Multidisciplinary approach

Areas of practice

BackConstruction, Real Estate and Infrastructure

LALIVE has leading expertise in the construction, real estate and infrastructure sectors.

The firm regularly advises clients from all around the world on large and complex transactions relating to a broad range of construction and infrastructure projects, including EPC and turnkey contracts, joint venture and consortia agreements, privatisation agreements, project development, and public procurement. It frequently assists clients in relation to real estate transactions and projects in Switzerland, advising in particular on issues of Swiss administrative law such as the acquisition of real estate by non-residents (Lex Koller) or the acquisition of secondary residences (Lex Weber).

LALIVE also has extensive experience representing clients in construction and real estate disputes, especially in international arbitration and other ADR proceedings, including before disputes boards. The firm has been ranked for many years as one of the leading firms worldwide in international arbitration.

Clients of the firm include owners, developers, off-takers, operators, governments, utilities, regulatory authorities, bidding consortia, investors, lenders (including international financial institutions), borrowers, investment banks, architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers. 

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Projects on which LALIVE's lawyers have advised include oil and gas facilities, power plants, chemical processing plants, waste and water treatment, sanitation, and desalination plants, transport terminals, airports, railways, roads, metros, tunnels, underground and underwater cables, hotels, housing projects and recreation areas.

The firms' lawyers frequently publish in the field of construction and real estate law, hold teaching positions and are active in specialised professional associations in these areas, including the International Chamber of Commerce and the International Bar Association.

Selected Assignments


  • Advising in relation to the design, development, engineering, procurement, construction, financing, ownership and operation of a USD +1.2 billion greenfield polysilicon production plant in a Gulf state
  • Advising a Northern European power plant contractor with regards to the structure to be adopted when entering into a contract for the operation and management of a power plant
  • Advising a worldwide leading manufacturer of drilling rigs and oilfield equipment, in relation to various aspects of Swiss construction law, including issues of contractual liability and limitation thereof
  • Advising a Middle-Eastern utilities company in relation to the development, financing, construction, ownership, operation, maintenance and transfer, on a build-own-operate-transfer (BOOT) basis, of a 2,600 MW gas-fired power production plant and 10,417m3/hr water producing facility (USD +3 billion project)
  • Assisting a European construction company on the preparation of a tender for, and the negotiation of, a USD 143 million contract for the construction of railway lines and the provision of rolling stock in a Middle Eastern country
  • Advising a Middle Eastern institutional investor on a GBP multi-million real estate acquisition in London, in particular on the Swiss law aspects of a complex mortgage structure arranged by a Geneva-based bank
  • Advising a real estate developer in relation to the design, development, permission, procurement, engineering, construction and sale of a high-end CHF 80 million luxury residential development in Geneva


  • Advising a Middle-Eastern state-owned company with respect to a USD 700 milion dispute with a European/Middle Eastern contractor over the construction of an oil and gas production facility in the Gulf region, in particular in the context of negotiations and a mediation between the Parties 
  • Representing a European State in a USD 450 million investment arbitration against a Dutch investor concerning a significant real estate project and arising under a Bilateral Investment Treaty
  • Representing an Eastern European State-owned company in a USD 35 million arbitration against a contractor conducted under the ICC Rules relating to the construction of a railway bridge
  • Representing a major European construction company in a USD 190 million dispute involving the construction of a highway in a North African country with claims to be filed before an ICC tribunal
  • Representing an instrumentality of a Middle Eastern state in two disputes (for USD 250 million and USD 120 million) under the ICC ADR and Arbitration Rules concerning a major transport infrastructure project, one with a European and Middle Eastern joint venture, and the other with an Asian contractor


No contractor liability for defects visible at final inspection except concealed defects Matthias Scherer, Samuel Moss, 2017

International Law Office, Newsletter (Construction), 9 October 2017

“Smells like Teen Spirit“- Zur Geruchsbelästigung durch Parfumemissionen des EinzelhandelsLeonid Shmatenko, Eric Bremer, Lea Bosch, 2017

Juristische Arbeitsblätter 2017, pp. 450 – 456

La Lex Koller sera-t-elle appliquée aux locaux commerciaux ?Cédric Lenoir, 2017

Tout l’Immobilier, 27 March 2017, No 850, pp. 4-5

Implicit employer approval of progress reportsMatthias Scherer, Samuel Moss, 2017

International Law Office, Newsletter (Construction), 13 February 2017

Construction (Switzerland)Michael E. Schneider, Matthias Scherer, Bernd Ehle, Samuel Moss, 2017

In: Robert S Peckar and Michael S Zicherman (Contributing Eds.), Getting the Deal Through. Construction in27 jurisdictions worldwide - 2017, Law Business Research Ltd, 2017, pp. 139-143

The consequence of skipping a mandatory pre-arbitral stepMatthias Scherer, Samuel Moss, 2016

International Law Office, Newsletter (Construction and Energy), 5 December 2016

More publications


Lalive’s team is noted for its strength in real estate and construction disputes and also handles non-contentious matters.
Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2017

Lalive is particularly recommended for real estate and construction disputes, but also excels on the advisory side. 
Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2015 and 2016

Lalive has extensive experience in construction disputes, particularly in international arbitration. It also provides transactional advice, often relating to complex projects and on an international scale.
Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2014

Lalive has built up a considerable name among regional and international clients for its 'wide-ranging experience'.
Who's Who Legal, Switzerland, Construction and Real Estate, 2013

Michael E. Schneider and Matthias Scherer ranked for many years.
The International Who's Who of Construction Lawyers

Lalive's strength in dispute resolution translates into real estate and construction litigation, but it also has experience in transactional matters.
Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction 2013, Tier 3

Lalive's 'very knowledgeable and responsive' team has notable capabilities in real estate litigation, and has acted for high profile clients.
Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2012

Lalive's 'absolutely excellent' practice is particularly active in construction arbitration.
Legal 500, Switzerland, Real Estate and Construction, 2011