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GAR 100 - 4th Edition

Bär & Karrer

18 February 2011

When Gide Loyrette Nouel needed German-speaking co-counsel for an ICC arbitration it was handling on behalf of France’s nuclear company Areva, against Siemens, it turned to Bär & Karrer.

Who’s Who Name:
Daniel Hochstrasser and Marc Blessing

The Swiss firm – long a force in German-speaking international arbitration – fielded a counsel team led by head of international arbitration Daniel Hochstrasser in Zurich to advise on the dispute over a collapsed joint venture.

Tracing its roots to 1938, the firm is home of the honorary president of the Swiss Arbitration Association, Marc Blessing – who has an of counsel role alongside the nine-partner arbitration team. Blessing nowadays practises exclusively as an arbitrator – he was part of the tribunal that heard a recent dispute between Czech bank CSOB and the Czech Republic.

Hochstrasser is nowadays also a well-known name.

Based in Zurich, the firm opened in Lugano, Zug and Geneva in the 1990s. Recent clients have included Switzerland’s Fuchs Technology Holdings, in a dispute with a Hungarian manufacturer, and Mastercard, which the firm counselled during a dispute with FIFA over sponsorship rights in the run-up to the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. It eventually secured over US$90 million damages for the client.

The firm is always popular as co-counsel. Speaking to GAR in 2008 Hochstrasser said that he is always surprised when he sees a non-Swiss firm attempt to handle a Swiss-seated arbitration without local counsel, “It’s a game in which they do not know the rules, not all of which are written – and I have seen it lead to potential liability cases,” he explained.

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