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Legal Information


Disclaimer: The U.S. Embassy in Bern does not recommend or endorse any organization or individual listed below. Furthermore, the website content, opinions, privacy policies or services provided are their own and are not endorsed by the U.S. Embassy Bern in any way. 

The rules of the Swiss Bar Association prohibit advertising by its members.  Since the publication of the names of members of the Association, together with data concerning their professional experience and qualifications, might be considered as a contravention of this regulation, this list is released on the condition that it is not to be published.
Swiss lawyers are not allowed to charge contingency fees.  The fees charged are generally governed by the tariff of the applicable bar association, and depend on time spent and money involved, regardless of the outcome of the case.  Fees charged by lawyers for collections, if handled, are also governed by the bar association’s tariff.  They also depend upon time and money involved.
In case of a court procedure, the losing party routinely must pay also the fees of the lawyer of the winning party as fixed by the court.  The loser would therefore have to pay the entire court costs and two lawyers’ fees.  If the plaintiff is a resident of the United States, the court on its own, or upon petition of the defendant, may first request from the plaintiff a bond to cover the court costs and the compensation to the defendant (i.e. his lawyer’s fees) in case the plaintiff loses the suit.  In the case of clients residing outside Switzerland who are not personally known to the lawyer, it is customary to ask for an advance of the lawyer’s fees.
Credit reports can be obtained through commercial reporting agencies such as Dun & Bradstreet and occasionally through banks, although the latter will not divulge data concerning individual holdings and operations unless specifically authorized by the customer.

English Speaking Lawyers in Switzerland

Canton of Basel Stadt: Basel
Canton of Bern: Bern; Bienne/Biel; Burgdorf; Interlaken; Meiringen; Munsingen
Canton of Geneva: Geneva
Canton of Graubünden: Davos
Canton of Luzern: Luzern 
Canton of Neuchatel: Neuchatel; La Chaux-de-Fonds
Canton of Solothurn: Olten
Canton of St. Gallen: St. Gallen
Canton of Ticino: Lugano; Locarno
Canton of Valais: Sion
Canton of Vaud: Lausanne; Montreux
Canton of Zürich: Zürich

Foreign Lawyers
In Switzerland and Liechtenstein, no person may preactice as a lawyer at law without a proper license.  Generally spreaking, foreigners are not granted such a license and are not admitted to the Bar. Acting merely as a "legal consultant" requires no license and foreigners may act in that capacity, if so specific in their work permits.