Dr. Stefan Leimgruber is a partner in Schellenberg Wittmer's dispute resolution group in Zürich. His main areas of practice are domestic and international commercial arbitration and litigation. He has acted as counsel and arbitrator in international arbitrations, both ad hoc and institutional (including ICC, Swiss Rules, UNCITRAL, WIPO, CEPANI), in a wide range of commercial disputes, including disputes arising from international joint venture, shareholders' and share purchase agreements, sales, licence and distribution agreements and construction contracts. Stefan also represents parties before Swiss courts with a particular focus on banking, post-M&A and corporate litigation, interim measures and enforcement of foreign judgments and awards.
Stefan's recent experience in arbitration matters includes:
- Counsel to an Indonesian company active in the steel sector in a Swiss Rules arbitration initiated by a shipping company in relation to damage claims resulting from a failed sales order;
- Counsel to two Swiss companies in a post-M&A dispute following the rescission of a share purchase agreement by the sellers (CEPANI Arbitration Rules);
- Counsel to a South Korean trading company in a Swiss Rules arbitration initiated by the buyer of large quantities of steel bars due to alleged quality issues;
- Counsel in a multi-billion dollar licencing dispute against a US and a Bermuda entity. The dispute concerned the validity of a US patent and a related licence agreement for one of the world's best-selling drugs (WIPO Arbitration Rules).
Stefan is recognised and ranked for his work in arbitration and litigation by leading international directories such as The Legal 500, Expert Guides and Who's Who Legal. They describe him as "highly recommended by clients and peers alike" and as "an excellent all-round lawyer with particular strength in post-M&A arbitration proceedings".
Prior to joining Schellenberg Wittmer in 2007, Stefan worked at the Zürich District Court, first as a legal secretary and later as a judge, mainly dealing with debt enforcement, civil attachments, injunctions, and recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments. From 2010 to 2011, Stefan was a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney Law School, where he conducted extensive research in the fields of international arbitration and transnational litigation. He obtained a doctorate in law from the University of Lucerne in 2013 (summa cum laude) for his thesis on negative declaratory relief in international arbitration in Switzerland.
Stefan is a member of several professional associations, including the International, the Swiss and the Zürich Bar Associations.