Construction and Real Estate

Kellerhals Carrard provides expertise in connection with construction, real estate and industrial facilities. Many of our attorneys have worked for contractors or owners/developers or have been seconded to legal departments of energy and construction companies. Furthermore, our work for governments on federal, state and local levels enables us to bring valuable experience to the structuring and developing of major projects.

We assist general contractors in managing their legal risk due to late delivery, defects and cost overruns.

Our legal risk management service and guidance includes establishing procedures for dealing with potential risk areas, drafting template documentation and training the client’s contracting team.

We advise claimants and respondents in all aspects of contentious construction matters and, where appropriate and in the interest of the client, provide guidance and support in order to reach a settlement without recourse to arbitration or litigation.


Construction contracts

Thanks to our long-standing experience in the building and energy sectors, our team is well aware of the many issues that can arise in any construction project. Our team assists you throughout all the stages of your project, from structuring, bidding, drafting contracts and managing defaults (e.g. delays, cost overruns, remedies) to dispute avoidance or resolution. Our expert knowledge with contracts ranges from the well-established Swiss standard contracts and model contracts such as the Norm SIA 118, to international standards such as the FIDIC contracts used for major projects with an international scope.

Design contracts

Our core competencies include drafting, negotiating and tailoring all sorts of contracts for architects, engineers and urban designers. Our extensive experience encompasses all customary Swiss standard contract types and model contracts (e.g. SIA and KBOB). We are connected to a broad network within the Swiss urban design and planning industry, and we actively participate in the national legislative process as well as in the development of contractual standards. We regularly advise planning companies and principals on disputes arising out of their design contracts, e.g. on matters of remuneration or in the event of damage.

Project development

We offer a full range of legal services for clients in both the private and public sectors. We coordinate our specialists’ input on development, tax, finance, investment structures (such as leasing) and property litigation. We provide guidance to project developers throughout all stages of their project, provide them with legal decision-making support and draft the necessary legal documentation.

Planning and zoning law

We cover the entire range of the law on planning and zoning, advising government agencies as well as private real estate owners. We work in an advisory capacity and preemptively, but also represent our clients in administrative and appeal proceedings (e.g. in order to obtain building permits).

Public procurement

We have long-standing experience with public procurement and structuring for infrastructure, energy and industrial facilities projects. We provide guidance to bidders and procuring authorities on procurement proceedings and represent our clients in appeal proceedings. We closely follow the law-making process in the area of public procurement and are part of a broad network comprising all of the relevant stakeholders.


  • Legal structuring of projects, including real estate transactions
  • Drafting of contracts for construction projects and for the services of architects and engineers
  • Leasing, financing, tenancy agreements
  • Litigation and arbitration
  • Administrative proceedings and litigation (planning and zoning law, building permits)
  • Public procurement
  • Acquisition of real estate by foreigners
  • International Construction Law (FIDIC)
Deals / cases / references
  • Setup for the development and construction of a housing project by a Swiss developer/general contractor with a total of 70 units (total volume CHF 70 Mio). Advised on contracts, tax, zoning and parcellation.
  • Legal support for management of an infrastructure project (volume CHF 60 Mio). Advising in negotiations and handling of claim management.
  • Support for a project developer, including issues related to tenancy, tax, construction and sale of units (volume CHF 150 Mio.).