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Bär & Karrer AG


Bär & Karrer AG - Zürich
  • Brandschenkestrasse 90
  • Zürich
  • Zurich
  • Switzerland
  • CH-8027
  • Tel:+41 58 261 5000
  • Fax:+41 58 261 5001
  • Email:Contact Us
  • Web:Visit website
  • Chairman: Daniel Hochstrasser
  • Managing Partner: Daniel Hochstrasser, Dr Markus Wang, Paolo Bottini, Dr Corrado Rampini, Dr Thomas Reutter
  • Number of partners: 38
  • Number of lawyers: 120+
  • Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish

Firm Overview:
Bär & Karrer is a leading Swiss law firm with more than 120 lawyers in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. The firm’s core business is advising clients on innovative and complex transactions and representing them in litigation, arbitration, and regulatory proceedings. Clients range from multinational corporations to private individuals in Switzerland and around the world.

Main Areas of Practice:

Corporate and commercial disputes and all related issues, employment law litigation, disputes involving trusts and estates, bankruptcy-related proceedings, and white-collar crime.Ad hoc and institutional arbitrations governed by Swiss or foreign law. Members of the arbitration team regularly serve as party-appointed arbitrators, sole arbitrators, and chairpersons of arbitral tribunals, as well as mediators.
Contact: Matthew T Reiter (Litigation)
Email: matthew.reiter@baerkarrer.ch
Contact: DanielHochstrasser (Arbitration)
Email: daniel.hochstrasser@baerkarrer.ch

Mergers & Acquisitions:
Complex domestic and cross-border transactions, acquisitions and divestments, auctions, friendly and hostile takeovers, spin-offs, mergers, transaction finance and restructurings.
Contact: Dr Christoph Neeracher (Private M&A)
Email: christoph.neeracher@baerkarrer.ch
Contact: DrDieter Dubs (Public M&A)
Email: dieter.dubs@baerkarrer.ch

Real Estate:
Representation of institutional and private investors in large portfolio transactions and single asset deals. Acquisitions and sales of real estate companies and capital market transactions of listed companies in the real estate sector.
Contact: Dr Corrado Rampini
Email: corrado.rampini@baerkarrer.ch

Capital Markets:
Representation of issuers and underwriters in domestic and international securities offerings. IPOs, rights offerings, convertible bonds, hybrid instruments and other securities transactions.
Contact: Dr Thomas U Reutter
Email: thomas.reutter@baerkarrer.ch

Listed Companies:
Advice to listed companies and their shareholders on corporate and securities law as well as corporate governance.
Contact: Dr Dieter Dubs
Email: dieter.dubs@baerkarrer.ch

Banking, Insurance & Financing:
Advice to financial institutions on regulatory and commercial issues and compliance matters and to lenders and borrowers on debt financings. Representation of clients in enforcement proceedings of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
Contact: Eric Stupp (Banking)
Email: eric.stupp@baerkarrer.ch
Contact: Dr Peter Hsu (Insurance)
Email: peter.hsu@baerkarrer.ch
Contact: Christophe Buchwalder (Finance,Geneva)
Email: christophe.buchwalder@baerkarrer.ch
Contact: Ralph Malacrida (Finance,Zurich)
Email: ralph.malacrida@baerkarrer.ch

Collective Investment Schemes & Structured Products:
All matters related to investment products, structuring and implementation. Licensing and registration procedures before the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
Contact: Stephanie Comtesse
Email: stephanie.comtesse@baerkarrer.ch

Reorganisation & Insolvency:
Domestic and cross-border restructurings and insolvency matters. The firm represents banks, financial investors and other creditors as well as corporate debtors and their directors on complex financial reorganisations and insolvency proceedings.
Contact: Thomas Rohde
Email: thomas.rohde@baerkarrer.ch

Internal Investigations & Cross-border Proceedings:
Internal investigations for corporations in Switzerland and around the world. International legal assistance proceedings (civil and criminal matters) and international administrative assistance proceedings.
Contact: Dr Andreas Länzlinger
Email: andreas.laenzlinger@baerkarrer.ch

Intellectual Property & Technology:
Contentious and non-contentious issues related to patents, trademarks, designs, copyright, licensing, and other intellectual property. Software contracts, outsourcing projects, M&A transactions and joint ventures in the IT industry. Representation of telecommunication companies, cable network providers as well as internet providers.
Contact: Dr Markus Wang
Email: markus.wang@baerkarrer.ch

Competition Law:
Assistance with investigations by the Swiss Competition Commission. National merger control filings and coordination of multijurisdictional merger control filings. Advice on distribution practices, cooperation agreements, intellectual property licensing,pricing and marketing policies, and on antitrust compliance programs.
Contact: Dr Mani Reinert
Email: mani.reinert@baerkarrer.ch

Energy & Natural Resources:
Legal issues relating to energy, including licensing, transmission and distribution, oil and gas projects, as well as joint ventures. M&A transactions, energy trading, litigation, and regulatory and administrative proceedings.
Contact: Michele Bernasconi
Email: michele.bernasconi@baerkarrer.ch
Contact: Phyllis Scholl
Email: phyllis.scholl@baerkarrer.ch

Media, Entertainment & Sports:
Advice to broadcasters operators of satellite and cable television services, to producers, publishers, composers, authors and artists.Legal services to clients in the sports industry, such as to athletes, clubs, national and international federations and event organisers.
Contact: Michele Bernasconi
Email: michele.bernasconi@baerkarrer.ch

All matters related to direct and indirect taxes, customs duties, and other levies to corporations and individuals, financial institutions, institutional and private investors, partnerships, trusts, estates, and foundations. Comprehensive tax planning solutions.
Contact: Dr Raoul Stocker
Email: raoul.stocker@baerkarrer.ch

Private Clients:
Advice to private clients and their families on all matters relating to matrimonial property and succession law. Assistance with regard to taking up residence and domicile in Switzerland, representation of clients in all types of litigation involving trusts, gifts, wills, estates and matrimonial property before Swiss courts and in multijurisdictional disputes.
Contact: Tina Wüstemann
Email: tina.wuestemann@baerkarrer.ch

Notarial Services:
Notarial services to corporate and private clients.
Contact: Thomas Stoltz
Email: thomas.stoltz@baerkarrer.ch


  • 12, quai de la Poste,
  • Geneva,
  • Switzerland
  • CH-1211
  • Tel +41 58 261 57 00
  • Fax +41 58 261 57 01
  • Email : geneve@baerkarrer.ch
  • Via Vegezzi, 6,
  • Lugano,
  • Ticino
  • Switzerland
  • CH-6901
  • Tel +41 58 261 58 00
  • Fax +41 58 261 58 01
  • Email : lugano@baerkarrer.ch
  • Baarerstrasse 8,
  • Zug,
  • Switzerland
  • CH-6301
  • Tel +41 58 261 5900
  • Fax +41 58 261 5901
  • Email : zug@baerkarrer.ch

General Business Law - Geneva

THE FIRM This leading firm's compact Geneva office fields arbitration, litigation, corporate, finance, employment and sports law experts. The firm is highly regarded for its corporate/M&A and banking and finance practices across Switzerland, with the group in Geneva leading on key deals or acting as part of a wider team. Dispute resolution and white-collar crime also keep this office busy.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Christophe Buchwalder and Cédric Chapuis are key contacts for the banking and finance practice. Saverio Lembo leads the litigation and arbitration group in Geneva, and often assists with white-collar crime matters.

Banking & Finance - Switzerland

THE FIRM Bär & Karrer has one of the most prominent and highly respected banking and finance departments in Switzerland. The team expertly handles a range of financings and refinancings, as well as M&A within the banking industry, and litigation. The full service is rounded off by a notably strong regulatory practice. Clients include Swiss banks such as UBS and Credit Suisse, and the team also acts for international banks and corporations. The team is praised for its strength in depth and its commercially oriented approach.

Sources say: "A well-trained, hard-working, and disciplined team." "A firm that I can recommend to business partners anytime."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Andreas Länzlinger heads the firm's internal investigations and cross-border proceedings practice. He is described as "one of the foremost banking litigators in Switzerland" and over the past few years has been busy representing clients in front of the US authorities.

Known as "one of Bär & Karrer's heavyweights," Ralph Malacrida is highly respected for his finance practice. "He excels at being solution-oriented," says a client. He advised Xstrata on the Swiss aspects of its refinancing, which involved a multicurrency revolving loan facility agreement with a total loan facility of up to USD7 billion.

Rolf Watter led the team advising Bank CA St Gallen and swissregiobank on their merger, after which they became acrevis Bank. He is known primarily for his corporate and M&A work, but is also a respected name in this sphere.

Banks and other financial institutions often look to Urs Brügger for regulatory advice. "He is very practical and thinks ahead strategically," reports a satisfied source. He also receives praise for his incisive understanding of the internal workings of banks, thanks to his lengthy career in this field.

Department head Eric Stupp's communication skills and excellent connections are named as two of the key draws for clients who come to him for advice on all aspects of banking and finance. He advised Bank Leumi on its acquisition of Banque Safdié.

Geneva-based Christophe Buchwalder led on advising the obligors regarding Styrolution's issuance of EUR480 million senior secured notes. His attention to detail and ability to assemble the correct team for a transaction are appreciated by sources: "He makes sure we get the right advice at the right level." Another interviewee calls his advice "timely and commercial."

Till Spillmann enters the rankings as an up-and-coming lawyer. Praised as "quick, commercial, and responsive," peers agree that he has the potential to go far. Spillmann was recently involved in advising Xstrata on refinancing issues.

Cédric Chapuis is based in the firm's Geneva office. He often provides banks with regulatory advice and sits on the board of several Swiss banks.

Capital Markets - Switzerland

THE FIRM Bär & Karrer offers a full-service capital markets team and is regularly involved in the country's most prominent cases. Most notably, it was instructed by DKSH for its successful IPO, valued at CHF3 billion. In another highlight, the group assisted Swiss real estate company Mobimo, Bank Vontobel, and Zürcher Kantonalbank - the latter two as joint lead managers - with a CHF200 million capital increase via a rights offering to Mobimo's shareholders. Clients particularly praise the group's strength in negotiations.

Sources say: "The lawyers inspire confidence and really fight for you in negotiations." "Extremely reliable and efficient, a very smooth service."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Thomas Reutter enjoys an excellent market reputation and wins plaudits for his proactive approach and business acumen: "He is extremely motivated and really knows how transactions work." He recently assisted Credit Suisse and the lead underwriters with the Swiss legal aspects of a CHF1.1 billion placement of shares by Transocean.

Rolf Watter remains a distinguished figure in the market. He assisted Aryzta with the placement of 4.25 million new shares through an accelerated book-build initiated and arranged by UBS, in a transaction worth approximately CHF174 million.

A new entry to the rankings, Ralph Malacrida led the team's work on the DKSH IPO, the success of which was widely regarded as a highly positive sign for the European IPO market. Sources commend his "calm and structured" approach, saying "he is very experienced, sharp, and intelligent."

Till Spillmann enters the rankings on the back of glowing client feedback. As one source enthuses: "He is immensely practical and very solution-oriented. He works tirelessly and is well aware of all potential pitfalls." Another interviewee commends his excellent client service, saying: "He has a good rapport with clients." He was recently involved in the DKSH IPO.

Competition/Antitrust - Switzerland

THE FIRM Bär & Karrer's strength in corporate work means that it regularly advises clients on multi-jurisdictional mergers. It also has a respected standalone practice, with various clients looking to it for assistance with investigations either initiated by the Competition Commission, or occurring EU-wide. Along with other departments in the firm the group advised UEFA on FC Sion's potential reintegration into the UEFA Europa League 2011/2012. Other clients include Fiat and SIX Group.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Mani Reinert is "one of the stars" of competition law according to sources. He is as well known for his "outstanding legal writing" on competition topics as he is for his work on investigations and merger filings.

Marc Amstutz is of counsel at the firm as well as acting as a professor at the University of Fribourg. He is an invaluable member of the team due to his academic learning and depth of knowledge.

Corporate/M&A - Switzerland

THE FIRM Bär & Karrer cements its position as a leading firm thanks to its involvement in some of the country's most prominent and high-value transactions. Much of its work is in public M&A, but it also remains active in private M&A and private equity. The team advised Pentair on its USD10 billion merger with Tyco International and assisted Landis+Gyr with its USD2.3 billion sale to Toshiba. Besides offering support on transactions, it advises on regulatory developments, and clients also benefit from its in-house public notary services. Its impressive client list includes UBS, Syngenta and Toyota.

Sources say: "Spending money on this firm is always a good investment." "The team is experienced and straightforward - my number-one choice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Rolf Watter advised Apax Partners on its CHF2 billion acquisition of Orange Communications and is "certainly one of the top lawyers in Switzerland." One interviewee says: "His focus on service and readiness to work for the client are just outstanding."

Dieter Dubs is "absolutely superb" on public takeovers. He was part of a team that advised Toyota Industries on its tender offer for Uster Technologies. Sources describe him as "extremely smart, experienced and down-to-earth."

Ralph Malacrida combines his busy corporate practice with finance and capital markets work. He recently advised Xstrata on its proposed merger with Glencore.

"Energetic and deal-driven," Christoph Neeracher focuses on private M&A and private equity transactions. He advised Acino Pharma on the EUR94 million acquisition of Mepha's production and R&D facilities, and of businesses in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

"Talented young lawyer" Phyllis Scholl is the key practitioner at Bär & Karrer for energy law. She was part of the team that assisted Swissgrid with its acquisition of Switzerland's entire high voltage electric grid.

Dispute Resolution - Switzerland

THE FIRM This distinguished firm maintains an outstanding reputation in dispute resolution. Sports arbitrations and post-M&A litigation are key areas of expertise, and the team also has much experience in the pharmaceutical, financial, energy, telecoms and IT sectors. The comprehensive practice further includes mediation services. A recent highlight for the group was successfully representing Sonera against Çukurova in a dispute over a purchase agreement. An ICC tribunal awarded Sonera USD932 million plus interest, and the Swiss Federal Supreme Court dismissed Çukurova's application for a judicial review. Other clients include UEFA, Novartis and Areva.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of arbitration Daniel Hochstrasser has an impressive reputation both in arbitration and litigation. Clients say: "He is a brilliant litigator who knows how to play it in court." He successfully defended Sandoz in an ICC arbitration against a USD125 million claim brought by Monsanto, which was rejected by the tribunal.

Andreas Länzlinger is renowned for his work as a litigator. "He's able to put himself in our position and anticipate what's going to happen," says a client. He leads the firm's internal investigations and cross-border proceedings practice.

Saverio Lembo heads the dispute resolution team in Geneva and offers "great strategic vision," say clients. He is best known for his work as a litigator, but is increasingly active in arbitrations. "We feel totally at ease with him," says an interviewee, a comment echoed in further feedback for his open and considerate approach.

Michele Bernasconi has a niche in sports arbitration and is well respected for his work in this sphere. He was one of the 12 arbitrators that sat on the CAS ad hoc Division, a special tribunal for the Olympics. 

Senior statesman Marc Blessing is one of the foremost arbitrators in Switzerland. "Charismatic and with a fierce intellect," he continues to advise on complex international cases.

Cesare Jermini is the head of dispute resolution in the Lugano office. He is highly regarded for his work as counsel in arbitrations and handles many cases with Italian aspects.

Dispute Resolution - Switzerland

THE FIRM This group is well versed in advising supervisory bodies and corporate boards on investigations. The team assists clients with cases relating to money laundering, international judicial assistance, fraud and asset tracing. In a recent highlight, it assisted Basler Kantonalbank with an internal investigation. With practitioners in the French and German speaking areas of Switzerland, the team is able to offer a cross-cantonal approach to clients.

Sources say: “It is a well-structured firm that does everything possible to answer our enquiries.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "sophisticated, exact and creative" Andreas Länzlinger receives accolades from sources for his white-collar crime and investigatory practice. “He has extensive experience in cross-border matters,” confirms an interviewee.

Geneva dispute resolution head Saverio Lembo is frequently involved in white-collar crime proceedings and is recognised by commentators as an expert in the area.

Employment - Switzerland

THE FIRM Bär & Karrer's employment, migration and social security department operates out of its Zug, Zürich and Geneva offices. Immigration law is a key area for the team which also has an active contentious practice. The group works closely with the corporate department assisting with the labour aspects of M&A transactions. It advises athletes, clubs and sports federations on a range of employment matters.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Certified employment law specialist Marie-Christine Balzan is based in the firm's Geneva office. She often advises clients from the financial and industrial sectors, and handles many contentious mandates. "She's really precise, and is always ready and available," says a source.

Intellectual Property - Switzerland

THE FIRM This large domestic firm fields a compact but respected IP team. It regularly supports the corporate department with the licensing and IP rights aspects of transactions as well as handling licensing arbitrations. A flourishing standalone practice covering a broad range of IP issues comprises the rest of the team's activity. Long-standing client Novartis has begun to mandate the team on patent litigations. UEFA and Honda are also amongst a strong client roster.

Sources say: "The lawyers are unpretentious and efficient – we've had a very positive experience. I would highly recommend them to any other internationally oriented company."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Markus Wang is the driving force behind the practice and is widely considered to be one of the market's leading lights. He provides "lean, pragmatic, thought-through solutions," according to satisfied clients, who also praise the speed and reliability that are the cornerstones of his service. He regularly represents clients from the pharmaceutical, IT, and biotech industries.

Investment Funds - Switzerland

THE FIRM Bär & Karrer's leading position in financial services is undisputed, and its collective investment schemes and structured products team has developed a strong market position for itself. The group is often involved in lobbying in parliament on behalf of foreign funds and the drafting of legislative proposals, and it regularly leads workshops and seminars. Its clients include both domestic and international funds and financial institutions such as Deutsche Bank and Leumi Private Bank.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Stephanie Comtesse "has profound knowledge" of foreign and Swiss funds. "She's precise and gives the right amount of weight to each important point," says a client. Of late she has been advising the Association of Foreign Banks in Switzerland on revisions to the Swiss collective investment schemes act, including drafting and presenting legislative proposals on its behalf.

Private Client - Switzerland

THE FIRM This firm's long-established private client practice advises a wide range of individuals and entrepreneurs on the full spectrum of wealth management matters. Litigation and international estate planning and executorship have been key areas for the team over the past year. Close co-operation with the tax department means it is also notably strong assisting with the tax aspects of private client work. The group assists many high net worth families and is increasingly asked to advise upon multinational charities. The firm's subsidiaries – BK-Services, and BK Investment + Wealth Advisors – further add to its comprehensive private client services. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS The "outstanding" Andreas Bär shows great strength in cross-border wealth structuring. He assists many clients with setting up family offices. "His experience means he can stand back and provide the bigger view," says a source. He also advises artists and cultural institutions.

Tina Wüstemann heads the department. She assists with complex estate planning and also advises charitable organisations. Her strong US connections are commended by market sources.

Daniel Bader "understands our needs and is sensitive to our thoughts and suggestions. He gives well-balanced advice," says a client. He focuses on the tax side of private client work and is praised for being "very prompt and customer-oriented."

Real Estate - Switzerland

THE FIRM Interviewees agree that this firm is a major force on the real estate market, highlighting the team's experience and responsiveness as particular strengths. The practice is focused on transactional matters, covering all aspects of real estate deals. It is regularly instructed on portfolio sales and share deals, representing both institutional and private investors. Its impressive client base includes Peach Property Group, AXA and Swiss Re.

Sources say: "The team is extremely responsive and delivers under pressure. It does a tremendous job."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Corrado Rampini is widely regarded as one of the leading figures on the real estate market. "He has a deep knowledge of this sector. He is focused on our principal needs and is extremely supportive and helpful," says a client. He is also commended for his negotiation skills.

Eric Stupp heads the financial services team at this firm. He has a broad practice and has notable expertise on the banking and corporate aspects of real estate transactions.

Restructuring/Insolvency - Switzerland

THE FIRM This firm's strength in M&A makes it particularly well placed to advise its corporate clients on out-of-court restructurings. A similarly robust banking offering means it has much experience of restructurings in that sector. The team acts mainly for creditors. It covers the full spectrum of matters related to restructurings and insolvency, including advising on bankruptcy and composition proceedings and debt and equity restructuring.

KEY INDIVIDUALS Eric Stupp advises clients from the financial services sector on banking and finance, capital markets and real estate as well as restructuring and insolvency. 

Tax - Switzerland

THE FIRM This growing tax team is increasingly seen as one of the strongest groups in Switzerland. A blue-chip client roster includes Swiss Re and Toyota Industries and close co-operation with the private client department means the team is well versed assisting with individual tax advice. It has extensive experience providing counsel on double taxation issues and executive compensation. The team's credibility in the market has recently been bolstered by the presence of a leading lawyer and economist who was closely involved in negotiating Swiss tax law on an international level.

Sources say: "The team has an excellent reputation with the tax authorities."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients praise Daniel Bader's experience in cross-border tax issues and his innovative advice. "He thought of creative ways to deal with complex situations," says a sourceHe mainly advises private clients, executives and entrepreneurs, and is described as "perceptive, prompt, and thorough in his responses."

Peter Reinarz's tax practice focuses on cross-border structuring of corporate transactions and corporate tax planning. He also advises on the taxation of financial institutions and their products.

Daniel Lehmann is commended for his "great knowledge of tax in the M&A, real estate and finance fields." Sources also note his pragmatism and technical skill.

Raoul Stocker leads the team and is "straightforward and to the point." A former head of transfer pricing at the Swiss Federal Tax Administration, he has excellent ties with the tax authorities, say clients.

TMT - Switzerland

THE FIRM This domestic firm is a solid choice for telecommunications, sports and media mandates. On the telecoms side, transactional matters are a key source of work. The team recently represented Apax Partners in its CHF2 billion acquisition of Orange Communications. It has a number of high-profile sports clients including UEFA, which it is currently representing in an arbitration against FC Scion in a matter before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

KEY INDIVIDUALS Michele Bernasconi has an impressively broad practice in the area. He is active on the department's most prominent mandates, leading the team's advice to Apax Partners.