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GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Peter & Partners

18 February 2016

A new start for a leading Swiss name

People in Who’s Who Legal: 2
Pending cases as counsel: 8
Value of pending counsel work: US$5 billion
Current arbitrator appointments: 26 (of which 11 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator: 2

NEW ENTRY

Swiss practitioner Wolfgang Peter launched this practice in Geneva and Berne in October 2015 after 34 years with Python & Peter, a firm he had helped to develop into one of the leaders of Switzerland’s arbitration market.

Peter is a former chief executive of Swiss watchmaker Breguet whose background is in M&A law. In the late 1990s, he was counsel in a seminal ICC case over the breakup of Arthur Andersen. Nowadays he’s a leading arbitrator (he chaired the LCIA panel that issued a a €1.9 billion award in Elektrim v Vivendi in 2009) and has carved a niche for himself as a specialist in gas pricing disputes.

Joining him as partners at his new firm are former Python & Peter lawyers Christopher Brunner and Julia Xoudis. Brunner was a professor at the University of Berne for several years, while Xoudis is an associate professor at the University of Geneva.

The new boutique is focused on international arbitration, with particular emphasis on energy, joint venture and post-M&A disputes, though it also offers litigation services.

It’s early days for the firm in terms of broadcasting clients and results, but Peter and his team certainly have had an illustrious track record at his former firm. One of their most notable victories came in 2015, when they helped the National Iranian Oil Company win over US$1.1 billion in a 26-year arbitration against an Israeli government-owned company concerning oil shipments predating the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Peter & Partners is already understood to be acting for a major European energy conglomerate in several gas-price review disputes with a rival company – the value of which exceeds €1 billion.