Lukas Bühlmann

MLL Legal

Schiffbaustrasse 2, PO Box
8031, Zurich, Switzerland
Tel: +41 58 552 03 50


Peers and clients say:

"Lukas is incredibly knowledgeable in this field"
"He is always looking for practical solutions"


Lukas Bühlmann is partner and co-head of the firm’s digital, data privacy and e-commerce group. Before joining MLL Legal in 2017, Lukas spent more than 10 years building up his own boutique firm with an international practice specialised in digital legal matters. He advises and represents clients in the internet and e-commerce sector, in the health sector and in the tourism and transportation industry. He regularly advises clients in e-commerce, data protection, advertising and all legal aspects of the digital economy.

What have been the most notable changes to the data sector within the past five years?

The data-based economy has literally exploded. The related legal challenges are becoming increasingly complex and interdisciplinary. This presents an increasing difficulty not only for clients, but also for us lawyers. The whole picture is accentuated by increasingly complex national and international regulation. In Switzerland, the paradigm shift brought about by the EU GDPR and the revision of the Swiss Data Protection Act were, of course, dominant. Finally, the importance of cybersecurity and cybercrime has also increased massively.

In what ways are data-driven technologies such as AI having an impact on the Swiss legal market?

The targeted and efficient use of data-driven technologies (including AI) will rapidly develop into a core competence of law firms. The international verticalisation of the legal market in combination with the accentuating client expectations on the efficiency of legal services will lead to law firms having to be able to use these tools in all areas of their activities. This will become a prerequisite for survival in competition. However, the digitalisation of law firm processes will also lead to law firms gaining a new, much more comprehensive understanding of their clients. This is to the benefit of both the clients and the law firm itself. It is therefore crucial that law firms openly embrace this development.

To what extent are privacy laws in Switzerland developing in accordance with other countries?

Switzerland lies at the heart of Europe; its economy is internationally networked like hardly any other country. At the same time, Switzerland is a small country. Accordingly, Swiss law has always been strongly influenced by the legal systems of its largest economic partners. In the area of data protection, it is vital for the Swiss economy that no additional market barriers are created by differing regulation. The new Swiss data protection law accordingly is based on the fundamental principles of the EU GDPR.

To what extent have you noticed an increase in the amount of data protection cases since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the drive towards remote working?

If there is one good thing about the coronavirus pandemic, then it is the great driving force for digitisation. We do see this when looking at our client’s businesses, the way we interact with clients and the way we operate as a law firm.

The rapid increase in digitisation naturally leads to an increased need for advice on data protection compliance. At the same time, however, it has also led to a significant increase in the awareness of data protection issues in businesses’ day-to-day work. Both factors lead to an increasing importance of data protection law in our team’s practice. But it is digitalisation that is decisive, not the pandemic. The latter is only an accelerator.

What is your biggest concern for the future regarding privacy and people’s ability to interact online?

I see the enormous increase in cybercrime as a great concern. With increasing digitalisation, the vulnerability of our society to cybercrime is also growing, and with it, of course, the threat to our personal rights. If we do not manage to get a grip on this threat, the unlimited possibilities of digital interaction might quickly be de facto massively restricted, because the risks associated with enabling these digital solutions will become too big, both for companies and for all of us. But I am afraid that the law will be of very limited help.

How does MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep set itself apart from competitors in the Swiss legal market?

We have one of the largest teams in ICT and digital. At the same time, we are part of one of the largest law firms in Switzerland with a clear focus on technology, regulated industries, IP and ICT. We are virtually the big tech boutique law firm in Switzerland.

In what ways has MLL Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Froriep implemented the use of data-driven technologies within its own practice?

MLL has digitalised a comparatively large part of its processes and systems. Last year, we moved our communication and data storage to one of the large public clouds and we have a LegalTech department at management level with the mission to continuously evaluate and implement new application areas of data-driven processes for internal and external use. We have formed partnerships with software developers with the aim of developing our own solutions in certain areas for ourselves and our clients.