Banking & Finance

Drawing on our team’s first-hand experience in the financial sector, we are uniquely positioned to handle complex cases requiring specialist knowledge in derivative instruments, hedge funds and other financial products. This enables us to hit the ground running when taking on a new case.

We help all clients facing contentious situations relating to banking and finance: corporates, financial institutions, insurance companies, pension funds, hedge funds, private equity firms, asset managers, broker-dealers, family offices, trustees and successful individuals.

Our clients typically retain us to act against banks.Compared to other law firms, we have no ties to the financial sector and are generally free to act against these institutions.

In line with the firm’s international focus, we routinely work on cross-border mandates and are well-versed in multi-jurisdictional matters. We call upon our network of specialist lawyers for support in other jurisdictions.

Our expertise is widespread, covering the full spectrum of banking and finance disputes:

  • Investment disputes: We regularly act for clients facing investment-related disputes. This will typically include fraud, mismanagement, improper execution of orders, valuation and margin call disputes, fraudulent transfer orders or undue kickback payments. Increasingly, banks tend to unilaterally freeze accounts of clients.
  • Recovery and resolution / Insolvency: We have built considerable expertise in representing clients and counterparties in bank insolvency proceedings and related claims to potential liable auditors, directors, and insurances.
  • Credit and structured finance: A considerable amount of disputes relate to credit and structured finance. Drawing on the unique track record of our experts in this area, we are able to provide expert advice in originating, structuring, securing and executing transactions.
  • FINMA enforcement proceedings / Regulatory: We assist regulated market participants, managers and key employees, who are subject to FINMA enforcement proceedings. Drawing on this expertise, we also advise regulated market players (security brokers, fund managers and distributors, independent asset managers and others) in relation to the regulatory matters, including international administrative assistance between Swiss and foreign supervisory authorities.
  • Cryptocurrencies & blockchain: We are increasingly retained by investors on contentious matters relating to cryptocurrencies. Be it fraud claims, asset tracing or complaints to FINMA and/or criminal authorities, we have the relevant expertise required to advise our clients. Our team have advised on various Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and are therefore well positioned to act for clients in this area.
  • Representing a politically exposed UHNWI with assets in 20 bank accounts held at one Switzerland’s leading banks held through offshores and trusts. The case involved allegations of fraud, mismanagement of assets, market manipulation, insider trading, commingling and execution of unauthorised transactions on exotic and illiquid financial products committed by the bank’s asset managers
  • Representing a HNWI in litigation proceedings related with a civil action brought against the Swiss branch of a leading bank, which had blocked the client’s assets which had not been declared to the client’s country of origin’s tax authorities. The firm secured a significant victory in the Geneva courts, resulting in the release of the funds back to the client
  • Representing a HNWI and his company against one of the major Swiss banks, for wrongful execution of a margin call related to complex OTC structured products related to currencies. The case involves miscalculation of the value of the OTC products, hidden commissions, conflict of interests of the bank selling its own products
  • Representing the US monitor of a major Swiss bank, advising on data protection, banking secrecy, regulatory and criminal law questions arising under the monitorship, including establishing a whistle-blower reporting platform
  • Representing a number of Swiss private banks in relation to the Program for Non-Prosecution Agreements or Non-Target Letters for Swiss Banks of the US Department of Justice
  • Representing the lenders under a multicurrency USD 2 billion facilities agreement granted to a German company with subsidiaries in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and other jurisdictions
  • Representing an African State in an USD 1 billion investment dispute concerning the misappropriation of the assets of a commercial bank

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 internationales

Sandrine Giroud, Héloïse Rordorf-Braun 2020

Helbing Lichtenhahn, 1st Edition, 2020

International Civil Procedure: Switzerland

André Brunschweiler, Sandrine Giroud, Noémie Raetzo, 2020

In: Denis Campbell and Christian Campbell (Ed.), International Civil Procedure, 9th Edition., Juris Publishing Inc., 2020

Impact of Covid-19 on criminal proceedings

Marc Henzelin, Deborah Hondius, Simine Sheybani, Adam El-Hakim, 2020

LALIVE Blog, April 2020

LALIVE is renowned for its banking litigation practice, while also covering regulatory and compliance matters, as well as debt structuring and capital market transactions, initial coin offerings and investigation matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Zurich, 2019

The core areas of LALIVE's practice include dispute resolution against financial institutions, advice on regulatory issues and internal investigations, as well as capital market and fintech matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Geneva, 2019

The ‘very client-oriented and responsive’ Lalive delivers ‘outstanding services’ in litigation against banks by applying ‘aggressive’ methods; however, ‘strong practical advice’ is also provided on regulatory issues.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Geneva, 2018

The Zurich team of Lalive ‘has strong capabilities and is extremely knowledgeable’, offering expertise in regulatory, compliance, litigation and investigation matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Zurich, 2018

Simone Nadelhofer and Daniel Bühr head the practice at Lalive, which is recommended for banking litigation as well as compliance and internal investigations.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Zurich, 2017

Lalive is well known for its ‘excellent’ banking litigation practice (...). The team also has significant banking regulatory and financing expertise.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Geneva, 2017

Lalive is considered ‘a clear market leader’ for international arbitration (...) and is very strong in litigation and contentious banking matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, French-speaking Switzerland: leading firms, 2017

The ‘very professional’ team at Lalive is exceptionally strong when it comes to banking litigation, but it also provides ‘fast and practical advice’ on a range of banking regulatory and finance matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Geneva (Tier 2), 2016

Lalive’s practice in Zurich focuses on regulation, compliance and internal investigations. Simone Nadelhofer and recently promoted partner Daniel Bühr head the practice.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance: Zurich (Tier 4), 2016

One of the most operative law firms we have worked with. Besides the sound technical knowledge, they immediately got a good grasp of our final goals and set up an incredibly efficient plan to achieve it.” So says a recent client of Lalive’s banking and finance division. A partner from a referring firm says the team has “done an excellent job with providing us with top notch legal advice.

IFLR 1000 2016, Notable firm, Switzerland

Lalive is exceptionally strong when it comes to banking litigation, but also covers the whole range of banking and finance advice.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance, 2015

Lalive's team is ‘strong when up against large financial institutions’.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance, 2014

Lalive is an interesting fixture in Switzerland's legal market (...) The firm acts for banks, investment funds, insurance companies, securities dealers and asset managers. It is strong in regulatory matters and capital market transactions.

IFLR 2014, Recommended firm, Switzerland

Lalive's four-partner group is 'experienced, commercial and easy to deal with', and has the ability to 'maintain client relationships on a very personal and direct level'. The practice handles a good balance of transactional and litigation work (...).

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance 2013, Tier 3

Lalive's 'proactive and efficient' team acts for a number of Swiss and international banks and institutions on regulatory and contractual matters. (....) The 'impressive' Alexander Troller and Christiane de Senarclens are recommended.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Banking and Finance 2012, Tier 3