Nadja Jaisli Kull consistently impresses market commentators with her thorough and commercial approach to high-value litigation.
Nadja Jaisli co-heads Bär & Karrer’s arbitration practice and specialises in international commercial arbitration and litigation. She has gained particular experience in the pharmaceutical, automotive, commodities, and banking and finance industries and frequently handles complex disputes arising from M&A transactions, joint ventures and shareholders’ agreements, the sale of goods as well as licence and supply agreements. In addition to her work as party counsel, Nadja Jaisli frequently sits as an arbitrator.
What motivated you to specialise in dispute resolution?
When I finished school, I planned to become a journalist, but I wanted to study something “real” first. During my law studies, I completed an internship at a commercial law firm where I had the opportunity to work for an inspiring litigation partner who motivated me to specialise in dispute resolution. I still love this work because it is so varied, offers exciting insights into a wide variety of industries and topics, and requires the ability to present complex issues in a simple and persuasive manner. In that sense, my work as a dispute resolution specialist is not too far away from the journalist I originally wanted to become.
How has the market changed since you first started practising?
Two major changes are the increased pace and digitalisation. When I started practising, BlackBerrys and therefore availability at any time were rather new. During my internship 20 years ago, we had to use special computers to access the internet in the office for safety reasons. All case files were stored in hard copy and all emails printed out. Today, work is possible from almost anywhere and the general availability and pace has greatly increased. This development was, of course, further accelerated during the covid-19 pandemic in the last two years.
How does your background in and knowledge of different legal jurisdictions enhance your cross-border litigation practice?
My LL.M. in New York and the New York Bar have enhanced my practice in cross-border litigation in that I gained valuable insights around how common law lawyers think and apply the law. As a litigator, it is generally key to broaden one’s horizons and to be able to communicate with a wide variety of people. The time spent abroad in New York and also during my master’s studies in Geneva in the French speaking part of Switzerland were useful in that sense (and anyway were among the best years of my life, not just in terms of the legal education I enjoyed during that time).
What technologies are having the greatest impact on litigation proceedings?
In Swiss state court proceedings, there is room for improvement in terms of the use of technology. Most filings are still made in hard copy, and video case management conferences and hearings are the exception. The situation is different in arbitration proceedings, where I hardly remember when I filed my last paper submission. In my daily practice, document management tools such as Exhibit Manager have simplified our work and allow easy, last-minute adaptions prior to the filing.
How do you see your practice developing over the next five years, and why?
I strive to develop still further and expand our team of extremely talented and inspiring associates, trainees and assistants to continue providing efficient, effective and first-class advice to our existing and future clients.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start a career in litigation?
Work hard and make sure that your efforts get noticed. Start early to build a network within your generation. Focus on your clients’ needs and how best to serve them. Be an active listener. Be confident but do not take yourself too seriously. Be a team player and be kind – but fight hard on your cases. Be patient, show tenacity and always retain a good sense of humour.