GAR 100 - 6th Edition

Lenz & Staehelin

Professional notice

The Swiss sports specialists have also seen wins in energy, banking and pharma

People in Who’s Who:
Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$11.75 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
49 (10 as sole or chair)
No. of lawyers sitting as arbitrator:

Lenz & Staehelin was established in 1991 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 in 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 legacy firm in Geneva.

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.

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.

The firm also represented the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile in their first doping case. They successfully defended an award in the FIA’s favour before CAS and the Swiss Supreme Court.

They frequently obtain good results for the Fédération Equestre Internationale, which it first acted for in cases arising from the 2008 Olympic Games.

The firm claims to have reached favourable settlements in various health-care and pharma disputes.

Recent events

Following the trend of swelling its junior ranks, with two associate hires last year and a promotion to counsel for Martin Aebi, the firm has recruited a further three associates: French lawyer Julien Burda in Geneva, and Cesare de Santis and Valentina Demi in Zurich.

Paolo Michele Patocchi was also a co-arbitrator on an UNCITRAL panel hearing a gas pricing dispute between Italy’s Eni and Dutch trader GasTerra. In September, the panel awarded GasTerra (a joint venture between Shell, ExxonMobil and the Dutch government) a retroactive price hike worth €833 million.


With over 180 attorneys and offices in three major economic centres, Lenz & Staehelin is the largest law firm inSwitzerland. 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 inGenevaand half inZurich). 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 theU.S.,Italy,Mexico,UKandAustralia.

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
T: +41 58 450 70 00
F: +41 58 450 70 01

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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