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Rechtsanwälte — Attorneys at Law

In Gedenken

Thomas Wartmann
Dr. iur. Thomas Wartmann 6.10.1945 bis 13.8.2013

Thomas Wartmann studierte an der Universität Zürich, wo er 1970 das Lizentiat erwarb und 1975 promovierte. Erste praktische Erfahrungen folgten 1973 in der Rechtsabteilung des Aargauischen Baudepartementes. Von 1974-1976 war Thomas Wartmann zusammen mit Rudolf Merker Gerichtsschreiber am Bezirksgericht Bremgarten, was «ohne Zweifel ein eigenartiger Ausgangspunkt für eine Zürcher Kanzlei in der Nähe des Paradeplatzes» war, wie Thomas in der Tischrede an einem Alumni-Anlass von Wartmann & Merker im Juni 2012 bemerkte.

1976 erwarb Thomas Wartmann das Aargauer Fürsprecher Patent und trat als Anwalt in eine international tätige Anwaltskanzlei in Zürich ein, bei welcher er – nach einem Aufenthalt im Jahr 1978 als Mitarbeiter bei Graham & James in San Francisco – 1981 Partner wurde.

1992 gründeten Thomas Wartmann und sein langjähriger Freund und Weggefährte Rudolf Merker die Kanzlei Wartmann & Merker.

Thomas Wartmann verband fachliche Kompetenz mit einem pflichtbewussten Engagement für die Mandanten. Seinen Beruf verstand er als vorwärts gerichteter Berater und Gestalter und weniger als streitlustiger Interessenvertreter vor Gericht. Seine Fähigkeit zum Ausgleich, sein Humor und seine Grosszügigkeit zeichneten ihn auch als Büropartner aus.

Am 12. August 2009 verunglückte Rudolf Merker auf einer Bergtour tödlich. Man hätte es Thomas nicht verargen können, wenn er sich nun, kurz vor dem Pensionsalter, zurückgezogen hätte. Das entsprach ihm aber nicht; er steuerte die Kanzlei durch diese schwere Zeit. Er wollte etwas mitgestalten, das auch nach ihm Bestand haben würde. Dabei blieb es bis zuletzt, als er schon von seiner Krankheit gezeichnet war.

Thomas Wartmann hatte eine grosse Leidenschaft für das Theater und war langjähriger Verwaltungsratspräsident der Theater am Neumarkt AG, Zürich. Das Theater-Treffen in Berlin war fester Bestandteil seiner Jahresagenda. Auch das Familienleben hatte für Thomas einen hohen Stellenwert.

Thomas Wartmann war ein feinfühliger Mensch, ein hoch geschätzter Büropartner und ein Freund. In Gedanken bleiben wir ihm verbunden.


Würdigung an Thomas Wartmann

Dr. iur. Rudolf Merker LL.M. 14.4.1947 bis 12.8.2009

Rudolf Merker completed his legal studies at the University of Zurich, where he obtained his doctorate in 1975. He was awarded the Degree of Master of Laws (LL.M) of Yale University Law School in 1977. Following his practice as an attorney in California, he joined an internationally active law firm in Zurich in 1978 where he became a partner in 1983. In 1992 he became founder and partner of Wartmann & Merker. His main areas of expertise were corporate law, commercial law, civil procedure law and arbitration.

At the very beginning of his professional career as a law clerk in Bremgarten, he dealt with important cases with such efficiency that every second Friday he was able to spend a weekend in the mountains. Soon further training led him – almost naturally – to the Yale University Law School. In his later and successful practice as an attorney he benefited greatly from his ability to speak clearly and articulately which his friend, the author Matthias Zschokke, described in his eulogy at the memorial service, thus:

Strictly speaking it was he, who showed me what a joy it can be, to think precisely and put one’s thoughts into a precise form.

Ruedi Merker never wasted time and effort; for that he was too much of an entrepreneur. He insisted that costs for the clients always had to be kept under control. He also was as accurate in little things, when he, just like the writer Robert Walser, filled with his sharp pencil page after page from top to bottom. In the 30 years of his professional activity a long line of young lawyers, both men and women, whose mentor he was, learned a great deal from him.

Ruedi Merker also proved himself to be just as efficient when in uniform. Thus, his military career – with many days in service - went from Mortar Platoon Leader straight to Deputy Division Commander. To achieve that he had to undergo many courses at the tough army leadership school before being appointed a Colonel on the General Staff. Later, Ruedi Merker liked to tell stories of the good times he spent with the 4th Infantry Battalion, from which many of his enduring friendships originated. A friend of his, with many years of military service, recalls his capacity for sharp analysis, for prompt but prudent decisions and his dedicated sense of responsibility for those under his command.

In addition to his successful activity as lawyer Ruedi Merker was personally very much involved in his role as a respected entrepreneur. For many years he made available his far-reaching entrepreneurial experience to important Swiss Industrial Companies. These included Kabelwerke Brugg AG Holding and the Müller Martini Group in Zofingen. Especially close to his heart were the companies of Fr. Sauter AG in Basle which his grandfather founded and Sanitas Troesch AG. To all of these companies is relevant what was written in one of the obituary notices:
Ruedi Merker committed himself for the independence of these companies and for an equitable personnel policy.

On 12th August 2009 Ruedi Merker lost his life in his beloved mountains.

The partners and the staff of Wartmann & Merker, the law firm of which he was a co-founder, will always honour and cherish his memory.