Blog

The Swiss Responsible Business Initiative: what business & human rights obligations for Swiss companies?

29 October 2020

The growing reach and impact of business enterprises have given rise to a debate about the roles and responsibilities of such actors regarding human rights and have led to the placement of business and human rights (“BHR”) on the agenda of many international organisations and countries. At an international level, […]

ENGLISH SUPREME COURT RULES ON THE PROPER LAW OF THE ARBITRATION AGREEMENT

16 October 2020

On 9 October 2020, the English Supreme Court (the “Court”) in Enka Insaat Ve Sanayi AS (“Enka”) v OOO Insurance Company Chubb (“Chubb”)[1] clarified the applicable principles for determining the proper law of an arbitration agreement. The contract in question did not contain a choice of law governing the contract […]

THE VIRTUAL MATRIX: RE-THINKING HEARINGS IN INTERNATIONAL ARBITRATION

31 August 2020

Introduction The received wisdom is that virtual hearings are a subprime alternative to in-person hearings, a secondary option to be used only when classical in-person hearings are not possible or too costly. However, as a result of technological advances, and a change in perceptions based on recent experiences, virtual hearings […]

GOVERNANCE UND KONTROLLE DER CORONA-KREDITE

24 June 2020

Einführung Am 25. März 2020 erliess der Bundesrat die COVID-19-Solidarbürgschaftsverordnung zur Abfederung der wirtschaftlichen Auswirkungen der Bekämpfung der COVID-19-Pandemie. Bis heute (Stand 22. Juni 2020) wurden unter dieser Verordnung ca. 128’500 Kredite im Umfang von ca. CHF 15 Milliarden gewährt. Medienberichterstattung über Missbräuche und eingeleitete Ermittlungen der Strafverfolgungsbehörden In den […]

WHOLESALE ELECTRICITY TRADING CONTRACTS: CALCULATION OF DAMAGES FROM NON-PERFORMANCE – AN INCREASINGLY RELEVANT ISSUE

14 May 2020

Electricity, and the business of its wholesale trading, have particular characteristics which set them apart from the trading of other goods. It is for this reason that electricity trading is specifically excluded from the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (see Article 2(f)). Electricity is […]

CORONA, COMPLIANCE AND CONTROL – HOW TO PREVENT THAT TODAY’S COVID-19 CRISIS CAUSES TOMORROW’S COMPLIANCE CRISIS

11 May 2020

In the pandemic, many undertakings must focus on survival and need to maintain liquidity, which demands ongoing earnings and control of costs. Ongoing earnings are hard to achieve in a global economic downturn. No doubt that the ubiquitous and ever-present legal risks associated with being in the business of doing […]

Impact of Covid-19 on criminal proceedings – Update

29 April 2020

On 21 March 2020, the Swiss Federal Government promulgated the Ordinance on the suspension of time periods in civil and administrative proceedings to provide for the discharge of justice during the current Covid-19 crisis. On 9 April 2020, the Swiss Federal Government announced that the suspension of time periods in […]

COVID-19 ORDINANCE 2: NEW MEASURES TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF VULNERABLE EMPLOYEES

24 April 2020

On 16 April 2020, the Swiss federal government amended the Ordinance on Measures to Combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19) (“COVID-19 Ordinance 2”) of 13 March 2020[1] and adapted the regulations for employers concerning particularly vulnerable employees, i.e. “High-risk employees”. Who is a High-risk employee? A High-risk employee is a person who […]

SWITZERLAND: UPDATE ON SWISS GOVERNMENT MEASURES FOR DEBTORS AND CREDITORS IN CASE OF FINANCIAL DISTRESS RESULTING FROM COVID-19

17 April 2020

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the public health measures taken by the Swiss government are causing many businesses to face extraordinary challenges, potentially leading to financial distress. Difficulties may arise for a company either because it has trouble, as a creditor, collecting receivables from distressed debtors and/or because it […]

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AND COVID-19: Three practical steps to protect your legal position and minimise future disputes

7 April 2020

All parties involved in construction projects – contractors, employers, subcontractors, and suppliers – should be mindful that their actions or inaction now could have a significant impact on their legal position once the COVID-19 crisis subsides. Magnanimous expressions of solidarity and understanding by contractual counterparties may be quickly forgotten when […]

MARGIN CALLS – HOW CAN INVESTORS PROTECT THEIR POSITION?

30 March 2020

Following the recent market shakedown amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, banks have been issuing margin calls to their counterparties. Who is affected? Broadly speaking, two types of investors: The first category are wealthy clients who have been investing in stock markets on a leveraged basis, through so-called Lombard loans, which are […]

Swiss Federal Corona State Aid Programs

30 March 2020

In March 2020, the Swiss Federal Council has ordered significant restrictions on all individuals and undertakings. For most undertakings, the restrictions have direct (e.g. closing orders) or indirect (e.g. travel restrictions) financial consequences. These restrictions pose existential challenges for many undertakings and self-employed individuals. In order to support the undertakings […]

SWISS STATE-SCHEME FOR EMPLOYER COMPENSATION AS A RESULT OF REDUCED WORK TIME (RWT) AND OTHER RELATED STATE AIDS IN THE TIME OF COVID-19

27 March 2020

On 16 March 2020, the Swiss federal government introduced stringent measures to protect the population against the spread of COVID-19. Naturally, these protective measures had profound consequences for businesses and their employees, and the Swiss federal government has been quick to respond with several initiatives designed to help businesses survive […]

CORONAVIRUS: A FORCE MAJEURE EVENT UNDER SWISS LAW?

5 March 2020

This article is available in French and in German. Introduction As the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread into Europe, businesses are trying to assess the impact on both their human resources and their commercial relationships with operators located in the most affected regions. The impact of this epidemic is all […]

New Iran-Related Sanctions – Their Likely Swiss Side Effects – The Swiss-Iranian Humanitarian Trade Arrangement

6 February 2020

Introduction Following Iran’s military offensive against U.S. bases in Iraq, and pursuant to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Executive Order 13902 “Imposing Sanctions With Respect to Additional Sectors of Iran” (the “Executive Order”) of January 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s (the “Treasury”) Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) […]