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Old 03.06.2009, 21:44
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Any US attorneys currently living/working in CH?



I am a practicing attorney in the USA and moving to CH with my husband (a swiss national) in Sept. I will be moving with a spouse visa. From what I've read, to actually practice law in CH I would be required to have the Swiss equivolent of a JD. I am wondering if there are any other attys currently working in Switzerland who are still practicing? If so, what type of companies and work are you doing? Alternatively, any suggestions for job alternatives that my legal background might fit.

I have litigation experience in employment law - I was kind of thinking HR might be the way to go.

Any thoughts and experiences are much appreciated!

Thank you in advance,

Best,

E.
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Old 04.06.2009, 00:54
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Re: Any US attorney's currently living/working in CH?

I am a U.S. patent attorney who lives in the U.S. but has looked into moving to Switzerland. I assume you are not a patent attorney, but you might consider starting with the list of U.S. patent attorneys and patent agents registered as living in Switzerland (use the search page found here). Some of these people will be American attorneys who can point you in the right direction. (But note that, unlike in the U.S., a patent attorney in Europe is usually not an attorney-at-law.)

Depending on the size of your state bar, there may be some attorneys licensed in your state who are in Switzerland. Check your state bar directory for this.

Also, are you sure that you need to be a Swiss-licensed attorney to work as in-house counsel?
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Old 04.06.2009, 01:18
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Re: Any US attorney's currently living/working in CH?

Thanks so much for the suggestions and the link! My understanding is that I could be in-house with a US based company that is located in CH, I have been looking into that but without much luck as my background is primarily litigation.

Best,
E.
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Old 04.06.2009, 15:27
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Re: Any US attorney's currently living/working in CH?

Where are you moving to in Switzerland? I know that the pharma/chemical industry in Basel (Roche, Novartis, Syngenta, Actelion, etc.) is often looking to fill legal counsel, patent, and HR positions.
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Old 04.06.2009, 17:13
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Re: Any US attorneys currently living/working in CH?

Thanks! We are actually looking closely at Basel as our top contender. We have family in Zurich and Shauffhousen so we are looking there as well.

I'll definately take a look.
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Old 17.06.2009, 13:56
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Re: Any US attorneys currently living/working in CH?

Switzerland recognizes professional qualifications from EU and EFTA countries. The US lucks out.

Accordingly a US-qualified attorney is not permitted to practice law in Switzerland. However, with "practice" I mean will not be permitted to appear before court as an attorney and not permitted to use the title attorney (Rechtsanwalt, Advokat, Avocat, Fürsprecher, etc).

However, you should be able to give legal advice and/or work as an in-house counsel. You might want to check out www.lawjobs.ch.
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