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Charles Russell Speechlys dives into Swiss law with three partner hire to its Geneva offices

In its continued bid to strengthen its presence in the Swiss private wealth market, Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) has appointed three new partners to its Geneva office, with plans to grow its offices further.

Olivier Cavadini, Bruno Ledrappier and Grégoire Uldry – all of whom are able to offer both English and Swiss legal advice – join the firm’s current three English-qualified partners in its Geneva office. The offices are able to handle private client and tax advice as well as Swiss commercial transactions and disputes.

Having practised in Geneva for more than 15 years, Cavadini joins from Python & Peter as partner. Cavadini specialises commercial and corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, financial services and immigration.

The firm has also attracted Ledrappier and Uldry to the firm from Borel & Barbey. Ledrappier has spent the last two decades working in Geneva on litigation in civil and criminal law, with a particular focus on asset tracing, fraud and international judicial assistance. Uldry has spent 16 years in the city, specialising in international relocation, cross-border wealth and estate planning, philanthropy and commercial law for family-owned businesses.

Managing partner James Carter told Legal Business: ‘We’ve already got an established English law practice in both Geneva and Zurich. The partners out there, when they talked around the market working with lawyers and clients, it became clear that there was an opportunity out there to do something that was slightly different to what was on offer from the other law firms in Switzerland,’

He added: ‘Already having an established practice and then knowing the three individuals, all of whom we’ve worked with as a firm in the past, meant that was an opportunity that came together.’

With plans to strengthen both its Geneva and Zurich offices, Carter added: ‘When it all settles down there will no doubt be other specific, more specialist services that we will find that clients want from us and then we may add on to that. In a way it’s similar to what we did in Paris. We started off with a core group of partners and since then we’ve added on specialist employment advice.’

Charles Russell and Speechly Bircham’s merger early last year pushed CRS into the LB100 top 30, with its creation of a 530-lawyer practice with revenues of £134.5m, slightly ahead of the legacy firms’ combined income for 2013/14.