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Thought Leaders

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Jürg Schneider

Jürg Schneider

Walder WyssAvenue du Théâtre 1PO BoxLausanneVaudSwitzerland1002

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jürg Schneider draws praise from sources who highlight him as “experienced, knowledgeable and always a pleasure to work with”. He is credited with a top-tier practice in international IT project development, outsourcing and licensing.

Questions & Answers

Jürg Schneider is a partner at Walder Wyss Ltd and head of the Lausanne office. Jürg Schneider has more than 19 years of practice in the area of information technology, data protection and outsourcing. He advises on comprehensive system integration and global outsourcing projects, and has extensive experience in the field of data protection, in particular in international contexts. Jürg Schneider regularly publishes and lectures on ICT topics. He is a member of several professional organisations and serves on the board of directors of ITechLaw.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career?

I have been very much inspired by the possibility of helping companies and individuals to make their ideas and projects come to life. As I have always been interested in new technologies, specialising in IT, data protection and outsourcing was an obvious choice that allowed me to combine my interests while helping clients to successfully navigate the legal challenges of TMT in innovative projects.

What did you find most challenging about entering the field of data law?

For me, the most challenging but at the same time the most fascinating aspect of data law lies in its truly global and overarching nature. In fact, data law is not limited to a particular type of business – it has an impact on and plays an important role in all economic and human activities. Knowing not only the data laws but also the nature of the clients’ business is key in this area.

As Switzerland revises its Federal Data Protection Act (FDPA), what do you envisage will be the main differences between that and the GDPR that lawyers and clients should keep in mind?

As the FDPA has not yet been approved by Parliament, it is not yet possible to provide a conclusive answer. Nevertheless, the main differences will most likely be the following: the FDPA differentiates between processing by private persons and by federal public entities; the FDPA does not apply to processing by cantonal public entities, which is governed by 26 cantonal data protection acts; under the FDPA, the processing does not necessarily require a justification; the FDPA also has an extraterritorial effect, but the criteria differ from the GDPR; third-party relationships (eg, controller-to-controller; controller-to-processor) are governed less strictly under the FDPA; the Swiss Commissioner has no competence to impose administrative fines or other administrative sanctions on the controller; and the FDPA foresees sanctions only in respect of certain violations and the maximum fine is 250,000 Swiss francs. However, contrary to the GDPR, the fine foreseen by the FDPA is a criminal sanction and is generally imposed on the responsible individuals. That said, it must also be noted that under certain conditions controllers based outside Switzerland must appoint a representative in Switzerland. Furthermore, in the case of a disclosure of personal data outside Switzerland, adequacy of the recipient’s country is determined based on adequacy decisions that will be adopted by the Swiss Federal Council (and not the EU Commission).

How has the Swiss authorities’ approach to cybersecurity evolved over the past few years?

Coming from a case by case and sector-specific approach, Swiss authorities are today taking an increasingly holistic approach when it comes to cybersecurity. In addition, cybersecurity has become a prioritised topic and government initiatives in this respect have increased over the past few years. As an example, the Swiss Federal Council is currently considering introducing a general reporting obligation for cyber incidents for operations of critical infrastructure. Moreover, and as regards personal data, the draft of the revised Federal Data Protection Act foresees, inter alia, an obligation for the controller to notify the Commissioner as soon as possible of a data security breach that is likely to result in a high risk to the privacy or fundamental rights of a data subject.

What impact has the development of cryptocurrencies and smart contracts had on the type of work you have been seeing recently?

As Switzerland has a rather liberal and business-oriented approach as regards cryptocurrencies, it is still a very attractive jurisdiction for initial coin and token offerings. In general, projects and initiatives around smart contracts have seen a big increase over the past few months and I expect the demand for advice in this area to grow.

What changes do you see in the market regarding the use of cloud services in regulated sectors?

Traditionally regulated sectors were in the past rather conservative as regards the use of cloud services. We have clearly seen a shift in this area over the past couple of years. The reasons for this change are wide-ranging. On the one hand, cloud service providers have been adapting their service proposals to the special needs of regulated entities, in particular in the area of data protection, audit rights and business continuity aspects. On the other hand, regulators and sector-specific umbrella organisations have become more open and favourable to cloud solutions. For example, in January 2020, FINMA lessened certain requirements by revising its Circular on Outsourcing, and in March 2019 the Swiss Bankers Association issued specific cloud guidelines.

What qualities make for an effective data lawyer?

In addition to staying on top of and anticipating relevant legal and regulatory changes, it is certainly paramount to follow and understand technological and societal developments, and to know the markets and their trends from both the provider and the customer sides. It is the combination of all these elements that allows for fast, accurate and solution-oriented legal advice in the clients’ best interest.

What is the best piece of career advice you have received?

When I first joined Walder Wyss as a junior associate, one of the senior partners told me that the quality of a piece of work is always measured by its practical usefulness for the client. Therefore, understand the needs and interests of the client, and be proactive and solution-oriented!

Thought Leaders - Data 2019
WWL Ranking: Thought Leader
WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jürg Schneider has a highly international practice focusing on managing cross-border data flows and the protection systems covering those transfers.

Biography

Jürg Schneider is a partner in the IT and IP team of Walder Wyss, one of Switzerland's leading law firms, and head of the Lausanne office.

His primary practice areas include information technology, data protection and outsourcing. He regularly advises both Swiss and international firms on comprehensive licensing, development, system integration and complex global outsourcing projects. He has deep and extensive experience in the fields of data protection, information security and e-commerce, with a particular focus on transborder and international contexts. In addition, Mr Schneider regularly publishes and lectures on ICT topics at national and international conferences. He is a member of several professional organisations and is member of the board and former co-chair of the data protection committee of the International Technology Law Association.

Jürg Schneider was educated at the University of Neuchâtel (lic iur 1992; Dr iur, 1999). He has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Neuchâtel, as a trainee at the legal department of the canton of Neuchâtel, and in a Neuchâtel law firm.

Jürg Schneider speaks German, French and English. He is registered with the Vaud Bar Registry and admitted to practise in all of Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

Data - Data Security 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jürg Schneider is “well respected for his expertise and helpfulness by clients and peers alike” with sources adding that “it is always a pleasure to work with him”.

Biography

Jürg Schneider is a partner in the IT and IP team of Walder Wyss, one of Switzerland's leading law firms, and head of the Lausanne office.

His primary practice areas include information technology, data protection and outsourcing. He regularly advises both Swiss and international firms on comprehensive licensing, development, system integration, and complex global outsourcing projects. He has deep and extensive experience in the fields of data protection, information security and e-commerce, with a particular focus on transborder and international contexts. In addition, Mr Schneider regularly publishes and lectures on ICT topics at national and international conferences. He is a member of several professional organisations and is member of the board and former co-chair of the data protection committee of the International Technology Law Association.

Jürg Schneider was educated at the University of Neuchâtel (lic iur 1992; Dr iur, 1999). He has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Neuchâtel, as a trainee at the legal department of the canton of Neuchâtel, and in a Neuchâtel law firm.

Jürg Schneider speaks German, French and English. He is registered with the Vaud Bar Registry and admitted to practise in all of Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jürg Schneider draws praise from sources who highlight him as “experienced, knowledgeable and always a pleasure to work with”. He is credited with a top-tier practice in international IT project development, outsourcing and licensing.

Biography

Jürg Schneider is a partner in the IT and IP team of Walder Wyss, one of Switzerland's leading law firms, and head of the Lausanne office.

His primary practice areas include information technology, data protection and outsourcing. He regularly advises both Swiss and international firms on comprehensive licensing, development, system integration and complex global outsourcing projects. He has deep and extensive experience in the fields of data protection, information security and e-commerce, with a particular focus on transborder and international contexts. In addition, Mr Schneider regularly publishes and lectures on ICT topics at national and international conferences. He is a member of several professional organisations and is member of the board and former co-chair of the data protection committee of the International Technology Law Association.

Jürg Schneider was educated at the University of Neuchâtel (lic iur 1992; Dr iur, 1999). He has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Neuchâtel, as a trainee at the legal department of the canton of Neuchâtel, and in a Neuchâtel law firm.

Jürg Schneider speaks German, French and English. He is registered with the Vaud Bar Registry and admitted to practise in all of Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

Data - Telecoms & Media 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Global Elite Thought Leader

WWL says

Jürg Schneider is highly sought-after by multinational clients for his “vast experience and knowledge” on matters of outsourcing and data protection.

Biography

Jürg Schneider is a partner in the IT and IP team of Walder Wyss, one of Switzerland's leading law firms, and head of the Lausanne office.

His primary practice areas include information technology, data protection and outsourcing. He regularly advises both Swiss and international firms on comprehensive licensing, development, system integration, and complex global outsourcing projects. He has deep and extensive experience in the fields of data protection, information security and e-commerce, with a particular focus on transborder and international contexts. In addition, Mr Schneider regularly publishes and lectures on ICT topics at national and international conferences. He is a member of several professional organisations and is member of the board and former co-chair of the data protection committee of the International Technology Law Association.

Jürg Schneider was educated at the University of Neuchâtel (lic iur 1992; Dr iur, 1999). He has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Neuchâtel, as a trainee at the legal department of the canton of Neuchâtel, and in a Neuchâtel law firm.

Jürg Schneider speaks German, French and English. He is registered with the Vaud Bar Registry and admitted to practise in all of Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. They specialise in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Their clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

National Leader

Switzerland - Data 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Jürg Schneider has a stellar reputation as “experienced, knowledgeable and always a pleasure to work with”. He has considerable experience in e-commerce and information security law.

Biography

Jürg Schneider is a partner in the IT and IP team of Walder Wyss, one of Switzerland's leading law firms, and head of the Lausanne office.

His primary practice areas include information technology, data protection and outsourcing. He regularly advises both Swiss and international firms on comprehensive licensing, development, system integration and complex global outsourcing projects. He has deep and extensive experience in the fields of data protection, information security and e-commerce, with a particular focus on transborder and international contexts. In addition, Mr Schneider regularly publishes and lectures on ICT topics at national and international conferences. He is a member of several professional organisations and is member of the board and former co-chair of the data protection committee of the International Technology Law Association.

Jürg Schneider was educated at the University of Neuchâtel (lic iur 1992; Dr iur, 1999). He has previously worked as a research assistant at the University of Neuchâtel, as a trainee at the legal department of the canton of Neuchâtel, and in a Neuchâtel law firm.

Jürg Schneider speaks German, French and English. He is registered with the Vaud Bar Registry and admitted to practise in all of Switzerland.

With around 220 legal experts, Walder Wyss is one of the most successful and fastest growing Swiss commercial law firms, with offices in Zurich, Geneva, Basel, Berne, Lausanne and Lugano. The firm specialises in corporate and commercial law, banking and finance, intellectual property and competition law, dispute resolution and tax law. Clients include national and international companies, publicly held corporations and family businesses as well as public law institutions and private clients.

Awards won by Jürg Schneider

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