22 August 2023
Table of contents
- WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROCESSING YOUR DATA?
- FOR WHAT PURPOSES DO WE PROCESS WHICH OF YOUR DATA?
- WHERE DOES THE DATA COME FROM?
- WHO DO WE DISCLOSE YOUR DATA TO?
- DOES YOUR PERSONAL DATA ALSO END UP ABROAD?
- WHAT RIGHTS DO YOU HAVE?
- HOW ARE COOKIES, SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIES AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLUG-INS USED ON OUR WEBSITE AND OTHER DIGITAL SERVICES?
- HOW DO WE PROCESS PERSONAL DATA ON OUR SOCIAL NETWORKING PAGES?
- WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED?
Niedermann Attorneys at Law (the "Firm", hereinafter also "we", "us") is a law firm with its registered office in Zurich, Switzerland. In the course of our business activities, we obtain and process personal data, in particular personal data about our clients, associated persons, counterparties, courts and authorities, correspondent law firms, professional and other associations, visitors to our website, participants in events, recipients of newsletters and other bodies or their respective contact persons and employees (hereinafter also "you"). In this data protection declaration we inform you about these data processing operations. In addition to this data protection declaration, we may inform you separately about the processing of your data (e.g. in the case of forms or contractual terms).
2. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROCESSING YOUR DATA?
The data protection officer is responsible for the processing described in this data protection declaration:
Niedermann Attorneys at Law
3. FOR WHAT PURPOSES DO WE PROCESS WHICH OF YOUR DATA?
When you use our services, www.niedermann.com (hereinafter "website"), or otherwise deal with us, we obtain and process various categories of your personal data. In principle, we may obtain and otherwise process this data in particular for the following purposes:
• Communication: We process personal data so that we can communicate with you as well as with third parties, such as parties to proceedings, courts or authorities, by e-mail, telephone, letter or otherwise (e.g. to answer enquiries, in the context of legal advice and representation as well as the initiation or execution of contracts). This also includes that we may send our clients, contractual partners and other interested persons information about events, changes in the law, news about our law firm or similar. This may take the form of, for example, newsletters and other regular contact (electronic, postal, telephone). You can refuse such communication at any time or refuse or withdraw your consent to such communication. For this purpose, we process in particular the content of the communication, your contact data and the marginal data of the communication, but also image and audio recordings of (video) telephone calls. In the event of an audio or video recording, we will inform you separately and you are free to inform us if you do not wish a recording to be made or to terminate the communication. If we need or want to establish your identity, we will collect additional data (e.g. a copy of an ID card).
• Initiation and conclusion of contracts: With regard to the conclusion of a contract, such as in particular a contract for the establishment of a client-lawyer relationship, with you or your client or employer, which also includes the clarification of any conflicts of interest, we may in particular obtain and otherwise process your name, contact details, powers of attorney, declarations of consent, information on third parties (e.g. contact persons, details of family and counterparties, contract contents, conclusion date, creditworthiness data and all other data which you provide to us or which you have provided to us (e.g. contact persons, family details and counterparties), contract contents, date of conclusion, creditworthiness data and all other data which you provide to us or which we collect from public sources or third parties (e.g. commercial register, credit agencies, sanctions lists, media, legal protection insurance or the Internet).
• Administration and processing of contracts: We obtain and process personal data so that we can comply with our contractual obligations towards our clients and other contractual partners (e.g. suppliers, service providers, correspondence law firms, project partners) and, in particular, so that we can provide and demand the contractual services. This also includes data processing for client management (e.g. legal advice and representation of our clients before courts and authorities and correspondence) as well as data processing for the enforcement of contracts (debt collection, legal proceedings etc.), accounting and public communication (if permitted). For this purpose, we process in particular the data which we receive or have collected in the course of the initiation, conclusion and execution of the contract as well as data which we create in the course of our contractual services or which we collect from public sources or other third parties (e.g. courts, authorities, counterparties, information services, media, detective agencies or from the Internet). Such data may include, in particular, minutes of conversations and consultations, notes, internal and external correspondence, contractual documents, documents that we prepare and receive in the course of proceedings before courts and authorities (e.g. statements of claim, appeals and complaints, judgments and decisions), background information about you, counterparties or other persons as well as other mandate-related information, performance records, invoices and financial and payment information.
• Improving our electronic offers: In order to continuously improve our website and other electronic offerings, we collect data about your behaviour and preferences by, for example, analysing how you navigate through our website and how you interact with our social media profiles.
• Registration: In order to use certain offers and services (e.g. free WLAN, newsletter, secure FTP server), you must register (directly with us or via our external login service providers). For this purpose, we process the data disclosed during the respective registration. Furthermore, we may also collect personal data about you during the use of the offer or service; if necessary, we will provide you with further information about the processing of this data.
• Security purposes as well as access controls: We obtain and process personal data to ensure and continuously improve the appropriate security of our IT and other infrastructure (e.g. buildings). This includes, for example, monitoring and controlling electronic access to our IT systems as well as physical access to our premises (also by means of procedures involving the processing of biometric data), analyses and tests of our IT infrastructures, system and error checks and the creation of security copies. For documentation and security purposes (preventive and incident investigation), we also keep access logs or visitor lists in relation to our premises and use surveillance systems (e.g. security cameras). We draw your attention to surveillance systems at the relevant locations by means of appropriate signs.
• Compliance with laws, directives and recommendations from authorities and internal regulations: We obtain and process personal data to comply with applicable laws (e.g. anti-money laundering, tax obligations or our professional obligations), selfregulations, certifications, industry standards, our corporate governance and for internal as well as external investigations to which we are a party (e.g. by a law enforcement or supervisory authority or a mandated private body).
• Risk management and corporate governance: We obtain and process personal data in the context of risk management (e.g. to protect against tortious activities) and corporate governance. This includes, among other things, our business organisation (e.g. resource planning) and corporate development (e.g. acquisition and sale of business units or companies).
• Job application: If you apply for a job with us, we obtain and process the relevant data for the purpose of reviewing the application, conducting the application procedure and, in the case of successful applications, for the preparation and conclusion of a corresponding contract. For this purpose, in addition to your contact details and the information from the corresponding communication, we also process in particular the data contained in your application documents and the data as we can additionally obtain about you, for example from job-related social networks, the Internet, the media and from references, if you consent to us obtaining references.
• Other purposes: Other purposes include, for example, training and educational purposes and administrative purposes (e.g. accounting). We may listen to or record telephone or video conferences for training, evidence and quality assurance purposes. In such cases, we will notify you separately (e.g. by displaying a notice during the video conference in question) and you are free to tell us if you do not wish to be recorded or to end the communication (if you simply do not wish your image to be recorded, please turn off your camera). In addition, we may process personal data for the organisation, implementation and follow-up of events, such as in particular lists of participants and the content of presentations and discussions, but also image and audio recordings made during these events. The protection of other legitimate interests is also one of the other purposes, which cannot be named exhaustively.
4. WHERE DOES THE DATA COME FROM?
• From you: The majority of the data we process is provided by you (or your terminal device) (e.g. in connection with our services, the use of our website and apps, or communication with us). You are not obliged to disclose your data, with exceptions in individual cases (e.g. legal obligations). However, if you want to conclude contracts with us or use our services, for example, you must disclose certain data to us. The use of our website is also not possible without data processing.
• From third parties: We may also take data from publicly accessible sources (e.g. debt enforcement registers, land registers, commercial registers, media or the internet incl. social media) or receive such data from (i) public authorities, (ii) your employer or client who either has a business relationship with us or otherwise deals with us, as well as from (iii) other third parties (e.g. clients, counterparties, legal protection insurers, credit reference agencies, address dealers, associations, contractual partners, internet analysis services). This includes in particular the data that we process in the context of the initiation, conclusion and execution of contracts as well as data from correspondence and discussions with third parties, but also all other categories of data pursuant to section 3.
5. WHO DO WE DISCLOSE YOUR DATA TO?
In connection with the measures described in section 3 we transmit your personal data in particular to the categories of recipients listed below. If necessary, we obtain your consent for this or have our supervisory authority release us from our professional duty of confidentiality.
• Service providers: We work with service providers in Switzerland and abroad who (i) process data on our behalf (e.g. IT providers), (ii) process data jointly with us or (iii) process data on their own responsibility which they have received from us or collected for us. These service providers include, for example, IT providers, banks, insurance companies, debt collection companies, credit reference agencies, address checkers, other law firms or consulting companies. We usually agree contracts with these third parties on the use and protection of personal data.
• Clients and other contractual partners: First of all, this refers to clients and other contractual partners of ours for whom the transfer of your data results from the contract (e.g. because you are working for a contractual partner or he provides services for you). This category of recipients also includes bodies with which we cooperate, such as other law firms in Switzerland and abroad or legal expenses insurers. The recipients process the data under their own responsibility.
• Authorities and courts: We may disclose personal data to offices, courts and other authorities in Switzerland and abroad if this is necessary for the fulfilment of our contractual obligations and in particular for the conduct of our mandate, or if we are legally obliged or entitled to do so, or if this appears necessary to protect our interests. These recipients process the data under their own responsibility.
• Counterparties and persons involved: To the extent necessary for the performance of our contractual obligations, in particular for the management of the mandate, we also disclose your personal data to counterparties and other persons involved (e.g. guarantors, financiers, affiliated companies, other law firms, respondents or experts, etc.).
• Other persons: This refers to other cases where the inclusion of third parties arises from the purposes pursuant to section 3. This concerns, for example, delivery addressees or payment recipients specified by you, third parties within the framework of representative relationships (e.g. your lawyer or your bank) or persons involved in official or legal proceedings. We may also disclose your personal data to our supervisory authority, in particular if this is necessary in individual cases to release you from our professional duty of confidentiality. If we work with the media and provide them with material (e.g. photos), you may also be affected. In the course of business development, we may sell or acquire businesses, parts of businesses, assets or companies, or enter into partnerships, which may also result in the disclosure of data (including about you, e.g. as a client or supplier or as their representative) to the persons involved in these transactions. Communications with our competitors, industry organisations, associations and other bodies may also involve the exchange of data relating to you.
All these categories of recipients may in turn involve third parties, so that your data may also become accessible to them. We can restrict processing by certain third parties (e.g. IT providers), but not by other third parties (e.g. authorities, banks, etc.).
We also allow certain third parties to collect personal data from you on our website and at events organised by us, also on their own responsibility (e.g. media photographers, providers of tools that we have integrated on our website, etc.). Insofar as we are not decisively involved in these data collections, these third parties are solely responsible for them. If you have any concerns or wish to exercise your data protection rights, please contact these third parties directly. We have explained your rights in section 7 listed. You can find information about the activities on our website in section 8.
6. DOES YOUR PERSONAL DATA ALSO END UP ABROAD?
We process and store personal data mainly in Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA), but depending on the case - for example via subcontractors of our service providers or in proceedings before foreign courts or authorities - potentially in any country in the world. Your personal data may also be transferred to any country in the world in the course of our activities for clients.
If a recipient is located in a country without adequate data protection, we contractually oblige the recipient to comply with an adequate level of data protection (for this purpose, we use the revised standard contractual clauses of the European Commission, which can be accessed here: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dec_impl/2021/914/oj? , including the supplements necessary for Switzerland), unless the recipient is already subject to a legally recognised set of rules to ensure data protection. We may also disclose personal data to a country without adequate data protection without concluding a separate contract for this purpose if we can rely on an exceptional provision for this purpose. An exception may apply in particular in the case of legal proceedings abroad, but also in cases of overriding public interests or if the performance of a contract which is in your interest requires such disclosure (e.g., if we disclose data to our correspondence offices), if you have given your consent or it is not possible to obtain your consent within a reasonable period of time and the disclosure is necessary to protect your life or physical integrity or that of a third party, or if it concerns data which you have made generally accessible and the processing of which you have not objected to. We may also rely on the exemption for data from a register provided for by law (e.g. HR) to which we have been legitimately given access. We may also rely on the exception for data from a register provided for by law (e.g. HR) to which we have been legitimately given access.
7. WHAT RIGHTS DO YOU HAVE?
You have certain rights in connection with our data processing. In accordance with applicable law, you may in particular request information about the processing of your personal data, have incorrect personal data corrected, request the deletion of personal data, object to data processing, request the release of certain personal data in a standard electronic format or its transfer to other data controllers.
If you wish to exercise your rights against us, please contact us; you will find our contact details in section 2. In order for us to be able to rule out abuse, we must identify you (e.g. with a copy of your identity card, if necessary).
Please note that prerequisites, exceptions or restrictions apply to these rights (e.g. for the protection of third parties or business secrets or due to our professional duty of confidentiality). We reserve the right to black out copies or to supply only excerpts for reasons of data protection or confidentiality.
8. HOW ARE COOKIES, SIMILAR TECHNOLOGIES AND SOCIAL MEDIA PLUG-INS USED ON OUR WEBSITE AND OTHER DIGITAL SERVICES?
You can set your browser to automatically reject, accept or delete cookies. You can also deactivate or delete cookies in individual cases. You can find out how to manage cookies in your browser in the help menu of your browser.
Both the technical data collected by us and cookies do not generally contain any personal data. However, personal data that we or third-party providers commissioned by us store from you (e.g. if you have a user account with us or these providers) may be linked to the technical data or to the information stored in and obtained from cookies and thus possibly to your person.
We also use social media plug-ins, which are small pieces of software that create a connection between your visit to our website and a third-party provider. The social media plug-in tells the third-party provider that you have visited our website and may send the third-party provider cookies that they have previously placed on your web browser. For more information on how these third-party providers use your personal data collected through their social media plug-ins, please refer to their respective privacy statements.
Currently, we may use offers from the following service providers and advertising partners in particular, whereby their contact details and further information on the individual data processing can be found in the respective data protection declaration:
Some of the third-party providers we use may be located outside of Switzerland. Information on the disclosure of data abroad can be found under section 6. In terms of data protection law, they are in part "only" order processors of us and in part responsible bodies. Further information on this can be found in the data protection declarations.
9. HOW DO WE PROCESS PERSONAL DATA ON OUR SOCIAL NETWORKING PAGES?
We operate pages and other online presences on social networks and other platforms operated by third parties and process data about you in this context. In doing so, we receive data from you (e.g. when you communicate with us or comment on our content) and from the platforms (e.g. statistics). The providers of the platforms may analyse your usage and process this data together with other data they have about you. They also process this data for their own purposes (e.g. marketing and market research purposes and to manage their platforms), and act as their own data controllers for this purpose. For more information on processing by platform operators, please refer to the privacy statements of the respective platforms.
We are entitled, but not obliged, to check third-party content before or after it is published on our online presences, to delete content without notice and, if necessary, to report it to the provider of the platform concerned.
Some of the platform operators may be located outside Switzerland. Information on data disclosure abroad can be found under section 6.
10. WHAT ELSE NEEDS TO BE CONSIDERED?
We do not assume that the EU General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR") is applicable in our case. However, if this should exceptionally be the case for certain data processing operations, this section shall additionally apply exclusively for the purposes of the GDPR and the data processing operations subject to it.
We base the processing of your personal data in particular on the fact that
• they are as defined in section 3 is necessary for the initiation and conclusion of contracts and their administration and enforcement (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. b DSGVO);
• it is necessary to protect the legitimate interests of us or of third parties as described in section 3 namely for communication with you or third parties, to operate our website, to improve our electronic offers and registration for certain offers and services, for security purposes, for compliance with Swiss law and internal regulations for our risk management and corporate governance and for other purposes such as training and education, administration, evidence and quality assurance, organisation, implementation and follow-up of events and to safeguard other legitimate interests (see section 3) (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO);
• it is required or permitted by law on the basis of our mandate or position under the law of the EEA or a member state (Art. 6(1)(c) DSGVO) or is necessary to protect your vital interests or those of other natural persons (Art. 6(1)(d) DSGVO);
• you have separately consented to the processing, e.g. via a corresponding declaration on our website (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a and Art. 9 para. 2 lit. a DSGVO).
We would like to point out that we will process your data for as long as it is necessary for the purposes for which we process it (see section 3), the legal retention periods and our legitimate interests, in particular for documentation and evidence purposes, or for as long as storage is technically necessary (e.g. in the case of backups or document management systems). If there are no legal or contractual obligations or technical reasons to the contrary, we generally delete or anonymise your data after the storage or processing period has expired within the scope of our usual processes and in accordance with our retention policy.
If you do not provide certain personal data, this may mean that it is not possible to provide the related services or conclude a contract. We always indicate where personal data requested by us is mandatory.
The procedure described in section 7 applies in particular to data processing for the purpose of direct marketing.
If you do not agree with our handling of your rights or data protection, please let us know (see contact details in section 2). If you are in the EEA, you also have the right to complain to the data protection supervisory authority in your country. A list of the authorities in the EEA can be found here: https://edpb.europa.eu/about-edpb/board/members_de.