• Search

GAR 100 - 5th Edition


05 March 2012

Though the firm dates back 100 years, Pestalozzi’s arbitration practice was born 25 years ago, flourishing under the care of respected arbitrator Pierre Karrer.

Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$3.5 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
18 (of which 10 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:

He left the firm some years ago to establish his own boutique but the team has continued to thrive. It is among the largest arbitration practices in Switzerland, with as many as 10 partners and of counsel regarded as highly literate in the area.

Several members of the team sit regularly as arbitrators – particularly Laurent Killias, Michael Kramer and Thomas Rohner. The firm encourages its junior lawyers to attend the Swiss Arbitration Academy; Laurent Killias, a partner in the firm’s Zurich office, was one of the founding members of the academy and now sits on the faculty.


Zurich, Geneva and an office in Brussels.

Who uses it?

Without naming any names, the firm is at present counselling an energy company (on a dispute worth US$1.5 billion), a Russian steel producer, a foreign bank (in arbitration proceedings against a rival), and a Swiss insurance company (in a post-M&A dispute).

It’s a matter of public record that Glencore often uses it for disputes work.

Track record

The firm recently enjoyed success at every stage of a matter for three companies owned by a common foreign private investor: it obtained various attachments within Switzerland in proceedings against a business partner, before an LCIA award and enforcing it locally.

Recent events

2011 saw Tanja Planinic of the Zurich office complete a respected commentary on the new Swiss federal law as it applies to domestic arbitrations. (That law came into force in January 2011.)

Meanwhile, Thomas Rohner and Michael Lazopoulos published an article in the ASA Bulletin called “Respondent’s Refusal to Pay its Share of the Advance on Costs”; and Rohner is co-writing a commentary on the IBA rules on the taking of evidence in international arbitration.

The firm has also recently established an internal programme for continuing professional development and legal education, which includes mock arbitration cases, discussions of important cases, participation in external seminars, and writing and publishing articles.



Regional analysis from arbitrators around the globe, focussing on key developments in specific industry areas and jurisdictions.

The asia pacific arbitration review 2021 20x5

The Asia-Pacific Arbitration Review 2021


Arbitration in mainland China’s free trade zones aiming to match international standards

Disputes in construction and infrastructure projects

Craig Shepherd, Daniel Waldek and Mitchell Dearness

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP