In: Stephen Jagusch QC and Odysseas G Repousis, (Contributing Eds.), Getting the Deal Through – Sovereign Immunity 2020, pp. 61-67
The proliferation of misappropriation of assets, fraud and corruption across jurisdictions, as well as unpaid debts, requires cooperation between governments, aggrieved parties and other actors such as private investigators, law firms, forensic experts.
We act for governments, legal entities and individuals assisting in all phases of the asset tracing process in order to recover misappropriated assets or debts located in Switzerland or other jurisdictions.
We routinely work across borders and are well-versed in multi-jurisdictional matters calling upon our network of specialist lawyers for support in other jurisdictions.
Our experience is widespread. We can add value in the following areas:
- Attachment & interim measures: We regularly assist individuals and entities to secure their claims through attachment proceedings, aiming to obtain the freezing, seizure and realization of assets (bank accounts, real property, claims etc.) located anywhere in Switzerland. Our practice also includes assistance in the context of interim measures, such as obtaining the freezing or release of bank guarantees, the freezing of assets on the basis of a Worldwide Freezing Order or preventing the disposal of assets.
- Enforcement of judgment and arbitral awards: We have wide experience in the enforcement of foreign or Swiss judgements and arbitral awards, an important part of our renowned practice in arbitration. Our team of litigators advises and represents individuals, entities and foreign States in recognition and enforcement in Switzerland of judicial decisions or arbitral awards.
- Commercial fraud litigation: Thanks to the breadth of skills and versatility of our litigators, we are well equipped to assist parties involved in commercial fraud. On the one hand, we assist and represent defrauded parties seeking to recover their assets in either civil litigation or criminal proceedings and provide advice on possible regulatory matters and related proceedings before supervisory authorities. On the other hand, we vigorously defend clients accused of perpetrating commercial fraud and put our skills to good use to ensure that unjust claims be quickly dismissed.
- Insolvency proceedings: Based on our expertise in banking & finance and white-collar crime matters, we focus on insolvencies in the financial sector including fraud-related bankruptcies . We act for clients bringing or defending insolvency-related claims (e.g. avoidance claims, D&O liability claims). We assist creditors seeking to collect claims against insolvent debtors, defending creditors’ interests throughout the debtor’s insolvency proceedings (be it a moratorium, civil forfeiture of individuals’ assets or bankruptcies of commercial entities) and deal with the competent agencies. We assist distressed debtors seeking to avoid bankruptcy by either securing payment facilities from creditors or obtaining appropriate court orders. Our team can also advise distressed debtors with the restructuring of their debt. The firm’s expertise in the field extends to cross-border insolvency proceedings, as well as bankruptcies of specific commercial actors such as banks.
- Bringing or defending criminal proceedings: We have leading experience dealing with enforcement agencies in Switzerland and abroad regarding the tracing and recovery of misappropriated assets through criminal proceedings in which court orders can be obtained for the provision of financial information and bank records, the search of premises for the recovery of evidence and the freezing of bank accounts.
- Mutual legal assistance in criminal matters: We assist individuals or entities supporting or resisting foreign mutual judicial assistance requests which aim to obtain evidence of financial transactions and bank records as well as to confiscate assets located in Switzerland. In this context, we also assist foreign governments seeking to trace and recover misappropriated public funds in drafting letter rogatories to Switzerland. We are proud to have secured a number of successful outcomes for our clients in recent years, some of which have landmark rulings in Swiss courts.
- Recognition and enforcement of foreign awards against creditors based in Switzerland or with assets located in Switzerland.
- Recognition of foreign bankruptcy judgments in Switzerland; asset tracing and recovery.
- Bringing or defending insolvency-related claims (e.g. avoidance claims, D&O liability claims).
- Acting as administrators, liquidators, trustees in bankruptcy, or members of creditor committees.
- Representing a central European bank, victim of a EUR 1 billion fraud, in Swiss criminal and civil proceedings for money laundering, including mutual judicial assistance with several States and search and seizure of embezzled assets, as well as the enforcement of foreign judgments against the fraudsters
- Representing the Republic of Kenya in mutual legal assistance proceedings with the Swiss authorities concerning half a dozen cases of corruption involving several Ministers and State agents, with investigations carried out throughout Europe and an amount at stake of USD 800 million
- Representing the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a Libyan sovereign wealth fund, in civil mutual legal assistance proceedings in Switzerland regarding the production of bank documents in support of foreign proceedings against inter alia Société Générale for the recovery of assets in the amount of USD 58 million. The matter raised complex issues of international procedure and sanctions. The matter was ultimately successfully settled with Société Générale, which agreed to pay EUR 963 million to the LIA
- Representing Brazilian individuals in several Swiss criminal and related international assistance proceedings on account of money laundering and corruption of foreign public agents in the context of the Lava Jato and Odebrecht investigations
- Representing a multinational oil & gas company in relation to asset recovery and a fraud investigation against several individuals, in particular the search of assets suspected of having been located in Switzerland
- Representing a Central/Eastern European company active in the energy sector, in a major fraud and corruption case in which the firm is advising the company victim of the fraud, in the context of a Swiss criminal investigation with ramifications in several countries. The total amount at stake is USD 700 million, with the equivalent amount being seized in 150 bank accounts in Switzerland
- Acting for the bankruptcy estate of a foreign bank acting for the administrator of an insolvent foreign bank in asset recovery and criminal proceedings in Switzerland (total value EUR 400 million).
- Acting as lead counsel in insolvency related CHF 1.5bn D&O liability claims, involving more than 80 creditors.
- Alexander Troller and Matthias Gstoehl have been appointed by FINMA as members of the creditor’s committee of Banque Privée Espirito Santo S.A. in liquidation.
International Law Office (ILO), Private Client & Offshore Services, 28 May 2020
Les ordres bancaires falsifiés par un organeGrégoire Geissbühler, 2020
CDBF 1132, 18 June 2020
La charge de la contestation en procédure civile – précise ou motivée ?Grégoire Geissbühler, Célian Hirsch 2020
Revue de l’avocat 06-07/2020, pp. 268 ss.
Droit Suisse des sanctions et de la confiscation internationalesSandrine Giroud, Héloïse Rordorf-Braun 2020
Helbing Lichtenhahn, 1st Edition, 2020
International Law Office (ILO), Private Client & Offshore Services, 9 April 2020
In: LawInside (www.lawinside.ch), 21 March 2020
International Law Office (ILO), Private Client & Offshore Services, 5 March 2020
In: Denis Campbell and Christian Campbell (Ed.), International Civil Procedure, 8th Edition., Juris Publishing Inc., 2019
In: William Christopher, Fiona Simpson, Mary Young, Alun Milford and Melinka Berridge (Contributing Eds.), Getting the Deal Through - Asset Recovery 2020, pp. 103-111
Art collectors' alert – landmark Swiss Supreme Court ruling on returning artworks illicitly exported to country of originSandrine Giroud, Tatiana Jullier, 2019
International Law Office (ILO), Private Client & Offshore Services, 29 August 2019
Attachment of state assets – a better weapon than immunity: the independent legal personality of the state-owned companyNicolas Ollivier, 2013
IBA International Litigation News, April 2013, pp. 75-78
La valeur patrimoniale sujette à confiscation ou à restitution en procédure pénale ; état des lieux de la jurisprudence et défis actuelsBenoît Arthur Mauron, 2018
PJA 11/2018, pp. 1364
Increased Protection for Financial Investors in Switzerland: Swiss Banks Forced to Release Untaxed AssetsHomberger Ani, 2016
International Litigation News, Publication of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division, April 2016, pp. 35-38
La lettre du Conseil, Ordre des Avocats de Genève, N° 62 -March 2016, pp. 34-41
Sandrine Giroud wins the Client Choice Awards 2020 for Asset Recovery in Switzerland
LALIVE wins the Arbitration and Asset Recovery Who’s Who Legal Switzerland Awards 2020
LALIVE’s Investigations practice ranked among top 100 worldwide for fourth consecutive year
LALIVE promotes four to Counsel
LALIVE opens in London
PRESS COVERAGE: WHO’S WHO LEGAL: ASSET RECOVERY 2018 DISCUSSION
LALIVE edits new international guide on Risk and Compliance Management
LALIVE strengthens its Litigation team with the appointment of Matthias Gstoehl to the partnership
Press coverage: Marc Henzelin’s role in the Independent Review Panel of tennis mentioned in article on match fixing
LALIVE’s Investigations practice ranked among top 100 worldwide
Simone Nadelhofer appointed to the Expert Board of Economic Crime Investigation Masters Programme
Press coverage: Daniel Bühr regarding whistleblowing
Marc Henzelin appointed to the Independent Review Panel of the Tennis Integrity Unit
LALIVE ranked among top 100 investigations firms worldwide
Press coverage: Daniel Bühr interviewed on risk management systems
Four LALIVE practitioners recognised among Switzerland’s leading asset recovery experts
Who’s Who Legal: Asset Recovery, 2018
“Lalive’s [recent work] further cements the Swiss firm’s reputation as one of the country’s leading firms for investigations and white-collar crime work”
Global Investigations Review GIR 100, 2017
"Lalive has some stellar investigations lawyers”
Global Investigations Review GIR 100, 2015