Solicitors governing body: Liechtenstein Chamber of Lawyers
Competition authority: Amt für Volkswirtschaft (AVW)
Financial regulator: Financial Market Authority Liechtenstein (FMA)
IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:
Liechtenstein’s legal system has its origins in the 19th century and is based largely on Austrian and Swiss law. The country has close connections to Switzerland, and as well as a maintaining a monetary and customs union with the state, it has also devolved responsibility for military and foreign affairs to its neighbour.
The country has a relatively open legal services market, so while only foreign firms from EEA states are allowed to open offices, such firms are allowed to practice local law and a lawyer does not need to be a Liechtenstein citizen to qualify as a local lawyer.
The country’s economy is based on the financial sector and company incorporation. Low tax and light regulation around rules of incorporation have encouraged a huge range of companies to establish themselves as Liechtenstein entities and it is said that the country has more companies than citizens. In the financial sector, the establishment of ‘foundations’ is also popular as they do not require transparent ownership details. Since the global financial crisis, Liechtenstein has come under increasing pressure from foreign governments to make its finance sector more transparent and cooperative in regard to international investigations.
Because of the reasons stated above, lawyers in Liechtenstein tend to focus on trust and foundation law, company incorporation, tax and disputes. Little classic transactional work is done and the details of what few deals do take place are rarely in the public domain.
The market consists almost entirely of Liechtenstein domestic firms often consisting of no more than a handful of senior lawyers.
Boutique firm Law Grabher Dür advises local and international companies and high net worth individuals on corporate mandates such as reorganisations and public offerings.
During the research period it was mandated to provide regulatory advice to domestic and international insurance groups.
Holzhacker focuses on corporate work and often works with international law firms and banks on cross border deals.
"Very positive, professional cooperation and good network with Liechtenstein public authorities." – Banking
"Highly professional, absolutely reliable and very quick." – Banking
Marxer & Partner has a good corporate offering.
During the research period the firm was mandated to advise on the local law aspects of M&A deals in the banking sector, with buy and sell side roles. It also advised a client in the shipping industry on restructuring.
Nägele Attorneys at Law has experience in technology, including fintech and blockchain, and has a mix of domestic and international clients in the sector. The firm often assists technology companies in drafting securities prospectuses and on the issue of securities tokens.
During the research period the firm hired Thomas Plattner from The Financial Market Authority of Liechtenstein to lead its corporate department.
Walch & Schurti Attorneys at Law covers a range of financial and corporate work, primarily focusing on cross border mandates. Its client base includes a mix of domestic and international banks, insurance companies, funds and trustees, and high-net worth individuals. The firm is mandated by international firms to advise as local counsel on financings, acquisitions and restructurings.
"The whole law firm works like a very well-oiled machine – effective, fast and to the point. Good collaboration among the team members." – Banking
"Very committed, professional and willing to think outside the box." – M&A
"She is very fast and thorough in all matters of Estate Planning and Trust Law."
"Very well connected and experienced lawyer. Knows his jurisdiction and the inner workings of Lichtenstein perfectly and is very to the point and most effective. Very nice and fascinating personality with a very sharp mind."
"Very committed and professional."