Debt collection, insolvency and bankruptcy law
Whether as an individual or as a company, we all face situations in which a third party owes us money or we may owe it to a third party in the course of our business relationships.
Our debt collection specialists will be able to advise you on the best way to obtain the payment of due amounts from debtors, who may be solvent or insolvent – through an amicable agreement, seizure proceedings, bankruptcy proceedings, bank arrest or the sequestration of your debtor's other assets in Switzerland or abroad.
They can provide you support through all the phases of these technical procedures (order to pay, opposition proceedings, petition to continue prosecution, notice of seizure, bankruptcy requisition, state of collocation, requisition for sale, loss certificate, etc.) in which numerous time limits apply, whether before prosecution and bankruptcy offices, the supervisory authority in matters of prosecution and bankruptcy or before civil courts.
Our law firm regularly acts for creditor companies having their registered office abroad, who wish to recover a debt owed by a debtor in Switzerland, on the basis either of a contract, or a foreign ruling or an arbitral award that has become res judicata. With the assistance of our foreign correspondent law firms, we also assist our Swiss clients who need to collect a debt from a client of theirs that may have its registered office or domicile abroad.
Unjustified debt enforcements
The lawyers in charge of debt collection also defend your rights when an individual or a company claims to be your creditor, even though the debt has already been paid back or does not exist. The defence in these cases may be put forward even before a debt enforcement can be filed against you or when an unjustified debt enforcement proceedings may already be underway. Depending on the situation, we can also pursue criminal proceedings against a creditor who sues you in a manifestly abusive manner (duress).
Bankruptcies and insolvency proceedings
It is not easy for shareholders, directors or creditors of a company to apprehend the situation when a company is going bankrupt. Over-indebtedness sometimes occurs very quickly, without any real forewarning. It is therefore necessary to be extremely vigilant with regard to possible warning signs, which is not always easy when you are expanding an existing company or launching a start-up.
Our bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings specialists are regularly consulted by companies facing financial difficulties that wish to protect themselves from their creditors or reorganise their debt. The main avenues available are the deferment of bankruptcy or a debt-restructuring moratorium, which will probably be increasingly used in the future, given the tense economic context. Our lawyers also intervene in the judicial or extra-judicial liquidation of companies, either as counsel to a company's creditors or as debt-restructuring moratorium administrators, appointed by the competent courts.