Werner Jahnel

+41 58 105 2100

Werner Jahnel

Partner  |  Lalive
JURISDICTION

Switzerland
Austria
Spain

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate and trust litigation with a strong international focus, (international) estate planning, trust arbitration, arbitration in estate matters; international divorce proceedings and family issues, adult protection, art law.

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Several new international estate litigations for UHNWI and high profile mandates as arbitrator

How did you get into private client?

Our firm has a long tradition in private international law and dispute resolution in complex international inheritance matters and family disputes. Due to my great interest in this area of practice, I have volunteered to work on those cases from the very beginning and have been able to build up an expertise and my own client base.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

To go out for drinks as often as possible, without having a drink and being back at work the next day at 8am; networking, personal contacts and hard work are key in this practice area; it is also important to have interests outside in order to be able to maintain an interesting conversation with our very demanding clients;

What is your favourite quote?

I cannot tell you what my favourite quote is, however most of my client’s favourite quote seems to be the following: “I’m very much down to earth, just not this earth.” ― Karl Lagerfeld

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I do not function without sports, culture and investing time for my family and friends

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Le Pont de Brent, close to my house in Montreux

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

International divorce and estate litigation

Can you identify any new areas you have developed within your practice to further benefit your clients?

I see an increasing need and interest for arbitration in different areas of my private client practice

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

1. Do not suggest zoom or other calls with camera, unless the client asks for one; 2. if you are in a video call, make sure that privacy and confidentiality is absolutely guaranteed (avoiding family members appearing on screen); 3. make sure to reach out to your clients on a regular basis; they shall remember you after the pandemic


Leon Keen

+41 (0)44 227 6700

Leon Keen

Partner  |  Rawlinson & Hunter
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Trusts
Multi-National Families

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Family offices
International trust structures
Private trust companies and purpose trusts


Bhavnita Gosrani

Bhavnita Gosrani

Associate Director  |  ZEDRA
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Trusts


Patricia Guerra

+41443969191

Patricia Guerra

Partner, Head of Private Client (Zurich)  |  Meyerlustenberger Lachenal (MLL)
JURISDICTION

Switzerland
United States (NY)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate and succession planning
Private assets structuring
Philanthropy and charitable giving

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

It has been a special year and we had to adapt to a new way of working. This notwithstanding, having satisfied clients has been the highlight and extremely rewarding.

How did you get into private client?

I started many years ago as a corporate lawyer advising entrepreneurs. The firm was smaller at the time and lawyers in Switzerland were rather generalists than specialists. I began to advise our clients with regard to their private matters and discovered, enjoyed and developed this area.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Advising with sincerity and integrity will reward you.

What is your favourite quote?

"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value" – Albert Einstein

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Walking in nature and music. Discovering cultures. Painting.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Yauatcha and Zuma in London.

Where have you seen growth in your practice over the last year?

Over the last year we have seen growth in the area of relocation of a younger generation of US and UK executives and UHNW persons and their families from the US and the UK to Switzerland. This resulted in a consecutive increase in demand of services in various practice areas such as taxes (including obtainment of tax rulings for trusts and structures that come with the individuals and family assets restructuring), immigration, family office related advice, review and adaption of estate planning and nuptial agreements, acquisition of real estate, etc. Several of these clients mentioned that they looked at Switzerland for its political, legal and tax stability, as well as quality of life. We have also seen an increase in estate planning requests of clients in general, that picked up after the standstill during the first lockdown.

What is the main area of growth you predict for the next 12 months?

We believe that the above mentioned trend will continue during the year.

What are three top tips for dealing with your clients remotely?

Clients expect the same level of service whether we work remotely or not. It is therefore important to show them that we are still as available and flexible as before.
Of course, all the tools for working remotely, including strong internet, remote access to files, secure communication and reachability by phone (cell or call forwarding) must be available.
In addition, my three tips for successfully communicating remotely with the clients are:
1. Prepare conference calls or video meetings with your team to make them precise, concise and short. Send any documents some days in advance to allow your client and his/her team to get acquainted with the matter at their own pace before the meeting. Remember that people, including your clients and their teams, are confronted each day with many conference/video calls. A different type of interaction has transformed our communication. Constant calls and video calls tire us out. Concentration is bound to decrease after a certain period of time and this will reduce efficiency and the concentration of your client in maybe important matters.
2. If you are participating in video meetings, make a good impression on your clients: have a tidy background (must look professional), choose good strong lighting, meet the expectations of your client with regard to the dress code, keep the video on at all times to show your interest (you may choose to mute for better acoustics in meetings with several participants when you are not speaking) and avoid getting distracted.
3. When constantly working remotely, there is the danger that if you love your job you will end up sitting in front of your laptop for hours without making a transition from work to private life. Remote work can also be isolating. Unplug and disconnect. Your mental health and rest are also important. You cannot take good care of your client unless you take good care of yourself.


Serge Calame

+41227371000

Serge Calame

Partner, Head Private Clients, Geneva  |  Meyerlustenberger Lachenal (MLL)
JURISDICTION

Switzerland

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate disputes
Trust & estate planning
Immigration & relocation

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Settling a very complicated family dispute in relation to a third generation trust involving beneficiaries living in three different jurisdictions and "indelicate" trustees and protectors, whilst negotiating tax rulings with authorities in parallel.

How did you get into private client?

Private client work in Geneva is compulsory!

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Building trust with exclusive clients takes time but the best marketing comes from satisfied clients, so be dedicated, open-minded and imaginative, of course very good at what you do and, perhaps most of all, patient!

What is your favourite quote?

“Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member." Groucho Marx.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Anything in the mountains!

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Le Coin du Bar, Geneva.

What do you think will be the biggest three challenges in your practice for the next 12 months?

Clearly the first challenge is to maintain a first class quality of services in the present Covid-19 environment. The second challenge is to reach out to the world when we will be able to travel and meet again whilst facing likely new tax initiatives that will most certainly come to light and impact our clients. The last challenge I foresee this year will be to see what dress-code will apply in the new post-Covid and post home office world!

Can you identify any new areas you have developed within your practice to further benefit your clients?

The present crisis has proven that Switzerland is very robust and provides a strong and stable system in the middle of a very shaken Europe. As such, we have been increasingly instructed to assist clients wishing to relocate themselves and/or their businesses in Switzerland, not only for potential tax benefits but also to benefit from the highest standards of healthcare and education.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Make sure you don’t stay virtually connected for too long! Meeting people and visiting countries is the only real way to understand cultures, people and the world we live in and develop the required emotional intelligence and diplomatic skills we need to properly advise sophisticated clients.


Mario Cohn

+41228880630

Mario Cohn

Managing Director, Switzerland  |  ZEDRA
JURISDICTION

Spain

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Wealth and succession planning use of private trust companies combination of private affairs with corporate/operational matters of our clients.

Enhanced Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Under the Latam role, supporting a very large family with a restructuring from an older structure. Under my MD role, leading and supporting a team during a global pandemic while ensuring that our clients' affairs remain well covered and we maintain regular contact with them.

How did you get into private client?

I started working with corporate clients in Luxembourg and from there on I got to know business owners. It was a logical transition into this area as well.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Football, hiking and my daughter.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Any restaurant as long as it has a terrace by the beach and near water!


Sandrine Giroud

+41 58 105 2000

Sandrine Giroud

Partner  |  Lalive
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Litigation
Art law
Asset recovery & protection

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Successfully defending a private individual against extradition to Russia and being involved in the largest art fraud litigation case ongoing at the moment.

How did you get into private client?

It was a natural inclination towards helping individuals and a taste for art.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Art, cooking, reading, skiing and hiking.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

L'Adresse.


Andrea Dorjee-Good

Andrea Dorjee-Good

Partner  |  Schellenberg Wittmer
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate planning
Contentious trusts and estates
Philanthropy & charities

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

I qualified as a certified specialist in inheritance law in 2019 and got promoted to Partner in January 2020.

How did you get into private client?

I entered private client on my first day as a qualified lawyer and it is what I already wanted to specialise in at university. I like the client facing element and the fact that every case is different – each client has a different story to tell.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.“ - Oscar Wilde

What is your favourite quote?

"Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.“ Henry James.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Gardening and hiking I I also have three children who keep me busy!

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

Restaurant Terrasse in Zurich.


Tina Wüstemann

+41 58 261 50 00

Tina Wüstemann

Partner, Head of Private Client  |  Bär & Karrer
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland
United States (NY) (non-practising)

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Trusts and estates litigation
Wealth and estate planning
Administration of estates

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

Representation and lead counsel (of several teams of lawyers) in multi-billion, complex trust and estate litigation with regards to a Swiss estate, involving assets and various structures in numerous civil law and trust jurisdictions. Advising UHNW individual and his family with overall wealth and estate planning, including succession and family law matters, corporate matters and family governance. Representation of heirs in large Swiss estate, involving assets in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA and several trusts in Guernsey and BVI.

How did you get into private client?

It started with my first position over 20 years ago at another big Swiss law firm where I worked as an associate for the senior partner who had interesting private client work I worked then for a year in a law firm in Sydney, Australia and obtained an LL.M at NYU, which helped me to gain the necessary expertise to handle cross border cases.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Apart from broad expertise, not only with regard to the client's own jurisdiction but also to other systems of law and cultures, be a good listener, understand the family dynamics, have good common sense and great empathy for the clients.

What is your favourite quote?

"Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about." Sheryl Sandberg.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Sports, travelling and pro bono work.

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

I would still prefer to eat at home where my husband and my daughter regularly spoil me with delicious dinners.


David Wallace Wilson

+41 22 707 8000

David Wallace Wilson

Partner, Private Wealth  |  Schellenberg Wittmer
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland
United States

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal and estate planning
Succession planning
Dispute resolution

Q&A

What has been the highlight of your practice over the past 12 months?

On the transactional side, the sale purchase of rare and exquisite musical instruments. The area of arts within the private wealth sphere is booming. Selling such rare instruments – from negotiating, to after sale service –is very interesting and an unusual side of the practice.

How did you get into private client?

I was fond of trusts even at university, and started a dedicated website to the topic during my LLM. I knew this was an area of interest in which I wanted to specialize in, and focused on trust, estates and taxation during my LLM. My mentor, who founded this firm, was looking for an associate in private clients, and I was the perfect fit.

What advice would you give rising stars/new lawyers in the private client world?

Stray hungry, stay humble.

What is your favourite quote?

“The more corrupt the republic, the more numerous the laws." Tacitus.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I am an avid gardener and watcher of the Gardener's World!

When the restaurants reopen, where would you like to go?

A nice, family run, small restaurant called Monte Bianco – just two blocks from our office!