GDR 100 2022

Walder Wyss

Walder Wyss

Professional notice

Partners6
Other lawyers13
Who’s Who Legal: Data nominees6
Personal data breaches notified2

Practice profile

Walder Wyss is currently in high demand due to market trends such as digitisation, data monetisation and shifts to platform-centred business models. Lawyers in the Swiss firm’s M&A, employment, litigation, healthcare, pharma, IT, tax and data protection departments – and more – frequently deal with legal issues that arise in those contexts.

The firm recognises that all lawyers need to be fluent in data. Regular internal training and a collaborative and open-door culture ensures data knowledge is passed around. A dedicated data protection team – consisting of six partners – is Switzerland’s largest, and the first specialised team on the Swiss market.

The firm advises on all aspects of data protection, including defending clients in several regulatory investigations. Clients include Microsoft, ABB, Swisscard, Swisscom, credit card issuer Aduno, credit information company Intrum and Zurich Insurance.

Leading individuals

Jürg Schneider in Lausanne is a key name: a co-head of the data protection practice, he has a solid presence on the market. David Vasella in Zurich joined from Froriep in 2017; and partners Michael Isler and Hans-Rudolf Trüeb are important to the firm, acting respectively as a current and a former member of its management committee.

Work highlights

Health platform Well turned to the firm for assistance in all legal matters related to setting up the platform, including questions around data protection and secrecy law, privacy notices and policy, and IT-related questions. Other clients including defence contractor RUAG, retailer Migros, caterer gategroup and listed dairy producer Emmi have used Walder Wyss for compliance work.

The bulk of the firm’s contentious work is confidential, but partner David Vasella has represented Swisscom in Federal Administrative Court proceedings.

Client feedback

Vasella was praised by a marketing company for his “profound knowledge and experience in the field – yet he is very hands on, gives practical advice and makes clear statements”. Another said of Vasella and his team: “Sometimes, we, at the business, don’t have time for long speeches and thousands of words but we need a risk-based approach which can be more or less immediately implemented,” adding they have never been disappointed with the firm’s approach.

Several clients highlighted Schneider’s pragmatism, with one international non-profit expanding: “At all times do we feel very well supported and we highly appreciate his pragmatic, responsive and hands-on approach.”

Walder Wyss has been established in Zurich in 1972 and has grown continuously at record pace. Today we are one of the largest Swiss full-service firms, with more than 240 legal experts, including close to 70 partners and 20 senior counsel and counsel.

Growth and a close relationship with our clients are key factors for our success. With six offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano, we offer our clients a personalised and high-quality one-stop shop for all legal and tax advisory needs across all language regions of Switzerland.

We are a modern and agile firm and see ourselves not as distant learned colleagues but as hands-on, commercially minded and solutions-driven partners to our clients with a quick, open and direct communication style. Our clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

We specialize in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, technology and data, intellectual property, regulated industries and competition, dispute resolution and tax law. In the technology and data fields we have earned a reputation as one of Switzerland’s premier firms. We have been the first firm in Switzerland, and remain one of the few, with a strong practice in all data-heavy areas including privacy, IT, and investigations and white-collar.

Our data protection team includes 7 partners and 11 additional fee earners across our offices. The team is headed by David Vasella, one of the most respected and experienced Swiss data protection lawyers. We advise clients from all sectors on data protection and privacy, including technology, financial services, health care, insurance, media, retail, food and drink producers, transport, energy, credit information, charities, sport, education, construction and real estate, and industry. We provide advice, help with compliance implementations, conduct investigations, and represent clients before courts and data protection authorities. A particular focus continues to be compliance with the GDPR by international groups headquartered in Switzerland, and by Swiss members of international groups, and we are now helping clients comply with the revised Swiss Data Protection Act that is expected to come into force in 2022 or early 2023.

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