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Carmen De la Cruz

Carmen De la Cruz

LEXcellence AGMühlegasse 18 KBaarZugSwitzerland6340
Watch interview with Carmen De la Cruz

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Carmen De la Cruz is singled out for her "profound expertise in IT law" and depth of experience resolving complex malware and cyber-crime issues.

Questions & Answers

Carmen De la Cruz is a technology lawyer and notary public based in “Crypto Valley”/Zug in Switzerland. Carmen has worked for many years as an IT lawyer in tech and telecommunications companies before starting her own firm. Carmen’s focus is on new technologies such as AI, IoT or blockchain linked with all commercial activities. With her broad experience in technology, data protection, commercial law, etc, she supports clients to start, grow and develop their business. 

What do you enjoy most about working in data law?  

Data is the result and essence of business, connects processes, people, companies – summarised in a few words it is the basis but also the result of our world, which fascinates, is necessary and interesting at the same time. 

What key challenges might younger data lawyers face in their practice and how can they overcome these?  

It is important and a challenge to understand how data-driven technology works: to look not only at the result of processes but also learn how they work and why. This helps to support and find solutions in the case of new topics or open questions. It takes courage and curiosity to ask challenging questions, not only for young but also for established lawyers. 

To what extent has covid-19 impacted the nature and pace of data enforcement from regulatory authorities?

The focus of authorities, in general, is on data as covid-19 has forced us to work with data, extract, understand, examine data, etc. It may have made enforcement a bit slower but it also showed that authorities are capable of doing their work at any time. 

What makes LEXcellence AG stand out from its competitors? 

LEXcellence AG has a very strong focus on new technologies: clients from abroad can find an ecosystem here of specialists who have the knowledge to start new business in Switzerland. Combining all these aspects has given us a huge advantage of speed and know-how and helps the clients to grow even faster in Switzerland or elsewhere. 

How are continuing calls for increased data privacy affecting your practice at the moment?

Customers are aware of data privacy and its importance for their business. LEXcellence AG supports its clients in all the different aspects of data privacy and has broad know-how, not only with regards to Switzerland but also the EU and abroad. 

What is the most memorable case you have been a part of, and why?

Data breach cases in difficult situations that required a high level of attention have been interesting, but also challenging for clients and attorneys, and therefore memorable in different aspects. 

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

The Swiss legal market is – like other markets – subject to a change from traditional business to more automated and semi-automated services. Lawyers already, and will even more in the future, use tools, applications, etc, to support clients and focus on more knowledgeable work. 

What advice would you give to practitioners looking to establish their own firm?

To establish a law firm means to dedicate energy, time and money to build up a customer base. The most important thing in the end is passion for customers, for business and – in the case of technology law – for technology as well. Whoever wants to achieve and build up their firm or customer base should try it – there is no other way than trial and error to find out whether it works or not.

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Carmen De la Cruz is a big name in the Swiss market. Sources say she is “very well connected" and "knows a lot about the industry and the telecoms area”.

Questions & Answers

Carmen De la Cruz, Attorney-at-Law & Notary Public, is founder and Partner at de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd, a corporate law firm specialised in IT, information and communication law. She advises her clients in the fields of data privacy, artificial intelligence, licensing, emerging technologies, outsourcing etc. Carmen graduated at the University of Fribourg (CH) and holds a Federal degree in IT & Economics and a degree as IT Security Expert of the German Federal Office for Information Security.

What do clients look for when selecting a data lawyer?

Clients look for experience in the fields of data privacy but also knowledge on business processes and ability to successfully implement the requirements according to business needs. Legal knowledge of the local requirements as such is a prerequisite that clients expect to be given. International experience and know how are very often needed from a client perspective as well. 

What is the most interesting case you have been a part of to date?

To be able to support clients in data breaches situations has been a very challenging and interesting experience. In an international environment this led to difficult legal questions but also made it necessary to act quickly as well as collaborate with authorities and third parties. 

How does your educational background in IT economics and security enhance your practice?

Data privacy is directly linked to data security, business processes and economics. Education in IT and economics has helped me over the last years to understand and resolve problems more accurately with the necessary business focus to get the best result for the customer. 

What advantages would you say accompany multilingualism in your profession? 

International clients doing business in Switzerland or elsewhere act in a multinational environment. To be able to support the client best, different languages help to get closer to clients, employees, etc. and resolve issues more precisely.

What has covid-19 changed for your practice and your clients’ data programmes?

Discussions of clients on data privacy related to covid-19 have been very much related on sensitive personal data and decentralised mobile solutions (tracking apps). Companies need to be compliant and adapt their processes in a compliant way but also focus to enable business nevertheless. Therefore, the focus of the clients depends on the business and compliant data privacy measures to protect employees and customers enabling at the same time business. 

How important is being an active member in technology-related practice groups when it comes to staying on top of the latest developments in the field?

The developments are significant and fast. It is important to be able to exchange views, get informed and trained on latest changes and practice groups are part of the daily education needed to serve clients best.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own firm?

To start legal business means – as any other start-up phase of a business – to put energy and focus on clients, their needs and networking activities. It needs a lot of efforts and time to be successful. 

What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

The aim is to grow and be able to work with clients who are passionate about their technical products and services. To be able to be part of projects on emerging technologies, to get familiar with technical challenges and related legal issues and help to resolve them is one my aims. To live passion for technology and help to go further on related legal challenges have always pushed me to do more, to support and to learn and share this experience with my clients. 

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended
Data - Data Security 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Carmen De la Cruz is singled out for her "profound expertise in IT law" and depth of experience resolving complex malware and cyber-crime issues.

Biography

Carmen De la Cruz is a founding partner with de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd, a corporate law firm specialised in the fields of IT, information and communication law, including but not limited to artificial intelligence, blockchain (including cryptocurrencies) data protection, outsourcing, licensing etc.

Carmen worked for many years as in-house counsel for one of the leading financial service providers, as well as for telecommunication providers. As general counsel in the area of infrastructure, she supported in the fields of corporate and infrastructure law. She advises her clients in the fields of information and communications law, intellectual property (IP) law, data protection law and all matters related to it based on her experience as in-house lawyer and external adviser in legal and regulatory fields. Carmen also acts as data protection officer for her clients including but not limited to major sports players globally, and supports clients in sports and emerging technologies. Acting also as notary public, Carmen advises her clients on transactions in the information and communication technology fields.

Carmen has been an active member of different practice groups on technology matters, where new legalisation on telecommunication and information law were developed. Carmen is an elected member of the Federal Arbitration Commission on the administration of IP rights and related rights dealing with collective IP rights. Furthermore, she is an active member of the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw); the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), as co-chair of the knowledge chapter (Switzerland); the swissICT practice group on sourcing and cloud computing; the Crypto Valley Association; the legal group on technology law, and the legal practice group on lawful interception, of the Swiss Telecommunications Association.

Carmen graduated from the University of Fribourg iUe with a joint degree in European law in German and French. She is a registered notary public of the canton of Zug and admitted to the Bar. Furthermore, Carmen holds a federal degree in IT and economics, and a degree as a German IT security expert of the German Federal Office for Information Security. She has various diplomas on matters such as IT management, cloud computing and IT security from the University of Applied Science and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

Carmen lectures as a specialist on IT law and compliance at various universities such as FHNW, Zurich University of Applied Science, and the executive school of management, technology and law at the University of St Gallen.

de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd is one of the leading IT boutique law firms in Zug – Switzerland’s so-called “Crypto Valley” – with an ecosystem for blockchain technology. With its strong focus on legal and regulatory matters in the fields of information technology, de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd is linked to the industry not only by giving legal advice but also by support based on specific education in the matters of information technology. All partners of de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd have experience as in-house counsel and support customers on legal matters, also covering in-house needs and requests. 

WWL Ranking: Recommended

National Leader

Switzerland - Data 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Carmen De la Cruz is an acclaimed data lawyer who stands out for her “impressive technical and business understanding”.

Biography

Carmen De la Cruz is a founding partner with de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd, a corporate law firm specialised in the fields of IT, information and communication law, including but not limited to artificial intelligence, blockchain (including cryptocurrencies) data protection, outsourcing, licensing etc.

Carmen worked for many years as in-house counsel for one of the leading financial service providers, as well as for telecommunication providers. As general counsel in the area of infrastructure, she supported in the fields of corporate and infrastructure law. She advises her clients in the fields of information and communications law, intellectual property (IP) law, data protection law and all matters related to it based on her experience as in-house lawyer and external adviser in legal and regulatory fields. Carmen also acts as data protection officer for her clients including but not limited to major sports players globally, and supports clients in sports and emerging technologies. Acting also as notary public, Carmen advises her clients on transactions in the information and communication technology fields.

Carmen has been an active member of different practice groups on technology matters, where new legalisation on telecommunication and information law were developed. Carmen is an elected member of the Federal Arbitration Commission on the administration of IP rights and related rights dealing with collective IP rights. Furthermore, she is an active member of the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw); the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), as co-chair of the knowledge chapter (Switzerland); the swissICT practice group on sourcing and cloud computing; the Crypto Valley Association; the legal group on technology law, and the legal practice group on lawful interception, of the Swiss Telecommunications Association.

Carmen graduated from the University of Fribourg iUe with a joint degree in European law in German and French. She is a registered notary public of the canton of Zug and admitted to the Bar. Furthermore, Carmen holds a federal degree in IT and economics, and a degree as a German IT security expert of the German Federal Office for Information Security. She has various diplomas on matters such as IT management, cloud computing and IT security from the University of Applied Science and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW).

Carmen lectures as a specialist on IT law and compliance at various universities such as FHNW, Zurich University of Applied Science, and the executive school of management, technology and law at the University of St Gallen.

de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd is one of the leading IT boutique law firms in Zug – Switzerland’s so-called “Crypto Valley” – with an ecosystem for blockchain technology. With its strong focus on legal and regulatory matters in the fields of information technology, de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd is linked to the industry not only by giving legal advice but also by support based on specific education in the matters of information technology. All partners of de la cruz beranek Attorneys at Law Ltd have experience as in-house counsel and support customers on legal matters, also covering in-house needs and requests. 

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