With decades of experience servicing first class Swiss banking institutions, as counsels, but also as board members of banks and members of the Swiss bank's code of conduct supervisory commission, we are recognized for our expertise and the quality of the services we provide to banks, securities dealers, wealth managers, investment funds, fund managers, insurance companies and brokers, trading companies and private clients in Switzerland and abroad.

Regulatory

We provide advice in regulatory matters both in domestic and transborder transactions. We have close ties with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) as well as with other authorities responsible for market regulation and supervision. We are active in the following areas:

  • Compliance and risk management, including anti-money laundering compliance procedures and regulations as well as KYC rules. Robert Fiechter is also the vice-secretary of the Swiss bank's code of conduct supervisory commission (Commission de surveillance des banques – CDB)
  • Rules of conduct (guaranteeing legal activity, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA circulars and directives, Agreement on Due Diligence for Banks (CDB), Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) recommendations, etc.)
  • Procedures presented before Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, particularly licenses for banks and their representative offices and branches, securities dealers and insurance companies, as well as authorizations for investment funds (including the distribution thereof)

Main Contacts: Robert Fiechter, Eric Fiechter

Financing

We advise clients on lending and structured finance transactions, including syndicated lending, leveraged acquisition and buy-out finance, structured finance, projects and infrastructure finance, real estate finance, asset-based finance, work-outs and recapitalizations, and commercial and industrial finance. Our expertise includes advice on the choice, structure and implementation of various forms of financing (debt/equity), such as:

  • Credit facilities for the financing of working capital, acquisitions and projects, including refinancing and restructuring (bilateral and syndicated credit facilities, senior and subordinated loans)
  • Structured financing and financing of leveraged buy-out, including combinations of senior credit facilities, high-yield bonds, and/or mezzanine loans
  • Equity capital raising for privately held companies and workout transactions in relation to reorganizations and restructurings
  • Bond issues (including convertible bonds and high-yields bonds) and share buy-backs
  • Pledge and asset security agreements for financial transactions (pledge of assets, transfer of assets for security purposes), as well as bank guarantees
  • Asset security agreements

Main Contacts: Leila Hawa, Eric Fiechter

Banking Practice Agreements

We negotiate and draft for our clients the required contractual documentation, while adopting a pragmatic and efficient approach in line with their particular needs, including:

  • Asset management or advisory agreements
  • Distribution and custody agreements
  • Brokerage or commission contracts
  • General terms and conditions

Main Contacts: Robert Fiechter, Leila Hawa

Banking Transactions

We have been retained on a regular basis as legal advisors in the context of banks' acquisitions, mergers or equity investments in banks and financial institutions.

We also advise our (commercial or private) clients on their choice of legal structure, internal organization and governance, as well as on their commercial transactions, restructuring operations, particularly in the areas of business transfers (management buy-outs (MBOs), asset deals, share deals, spin-offs, demergers, joint-ventures, etc.), mergers and acquisitions, as well as on their financing projects using risk capital or bank financing solutions.

Main Contacts: Arun Chandrasekharan, Leila Hawa

Investment Funds

We advise Swiss and foreign investment funds on their structuring and registration with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA, and the ongoing regulatory notifications and authorization proceedings. We also provide advice on the authorizations with FINMA of fund asset managers, fund management companies, distributors and representatives of non-Swiss funds.

Main Contacts: Robert Fiechter, Leila Hawa

Litigation and Arbitration

Banking and financial institutions are important actors of the Swiss economy. In their daily dealings they sometimes face crisis situations and disputes that must be managed with discretion and efficiency. We have solid experience in handling such disputes whether through negotiation or litigation. We also have extensive experience in both the avoidance as well as the successful handling of difficult investigations and proceedings involving supervisory and judicial authorities. Our core activities include:

  • Litigation, investigations and enforcement proceedings of banks and other financial intermediaries before regulatory authorities and representation in civil and criminal proceedings
  • Representation of regulated institutions and their corporate bodies during preliminary investigations and administrative proceedings (regulatory enforcement) by FINMA, other supervisory bodies or self-regulation bodies. We are also very actively involved in carrying out critical internal investigations for our clients, frequently for presentation to Swiss and foreign supervisory authorities

Main Contacts: Arun Chandrasekharan, Robert Fiechter