Swiss canker

Swiss canker
Former US firm Baker & McKenzie (B&M) has chosen to restructure itself as a Swiss Verein. Upon hearing this, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes, who admittedly knew very little about Vereins, Swiss or otherwise, was looking forward to a senior B&M partner explaining all.


Former US firm Baker & McKenzie (B&M) has chosen to restructure itself as a Swiss Verein. Upon hearing this, one of Tulkinghorn’s scribes, who admittedly knew very little about Vereins, Swiss or otherwise, was looking forward to a senior B&M partner explaining all.

The partner in question, Gary Senior, had not been involved in the structural review so must have been chosen for his superlative communication skills. Not a problem, thought the scribe, who proceeded to ask what he thought was the most obvious question: “Why had the firm chosen a Swiss Verein rather than an all-the-rage limited-liability partnership?”

Senior immediately snapped back: “Do you regard Switzerland as some kind of disreputable country or something?”

Er, no. Well, certainly no more so than your firm’s former abode, the country that gave us Nixon, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Vietnam, the Bush family, drive-thru gun shops, Abu Ghraib, Enron, Guantanamo Bay, Ollie North, WorldCom…