Littler opens first office in Switzerland

October 2022

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (25 October 2022) - Littler, the world's largest employment law firm, has opened an office in Zurich, Switzerland. The office will be led by Dr Ueli Sommer, who has joined the firm as a partner, and will operate under the name Littler | LEL Lawyers.

The expansion into Switzerland follows the opening of a new office in Denmark last month and brings Littler's European presence to a total of 29 offices in 14 countries. Littler's global platform now consists of more than 1,700 lawyers practising in over 100 offices and 28 countries.

"Switzerland is an important market for our clients and - in addition to our strong presence in neighbouring France, Germany, Italy and Austria - this expansion is an important milestone in completing our European offering," said Erin Webber, Managing Director and President of Littler. "The success of our global growth and integration strategy has always depended on finding the right partner in each market we enter. With Ueli, who is considered a top employment lawyer both in Switzerland and internationally, we have once again found that partner."

Before founding his boutique firm LEL Lawyers and launching Littler | LEL Lawyers, Dr Sommer spent more than 20 years at Walder Wyss - a large full-service law firm in Switzerland - where he founded and led the employment law practice. He advises employers on a range of issues, including work environment and workplace injuries, personnel restructuring, employment agreements and transactions, compensation arrangements, and immigration and residency issues.

"We have had the pleasure of working with Ueli on a variety of matters over the years and have seen first-hand how much clients value his thoughtful approach and extensive knowledge in managing their complex employment law matters," said Stephan Swinkels, a partner at Littler who helps lead the development and integration of the firm's global practice. "We look forward to our teams in the DACH region, across Europe and globally benefiting from working with Ueli as he drives our expansion in Switzerland."

"The fact that Littler can now serve the entire DACH region with its own offices is also a great benefit for our local clients and strengthens our capabilities in cross-border advice from a single source," says Oliver Grimm, founding partner of vangard | Littler in Munich. Dennis Lüers, Partner (Munich), adds: "We act as lead counsel for numerous clients in cross-border mandates, for many of them also together with Ueli for a long time." For example, Jonathan Paris, General Counsel at Rapid Micro Biosystems, says: "We believe that the opening of Littler's office in Switzerland is a great opportunity and a fantastic extension of Littler's existing footprint in Europe. We as Rapid Micro Biosystems were already very pleased with Littler's existing presences in Europe and look forward to enjoying Littler's advisory services also in Switzerland from now on."

"Dr Sommer is actively involved in several international legal and business associations and is a regular speaker at major global conferences. He is on the board of the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA) and co-chairs the International Bar Association's Discrimination and Equality Law Committee. Dr Sommer is also a former Chair of the International Employment Law Committee of the International Section of the American Bar Association and a former Chair of the Board of the Australian-Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"Littler has built an incredibly impressive platform from which we can provide consistent and world-class advice that meets the wide-ranging needs of both global and local employers," said Dr Sommer.

"By combining talented and highly experienced teams in different countries around the world with innovative resources, international capabilities and a strong commitment to diversity, Littler has set the standard for a modern law firm."

"As one of the wealthiest countries in the world with a very favourable business climate, Switzerland offers a wide range of opportunities for many of our clients," said Peter Susser, Littler's Global Practice Leader and head of the firm's international employment practice. "Ueli has decades of experience advising employers in the Swiss market and can thus provide critical support to our clients' business strategies."

Littler's international operations span four continents - North America, South America, Asia and Europe - and 28 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Brazil (through a correspondent attorney relationship), Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States (including Puerto Rico) and Venezuela. The firm's global capabilities also include lawyers with exceptional international experience, including dual-licensed lawyers in the US and Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Russia and South Africa.

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