Litigation and Arbitration
The unforeseeable risks and complex regulatory framework of today’s business world means that disputes have become one of its inevitable features. Whenever the dispute has a link to Switzerland, be it a Swiss forum, the application of Swiss law or evidence or assets located in Switzerland, Kellerhals Carrard – as one of the most well-known litigation firms in Switzerland – is the first firm to call.
Our dispute resolution professionals in Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Zurich are qualified to appear before all courts in all Swiss cantons, including all appellate courts. Our attorneys also regularly represent clients in proceedings before federal courts, including the Federal Supreme Court in Lausanne. The daily work of our litigation attorneys consists of injunctions, pre-trial attachments, enforcement of foreign judgments, insolvency proceedings and international judicial assistance. We frequently advise clients involved in foreign litigation (especially in the US) and handle Swiss law issues arising in foreign litigation. We have particular experience handling disputes in the following areas of practice: distribution, franchising, joint ventures, competition and antitrust, securities, corporate, professional responsibility, finance and banking, insurance and pensions, construction and engineering, real estate, international sales and transport, tort and product liability, fraud and asset recovery, sport, employment, M&A-related claims, intellectual property, information and communications technology as well as tax and regulatory issues.
The size of our litigation group allows us to build specialised teams of professionals for each specific case. Clients always have the same attorney or the same team working on their cases, and the Partner in charge is always aware of the current status of the case. Our approach to dispute resolution involves the client as an important member of the team: our strategy is established in mutual discussion with the client, which also has the advantage of keeping costs down.
Kellerhals Carrard is well known for its expertise in domestic and international arbitration. We have represented parties in international arbitration proceedings in a wide variety of cases, including agency and distribution, construction and engineering, corporate and M&A disputes, information and communication technology, insurance, intellectual property, joint ventures, consortia, cooperation and international sales.
The firm has close links to major arbitral institutions such as the ICC, LCIA, WIPO and the Swiss Chambers of Commerce, and we are well versed in their arbitration rules. Several of our attorneys hold positions within the Swiss Arbitration Association and the Swiss Chambers’ Court of Arbitration and Mediation. With respect to international arbitration, we regularly work with professionals abroad, including, local attorneys of the various jurisdictions, consultants and experts in different languages.
- Assistance in foreign fraud litigation against a Swiss bank in the amount of 3.6 billion USD
- Assistance in international trust litigation
- Professional responsibility proceedings against the auditing firm of a listed company
- Defending an automobile manufacturer in a major product liability litigation
- Defending banks against investor lawsuits
Given the nature of arbitration and the reasons parties choose to arbitrate and not to litigate, even the mere existence of most arbitration proceedings is confidential. Nonetheless, we may share some of our experience in international arbitration, which includes:
- Representing a consortium from the Middle East in an ad hoc arbitration arising out of a consultancy agreement
- Acting as arbitrator (chairman) in a Swiss Chambers’ arbitration between a major automobile manufacturer and one of its distributors in the Middle East
- Acting as legal experts in an ICC arbitration concerning a joint venture between two major European providers of telecommunication services