Schellenberg Wittmer

Switzerland

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate

Schellenberg Wittmer is a leading Swiss law firm. It has offices in Zurich, Geneva and Singapore and regional desks in Southeast Asia, Brazil and Africa.  

  

Focusses / specialisms  

The firm is a market leader in financial services regulatory, but also does outstanding work in banking and finance, capital markets, M&A and restructuring and insolvency. In banking and finance the firm advises lenders on senior debt financing to healthcare and life sciences companies. 

In financial services regulatory, the firm advises on FINMA approvals and the implementations of new Financial Services and Financial Institutions Acts. 

In capital markets, the firm advises lead managers and issuers on convertible and sustainability bond issues and shares listings of the SIX Swiss Exchange. In structured finance, the firm advises in cryptocurrency, blockchain products and derivatives documentation. 

In M&A, the firm advises on the buy and sell side of large cross-border transactions acting for notable logistics service providers, in-store analytics fund shareholders and digital service companies in takeovers and public tender offers.  

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advises administrators, receivers, liquidators, distressed companies and creditors in bankruptcy, recovery and insolvency proceedings.   

  

Key clients  

Some of the recent key clients of the firm include Oxford Finance, Helvetische Bank, Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative, Rapid Nutrition, Credit Suisse, Panalpina Welttransport, Xovis, Infocentric and Hypotheka. 

  

Research period review: 32nd edition (2021/2022)  

During the research period, the banking team acted for lenders in acquisition financing, as well as financing related to investment funds. It also advised clients in the financial services industry on regulatory and compliance matters related to derivatives, cryptocurrency, fintech, the transition away from LIBOR and securities issuances. 

In capital markets, the team conducted transactions related to debt, derivatives and structured projects. Types of transactions include bail-in bonds, AT1 bonds on the debt side, and futures and swaps on the derivatives side. Many of its clients were in the financial services industry. 

The M&A team acted for mostly buyers in strategic acquisitions and private equity buyouts across several industries. It also advised clients in joint ventures and strategic partnerships. 

  

Deal highlights: 32nd edition (2021/2022)  

Graphic Packaging $1.45 billion acquisition of AR Packaging 

Raiffeisen Switzerland Cooperative CHF 525 million 2% AT1 bond issuance 

  

Client feedback: 32nd edition (2021/2022) 

Banking 

"Very pragmatic; focus on client needs. On time; quick feedback. Legal counsel for all topics in our bank." 

 

Banking and finance 

"Quick and efficient." 

"They anticipated the key challenges we would face so that we could manage them proactively. They demonstrated an in-depth knowledge of the legal aspect of our work but also a good understanding of the cultural specificities of our firm (a privately owned private bank) that helped us manage our project as efficiently as possible. Also, we felt they demonstrated a very strong sense of integrity, as they asked several times whether I preferred them or my team to conduct some parts of the administrative work when it was not necessary to have a legal background to achieve the tasks - resulting in reasonable fees, hence good value for money. So overall we are extremely happy with their service." 

 

Financial services regulatory 

"Firm was client centric and efficient in obtaining a result." 

 

M&A 

"Everything." 

"Schellenberg Wittmer, in the persons of the two partners Pascal Hubli and Marcel Jakob, quickly understood our needs and managed to bring into the negotiations a very reasonable approach balancing business needs and time pressure on one side and required legal push back on the other. We appreciate highly that their advice and negotiation strategy has always been target oriented, choosing their battles wisely. Beside the profound legal knowledge, they also easily understood related financial aspects. Also, both the representatives of Schellenberg Wittmer we have worked with have personal qualities that make it very enjoyable to work with them." 

"SW have been central to the process of guiding us through an extremely detailed legal process of this RTO. They have been 110% on the job." 

 

Restructuring: Corporate 

"Pragmatism, solution oriented, business minded." 

 

Grégoire Wuest 

"Very pragmatic, taking in account our business focus. Understand banks' needs. Clear feedback. Efficient." 

"Gregoire is the main single point of contact of the branch. Very responsive, client centric, good legal knowledge and able to find the right specialised person in the firm if appropriate." 

 

Lorenzo Olgiati 

"Understands the needs of his clients, responsive, available, expertise." 

 

Oliver Triebold 

"Amazing lawyer. Listens and understands our needs and provides fantastic counsel." 

"Completely on the ball and responsive. Oliver has been an equal partner with us on this arduous journey." 

 

Pascal Hubli 

"He is definitely a lawyer you want to have in your M&A transaction team." 

 

Tarek Houdrouge 

"For me, his key strength is that he demonstrates both a very strong in-depth legal knowledge in each specific banking topic I addressed with him and very good communication/strategy skills. In the past, most lawyers I have worked with were either good specialists but then not so good at managing relationships, projects or deadlines; or they were rather good 'salespeople', with very strong interpersonal skills and high-level vision but limited in-depth knowledge when it came to details. In all my interactions with Tarek Houdrouge he demonstrated he has both, which I feel is very rare. It makes it extremely efficient and pleasant working with him." 

"Quick and efficient."