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Attorneys at Law Bern, Switzerland Office Profile


Attorneys at Law
Bern, Switzerland

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About this office:

Our clients are national and international corporations, individuals, public institutions and public administrators as well as professional associations. Our offices are located in the centre of the cities of Berne, Zurich and Basel. Members of our firm are fluent in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. A solid basic legal education, professional experience in Switzerland as well as abroad, a far reaching personal network in Switzerland and excellent relations with lawyers and experts in Europe and the United States enable us to serve national as well as international clients.

Corporate & Commercial

Kellerhals with its growing and active team offers a full range of corporate and commercial services to national and international clients, in trade, automobile, manufacturing, pharmaceutical telecommunications and logistics. Over 100 Swiss companies rely on this more than 60-strong firm with offices in Basel, Berne and Zurich for their corporate legal needs on an ongoing basis. With positions on the boards of more than 20 companies, 3 of them public, the partners demonstrate their successful specialization. Kellerhals is proud to be as fast and flexible as their clients and their line of business. Clients praise the availability and personal service of the core team with Thomas Bähler, Marco Balmelli, Beat Brechbühl, Bernhard Christen and Ines Pöschel.


The M&A team at Kellerhals acts for a broad domestic and international client base operating in a variety of industries including Life Sciences, natural resources, real estate and Private Equity transactions, listed and private companies. In the first half year of 2009 it was involved in 9 mid-sized and 3 large transactions, one as lead counsel to the acquirer in a friendly public take-over, and as counsels to two bidders in the two large M&A in Switzerland in recent time. The team, headed by Beat Brechbühl, and Ines Pöschel was praised by clients as "competitive in billing, highly efficient and very client orientated". Moreover, Peter Rickli, an experienced transaction lawyer, formerly working for Sandoz (now Novartis) joined the core team due to the merger of Kellerhals Hess with Christen Rickli Partners.

Capital Markets

Kellerhals advises various companies listed at the main segment of the SX Swiss Exchange regarding capital market issues such as Galencia, Kardex, Tornos, Berna Biotech. The team acted as transaction counsels on IPOs. In 2009, Kellerhals was engaged by Ypsomed Holding for its capital increases and by Edisun Power for a convertible bond. Beat Brechbühl, the competitive leader of the Kellerhals capital market team, has a thorough experience in advising bidders and targets (Takeover of Métraux Services by Derendinger Swiss Automotive and Quadrant by Aquavit) in national and international takeover situations. Balthasar Bessenich and Marco Balmelli acted as notaries on IPOs for Dufry, Santhera, Syngenta and Straumann. The strength of the Kellerhals capital market team is boasted by Ines Pöschel. Clients appreciated the firm's "efficiency, a straightforward approach to handle legal issues and the availability and personal service of the partners involved".

Banking & Finance

The Banking & Finance Team is one of the core pillars of Kellerhals. The head of the team, Werner Schubiger, is praised by clients as "one of the leading advisors on Swiss and foreign funds and highly efficient". Together with Dominik Oberholzer they are advising a broad range of Swiss and foreign funds, including hedge funds, with regard to the set-up, distribution and registration in Switzerland and abroad.

Markus Hess is considered as "the foremost real estate leasing expert" and is advising lessors and lessees in a lot of transactions over the last 20 years. The firm also hosts the secretary to the Swiss Leasing Association and its self-regulatory organization for the combat against money laundering. The team is regularly retained for money laundering assistance in international finance transactions, namely asset finance.

Dispute Resolution

With a team of 25 litigation lawyers Kellerhals covers all areas of international and national litigation and arbitration, including trade and commercial law litigations, IT/IP disputes, insolvency proceedings, white-collar crime cases and the enforcement of foreign judgments. The head of the team Daniel Staehelin is an experienced litigator with a focus on banking maters. Franz Kellerhals and Bernhard Berger regularly act as chair and member of panels in International and national arbitration proceedings, covering, inter alia, construction cases, M&A disputes as well as agency and distribution issues, involving parties from all continents. Ernst Hauser and Andreas Güngerich are heavily involved in litigations in the field of construction and public tenders. Fabrizio Gabrielli has always many construction cases pending. Peter Schatz covers all kinds of national and international commercial proceedings, particularly also in the field of art and trust law. His pending litigations involve a USD 3.6 billion fraud case as well as a complex international trust case of USD 120 million. The main focus of Annette Spycher is family and inheritance law, the main focus of Daniel Alder and Claude Thomann is in employment and IT/IP disputes. The special field of Pascal Grolimund and Lukas Bopp are trans-border cases. Florian Baumann is one of the few specialists in Switzerland handling the delicate representation of foreign clients in Swiss legal assistance procedures for foreign criminal and administrative cases.

EU, Competition and WTO

Daniel Alder specializes in technology transfer and licensing matters. Thomas Bähler advises and represents a large Swiss telecom provider on litigating antitrust matters. Pascal Grolimund represents a large Swiss company on antitrust, WTO and European Union Law whole over Europe.

Insolvency and Restructuring

The insolvency and restructuring team at Kellerhals represents domestics and international clients in enforcement proceedings and restructuring in Switzerland. The team has a large experience in assistance of creditors in all kind of bankruptcy proceedings, in compositions with creditors, in restructuring as well as in avoidance actions. Furthermore, Kellerhals is specialized in obtaining and repulsing freezing orders. Daniel Staehelin is known as one of the leading insolvency lawyers in Switzerland. Andreas Güngerich and Lukas Bopp are rising stars.


Kellerhals IP/IT group provides a full range IP services including litigation and licensing. Daniel Alder has a lot experience in copyright and trademark counterfeiting cases and is representing among others a major sports brand.


With regard to TV media, Kellerhals is providing full-service advice to a private Swiss TV station. The firm's IT/IP partner Daniel Alder has a particular specialization in the internet and new technology sectors assisting clients on complex IT projects, such as software development, outsourcing and new media platforms.


The tax team at Kellerhals has a strong reputation for tax planning, VAT, tax litigation and restructuring. Ivo Baumgartner acted among others for a consortium of banks in a CHF500m-plus real estate leasing transaction and advised a leading leasing company in relation to new refinancing structures (CHF600m-plus). Christian Witschi focuses on transactional tax consulting for M&A and corporate reorganizations including tax related structuring of financial products. Thomas Hentz and Peter Rickli act for foreign groups seeking advice for domicile or holding structures and for private clients moving their domicile to Switzerland.

Real estate and construction

Kellerhals has a broad experience in real estate and construction law. Bernhard Christen, Fabrizio Gabrielli, Ernst Hauser and Markus Hess regularly represent leading Swiss construction companies in large projects. Peter Rickli and Balthasar Bessenich lead sales and sale and lease back transactions of real estate portfolios of pension funds, industries sites.


Statement of Practice Summary:
Commercial Law, Contracts, Labour Law, Leasing Law, Company Law, Corporate Law, including Law on Corporate Groups Mergers and Acquisitions, Venture Capital Structuring, Capital Market Law, Banking, Securities, Investment Funds and Insurance Law, Intellectual Property, Distributorship, Franchising and Licensing legislation, Copyright and Art Law, Industrial Property, Computer and Software Law, Information Technology, Internet Law, Unfair Competition, Advertising and Marketing Law, Media and Entertainment Law, Competition Law, Litigation and Arbitration, Civil Liability, Zoning and Constructions Law (Berne), Corporate Reorganization and Bankruptcy Law, Public Procurement Law, Criminal Law, International Legal Assistance, Private International Law, Property Law, Property Rental Law, Probate, Trusts, Wills, Tax Law.

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