups the necessary tax certainty.

HOW DOES CMS DISTINGUISH ITSELF FROM THE COMPETITION? 

CMS has an incredible international network of highly prepared tax specialists. This is a major asset in assisting clients with international exposure. Frequent meetings with the various tax offices also give us a great advantage in trying to understand and foresee international trends.

AS HEAD OF THE TAX TEAM AT CMS GENEVA, HOW DO YOU EXPECT THE PRACTICE TO DEVELOP OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

Litigation and criminal tax work are likely to continue increasing in importance, and so will the ties between the firm’s litigation and tax teams. The pace of the developments in international tax is likely to remain high and will require international law firms to be more connected with their foreign offices to be able to provide a truly global service.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

Over time, I have been able to develop a team of dedicated and highly qualified tax advisers working together in great harmony. I certainly consider this my greatest achievement.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGER LAWYERS ONE DAY HOPING TO BE IN YOUR POSITION?

They need to be willing to put in considerable effort, and they should like constant learning. If they meet those conditions, they will find a challenging job they’re passionate about, cumulating economic aspects and legal ones, human relationships and technical analysis.

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