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Portrait of Hadi Mirzai

Hadi Mirzai


CMS von Erlach Partners Ltd
Dreikönigstrasse 7
P.O. Box
8022 Zurich
Languages German, English

Hadi Mirzai's practice covers all aspects of Swiss and EU antitrust law (e.g. horizontal and vertical agreements, dominance abuse, merger control and civil antitrust law). He represents clients in administrative proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission and courts. Hadi Mirzai has advised clients in a wide range of industries and is particularly experienced in assisting clients in dawn raids as well as in the implementation of compliance programs. In addition to competition law, he focuses on intellectual property and technology law.

Before joining CMS in 2017, Hadi Mirzai has worked in the Construction Division of the Secretariat of the Swiss Competition Commission and gained expertise in competition matters related to the construction sector and public procurement.

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Relevant experience

  • Advice to international automotive group in antitrust proceedings before the Swiss Competition Commission regarding horizontal information exchange and price fixing (including amicable settlement with the authority)
  • Representation of financial services provider in investigation regarding an alleged boycott of Apple Pay and other international mobile payment solutions
  • Antitrust advice to leading payment industry company held by competing companies from the financial sector on the implementation of various projects
  • Representation of construction company in the so far largest bid-rigging investigation in Switzerland (canton of Grisons)
  • Advice to ancillary construction trade association on the implementation of industry guidelines
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Memberships & Roles

  • Zurich Bar Association (ZAV)
  • Swiss Bar Association (SAV)
  • Antitrust Law Association (Studienvereinigung Kartellrecht e.V.)


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  • 2020 Bar admission
  • 2016 Master of Law, University Zurich
  • 2015 Bachelor of Law, University Zurich
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Spot­light on ap­proaches for com­pre­hens­ive com­pli­ance: New ob­lig­a­tions for...
Be­cause of the trend to­wards a stronger aware­ness of "cor­por­ate so­cial re­spons­ib­il­ity", com­pan­ies both in Switzer­land and abroad are con­fron­ted with grow­ing de­mands for re­spons­ible cor­por­ate gov­ernance...
Spot­light on ap­proaches for com­pre­hens­ive com­pli­ance: New ob­lig­a­tions for...
Be­cause of the trend to­wards a stronger aware­ness of Cor­por­ate So­cial Re­spons­ib­il­ity (CSR), com­pan­ies both in Switzer­land and abroad are con­fron­ted with grow­ing de­mands for re­spons­ible cor­por­ate gov­ernance.The most re­cent ex­ample of leg­al de­vel­op­ments in this area is the in­dir­ect counter-pro­pos­al to the fed­er­al pop­u­lar ini­ti­at­ive "the Re­spons­ible Busi­ness Ini­ti­at­ive – Pro­tect­ing hu­man rights and the en­vir­on­ment" ("Konzern­ver­ant­wor­tungsin­i­ti­at­ive"). With the ex­piry of the ref­er­en­dum dead­line on 5 Au­gust 2021, new due di­li­gence and re­port­ing reg­u­la­tions on non-fin­an­cial mat­ters as well as in areas of con­flict min­er­als and child la­bour are ex­pec­ted to come in­to force in Switzer­land on 1 Janu­ary 2022. In re­cent years, the Gov­ernance, Risk and Com­pli­ance (GRC) ap­proach has been an ef­fi­cient tool for com­pan­ies with com­plex cor­por­ate struc­tures to meet ex­pand­ing reg­u­lat­ory re­quire­ments. By means of a com­pre­hens­ive ap­proach, the areas of Gov­ernance, Risk and Com­pli­ance have been merged and com­pan­ies are well ad­vised to ex­am­ine their com­pli­ance struc­tures crit­ic­ally and, if ne­ces­sary, ad­apt them to the latest de­vel­op­ments.  New re­quire­ments un­der the Swiss Code of Ob­lig­a­tions Fol­low­ing the 29 Novem­ber 2020 re­jec­tion of the pop­u­lar ini­ti­at­ive "For re­spons­ible com­pan­ies - to pro­tect people and the en­vir­on­ment" ("Cor­por­ate Re­spons­ib­il­ity Ini­ti­at­ive" or "Konzern­ver­ant­wor­tungsin­i­ti­at­ive"), the Swiss par­lia­ment ad­op­ted the in­dir­ect counter-pro­pos­al. After ex­piry of the ref­er­en­dum peri­od, the new pro­vi­sions are ex­pec­ted to enter in­to force on 1 Janu­ary 2022. The counter-pro­pos­al provides for a gen­er­al re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tion as well as top­ic-spe­cif­ic due di­li­gence ob­lig­a­tions and trans­par­ency in con­nec­tion with con­flict min­er­als and child la­bour (see para­graph ii be­low for a defin­i­tion of each). The new re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tion will likely ap­ply to com­pan­ies first in the 2023 fin­an­cial year.The leg­al pro­vi­sions in the Swiss Code of Ob­lig­a­tions for bet­ter pro­tec­tion of people and the en­vir­on­ment, which par­lia­ment ad­op­ted as a counter-pro­pos­al to the Cor­por­ate Re­spons­ib­il­ity Ini­ti­at­ive, provide for two in­nov­a­tions: (i) re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tions on non-fin­an­cial mat­ters (Art. 964bis et se­qq. CO); and (ii) due di­li­gence and re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tions in the areas of con­flict min­er­als and child la­bour (Art. 964quin­quies et se­qq. CO).The vi­ol­a­tion of these ob­lig­a­tions is pun­ish­able by fines of up to CHF 100,000. Un­like the ori­gin­al pop­u­lar ini­ti­at­ive, the new pro­vi­sions do not con­tain any fur­ther li­ab­il­ity rules. Any fur­ther li­ab­il­ity claims might be gov­erned by gen­er­al ex­ist­ing leg­al pro­vi­sions.(i) Re­port­ing re­quire­ments on non-fin­an­cial mat­tersIn or­der to in­crease trans­par­ency, com­pan­ies are now leg­ally ob­liged to re­port on the risks of their busi­ness activ­it­ies in the areas of the en­vir­on­ment (es­pe­cially re­gard­ing CO2 emis­sions stand­ards), so­cial is­sues, la­bour is­sues, hu­man rights and anti-cor­rup­tion. They must also re­port the meas­ures they are tak­ing against these risks. If a re­port­ing com­pany does not fol­low the re­quire­ments for these non-fin­an­cial is­sues, the re­port must con­tain a trans­par­ent and foun­ded ex­plan­a­tion (i.e. the com­pany must "com­ply or ex­plain"). In these cases, the le­gis­lat­or as­sumes that in­vestors and con­sumers will judge a com­pany's cred­ib­il­ity for them­selves and turn away from un­trust­worthy firms.In or­der to be sub­ject to this re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tion, a com­pany must be a "pub­lic in­terest en­tity". This in­cludes, in par­tic­u­lar, pub­lic com­pan­ies, banks and in­sur­ance com­pan­ies as well as oth­er su­per­vised com­pan­ies of the fin­an­cial sec­tor, which, to­geth­er with any do­mest­ic or for­eign com­pan­ies con­trolled by them, have an an­nu­al av­er­age of at least 500 full-time em­ploy­ees and a bal­ance sheet total of at least CHF 20 mil­lion or a turnover of at least CHF 40 mil­lion in two con­sec­ut­ive years.(ii) Due di­li­gence and re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tions in the areas of con­flict min­er­als and child la­bour­All com­pan­ies with risks in their sup­ply chains in the sens­it­ive areas of child la­bour and con­flict min­er­als must now com­ply with spe­cial and far-reach­ing due di­li­gence ob­lig­a­tions, re­gard­less of their size. Con­flict min­er­als in­clude min­er­als or metals that con­tain tin, tan­talum, tung­sten or gold and ori­gin­ate from con­flict or high-risk areas. In ad­di­tion to "failed states", such areas in­clude in par­tic­u­lar re­gions in which armed con­flicts pre­vail or a fra­gile situ­ation ex­ists after such a con­flict. In this con­text, the Swiss le­gis­lat­or is also fol­low­ing EU re­com­mend­a­tions. In the case of child la­bour, a reas­on­able sus­pi­cion that products or ser­vices that are be­ing offered have been pro­duced us­ing child la­bour is suf­fi­cient for the ex­ist­ence of such du­ties of care.The new due di­li­gence reg­u­la­tions in Swiss law are largely based on ex­ist­ing EU reg­u­la­tions. The im­ple­ment­a­tion pro­vi­sions are reg­u­lated in the Or­din­ance on Due Di­li­gence and Trans­par­ency for Min­er­als and Metals from Con­flict Areas and Child La­bour. The Fed­er­al Coun­cil has already pre­pared an ini­tial draft of this or­din­ance, which was sub­ject to con­sulta­tion in Ju­ly 2021. The due di­li­gence ob­lig­a­tion in­cludes, among oth­er things, the ob­lig­a­tion to in­tro­duce a rel­ev­ant man­age­ment sys­tem and a risk man­age­ment plan. In the area of min­er­als and metals, com­pli­ance with the due di­li­gence ob­lig­a­tion will also be audited by an ex­tern­al ex­pert.The Or­din­ance also provides ex­emp­tions for due di­li­gence and re­port­ing ob­lig­a­tions. Re­gard­ing con­flict min­er­als, the reg­u­la­tion de­term­ines the an­nu­al im­port and pro­cessing quant­it­ies for min­er­als and metals up to which a com­pany is ex­empt from the ob­lig­a­tions. In the area of child la­bour, the reg­u­la­tion provides ex­emp­tions for small and me­di­um-sized en­ter­prises (SMEs) and for com­pan­ies with low risks in this area. The start­ing point for the risk as­sess­ment is the coun­try of pro­duc­tion ac­cord­ing to the in­dic­a­tion of ori­gin (i.e. the "made in" des­ig­na­tion). The UNICEF Chil­dren's Rights in the Work­place In­dex can be con­sul­ted for this as­sess­ment. In ad­di­tion, com­pan­ies that already com­ply with in­ter­na­tion­ally re­cog­nised equi­val­ent reg­u­la­tions are ex­empt from the ob­lig­a­tions. GRC ap­proach as an in­dustry stand­ard? Dy­nam­ic changes in the reg­u­lat­ory and eco­nom­ic en­vir­on­ment present glob­al com­pan­ies with the unique chal­lenge of de­vel­op­ing and im­ple­ment­ing a hol­ist­ic ap­proach to cor­por­ate gov­ernance from a mul­ti­tude of man­dat­ory and non-man­dat­ory reg­u­la­tions, cre­at­ing ex­tern­al and in­tern­al policies for stake­hold­ers, and tak­ing in­to ac­count com­pany-spe­cif­ic op­por­tun­it­ies and risks. In re­sponse to this ini­tial situ­ation, the GRC ap­proach has be­come for many com­pan­ies a co­ordin­ated, in­teg­rated and hol­ist­ic com­pli­ance and risk man­age­ment mod­el. The ac­ronym "GRC" stands for Gov­ernance, Risk and Com­pli­ance, which en­com­passes the three most im­port­ant areas of ac­tion for re­spons­ible and in­teg­rity-based cor­por­ate gov­ernance, which are already closely linked by their nature. The goal of the GRC ap­proach is to in­tel­li­gently link these three areas. The aim is to cre­ate trans­par­ency and se­cur­ity for in­tern­al and ex­tern­al risks in or­der to pre­vent neg­at­ive eco­nom­ic, leg­al and even crim­in­al con­sequences for the com­pany and its repu­ta­tion. Even if a com­pany already pos­sesses well-de­veloped con­trol and man­age­ment sys­tems, the ex­ist­ing syn­er­gies are of­ten not con­nec­ted in a mean­ing­ful way. With the in­tro­duc­tion of a GRC sys­tem in the com­pany's busi­ness pro­cess, the in­tern­al func­tions of risk man­age­ment, in­tern­al con­trol, com­pli­ance and in­tern­al audit can ef­fi­ciently use syn­er­gies. In this way, re­dund­an­cies in the pro­cesses can be avoided, which usu­ally leads to a sav­ing of costs and staff ca­pa­cit­ies. At the same time, the uni­form ap­proach means that re­spons­ib­il­it­ies can be clearly as­signed with­in the com­pany and dif­fer­ent as­sess­ments of identic­al facts and risks by dif­fer­ent de­part­ments can be avoided. This goes hand in hand with the cre­ation of trust among in­tern­al and ex­tern­al ad­dress­ees. A GRC sys­tem that is well ad­ap­ted to the in­di­vidu­al re­quire­ments of a com­pany im­proves risk iden­ti­fic­a­tion and con­trol. This en­ables the man­age­ment of a com­pany to make stra­tegic de­cisions and take op­er­at­ive meas­ures on the basis of clear­er in­form­a­tion. Risks are re­cog­nised earli­er and man­aged more ef­fi­ciently.An in­dustry stand­ard for the in­ter­ac­tion of sub­sys­tems with­in the gov­ernance struc­ture, which is well-known in the fin­an­cial in­dustry, is the in­ter­na­tion­ally re­cog­nised mod­el of the "three lines of de­fence". It is based on the prin­ciple that the re­spons­ib­il­ity for risk lies primar­ily with the ac­count­able per­son. The mod­el was re­cently re­vised by the In­sti­tute of In­tern­al Aud­it­ors (IIA) and places pro­act­ive risk man­age­ment at the centre of a com­pany's gen­er­al gov­ernance. The first line rep­res­ents op­er­a­tion­al man­age­ment, which is sup­por­ted and mon­itored by a second line (i.e. the com­pli­ance and leg­al de­part­ments). The third line is the in­tern­al audit de­part­ment. The up­dated ver­sion of the IIA bet­ter re­flects the fact that in risk-based de­cision-mak­ing, seiz­ing op­por­tun­it­ies for the com­pany can be as im­port­ant as pro­tect­ing com­pany val­ues.No stand­ard mod­el fits every com­pany. The design of a GRC sys­tem must be ad­ap­ted to the spe­cif­ic risk pro­file of a com­pany, which is de­term­ined by nu­mer­ous in­tern­al and ex­tern­al factors. As a first step, it is ne­ces­sary to as­sess the ex­ist­ing struc­tures, busi­ness mod­el and cur­rent and fu­ture activ­it­ies of the com­pany, as well as the eco­nom­ic and leg­al en­vir­on­ment in which the com­pany op­er­ates. As a second step, this risk as­sess­ment leads to the design of a GRC sys­tem that is ad­ap­ted to the com­pany's spe­cif­ic risks and struc­ture.
CMS ad­vised HEB on the di­vest­ment of its stake in SIX lis­ted Cicor to One...
Zurich, 19 Ju­ly 2021 | HEB Swiss In­vest­ment AG, a Zurich-based hold­ing com­pany owned by a Ger­man private in­vestor, has entered in­to an agree­ment to sell its ma­jor stake (29.3 %) in lis­ted Cicor Tech­no­lo­gies...
The Fed­er­al Su­preme Court's judg­ment in the mat­ter "Hors-Liste Medika­mente...
On 21 April 2021, the Fed­er­al Su­preme Court pub­lished a judg­ment against Pf­izer re­gard­ing the sanc­tion or­der of the Com­pet­i­tion Com­mis­sion (COMCO) in the mat­ter Hors-Liste Medika­mente (Pre­isem­p­fehlun­gen)...
Switzer­land in­tro­duces the concept of re­l­at­ive mar­ket power and re­stricts...
On Fri­day, 19 March 2021, the Swiss par­lia­ment ad­op­ted in its fi­nal vote the amended par­lia­ment­ary counter-pro­pos­al to the pop­u­lar ini­ti­at­ive "Stop the high price is­land - for fair prices". This counter-pro­pos­al...
CMS ad­vised DP World on the ac­quis­i­tion of a 44% stake in swis­ster­min­al...
CMS ad­vised DP World on the ac­quis­i­tion of a 44% stake in swis­ster­min­al Hold­ing AG A team un­der the lead of Stefan Brunnsch­weiler has ad­vised DP World, a Dubai-based glob­al port op­er­at­or, on the ac­quis­i­tion...