Making ripples - Turbulent times ahead for the Swiss legal market
- 08 March 2017 09:30
- by Dominic Carman
An evolving Swiss legal market is embracing consolidation and lateral recruitment as firms thrive amid a buoyant deals climate. Will turbulent global conditions disturb the calm?
Switzerland is changing. Among the country's traditionally-minded law firms, conservatism is in decline, fuelled by a greater appetite for domestic mergers, increased lawyer mobility between firms and a belated focus on alternative legal service provision. Accordingly, Swiss lawyers are much like the swans on Lake Geneva: smooth and serene on the surface, all the while paddling furiously underneath. An energetic response to the fresh demands of an evolving legal services landscape is paying dividends for some.
- 08 March 2016 09:00
- by Dominic Carman
Swiss deal markets languished throughout 2015 amid a gloomy economy. Can a surge in Chinese investment kickstart corporate activity?
‘In our worldwide business, the volume of mergers is at a record high. However, in Switzerland we can talk about a stagnation of deals,’ says Guy Vermeil, managing partner of Lenz & Staehelin. His downbeat assessment of the domestic M&A market is supported by last year’s numbers. As the broader Swiss economy stalled with GDP growth of only 0.8%, KPMG’s annual transactional review labelled 2015 as ‘troubled for the M&A market in Switzerland’. Transaction volume declined 17% compared to 2014, from 420 to 350 deals, while the aggregate value of completed M&A with a Swiss component fell 55% to $84.9bn.
- 11 March 2015 09:00
- by Helen Mooney
A dramatic change to monetary policy and a systemic overhaul of financial services regulation in progress mean the Swiss legal market is experiencing upheaval not witnessed for generations.
When even that most venerable of Swiss industries, watch-making, comes under threat, you know the country has a problem. But this proved to be the case in the early weeks of 2015: global brand Swatch saw its share price slump 15% after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced on 15 January that it would abandon the cap on the Swiss franc against the euro that it first introduced in September 2011. Keeping the franc at CHF1.20 to the euro had became increasingly expensive for the SNB, as it sold its own currency and bought up euros, sterling, US and Canadian dollars and yen, usually in the form of government bonds.
- 25 February 2014 16:03
- by Julian Matteucci
With Switzerland drawn increasingly into the wider regional economy, the country is competing for investment on quality rather than its traditional role as a tax shelter. Legal Business profiles the advisers catering to a globalising corporate sector
While historically relatively untouched by the globalisation of legal services, international firms have continued their recent surge into Switzerland, with Geneva – home to a third of the world’s private wealth – emerging as the most popular hotspot. As recently as January, CMS von Erlach Henrici – the local Swiss member of the global CMS network – merged with Geneva practice ZPG Avocats, adding six partners, including former ZPG managing partner Charles Poncet to the firm, now known as CMS von Erlach Poncet.
- 04 March 2013 15:19
- by Legal Business
In 2012, one of Switzerland’s largest legal practices was founded. But with the country’s banking sector under continual attack, Legal Business asks what lies ahead for the Swiss legal market.
In most markets, it wouldn’t qualify as news but in the conservative Swiss legal community, the creation last April of Meyerlustenberger Lachenal via a merger between Zürich’s meyerlustenberger and Geneva’s Lachenal & Le Fort is still making waves. Currently listed as one of the largest law firms in Switzerland, it is present in Zug, Lausanne and Brussels, in addition to Zürich and Geneva.