Writer Bonnard Lawson

In its decision 5A_1000/2020 dated February 1, 2022, the Swiss federal tribunal finally put an end to a long-lasting difference in practice between Swiss cantons and controversy between legal commentators.

The rule is now clear: When the creditor applies to attach the assets of its debtor located in different places in Switzerland, the judge authorising the attachment can designate a lead Debt collection office (DCO) (“Lead-Betreibungsamte”) responsible of the execution of the freezing order throughout Switzerland.

As regards the assets located outside its district, the lead DCO will request the support (through judicial assistance) of the DCOs of the districts where the other assets are located.

This reinforces the idea of a Swiss wide attachment area. It however has consequences on the way the creditors – and their lawyers – must now present their request for an attachment order.


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