PD Dr. Thomas Werlen is the Managing Partner of the Zurich office. Thomas’ practice focuses on white collar and corporate investigations as well as on cross-border litigation, international arbitration, and complex financial disputes.
In the white collar context, Thomas is currently representing the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) in criminal investigations being pursued in the U.S. and Switzerland. Thomas has also been deeply involved in advising a number of major Swiss banking and financial institutions in matters adverse to U.S. authorities both under the U.S. DoJ Swiss Bank Program as well as a number of so called Category I banks.
In the dispute resolution context, Thomas has been advising the majority shareholder of Sika AG in a multibillion cross-border acquisition dispute and Swiss private banking group EFG International in a series of complex financial and regulatory disputes in the US, Europe and Asia. Thomas further acted as arbitrator and expert in a number of financial transaction disputes, including under the Swiss Rules and before the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts (Al-Khorafi matter).
Prior to joining Quinn Emanuel, Thomas served as Group General Counsel and a member of the Executive Committee for Novartis where he oversaw a global team of over 750 people spread across 140 jurisdictions, covering all areas of litigation affecting a multinational company with a U.S. listing in the heavily regulated pharmaceutical industry. Recognizing his transformative work at Novartis, Thomas was awarded the Golden Peacock Global Award for Corporate Governance, named a finalist for “In-House Lawyer of the Year” by The Lawyer and a “transformative in-house lawyer” by The Financial Times.
Before joining Novartis in 2006, Thomas was a Partner in the U.S. law group at Allen & Overy’s London office covering U.S. related derivatives, capital markets and M & A transactions for European-based clients. Prior to that, he was associated with Cravath, Swaine & Moore and Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York and London, respectively. During this time, Thomas’ practice covered a wide range of areas including banking, debt and equity capital markets transactions (both SEC registered and 144A), public and private M&A transactions, structured finance, derivatives and regulatory capital related issues. He was repeatedly named as one of the leading U.S. international capital markets practitioners by various leading magazines.
Thomas holds Lic. iur. and Dr. iur. degrees in law from the University of Zurich and a master's degree from Harvard Law School. He has been a member of the Zurich bar since 1991 and a member of the New York bar since 1997.
In late 2012, the University of St. Gallen appointed him as “Privatdozent” (professor) for Finance and Capital Market Law. Thomas lectures on corporate governance, finance, banking, securities and corporate law at both the University of St. Gallen and the University of Zurich.
Since 2012, Thomas has been a Member of the Panel of experts for P.R.I.M.E Finance. In 2013, he began serving on the Appeals Board of the SIX Swiss Exchange AG.
Due to his expertise in developing corporate governance and legal strategies across the globe, Thomas regularly appears as a panelist or keynote speaker at international seminars and conferences, features on TV and radio shows and attracts regular press coverage.