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White-Collar Crime and Compliance

Experienced Assistance for Challenging Times

Our specialists are also well-versed in general civil litigation. They are all multilingual and have been involved extensively in foreign proceedings, including in common law jurisdictions. Thus, our clients can rely on us to leverage our special combination of skills and resources to deal with complex national and international matters.

„Exceptional practice with an excellent track record in asset tracing and recovery, internal investigations and US Department of Justice Investigations.“

Chambers Europe

Key Contacts

Paul Gully-Hart
Peter Burckhardt
Benjamin Borsodi


Schellenberg Wittmer’s White-Collar Crime Group has considerable experience in providing advice and/or court representation for a wide variety of business crime matters and fields related to it. They include:

  • Compliance programs arising under regulations related to anti-money laundering, insider dealing, market conduct, anti-corruption, etc.;
  • Data protection legislation and disclosure requirements;
  • Corporate and directors’ criminal liability;
  • Criminal liability in insolvency situations;
  • Regulatory proceedings;
  • International assistance in criminal and regulatory matters (including exchange of tax information);
  • Actions and proceedings to locate, freeze and recover the proceeds of national and cross-border fraud and other financial crime;
  • Representation of victims of fraud and other business related offenses in domestic criminal proceedings;
  • White-collar crime defense work.

We represent clients before Swiss cantonal and federal authorities and courts at all levels.

Our experience includes:

  • Lead counsel to Credit Suisse in offshore tax evasion investigation launched by U.S. authorities in 2011, and in the subsequent settlement reached between the Bank and the U.S. government.
  • Lead counsel to one of the world's largest independent commodities trading houses by turnover - Gunvor Group in a massive criminal investigation against one of its former employees and an accomplice. We have conducted parallel internal investigation and are actively assisting the client in criminal proceedings.
  • Counsel to two major Brazilian conglomerates Odebrecht and Braskem in AML proceedings opened by the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland in the context of the multibillion-dollar Petrobras corruption scandal. This is a landmark case, one of the first and largest corporate criminal liability cases ever settled in Switzerland, reached in close coordination with resolutions in Brazil and the United States.
  • Lead counsel to a high-profile client in criminal proceedings for tax evasion and conducted dawn raids.
  • Counsel to the Czech Republic, who fell victim to a major fraud occurring during the privatization of the coal mining industry in North Bohemia at the end of the 1990s. Swiss prosecutors launched major investigations into the fraud, which involved money laundering together with other offences and individuals standing trial.
  • Lead Counsel to Stephan Schmidheiny in the ongoing asbestos criminal litigation saga in Italy. The client was acquitted by the Supreme Court of Italy at the end of 2014 but will face new trials in various Italian courts.
  • Representation of and assistance to a prominent businessman and his group of companies in relation to criminal investigations in the context of an alleged corruption scheme.
  • Representation of a Group of companies belonging to a wealthy politically exposed person (PEP). We assisted in and prepared a key individual to be deposed before a Swiss magistrate regarding frozen assets.
  • Ongoing assistance and representation of leading international banks and leading energy and commodity trading companies.

Awards and Recognitions

The group and leading practitioners are highly recognized amongst leading law firms across international directories and publications:

  • Chambers Europe in White-Collar Crime & Compliance
  • Legal 500 in French speaking and German speaking Switzerland
  • GIR 100
  • Regional or Boutique Investigations firm 2017 at GIR Awards
  • Highly Commended in Financial Times Innovative Lawyers
  • WWL Switzerland and WWL Business Crime Defense and Investigations international guides
  • Expert Guides

Selected Publications

The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Investigations, Second Edition
Global Investigations Review - ed. Judith Seddon, Clifford Chance. Eleanor Davison, Fountain Court Chambers. Christopher J Morvillo, Clifford Chance, Michael Bowes QC, Outer Temple Chambers, Luke Tolaini, Clifford Chance