Managing Partners: Guy Vermeil (Geneva), Stefan Breitenstein (Zurich)
Number of partners worldwide: 42
Number of other lawyers worldwide: 184
Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish
With over 200 lawyers and offices in three major economic centres, Lenz & Staehelin is the largest law firm in Switzerland. Known for its high professional standards, the firm provides its domestic and international clients with a full range of services in the main areas of law. It is ranked amongst the leading practitioners in business law.
Main Areas of Practice:
Lenz & Staehelin has enjoyed a leading position in international arbitration for a number of decades. Its attorneys have been involved in several hundred international arbitrations, either as counsel for a party or sitting as arbitrators. The firm has been handling disputes under the rules of all major institutions (including ICC, Swiss Chambers of Commerce, LCIA, AAA, VIAC, CAS, WIPO, ICSID) as well as ad hoc arbitration.
Banking & Finance:
Advising on regulatory issues, capital market transactions, investment products and services are part of Lenz & Staehelin’s core areas of expertise. Its clients are major Swiss and international banking/financial institutions. They benefit from the firm’s experience in matters of banking/ securities dealers licences, asset securitisation, securities offerings, project and structured finance, investment funds, private equity, derivatives and other financial products.
Commercial & Contracts:
The firm’s services cover all issues related to contracts (negotiation, drafting, implementation, litigation). It provides legal advice on the entire range of commercial activities. It has particular experience in establishing business operations in and from Switzerland and in regulated industries (e.g. food and health, transport, life sciences) where it advises clients on both the commercial and regulatory aspects of their business.
The firm advises in all areas of competition and antitrust law, such as merger control notifications, abuse of dominance, restrictive practices, cartel investigations, dawn raids, leniency procedures and public procurement. It regularly acts in co-ordination with leading foreign law firms in complex multi-jurisdictional merger filings. Its practice also includes proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission and competition litigation before the Swiss cantonal and federal courts.
Corporate & M&A:
The firm has a leading position in domestic and crossborder private and public M&A transactions. As such it has been involved in many of Switzerland’s most important corporate deals. The firm advises, amongst others, on corporate takeovers, mergers, joint ventures, takeovers of listed companies, private equity and venture capital. Its services in corporate law include incorporation and administration of companies, corporate governance and compliance.
Employment, Pensions & Immigration:
The firm advises both employers and senior employees. It draws on a long experience in all areas of private employment and public labour law, including employment agreements, bonus and stock option schemes, non-compete covenants, social security benefits, labour litigation and arbitration. It assists foreign nationals in obtaining Swiss work permits, a service underpinned by the firm’s tradition of good contacts with cantonal and federal immigration authorities.
Foundations & Philanthropy:
Lenz & Staehelin has a long-standing practice for tax-exempt/non-profit organisations. In addition to their formation, the firm assists philanthropic foundations and associations and public charities, in the structuring and implementation of charitable projects in Switzerland and abroad. It is involved in projects ranging from culture, education, environment, public health, science to sports.
Insolvency & Restructuring:
The firm offers a leading full-service insolvency practice encompassing the complete range of issues typically encountered in complex insolvencies. It advises and represents creditors (some of which are banks or other financial institutions), liquidators, receivers in insolvency proceedings. It also provides advice to companies in need of financial restructuring.
The firm provides first-class services in all sectors of intellectual property, such as copyright law, designs and models law, licensing, geographical indications, Swiss and European patent law, trademark law and related fields such as unfair competition. It has extensive experience in advising clients (e.g. in IP due diligence in mergers and acquisitions process) and in representing them in intellectual property-related litigation either before cantonal and federal courts or before arbitral tribunals.
Lenz & Staehelin assists clients in efficiently conducting complex internal investigations, both on their own initiative or in response to inquiries or investigations by governmental authorities, whistleblower claims or shareholder demands. The firm’s practice covers a broad range of industries and issues (including antitrust, anticorruption, violation of banking or capital market rules, disclosure and accounting issues, tax and civil or criminal misconduct).
The firm’s litigators advise and represent clients in administrative, civil and criminal proceedings. They deal with antitrust and unfair competition litigation, banking/finance/commercial litigation, bankruptcy and debt collection, coordination of international litigation, employment disputes, enforcement of foreign judgments and awards, international legal assistance, intellectual property litigation, money laundering and white-collar crimes, real estate and construction disputes, trust and estate-related litigation.
This team of specialists provides corporate and individual clients with comprehensive expert advice on wealth planning and succession issues. The team includes lawyers with particular expertise in international estate planning and structuring and who are qualified under both civil law and common law systems. They offer creative advice on trust and company administration services in Switzerland and Guernsey.
The firm provides advice and support to commercial users, institutional investors, real estate investment funds, financial institutions, rating agencies and private clients. The practice group’s capabilities encompass all legal aspects of real estate financing, sale and lease back transactions, commercial lease and real estate development projects.
The firm has a wealth of experience in structuring events and providing legal advice to sports organisations including international and national federations, associations, clubs as well as athletes, agents, event organisers, sponsors, broadcasters and the media. It also specialises in the resolution of sports disputes, in particular in representing clients before the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) in Lausanne in doping and disciplinary cases or commercial disputes.
The firm’s tax department is one of the largest of any Swiss law firm with more than 25 tax attorneys most of whom are also certified tax experts. In addition to all aspects of tax planning, its services also include the representation of clients in front of tax authorities or in tax litigation, arbitration and mutual agreement procedures. It has particular expertise in tax issues related to financial products, real estate, private equity, M&A restructurings/ buyouts/relocations, in tax planning for private clients, executives and transferees at international companies, and in VAT matters.
TMT & Outsourcing:
The firm offers a wide range of transactional and regulatory services in technology, media and telecom matters, with a leading position also in outsourcing (both infrastructure and BPO transactions). Services include advice on complex IT projects, hosting and ASP, data protection, eCommerce, convergence issues, public procurement, FinTech, ICT contracts and software licensing, strategic business alliances and joint ventures. It regularly advises important media companies and TV, radio and cinema operators on licensing, advertising and sponsorship issues.