Christoph Kurth

Christoph Kurth

Partner
Baker & McKenzie Zurich

Biography

Christoph Kurth heads the Compliance & Investigations practice of the Zurich office. Further, he is a member of the EMEA Steering Committee Compliance & Investigations and co-leads the EMEA Financial Institutions Industry Group.

Before joining the Firm, Christoph was global head of Litigation & Investigations and general counsel in Asia for a large Swiss bank. For over 10 years, he has led high stakes litigation as well as complex regulatory and criminal investigations across the US, Europe and Asia, and has advised on transformational regulatory developments and wealth management products and services across Switzerland and Asia. In his roles, Christoph has worked closely with business leaders, government authorities and the media, navigating businesses through regulatory and other challenges. Prior to this, Christoph was a litigator in leading practices in Switzerland and the US.

Practice Focus

Christoph helps clients in the financial services and other industries establish effective legal and compliance risk management programs, investigate instances of non-compliance and their root causes, defend clients’ interests vis-à-vis authorities, and develop responses to transgressions that limit financial and reputational consequences. Drawing from his experience as general counsel and his substantial exposure to businesses, legal systems and cultures in the US, Europe and Asia, Christoph seeks to offer more than legal advice, litigation and investigations work. He also supports in overall crisis management, adjustment of business conduct and strategies, cultural transformation and sustainable legal and compliance risk management solutions.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Co-lead counsel to major foreign bank and its Swiss subsidiary for all Swiss, Luxembourg and Singapore aspects of investigation by US DOJ in relation to allegations of assistance in tax evasion by bank clients, resulting in USD 400 million resolution.

  • Advised Swiss Private Bank and major shareholder in relation to investigation of the US DOJ in relation to allegations of assistance in tax evasion by bank clients.

  • Advised many Swiss banks and non-financial companies on cooperation with foreign authorities in criminal, regulatory and civil proceedings.

  • Advised Swiss financial and non-financial institutions on the response to, and internal as well as regulatory investigations of, data leaks and data thefts.

  • Advised a number of Swiss companies in relation to US OFAC investigations in relation to possible sanctions violations.

  • Acting for multiple Swiss and foreign companies in various industries in relation to the tracing and recovery of bankable assets, related international legal assistance, and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland.

  • Conducted Global Compliance Risk Assessment for large listed Swiss Pharmaceutical company and advised numerous Swiss-based multinationals on various aspects of their compliance programs, including policies, training & education, whistleblowing, etc.

  • Conducted multiple internal investigations supporting companies in various industries.

  • Acting as lead in-house counsel at largest Swiss bank in its response to investigations by the US DOJ, US SEC and FINMA into the wealth management business with US clients, and in relation to investigations by several other government authorities globally in relation to the bank’s cross-border business.

  • Led in-house litigation and investigation teams towards favorable outcomes in relation to multiple litigation and internal and external investigations in various jurisdictions across Europe and Asia and in different business contexts.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Swiss Bar Association
  • Zurich Bar Association

Admissions

  • Switzerland (1999)

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center (LLM) (2002)
  • University of Zurich (lic. iur.) (1995)

Languages

  • English
  • German

Previous Offices

  • Singapore

Firm Committee Memberships

  • Global Steering Committee Financial Industry Group
  • EMEA Steering Committee Compliance & Investigations