Litigation, Lenz & Staehelin updates


Contributed by Lenz & Staehelin
Complying with professional conduct rules for lawyers – a balancing act
  • Switzerland
  • 08 June 2021

The Swiss Bar Association (SAV) Code of Professional Conduct contains provisions on how lawyers should interact with clients, the courts and professional colleagues. A recent Federal Supreme Court decision illustrates the forms which violations of the SAV Code of Professional Conduct can take. In this judgment, the highest Swiss court decided that such a violation can take the form of "active interference with the court's establishment of the truth".

Life sciences battlefields – hot litigation topics
  • Switzerland
  • 16 March 2021

Switzerland is home to a globally unique life sciences cluster. In a country where 33% of export goods are chemical-pharmaceutical products, it is unsurprising that patents play an important role. However, a strong patent system also needs strong enforcement means. This article provides a brief overview of the Swiss patent litigation system and highlights some trends in life sciences patent litigation.

High threshold for admission of evidence obtained by private parties in criminal proceedings
  • Switzerland
  • 03 November 2020

In principle, Swiss law does not allow audio and video recordings to be made without the consent of the persons concerned. Consequently, such materials are generally of no avail in criminal proceedings. However, in two recent decisions the Federal Supreme Court dealt with certain exceptions to this rule and confirmed a clear-cut distinction as to when such recordings should be admitted.

No review by Swiss courts of government's approach to climate change
  • Switzerland
  • 30 June 2020

The Supreme Court has held that an association of elderly women lacks standing to request the Swiss courts to review Switzerland's approach to meeting the Paris Agreement targets to mitigate the effects of climate change. The court's decision was seemingly motivated by the broad means available to individuals and groups to engage in the political process in Switzerland. The decision casts doubt on the future of climate change litigation which questions the approach taken by the Swiss government.

Applicability of clausula rebus sic stantibus to banks' refusal to release gold in kind
  • Switzerland
  • 12 May 2020

The Federal Supreme Court recently decided the fate of a contract between a bank client and his Swiss banks, which had refused to release gold from the client's bank deposit in kind. This decision prompted the court to outline the requirements for the general applicability of clausula rebus sic stantibus and its specific use in cases where a foreign mandatory law issued after a banking contract's conclusion affects the relationship between Swiss banks and their foreign clients.

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