Our Team

Norbert Schweizer OAM

Partner


Norbert commenced the firm in 1978. He is a public notary and an accredited business law specialist. He was admitted in 1972 and has experience in a wide variety of legal work covering corporate, business and personal law particularly contracts, commercial agreements, property and property development and estates and succession planning. He has also been a long time advisor to various German, Swiss, Austrian and other overseas businesses and investors in Australia.

Areas of Practice
  • Purchase and sale of businesses
  • Companies
  • Business structures
  • Commercial property - purchase and sale
  • Leasing of commercial and retail property
  • Business succession planning
  • Notarial services
  • Estate planning
  • Wills including testamentary trusts

Qualifications
  • 1969 - Bachelor of Arts, University of Sydney
  • 1972 - Bachelor of Laws, University of Sydney
  • 1972 - Admitted as Solicitor
  • 1989 - Appointed Public Notary
  • 1994 - Accredited Specialist - Business Law

Memberships
  • Society of Notaries of New South Wales
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners
  • Fellow, Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries (FANZCN)
  • Fellow, Commercial Law Association (FCLA)
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association
  • Law Council of Australia, European Focus Group
  • Australian Institute of Company Directors

  • Awards
    • Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany - Bundesverdienstkreuz
    • John Simpson Kirkpatrick - "Standing for Something Award" for Service to his Fellow Man - by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    • Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division (OAM) for services to the community through voluntary roles

    Languages
    • English
    • German

    Email
    • nschweizer@schweizer.com.au

    Michael Kobras

    Partner


    Michael joined the firm in 1994 and became a partner in 1998. He was the first "Recognised Foreign Lawyer" in New South Wales being admitted in both Germany and Australia. Until 1992, Michael practised for a number of years in Munich in general civil and commercial law. In 1997, he completed a Master of Laws with distinctions in international business law, international taxation and European Union law. In October 2006, Michael was also registered as a Migration Agent. Michael has experience in a wide variety of legal work covering corporate and business law under German and Australian jurisdictions. Michael also advises in migration areas as required.

    Areas of Practice
    • Business structures, particularly for German, Swiss and Austrian enterprises in Australia
    • Employment law including employment agreements and representing employers and employees in disputes
    • Representation, agency and distribution agreements
    • Intellectual property including trade mark registrations, passing off, statutory and other intellectual property infringements
    • Terms and conditions of trade

    Qualifications
    • 1985 - 1st State Exam in Law, Ministery of Justice of Bavaria
    • 1989 - 2nd State Exam in Law, Ministery of Justice of Bavaria
    • 1989 - Admitted as Rechtsanwalt in Germany
    • 1994 - Admitted as Solicitor in NSW
    • 1995 - Diploma in Law (Legal Practitioners Admission Board)
    • 1997 - Master of Laws, Sydney University
    • 2000 - Appointed Public Notary
    • 2002 - Accredited Specialist - Business Law
    • 2006 - Registered Migration Agent, Reg. No. 0638733

    Memberships
    • Society of Notaries of New South Wales
    • Erbrechtsforum e.V.
    • Director, German Australian Pacific Lawyers Association
    • Fellow, Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries (FANZCN)
    • Fellow, Commercial Law Association (FCLA)
    • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association
    • Law Council of Australia, European Focus Group

    Languages
    • English
    • German

    Email
    • mkobras@schweizer.com.au

    Patrick Wille

    Solicitor & Swiss Law Consultant


    Patrick joined the firm in 2006. He is one of the few lawyers who are admitted to practice both in Australia and Switzerland, and primarily advises clients in international matters involving Swiss law.

    Patrick graduated with a Masters of Laws degree (lic. iur.) from Zurich University (Switzerland) in 1993. From 1994 to 2000 he worked as a judge's associate at the District Court Affoltern and the Court of Cassation in Zurich. In 2000, Patrick was appointed a senior associate at a renowned Swiss law firm, specialising in corporate and commercial law. In Switzerland, Patrick advised clients from a variety of industries including banking, gaming, pharmaceutical and IT in corporate and commercial matters. He also served as a director on a number of company boards.

    Patrick has over 20 years experience in various fields of law. He has acted for major corporations in a number of mergers and acquisitions and other commercial transactions. He advises corporate clients and high net worth individuals, particularly in international estate planning and inheritance matters. He regularly provides expert opinions to Australian courts and clients on Swiss law. Patrick also advises the Swiss Consulate General in Sydney and the Swiss Embassy in Australia. In addition, Patrick teaches business law, corporate law, international commercial law, corporate governance and economics at various universities in Australia, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

    Areas of Practice
    • Corporate law (including business structures, company formations and director’s obligations)
    • Corporate governance
    • Intellectual property (including trade mark and copyright infringements)
    • Swiss commercial and corporate law
    • Swiss debt enforcement and bankruptcy law
    • Swiss civil law (including estate planning and family law)
    • International trade (including agency, partnerships and distribution arrangements)
    • International estate planning
    • International commercial arbitration and litigation

    Qualifications
    • 1993 – Lic.iur. / M law - Masters of Laws, University of Zurich (Switzerland)
    • 1999 – Admitted to the bar as "Rechtsanwalt" (attorney-at-law) in Switzerland
    • 2004 – LLM - Masters of Laws (Corporate and Commercial Law), Bond University
    • 2004 – MBA - Masters of Business Administration, Bond University
    • 2007 - Admitted as Foreign Lawyer in New South Wales
    • 2008 - Dip. Law - Diploma in Law, LPAB New South Wales
    • 2008 - Admitted as Legal Practitioner in New South Wales
    • 2014 - Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance

    Memberships
    • Law Societies of New South Wales and South Australia
    • Zurich Bar Association (Switzerland)
    • Governance Institute of Australia
    • Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators
    • Australian Institute of Company Directors

    Languages
    • English
    • German
    • French

    Email
    • pwille@schweizer.com.au

    Fiona Henderson

    Consultant


    Fiona has been in practice since 1993 and heads the firm's dispute resolution practice. Prior to joining the firm in 1999, she worked for a mid-sized law firm in Sydney. Fiona is a skilled litigator who works in all Australian federal and state jurisdictions. She has a particular expertise in disputes involving cross-border elements and regularly advises clients involved in complex commercial disputes in an international context. Fiona brings a practical commercial approach to resolving disputes and is highly regarded for her ability to understand the relationship between risk tolerance and strategy.

    In addition, Fiona acts for a number of medium and large Australian and multi-national companies as their general legal counsel. Her ability to question assumptions and challenge orthodoxy helps her to work with her clients to achieve better business outcomes. Fiona's commercial clients span a diverse range of industries including banking, manufacturing, building and construction, health services, insurance and IT.

    Fiona brings to her commercial work, extensive experience as a company director. This enables her to view an issue from different perspectives within the boardroom. She acts as the resident Australian director for her international commercial clients where needed, as well as currently sitting on the board or council of several government and not-for-profit organisations. Fiona's particular interest in cross-border business has led to her appointment a director of the Norwegian-Australian Chamber of Commerce.

    Fiona also advises private clients across a range of matters, particularly in estate planning, family provision claims, estate administration and disputes, especially those matters involving overseas-held assets.

    Areas of Practice
    • Dispute resolution and litigation
    • Contract law including termination and enforcement of contracts
    • Debt recovery including insolvency
    • Corporate law and shareholder disputes
    • Employment law including employment contracts and disputes
    • Wills and estate planning
    • Probate and estate administration, estate disputes and family provision claims including matters involving property held overseas

    Qualifications
    • 1992 - Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University
    • 1993 – Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, University of Technology
    • 1993 - Admitted as a solicitor in NSW
    • 2000 - Master of Laws, University of New South Wales (corporate and commercial law)

    Languages
    • English
    • German

    Email
    • fhenderson@schweizer.com.au

    Markus Christmann

    Associate and Foreign Law Consultant


    Markus joined the firm in 2011 and practices in Australian, German and European law. Before joining the firm he worked for corporate law firms in Germany and Australia. Markus is a dual qualified lawyer and admitted to practice as a lawyer in both Australia and Germany. As such, he is uniquely qualified to advise on international legal matters involving civil law and common law jurisdictions. Markus has particular expertise in international estate planning, international estate administration and litigation. Markus holds a Master of Laws in International and Comparative law and is currently completing a Master of Applied Law specialising in Wills & Estates with the College of Law. Markus also advises Australian charities and not-for-profit organisations and assists them with their day-to-day issues.

    Areas of Practice
    • Estate law
    • Family provision claims
    • International estate planning
    • International estate administration
    • Business succession
    • Trusts
    • Charities
    • Not-for-profit organisations
    • EU succession law (EU Directive 650/2012)
    • Legal opinions in relation to German law, particularly German succession law

    Qualifications
    • 2000 - 1st State Exam in Law, Ministry of Justice of North Rhine-Westphalia
    • 2001 - Master of Laws in International and Comparative Law, University of Wollongong
    • 2004 - 2nd State Exam in Law, Ministry of Justice North Rhine-Westphalia
    • 2004 - Admitted as Rechtsanwalt in Germany
    • 2008 - Admitted as Solicitor in NSW
    • 2008 - Diploma in Law (Legal Practitioners Admission Board)
    • Since 2016- Master of Applied Law specialising in Wills & Estates (College of Law)

    Languages
    • English
    • German

    Email
    • mchristmann@schweizer.com.au

    Nele Jooste-Jacobs

    Solicitor


    Nele joined the firm as a senior paralegal in 2013 and was admitted as a solicitor in July 2016. Her work includes assisting Michael Kobras with migration and citizenship matters as well as supporting the partners and senior practitioners in various commercial matters. Nele is also responsible for legal translations and manages the Referendar (German legal trainee) training programme provided by the firm.

    In addition to a German law degree, Nele holds a Master of Laws degree (LLM – Corporate and Commercial) from the University of New South Wales as well as a Diploma in Law from the Legal Profession Admission Board.

    Areas of Practice
    • Commercial law
    • Wills and estates
    • Migration law

    Qualifications
    • 2010 – 1st State Exam in Law, Ministry of Justice of Bavaria, Germany
    • 2011 – Master of Laws, University of New South Wales
    • 2015 – Diploma in Law (Legal Profession Admission Board)
    • 2016 – Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (College of Law)
    • 2016 – Admitted as a Solicitor in NSW

    Languages
    • English
    • German

    Email
    • njooste-jacobs@schweizer.com.au

    Antonietta Marchitto

    Italian Law Consultant


    Antonietta joined the firm in 2017 as an Italian Law consultant. She graduated with a Master of Laws (First Class Honours) from the University of Molise in Italy in 2013 with a thesis on European Union Law. Antonietta also studied law in Spain as well as commerce and management at the University of Padua.

    Before joining the firm, Antonietta practised civil and administrative law in Italy and international commercial law in Belgium. In Australia, Antonietta has represented the Italian regional government of Molise, establishing commercial relationships between Italian and Australian companies.

    Antonietta has considerable experience in providing legal advice in matters such as contracts, property transactions, estate administration and numerous other aspects of Italian law.

    Areas of Practice
    • Commercial law
    • Competition law
    • Contracts
    • Civil law
    • Inheritance and estate administration
    • Estate disputes
    • Family provision claims including matters involving property held in Italy
    • Migration law

    Qualifications
    • 2013 - Masters of Laws (First Class Honours), University of Molise
    • 2016 - Admitted as Avvocato (Attorney at Law) in Italy

    Languages
    • English
    • Italian
    • Spanish

    Email
    • amarchitto@schweizer.com.au

    Lisa Sims

    Senior Paralegal - Property


    Lisa has been involved in various fields of law particularly in property, conveyancing, estates and litigation matters as well as information technology since 1991. Lisa joined the firm in January 2000 and is currently responsible for the sale and purchase of commercial and residential properties and subdivisions of land as well as security documentation.

    Areas of Practice
    • Domestic purchases and sales
    • Commercial purchases and sales
    • Subdivision and sales of vacant land
    • Strata subdivisions
    • Commercial leasing
    • Security documentation
    • Property developments

    Languages
    • English

    Email
    • lsims@schweizer.com.au