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.
Law Grabher Dür has been providing legal advice on protection rights for private individuals and foundations across insurance and investment sector.
Holzhacker has been primarily active in contentious matters during the research period. The court appointed Holzhacker as liquidator in Gable’s bankruptcy.