Jodok Wicki
Office:
Dreikönigstrasse 7
PO Box
8022
City:
Zurich
State:
Zurich
Country:
Switzerland
Tel:
+41 44 285 11 11
Fax:
+41 44 285 11 22

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Switzerland

Dr Jodok Wicki is the managing partner at CMS von Erlach Poncet Ltd. He has been practising for more than 20 years and has particular expertise in the resolution of complex disputes before state courts, arbitration matters and proceedings before administrative authorities. He also has in-depth knowledge of insurance and is a specialised attorney (Swiss Bar Association) for tort and insurance law. Jodok Wicki works in English, French and Italian, in addition to his native German.

DESCRIBE YOUR CAREER TO DATE.

I have deep roots in Zurich, where I went to school, attended university and worked. But I always loved travelling and conversing with people, as well as other countries and cultures. In addition to a sports career in Olympic sailing in my first life, and a large number of international matters that allowed me to travel, I greatly enjoyed working for over a year in New York and Sydney. My ability to work in English, French and Italian, as well as German has certainly boosted my international profile. For the past two years I have acted as managing partner in our firm in Zurich, in conjunction with my client work. 

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING IN THE PRODUCT LIABILITY SPACE?

Product liability work involves many different levels, which makes it complex and highly interesting. You need to achieve the required technical understanding of the specific product and industry, and place that into a legal context, considering also the timeline of technical developments. 

GIVEN THAT THERE IS CURRENTLY NO AVENUE TO PURSUE MASS TORT CLAIMS IN SWITZERLAND, WHAT ARE THE KEY CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH STRUCTURING PROCEEDINGS WHEN THERE ARE MULTIPLE CLAIMANTS?

Resolving disputes with multiple parties is always challenging. In product liability the number of parties involved may be particularly large. Each situation demands its own strategy. For instance, ensuring a uniform approach to multiple cases, while still considering the specifics of each matter, requires careful planning and oversight.

WHAT ARE THE KEY DIFFERENCES IN STRATEGY BETWEEN PRODUCT LIABILITY CLAIMS CONCERNING PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND THOSE CONCERNING BUSINESSES IN SWITZERLAND?

Private individuals may usually avail themselves of the protection of the Product Liability Act, both if the defect results in the injury or death of a person and if a privately used object is affected. However, defective products can also be an important issue for businesses. Irrespective of the non-availability of the Product Liability Act in Switzerland, businesses may potentially claim application of various other possible causes of action, the analysis of which is often complex, in particular in international contexts and considering possible rights of recourse. 

HOW HAS THE GLOBALISATION OF PRODUCT LIABILITY LITIGATION AFFECTED YOUR PRACTICE?

We see an important number of matters that relate to multiple jurisdictions, on the levels of both production and distribution. The ability to quickly draw on qualified legal resources in several countries is therefore of great importance. 

HOW DO YOU SEE THE PRACTICE OF PRODUCT LIABILITY DEFENCE IN SWITZERLAND DEVELOPING OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS?

The technical development will clearly also have an impact on the landscape of product liability in Switzerland. Issues to consider will be, for instance, the trends towards increased use of artificial intelligence, the private use of robots, self-driving vehicles and nano-products. 

The future of the Swiss product liability defence landscape will also depend on the development of the Swiss civil procedure. After the Civil Procedural Code was unified across Switzerland in 2011, the Swiss Federal Council published a draft amendment for public comment this year, intending to facilitate access to justice by, for instance, reducing legal costs for claimants, enabling group actions via an association to claims for damages (opt-in) and providing a new procedure for group settlements (opt-out). Much will depend on the course this proposed amendment will take. 

LOOKING BACK OVER YOUR CAREER, WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT?

A cheerful client after the successful resolution of a disputed matter, and the call of a party that saw me act as opposing counsel.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNGER PRACTITIONERS WHO HOPE ONE DAY TO BE IN YOUR POSITION?

Enjoy and have fun in what you do, think ahead and stay open-minded. 

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Insurance & Reinsurance

Jodok Wicki has been advising clients and acting as counsel in litigation and international arbitration for about 25 years. He is a certified specialist of the Swiss Bar Association for torts and insurance law. His vast experience and profound legal understanding allow him to efficiently deal with complex sets of fact and legal issues, both relating to liability and coverage. A claims specialist of a major international insurer stated: “I value Jodok’s legal and strategic thinking. Jodok has an outstanding record of winning litigations.”

Jodok Wicki is practising in Zurich, Switzerland, where he also studied. Earlier in his career he worked as a foreign associate with law firms in New York and Sydney.

He is managing partner of CMS in Switzerland. Before, he headed the firm's dispute resolution group for some 10 years and also led the CMS litigation practice group.

In international arbitration proceedings Jodok Wicki is acting as counsel and also sitting as arbitrator. He is on the panels of arbitrators of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and the Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC).

He is a member of the Zurich Bar Association, the Swiss Bar Association and the International Bar Association, the ASA Swiss Arbitration Association and the International Association of Defence Counsel (IADC).

Jodok Wicki is fluent in German, English, French and Italian.

WWL says: Jodok Wicki is a first-class lawyer who wins widespread plaudits from market sources who consider him “a very strong practitioner, particularly on the claimant side”.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Switzerland - Product Liability Defence

Jodok Wicki has been advising clients and acting as counsel in litigation and international arbitration for about 25 years. He is a certified specialist of the Swiss Bar Association for torts and insurance law. His vast experience and profound legal understanding allow him to efficiently deal with complex sets of fact and legal issues, both relating to liability and coverage. A claims specialist of a major international insurer stated: “I value Jodok’s legal and strategic thinking. Jodok has an outstanding record of winning litigations.”

Jodok Wicki is practising in Zurich, Switzerland, where he also had studied. Earlier in his career he had been working as a foreign associate with law firms in New York and Sydney.

He is managing partner of CMS in Switzerland. Before, he headed the firm's dispute resolution group for some 10 years and also led the CMS litigation practice group.

In international arbitration proceedings Jodok Wicki is acting as counsel and also sitting as arbitrator. He is on the panels of arbitrators of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) and the Pacific International Arbitration Centre (PIAC).

He is a member of the Zurich Bar Association, the Swiss Bar Association and the International Bar Association, the ASA Swiss Arbitration Association and the International Association of Defence Counsel (IADC).

Jodok Wicki is fluent in German, English, French and Italian.

WWL says: Jodok Wicki is identified by market commentators as an excellent litigator who commands over 20 years of experience in a broad range of matters including product liability claims. 

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Switzerland which can be purchased from our Shop.

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