Construction & Infrastructure

“Noted for its strength in real estate and construction disputes”

The construction, real estate and infrastructure sectors are at the core of our expertise.

Drawing on our exceptional disputes capability, we regularly represent owners, contractors, subcontractors, investors and governments in complex construction and real estate disputes, be it in international arbitration and other ADR proceedings, including before dispute boards, or before local courts.

Our construction lawyers advise clients from around the world on complex transactions relating to a broad range of construction and infrastructure projects, including EPC and turnkey contracts, joint venture and consortia agreements, privatisation agreements, and public procurement.

More locally, we frequently assist clients in relation to real estate transactions and construction projects in Switzerland.

Our areas of focus include:

  • Construction disputes: We can assist with claim management and the settlement of disputes concerning construction and infrastructure projects, including by way of negotiation, arbitration, mediation, litigation and dispute boards.
  • Construction projects structuring: We regularly advise clients from around the world on complex transactions relating to construction and infrastructure projects, including EPC and turnkey contracts, joint venture and consortia agreements, privatisation agreements, project development, and public procurement. Projects we have worked on include oil and gas facilities, power plants, chemical processing plants, waste and water treatment, sanitation, and desalination plants, transport terminals, airports, railways, roads, metros, tunnels, underground and underwater cables, hotels, housing projects and recreation areas.
  • Real Estate in Switzerland: We frequently assist clients in relation to real estate transactions and projects in Switzerland, including in relation to the acquisition of real estate by non-residents (Lex Koller) or of secondary residences (Lex Weber).
  • Representing a major international engineering company in a USD 1.3 billion arbitration against a South Asian State-owned energy company conducted under the UNCITRAL Rules and concerning the construction of a major refinery and petrochemical complex.
  • Representing an instrumentality of a Middle Eastern State in a USD 270 million dispute with a European and Middle Eastern joint venture concerning a major transport infrastructure project
  • Representing a West African State in annulment proceedings of an ICSID award relating to a USD 230 million dispute arising out of the termination of a railway concession.
  • Representing a subsidiary of an international oil major in a USD 700 million dispute involving the construction of a gas processing plant in the Middle East.
  • Representing a Middle Eastern corporation in a USD 200 million Cairo Regional Center arbitration involving the construction of a gas processing plant in a North African country.

Arbitration of construction disputes

Michael E. Schneider, 1995

Contracts and Dispute Settlement in Civil Engineering and Construction of Plants, 1995, Vol. 4, pp. 187-244

Major construction cases

Michael E. Schneider, 1994

In : Scott (éd.), The Reform of Commercial Arbitration Procedures, Londres, LCIA, 1994, p. 157-181

Qatar

Michael E. Schneider, 2009

In: Robert S Peckar (Ed.), Getting the Deal Through - Construction 2010 in 34 jurisdictions worldwide, 2009, Getting the Deal Through, pp. 128-132

Switzerland

Matthias Scherer, Michael E. Schneider, Nathalie Subilia, 2009

In: Robert S Peckar (Ed.), Getting the Deal Through - Construction 2010 in 34 jurisdictions worldwide, 2009, Getting the Deal Through, pp. 161-165

Acclaimed group of international arbitration experts headquartered in Geneva. Operates a well-regarded investor-state and commercial arbitration practice, with particular expertise in the energy, construction, telecoms and mining sectors. Highly rated for its handling of significant disputes in the Middle East, Europe, Asia and South America. One interviewee was particularly impressed by "the phenomenal amount of work they do" and reported: "They leave no stone unturned and miss nothing, it is quite phenomenal. They're also extremely conscientious about keeping you in the loop. They forge a personal connection with you, which is very reassuring." Sources appreciate the team's efficiency, noting: "Their performance has been extraordinary. They were able to analyse a complex case within a short timeframe, and they had the skills to communicate in the different languages required for our case."

Chambers Global, Global-wide, Arbitration, 2018

Outstanding Swiss firm operating out of Geneva and Zürich with the experience and diversity to compete on a pan-European level, acting on disputes throughout the continent. Noted for its prowess in large-scale BIT, investor-state and commercial arbitrations on behalf of sovereign entities, governments and state-owned companies, as well as multinational clients. Particularly active in the energy, construction and telecoms sectors, with an increasing presence in finance and post-M&A disputes. Widely recognised and praised for the numerous prominent arbitrators within its ranks. Commentators describe Lalive as "a high-quality firm in European international arbitration," "a class outfit with a reach that goes beyond Switzerland." One client states: "I was blown away," adding: "It seemed like an exceptional level of commitment." The client goes on to say of the lawyers: "They are creative, smart and everybody makes a contribution."

Chambers Global, Arbitration (International) Europe-wide (Band 2), 2017

Lalive’s team is noted for its strength in real estate and construction disputes and also handles non-contentious matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2017

Lalive is particularly recommended for real estate and construction disputes, but also excels on the advisory side.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2015 and 2016

Lalive has extensive experience in construction disputes, particularly in international arbitration. It also provides transactional advice, often relating to complex projects and on an international scale.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2014

Lalive has built up a considerable name among regional and international clients for its 'wide-ranging experience'.

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland, Construction and Real Estate, 2013

Michael E. Schneider and Matthias Scherer ranked for many years.

The International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers

Lalive's strength in dispute resolution translates into real estate and construction litigation, but it also has experience in transactional matters.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction 2013, Tier 3

Lalive's 'very knowledgeable and responsive' team has notable capabilities in real estate litigation, and has acted for high profile clients.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2012

Lalive's 'absolutely excellent' practice is particularly active in construction arbitration.

Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2011