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Smart Contracts under Swiss Law

This paper examines the legal qualification of Smart Contracts under Swiss law and gives an over-view over how Smart Contracts may interact with the fundamental rules of contract law. Furthermore, on the basis of this examination the need for legislative action with respect to Smart Contracts will be assessed.
It is concluded that the potential applications of Smart Contracts on the blockchain are vast and sound very promising. If applied in a sensible way this technology indubitably will lead to gains in efficiency of contract execution and lower transaction costs.
However, Smart Contracts will not prevent contractual disputes from arising. Consequently, parties will still resort to court actions. In these cases, Smart Contracts may tend to make things more complicated because while they may not eliminate the need for courts they limit the accessibility of courts for their parties via their self-enforcing nature.
Furthermore, while Smart Contracts may attempt to substitute law by code that does not mean that they will be able to render the law useless. There will still be need for mandatory law for various purposes, including, but not limited, to protect the parties from adverse consequences which the Smart Contract technology itself may produce.

The paper can be found in the FinTech Edition, Issue 1, 2018.

by Dr. Christian Schönfeld in The FinTech Edition, Issue 1, 2018
September 2018

GC Summit with The Legal 500 /GC Magazine and Prager Dreifuss at the Baur au Lac Hotel

The Legal 500 /GC Magazine and Prager Dreifuss GC Summit on the topic “Disruptive innovation and the In-house lawyer” took place last Thursday 18 May 2017 at the Baur au Lac Hotel in the company of Swiss General Counsel. Hamish Taylor, former CEO Eurostar and Sainsbury’s Bank was our keynote speaker. A GC-panel consisting of Maria Leistner, UBS, Christophe Marclay, Zurich Insurance, Jennifer Picenoni, Lindt & Sprüngli, and Cornelis Van Ophem, Fresenius Medial Care, discussed their experiences and challenges with innovation in their teams.

Thank you to all those who attended and we look forward to the next event in our series on 28 September 2017.

by
May 2017

Bilanz 5/2017: Prager Dreifuss ranked first in a survey in the area insurance law

Prager Dreifuss received most recommendations from colleagues and clients in the area insurance law in a broad survey by the journal Bilanz in collaboration with Statista that was published for the first time. The survey covered all law firms active in Switzerland.

More than 6’500 attorneys were invited to participate in the survey of which roughly 400 were in-house counsel and 500 represented heads of legal departments.

by
May 2017

Freezing Orders and Asset Tracing

Switzerland is home to more than 260 banks, with an aggregate balance sheet total of approximately 3 trillion Swiss francs. A considerable part of the assets managed in Switzerland belong to non-domestic clients. This makes Switzerland not only a major financial centre, but also a hub for the global wealth management business. Against this backdrop, it goes without saying that obtaining provisional relief affecting property in Switzerland, and bank accounts in particular, is of great significance from a practical point of view. Christian Casanova and Alexander Flink describe the process of obtaining freezing orders and tracing assets in Switzerland.

by Dr. Gion Christian Casanova and Alexander Flink in GRR’s Special Report- The European, Middle Eastern and African Restructuring Review 2017
November 2016

Prager Dreifuss co-hosted Legal500 GC-Summit Trailblazers event in Zurich

Prager Dreifuss, together with Legal500 and GCMagazine, hosted a leading-edge event in Zurich on 8 June 2016 featuring former general counsel of DuPont and law department innovator Tom Sager as a keynote-speaker. Leading Swiss general counsel enjoyed an exclusive evening of networking and inspiring panel discussion. The panel, moderated by Catherine McGregor, Editor-in-Chief of GCMagazine, included Christophe Marclay, Zurich Insurance, Johann Phillippi, SAB Miller and Daniel Morales, UBS Private Bank.