In a space of only 41,285 km², Switzerland has two major language areas and 26 cantons, giving it a fairly unique set-up. Known to be one of the richest countries in the world, it had little problem absorbing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic thanks to its stable economy. However, ‘the government hasn’t been very successful at combating the virus’, says Daniel Hochstrasser, senior partner and chair of Bär & Karrer, referring to the country’s at times high numbers of cases and deaths. ‘But that has not changed much in the overall assessment of Switzerland on a global scale.’
With high activity in the industrial, manufacturing and financial services sectors, Bär & Karrer can look back on a successful 2020 overall. ‘The effects were less pronounced than we anticipated when we drew up contingency plans in March,’ says Hochstrasser. ‘In the end, we fortunately didn’t have to take any of those measures’. A highlight for the firm was advising Libra Association on its bid to build a global payment system based on the Libra blockchain; a matter that combined expertise from its banking and finance, fintech and tax departments.