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Portrait ofPortrait of Bernhard Lötscher

Bernhard Lötscher

Head of White Collar Crime Team

CMS von Erlach Partners Ltd
Räffelstrasse 26
P.O. Box
8022 Zurich
Languages German, English, French

Bernhard Lötscher advises and represents corporate and private clients in economic crime matters, criminal and regulatory investigations as well as international mutual assistance in administrative, criminal and civil matters. In addition he has extensive experience in the field of anti-money laundering compliance. His practice moreover includes civil litigation and arbitration.   

Bernhard is a member of the CMS Dispute Resolution Practice Group, the CMS Anticorruption Sub-Group and the CMS Banking and Finance Practice Group.

He graduated with honours from the University of Zurich in 1990. After an internship with Union Bank of Switzerland (today UBS), he joined CMS in 1993 and was admitted to the bar in 1996. He is a partner since 2001.

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Sources say: "He is a very skilled lawyer and a team player."

Chambers & Partners, Europe, White-Collar Crime, Switzerland, 2022

Practice head Bernhard Lötscher represents private individuals as both defendants and plaintiffs, as well as assisting international corporates with investigations, asset tracing and criminal defence. Clients appreciate the clarity he brings to complex, cross-border cases with one reporting: "He offers brilliant analysis of the facts without being too complex."

Chambers and Partners, White-Collar Crime, Switzerland, 2019

"Bernhard Lötscher is 'able to explain the subtle aspects of this field of law to lawyers and laymen alike.' Another source praises his 'excellent communication skills' and adds: 'He ensured that the interests of our company, and of our customers, were fully safeguarded.' He has experience of internal investigations into disloyal conduct and breaches of company secrets, as well as assisting with proceedings into alleged tax fraud and counterfeiting."

Chambers and Partners, White-Collar Crime, Switzerland, 2018

"Strong choice for multi-jurisdictional issues, particularly cross-border investigations. Notable expertise in advising clients from the financial services industry, covering matters such as insider trading, money laundering and fraud."

Chambers and Partners, White-Collar Crime, Switzerland, 2015

Relevant experience

  • Representing a private venture capital company in criminal and civil proceedings concerning a large scale "man in the middle" fraud (cyber-crime).
  • Representing a leading provider of artificial intelligence technology vis-à-vis Swiss regulatory bodies in connection with inquiries about suspected non-compliance with export control laws.
  • Representing a manufacturer of perfumes and scents in a criminal investigation for alleged counterfeiting; defense work involves investigation of business conduct of distributors in high risk countries.
  • Representing a Swiss group company of a commodity trading and mining concern in international judicial assistance proceedings for suspected large scale tax fraud.
  • Advising a major Swiss bank in investigation of Swiss regulatory body for alleged violation of diligence duties in handling cross-border customer relationships.
  • Counsel to a precious metals trader in connection with probes of Swiss and foreign regulatory bodies in suspected irregularities concerning precious metals trading.
  • Counsel to a group of companies active in the field of asset management in connection with regulatory and penal investigations for suspected insider trading.
  • Representing an aircraft owner company in arbitration proceedings against former operations manager.
  • Training of compliance functions and front office of the Swiss subsidiary of an international banking group on CDB 16 compliance.
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Memberships & Roles

  • Zurich Bar Association (ZAV)
  • Swiss Bar Association (SBA)
  • International Bar Association
  • Bankrechtliche Vereinigung
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  • Regulatory Intelligence, Country Update-Switzerland: AML, Thomson Reuters, 6 November 2023 (co-author: Sophie Weber)
  • Basle Commentary Anti-Money Laundering Act, commentary on article 7, December 2021 (co-author: Nino Sievi)
  • Anti-Money Laundering Country Guide, chapter on Switzerland, Thomson Reuters, October 2020 (co-author: Flavia Widmer)
  • The International Investigations Review - Edition 10, chapter on Switzerland, July 2020
  • CMS Guide to Anti-Bribery and Corruption Laws, June 2018 (co-author: Nino Sievi)
  • Erfüllungsklage des Käufers, in: Fischer / Theus Simoni / Gessler (editors), Kommentierte Musterklagen zum Vertrags- und Haftpflichtrecht, vol I, Zurich 2016
  • Tax deductibility of fines imposed on commercial undertakings, Criminal Law and Business Crime Newsletter, Newsletter of the International Bar Association Legal Practice Division, vol. 8(1), May 2015, pp. 12–14 (co-author: Nino Sievi)
  • Nemo Iudex in Sua Causa – No jurisdiction of the arbitrators to authoritatively rule on their own Fees, Remarks on the Swiss Federal Tribunal’s Decision 4A_391/2010 and 4A_399/2010 of 10 November 2010, 29 ASA Bulletin 1/2011, 120-128 (co-author: Axel Buhr)
  • Kann ein fingierter Verdacht auf «Betrugsdelikte und dergleichen» Amtshilfegrundlage in Steuersachen sein?, Jusletter, 18 October 2010 (co-author: Axel Buhr)
  • Abkommen Schweiz-USA in Sachen UBS: Sind dem Bundesverwaltungsgericht die Hände gebunden?, Anwaltsrevue, 15 January 2010 (co-author: Axel Buhr)
  • On the Treaty between Switzerland and USA of 19 August 2009, concerning the IRS Request for Information Exchange in the Matter of UBS Ltd, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 17 September 2009
  • No Judicial Assistance from Switzerland in the Yukos Affair, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 8 February 2005
  • Die Subsumption des Eigenhandels mit Rohwaren unter den Begriff der Finanzintermediation im Sinne des GwG ( co-author: Prof. Dr. iur. Niklaus Schmid), AJP, November 2002
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Lectures list

  • Zwangsvollstreckung nach ZPO, Lecture at Institut für Rechtswissenschaft, CAS Prozessführung - Civil Litigation, St Gallen, February 2018
  • Was ist gute KYC-Policy im Bereich des Transaction Monitoring?, Lecture at the Swiss Compliance Officers Meeting, Zurich, June 2017
  • Switzerland Tightening the Screws – Proposed Legislation to Implement the 2012 FATF Recommendations, Lecture at STEP Israel 15th Anniversary Conference, Tel Aviv, June 2013
  • Steuerdelikte als Vortat zur Geldwäscherei – Stand der Diskussion und Ausblick, Lecture at Verband Schweizerischer Vermögensverwalter (VSV), Revisionsseminar GwG / Standesregeln, Zurich, March 2013
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  • Bar Admission (1993)
  • Internship with Union Bank of Switzerland, UBS (1990-1993)
  • Legal studies, Universities of Zurich and Lausanne (1984 − 1990)
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Corporate Liability for Lack of Corruption Prevention
Corporate Criminal Liability Commodity trader pays Sfr 94 million for lack of organisational corruption prevention. Introduction Under Swiss criminal law, criminal offences committed within a corporation...
Anti-Corruption: Trends and Developments in Switzerland
Anti-Corruption: Trends and Developments in Switzerland CMS Switzerland’s lawyers Bernhard Lötscher, Nino Sievi and Aline Wey Speirs ana­lyse the most significant trends and provide a broader discussion...
Amendments to Anti-money Laundering Act
On 1 June 2018 the Federal Council initiated the consultation on a number of amendments to the Anti-money Laundering Act. The draft bill marks the third bundle of legislative measures to com­pre­hens­ively...


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