Ernst F. Schmid is head of the Dispute Resolution group at Niederer Kraft Frey. He regularly acts as counsel in national and international litigation and arbitration cases, and as an arbitrator in ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings.


Ernst F. Schmid has extensive experience in all aspects of state court litigation, including administrative court proceedings, and domestic and international arbitration (ICC, Swiss Rules, etc. and ad hoc).

Recent experience includes:

  • Presiding arbitrator in a VIAC arbitration between an international bank and a software developer relating to a core bank application

  • Presiding arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between two groups of companies producing and marketing commodities

  • Presiding arbitrator in a Swiss Rules arbitration in a construction dispute relating to a hotel

  • Co-counsel in an ad hoc arbitration for a Swiss chemical company relating to remediation of a contaminated site

  • Presiding arbitrator in a Swiss Rules arbitration between a Swiss claimant and a Dubai respondent relating to consumer goods

  • Co-counsel on Swiss law in a litigation in Bermuda

  • Enforcement of a Kazakh arbitral award in Switzerland against Swiss defendant

  • Co-arbitrator in a Swiss Rules arbitration in the railways sector

  • Representing a defendant in a series of D&O claims brought by the liquidator in connection with the bankruptcy of one of the largest Swiss groups of companies

  • Advising an international bank in the context of the misappropriation of client funds by a customer relationship officer; representing the bank in criminal and civil proceedings against the CRO and clients

  • Presiding arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between two BVI companies on commodities trading

  • Presiding arbitrator in an ICC arbitration between a German manufacturer and a Singaporean distributor of medical equipment

  • Co-arbitrator in an ad hoc arbitration between a US foundation and Austrian respondents for the restitution of art works

  • Chairman in a Swiss Rules arbitration between a Swiss and a Spanish company concerning commodities

  • Co-arbitrator in a Swiss Rules arbitration between a BVI company and a Swiss company relating to a joint venture

  • Chairman of an arbitration between US claimants and a Swiss individual for the repayment of the investment in a Swiss company

  • Sole arbitrator in a Swiss rules arbitration between a Jersey company and Austrian respondents in relation to an agency contract

  • Sole arbitrator in a Swiss Rules arbitration between a Swiss company and an Italian company regarding commodities

  • Zurich, Swiss and International Bar Associations (ZAV, SAV, IBA)
  • ASA Association Suisse de l'Arbitrage
  • DIS Deutsche Institution für Schiedsgerichtsbarkeit
  • LCIA The London Court of International Arbitration, London
  • Member of the Advisory Committee of the Swiss Arbitration Academy
  • Association d'études juridiques et fiscales
  • Ethics Court of the Zurich Bar Association (Standesgericht) (vice-chairman)
  • Teacher at the University of Zurich for Arbitration Law and the Rules of the Legal Profession

Market Perception

  • Ernst Schmid is an experienced litigator who provides consistently insightful and practical advice.

    Legal 500 2020
  • ...Interviewees report that Ernst Schmid "has a good commercial understanding of the cases and is able to see potential common ground."He chairs arbitrations under a variety of rules, including ICC, Swiss and Vienna rules as well as in ad hoc arbitrations.

    Chambers Global 2020
  • …Interviewees describe him as 'very nice to deal with: personable, responsive and capable.'

    Chambers Global 2017
  • According to sources Ernst F. Schmid is a superb arbitrator and ‘always very well prepared for the hearing; he knows his cases very well.’

    Chambers Global 2015
  • Head of the disputes practice Ernst F. Schmid is ‘very active’ before the courts, and he is praised for the ‘pragmatic and sensible approach’ he brings to proceedings.

    Who is Who Legal 2015

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