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  • Europe

Bär & Karrer AG


  • Brandschenkestrasse 90
  • Zürich
  • Switzerland
  • CH-8027

Corporate Investigations - Europe-wide

What the team is known for Handles large-scale investigations with a strong anti-bribery and anti-corruption focus, and acts for clients on regulatory compliance matters. Clients include financial institutions as well as companies in the life sciences and technology sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"It has very thorough teams organised to manage the cases very well."

Notable practitioners 

In Zurich, Andreas Länzlinger is head of the firm's internal investigations team.

Banking & Finance - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 12 partners
- 18 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for An excellent reputation for banking and finance, recognised both in Switzerland and on an international level. Adept at handling complex transactional work as well as litigation and regulatory advice. Particularly busy in the latter area over the past year, and also increasingly active on insurance mandates.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the best teams in Switzerland. It has good connections with foreign law firms and great knowledge of international law."

"An approachable team that is absolutely up to speed." 

Work highlights Assisted Credit Suisse with the acquisition financing for the purchase of La Tour Hospital Group by HDLT Holding.

Advised Xstrata on an amendment to the USD6 billion facility agreement in connection with its all-share merger with Glencore.

Notable practitioners  

Andreas Länzlinger heads the internal investigations and cross-border proceedings practice. An esteemed litigator, he has an excellent reputation for acting on banking and finance-related disputes.

Ralph Malacrida is a "solid, commercially minded lawyer" say interviewees. In a notable mandate, he led the team that advised Renova Group on its CHF1 billion derivatives financing transaction.

Department head Eric Stupp is "a very reputable practitioner, and one of the leading banking lawyers in the country," sources confirm. He advises financial institutions, insurers and banks.

Urs Brügger's knowledge of financial markets regulation is highlighted by market sources. He is well versed in assisting companies with disclosure and reporting obligations. 

Cédric Chapuis heads the banking team in Geneva. He is widely known for his regulatory knowledge and advice. 

Christophe Buchwalder has a solid reputation for his financing practice. He often acts on corporate financings, and interviewees praise his client-oriented approach.

Rolf Watter is primarily known in the market for his capital markets and corporate/M&A work, but also has considerable banking and finance knowledge.

Till Spillmann "is a very technically sound lawyer," say sources. "He is extremely responsive, commercially minded and always easy to co-operate with." Spillmann led the team that advised Credit Suisse on the acquisition financing related to the acquisition of La Tour Hospital Group.  

Significant clients Coca-Cola, Credit Suisse, Xstrata.

Capital Markets - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
-15 partners
-13 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Exceptional capital markets expertise, often involved in the country's most significant IPOs. Further expertise in innovative hybrid instruments and bond issues. Particular focus on the healthcare, banking, insurance and technology sectors.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One of the biggest and best firms around. Really focused on the market's largest transactions."

Work highlights Advised Valora Holding on its corporate hybrid bond offering, the first of its kind in Switzerland since 2010.

Acted for Swiss Re on its placement of USD750 million subordinated contingent write-off loan notes, the first total-loss contingent capital instrument (CoCo) from a reinsurer.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Thomas Reutter draws superb client feedback: "He is extremely reliable, calm and a pleasure to work with – he never gets nervous under pressure." Reutter focuses on IPOs and rights issues with further expertise in convertible bonds and hybrid capital issues.

Rolf Watter "is a great negotiator and has a very international outlook," report clients. He has been increasingly active in corporate governance issues of late.

Ralph Malacrida has a broad-ranging practice that covers capital markets, M&A, private equity, corporate restructuring and corporate finance.

Sources enthuse about Till Spillmann, describing him as "very pragmatic, quick and practical. He knows when to give and when to take in negotiations." He advises on capital markets, M&A, banking, insurance and corporate restructuring.

Significant clients Swiss Re, Goldman Sachs International, Credit Suisse, UBS, DKSH Holding.

Competition/Antitrust - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Impressive competition offering, active across a variety of sectors, including construction, financial services and automotives. Compact team that is able to handle large mandates, and can draw upon expertise in other departments when needed.

Work highlights Advised SK Capital Partners on its acquisition of Clariant's textile chemicals, paper chemicals and emulsions business units.

Assisted Valora Schweiz with the sale of its third-party goods wholesaling business to Lekkerland.

Notable practitioners

Mani Reinert's expertise on merger control matters is highlighted by sources. Described as "a brilliant academic and lawyer," Reinert is also praised for his extensive knowledge and insight.

Significant clients Apax, Fiat, UBS.

Corporate/M&A - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 34 partners
- 49 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Market-leading team representing top-name multinationals in landmark M&A transactions, both public and private. Particularly busy of late with private equity. Broad industry expertise covering pharma, biotech, banking, insurance and real estate, amongst other sectors. Offices provide advice in German, French and Italian.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team's M&A transaction capabilities are cutting-edge."

"The different departments work together hand in glove."

"You get the same service you would from a major international firm. Quality, responsiveness and drive."

Work highlights Advised Xstrata on its USD90 billion merger with Glencore.

Assisted Valora with the sale of its third-party goods wholesaling business to Lekkerland. 

Notable practitioners  

Department co-head Rolf Watter is appreciated by clients for his ability to "put legal advice into a business context." He is a board member of several high-profile listed companies, and advises big-name clients such as Coca-Cola HBC and Swissgrid.

Sources agree that Ralph Malacrida, who also co-heads the department, is "a fair, clear-minded and quick lawyer with a great client base." He led the team that advised Xstrata on its USD90 billion merger with Glencore.

The "extremely smart" Dieter Dubs is widely recognised for his expertise relating to public takeover law. In a notable highlight, he was one of the lead partners advising Quadrant Management and Quadrant on Aquamit's successful public tender offer for all publicly held shares of Quadrant.

Private M&A and private equity are Christoph Neeracher's key areas of expertise. He is praised for the "solid and detailed" work he produces, and for the ease with which he "adapts to the situation and people he's interacting with on a deal." Interviewees also commend Neeracher's commercial and dedicated approach. 

Thomas Reutter "has superb technical skills," say clients. One commentator adds: "He is very business-minded and a tough negotiator. He's also patient, and doesn't crack under pressure." Reutter advised Swiss Re on its sale of Aurora Versicherungs to Compre Holdings.

Phyllis Scholl is highly regarded for her energy work. She assists clients in the energy and natural resources sector with contentious and non-contentious matters, and was one of the lead partners advising Swissgrid on its acquisition of the Swiss transmission grid.

Significant clients Credit Suisse, UBS, Novartis, Syngenta, Apax Partners. 

Dispute Resolution - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 15 partners
- 30 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Enviable reputation for both litigation and arbitration, and highlighted by sources for its strong abilities on complex cases. Sports and post-M&A disputes are two key areas, as is white-collar crime.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"I would recommend this firm for particularly difficult litigation."

Work highlights Assisted Quadrant Management and Quadrant with the legal dispute relating to Aquamit's public tender offer for all publicly held shares in Quadrant.

Notable practitioners  

Marc Blessing is "a very important personality in the market," say interviewees. Blessing's extensive experience means he is still in demand to act as chairman on arbitrations, or as mediator in international disputes.

Arbitration head Daniel Hochstrasser is "absolutely brilliant strategically," enthuse clients. "He is outstanding – he wins every case we have!" Hochstrasser is equally admired as litigation and arbitration counsel, and is also in demand as an arbitrator.

Andreas Länzlinger "has a very quick mind, and writes extremely well," say interviewees, who also affirm Länzlinger's standing as a talented litigator. He heads the internal investigations and cross-border proceedings group, and often acts on disputes in the banking sector.

Saverio Lembo has long been known for his litigation practice, and is increasingly earning positive recognition for his work as arbitration counsel. "He is a very smart lawyer, with a huge international network of contacts," sources confirm.

Michele Bernasconi was chosen as one of the 12 arbitrators that made up the CAS ad hoc division at the 2012 Olympics. He is a highly respected figure in sports arbitrations, where he is praised for his "strong understanding of the issues and extensive knowledge."

Fluent Italian speaker Cesare Jermini often assists with cases that have a connection to Italy. He heads the dispute resolution group in the firm's Lugano office. Interviewees praise his technical abilities and diplomatic approach. 

Significant clients Fiat, Sandoz, Novartis, UEFA, UBS.

Employment - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department 
- 11 partners
- 9 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Provides employment support on international transactions, including assisting with cross-border transfers of employees, and income tax issues. Also advises on disputes and immigration matters.

Work highlights Advised Coca-Cola HBC on the redomiciliation of its entire top management from Greece to Switzerland.

Assisted SK Capital Partners with the employment aspects of its acquisition of Clariant's textile chemicals, paper chemicals and emulsions business.

Notable practitioners

Marie-Christine Balzan is lauded as a "clever, conscientious" lawyer, and highlighted by market sources for her employment law knowledge. She often advises on the labour law aspects of transactions.

Significant clients Coca-Cola HBC, SK Capital Partners. 

Intellectual Property - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Handles a large amount of transactional work, providing expert assistance with the IP aspects of larger corporate/M&A deals. Increasingly busy with patent litigation and trade mark work. Advises a host of high-profile clients, many of which come from the sports and pharma industries.

Work highlights Advised Cytos Biotechnology on cross-licensing structures and patent security rights linked to its recapitalisation.

Notable practitioners

Markus Wang heads the department. Sources say they like that "he tries to find a clear solution that doesn't compromise either quality or speed."  

Significant clients Novartis, UEFA, FIAT, Saint-Gobain, Mitsubishi.

Investment Funds - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Often active on lobbying work and drafting legislative proposals. Extensive experience related to listed investment products, and has been busy of late advising previously non-regulated funds on becoming compliant under the new legislative rules.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)

“High-quality people and top-quality work.”  

Work highlights Represented the Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland and its members in relation to the revision of the collective investment scheme law.

Assisted US asset management company Brigade Capital Management with the establishment of a Swiss company.

Notable practitioners  

Stephanie Comtesse is “extremely precise and attentive to detail, and understands where we want to go from a business perspective,” says one client. Others praise her for being "very thorough and really responsive."

Significant clients IFIT Fund Services, UBS Asset Management, Lazard Asset Management, Société Générale Securities Services, Deutsche Bank.

Private Client - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 10 associates

What the team is known for A top-tier private client practice that has long been a leading presence in the market. A loyal client base includes US, UK, Swiss and EU clients. Advises on multi-jurisdictional estate planning, contentious cases and tax issues.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"The team has a good mix of seasoned and experienced lawyers alongside a younger breed of lawyers that are following in their footsteps."

Notable practitioners  

Department head Tina Wüstemann is "extremely bright, articulate and personable," according to sources. She advises private clients and charitable foundations, and is widely respected in the market.

Andreas Bär counts artists and cultural institutions amongst his client list, and also has considerable expertise relating to single and multi-family offices.

Daniel Bader focuses on assisting private clients with tax related to matters such as succession planning and private wealth structures. Clients praise his "responsive and proactive" approach.

Real Estate - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 10 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Widely regarded as a market leader in Swiss real estate. Offers long-standing experience across a variety of matters, with a strong transactional slant to the practice. Counts many institutional investors as clients. Exceptional corporate/M&A and banking and finance teams ensure in-depth expertise on the largest transactions.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"One reason why we are so pleased with Bär & Karrer is because the service is excellent! I don't just mean that they are very fast and timely, but also that the lawyers have such a depth of knowledge."

Work highlights Assisted SK Capital with the real estate aspects of its acquisition of Clariant's textile chemicals, paper chemicals and emulsions business.

Notable practitioners  

Corrado Rampini heads the real estate group. "He is one of the best real estate lawyers in Switzerland," affirm sources. One client says: "When circumstances heat up he is very good at keeping a calm exterior – this is certainly of value during negotiations."

Significant clients Swiss Prime Site, Mobimo, Orascom Development Holding, Swissgrid.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 10 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Esteemed name in restructuring mandates, and well known for acting as adviser to creditors in insolvency proceedings. Counts banks and major corporations as clients. Multidisciplinary approach, with practitioners drawn from other departments in order to provide clients with the most expert advice.

Work highlights Advised Petroplus on the sale of its Cressier refinery and related Swiss marketing and logistics assets to Varo Holding.

Notable practitioners

Thomas Rohde heads the reorganisation and insolvency department and is the main contact.

Significant clients Petroplus, Cytos Biotechnology.

Tax - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 7 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Has added to its manpower over the past few years, giving it great depth of expertise and experience. Regularly acts on international tax matters, and has considerable knowledge of international tax treaties. The financial services industry is a key sector. Works closely with the private client and corporate/M&A groups.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Excellent service. The team delivers on time and is very reliable."

Work highlights Assisted Xstrata with the tax aspects of its all-share merger of equals with Glencore.

Advised Credit Suisse on HDLT Holding's purchase of the La Tour group of hospitals.

Notable practitioners  

Department head Raoul Stocker "is hands-on and practical in his approach," say clients, who also commend his swift problem-solving skills. Stocker's abilities on transfer pricing matters are highlighted by sources.

Peter Reinarz primarily advises on tax matters related to corporate and capital markets transactions. He also advises wealthy families on tax issues. 

Daniel Lehmann is highly regarded for his knowledge of corporate tax. In a notable mandate he acted as lead tax partner to Renova Group on its CHF1 billion club equity finance transaction.

Daniel Bader's tax practice has a strong private client focus, although he also advises corporate clients. He covers a wide range of tax matters, including real estate tax, social security, the tax implications of relocations and income tax. 

Significant clients Credit Suisse, Coca-Cola HBC, SK Capital, Swiss Prime Site, Waterland Private Equity.

TMT - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Maintains a solid reputation for work on IT, media, telecommunications and sports law matters. Noted for its experience of software contracts, joint ventures and outsourcing projects in the IT and media sectors. Represents internet providers, telecoms companies, publishers and musicians, amongst others.

Work highlights Advised Facebook on establishing its corporate presence in Switzerland.

Notable practitioners  

Michele Bernasconi is highlighted by market sources for his media and telecoms practice, as well as for his sports law expertise.

Significant clients Facebook, SRF, UEFA.

White-Collar Crime - Switzerland

Basic facts about the department
- 6 partners
- 14 other qualified lawyers

What the team is known for Highlighted for its abilities on large-scale investigations. Also assists companies and individuals with criminal cases. Often acts on international cases, and has expertise relating to asset tracing, mutual legal assistance and foreign anti-corruption legislation.

Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients)
"Consistently present in high-end white-collar crime and fraud matters. A top firm here."

"A thorough team that managed the case very well." 

Notable practitioners  

The "outstanding" Andreas Länzlinger heads the internal investigations team. "He has few equals in this field – he has amazing knowledge," enthuse sources. "He is clearly one of the Swiss experts in investigations and cross-border work."

Head of white-collar crime, "fantastic litigator" Saverio Lembo "has a first-rate mind and handles really prestigious white-collar crime mandates," according to interviewees. "He brings top tactics and strategy, and is great at motivating a team," another source reports.