About Us

We’re a small tech-savvy team with a big network of local and international partners.

We believe in people who are bold enough to explore their full potential and create their own place in this world. People who are willing to venture beyond the obvious and see the countless possibilities at the horizon.

People like you who found, run and invest in startups.

We counsel startups in all stages of development to help them overcome their legal challenges. We also assist angels, venture capitalists and corporate venture funds, and advise them on their legal setup and portfolio investments.

With dual qualifications in Swiss and U.S. law and in-depth know-how in industries such as financial services & FinTech, IT, real estate and MedTech as well as the public sector, we are at your side to help you do the great things you’re aiming for.

There’s one thing we don’t do, though: Speak legalese. We’ll explain the documents and the legal matters to you in plain language and will always keep you in the loop.

Need to move fast? We can keep up! We’re based in Switzerland, but we are wherever you are. We use video calls to keep the communication fast and flexible and hold most of our meetings remotely. If getting together in person feels like a better option, we’re also happy to meet you at your Swiss office or at another convenient location.

Michel

Michel Kertai

VC & Startup Lawyer
Co-founder of EMBARK.LAW AG
Attorney-at-law, admitted to practice in Switzerland and California

Education:
LL.M, UC Berkeley School of Law, California, USA
MLaw, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland

Languages:
German, English, French, Hungarian

Michel is a registered attorney in Switzerland and the USA (California). He started his career as a corporate lawyer in Bern, Switzerland.

In 2015, he moved to California to study U.S. law and work with Silicon Valley startups. After returning to Switzerland in 2016, he founded EMBARK.LAW to focus on helping startups master their legal challenges.

Before becoming a lawyer, Michel was a professional athlete, playing volleyball and beach volleyball at a national level. His background in elite sports is one of the reasons he feels at home in the startup community with its adventurous, challenge-driven spirit.

Michel is actively involved in the startup communities in Switzerland, California and New York. He is Director of Investor Education and board member of the Swiss ICT Investor Club SICTIC and sits on the advisory board of the Boalt Global Corporate Law Society.

Barbara

Barbara Nägeli

Legal Advisor Data Protection & Security
Head of Operations
Co-founder of EMBARK.LAW AG

Education:
MLaw summa cum laude (with highest distinction), University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Languages:
German, English, French

Barbara started her career in 2008 as a legal advisor for the Swiss environmental protection agency FOEN. While working there, she drafted laws, negotiated international treaties, managed projects to improve the implementation of environmental policies, led public procurement procedures, and much more.

She also held the position of deputy data protection officer at the FOEN for several years, gaining a deep understanding of the intricacies and challenges of data protection.

In 2017, Barbara joined EMBARK.LAW as co-founder and Head of Operations. She ensures that our company stays well-coordinated and productive in helping our clients overcome their legal challenges. She also consults our clients as a legal advisor; her main line of work includes helping them become compliant with Swiss data protection laws and GDPR.

Barbara used to be a semi-professional dancer. In her daily life as a lawyer, her creative side helps her think out of the box and come up with unconventional solutions to complicated problems. Her experience of performing on stage has also taught Barbara to remain calm and do a great job in stressful situations.

Barbara

Nadia Allenbach

Paralegal

Education:
Commercial employee (“Kauffrau EFZ”), specialization: law firms
Student of business law, ZHAW, Switzerland (since 2017)

Languages:
German, English

Before joining EMBARK.LAW in July 2019, Nadia worked as a legal assistant in a law firm in Bern. Since 2017, she also studies business law at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW.

Nadia draws from her professional experience and the knowledge gained in her studies when researching legal issues and preparing documents and contracts. She helps support our clients with incorporations, financing rounds and other legal needs.

Nadia was EMBARK.LAW’s first employee (not counting the founders). She still remembers how back then, as a newcomer to the startup world, many terms and processes were foreign to her. This is why Nadia finds it particularly important to be able to put herself in our client’s shoes and not bombard them with legalese.

When Nadia isn’t working or studying, she is often found in the mountains or on her racing bike.

Barbara

Matthias Steinlin

VC & Startup Lawyer, IP Specialist
Attorney-at-law, admitted to practice in Switzerland

Education:
PhD in Law, University of Bern, Switzerland
MLaw, Universities of Bern, Switzerland and Paris-Descartes, France

Languages:
German, English, French

Matthias is a Swiss attorney with a particular interest in the protection and commercialization of innovation. Before joining EMBARK.LAW, he worked as a trademark attorney at the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI) and as an in-house lawyer for a large Swiss company. At the IPI, he gained in-depth knowledge in all areas of intellectual property rights and particularly in trademark law. Matthias also has a PhD in IP law – he wrote his doctoral thesis on the patent protection of medicine.

Even before he joined EMBARK.LAW, Matthias had the opportunity to advise and support friends in the (legal) implementation of new business ideas on a regular basis. Since he enjoyed this work a lot, it was a natural choice for him to go all in as a startup attorney.

In his spare time, Matthias writes about the latest developments in intellectual property law as an author for iusNet. He also enjoys climbing snowy peaks and surfing.

Barbara

Audrey Benzow

VC & Startup Lawyer
Attorney-at-law, admitted to practice in Switzerland

Education:
LL.M, Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois, USA
MLaw, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Languages:
German, English

Audrey is a licensed attorney in Switzerland. Before joining EMBARK.LAW, she was a corporate lawyer for a renowned law firm in Zurich. She advised national and international clients in the areas of general commercial and corporate law, capital markets law, M&A and employment law.

Being a passionate surfer, Audrey enjoys the challenges and fast-changing environments of the ocean. During her LL.M in Chicago, she worked at the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic of the Chicago-Kent College of Law, where she provided startups with free legal advice on matters revolving around incorporations, share transfers, capital increases and mergers. She believes that – as in surfing – staying focused, disciplined and trusting each other in extreme situations is key to a successful collaboration between startups and lawyers.

Barbara

Nermina Haliti

Paralegal

Education:
Commercial employee (“Kauffrau EFZ”) with vocational baccalaureate (“Berufsmaturität”)
Student of business law, ZHAW, Switzerland (since 2019)

Languages:
German, English, Albanian

Nermina is a qualified commercial employee with several years of professional experience as a C-level assistant. Since 2019, she studies business law at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW.

Before joining EMBARK.LAW, Nermina worked for a Swiss startup. Initially, she was an assistant to the CEO. After beginning her studies, she became a legal assistant, keeping general terms and conditions, codes of conduct and other legal documents up to date.

Thanks to her professional experience, Nermina understands what matters when it comes to startups. As an avid dancer, she also brings passion, ambition and dedication to the table.

Want to work together?

If you’re interested in working with us, please email us a:

hello@embark.law

We’ll get back to you as soon as possible to discuss your goals and how we can help you achieve them.