Foundations and Philanthropy

As Switzerland’s leading law firm in the field of tax-exempt/non-profit organizations we have created and represented numerous international foundations.

Lenz & Staehelin is Switzerland’s leading law firm in the field of tax-exempt/non-profit organizations. We have longstanding experience in providing legal advice to individuals and charitable organizations including private, family and corporate foundations, international organizations, public-private partnerships, prominent public charities and international associations or federations.

Our team represents and advises leading philanthropic foundations and associations with respect to the structuring and implementation of charitable projects in Switzerland and abroad. We have created and represent numerous international foundations as well as national and international trade associations in a range of charitable fields including the arts, culture, economic development, education, the environment, the fight against poverty and malnutrition, public health, research, science and sport.

In recent years our firm has substantially expanded its work on international philanthropic matters. Leading experts are available in-house in the fields of foundation and association law, corporate and commercial law, and tax, and intellectual property law. Added to this we have a unique international network of correspondent law firms abroad.

Our areas of practice include:

  • Structuring and incorporation of Swiss foundations and associations
  • Obtaining and retaining tax-exempt status
  • Representing clients before the Swiss supervisory and tax authorities
  • Advising on all aspects of corporate governance, best practices and regulatory compliance
  • Structuring relationships with donors, and for-profit and non-profit organizations
  • General corporate and contractual matters
  • Privileges and immunities under Switzerland's Host State Act
  • Intellectual property strategy and implementation
  • Employment and immigration law
  • Litigation and arbitration