Thierry Afschrift

Leaders in Law endorses Thierry Afschrift as our exclusively recommended Tax Law expert in Switzerland. If you wish to get in touch with Thierry please use the contact information provided above.

Every taxpayer is entitled to reduce his tax burden

In 1994, the year in which the firm that bears his name saw the light of day, Thierry Afschrift wrote “L’évitement licite de l’impôt et la réalité juridique, un droit fondamental du contribuable” published by Larcier. The essence of his message, and also the basis of the firm’s values, is that taxpayers are under no compulsion to pay more tax than they are legally obliged to.

“The administration cannot compel a taxpayer, whether a company, a natural person or a legal entity, to place himself in an unfavourable position. Provided that he acts within the law, every taxpayer is entitled to reduce his tax burden inasmuch as possible. Successive governments have been trying to abolish that right for 60 years now. But as long as the legality principle of taxation remains enshrined in the Constitution, the legislator will find it hard to argue that citizens, who abide by the law, are suddenly denied the benefit of its application because they may have tried to use it to their advantage.”

Ever since the firm was set up, Thierry has asked all the lawyers at the firm to act as consultants and in disputes. “Even though this format is fairly unusual, it seems indispensable to me if we are to realise our objectives. Our message to taxpayers must be crystal clear: we are confident enough in the advice we give to defend that advice, if need be, against the administration and before the competent courts.”

Bar Associations

  • Member of the Bar Council of Brussels since 1976
  • Member of the Bar Associations/Councils of Madrid, Antwerp, Luxembourg and Geneva
  • Foreign Lawyer, member of the Law Society of Hong-Kong
  • Deputy Justice at the Court of Appeal of Brussels

Languages

  • French
  • Dutch
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Diplomas

  • Master’s in Law – Université libre de Bruxelles, Special Master’s in Economic Law, Special Master’s in Fiscal Science,
  • Award, as per decision of the Board of Governors of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, for exceptional scientific merit equivalent to a doctoral thesis (1992)

Publications

Academic activities

Huidige

  • Head of the 3rd year Bachelor’s programme Tax Law (30 hours) at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management (since 1987)
  • Chairman of the Executive Master’s programme Fiscal Management (which confers the Diploma of Special Studies in Fiscal Management ) at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics & Management
  • Co-manager of the course In-depth Corporate Tax Issues – Case Studies in the Executive Master’s programme Fiscal Management

Voorheen

  • Introduction to Law course assistant at the Faculty of Law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (from 1 October 1978 until 30 September 1982)
  • Tax Law I course assistant at the Faculty of Law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (from 1 October 1982 until 30 September 1988)
  • Head of the course In-depth Study of VAT at the Faculty of Law of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (1992-1997)
  • Head of the course E-commerce and Tax Law in the D.E.S. in E-commerce at the Polytechnic School of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (2000-2001)
  • Head of the course Complements to Taxation in the 4th year of the Solvay Brussels School of Economy and Management (1991 – 2005)

Firm Description

Our Approach

Law Firm Afschrift stands for unparalleled versatility. This claim stems from two essential elements, i.e. a personal relationship and qualitative advice.

Our team: multi-skilled professionals

Your lawyer is honour-bound to assist you with anything that requires his skills, be it of a tax-related or any other nature. This is why all our lawyers are multi-skilled and fully au fait with all the aspects of the tax and judicial system.

You can count on them for guidance and to represent your interests towards tax authorities.

Your lawyer: your privileged partner

The relationship between a lawyer and client is a long-term personal relationship. This relationship is based on mutual trust and becomes stronger as time goes on.

What does that mean?
Your lawyer has the relevant competences to guide you through your financial files.

All our lawyers are specialised in tax law. That does not mean that our firm is subdivided into “departments” however, for each of us is able to resolve your taxation and related issues.
Unless you expressly ask otherwise, you will never have to deal with more than two people.
Your lawyer knows you personally and, as he has an overview of your situation, your assets, he is able to answer all your tax-related questions.

Our lawyers are both consultants and litigation lawyers

As we see it, tax advice should be based on the firm conviction of the lawyer so that, when push comes to shove, he is also able to defend the chosen solution in Court.
This firm conviction leads to legal security about the transaction and maximises your chances of a successful outcome.
This is why most of our lawyers are seasoned litigation lawyers and very much in touch with the reality of daily practice.
The expertise they gained in the course of legal proceedings allows them, realistically and without preconceptions, to assess the relevance of the solutions they present you with.

Afschrift and the bears

As symbol of our vision of what the profession of tax lawyer stands for, we chose the bear for its strength, valour and image of kindness.

Strength and valour

Bears have the name of being powerful animals, fierce in their defence of their young and in protecting their territory from intruders.

As tax lawyers, it is our job to defend our clients and to protect their assets from the State. We do so with the same strength and energy as a sow defends its cubs.

Gentleness and kindness

But a lawyer’s task also includes guiding and advising his clients so as to enable them to manage their assets and business. We help our clients with the same thoughtfulness as a sow watching her offspring taking their first steps.

Confidentiality

Finally, teddy bears are a child’s first confidant, a confidant that knows how to keep a secret.
To ensure that our clients get the most appropriate advice, they will have to accept that there are certain things we have to know about. We give you an absolute guarantee that anything you share with us in confidence is safe with us.

Protecting bears

To show you exactly how fond we are of bears, the embodiment of everything we stand for, we decided to do take some concrete action by supporting associations that protect bears across France and Spain.

Erik Erismann

Leaders in Law endorses Erik Erismann as our exclusively recommended Cross-Border Trusts & Estates expert in Switzerland. If you wish to get in touch with Erik please use the contact information provided above.

Erik Erismann is a Valais-based attorney at law and authorized to represent parties before all Swiss courts. His activities focus on advising, assisting and litigating for individual and families in matters related to cross-border estate planningsuccession as well as trusts.

​He also assists clients in matters of domiciliation in Switzerland.His practice focuses also in corporate and transactional matters for corporations, with a special focus on the tech industry. He is also active in domestic and cross-border commercial transactions, including M&A and transmission of family businesses. Moreover, he advises entrepreneurs in the negotiation of agreements in matters of intellectual property and technology transfer.

Previously, he served as an in-house counsel in a renowned Swiss private bank, before practicing business law for several years in two major Swiss law firms, both in Geneva and in Zurich.

He practices in French, English, German and Portuguese.

Brazilian-Portuguese Desk

With a Brazilian mother and a Swiss father, Erik Erismann actively advises Brazilian and Portuguese nationals when they settle in Switzerland. He assists them in all their cross-border issues and also advises them on the development of a business activity in Switzerland.

Erik Erismann collaborates with a network of lawyers and accountants in Brazil and Portugal in order to offer a global service to his/her clients.

Practice Areas

  • Wealth and Estate planning
  • Family law
  • Real estate law
  • Foundation law
  • Civil and commercial litigation
  • Business Law (contract law, corporate law, M&A)
  • New Technology Law (intellectual property, data protection, blockchain)
  • ​Maritime law (bills of lading)

Professional Affiliations

  • Swiss Bar Association (SAV/FSA/SBA)
  • Bar Association of the Canton of Valais (OAVS)
  • Geneva Business Law Association (AGDA)
  • The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Swiss International Law Association (SSDI/SVIR)
  • Club CEDIDAC (Business Law Centre of the University of Lausanne)
  • Swiss-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce (SWISSCAM)

 

Dr. Thomas Weibel LL.M.

Leaders in Law endorses Thomas Weibel as our exclusively recommended Civil Procedural expert in Switzerland. If you wish to get in touch with Thomas please use the contact information provided above.

Thomas Weibel advises and represents clients before state courts and arbitral tribunals. His practice focuses on complex national and transnational commercial disputes, recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments, injunctive relief, and white collar crime. Thomas publishes and lectures on a regular basis on national and international civil procedure law as well as Swiss inheritance law. He is editor in chief for civil procedure law for a periodical on Swiss case law.

Education:

  • University of Kent at Canterbury (LL.M. in International Commercial Law, 2004)
  • University of Basel (lic. iur., 1997; Dr. iur., 2001)

Practice:

  • Court clerk at the District Court of Liestal (1999)
  • Internship F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd, Corporate Law, Basel (1998)
  • Internship STG-Coopers & Lybrand Ltd (now PricewaterhouseCoopers Ltd) Legal Department, Basel (1997-1998)

Mandates as board member:

  • La Cetra Barockorchester, Basel: Chairman

Membership in Associations:

  • Basel Bar Association
  • Swiss Bar Association
  • Pro iure
  • Basel Lawyers Association
  • European Bar Association (DACH)
  • Swiss Lawyers Association
  • International Bar Association
  • Swiss Association for Arbitration in Inheritance Matters

Service Teams:

Languages:

  • German
  • English
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Practice Areas:

  • Arbitration
  • Attachment
  • Aviation
  • China Desk
  • Compliance Support
  • Inheritance Law
  • Insolvency Law
  • Litigation
  • Private Clients
  • Restructuring and Reorganisation
  • Unfair Competition
  • White Collar Crime

 

Dr. iur. Kurt Moosmann

Leaders in Law endorses Dr. iur. Kurt Moosmann as our exclusively recommended Estate Planning Law expert in Switzerland. If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Moosmann please use the contact information provided above.

Dr. iur. Kurt Moosmann, MBA (Carnegie Mellon), TEP, CFP

Owner of Moosmann Advisors Ltd.

Dr. Kurt Moosmann is an highly sought expert with more than 25 years of experience in advising business owning families, family offices and entrepreneurs across the globe.  Before establishing Moosmann Advisors in 2014, he had co-founded and successfully assumed the role as Chairman of Dara Capital, a Multi-Family Office with offices in Zurich and New York.  From 2014 – 2021 he presided over the Advisory Board of FODIS LLC, Pittsburgh, which serves global family owned business enterprises and family offices with significant direct investment holdings in US operating family businesses.  Formerly Dr. Moosmann was Member of the Executive Committee of Quilvest Switzerland, where he had founded and managed their Wealth Advisory Department. Before joining Quilvest, he had chaired Deutsche Bank’s Global Wealth Planning Division from 1998-2004, and earlier on had worked for Coutts & Co.

In 2019 Dr. Moosmann was elected first President of Switzerland’s Single Family Office Association (SFOA). This honor was bestowed on Dr. Moosmann after having co-founded the esteemed Family Office Roundtable (FORT) in 2003, a global Think-Tank for a select group of leading entrepreneurs which has been supported by Wharton’s Global Family Alliance since 2007. From 2013 – 2017, he also served as a Member of the University Board of the Private University of Liechtenstein (UFL). Dr. Moosmann has been an active member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), and in 2002 was invited to join the «European Foundation Project» as a member of its core team, led by the Max-Planck-Institute for Foreign Private and International Law, Hamburg.

The native Swiss-Canadian holds a Doctorate of Law from the University of Zurich. His thesis, comparing the Anglo-Saxon and Liechtenstein trust structures, with special consideration of beneficiaries’ interests, was published in 1999. He also holds an MBA in International Wealth Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business (USA) and regularly lectures on topics related to Cross-Border Estate and Tax Planning, and on generational transition and governance matters within Family Business Enterprises.

Moosmann Advisors AG:

Preserving Capital Across Generations

As a seasoned Homme d’Affaires to a select group of private clients around the world, I am foremost passionate about preserving and growing your family’s human, social and financial capital, that will form a legacy well beyond many generations to come.

As the Homme d’Affaires I look at our clients’ whole life circumstancesand wealth situation and act as trusted and impartial Family Advisor. By applying the profound insight gained from many similar situations (comprising topics such as business owning families, generational transition, cross-border tax planning, philanthropy and direct
investments), I consult our clients on increasingly complex matters in a qualified, independent way and if necessary, with the assistance of a long-standing network of trusted specialists.

History has shown that it has become not only desirable, but indispensable for families that all recommendations from different areas of life are initially filtered and analyzed by a Homme d’Affaires who understands the possible consequences, opportunities and potential threats for families and their individual members. That enables the families to deal with the many issues in a structured and comprehensive way, before taking a well-balanced decision.

Single Family Office Advisory

Whether you are considering establishing your own Single Family Office, facing a liquidity event, or want to preserve your family-controlled business for future generations, we provide assistance in identifying and implementing appropriate ownership structures, assessing existing oversight functions, and adopting best practices for your governance framework.

The art of advising private clients has experienced a true paradigm shift: The methodology is no longer solely set on managing the assets and liabilities of a Family’s Balance Sheet, but also embraces and accounts for the non-financial aspects of a family situation and addresses the associated risks.

For more than 25 years I have passionately worked with families who have sought their own path of creativity, innovation and sustainability.

Their stories have inspired me to constantly improve the methods on how to assist families to preserve their human, social and financial capital across generations.

 

Patrice Lefèvre-Péaron

As managing Partner of the Geneva office and Attorney at law member of the Geneva and Paris Bars, Patrice Lefèvre-Péaron has concentrated his practice on business law and the taxation of businesses and leading shareholding families. He also advises a number of real estate developers through Europe especially Luxembourg and France. He has written various articles on business and asset taxation which have appeared in both France and the United States with the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA), the leading US tax law publisher. He is also the author of the French chapter of the work “International Tax Systems and Planning Techniques” published by Reuters.

Prior to joining Jeantet, Patrice Lefèvre-Péaron was Partner in leading French and Anglo-Saxon business law firms (Morgan Lewis, DLA pipers) for more than fifteen years.

Significant Experience

Raw advice in relation to the taxation of the transport system of STIF and the Communauté urbaine de Lille during the reorganisation of the transport networks of Paris Region and the Lille metropolitan area.

Tax law advice for the implementation of a European system of payment instruments, VISA cards and other bank card.

Structuring of the Sun Capital turnaround fund transactions particularly in relation to their different investments in Europe.

Advising one of the wealthiest Swiss families in the restructuring of his estate.

Advising one of the most wealthiest US families in the restructuring at his real estate assets in Europe.

Advising a major French bank in its plan for a spin-off into several entities, an investment bank and a merchant bank.

Advised the family shareholding in the restructuring of one of the leading French venture capital groups.

Advising one of the top global advertising groups in various cross-border acquisition operations in Europe, Asia and North America.

Member of

International Fiscal Association (IFA)

International Bar Association (IBA)

Fédération Suisse des Avocats (FSA)

Society of Trust Estate Practitioners (STEP)

Training

Harvard Business School

Business Law Master’s Degree (University Paris II), Postgraduate Diploma (DJCE), (DESS) in Business Law and Corporate Taxation (University of Lyon III)

Certificate in specialised studies in tax law (University of Montpellier)

Languages

French, English, Italian

Firm Decription

Committed to ethics and human values, Jeantet is one of the leading independent French business law firms that delivers customized services with added value.

Our lawyers are fully aware of the economic, technological, sectoral and legal changes our clients face and are able to anticipate, take action and propose solutions that are reliable, pragmatic and tailored to their clients’ challenges.

Well-established in its market thanks to solid foundations, Jeantet combines its excellence in legal expertise, in both advice and litigation, along with its entrepreneurial culture, to contribute to the success of its clients’ projects.

Jeantet advises major national and international groups in the industrial and service sectors, banks and financial institutions, investment funds, SMEs, the government, local authorities and professional organisations.

Our Ongoing Strategic Monitoring

Our Infothèque (resources library) is a cornerstone of our firm’s development and know-how. The tools used enable our lawyers to keep abreast of changes in the business sectors and markets in which our clients operate in order to anticipate any potential issues these may pose. Our librarians create and manage many tools for use by our lawyers and clients in order to pass on knowledge and information in real time.

Our databases, information gathering and media monitoring systems, newsletters, and legislative, regulatory and jurisprudential monitoring services are also made available to our clients.

The wide range of transactions we carry out and our commitment to transparency towards our clients have prompted us to establish permanent monitoring tools to eliminate any risk of conflict of interest.

Our Conferences, Debates and Training

Our lawyers share the latest legal and legislative news in addition to their experiences, by organising training sessions for their clients on topical issues and major French and European regulatory developments.

Faithful to its human values and commitment, Jeantet has launched programmes in keeping with the concerns of today’s world.

The Jeantet Career Path

We place particular emphasis on the development of our teams, particularly by ensuring a good work-life balance.

An attractive Jeantet career path, which respects diversity, encourages our lawyers to define and develop their goals within the firm.

The “Jeantet client du 21e siècle” (Jeantet client of the 21st century) programme

Jeantet has created a programme that allows its lawyers to respond to clients’ new aspirations both in France and abroad. Conferences, debates and training sessions are organised for this purpose on topics that are defined each year.

The “Jeantet Femme” (Jeantet Women) Programme

Jeantet has established a programme especially for female lawyers, which aims to guide them in their career path and encourage their access to positions of responsibility. Experience-sharing meetings between female partners and female employees are organised in small groups on topics identified in advance. Outside speakers may be invited to attend, depending on the topic.

The Club Jeantet Femmes (Jeantet Club for Women)

The Club Jeantet femmes, which brings together women from different backgrounds, takes a look at topical issues during events it organises.

The purpose of this forum is to promote women’s access to the creation and management of businesses while sharing their practices and experiences. 

Our Societal and Environmental Responsibility

Environment

Jeantet was one of the first firms to perform a carbon assessment and we are fully aware of the impact that our activities and those of our clients have on the environment. With a view to reducing the energy consumption of our premises, we are careful to ensure that we recycle our paper and packaging of all types, and we favour working with providers who have made the same choices.

Pro Bono Work

We encourage pro bono initiatives within our firm. For instance, Jeantet has been a founding member of the French Alliance of Lawyers for Human Rights (Avocats pour les Droits de l’Homme – AADH) since its creation in 2009.

We regularly handle pro bono cases proposed by AADH for its partner associations.

 

Marc René Deschenaux

We are international financial jurists because we believe going into litigation is already a failure. We do not believe in solutions arising from the courts of law.

Our legal team is entrepreneurial and tends to avoid litigation as much as possible.

We firmly believe that making money on the misery and strife of others is not a harmonious lifestyle.

This positive attitude allows us to be credible to our customers on important business, because they know they engage a representative without enemies from past disputes unrelated to them.

We believe that the modern lawyer must join forces with other professions and skills such as finance, marketing & communication.

Our practice as international financial jurists is exactly the opposite to that of attorneys-at-law.

We are builders making money on our clients’ achievements and successes not on their woes and failures.

Generally we do not deal with disputes and litigations.

We do not appear in court except for the companies we administer or for free idealistic causes.

Riikka Kuoppamäki

Riikka Kuoppamäki is an associate in the international trade practice. Ms. Kuoppamäki focuses on the area of international trade policy at World Trade Organization (WTO) disputes.

Before joining Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, Ms. Kuoppamäki worked at the WTO Appellate Body Secretariat as a junior dispute settlement lawyer. During her time at the Secretariat, Ms. Kuoppamäki worked on several appeals and advised the members of the Appellate Body on procedural and substantive issues.

Prior to her experience at the WTO, Ms. Kuoppamäki completed her LL.B. and LL.M. studies at the University of Helsinki, specializing in public international law and WTO law. During her studies, Ms. Kuoppamäki worked as a trainee in two Helsinki-based law firms. She also participated in the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) moot court competition on WTO law, where she was head coach of the Helsinki team. After completing her LL.M. in Helsinki, Ms. Kuoppamäki undertook a second LL.M. at the University of Barcelona, focusing on international economic law and policy.

Ms. Kuoppamäki is an ELSA scholarship recipient and was a member of ELSA’s delegation in the 47th session of United Nations Commission on International Trade Law.

Firm Overview:

Akin Gump has, in the span of a single generation, grown to become one of the world’s largest firms, with more than 900 lawyers practicing in an array of practices and industries in offices around the globe.

Michelle Bannister

MICHELLE BANNISTER focuses her work on international commercial arbitration, particularly cross-border disputes before major arbitral institutions, including the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).

Michelle has been involved in all phases of international arbitrations, from filing of the claim to hearing and award, and is particularly experienced in complex cross-border disputes involving large multi national companies.

Firm Overview:

Sidley Austin LLP, formerly known as Sidley Austin Brown & Wood LLP, is a general practice law firm based in the United States, with a focus on expertise in transactional and litigation matters.

Nicolas Kuonen

Nicolas is a partner with Tavernier Tschanz, a Swiss law firm exclusively devoted to business law. Nicolas is the Head of the Commercial Litigation Department within the firm.

Nicolas has also been a lecturer at the University of Fribourg/Switzerland since 2007, teaching contract and Roman law. He regularly publishes in his fields of specialization and is frequently invited to hold speaches in those fields, in Switzerland and abroad.

Litigation Law Practice:

Our international litigation practice deals with all kinds of corporate and commercial cases. We represent clients in civil proceedings (banking, real estate, construction, unfair competition, employment, or directors’ liability and shareholders’ disputes) and international debt enforcement proceedings before Swiss courts and the Swiss Supreme Court. We also act for plaintiffs in white collar crime matters.

We have gained extensive experience over years in conducting litigation in complex cases, often with international strings. We consider the development of a direct, personal and responsive relationship with our clients as an essential part of our general strategy. Both institutional and private clients come to us precisely for that.

Efficient litigation is not only a procedural game, but requires thorough legal knowledge and creativity. Because our firm operates as one fully integrated team, we enjoy the support of the entire firm to develop theories and research, namely in the fields of corporate, banking or finance law. As a fully independent firm, we are in a position to get other firms’ support, which we select on the sole basis of their expertise and reliability, in Switzerland or abroad, whenever required.

 

Dr Jodok Wicki

Leaders in Law endorses Jodok Wicki as our exclusively recommended Arbitration Law expert in Switzerland. If you wish to get in touch with Jodok please use the contact information provided above.

Jodok Wicki concentrates on dispute resolution, litigation and international arbitration. He heads the firm’s dispute resolution group and leads also the litigation practice group of CMS. Jodok maintains an active practice of state court litigation and appellate proceedings in a variety of commercial matters, such as purchase and sales agreements, joint ventures, post M&A disputes, director and officer and auditor liability and product liability. He has also a particular focus on insurance matters and qualified as a Certified Specialist of the Swiss Bar Association for Torts and Insurance Law. In international arbitration proceedings Jodok Wicki is appearing as counsel and also regularly sits as arbitrator. He is on the panels of arbitrators of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and the Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC).

Jodok Wicki started his practice as a lawyer in 1994 and became a partner in 2000. In 1996 and 1997 he worked as a foreign associate with law firms in New York and in Sydney.

“During my international sports career as an olympic sailor before starting the legal practice I learnt the importance of going the extra mile in order to succeed. It is the voluntarism I learnt then which now benefits and is appreciated by my clients.”

“I value Jodok’s legal and strategic thinking. He does not limit his counselling to the legal aspects of a claim. Where appropriate he highlights non-legal aspects such as strategic and business considerations as well.” Client Feedback 2015

Jodok Wicki has written his doctoral thesis on market making and price manipulation of own shares of listed stockbrokers (Market Making und Kurspflege kotierter eigener Aktien durch Effektenhändler).

CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd.

Ranked as a Top 10 Global Law Firm, CMS can work for you in over 42 countries and more than 74 offices worldwide. 4,500 CMS lawyers offer you business-focused advice tailored to your needs, whether in your local market or across multiple jurisdictions.