GCR 100 - 17th Edition

Homburger

Professional notice

Switzerland

The godfather of Switzerland’s competition bar, HOMBURGER was the first firm to establish an antitrust practice in the early 1960s and remains one of the country’s elite. Franz Hoffet leads a competition team that boasts real depth, working with partner Marcel Dietrich and a roster that counts two counsel – Martin Thomann and Andreas Burger, who was promoted this year – and several associates. Partner Gerald Brei left for Eversheds earlier this year, but Hoffet expects the departure to have little effect on the practice. The competition team, which recently merged with the firm’s wider regulatory group, has serious pedigree, having previously represented clients in Switzerland’s first-ever leniency application, its first-ever dawn raid and its first-ever sanction procedure. This year it added another first: acting for Volkswagen-importer AMAG in the country’s maiden hybrid settlement case.

The firm is active in the majority of the major behavioural cases brought by Switzerland’s Competition Commission. It advises leniency-applicant UBS in the enforcer’s Libor, Forex and precious metals investigations – the biggest cartel matters ever handled by the commission. Homburger counsels Alpiq, the country’s largest electricity company, and big-tobacco company Philip Morris. It is advising a company in civil antitrust litigation relating to a selective distribution system and also representing Eli Lilly in its appeal against vertical price-fixing charges before the country’s Federal Supreme Court, as well as several other clients on parallel import cases.

For the most part, merger control work in Switzerland is rare because of the country’s high thresholds, but Homburger sees more of this than most. It advised leading European digital publisher Axel Springer on its joint venture with Ringier, securing Phase I approval for the magazine business deal, and also took instructions from Swisscom regarding a joint venture with Coop, setting up an ecommerce platform. The firm is regularly active on big international mergers that don’t require filing in Switzerland. It coordinated multinational filings for ChemChina on its €39.4 billion takeover of Syngenta and also files deals in Brussels, something that few other Swiss firms are able to do. Last year, the firm was instructed on a pair of megadeals: advising Holcim on its international filings – except in the EU – for its €40 billion merger of equals with Lafarge, and General Electric on its €12.5 billion bid for Alstom’s power and grid businesses.

Key facts

Team Head: Franz Hoffet | Deputy Head: Marcel Dietrich
Team: 6 Partners, 3 Counsel and 12 lawyers

Practice overview

The Competition | Regulatory (CORE) practice team advises domestic and international clients on Swiss and European competition law and regulatory matters and represents them before the Swiss Competition Commission, the EU Commission and other courts and administrative authorities. The CORE practice team also advises its clients on administrative law and on questions relating to market regulation and represents them before administrative authorities and courts, particularly in the areas of

  • Procurement law
  • Energy
  • Health and Pharma
  • Media and Telecommunications
  • Infrastructure and Transport
  • International Trade
  • Administrative law
  • Data Protection

Homburger is a Swiss full-service business law firm. Since 1957, the firm has provided advice and representation to enterprises and entrepreneurs in a global environment relating to transactions, disputes and complex legal, tax and regulatory matters. Homburger has 31 partners and a total of approximately 150 professionals, including certified tax experts.

Your CORE contacts:

Franz Hoffet | Partner | Team Head
+41 43 222 12 25
[email protected]

 

Marcel Dietrich | Partner
+41 43 222 12 15
[email protected]

 

Mariella Orelli | Partner
+41 43 222 17 13
[email protected]

 

Gregor Bühler | Partner
+41 43 222 16 44
gregor.bü[email protected]

 

Andri Hess | Partner
+41 43 222 16 66
[email protected]

 

Georg Rauber | Partner
+41 43 222 15 74
[email protected]

 

Andreas Burger | Counsel
+41 43 222 15 76
[email protected]

 

Martin Thomann | Counsel
+41 43 222 15 52
[email protected]

 

David Rosenthal | Counsel
+41 43 222 16 69
[email protected]

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