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Best-in-class legal services, made in Switzerland With offices in Zurich and Geneva and specialists with expertise in all areas of business law, we…
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | 21 Jun 2021

Voters reject three environmental bills

The Swiss voters recently decided on three environmental bills. The first bill concerned the revised CO2 Act, which would have allowed Switzerland to build on and reinforce its current climate policy in order to limit the global temperature increase, which requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The second bill aimed to better protect the environment and drinking water. The third......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 26 Mar 2021

New attempt to tighten rules on foreign real property investments fails in Parliament

In February 2021 the Economic Affairs and Taxation Committee of the National Council surprisingly decided to include the initiative to temporarily prohibit the acquisition of business premises by persons abroad in the revised urgent COVID-19 Act instead of amending the Lex Koller through the ordinary legislative process. However, the Council of States and the National Council recently......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 22 Mar 2021

Latest environmental legislation in effect and in the pipeline – 2021 overview

This article summarises key amendments to Swiss environmental laws which either came into effect recently or will come into effect in the foreseeable future. These include efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, the decision to revert to the original scale system for energy labels, the modification of Annex 1 of the Prior Informed Consent Ordinance and the introduction of new regulations for the......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 5 Mar 2021

New attempt to tighten rules on foreign real property investments

The Legal Affairs Committee of the National Council recently submitted an initiative that would temporarily prohibit the acquisition of business premises by persons abroad. The proposal claims that it will mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis by preventing foreign investors from acquiring financially distressed Swiss companies at low prices. However, as foreign investors......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 11 Dec 2020

Federal act on rent reductions during COVID-19 lockdown fails in Parliament

The proposed COVID-19 Business Rental Act has failed in Parliament and is thus off the table on a national level. The main arguments for the dismissal included the retroactive intervention in private law contracts and the legal uncertainty with regard to the question of whether the proposed act had a sufficient constitutional basis. However, the topic of COVID-19 rent reductions will likely......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 7 Dec 2020

Voters reject popular initiative to tighten responsibilities of Swiss-based companies

Swiss voters recently rejected a popular initiative that aimed to tighten the responsibilities of Swiss-based companies with respect to their global activities. One key element of the initiative was the introduction of a legal obligation on Swiss-based multinationals to respect international environmental standards. Both the federal government and Parliament considered the initiative to be......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 4 Dec 2020

Foreign liquidators' powers to collect assets located in Switzerland – first experiences under new legislation

In 2019 the Private International Law Act was revised with the aim of improving and facilitating the recognition and enforcement of foreign bankruptcy rulings. Foreign liquidators can now forgo the previously mandatory ancillary bankruptcy proceedings by filing a petition with the Swiss courts. Recent experiences have shown that the Swiss courts will normally grant such leave if they are......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 2 Nov 2020

Recent emissions trading developments

The Swiss emissions trading system (ETS) is an important market-based instrument for climate protection. It serves to reduce the volume of greenhouse gases produced by Swiss companies with particularly high emissions. Since 21 September 2020, Switzerland and the European Union have enabled emissions allowance transactions between the Swiss ETS and the EU ETS.
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 11 Sep 2020

Opening bankruptcy proceedings during COVID-19 pandemic

Company boards of directors have a duty to continuously monitor the company's financial situation and take certain measures if it gets into financial difficulties. Given the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has temporarily suspended their duty to notify the bankruptcy court in the event of imminent overindebtedness where there is a possibility that......
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Pestalozzi Attorneys at Law | Switzerland | 24 Jul 2020

Proposed federal act on rent payments during COVID-19 lockdown

The Federal Council recently submitted to Parliament a preliminary draft federal act on rent payments during the COVID-19 lockdown and opened the consultation procedure with the cantons, political parties and interested organisations. The act is a political decision and its constitutional basis is questionable. Further, a number of the suggested provisions leave room for improvement.
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