At the heart of Europe, Swiss lawyers bask in the reflected glory of their dynamic, lightly regulated, low tax economy – consistently ranked the world’s most competitive, and a good place for multinationals to base their regional headquarters. Characterised by innovative, skilled workers and flexible employment, it also enjoys the highest per capita income of any major country, except Norway.
There is much substance in this cameo of Switzerland, although the complete picture of its eight million citizens is distinctly more diverse. Swiss lawyers, for example, don’t bask. They work. Very efficiently. But alongside their fellow Swiss, they face challenges in preserving the country’s stellar reputation. These stem as much from politics as economics: a national impetus to reshape Swiss immigration, and an international desire to reform Swiss banking.