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.


Jochen Vogler

+41442681174

Jochen Vogler

Partner  |  Bellecapital
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

USA
Europe

RECOMMENDED SPECIALISMS

Private Client Asset Manager
Financial Advisory Firm

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Wealth Management
Investment Advice
Portfolio Management

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

My largest client is consolidating away from the other advisor to work exclusively with me and my firm, a real sign of appreciation for what we do for them.

How did you get into private client?

Increasing client size over two decades of wealth management work

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Family, sailing, skiing


Kinga Weiss

+41 58 658 56 80

Kinga Weiss

Partner  |  Walder Wyss
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate planning cross border international private law
Structuring with trust and foundations
Litigation

Q&A

How did you get into private client?

I started with Lenz and Staehlin in 1998 as a trainee. For the first 6 years I was a litigator and the Senior Partner I was working for had very serious private clients, which he let me assist him with on the side. I really started to like it and went to NY to do the LLM, choosing trust and estates. The private client partner then asked me to join his practice and I don’t regret it!

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

I would recommend that they not only focus on the legal side of a case but also consider the family issues and other side issues which are involved and which are important for family members. Each family is different and it is crucial for a good lawyer to find out what is best for the specific family.

What is your favourite quote?

“Keep calm and be yourself.”

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I have 3 children – they are my hobbies! I would love to start golfing again.

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

The Haut – a private club in the middle of the city, It’s fabulous.


David Cooney

+41 43 430 02 53

David Cooney

Partner  |  Charles Russell Speechlys
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

England and Wales
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands

Q&A

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

I have just finished helping a multi-jurisdictional family to set up a new succession structure. Before we could do so we needed to deal with a fairly complicated history tracking back to the early 1960s. This involved a lot of complicated work unwinding a number of structures that had been neglected and badly administered over all those years. It was an interesting reminder of the mess that people can get themselves into if they do not take advice along the way.

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

You should get out and start building your international network as early as possible in your career. The clients you will be dealing with are going to have assets in, and connections to, lots of different places. No single lawyer can deal with everything and so there’s going to come a time where your ability to help your clients is dependent on a strong network of people that you trust.

What is your favourite quote?

Coming from the North West of England, I think it would have to be “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.'' John Lennon used it as a lyric in Beautiful Boy, but it was around as a quote for a while before that. It helps me to focus on what’s really important in life.


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.


Mark Summers

+41 43 430 02 40

Mark Summers

Partner  |  Charles Russell Speechlys
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

England and Wales

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

International wealth structuring
Cross border succession planning
Transatlantic tax and estate planning

Q&A

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

Representing STEP at the OECD Working Party 10 on the implementation and guidance for the Common Reporting Standard (CRS). It was not only an honour to be asked to do this but I believe that some of my interventions have made a genuine impact in how the CRS is applied to trusts so that it is practical and provides more accurate information (in particular, how persons such as protectors and settlors should be reported). I am currently working on STEP Switzerland’s Working Group for the implementation and guidance for CRS on trusts, too.

How did you get into private client?

I am a chemist by training. I thought I wanted to do intellectual property law, until I realised how dull it was! One of my other trainee seats at Eversheds was in Monaco, doing international private client work. This persuaded me to change to the dark side and take up international tax and private client work. I got into the US related work through Andrew Penney, a Partner at CRS (now at Sequent.)

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

If you see a gap in the market with few or no practitioners providing badly needed specific advice by clients, seize it and make it your own. If you are talented, intelligent and able to communicate with clients and the world at large, you will succeed.

What is your favourite quote?

“I'd rather have lucky generals than good ones." Napoleon Bonaparte.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

I spend a good deal of time cycling – which is great during lockdown. I’ve spent lot of time in the Swiss mountains. I enjoy wine tasting, food gastronomy and music! Both of my parents were professional musicians.

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

Razzia in Zurich – it was Zurich’s first cinema in the 1920s.


Marnin Michaels

+41443841208

Marnin Michaels

Partner  |  Baker McKenzie
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

United States (NY, MA, FL)

TOP 3 AREAS OF EXPERTISE

International tax controversy (white collar)
International wealth management (planning)
CRS/FATCA

Q&A

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

I have been leading a Major DOJ investigation involving tax investigation for a bank with issues in 8 jurisdictions.

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

Always work to be better and you will be better.

What is your favourite quote?

“Quality begets quality.”


Dominique Jakob

+41 44 634 15 76

Dominique Jakob

Full Professor/Owner  |  University of Zurich/Independent adviser
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland
Germany
Liechtenstein

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Personal and estate planning
Philanthropy and charitable giving
Foundation law

Q&A

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

Relocation of a major, multi-billion trust into a Swiss charitable foundation – this (ongoing) project will have a huge impact in the future.

How did you get into private client?

It was rather a coincidence. Being a young academic and striving for an academic career, I came over the topic of foundation law - a niche topic at the time. By writing a major book on foundation law for Germany and surrounding countries, I fast made my name as the foundation guru. From a Professor position at Zurich University, it took only a matter of days to consult privately. My consultancy then expanded to an international scope into private client work. The private client world found me – and it has been a great symbiosis so far.

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

Be authentic, even if you work for and with important people.

What is your favourite quote?

"Na also, geht doch." (something like: “Ah, there you go”), The Kangaroo from The Kangaroo Chronicles, Marc-Uwe Kling.

Do you have any outside interests or hobbies?

Wine, gardening and surfing. I spent a month in Bali during my sabbatical revisiting surfing and the glory of a surfing day.

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

The “Badi” in Zollikon, at the lake just outside of Zurich. It is a traditional public bath, with a very cool and stylish lounge – we’re waiting for it to open!


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Michael Fischer

+41 44 515 36 30

Michael Fischer

Partner  |  Fischer Ramp Buchmann
JURISDICTIONS QUALIFIED IN

Switzerland

TOP AREAS OF EXPERTISE

Estate planning
Tax planning
Family governance

Q&A

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

Creating my own firm together with my partner and seeing the practice fabulously exceed our expectations.

How did you get into private client?

Enthusiastically!

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

It is about people, in all respects.

What is your favourite quote?

“Never too late to have a happy childhood.”