Private Clients

Estate Planning and Wealth Management

We provide Swiss and non-Swiss individuals and families, foundations and trusts, as well as private banks, family offices and other wealth management service providers, expert advice and sophisticated, tailor-made solutions with regard to all aspects of global estate planning, coordinating, structuring of their private wealth and business assets.

Wills and Donations; Inheritance Disputes

We discuss personal and family requirements with a view to documenting the wishes of our clients in the best possible manner from a legal perspective. Whether our clients' focus is on providing as generously as possible for a surviving spouse or partner, on the retention of family assets, or on arranging for an equitable distribution of the estates of both spouses and partners during their marriage, we will do our best to assist them in achieving their goals. We regularly act as executors of wills and administrators of estates. We advise Swiss and foreign clients in inheritance disputes and also represent them before Swiss courts or in arbitration proceedings.

Pre- and Post-Nuptial Arrangements

Whenever private clients leave or arrive in Switzerland, the existing marriage and estate planning arrangements as well as the pension and fiscal planning against the background of the legal framework of their new country of residence have to be reviewed.

Residence and Nationality

We further provide advice in connection with work and residence permits and related matters for EU or non-EU nationals, including transfer of residence to Switzerland (lump-sum tax ruling). Charity Foundations, Trust Companies and Family Office Administration We set up and provide advice to charitable foundations, commercial and private trust companies, associations, and family offices, on their legal structure, status, governance, as well as on regulatory and fiscal matters arising in this context. We also provide them advice on their global projects. We regularly serve as members of the board of trustees in non-profit foundations. We further provide assistance in the setting up of charitable and non-profit organizations.

Art and Antiques

We advise private collectors, art galleries, artists and financial institutions in Switzerland and abroad on all legal aspects related to the art market and in particular art lending and finance, sale, purchase and consignment of artworks including in public auctions, protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights, donation or bequest of art collections, and dispute resolution (including on the illegal transfer of property). We have a strong practice in art lending and the taking of art collateral. We also advise on the import, export and custom regulations in Switzerland.

We have expertise in the following areas:

  • Estate planning and administration for individuals, families, artists and athletes
  • Structuring of wealth management
  • Wills, succession contracts, and inter-vivos donations
  • Pre- and post-nuptial agreements
  • Judicial and extrajudicial representation in inheritance disputes
  • Residence and nationality, including transfer of residence to Switzerland (lump-sum tax ruling)
  • Real estate acquisition
  • Establishing and advice to commercial and private trust companies, foundations, associations on their legal structure, status and governance, as well as on the implementation of their global projects
  • Establishing family offices
  • Philanthropy, including forming charitable and non-profit organizations
  • Trusts and estate litigation and arbitration (onshore and offshore)
  • Art and antiques, including management of art collections, litigation on transfer of property, purchase and sale of art including in public auctions
  • Regularization of undisclosed assets

Main contacts: Robert Fiechter, Ivan Cohen