Switzerland - Private Wealth Law Lawyers & Law Firms - HNW - Chambers and Partners
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HNW Guide

Private Wealth Law — Switzerland

Band 1

From the HNW guide

Bär & Karrer has a stellar private wealth offering with a deep bench of excellent practitioners based in Zürich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. The firm has huge experience in wealth planning, trusts and estate litigation and tax issues. Interviewees describe Bär & Karrer as "a leading Swiss law firm," "among the best law firms in Zürich" and "a tour de force."

The firm is particularly well regarded for work concerning the establishment and operation of philanthropic foundations and family offices. Clients and fellow lawyers are also impressed by the firm's international offering, noting that "the firm is highly focused on cross-border transactions" and has "a good international reputation." The firm is highly regarded among international law firms and often works with these firms on cross-border tax and estate planning. The private client department also works closely with Bär & Karrer's tax and corporate teams to offer Swiss and international clients a full service.

Notable practitioners

One source says Tina Wüstemann is "well connected and an acknowledged expert for trust and estate planning, with elaborate know-how on difficult and complex cases including litigation." This interviewee continues: "She can be extremely tough and is a strategic thinker for sophisticated planning and safeguarding of interests." Wüstemann heads Bär & Karrer's private client department and represents clients in estate planning, relocations and family business matters. She is also highly regarded for private client litigation and for her work with charitable foundations. One private wealth expert describes Wüstemann as "a lovely lady and a pleasure to work with." Another source says she is "excellent," adding that she is "extremely bright and personable, with a good team around her to get things going; a class act."

Daniel Bader is described as "an excellent tax adviser." He handles Swiss and international tax planning matters, with key expertise in income and estate taxes and the taxation of real estate. He also advises clients on succession planning, cross-border private wealth structures and relocations to and from Switzerland.

Private wealth specialists say that Andreas Bär is "very knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of regulation relating to wealth management." Bär represents private individuals and family offices in wealth planning and regulatory matters. He counts non-profits including opera houses and other cultural organisations among his clients, and he also sits on the boards of a number of family offices.

Daniel Leu is rapidly gaining a strong reputation for private wealth work among Swiss lawyers. He principally acts on wealth structuring, inheritance law and trusts and foundations matters, and he has also developed a niche specialism in advising private clients buying and selling property and fine art. "He is really good," enthuses one Swiss private client lawyer. "He's a young partner, but he speaks at conferences and is well known in the sector." Another source describes Leu as "quiet and powerful," noting that "he is one of the rare breed of lawyers that speaks little but a lot of sense."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

From the HNW guide

Schellenberg Wittmer, based in Zürich and Geneva, has an outstanding reputation in the field of inheritance and estate disputes and is a leading firm for complex multi-jurisdictional estate planning. Clients appreciate the firm's pragmatism, saying that "they are very practical, think outside the box, find pragmatic solutions and think of alternatives." Another source agrees: "They are very practical, they combine Swiss thoroughness and responsiveness with practicality and an ability to understand your position."

The team is highly esteemed for assisting family businesses with business structuring, governance and succession planning. Schellenberg has a particular focus on private banking matters and often advises on the sale and purchase of luxury assets and fine art. One client also highlights the team's client relationship skills, saying: "They will put my interests first and give straightforward answers. I am very happy to stay with them and feel comfortable."

Notable practitioners

Litigation partner Manuel Liatowitsch "is a very fine private client lawyer" with an excellent reputation in contentious estates matters. He is also noted for his wealth planning and business succession advisory practice. Sources praise Liatowitsch's expertise in disputes matters, and he is widely agreed to have a very strong practice in private client litigation work.

Bernard Vischer is praised by clients as "poised, knowledgeable and a hard worker." He leads the private client team in the Geneva office. He is well regarded for advice on private banking, trusts and estate planning. Vischer also has considerable experience in succession matters, as well as advising on transactions. He has several clients from the shipping and aviation industries.

Clients enthuse that David Wallace Wilson is "outstanding in terms of his understanding of the client's needs; at every stage I felt he had my best interests at heart." Wilson advises on wealth structuring and estate planning for families, including international trusts and taxation matters. He is a market leader in the field of guardianship and inheritance disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the HNW guide

Global firm Baker McKenzie has Swiss offices in Geneva and Zürich and possesses deep international expertise in private wealth matters. The Switzerland wealth management team assists clients with global wealth planning, including advising on voluntary disclosures, estates and succession planning. Several clients highlight the firm's "very effective network" which enables the firm to deal "extremely effectively with all kinds of cross-border aspects."

The team is particularly noted for its strength in US and UK law advice, drawing upon the firm's extensive global network. The lawyers represent clients in tax litigation and provide advice on governance issues for family offices. Clients also mention the firm's "responsiveness, competence and knowledge sharing."

Notable practitioners

Geneva-based joint department head Stephanie Jarrett advises families and family offices on succession planning and governance issues. She has a strong focus on advising Swiss clients on UK and international tax planning, and also acts for trustees on litigation. She is admitted to practice in England and Wales.

One source says Marnin Michaels is "super-smart; always on top of things, he's always a couple of steps ahead. Also, for regulation I see him as visionary attorney, very forward-thinking." He has a strong focus on US withholding tax issues, and often acts for clients with a connection to the USA on wealth management issues. Michaels also assists private clients with international estate planning and the taxation of trusts. He is further noted for his anti-money laundering expertise and his work with Swiss financial institutions in response to the US Department of Justice's Swiss Bank Program. He co-heads the firm's practice in this area and is based in the Zürich office.

As well as handling commercial litigation and arbitration matters, Richard Gassmann has a strong focus on representing wealthy individuals and private banks in domestic and international disputes. He also advises on compliance matters relating to trusts and estates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the HNW guide

Charles Russell Speechlys has offices in Geneva and Zürich. The firm offers UK and international wealth and tax planning advice to wealthy individuals and families, and it also has strong relationships with a number of leading Swiss banks and intermediaries. Interviewees describe CRS as "a respected long-standing firm with long-term partners and staff who work well as a team."

The team's areas of particular expertise include international wealth structuring and cross-border trusts and foundations matters. It also represents clients in private wealth disputes and cross-border divorces, and it advises on family governance, succession planning and international tax regularisation matters. Clients say the lawyers are "very approachable and helpful, and communicate technical issues in a simple manner." The firm can now offer a Swiss law capability alongside its English law service, having brought three Swiss-qualified partners into the Geneva office in 2016.

Notable practitioners

Swiss sources say department head Mark Summers is "authoritative, responsive, very personable and good with clients." Summers has a strong focus on cross-border taxation and international estate planning. He often advises clients on tax structuring and tax regularisation matters. He frequently represents clients with connections to the USA. One Swiss lawyer says: "He is a rare combination of being an excellent technical tax lawyer without making things nerdishly complicated, so you can get really thorough advice from him and still be able to understand it."

Michael Wells-Greco assists clients with international succession planning and wealth structuring. He has niche expertise in cross-border family law matters, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, cohabitation issues, surrogacy, civil partnerships and international private law cases involving children. He also handles matters involving bilateral tax treaties and cross-border asset protection. Clients say Wells-Greco is "knowledgeable, approachable, has a commercial side and is au fait with UK tax."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the HNW guide

Froriep has a well-regarded private client team that represents clients in estate and tax planning matters. The team assists its many international clients with cross-border asset structuring and tax compliance, relocation to Switzerland, succession planning and philanthropy. Clients say: "They are able to anticipate and identify cross-border issues, and offer commercial, multi-jurisdictional advice." The Froriep team also acts on contentious matters such as succession disputes and trust litigation.

The firm regularly advises large private and charitable foundations on structuring, governance, taxation and disputes. Another client reports that the team "takes time to understand issues and the needs of the client and provides proactive, practical and commercial advice."

Notable practitioners

Oliver Arter advises private clients, foundations and banks on domestic and international wealth planning and asset structuring, regulatory issues, trusts, foundations and estate planning matters. Arter is best known among market sources for his academic work as a speaker at trusts law conferences and as a consultant to the University of St Gallen's Institute for Legal Theory and Legal Practice. Interviewees consider him "a strong communicator" and a "very good name" for Swiss trusts law, who is "very active" in this field. Another Swiss source explains that Arter is "passionate about trusts law and is spearheading acceptance of it in Switzerland: he organises conferences on Anglo-Saxon trusts; he's a good academic and devoted to trusts law."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

From the HNW guide

Lenz has a strong team, with offices in Geneva, Zürich and Lausanne and an impressive international scope. The team has experts in Swiss, UK, US, Canadian, Russian and Dutch law. "They have specialists for every matter," an interviewee explains, adding that the Lenz lawyers are "very precise and efficient, and I can rely on them for excellent information and paperwork. I've always had a good relationship with them."

Lenz has an active practice assisting clients involved in voluntary disclosure programmes and frequently advises clients on domestic and international estate planning and inheritance law. A source says: "We go to them for multinational cross-border private client work. They are active in the US Department of Justice programme; they have very deep knowledge and technical expertise and a good client base of very prominent private banks. They're very good at what they do - they're responsive and very involved with international tax matters. I have no hesitation in introducing clients to them."

Notable practitioners

Mark Barmes is a leading figure for advising English clients on wealth planning and relocating to Switzerland. He is qualified to practise in Australia and in England and Wales, and he has been based in Switzerland for many years. Sources say he "can see things both from a civil law and a common law perspective." He also represents private clients and trustees in litigation.

Sources describe Lucien Masmejan as an "excellent lawyer" who is "very co-operative" on client work. Masmejan advises family offices and private individuals on estate and tax planning structures. Masmejan co-heads the private client practice at Lenz & Staehelin.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

From the HNW guide

Borel & Barbey is a well-regarded Geneva firm which regularly acts for wealthy domestic and international clients, charitable foundations and private banking institutions. "B&B is well known," explains one Swiss lawyer; "they serve a lot of banks, and noble Geneva families will go to them as well." Borel & Barbey advises clients on tax matters and estate planning, and also assists with relocation to Switzerland, including buying property.

"Borel & Barbey is very effective, conscientious and professional," says a source. "They deal with all the issues effectively and efficiently with a very friendly team-spirited approach. It has breadth of experience within its team which is strong on quality. The firm generally is a blend of old-school client care and a client-first mentality with modernised views on the practice of law, which serves their clients well. The lawyers are particularly adept at adjusting to new regulations and changes to tax laws and addressing the practical needs of their clients. It is an excellent firm particularly as regards private client advice with expertise both for pure offshore structures as well as onshore jurisdictions in Europe."

Notable practitioners

Sources regard Louis Boissier as a "very intellectual and thoughtful adviser who cuts through the issues quickly and is a very friendly and charming team member." Boissier often acts on inheritance law and estate planning, as well as advising on the governance of family offices.

Joint head of department Olivier Dunant has "an exceptionally good sense of judgement and is extremely charming and engenders high confidence." He has considerable experience of advising both international and domestic clients on private client law mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

From the HNW guide

The private clients team at CMS assists clients with wealth structuring, matrimonial property, succession planning, inheritance law and trust and estate disputes. The team's client roster includes domestic and international ultra high net worth individuals. Sources say the CMS lawyers are "very good in relationships with clients, keep clients at their ease and offer good and pragmatic solutions."

The firm has offices in Zürich and Geneva and the private clients team works closely with the corporate, tax and litigation departments. The firm benefits from a strong international network to advise on international estate planning. Interviewees highlight that "CMS has an extensive network of experts through its offices in foreign countries and through external expert lawyers, which it uses effectively."

Notable practitioners

Department head Tobias Somary acts for clients on estate and succession planning, as well as relocations and private banking matters. He also advises on charity law and foundations, estate litigation and prenuptial agreements. Clients say he is "broad-minded, proactive, thorough, looks for solutions and tries to resolve matters speedily." Somary also wins praise for his international work; another source says Somary is "very bright" and "has a very good understanding of cross-border issues." Interviewees also highlight his expertise on the EU Succession Regulation.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

FBT Attorneys at Law

From the HNW guide

FBT is based in Geneva and is recognised for its prowess in Franco-Swiss matters. The team represents individuals, family offices and private banks in a number of areas including trusts, tax and dispute resolution. Sources praise their "all-round competence in cross-border wealth structuring."

The firm also advises foreign and Swiss clients on matters relating to charitable foundations. The lawyers frequently act on estate planning, inheritance and relocation issues. Clients stress that "they understand clients, which is important as it is an emotional process which they did very well." The team advises on real estate acquisition and asset holdings.

Notable practitioners

Jean-Louis Tsimaratos advises clients on asset management and trust matters. He also assists clients with banking and financial regulation issues.

Sources say that Jean-Luc Bochatay is "always responsive and seeks solutions that are cost-effective and attractive for clients." He has a particular strength advising clients on tax law, especially in the areas of tax disclosures, international structuring and trusts. He often assists wealthy clients with cross-border matters, frequently involving France.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd. (MLL)

From the HNW guide

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal has offices in Zürich, Geneva, Zug and Lausanne. The private client team assists domestic and international individuals and family offices on a range of matters, including international estate and succession planning, personal and corporate taxation and philanthropy structuring. The team also offers advice on relocation and represents clients in inheritance disputes, in addition to acting on complex tax matters, the acquisition of real estate and asset management matters.

The team wins particular praise for its client handling skills. One interviewee explains: "They just create a comfortable impression and environment. You get the sense of real open, collaborative and creative thinking, and that you are getting a bespoke solution if that is what is called for by the situation." Another Swiss source says: "I like to work with them; they are competent, efficient and we have a constructive relationship." Commentators also report that "their billing is market-sensitive and in line with the value they deliver."

Notable practitioners

Joint department head Patricia Guerra is well regarded for her work on charitable foundations and often advises on cross-border private client matters, including estate planning, inheritance and litigations. She is highlighted by commentators for her work with Latin American clients. She is "practical, solution-oriented, responsive and very hard-working - a delight to work with."

Practice co-head Serge Calame frequently assists international clients with estate planning, tax and relocation matters. He also advises on asset management issues and real estate acquisitions. Calame is "a highly insightful and reliable lawyer who adds value in every piece of advice provided."

Bernard Lachenal represents private individuals in litigations and also advises on private banking matters. He assists with the governance of charitable foundations. Market commentators describe him as "a trusted adviser, a reliable trusted lawyer."

According to clients Nicolas Didisheim "is responsive, and offers high-quality advice and practical help." He has a strong focus on inheritance and tax matters, and also advises private clients on real estate investments.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd

From the HNW guide

Staiger is an esteemed Zürich group advising clients on international succession planning and inheritance law. The firm's ability to handle cross-border work is highlighted by several commentators. A client praises "their knowledge, experience and capacity to find solutions for cross-border tax matters," and another adds that "they did the cross-border work very well as they have an excellent network."

The firm acts for individuals on matrimonial, property and family law. Interviewees underlined "the fact that they go straight to the point and always try to find the best solution for the client; they are imaginative, efficient and constructive." The team assists with trusts, foundations and tax queries and is strong on pension matters and transfer of assets. The lawyers represent clients in relocations, will enforcements and private client litigation. Several clients commented positively on the firm's value for money, with one saying: "They went beyond the scope but kept within the fee remit," while another said: "Outstanding service is provided by being cost-efficient."

Notable practitioners

Sources say that Michael Hamm "talks to be understood and is able to adjust the language without losing anything from the message." He acts on domestic and international inheritance matters. He often advises HNWIs on the creation of trusts and foundations, as well as real estate mandates.

Since publication, Natalie Peter has joined Blum & Grob Rechtsanwälte and Gian Andri Töndury has joined Umbricht.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

From the HNW guide

Walder Wyss has offices across Switzerland in Zürich, Geneva, Basel, Bern, Lausanne and Lugano. The team has grown recently through a number of high-profile lateral hires, including Philippe Pulfer and Olivier Sigg. The team has a strong reputation in succession and estate planning as well as matrimonial and inheritance matters, acting for trusts and charities, high net worth individuals and private banks. The team often represents clients in litigation and succession disputes, and the lawyers also have expertise in asset management, real estate and work permits matters.

Clients consider Walder Wyss "a very reliable firm," explaining that "our contacts are friendly and knowledgeable, they meet the deadlines and are everything you need in an adviser." One source places particular emphasis on "the firm's capability to adapt, their energy and the fact they try to find solutions."

Notable practitioners

Sources enthuse that department co-head Philippe Pulfer is an "excellent lawyer who is very good with clients and knows the technical part well." He is a long-standing market leader in international wealth structuring and estate planning. He represents clients in succession and trust disputes, and often acts for charities. Pulfer also has considerable experience of private banking disputes.

Interviewees highlight joint practice head Kinga Weiss for her "great combination of technical expertise, competence with cross-border matters and her great soft skills." She acts for clients on cross-border inheritance law, estate planning and succession law. She assists clients with relocation, asset structuring, tax and trust matters, and represents private clients, banks and family offices.

The "future star" of the practice, Olivier Sigg "is very personable, has a nice manner and is technically excellent." Sigg has a strong focus on estate planning, particularly in regards to trusts and foundations. He acts on relocation and asset protection, and has several clients from the charity sector. He often represents clients in litigation and disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

From the HNW guide

International private wealth firm Withers has offices in Zürich and Geneva and focuses on providing UK, US and Russian advice on international trusts, tax planning and litigation to Swiss clients. Sources highlight the firm's "very good advice, efficiency and pleasant manner."

The team is able to provide clients with multi-jurisdictional advice and advice on US tax compliance by virtue of the firm's excellent international network. Clients praise the firm's "very impressive network," highlighting the "good link-up between offices" and the fact that the firm "gives a wider scope of services all over the world, which is a great help." The team also advises clients on family law, immigration and contentious trust issues.

Notable practitioners

Clients enthuse that Justine Markovitz has "great expertise and a great deal of experience. For more complex work and international advice we would go to her." She advises clients on UK tax and trust matters, as well as estate planning. She assists families with succession and governance queries, and also advises clients on UK immigration. She is the head of the firm's private client practice.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

From the HNW guide

Based in Basel, the burckhardt firm offers advice on structuring assets within Switzerland and internationally, as well as estate planning and distribution. This boutique private wealth, corporate and litigation practice regularly handles cross-border matters and works with many law firms in international jurisdictions.

The burckhardt team acts for individuals and families on Swiss tax, inheritance and matrimonial law. The firm also assists clients with obtaining residence and work permits in Switzerland, establishing charitable foundations and real estate issues.

Notable practitioners

According to sources, department head Jacqueline Burckhardt Bertossa is "very good and highly reputed." She has a strong practice in the field of succession planning, acting both for domestic and international clients. She has several clients from the philanthropic sector, and often advises on charity law.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

From the HNW guide

Homburger is a well-respected Zürich firm acting for clients on asset management, matrimonial law and estate planning. Clients highlight the firm's "reliability and consistently high quality," adding that "they deliver 365 days a year, and are reliable and responsive." The team advises on tax, financial regulations and trusts and foundations matters. Clients also praise the firm's responsiveness, saying: "They answer immediately and everything goes very smoothly."

The firm also assists international clients looking to relocate to Switzerland, and represents private clients in disputes.

Notable practitioners

Practice head Harold Grüninger is described as "probably one of the most prestigious lawyers for foundations law and trusts." He has a broad practice advising on estate planning, inheritance law, tax law and foundations. He also acts for private clients on matrimonial and corporate law matters.

According to sources Gabrielle Nater-Bass is the "perfect lawyer for estate planning and arbitration," and several sources highlight her skill in private client litigation matters. She also advises private clients and family offices on estate planning, relocations and setting up trusts and foundations, and has a strong focus on art law.

Claudia Suter has a strong focus on assisting clients with tax and estate planning matters. Clients praise her for her "good understanding of UK and US tax" and describe her as "hands-on, responsive and clever." She also acts on inheritance and matrimonial law matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

From the HNW guide

The private clients team at Python offers legal and tax advice relating to the protection of assets and succession planning. Other areas of expertise include advice on residence and nationality matters. Clients are impressed by the firm's responsiveness, reporting that "they are always at the end of the phone if you have problems or issues." Another speaker adds: "There is always someone who can answer our question promptly and accurately."

The team assists with the creation and governance of foundations and family offices, and also advises clients on inheritance, tax, estate planning and private investments. Clients frequently highlighted the strong value for money the firm provides.

Notable practitioners

Practice co-head Jean-Christophe Hocke is a key contact for clients.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Lenz & Staehelin

From the Chambers HNW guide

Mark Barmes is a leading figure for advising English clients on wealth planning and relocating to Switzerland. He is qualified to practise in Australia and in England and Wales, and he has been based in Switzerland for many years. Sources say he "can see things both from a civil law and a common law perspective." He also represents private clients and trustees in litigation.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Manuel Liatowitsch

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

Litigation partner Manuel Liatowitsch "is a very fine private client lawyer" with an excellent reputation in contentious estates matters. He is also noted for his wealth planning and business succession advisory practice. Sources praise Liatowitsch's expertise in disputes matters, and he is widely agreed to have a very strong practice in private client litigation work.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Justine Markovitz

Withers LLP

From the Chambers HNW guide

Clients enthuse that Justine Markovitz has "great expertise and a great deal of experience. For more complex work and international advice we would go to her." She advises clients on UK tax and trust matters, as well as estate planning. She assists families with succession and governance queries, and also advises clients on UK immigration. She is the head of the firm's private client practice.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Walder Wyss Ltd.

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources enthuse that department co-head Philippe Pulfer is an "excellent lawyer who is very good with clients and knows the technical part well." He is a long-standing market leader in international wealth structuring and estate planning. He represents clients in succession and trust disputes, and often acts for charities. Pulfer also has considerable experience of private banking disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

Bernard Vischer is praised by clients as "poised, knowledgeable and a hard worker." He leads the private client team in the Geneva office. He is well regarded for advice on private banking, trusts and estate planning. Vischer also has considerable experience in succession matters, as well as advising on transactions. He has several clients from the shipping and aviation industries.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

David Wallace Wilson

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

Clients enthuse that David Wallace Wilson is "outstanding in terms of his understanding of the client's needs; at every stage I felt he had my best interests at heart." Wilson advises on wealth structuring and estate planning for families, including international trusts and taxation matters. He is a market leader in the field of guardianship and inheritance disputes.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Bär & Karrer AG

From the Chambers HNW guide

One source says Tina Wüstemann is "well connected and an acknowledged expert for trust and estate planning, with elaborate know-how on difficult and complex cases including litigation." This interviewee continues: "She can be extremely tough and is a strategic thinker for sophisticated planning and safeguarding of interests." Wüstemann heads Bär & Karrer's private client department and represents clients in estate planning, relocations and family business matters. She is also highly regarded for private client litigation and for her work with charitable foundations. One private wealth expert describes Wüstemann as "a lovely lady and a pleasure to work with." Another source says she is "excellent," adding that she is "extremely bright and personable, with a good team around her to get things going; a class act."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bär & Karrer AG

From the Chambers HNW guide

Daniel Bader is described as "an excellent tax adviser." He handles Swiss and international tax planning matters, with key expertise in income and estate taxes and the taxation of real estate. He also advises clients on succession planning, cross-border private wealth structures and relocations to and from Switzerland.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Bär & Karrer AG

From the Chambers HNW guide

Private wealth specialists say that Andreas Bär is "very knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of regulation relating to wealth management." Bär represents private individuals and family offices in wealth planning and regulatory matters. He counts non-profits including opera houses and other cultural organisations among his clients, and he also sits on the boards of a number of family offices.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Fischer Ramp Partner AG

From the Chambers HNW guide

Michael Fischer is an attorney and certified tax expert based in Zürich. Formerly a partner at Froriep, he founded boutique firm Fischer Ramp Partner AG in early 2017. He handles significant estate planning matters and tax litigation, representing private individuals and corporations on domestic and international mandates. "A person who I appreciate greatly, who happens to be a Swiss lawyer and a Swiss tax expert – which is rare in one individual – is Michael Fischer," explains a market insider. "He is extraordinary with languages: he probably speaks the best English a Continental European could wish for, but also perfect French, Italian and also German and Swiss German. When dealing with client issues he has not only a Swiss perspective but also an international perspective because he has worked in London, and he has a lot of clients with multi-asset class, multi-jurisdictional interests. If you wanted to pick somebody for a long-term relationship he definitely would be on the radar."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd. (MLL)

From the Chambers HNW guide

Joint department head Patricia Guerra is well regarded for her work on charitable foundations and often advises on cross-border private client matters, including estate planning, inheritance and litigations. She is highlighted by commentators for her work with Latin American clients. She is "practical, solution-oriented, responsive and very hard-working - a delight to work with."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Stephanie A Jarrett

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

Geneva-based joint department head Stephanie Jarrett advises families and family offices on succession planning and governance issues. She has a strong focus on advising Swiss clients on UK and international tax planning, and also acts for trustees on litigation. She is admitted to practice in England and Wales.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Marnin J Michaels

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

One source says Marnin Michaels is "super-smart; always on top of things, he's always a couple of steps ahead. Also, for regulation I see him as visionary attorney, very forward-thinking." He has a strong focus on US withholding tax issues, and often acts for clients with a connection to the USA on wealth management issues. Michaels also assists private clients with international estate planning and the taxation of trusts. He is further noted for his anti-money laundering expertise and his work with Swiss financial institutions in response to the US Department of Justice's Swiss Bank Program. He co-heads the firm's practice in this area and is based in the Zürich office.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Blum & Grob Attorneys at Law Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

Since publication of Chambers HNW 2017, Natalie Peter has joined Blum & Grob Rechtsanwälte from Staiger. According to interviewees, Peter is "responsive and highly technical, a real expert on trust issues." She is particularly well regarded for her expertise on private client tax law, most notably in the fields of tax planning, tax declarations and disputes before the tax authorities. She heads the firm's private client team.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

CMS

From the Chambers HNW guide

Department head Tobias Somary acts for clients on estate and succession planning, as well as relocations and private banking matters. He also advises on charity law and foundations, estate litigation and prenuptial agreements. Clients say he is "broad-minded, proactive, thorough, looks for solutions and tries to resolve matters speedily." Somary also wins praise for his international work; another source says Somary is "very bright" and "has a very good understanding of cross-border issues." Interviewees also highlight his expertise on the EU Succession Regulation.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Swiss sources say department head Mark Summers is "authoritative, responsive, very personable and good with clients." Summers has a strong focus on cross-border taxation and international estate planning. He often advises clients on tax structuring and tax regularisation matters. He frequently represents clients with connections to the USA. One Swiss lawyer says: "He is a rare combination of being an excellent technical tax lawyer without making things nerdishly complicated, so you can get really thorough advice from him and still be able to understand it."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Borel & Barbey

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources regard Louis Boissier as a "very intellectual and thoughtful adviser who cuts through the issues quickly and is a very friendly and charming team member." Boissier often acts on inheritance law and estate planning, as well as advising on the governance of family offices.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Borel & Barbey

From the Chambers HNW guide

Joint head of department Olivier Dunant has "an exceptionally good sense of judgement and is extremely charming and engenders high confidence." He has considerable experience of advising both international and domestic clients on private client law mandates.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Harold Grüninger

Homburger

From the Chambers HNW guide

Practice head Harold Grüninger is described as "probably one of the most prestigious lawyers for foundations law and trusts." He has a broad practice advising on estate planning, inheritance law, tax law and foundations. He also acts for private clients on matrimonial and corporate law matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Staiger Attorneys at Law Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources say that Michael Hamm "talks to be understood and is able to adjust the language without losing anything from the message." He acts on domestic and international inheritance matters. He often advises HNWIs on the creation of trusts and foundations, as well as real estate mandates.

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Band 3

Walder Wyss Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

Interviewees highlight joint practice head Kinga Weiss for her "great combination of technical expertise, competence with cross-border matters and her great soft skills." She acts for clients on cross-border inheritance law, estate planning and succession law. She assists clients with relocation, asset structuring, tax and trust matters, and represents private clients, banks and family offices.

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Band 3

Michael Wells-Greco

Charles Russell Speechlys

From the Chambers HNW guide

Michael Wells-Greco assists clients with international succession planning and wealth structuring. He has niche expertise in cross-border family law matters, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, cohabitation issues, surrogacy, civil partnerships and international private law cases involving children. He also handles matters involving bilateral tax treaties and cross-border asset protection. Clients say Wells-Greco is "knowledgeable, approachable, has a commercial side and is au fait with UK tax."

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Band 4

Froriep

From the Chambers HNW guide

Oliver Arter advises private clients, foundations and banks on domestic and international wealth planning and asset structuring, regulatory issues, trusts, foundations and estate planning matters. Arter is best known among market sources for his academic work as a speaker at trusts law conferences and as a consultant to the University of St Gallen's Institute for Legal Theory and Legal Practice. Interviewees consider him "a strong communicator" and a "very good name" for Swiss trusts law, who is "very active" in this field. Another Swiss source explains that Arter is "passionate about trusts law and is spearheading acceptance of it in Switzerland: he organises conferences on Anglo-Saxon trusts; he's a good academic and devoted to trusts law."

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Band 4

Jean-Luc Bochatay

FBT Attorneys at Law

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources say that Jean-Luc Bochatay is "always responsive and seeks solutions that are cost-effective and attractive for clients." He has a particular strength advising clients on tax law, especially in the areas of tax disclosures, international structuring and trusts. He often assists wealthy clients with cross-border matters, frequently involving France.

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Band 4

Jacqueline Burckhardt Bertossa

burckhardt Ltd

From the Chambers HNW guide

According to sources, department head Jacqueline Burckhardt Bertossa is "very good and highly reputed." She has a strong practice in the field of succession planning, acting both for domestic and international clients. She has several clients from the philanthropic sector, and often advises on charity law.

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Band 4

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal

From the Chambers HNW guide

Practice co-head Serge Calame frequently assists international clients with estate planning, tax and relocation matters. He also advises on asset management issues and real estate acquisitions. Calame is "a highly insightful and reliable lawyer who adds value in every piece of advice provided."

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Band 4

Nicolas P. Didisheim

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal

From the Chambers HNW guide

According to clients Nicolas Didisheim "is responsive, and offers high-quality advice and practical help." He has a strong focus on inheritance and tax matters, and also advises private clients on real estate investments.

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Band 4

Baker McKenzie

From the Chambers HNW guide

As well as handling commercial litigation and arbitration matters, Richard Gassmann has a strong focus on representing wealthy individuals and private banks in domestic and international disputes. He also advises on compliance matters relating to trusts and estates.

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Band 4

Meyerlustenberger Lachenal

From the Chambers HNW guide

Bernard Lachenal represents private individuals in litigations and also advises on private banking matters. He assists with the governance of charitable foundations. Market commentators describe him as "a trusted adviser, a reliable trusted lawyer."

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Band 4

Bär & Karrer AG

From the Chambers HNW guide

Daniel Leu is rapidly gaining a strong reputation for private wealth work among Swiss lawyers. He principally acts on wealth structuring, inheritance law and trusts and foundations matters, and he has also developed a niche specialism in advising private clients buying and selling property and fine art. "He is really good," enthuses one Swiss private client lawyer. "He's a young partner, but he speaks at conferences and is well known in the sector." Another source describes Leu as "quiet and powerful," noting that "he is one of the rare breed of lawyers that speaks little but a lot of sense."

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Band 4

Lenz & Staehelin

From the Chambers HNW guide

Sources describe Lucien Masmejan as an "excellent lawyer" who is "very co-operative" on client work. Masmejan advises family offices and private individuals on estate and tax planning structures. Masmejan co-heads the private client practice at Lenz & Staehelin.

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Band 4

Gabrielle Nater-Bass

Homburger

From the Chambers HNW guide

According to sources Gabrielle Nater-Bass is the "perfect lawyer for estate planning and arbitration," and several sources highlight her skill in private client litigation matters. She also advises private clients and family offices on estate planning, relocations and setting up trusts and foundations, and has a strong focus on art law.

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Band 4

Walder Wyss Ltd.

From the Chambers HNW guide

The "future star" of the practice, Olivier Sigg "is very personable, has a nice manner and is technically excellent." Sigg has a strong focus on estate planning, particularly in regards to trusts and foundations. He acts on relocation and asset protection, and has several clients from the charity sector. He often represents clients in litigation and disputes.

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Band 4

Jean-Louis Tsimaratos

FBT Attorneys at Law

From the Chambers HNW guide

Jean-Louis Tsimaratos advises clients on asset management and trust matters. He also assists clients with banking and financial regulation issues.

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Up and Coming

Homburger

From the Chambers HNW guide

Claudia Suter has a strong focus on assisting clients with tax and estate planning matters. Clients praise her for her "good understanding of UK and US tax" and describe her as "hands-on, responsive and clever." She also acts on inheritance and matrimonial law matters.

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Up and Coming

Gian Andri Töndury

Umbricht

From the Chambers HNW guide

Gian Andri Töndury joined Umbricht from Staiger in January 2018. He has a strong focus on estate and asset structuring, acting for private individuals, foundations and family offices. Clients report that he "finds solutions in a very short period of time." He also advises on inheritance, tax planning, the enforcement of wills and trust disputes.

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