Euro Elite Switzerland: Like clockwork

Euro Elite Switzerland: Like clockwork

When the world went into lockdown in March/April 2020, everyone expected the worst for the economy. While it is safe to say that some countries struggled more than others, Switzerland conquered the crisis and even exceeded pre-Covid activity in some areas.

As one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Switzerland’s GDP has been on a steady increase and almost tripled in the last 20 years. Projections also show significant growth from 2020 to 2021, stressing the fact that the pandemic had little to no impact on the Swiss economy. This was also witnessed by Thierry Calame, the new managing partner at Lenz & Staehelin: ‘The pandemic continued to be the largest challenge this year. However, thanks to the robust Swiss economy there has not been any economic downturn in 2021, but rather a significant recovery.’ Continue reading “Euro Elite Switzerland: Like clockwork”

Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome

Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome

Insolvency and restructuring proceedings are intricate and complex. Practitioners must be able to combine legal knowledge, in particular in the areas of litigation, finance and transactions, with strategic, tactical and managerial skills to deliver positive results.

PRAGER DREIFUSS has extensive experience and a longstanding tradition in insolvency and restructuring matters. In the wake of the financial crisis, we combined our finance and bankruptcy knowledge which enabled us to assist in complex project financing, also lately in a major multinational commodity project. Our attorneys regularly represent creditors, some of which are banks, hedge funds or other financial institutions, in large national and international insolvency and restructuring proceedings, whether in registering or purchasing claims or in enforcing disputed claims vis-à-vis bankruptcy administrators and before courts. Assisting clients in the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments in Switzerland and abroad is a key feature of our daily practice. Frequently and increasingly, we are retained by creditors in enforcing claims (awards, bonds) against sovereigns. Continue reading “Sponsored practice area spotlight: Insolvency and restructuring: Combining unique skills to achieve a successful outcome”

Switzerland focus: Bouncing back

Switzerland focus: Bouncing back

When the world went into lockdown in March/ April 2020, everyone expected the worst for the economy: market crashes, sky-rocketing unemployment numbers and a wave of insolvencies. While it is safe to say that some countries struggled more than others, Switzerland weathered the crisis well, even exceeding pre-Covid-19 activity in some areas.

One of the wealthiest countries in the world, Switzerland’s GDP has been on a steady increase and almost tripled in the last 20 years. Projections also show tangible growth from 2020 to 2021, underlining the fact that the pandemic had little to no impact on the Swiss economy. This was also witnessed by Thierry Calame, who in January 2022 becomes the new managing partner of one of the leading Swiss powerhouses, Lenz & Staehelin: ‘The pandemic continued to be the largest challenge. However, thanks to the robust Swiss economy there has not been any economic downturn in 2021, but rather a significant recovery.’

Continue reading “Switzerland focus: Bouncing back”

Sponsored briefing: Compliance in Switzerland and abroad: Tackling corruption and white-collar crime

Sponsored briefing: Compliance in Switzerland and abroad: Tackling corruption and white-collar crime

Fabian Teichmann and Marie-Christin Falker on how multinational corporations operating in Switzerland can improve their compliance regimes

Clients from all over the globe appreciate the security and stability of Switzerland as one of central Europe’s economic and financial powerhouses. This makes Switzerland a designated safe haven for multinational corporations, entrepreneurs, and wealthy individuals alike. On top of that, Switzerland offers advantageous taxation regimes and privacy. Unlike most other countries, Switzerland places great value on its longstanding tradition of banking secrecy. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: Compliance in Switzerland and abroad: Tackling corruption and white-collar crime”

Switzerland focus: Still standing

Switzerland focus: Still standing

Switzerland is often singled out as the prime model for a stable economy – apart from a temporary blip in 2009 following the global economic crisis, GDP growth has moved consistently upwards. The country’s strong employment figures and national debt position have only underlined its positive reputation even more. But when Covid-19 hit, not even Switzerland could roll with all the punches it had to take, and continue growing.

That said, at the end of 2020 the economic activity was only 2% below its pre-crisis level – a strong bounceback, especially compared to other European countries. While Switzerland remains locked down for the first quarter of 2021, the prognosis for the year ahead looks promising. Continue reading “Switzerland focus: Still standing”

Switzerland – Between a rock and a hard place

Switzerland – Between a rock and a hard place

As the eurozone economy slows down after six years of uninterrupted growth, Switzerland is an anxious spectator. Amid increased concerns among the EU27 over the potential impact of a disorderly Brexit and the halt to quantitative easing from the European Central Bank’s asset-purchasing programme, Europe’s big three are bracing themselves while Switzerland sits in the middle, watching intently.

To the west, France endures its gilets jaunes; to the south, Italy faces a looming debt crisis with its banks. In the north, Germany has just avoided a technical recession and, like many of the other 18 eurozone countries, forecasters suggest that it will be fortunate to see 1% GDP growth this year. ‘What I see in Italy and France is scary, in particular the rise of populism,’ says Manuel Bianchi della Porta, managing partner of BianchiSchwald in Geneva. ‘A lot is going on in the eurozone: most Swiss trade depends upon Germany, France and Italy. But it seems that we are living on a small island unaffected by all the turmoil that is happening around us. It is like the political stability of our country is protecting us and the business community we are serving.’ Continue reading “Switzerland – Between a rock and a hard place”

Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland

Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced on 27 July 2017 it would no longer require that banks that are members of the Libor panel be obliged to communicate a daily rate after 2021.

2021 is perhaps not tomorrow, but it is definitely very soon after tomorrow. Financial institutions should now review their Libor-based contracts and products to quantify their exposure to the discontinuation of such a rate. While the effort is obviously larger for financial institutions, other enterprises, and even retail investors and borrowers, should assess their risk and determine what measures to take. We provide below an overview of the contracts that may be affected and possible remedies. Continue reading “Sponsored briefing: The end of Libor in Switzerland”

Switzerland – The rough and the smooth

Switzerland – The rough and the smooth

Switzerland has not been in a foreign conflict since 1815 when its neutrality was first established by the Treaty of Paris. But, two centuries on, the peace-loving nation could be set to experience a discreet civil war – this time between its law firms.

Despite a cluster of top domestic players vying for the best work, Swiss lawyers have never experienced the level of international competition felt by France and Germany. The market has perhaps been too cosy, the work too plentiful and the outlook too certain. Yet there is something in the Alpine air that suggests this might change – and when it does, the battle for business will intensify. To be fought entirely by stealth rather than with steel, it may nevertheless reshape the domestic legal landscape. Continue reading “Switzerland – The rough and the smooth”

Market report: Switzerland – Feeling lucky

Market report: Switzerland – Feeling lucky

2017 is shaping up to be another strong year for the leading Swiss firms, particularly on the back of a frothy M&A market

‘Compared to other European jurisdictions, Switzerland has been doing well,’ says Benjamin Borsodi, managing partner of Schellenberg Wittmer. ‘2016 was a very good year for many Swiss firms, especially the major ones. It was our best year ever and it looks positive for 2017 as well.’ His sentiment is echoed by Daniel Daeniker, managing partner of Homburger: ‘I was expecting the end of the M&A cycle: it’s simply not happened. Our first quarter numbers in 2017 are well above last year.’

Continue reading “Market report: Switzerland – Feeling lucky”