Investigations, Regulatory & Compliance

“Stellar investigations lawyers”

Detecting, analysing and addressing corporate criminal and regulatory risks drives our fast-growing investigations, compliance and regulatory practice.

We are strong advocates for having in place best practice risk and compliance management systems to avoid practices which can expose companies to prosecution or regulatory enforcement action. We assist our clients with independent assessments of the maturity of their prevention systems and in the further improvement in line with generally accepted international best practices and standards.

We are familiar with the regulatory framework and can help clients to navigate through increasingly complex regulations.

In case of high risks, such as suspected corrupt practices, money laundering, fraud, cyberattacks, as well as where governmental action has already begun, we act as strategic advisors, project managers and trouble shooters, taking care of everything from conducting the internal investigation, liaising with forensic specialists to initiating and negotiating settlements with prosecutors, tax and/or regulatory authorities. We also act as independent monitors and help companies to effectively remediate historic compliance weaknesses.

Our team, which is composed of Swiss, American, Brazilian and Russian speaking lawyers is truly multi-disciplinary, multi-lingual and cross-cultural and includes former members of the judiciary and Swiss Federal Criminal Police. We believe that this combination allows us to provide a rounded assessment as we understand the challenges faced by all sides.

We have a proven track record in conducting, advising and representing companies, governments and NGOs in internal and external criminal and administrative investigations across the globe.

Our expertise in this area is recognised and we are proud to be considered among the top 100 practices worldwide by Global Investigations Review.

  • Representing an African State in relation to investigations and mutual legal assistance proceedings with 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 a multinational in the first case of self-reporting to the Swiss Office of the Attorney General of a corporate failure to prevent bribery of foreign officials.
  • Being a member of The Independent Review Panel of Tennis, undertaking an extensive review of the appropriateness and effectiveness of the tennis practice and rules related to combatting match-fixing, with the purpose of elaborating a list of binding recommendations for the sport’s governing bodies.
  • Representing the US monitor of a major Swiss bank, advising on data protection, banking secrecy, regulatory and criminal law questions arising under the monitorship.
  • Representing a major retailer in its first investigation into alleged corruption in one of its subsidiaries located in Asia, triggered by whistleblowing. The firm set up and coordinated the investigation from A-Z and upon completion, the company carried out significant organisational changes to avoid future incidents as per the firm’s recommendations in its final report.
  • Representing a major State-owned Swiss bank, conducting internal investigations with regard to a foreign criminal investigation and to an attempted international fraud.
  • Representing a major Swiss bank in its voluntary self-disclosure under the U.S.-Swiss Bank tax compliance program, securing the first non-target letter for a Swiss bank.
  • Representing a foreign exchange trader at a major Swiss bank, in a cross-border investigation by the US department of Justice, the British Serious Fraud Office and the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority regarding alleged abusive market practices.
  • Representing a foreign financial intermediary in the Swiss Competition Commission’s LIBOR investigation.
  • Advising a Swiss bank in the design, implementation and third party certification of its compliance management system (under ISO Standard 19600)
  • Advising leaders in the fragrance, industrial manufacturing, retail and travel industries on the review and further strengthening of their compliance management systems
  • Advising one of the major international oil companies regarding Swiss sanctions against Russia
  • Conducting an enforcement agency mandated compliance audit at a foreign multinational and establishing a report to the attention of the enforcement agency
  • Assisting a Swiss multinational in the design and conduct of a compliance audit in China
  • Conducting a three-year review of the effectiveness of the compliance management system at a Swiss multinational, reporting to the Board of Directors.

Droit Suisse des sanctions et de la confiscation internationales

Sandrine Giroud, Héloïse Rordorf-Braun 2020

Helbing Lichtenhahn, 1st Edition, 2020

Impact of Covid-19 on criminal proceedings

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

LALIVE Blog, April 2020

International Civil Procedure: Switzerland

André Brunschweiler, Sandrine Giroud, Noémie Raetzo, 2019

In: Denis Campbell and Christian Campbell (Ed.), International Civil Procedure, 8th Edition., Juris Publishing Inc., 2019

Swiss Blocking Statute: update on do’s and don’ts under the threat of criminal sanctions

Sandrine Giroud, Valentine Bagnoud, Deborah Hondius, 2019

LALIVE Blog, December 2019

Asset Recovery 2020

Marc Henzelin, Sandrine Giroud, Deborah Hondius, 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

Others are quick to praise the team's dedication and attention to detail: "They do their homework and are always clear in their analysis."

Chambers Europe, Switzerland, White Collar Crime, 2019

Clients applaud the firm's extensive capabilities: "They know how to work with multinationals, can handle matters that have international implications, are responsive and reactive, and have local law expertise."

Chambers Europe, Switzerland, White Collar Crime, 2019

Acclaimed team with impressive white-collar crime expertise, particularly in the area of cross-border fraud investigations and whistle-blowing cases. Additional areas of expertise include multi-jurisdictional corruption, bribery and embezzlement cases, as well as money laundering allegations. Internal investigations and corporate compliance are further areas of experience. Represents states, as well as high net worth individuals and companies. Often acts on cases emanating from Eastern Europe.

Chambers Europe, Switzerland, White Collar Crime, 2019

“One of Switzerland’s leading investigations firms”

Global Investigations Review GIR 100, 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

Lalive's Marc Henzelin is "first rate" on transnational litigation including asset recovery matters. He is "thorough" and "personable" according to peers. He is joined by Alexander Troller, an "efficient" and "smart" lawyer.

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland, Asset Recovery, 2015

Acclaimed team with impressive white-collar crime expertise, particularly in the area of cross-border investigations and whistle-blowing cases. Areas of particular expertise include multi-jurisdictional fraud and corruption cases, asset recovery and corporate compliance. Has experience representing states, high net worth individuals and companies active in the banking, business consultancy, transport and sports sectors. One impressed source enthuses that the team possesses "talented lawyers who represent clients and their profession in superb fashion," while also noting that "they are excellent in dealing with the international components of negotiations and representation." One client highlights the ability of the team to "focus on the main important topics," and praises its lawyers for being able to "handle complex and sensitive investigation matters."

Chambers Europe, White Collar Crime, 2018

Marc Henzelin at Lalive in Geneva is regarded as "one of the leading experts in Europe". He counsels clients in asset search, recovery and compliance issues, "it is tough to think of anyone better".

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland, 2015

“It is one of the best firms in Switzerland, and our relationship is very smooth, clear and transparent. The lawyers are always available and respond within the hour.” “I have the highest impression of the firm. The lawyers do terrific work, are very thorough, efficient, direct and to the point.”

Chambers Europe, Switzerland, White Collar Crime, 2016

Stellar practice, based in Geneva and Zürich, advising governments, corporations and individuals. Has extensive experience of governmental investigations, mutual judicial assistance proceedings and extraditions. Also well versed in handling asset tracings and corporate compliance. Adept at handling matters with an international element."
"The lawyers have an impressive level of academic skill. They are timely and produce materials promptly."

Chambers Europe, Switzerland, White Collar Crime, 2015

"This firm has years of experience representing clients in really complicated cases."
"The team is very experienced, clear, available, and realistic. The lawyers inspire confidence."

Chambers Europe, Switzerland, White Collar Crime, 2014

Lalive has an impressive list of clients that it advises on white-collar crime and compliance matters. (...) The team is also adept at the search and recovery of assets and is developing its investigatory capacity.

Chambers Europe, Switzerland: Dispute Resolution, White Collar Crime, 2013

"Two 'excellent' names from Lalive feature in this chapter. The 'superb' Marc Henzelin receives recognition for his 'professional manner' and 'depth of expertise'. He is joined by Alexander Troller, a 'true expert'."

Who's Who Legal, Switzerland, Asset Recovery, 2013