Legal assistance at the click of a button
In the wake of the Corona Pandemic, there has been a significant rise in the usage of videoconferencing, also in what concerns various areas of law. Accordingly, Swiss Law Solutions now offers the additional possibility of online consultations (the booking system can be found via the blue bar in the bottom right corner of the window).
Flying vehicles, robots for manifold purposes, etc. are frequent concepts in portrayalsof the future. While some futuristic concepts remain a dream, or linger in the various stages of development,one innovation that not so long ago was science fiction does indeed now exist, namely, videoconferencing. Yet still in business it has not been a common form of communication, until the Corona Pandemic impacted the entire globe.
In response to the ensuing lockdown, the Swiss Federal Council has decided that hearings in civil proceedings can be conducted by videoconference if the parties agreeor if important reasons necessitate doing so (Art. 2 para. 1 COVID-19 Ordinance on Justice and Procedural Law). Witnesses can also be questioned and expert opinions given by videoconference (Art. 2 para. 2 COVID-19 Ordinance on Justice and Procedural Law). Moreover, according to Art. 27 para. 1 of the Covid-19 Regulation 3, general assemblies, shareholders' meetings, association meetings, etc. can be held electronically, i.e. also by videoconference. According to the clarifications of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice, aphysical "residual meeting" must nevertheless also take place alongwith such online meetings. The chairman, minute taker, tellers, independent proxies (if necessary), auditors' representatives, and—in the case of resolutions requiringnotarization—a notary must be physically present at the same place. These new facilitations are in force, albeit for a limited period—Covid-19 Regulation 3 until mid-September, and COVID-19 Regulation on Justice and Procedural Law until the end of September 2020. In the coming days, however, the Swiss parliament will discuss the Federal Council's draft for an urgent federal law, which could allow the government’s aforementioned measures to be continued until the end of 2021.
Update: Both Covid-19 Regulation 3 as well as COVID-19 Ordinance on Justice and Procedural Law have been extended until 31 December 2021.
Electronic general meetings have been discussed in legislation for more than a decade. But, it has taken a global crisis for this progress to be realized (albeit now only for a limited time). However, most essential in law is the ease and clarity of communication between lawyer and client, and videoconferencing is undeniably an efficient, fruitful and cost-effective possibility that is in keeping with the challenges and needs of our time.
When legal issues and disputes occur, injudicious action can be avoided and much time and resources spared if advice is obtained from a legal expert before any action is taken. And indeed, online booking systems and videoconferencing render access to legal counsel that is personal and tailored to individual needs and circumstances, and is doable irrespective of the physical whereabouts of a law-seeker (from the office, the home, or while onthe go, etc.).
Thus, the advances in communication technologies of today largely have an immediate and global impact on how we do things tomorrow. Corporations and organizations are examining how to further implement videoconference technology and apply its potential—for example, in improving home office possibilities thus reducing office rental costs, and travel expenses, etc. Under certain circumstances, this can also have beneficial effects on the work-life balance of employees, on commuter traffic, and general CO2 emissions, on housing shortages, and on the environment, etc. A number of international corporations (Twitter, Shopify, Groupe PSA, Slack etc.) are already establishing home office arrangements as thenew norm—if notfor all staff, for a large proportion. Presently, however, the most significant benefit in videoconferencing is its implementation to reduce the infection rateof the Covid-19 Pandemic. In this regard too, it makes sense to offer individuals seeking legal assistance an absolutely safe framework that excludes any healthrisk.
Furthermore, everyday transactions often involve international partners and foreign legal systems. The quick accessibility of online legal advice makes such circumstances easier and safer to meet. Moreover, at the present time, when international travel is limited,online legal counsel may even be the only means by which to obtain legal advice or representation.
A significant advantage for lawseekers is that Swiss Law Solutions not only provides advisory services but, as a classic, well-established and experienced law firm, it also offers litigation and arbitration services. Accordingly, it provides up-to-date modesof assistance, keeps abreast with new legislation and legal developments, and keeps pace with relevant advances in technology, such as the active use of the electroniclegal transaction systems of the Swiss authorities and courts and the abilityto digitally sign and digitally notarize documents.
The procedure for requesting online legal assistance is very simple, and the videoconferencing system implemented (Microsoft Teams) is available free of charge. It providesa high level of data security (with end-to-end encryption) and is established in the corporate sector.
The Covid19-Pandemic has laid bare the close interconnectedness of the governments and countries of the world and of the world’s populations. Decisions made and events that take place within the borders of one country easily impact people, businesses, institutions and organizations in other countries and continents. The challenge is therefore to be well counselled and well prepared. The goal of Swiss Law Solutions is to serve the purpose of the protection of its clients, to further their legitimate interests and support their constructive endeavors in the present profound transformation of global society. In this colossal process of transition from instability and chaos to a sustainable and equitable order, everyone has a role to play.