GAR 100 - 7th Edition

Lenz & Staehelin

Professional notice

The Swiss practice said goodbye to high-profile partner Paolo Michele Patocchi

People in Who's Who:
Pending cases as counsel:
Value of pending counsel work:
US$8 billion
Treaty cases:
Current arbitrator appointments:
65 (of which 28 are 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. One of its better-known partners, Xavier Fabre-Bulle, often sits as an arbitrator.

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 its lawyers. 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. One client that is on the public record is Turkey’s Çukurova Group in various arbitrations with Nordic telecoms group TeliaSonera.

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 says it has reached favourable settlements in various health-care and pharma disputes. It successfully reduced an award in a claim over trademark licensing to 3 per cent of the amount sought against its Italian client.

Recent events

High-profile partner Paolo Michele Patocchi and associate Paolo Marzolini left at the end of 2013 to set up a disputes boutique in Geneva. Patocchi is in great demand as an arbitrator, having sat on an UNCITRAL panel that awarded GasTerra a gas price hike worth €833 million under a contract with Italy’s Eni.

The firm reports that a claim against a European shipbuilding client in a complex multiparty arbitration was withdrawn in the past year, even as the arbitration among the other parties continues.


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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