by Sam Bock on September 09, 2020
As the economic and legal spaces become increasingly globalized—and corporate and law firm teams find themselves mired in cross-border and multi-jurisdictional matters—simplified, universal access to critical case data in the cloud becomes more and more necessary.
By working in cloud platforms like RelativityOne, these teams can more easily and securely collaborate with colleagues, outside counsel, and custodians that span the globe.
But this accessibility doesn’t come without complications. Legal requirements differ across regions and jurisdictions, meaning which cloud these teams are accessing—and from where—can come under scrutiny during all kinds of matters.
That’s why RelativityOne has a growing presence in data centers around the world. By being available in Microsoft Azure data centers in many regions—including the US, UK, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, and the Netherlands—RelativityOne makes it possible for more widespread teams to take advantage of the latest and greatest in e-discovery, compliance, and data management software while complying with local regulations.
The latest country added to that list? Switzerland. Here’s a look at the landscape of this unique legal community, with insight from CDS’s Vice President of Operations Richard Das. Among the first service providers to offer RelativityOne in Switzerland, CDS is our launch partner for RelativityOne’s newest data center.
The Lay of the Land in Switzerland
Switzerland is a civil law country with a population of about 8.5 million people. Its direct democracy is considered to be a very stable political system, and its economy is highly profitable.
A competitive tax environment, high levels of economic freedom, and a well-developed financial sector make Switzerland an important center for international commerce. It’s largely a business-friendly legal environment.
Still, Switzerland does have regulations in place when it comes to the access and exchange of electronic data, particularly across borders. For instance, Switzerland has historically enacted laws that closely mirror both the EU-US Safe Harbor and EU-US Privacy Shield frameworks. Though not a member of the EU, that group is one of Switzerland’s most important legal and economic partners.
Swiss regulators—particularly the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC)—have data privacy protections in place for personal data, as well as trade secrets. Proportionality also comes into play with these regulations.
Interested readers can find a detailed report on the data protection laws of Switzerland—and many other countries—provided by DLA Piper (another RelativityOne user) here.
A Spirit of Innovation
In addition to its competitive business environment, Switzerland boasts a highly innovative economic culture: In fact, it’s been ranked among the world’s most innovative economies for six years in a row.
Richard Das of CDS says he’s encountered this spirit in his work in the country: “The community in Zurich has shown itself to be open to the adoption of technology as part of their problem solving,” he explained. “This openness to exploring technical solutions and using AI and cloud technologies to improve their work has made Switzerland a desirable and wonderful place to work.”
Contributing to their reputation for innovative excellence, the Swiss have the highest ratio of European patent applications to population, and the most highly skilled workforce in the world according to the World Economic Forum.
And it’s a good thing, too, because—for the legal space and many others—the market and demand are only growing. Which, of course, means even more challenges to tackle.
“In the last five years, we have seen an increase in both regulatory and internal corporate investigations,” Richard said. “I imagine this trend shall continue in addition to an uptick in compliance and security monitoring.”
Unique Support for a Unique Environment
With all this in mind, CDS has tailored a specialized strategy when it comes to supporting their clients in Switzerland.
According to Richard, providing the right level of service for this sophisticated business environment comes down to a consultative approach.
“Our experience and expertise with high level e-discovery and cross-border investigations gives us a unique perspective on how to work with our clients and assist them with challenging situations, whether they be compliance-related issues, investigations, or litigations,” he said. “Most unique about our support is our close relationship with the client. We are accustomed to working onsite where we can discuss the best strategies and options with all the stakeholders involved.”
A critical component of those relationships is technical expertise. Richard explained that the CDS team in Switzerland, in addition to having expertise in the e-discovery and legal fields locally and globally, boasts extensive experience with Relativity: all are, at a minimum, Relativity Certified Administrators (RCAs).
“The team in Switzerland consists of 2-3 project managers and an engineer, as well as resources for forensic data collection and infrastructure needs,” he noted.
Armed with this level of collaborative insight, plus the power of RelativityOne, CDS and their clients are sure to make waves in Switzerland.
Sam Bock is a member of the marketing team at Relativity, and serves as editor of The Relativity Blog.