Bär & Karrer


IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate

Bär & Karrer is a leading financial and corporate powerhouse on the Swiss market. It has accomplished lawyers across the German, French and Italian speaking parts of Switzerland, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Lugano and Zug. The firm mainly advises on transactions with international aspects, but also works on domestic and cross-border deals.


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is a top tier firm in financial and corporate practices including banking, capital markets, financial services regulatory and M&A. It also has a highly regarded restructuring and insolvency practice. In banking, the firm has experience arranging Swiss and international banks, agents, lenders and borrowers in leveraged acquisition financing and refinancing transactions.

The capital markets team advises high-profile issuers on the placement of shares through accelerated bookbuilding and the establishment of digital platforms of exchange listed bonds issuances for investors and issuers. It also advised on rights offerings and green, covered and investment grade bond issuances. The team also represents investment funds in fund formations and raising matters.

In financial services regulatory, the firm advised large banks, asset managers, fintech and insurance companies and payment service providers on Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and FINMA regulatory enforcement proceedings, fintech regulatory compliance, the implementation of the Financial Services Act, and banking and insurance licencing matters.

In M&A, partners advise on a mix of public and private deals, both on the buy and sell side of acquisitions in the life sciences and healthcare, financial services, insurance, real estate, private equity and telecommunications industries.

In the restructuring and insolvency space, the firm focused on out-of-court restructurings, advising a mix of distressed companies and debtors, and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.


Key clients

Some of the recent key clients of the firm include Credit Suisse, Novartis, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Rothschild Bank, Libra Association, Calibra, Cembra Money Bank, Bank Cler (former Bank Coop), Morgan Stanley International Gazprombank, KKR, EQT, Cinven, Temasek, Valyo and Jacobs Holding.


Research period review:  33rd edition (2023/2024) 

Over the research period, the banking team advised mostly lenders in corporate, real estate, leveraged and acquisition financing. It also worked on several refinancings. It also worked on regulatory matters in financial services, mostly related to regulatory aspects as part of acquisitions and capital markets products.

The capital markets team worked on debt and equity offerings. In the debt capital markets practice, the team advised mostly underwriters in covered and corporate bond program issuances. On the equity capital markets side, the team represented a mix of issuers and underwriters in PIPEs, capital increases and equity financing related to acquisitions. It also represented a lot of investment funds in regulatory and transactional fund formation matters, as well as acquisitions.

The firm also participated in financial services regulatory work during the research period where it advised financial institutions on non-contentious regulatory matters.

In M&A the team mostly acted on the sell side of acquisitions across many industries. These acquisitions were both strategic and private equity acquisitions. It also worked on strategic investments, divestitures, spinoffs and joint ventures.

The restructuring and insolvency practice worked with many distressed companies in restructurings, many of which were in the financial services and healthcare industries. It also advised acquirers in acquisitions of distressed companies.


Deal highlights:  33rd edition (2023/2024) 

Canton of Geneva SFr50 million social bond issue

Deutsche Börse acquisition of majority stake in Crypto finance

ELCA Group financing

Equistone acquisition of Franke Water systems

Triton Fund V acquisition of Swiss IT security group