Christoph Kurth

Christoph Kurth

Baker McKenzie Switzerland AG


Christoph Kurth heads the Investigations, Compliance & Ethics practice of the Swiss offices and co-leads the EMEA Financial Institutions Industry Group. He has been recognized by Legal 500 as a leading individual for compliance, regulatory and investigation matters.

Before joining the Firm, Christoph was global head of Litigation & Investigations and general counsel in Asia for a large Swiss bank. For over 15 years, he has led complex regulatory and criminal investigations as well as high stakes litigation 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. Christoph also teaches post-graduate courses in 'Crisis Management' and 'Risk Governance' at the Europa Institute at the University of Zurich.

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 in court, and develop responses to transgressions that limit financial and reputational consequences. In this context, he regularly advises Boards and senior executives in relation to their responsibilities and risk governance requirements.

Drawing from his experience as general counsel and his substantial exposure to businesses, legal systems and cultures in the US, Europe and Asia, Christoph often offers more than legal advice.He also supports in overall crisis management, including responses to dawn raids, cyber-attacks and data leaks, serious compliance and other incidents, adjustment of business conduct and strategies, cultural transformation and sustainable legal and compliance risk management solutions.

Furthermore, he advises financial institutions and clients in other industry in relation to financial crime matters, including bribery and money laundering related risks and over the last few years his practice has expanded to include compliance advisory work in relation to environmental, societal and governance risks (ESG) and cyber resilience, response and reporting.

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 Swiss Private bank in relation to CHF 50 million internal fraud executed through elaborate scheme of unauthorized investments, including root cause investigation and reporting to regulators in various jurisdictions, client complaint management and asset recovery strategy covering multiple jurisdictions.

  • 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 in relation to internal investigations and responses to authorities on the back of cyber-attacks, data leaks and data theft.

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

  • Advised leading Swiss energy company in relation to internal investigation of market manipulation on foreign energy exchanges and related remediation plans and measures.

  • Acting for Swiss banks in civil litigation in different types of disputes, such as for the return of retrocessions, and acting for companies in other industries in administrative proceedings, such as in trade and export related disputes, as well as in criminal investigations.

  • Advising financial institutions in relation to financial crime risk-related assessments of transactions or portfolios and mitigating measures with focus on AML and sanctions compliance.

  • Conducted global compliance risk assessments for listed and non-listed Swiss multi-national companies across various industries and advised on various aspects of their compliance programs, including policies, training & education, whistleblowing, etc. across all areas of compliance risk, with a focus on bribery, money-laundering and ESG, including the implementation of semi-automated compliance management systems using the Baker McKenzie Compliance Cockpit.

  • Conducted multiple internal investigations supporting companies in various industries in relation to a broad range of issues, such as workplace accidents, data and information theft, bribery concerns, violation of data protection laws, etc.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Built-up of first fully equipped in-house eDiscovery team.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Swiss Bar Association
  • Zurich Bar Association


  • Switzerland (1999)


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


  • English
  • German

Previous Offices

  • Singapore

Firm Committee Memberships

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