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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Stefano Codoni is a leading light in the life sciences arena and is highlighted for his exceptional work relating to M&A and multi-jurisdictional litigation across the sector.

Questions & Answers

Stefano Codoni is a partner at Walder Wyss and he heads its Lugano office. His practice focuses mainly on intellectual property, life science and technology-related transactions and litigation. Stefano Codoni also acts as counsel in international, mainly technology-related arbitration disputes, and has experience as sole arbitrator and member of arbitration panels. He is a member of the Arbitration Court of the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution, which assists the Swiss Chambers of Commerce and Industry in administering arbitration proceedings under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration.
What motivated you to pursue a legal career?

I was always fascinated by law, ever since I was a teenager. During high school I developed an interest in technology and sciences too. I nevertheless decided to study law at university, and after a few weeks I understood that this was exactly what I wanted to do in my life. I was then lucky enough to be able to combine, during my career, the legal work with science and technology-related aspects, working in the intellectual property, IT and life sciences field.

What qualities make for an effective life sciences lawyer?

Even working in a rather complex field, such as life sciences, you always remain a lawyer. For this reason a solid legal background is very important. Furthermore, you need to be prepared to learn and then develop some background knowledge in life sciences, which you mainly pick up during the work. Especially in litigation, it is crucial that you take on the role of a sort of interface between your specialist clients and the courts, which on most occasions might not have specific scientific expertise. The facts are to be almost “translated” and presented in a more understandable way, to ensure the court really focuses on the important (and hopefully winning) parts of the case.

What do you enjoy most about working on multi-jurisdictional matters?

I find the strategic aspect of multi-jurisdictional litigation and cases to be one of the most interesting parts of our job. Coordinating the line of argument and defence in all different jurisdictions is crucial to build up the case to become a success. Especially when various legal teams work on the same case in different jurisdictions, it is extremely important to avoid using different or contradicting arguments. I have seen instances of cases that were lost for exactly this reason. The effort it takes to coordinate the various teams is rather challenging, but almost always pays off.

How have the shifting expectations of clients influenced your practice in recent years?

Clients are more aware of the legal complexity in their field of activity, and that there are risks involved; but they are, and want to remain, in charge of making the decision. Therefore, our main task is to present the alternative solutions to their problems with all advantages and risks, so that the client can make the final decision. Generally, they have picked you up because of your expertise, and because they fully trust you and your advice. For this reason, they are interested in the outcome of your analysis and are generally not questioning how you got there – they are interested more in the final assessment than in the reasoning that led you to this conclusion. As a result, responsiveness and a problem-solving approach have become even more crucial because clients want, and are entitled to, fast and effective advice. They need to feel that you are really committed to their case and that you really want to help solve the problem as fast and effectively as possible. I am always stunned by how grateful clients are for the availably and responsiveness you can show.

What impact is the increasing trend towards specialisation by practitioners having on the market?

The legal framework, which doesn’t only include life sciences, is becoming increasingly complex. The trend for specialisation is unavoidable and in the best interest of clients, and also of the involved lawyers. Sometimes people think that specialisation makes our job less interesting, since you tend to do more often the same things. This is, however, not my experience. Specialisation allows you to go more and more into detail and always get better in your field, and to be confronted with real specialists. Of course, this leads to an always-higher level of competence, and the threshold to enter, in a convincing way, the relevant sector of the legal profession becomes higher every day too, which in turns forces even more specialisation. The more professionals specialise, the less “all-rounders” will be able to compete in the relevant specific sectors. Nevertheless there is always a place for intelligent, strategic lawyers who could be accompanied by specialists in the relevant fields in setting up a team that can be led to success, whether in litigation or in transactional work. In the end, therefore, specialisation also increases the need for efficient teamwork.

What makes Walder Wyss stand out from competitors in the Swiss market?

At Walder Wyss we simply try to leave things up to the principles and the conclusions set out in my previous answers. We go towards specialisation, insisting on a strong legal background and research skills; we put great weight on availability and responsiveness; and we always try to give clients the most efficient and practical advice. This all sounds rather common sense but I am still surprised to see, for example, how often lawyers do not give the client the attention they expect, which leads to conflict. The fact that we have a good, friendly and informal work environment helps to increase teamwork for the benefit of our clients, too. Based on the feedback we receive, it seems that we are rather good at implementing these principles.

What advice would you give to younger lawyers hoping to one day be in your position?

The younger generations have tremendous opportunities to develop their skills to effectively access the broad knowledge resources that are available nowadays. They should never, however, forget their basic background of legal knowledge on which to build their career. Of course, they should also not forget that legal business is always personal business: it is important that you create the relationship of trust with your clients, which is the key to a successful collaboration. Responsiveness and availability remain, in my view, the key factors to getting and building on this trust.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

 Stefano Codoni has a fantastic reputation in the market and is highlighted by peers for his impressive handling of international disputes in the area.

Biography

Stefano Codoni is a partner at Walder Wyss and heads its Lugano office. His practice focuses mainly on intellectual property, life sciences and technology-related transactions (including licensing, technology transfer and M&A) and litigation (including patent litigation). He regularly represents pharmaceutical and biotech companies and educational institutions, and advises them on all life sciences-related legal aspects. Other areas of work are corporate and commercial law. Stefano also regularly acts as counsel in international commercial arbitration disputes.

Stefano Codoni was born in 1967 and was educated at the University of Zurich (lic iur, 1991) and at the University of London, Queen Mary & Westfield College (LLM 1995). He was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 1994. Prior to his joining Walder Wyss in 2013, he held positions as a district court law clerk; foreign associate in a leading London law firm; and associate and (for 12 years) partner in Zurich and Lugano law firms.

He is fluent in Italian, German, English and French. He is registered with the Ticino Bar Registry and admitted to practise throughout Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses, as well as public law institutions and private clients.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Stefano Codoni is a "well-known lawyer" and Global Elite Thought Leader in the field who is lauded by peers for his "wide-ranging knowledge of the life sciences sector".

Biography

Stefano Codoni is a partner at Walder Wyss and heads its Lugano office. His practice focuses mainly on intellectual property, life sciences and technology-related transactions (including licensing, technology transfer and M&A) and litigation (including patent litigation). He regularly represents pharmaceutical and biotech companies and educational institutions, and advises them on all life-sciences related legal aspects. Other areas of work are corporate and commercial law. Stefano also regularly acts as counsel in international commercial arbitration disputes.

Stefano Codoni was born in 1967 and was educated at the University of Zurich (lic iur, 1991) and at the University of London, Queen Mary & Westfield College (LLM 1995). He was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 1994. Prior to his joining Walder Wyss in 2013, he held positions as a district court law clerk; foreign associate in a leading London law firm; and associate and (for 12 years) partner in Zurich and Lugano law firms.

He is fluent in Italian, German, English and French. He is registered with the Ticino Bar Registry and admitted to practise throughout Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses, as well as public law institutions and private clients.

National Leader

Switzerland - Life Sciences

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Stefano Codoni is a leading light in the life sciences arena is highlighted for his exceptional work relating to M&A and multi-jurisdictional litigation across the sector.

Biography

Stefano Codoni is a partner at Walder Wyss and heads its Lugano office. Stefano Codoni's practice focuses mainly on intellectual property, life science and technology related transactions (including licensing, technology transfer and M&A) and litigation (including patent litigation). He regularly represents pharmaceutical and biotech companies and educational institutions and advises them on all life science related legal aspects. Other areas of work are corporate and commercial law. Stefano Codoni also regularly acts as counsel in international commercial arbitration disputes.

Stefano Codoni was born in 1967 and was educated at the University of Zurich (lic iur, 1991) and at the University of London, Queen Mary & Westfield College (LLM 1995). He was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 1994. Prior to his joining Walder Wyss in 2013, he held positions as a district court law clerk; foreign associate in a leading London law firm; and associate and (for 12 years) partner in Zurich and Lugano law firms.

He is fluent in Italian, German, English and French. He is registered with the Ticino Bar Registry and admitted to practise throughout Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest-growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

Switzerland - Trademarks

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Stefano Codoni is highlighted as “the go-to name in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland” by sources. He particularly stands out in the market for his “very professional” approach to a range of trademark matters.

Biography

Stefano Codoni is a partner at Walder Wyss and heads its Lugano office. Stefano Codoni's practice focuses mainly on intellectual property, life science and technology related transactions (including licensing, technology transfer and M&A) and litigation (including patent litigation). He regularly represents pharmaceutical and biotech companies and educational institutions and advises them on all life science related legal aspects. Other areas of work are corporate and commercial law. Stefano Codoni also regularly acts as counsel in international commercial arbitration disputes.

Stefano Codoni was born in 1967 and was educated at the University of Zurich (lic iur, 1991) and at the University of London, Queen Mary & Westfield College (LLM 1995). He was admitted to the Zurich Bar in 1994. Prior to his joining Walder Wyss in 2013, he held positions as a district court law clerk; foreign associate in a leading London law firm; and associate and (for 12 years) partner in Zurich and Lugano law firms.

He is fluent in Italian, German, English and French. He is registered with the Ticino Bar Registry and admitted to practise throughout Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the largest Swiss law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. It offers a full range of services for the business community in Switzerland, as well as public, private and international clients. Its practice teams handle business transactions, banking and finance matters, taxes, arbitration and litigation as well as IP/IT and competition matters.

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