GAR 100 - 5th Edition

Lenz & Staehelin

Professional notice

The Swiss firm bolstered its junior ranks in 2011.

People in Who’s Who:
Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$14 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
60 (of which 19 are as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:

Lenz & Staehelin was established two decades ago when Conrad Staehelin’s Zurich firm merged with Raoul Lenz’s Geneva practice. The arbitration group spans both cities and is anchored by three full-time partners, while another seven partners spend up to half their time in the area. They are supported by two arbitration counsel and more than 20 associates, making it one of the larger teams on the market.

Two of the higher-profile partners, Paolo Michele Patocchi and Xavier Favre-Bulle, sit often as arbitrators – they’ve each heard more than 100 cases. The late Robert Briner, chair of the ICC International Court of Arbitration from 1997 to 2006, was an alumnus of the firm.

The firm is proud of the training it offers to its lawyers in the discipline. As well as internal seminars and secondments to foreign groups, it offers them the chance to go on the comprehensive one-year English language training programme at the Swiss Arbitration Academy.

Who uses it?

The group works for large pharmaceutical companies, telecoms groups, banks and international sports federations. Four of its current clients are facing disputes potentially worth several billion dollars.

Track record

Lenz & Staehelin was co-counsel (alongside WilmerHale) to Deutsche Telekom in its complaint against Vivendi before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. The arbitration team successfully argued to uphold a preliminary award issued against Vivendi.

It also saved a leading producer of beverages that had hit problems over a patent. The company built a new plant and designed machinery to manufacture drinks covered by a patent only for the patent holder to cry foul. Lenz & Staehelin had subsequent ICC arbitration over breach of licence dismissed with prejudice.

The Fédération Equestre Internationale is another happy customer. It has called on Lenz & Staehelin several times in connection with high-profile doping cases arising from the 2008 Olympic Games. Several favourable CAS awards were upheld as a result by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, including one case where a medal was at stake.

Recent events

The firm made Martin Aebi counsel in January 2011. He has a particular emphasis on IP and technology-related disputes. It also added Edgardo Muñoz at the associate level to support the Spanish-speaking practice; and Abhay Gaind, an Indian national who is admitted to the Bar Council of Delhi and the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

With over 160 attorneys and offices in three major economic centres, Lenz & Staehelin is the largest law firm in Switzerland. Known for its high professional standards, the firm provides its domestic and international clients with a full range of services in the main areas of law. It is ranked amongst the leading practitioners in business law.

Lenz & Staehelin has enjoyed a leading position in international arbitration for a number of decades. Our attorneys have been involved in several hundred international arbitrations, either as counsel for a party or sitting as arbitrators.

The arbitral practice works primarily on institutional arbitration, and in particular arbitrations conducted under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss Chambers of Commerce, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. The firm is also often involved in UNCITRAL and ad hoc arbitrations.

The firm’s International Arbitration group includes more than 30 attorneys (half in Geneva and half in Zurich). All have qualifications from or practical experience in common law jurisdictions; moreover, our team includes attorneys qualified to practice in a number of foreign jurisdictions such as the U.S., Italy, Mexico, UK and Australia.

Our work includes:

  • State contracts, privatization and investment arbitration
  • Joint ventures
  • Sales and distribution
  • Construction and engineering
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • M&A-related disputes
  • IP and licensing
  • Sports
  • General advice on arbitration issues
  • Arbitration-related litigation; setting aside proceedings

For more information, please contact any of the partners of the International Arbitration group:

Lenz & Staehelin
Route de Chêne 30
CH-1211 Geneva
T: +41 58 450 70 00
F: +41 58 450 70 01

Paolo Michele Patocchi
[email protected]

Xavier Favre-Bulle
[email protected]

Lenz & Staehelin
Bleicherweg 58
CH-8027 Zurich
T: +41 58 450 80 00
F: +41 58 450 80 01

Harold Frey
[email protected]


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