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VISCHER Legal Innovation Lab

Not only do we develop legal solutions for our clients, we also develop new formats for this. The VISCHER Legal Innovation Lab is an initiative founded in 2023 to better promote and further develop various projects of ours in the area of legal technology and other forms of innovation in the field of law and throughout the law firm. In this context, we also want to go down paths that at first glance seem unusual for a traditional Swiss business law firm. Our experience to date shows that we are on the right track. For us, however, legal tech in particular should not be a gimmick or merely lip service, but should make our work and its benefits more efficient, accessible and also better in terms of content.

In the VISCHER Innovation Lab, we not only work in the field of law, we also develop our solutions ourselves as far as possible from a technical point of view, including AI-based solutions. This helps us to understand the problems associated with technology, such as the use of the cloud or generative AI, from our own perspective. This, in turn, enables us to better advise our clients and really know what we are talking about.

Some results from our work:

  • VISCHER Privacy Score (VPS) – a tool with which companies can measure their performance where data protection is concerned. Questionnaires are completed and the tool provides an analysis of data protection compliance and makes concrete recommendations on how to reduce vulnerabilities. We offer the tool under licence to our clients and others. At privacyscore.ch an online version can be used by anyone free of charge; if you complete the questionnaire online, the evaluation will be sent to you in PDF format. We have implemented the solution internally and it has already been used by numerous companies in Switzerland and abroad.
  • Cloud Compliance Risk Assessment (CCRA) – a tool that enables financial institutions (CCRA-FI) and public administrations and hospitals (CCRA-PS) to review, assess, and document their compliance and risks as they make the transition to the cloud. CCRA-PS is offered free of charge as open-source software, and CCRA-FI is available for a licence fee. Various financial institutions use the tool, as do public institutions and hospitals in the cantons and the federal government. Our competitors also use CCRA-PS to advise their clients on such projects. CCRA complements the “Rosenthal Method”, another tool that our partner, David Rosenthal, developed in 2019 to assess foreign lawful access risks, published in 2020 as open-source software that is now considered standard in Switzerland and beyond, also for Transfer Impact Assessments in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Swiss Data Protection Act.
  • Eggheads data protection training – together with the Swiss start-up eggheads, we have developed a chat-based awareness program for data protection in international corporate groups. The employees in the company in question receive regular links which lead them through the principles of data protection law in 60 to 90-second long chat sequences. It complements the classic data protection training, for which we have also developed video content.
  • Legal Budgeting Tool – since 2022, the first teams at VISCHER have been using an Excel-based tool for budgeting legal work, with which clients can be offered much greater transparency and budget security than traditional cost estimates provide. In the meantime, predefined services and work products can even be offered on this basis, so that our clients can compile their consulting programme like on a “menu” and immediately know what it will cost them.
  • Data Protection Impact Assessment with AI assistant – we have developed the first Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) that can fill out itself for a project of the Association for Corporate Data Protection (VUD). The template is Excel-based and can – based on a project description – propose risks, measures and risk assessments needed for a DSFA, making it easier for users to complete it. The template is available free of charge at https://vud.ch/dpia and https://vud.ch/dpia (in German).
  • VISCHER GPT – an AI text generator developed by us based on OpenAI's GPT models, which can also process very long texts, for example to generate contract blanks or analyze longer texts. This template is available free of charge at https://www.rosenthal.ch/downloads/VGPT-E.xlsm and https://www.rosenthal.ch/downloads/VGPT-D.xlsm (in German).
  • AI training – we believe that today everyone should use generative AI profitably and safely for suitable tasks in their profession. We therefore also promote the use of such tools in all functions within VISCHER and make them available together with appropriate training courses. Due to corresponding demand, we now also offer these training courses to other law firms and legal services (see below).
  • Virtual presenter for training purposes and more - we do not only train our employees in using generative AI, we also use it for training. For example, with our virtual presenter Diana Perry, we can produce explainer and training videos for data protection in various languages more easily and cost-effectively, or even use avatars of other people.

Innovation not only means the use of technology, but also new forms in which we develop our legal work products for our clients – if it is appropriate.

For instance, our data protection team has made a name for itself in its industry for its various “one pagers”, most of which it also publishes and thus makes available to the whole community. The one-pager on the revised Data Protection Act (German, English, French) and the first privacy policy which only fills one page (German).

In other cases, we use new visualisation techniques to better communicate our content. In a dispute in the field of criminal sanctions, we presented the management of a client, who was tired of the classic memos, with its legal challenges and the corresponding solution in an interactive mind map. Not only were we quicker, but we were also able to achieve the goal better.

In such cases, we resort to existing tools that our specialists search for, evaluate and make fit for our purposes, in particular with regard to the protection of professional secrecy, for use in everyday consulting. For example, we have implemented applications in collaboration with such companies and institutions as Remarkable, the Harvard Law School Library and Microsoft. For the Swiss Bar Association (SAV), we have developed the contractual basis so that Swiss law firms can use the Microsoft cloud for M365.

Do you have any concerns or ideas in the legal field that you or your company would like to implement in cooperation with an innovative law firm? Please don’t hesitate to contact our VISCHER Legal Innovation Lab.

Contact person:  David Rosenthal 


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