20 December 2022

NKF’s Geneva gambit

The logic of doing this merger makes sense; it’s just a question of why now, why so late, and why NKF?” asks Thierry Calame, Lenz & Staehelin’s new co-managing partner in Zurich. His analysis and questions perfectly encapsulate the consensus view of the biggest announcement in the Swiss legal market in 2022: Zurich-based law firm Niederer Kraft Frey will be “joining forces with Geneva firm Tavernier Tschanz and a team from Python” as of January 2023, taking the combined firm to 140 lawyers, including 48 partners.”

As a peer in the top tier of Swiss law firms, Calame explains his firm’s puzzlement over the timing. “It surprised our Geneva partners,” he says. ‘We (Lenz) merged in 1991. The benefit of having a presence in Geneva and Zurich has been clear for 30 years. There are several clients that we probably would not be able to service if it were not for these two strategic locations.” Having a footprint in the two major Swiss hubs is indeed pivotal, according to the upbeat language of NKF’s formal announcement of the merger: “By combining the strengths of the different teams, NKF will further expand its leading position within Switzerland’s two economic centres – the ‘Lake of Geneva Region’ and the ‘Greater Zurich Area’ – and anchor itself even more strongly in the market.”

 

Related News

May 2024 News

Switzerland: Still resilient and reliable?

Like the country in which they operate, Swiss law firms seem immune to adversity beyond their borders. So, how do they do they manage it?

May 2024 News

Germany’s distress: Switzerland needs the sick man of Europe to recover

As the German economic miracle gives way to stagnation and a real estate crisis, can Switzerland remain immune to the challenges facing its giant neighbour?

May 2024 News

A feast for litigators: Fallout from the UBS-Credit Suisse merger

As AT1 bondholders use “the world’s best, most expensive lawyers” to take on the Swiss financial regulator, what lessons does the Swiss bank merger provide?

May 2024 News

Swiss regulation: The privacy vs transparency debate rages on

New data protection law and anti-money laundering proposals that impact law firms’ privacy – how is Switzerland managing to square the circle?