Merger creates leading Swiss business law firm with a strong international profile
The prominent Swiss law firms Meyerlustenberger Lachenal and FRORIEP plan to merge, creating a new top-tier commercial law firm in Switzerland. A total of 155 lawyers will provide Swiss and international law advice to clients from four Swiss locations in Zurich, Geneva, Zug and Lausanne, and from its international offices in London and Madrid. The new firm will have a strong focus on high-tech, innovative and regulated sectors.
By combining the expertise of Meyerlustenberger Lachenal and FRORIEP, the new law firm consolidates and strengthens the existing pool of know-how in the traditional areas of business law, such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Finance, Dispute Resolution and Intellectual Property (IP). The new firm will also be able to draw on unparalleled expertise in innovative sectors such as Fintech, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence, in addition to IP-rich and regulated sectors such as Life Sciences, Telecommunications, Financial Services, Real Estate, and Retail & Luxury. In these fields, experts at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal and FRORIEP have already built a strong reputation as leading specialists who regularly appear in prominent legal publications and lawyer rankings. Private Clients is another area where the merger will generate enormous benefit by bringing together the expertise of both law practices.
The new law firm will have a very strong international profile. The offices in London and Madrid provide services on the ground to foreign clients active in the Swiss market. These outposts are key links in the new firm’s high-quality international network, which also provides bespoke assistance to Swiss clients working in international markets.
The six members of the Board of Directors, comprised of representatives of both law firms and from across the larger offices, will be Dr Alexander Vogel (Chairman), Nicola Benz, Dr Hubert Orso Gilliéron, Dr Simon Holzer, Daniel Schoch and Philippe Prost. The firm will be managed by seven members of the Executive Board, headed by the two co-managing partners Jean Marguerat and Dr Michael Ritscher. The Executive Board also has a balance of members from both law firms and from the German- and French-speaking regions of Switzerland.
The new law firm will have 251 employees in total, including 155 lawyers, spread across offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lausanne, Zug, London and Madrid. With 14 female partners, the new practice will also have by far the highest share of female partners of any Swiss commercial law firm.
Details of the new law firm’s corporate identity will be released early in 2021. The merger should be completed by the end of June 2021.
“In a highly competitive environment, one of the distinguishing features of both our current law firms and the new fully integrated law firm of the future is the strong team spirit. We specifically focus on cultural diversity and a dynamic approach, built upon entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary thinking. This enables us to achieve the high standards we aspire to in our daily legal practice and services for clients across the globe,” says Jean Marguerat, LL.M., Co-Managing Partner of the new venture, in describing the corporate culture of the new law firm.
Dr Michael Ritscher, LL.M., the other Co-Managing Partner, summarises the new law firm’s strategic direction: “We want to take on the challenges of our sector, such as digitalisation and technological innovation, and strengthen our leading market position in these areas. Our priority is quality rather than quantity. As a leading market player, we are attractive not only to clients and to partner law firms in our international network, but also to top talents in the job market.”