Data privacy and data protection in Switzerland
Homburger's team assists Swiss Market Index companies, as well as international law firms, with domestic and cross-border data protection laws and strategy. In recent work, the group represented Helsana and ZEK in disputes with the Swiss authorities; advised blue-chip clientsincluding UBS, AMAG, Swiss Post and Novartis on all privacy and cloud-related matters; and defended Google in right to be forgotten and defamation claims relating to its service products. Gregor Bühler is another key contact; Luca Dal Molin made partner in January 2020.
Philip Morris Int
- Representing Helsana in a dispute with the Swiss data protection authorities.
- Advising Swiss Market Index companies on all data privacy and cloud-related matters.
- Defending Google in right to be forgotten and defamation claims relating to its service products
Lenz & Staehelin's practice is singled out for its 'holistic thinking', 'in-depth knowledge' of Swiss legislation, and ability to provide 'state-of-the-art' counsel. The team advised a world-leading investment management firm and a global audit firm on their assessment measures for GDPR compliance; assisted One.Thing.Less AG with its launch of a personal information management system; and consulted on potential data breaches in the banking and construction sectors. Zurich-based Lukas Morscher has particularly 'vast experience in the technology and telecoms sectors' and is 'the leading authority in international data privacy and data protection topics', working alongside Jürg Simon. Managing partner Guy Vermeil and Rayan Houdrouge oversee matters in Geneva.
Lukas Morscher, Jürg Simon, Guy Vermeil, Rayan Houdrouge
‘Holistic thinking that goes beyond first-order consequences for all stakeholders involved (data subject, data controller, data processor, data protection authorities, public opinion, media, investors, employees etc). Excellent in-depth knowledge of data privacy and data protection topics/legislation beyond the legal realm and related to real-life developments. Pragmatism in approaching challenges and finding solutions. Excellent English skills greatly reduce the potential for misunderstandings and miscommunication. Superior client-relationship-management skills compared with other firms.‘
‘Dr Lukas Morscher is the leading authority in international data privacy and data protection topics, a fact even acknowledged by senior partners at other firms. His vast experience in the technology and telecommunications sectors and drive to find solutions make him an exceptional resource. Furthermore he is very well connected, so that significant network opportunities arise from working with him. Leo Rusterholz as an attorney-at-law has proven himself as very knowledgeable and reliable partner who provides outstanding suggestions in problem-solving. Both of them demonstrate as well a very high level of EQ in all interactions with us and third parties.‘
‘Lenz’s real strength and added value lies in the fact that it is a large legal firm, bringing together lawyers with specialised and varied expertise, thus able, within a short period of time, to deal with the sometimes complex requests of its clients.‘
‘Olivier Stahler, Daniel Schafer, Yaniv Benhamou, Andreas von Planta, Rayan Houdrouge, Benoit Merkt are some of the attorneys with whom we have dealt and have provided state-of-the-art advice, each in their own field of specialisation.‘
Carlo Gavazzi AG
Saxo Bank (Switzerland) Ltd
- Advising a world-leading investment management firm and a global audit firm on their assessment and implementation measures for GDPR compliance.
- Assisting One.Thing.Less AG with its launch of a personal information management system.
- Consulting on potential data breaches in the banking and construction sectors.
VISCHER is 'one of the go-to firms in Switzerlandfor data privacy and data protection'. It facilitates digital transformation projects for companies in the finance and energy sectors, and advises pharmaceutical companies – including Piqur Therapeutics AG – on requirements during clinical trials. Managing associate Thomas Steiner is able to 'explain complex aspects in a way that helps'; in recent work, he assisted the Swiss Bar Association with shaping regulations. Steiner and Rolf Auf der Maur 'are both valued experts in the field'. Other highlights include advising Hocoma and Tiko Energy Solutions on Swiss and EU data privacy laws relating to their respective cloud-based connected care and power solutions. David Rosenthal, who was a new arrival in 2020, heads the team.
‘While being well grounded and well experienced in Swiss law, the team very quickly and efficiently picked up our goal and challenges in providing a worldwide cloud-based data service for medical devices that provides data synchronisation, analysis and management for personal health data of neurological patients. The team helped us identifying the key requirements both on the legal/contract sides as well as the technical/operational side, specifically roll-out plans for Switzerland, Europe and the rest of the world. Our project is still ongoing and we are happy that we can keep relying on Vischer with our current and upcoming steps after we have made consistently positive experiences in the collaboration so far.‘
‘Thomas Steiner was and is always very open, provides precise and correct responses, provides deliverables as promised and can explain even complex aspects in a way that helps our internal and external stakeholders. He provided key insights for our roll-out strategy for Switzerland, Europe, US and China based on his knowledge and international network of partners. I want to stress that his openness was key to success as we could discuss options on the legal side as well as the technical concepts such that we could find an efficient concept that balances the legal burden with the effort for technical implementation.‘
‘Vischer is one of the go-to firms in Switzerland regarding data privacy, data protection and the digital services industry.‘
‘The team always reacted very quickly to our requests and we always felt in good hands. Working with Thomas Steiner and Rolf Auf der Maur was a very pleasant experience. They are both valued experts in the field and are active in our industry’s associations like Swico and formerly Simsa. They have been invaluable contributors to the Code of Conduct Hosting which serves as an outstanding tool for dealing with legal requests in our company as well for the whole hosting industry in Switzerland.‘
Tiko Energy Solutions AG
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials AG
Sympany Services AG
Swiss International Air Lines AG
Avenir Group AG
Piqur Therapeutics AG
Privacy and Security Academy
Swiss Bar Association
3 Plus Group AG
- Advising Piqur Therapeutics AG on requirements during clinical trials.
- Advising Hocoma on Swiss and EU data privacy laws for its cloud-based connected care solution.
- Advising Tiko Energy Solutions on Swiss and EU data privacy laws for its cloud-based power solution.
Bär & Karrer Ltd.'s practice focuses on data privacy regulations relating to the use of cloud services, the implementation of data protection laws and some international civil litigation. Corrado Rampini and Jan Kleiner – who joined from Kleiner & Cavaliero in May 2019 – jointly head the team, which operates predominantly in the banking, IT, sports and tourism sectors. The group has also advised online service providers including Hotels.com, Expedia and Facebook, on regulatory and data compliance issues. Other work involves consulting on internal data surveillance or monitoring processes.
Corrado Rampini, Jan Kleiner
Swiss TV Corporation
- Advising several online service providers, including Hotels.com, Expedia and Facebook, on regulatory and compliance issues.
Baker McKenzie regularly works on privacy law and GDPR-related matters, with clients ranging from leaders in telecoms, IT and data management to global brands and manufacturing groups. Its recent work includes security handling relating to IT outsourcing and database records, alongside amending agreements to comply with new Swiss or EU standards. Practice head Alessandro Celli specialises in cross-border programme implementation, while associate Johanna Moesch handles various data protection compliance cases.
The Froriep team 'sets the focus on the client's need' and is 'very knowledgeable' on GDPR issues, with 'prompt and substantive' analysis on matters ranging from data security breach incidents to blockchain technology data protection advice. Nicola Benz leads most advisory work, including on Vetri Foundation's consumer platform for personal data, Hiag AG's cloud and digital infrastructure, and a data protection compliance programme for the Swiss Equestrian Federation. Benz and 'meticulous' associate Cornelia Mattig 'are extremely customer-focused with a practical, hands-on mentality'. Ronald Kogens made partner in July 2019.
‘Legal counselling particularly on data protection started late 2017, ever since they demonstrated their excellence in not only Swiss and EU GDPR, but also international data protection competencies. Worthy of special mention is that FRORIEP always puts the protection of our interest as highest priority and sets the focus on the client’s need. This is a valuable strength in comparison to other firms and much appreciated from our side.‘
‘The strength of a firm is characterised by the competence of its employees. In particular, Nicola Benz and Cornelia Mattig distinguish with outstanding excellence. It is a pleasure to work with such dedicated and passionate individuals. In addition to the ordinary skills of structured working method, communication ability and quick response times, Nicola and Cornelia are extremely customer-focused with a practical, hands-on mentality. To us this fundamental understanding and shouldering responsibility is highly valuable and means that they go far beyond the requirements advising on certain parts of our business we have not even thought about yet. Their critical thinking is a beneficial contribution and reflection on our work. Nicola and Cornelia give precise advice as well as clear explanations of what the purpose is and why exactly it is recommendable to be this way; a great addition to their outstanding customer service.‘
‘The team is very knowledgeable in GDPR issues and their analysis has been prompt and substantive.‘
‘The partner Nicola Benz is very engaging and prompt when responding to requests, with respectable working ethics. The communication is very clear and direct. Associate Cornelia Mattig was meticulous in terms of execution and very responsive as well. I would recommend the team for GDPR issues that has to be taken care of by international organisations based in Switzerland.‘
‘Our demand was review all GDPR documents established by another law firm which were not suitable for us at all. Changing and modifying articles usually take more time and attention, but Froriep did it in a very short time limit without sacrificing quality.‘
‘Ms Cornelia Mattig was professional and conscientious. She listened to client requests and adapted the clauses to business needs. She was always available and respected the schedule. It was a great pleasure to collaborate with her.‘
International Exhibition Logistics Association
Meltwater News International
Swiss Association of Horse-riding Sports (Swiss Equestrian Federation)
Soroptimist International of Europe, Headquarters Office (Association)
- Advising on Vetri Foundation’s consumer platform for personal data.
- Assisting with Hiag AG’s cloud and digital infrastructure.
- Consulting on a data protection compliance programme for the Swiss Equestrian Federation.
At HDC, Sylvain Métille is known for his 'responsiveness, pragmatism and efficiency' across a range of data privacy and data protection cases. In recent work, the department has assisted the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs with GDPR compliance, advised on all data protection and IT-related matters for the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, and collaborated with Swiss Badminton in designing its privacy compliance programme. Regulatory specialist David Raedler is another key contact.
Sylvain Métille, David Raedler
‘The team is highly complementary with different backgrounds and experiences.‘
‘We very much appreciate and value Mr Metille’s responsiveness, pragmatism, efficiency and great understanding of our environment. His advice is always of great quality and assistance.‘
‘HDC is one of the only law firms to have expertise in data protection, in particular in the public sector. They also have an expertise on complex legal issues, as subcontracting abroad and public secrecy. Always reachable. Prompt and substantive responses to our enquiries.‘
‘Sylvain Metille is always available and very reactive. He has a unique expertise in data protection, in both the public and private sector (which is really rare, most of the lawyers having an expertise in data protection in the private sector). He also has a vast and sharp experience of contractual negotiation between private company and public administration (subcontracting/outsourcing contract) and of public secrecy (related to subcontracting). Its legal opinions are always easy to understand, which is a huge asset when you have to share it with non-lawyer professional (computer scientist, etc.). His huge experience allows him to remain pragmatic and take political considerations into account. The quality/price ratio is excellent, particularly if we take into consideration the reputation enjoyed by Sylvain Metille.‘
‘Mr Metille is excellent at framing our privacy and data protection questions in ways that help finding concrete solutions. His legal expertise is well complemented by a thorough understanding of IT concepts.‘
State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO (Swiss government)
Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, EPFL
Blue Infinity (Switzerland) SA
- Assisting the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs with GDPR compliance.
- Advising on all data protection and IT-related matters for the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.
- Collaborating with Swiss Badminton in designing its privacy compliance programme.
The team at Kellerhals Carrard handled contentious and non-contentious matters for internet service providers, deep tech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as public authorities. Its recent work includes advising on sale process compliance relating to the retail sector; general cloud migration issues; and online platform operations. It also assisted with all data and IP software matters for Magnolia International AG. Start-up specialist and practice head Nicolas Mosimann has considerable data protection know-how in the fintech sector and Claudia Götz has 'extensive experience with data privacy in the dispute resolution and healthcare field'. Previous UBS data protection officer Ralph Gramigna joined as a partner in September 2019.
‘Claudia Goetz has extensive experience with data privacy in the dispute resolution and healthcare field.‘
Magnolia International AG
- Assisting with all data and IP software matters for Magnolia International AG.
The 'diligent and reactive' team at Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd is known for its 'hands-on' and 'solution-oriented' approach to data-based law. Led by the 'talented' Lukas Bühlmann, the team works on compliance, analytics and due diligence matters. Particular highlights include handling data protection and digital marketing issues for Schweiz Tourismus, assisting KünzlerBachmann Direktmarketing AG with big data projects, and advising the International Trade Center on international standards. The group is also acting for British American Tobacco Switzerland SA on a GDPR compliance project. Marco S. Meier is 'a promising and dedicated' associate with 'very good implementation and project management skills'.
‘MLL were responsive and pragmatic throughout – effectively navigating the nuances associated with international compliance work, and presenting advice in a way that was clear and easily understood by the client. An excellent team.‘
‘Lukas Bühlmann – a talented lawyer who has a deep understanding of the law and an ability to apply it in a commercial way.‘
‘Quick answers, very easy to reach. Deep and accurate knowledge yet offering practical solutions.‘
‘I’ve been working with Michael Reinle and Lukas Bühlmann. Both are very professional and have outstanding expertise in their fields. Working with them is a pleasure!‘
‘Availability and engagement. Solution-oriented excellent expertise.‘
‘Excellent knowledge of broad data protection and privacy related topics. Ability to put regulatory and legal topics in context of new developments (e.g. artificial intelligence). Size and experience to handle large data protection projects.‘
‘Lukas Bühlmann: head of data protection team; deep domain knowledge; wide network; good business sense. Marco Meier: junior but very good implementation and project management skills together with legal knowledge; excellent for getting a project done.‘
‘Professional team with broad knowledge on Swiss and European background. Very hands-on working style and good understanding on industry needs. Also well connected in the industry, which might help in the one or other situation.‘
‘I have worked with Mr Bühlmann and Mr Meier on data protection issues and they were always straight to the point and very helpful in customer and supplier negotiations. Also in terms of pricing they show a certain flexibility and sensitivity.‘
‘This great team is efficient and successful.‘
‘M Oertli was a perfect associate. He was very helpful.’
‘Diligent and reactive team, legal advice to the point and delivery in a timely manner. Quality of work is very good.‘
‘Strong team. Always at the forefront of thought leadership.‘
‘Top-notch Swiss firm with a high level and pragmatic approach.‘
‘Lukas Bühlmann is leading the practice including in e-commerce – high-level skilled professional, partnering with high level clients including in the jewellery and insurance sectors, nicely supported by Marco Meier – a promising and dedicated associate of the firm.‘
‘MLL’s data privacy and data protection team is highly skilled in this field and is providing a very high level legal assistance for its clients.‘
‘Lukas Bühlmann is an expert in data privacy and data protection and certainly one of the most experienced lawyers in Switzerland in this area.‘
British American Tobacco Switzerland SA
Cofra Holding AG
International Trade Center (ITC)
Kantonsspital St. Gallen (KSSG)
Lindt & Sprüngli
Sunrise Communications AG
Swiss Deluxe Hotels
Swiss Fin Lab
Titlis Bergbahnen AG
Verband Schweizer Versandhandel
- Handling data protection and digital marketing issues for Schweiz Tourismus.
- Assisting KünzlerBachmann Direktmarketing AG with big data projects.
- Advising the International Trade Center on international data protection standards.
Niederer Kraft Frey AG handles GDPR and Swiss law-related issues, data-oriented audits and compliance assessments in the manufacturing, insurance and technology sectors. The team assisted Schindler with IT negotiations and relevant data protection matters; advised Klingelnberg AG on conducting due diligence and an assessment of GDPR alignment; and acted for SR Technics on its worldwide compliance programme. Other clients include Bühler, Nordic Capital, Allianz Global and Microsoft. Practice heads Clara-Ann Gordon and András Gurovits are the key names.
Clara-Ann Gordon, András Gurovits
‘For data privacy and data protection, our main counterparts are Andras Gurovits and Clara-Ann Gordon. We highly appreciate their teamwork approach. It is an ideal combination as Andras Gurovits has a business background in technology and sports and Clara-Ann Gordon comes from data privacy. This combination is ideal for our needs.‘
Mediterranean Shipping Company MSC
The Body Shop
World Economic Forum
- Assisting Schindler with IT negotiations and relevant data protection matters.
- Conducting due diligence and assessing GDPR alignment for Klingelnberg AG.
- Advising SR Technics on its worldwide compliance programme.
Pestalozzi is renowned for its work for clients in regulated industries for banks, insurers and life sciences companies. It also handles issues with big data and processing methods in the medical sector, alongside reviewing policies and preventing IT security breaches. Practice head Lorenza Ferrari Hofer stands out for her 'excellent legal skills and business acumen'; Michele Burnier is 'a calm and measured voice'; and disputes expert Thomas Legler is experienced in handling cases involving corporates and private individuals. The team advises on data protection issues for the Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation. Other clients include Zimmer Biomet, Akorn Pharma and Ferrari SpA.
Lorenza Ferrari Hofer
‘In my small experience of using this practice – to seek advice on GDPR law changes and its implications for our company – I have found their work very good.‘
‘I have had contact only with Mme Michele Burnier. She has been able to identify quickly where GDPR applies to the specific context of our small company and its activities. She has also put us at ease about the various measures we have to take, prescribing exactly what is needed, rather than over-prescribing and scaremongering. Hers was a calm and measured voice at a time when there was lots of “noise” in newspaper articles, online blog posts, YouTube videos, etc. about all the things companies supposedly had to do to comply with this law. I really appreciated this approach of hers.‘
‘They are quick, can work in several languages, have political sensitivity, understand our business very well. They also work with interdisciplinary teams (including corporate, tax and public procurement). This is extremely important for us.‘
‘Lorenza Ferrari Hofer has excellent legal skills and shows business acumen. She is very supportive and usually proposes several options for a problem. She speaks several languages and understands perfectly the different mentalities of the four linguistic regions of Switzerland.‘
Johnson & Johnson group of companies
Advance Magazine Publishers Inc.
Festival del Film Locarno
Ticino Film Commission
Organizzazione turistica Lago Maggiore e Valli
- Advising on data protection issues for the Web 3.0 Technologies Foundation.
The team at Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd is praised for its 'high degree of responsiveness' and 'deep understanding' of business needs. Highlight included advising SIX Group on the data privacy aspects relating to an electronic invoicing system; assisting Switch with cloud services and associated network data protection issues; and advising Manor on maintaining customer security in relation to electronic gift cards. Other clients include Valora, Kardex and Xovis. Department head Roland Mathys and Samuel Klaus, who was promoted to the partnership in 2020, 'are great, knowledgeable lawyers' with particular expertise in cyber-related matters.
‘The team’s business mind, a deep understanding of the client’s business and of the subject matter, and a high degree of responsiveness shall be emphasised. They are really nice and well-organised people to co-operate with.‘
‘Mr Roland Mathys, MrsFloriane Zollinger-Löw and Mr Samuel Klaus are great, knowledgeable lawyers. Our project was staffed at the appropriate level of seniority (e.g. the more junior lawyers and FlexLaw lawyers for the contract review, partner and more senior lawyers for kickoff and follow up sessions and meetings and valuable legal opinions), and has thereby shown law firm’s mindfulness for the client’s budget.‘
Ernst & Young
Ascensia Diabetes Care
University Hospital Basel
NZZ Media Group
- Advising SIX Group on data privacy aspects relating to an electronic invoicing system.
- Assisting Switch with cloud services and associated network data protection issues.
- Advising Manor on customer security in the context of electronic gift cards.
CMS works on privacy matters relating to the exchange of personal data and connecting businesses or customers to cloud services, while also representing clients before the Swiss Data Protection Authority. Practice head Dirk Spacek, who specialises in the IT and data challenges presented by new business models, joined from Walder Wyss Ltd in February 2019. The firm also assists with legal issues regarding the acquisition, use and analysis of big data; a particular highlight involved handling data protection, alongside terms and conditions, for the Better Cotton Initiative's online tracing platform.
Better Cotton Initiative
- Handling data protection, alongside advising on terms and conditions, for the Better Cotton Initiative’s online tracing platform.
The 'available' and 'flexible' id est avocats sàrl provides 'spot-on advice' and predominantly advises clients in the technology sector. 'Outstanding practitioner' Michel Jaccard assisted with negotiating a collaboration agreement for Neural Concept SA over proprietary technology and associated data privacy issues, and drafted data protection agreements and policies for DuPont Sustainable Solutions. Other clients include Verizon/Oath, AICrowd SA and Daphne Technologies SA.
‘Michel Jaccard is an outstanding practitioner.‘
‘One of their talents is to understand the position of their customer.‘
‘They are near the client, available, flexible, and acting in a professional manner.‘
Neural Concept SA
Edge Laboratories SA
Daphne Technologies SA
Zaphiro Technologies SA
Aeler Systems SA
DuPont Sustainable Solutions
- Negotiating a collaboration agreement for Neural Concept SA over proprietary technology and associated data privacy issues.
- Drafting data protection agreements and policies for DuPont Sustainable Solutions SA.
MME Legal | Tax | Compliance's team is 'pragmatic, straight to the point and efficient', with strong 'internal know-how and a large network'. Founding partner Martin Eckert demonstrates 'specialist knowledge, dependability and solution-oriented' assistance with general data protection and data privacy matters for banks and insurance companies. Other work includes advice on GDPR and Swiss national regulatory legal set-ups and compliance advice relating to public procurement tenders and new online platforms.
‘Internal know-how and a large network.‘
‘Specialist knowledge, dependability and solution-oriented.‘
‘My experience to date with the MME Legal team has been, that they are very competent, pragmatic, straight to the point, fast and efficient.‘
‘Very knowledgeable team, very good support and timely delivery.‘
‘Very high knowledge and a lot of relevant skills.‘
The team at Oberson Abels Ltd 'understands its clients' needs' and advises on GDPR and Swiss data protection implementation, helping train data protection officers (DPOs), and drafting directives or negotiating agreements concerning the processing of personal data. Philipp Fischer and Antoine Amiguet are praised for their 'great availability, high technical skills and very responsive' services. Fischer is also recognised for his 'to-the-point advice' and for making 'difficult topics look easy' and Amiguet is a 'detail-oriented and highly technical attorney'.
Philipp Fischer, Antoine Amiguet
‘Sharp knowledge of the legal landscape and ability to advise effectively and in a practice-oriented manner.‘
‘Special mention to Philipp Fischer for his responsiveness, availability and to-the-point advice, all this always with a very pleasant attitude.‘
‘Great technical knowledge, high availability and client-oriented.‘
‘Philippe Fischer and Antoine Amiguet: great availability, high technical skills and very responsive.‘
‘A very pragmatic approach with an excellent knowledge of the industry. The team managed to adapt their advices so that they fit with the banking practice. Proactive information when changes occur. A strongly committed team always available even in the absence of a team member.‘
‘Antoine Amiguet: a “we can do it” attitude, even in cases of extremely short deadlines. Philipp Fischer: makes difficult topics look the easiest. Clear, straight to the point.‘
‘Oberson Abels SA carefully listens and understands their clients’ needs, is creative and able to adjust to meet such needs – both from a substantial as well as from an organisational/management standpoint, which makes it highly valuable for us to co-operate with them. They are able to be business-oriented, to support a project team, as much as to provide state of the art legal opinions. All of that with an above-average and broad understanding of legal requirements, which is highly valuable for an evolving area of law such as data protection.‘
‘Philipp Fischer is simply an outstanding mind. He is quick, focused, equally able to focus on the macro picture as well as to focus on details when necessary. He’s also extremely good at helping us make informed decision, as the case may be risk-based ones, and is not a (classic) risk-averse attorney. Antoine Amiguet is a detailed-oriented and highly technical attorney, whose technical skills go nicely hand-in-hand with Philipp Fischer’s equally high skills and business-oriented approach. They form a great and complementary duo and we are glad to work with them.‘
Zurich-based boutique firm TIMES Attorneys advises on privacy and security-related issues. Its recent work included assessing innovation and business activities under Swiss data protection laws, as well as advising on cyber and GDPR or regulatory compliance processes. Alesch Staehelin leads on most matters. Other contacts include Markus Kaiser in Zurich. Philippe Gilliéron left the firm in mid-2020.