Our Swiss lawyers advise clients on some of the most significant matters in the European market. Lately they represented AFG Arbonia-Forster-Holding AG (a Swiss building materials manufacturer) on the public exchange and purchase offer to acquire the Looser Group. This deal, worth around 415 million Swiss francs (USD 426 million), created one of the largest construction industry suppliers in Europe. In 2016 we also advised in the only two IPOs in Switzerland where Varia US Properties AG, a Swiss based real estate company, and Investis Holding SA, a leading residential property company and a national real estate services provider, listed their shares on SIX Swiss Exchange following their initial public offering.
Our Swiss lawyers acted for 44 Swiss banks, negotiating with the US Department of Justice and addressing potential tax evasion liabilities. The group of cases was recognised as one of the top "Global Disputes of the Year" by American Lawyer in 2015 with Baker McKenzie being the most active law firm in Switzerland in this area.
With more than 130 lawyers across our Geneva and Zurich offices, we are the go-to firm for Swiss companies, multinationals and financial institutions seeking domestic and cross-border advice in Corporate Law, M&A, Tax, Dispute Resolution, and on Financial Services and Regulation. The quality of our work is reflected in the recognition we receive within the legal community. Our Corporate/M&A, Real Estate, and Restructuring & Insolvency practices have been top ranked by Chambers. We are also a leading practice in Switzerland in the areas of Labor, Employment & Immigration Law.
For over 50 years we have provided local and cross-border advice on Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Private Equity, Insurance and Reinsurance and Wealth Management. No matter the business or legal challenge, we work across borders and practice areas to help clients resolve complex, multi-jurisdictional issues and achieve their commercial objectives.
As active participants in the development of Swiss law, we use our knowledge of the local market and legal landscape to help multinational companies establish a presence in Switzerland. We also serve as trusted legal advisers to Swiss blue-chip and medium-sized companies, providing practical advice based on research and experience.
Our Banking & Finance team represents major commercial banks, private banks and other financial institutions in all types of transactions against a backdrop of rapidly changing financial regulations, including concerns about cybersecurity and data management.
Recognized for our "strength in capital markets" by Chambers Global, our Capital Markets team advises financial institutions, issuers and shareholders on primary and secondary equity offerings, debt offerings, public takeovers, and complex acquisitions and divestitures.
Our M&A practice represents Swiss and international buyers and sellers in tender offers, mergers, securities exchanges, strategic investments, recapitalizations, privatizations, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures and private equity transactions.
With decades of experience advising clients on international, federal, cantonal and municipal taxes, our Tax team provides a full range of services ranging from tax planning and business structuring to tax litigation and transfer pricing guidance.
Our WTO practice advises clients on EU rules and their impact on Swiss law to help them comply with EU requirements and qualify for benefits under the EU legal system. We also provide trade law and compliance advice on exports and imports, sanctions and embargoes, as well as represent clients in WTO disputes.
Our Wealth Management lawyers are highly ranked by Chambers and Legal 500 with proficiency in Swiss, UK and US tax law, as well as the taxation of trusts in Switzerland. We advise on Swiss Inheritance Law, related tax issues and all aspects of estate planning, Public International Law and Sports Law.
We also provide local and global advice in the following areas:
Helping the communities where we operate is an integral part of our work. Therefore, we are committed to having a positive impact on both our global and local community through our Corporate Social Responsibility program comprising three pillars: pro bono and community service, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability.
Pro bono and community service
Since education is not self-evident, Baker McKenzie Zurich launched an initiative called BakerSupportsEducation to support Aiducation, an established non-profit organization for educational development. By granting performance grants, Aiducation enables talented but in-need young people in the Philippines and Kenya to attend high school. Baker McKenzie Zurich supports this initiative by funding two four-year scholarships in Kenya.
As part of our commitment, we work closely with the University of St. Gallen’s law school to help educate the next generation of lawyers. We sponsor students’ participation in the Willem C. Vis Moot Court, and many of our professionals participate in various programs to coach and mentor law students.
Diversity and inclusion
Our offices are also known for their multifaceted commitment to diversity and inclusion. Since our inception, we have boosted diversity awareness and inclusion practices every single day. We will continue to do everything possible to create the best environment for all of our employees. While our approach to diversity and inclusion is multifaceted, the three main areas on which we focus are: ethnic and cultural diversity, gender diversity, and LGBT diversity.
We understand that being responsible global citizens means protecting our environment. With this understanding, in our two Switzerland offices we continue to implement initiatives to reduce our environmental footprint. In Zurich, for example, our professionals work in a "Minergie-P" standard building, which has been completely shifted to energy efficient lighting. Furthermore, our lawyers and staff participate in a building-wide recycling program and we have numerous "Go Green" strategies, which include encouraging our staff to conserve energy and resources.
On a global level
One of the major benefits of being a global law firm is having the bandwidth and resources to help people through our work in lots of places and on large-scale projects. Through our Corporate Social Responsibility program, we inspire Firm colleagues to make a difference, and collaborate with clients who share the same commitment to social justice. Our Firm is also a signatory of the UN Global Compact, pledging to support 10 universally accepted human rights, labor, anti-corruption, environment and sustainability principles.
Our Switzerland offices offer lawyers excellent professional development opportunities, including being a part of a global network that provides associates with opportunities to work on local and international matters while developing close client relationships.
With over 90 qualified lawyers in Switzerland, Baker McKenzie offers you access to market-leading work and outstanding professional development opportunities. Baker McKenzie is unique among Swiss law firms in its international reach and ability to bring global best practices to the Swiss market. Our lawyers work on local and global matters and have been instrumental in assisting multinational clients in Swiss and European markets.
As a global law firm, we have a variety of unique programs to help our associates create international networks and close client relationships. These programs also allow our associates to develop legal skills and to enhance their knowledge of other jurisdictions. Our offices are committed to diversity and collaboration. Our employees across the globe are citizens of more than 60 nations, but our community goes beyond our own organization. We believe that the provision of pro bono legal service is a fundamental professional responsibility, and our outstanding pro bono program is an integral part of the Firm’s systems and infrastructure.
For more than five decades, we have expanded and evolved our capabilities to meet the increasingly sophisticated legal needs of companies and private clients. Our Swiss team is noted for its venture capital work and transactional experience in corporate M&A, especially in cross-border deals. We have assisted in establishing and developing many multinational businesses in Switzerland and have served as trusted legal advisers to many Swiss blue-chip as well as medium-sized companies. Our lawyers are active participants in the development of the Swiss legal community and we have introduced innovative products and methods in the Swiss market.
Our leading practices in Switzerland include:
Banking & Finance
Corporate Law & Restructuring
Global Wealth Management
Intellectual Property & Unfair Competition
Labor, Employment & Immigration Law
Litigation & Arbitration
Mergers & Acquisitions
Real Estate Transactions
Telecommunications, Information Technology Law & E-Commerce