ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (October 25, 2022) – Littler, the world’s largest employment and labour law practice representing management, has opened an office in Zurich, Switzerland. The office will be led by Dr. Ueli Sommer, who 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 total European presence to 29 offices in 14 countries. Littler’s global platform now consists of more than 1,700 attorneys practicing across over 100 offices and 28 countries.
“Switzerland is an important market for our clients and – alongside our robust footprint in the bordering countries of France, Germany, Italy and Austria – this expansion is a key milestone in rounding out our European offering,” said Erin Webber, Littler’s managing director and president. “The success of our global growth and integration strategy has always hinged on finding the right partner in each market we enter. We have once again found that with Ueli, who is widely regarded as a top employment lawyer both in Switzerland and internationally.”
Before starting his boutique firm LEL Lawyers and founding Littler | LEL Lawyers, Dr. Sommer practiced for more than 20 years at Walder Wyss – a large general practice firm in Switzerland – where he founded and chaired the employment law practice. He counsels employers on a range of issues, including the working environment and industrial injuries, workforce restructurings, employment-related agreements and transactions, compensation schemes, and immigration and choice of domicile matters.
“We have had the pleasure of collaborating with Ueli on several matters over the years and have seen firsthand how much clients value his thoughtful approach and depth of knowledge in navigating their most complex employment matters,” said Stephan Swinkels, a Littler shareholder who helps lead the development and integration of the firm’s global practice. “This addition not only furthers our ability to serve clients in the highly sought-after Swiss market, but we are excited for our teams in the DACH region [Germany, Austria and Switzerland], across Europe and globally to benefit from collaborating with Ueli as he spearheads our expansion in Switzerland.”
Dr. Sommer is actively involved in several international legal and business associations and is a regular speaker at prominent global conferences. He serves on the board of the European Employment Lawyers Association (EELA) and as co-chair of 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 Section and former board chair for the Australian Swiss Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“Littler has built an incredibly impressive platform from which to provide consistent and top-notch counsel that serves the wide-ranging needs of both global and local employers,” Dr. Sommer said. “By combining talented and highly experienced teams in jurisdictions across the globe with innovative resources, international capabilities and a strong commitment to diversity, Littler has set the standard for what a modern law firm should be.”
“As one of the most prosperous countries in the world with a very favorable business climate, Switzerland presents a host of opportunities for many of our clients,” said Peter Susser, Littler’s Global Practice Leader and chair of the firm’s International Employment Law practice. “Ueli’s unique insights, gleaned through decades of experience guiding employers through operating in the Swiss market, will be invaluable to supporting 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 (via a correspondent counsel 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 practitioners dually licensed in the U.S. and Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and South Africa.
With more than 1,700 labor and employment attorneys in offices around the world, Littler provides workplace solutions that are local, everywhere. Our diverse global team and proprietary technology foster a culture that celebrates original thinking, delivering groundbreaking innovation that prepares employers for what’s happening today, and what’s likely to happen tomorrow.