GAR 100 - 9th Edition

Lenz & Staehelin

Professional notice

The Swiss practice has co-counselled with WilmerHale

People in Who’s Who Legal:2
Pending cases as counsel:23
Value of pending counsel work:US$6.5 billion+
Treaty cases:0
Current arbitrator appointments:49 (of which 20 are as sole or chair)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator:9

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, headed by Xavier Favre-Bulle in Geneva and Harold Frey in Zurich, two partners who both also sit regularly as arbitrators.

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 Tribunal. The arbitration team successfully argued to uphold a preliminary award issued against Vivendi.

In the area of sports arbitration, the firm successfully defended an award in favour of the world automobile federation before CAS and the Swiss Federal Tribunal, and has also had good results for the international equestrian federation.

The firm says it is proud of the number of favourable settlements it has achieved 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

The firm says it was 100 per cent successful in disputes that reached arbitration in 2015 and that it a full indemnification of the costs in every dispute.

One example was an instruction by a European shipbuilding company in a multi-party, multi-contract dispute relating to the purchase of a luxury yacht. The claim against the company was entirely dismissed, with the client awarded full costs.


With over 200 lawyers 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.

Historically, Switzerland has been a preferred center of international arbitration and Lenz & Staehelin has its solid part in that history. Over time, legal disputes and proceedings have become increasingly complex and require the highest level of expertise and sensitive handling. Our experience enables us to provide our clients with the support they need.

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.

Our arbitral practice is mainly focused on institutional arbitration and, in particular, arbitrations conducted under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce, the Swiss Chambers’ Arbitration Institution, 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 regularly 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 including the U.S. and Latin America.

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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