At Baker & McKenzie’s annual summer event, attorneys met high above the rooftops of Vienna, where the law firm introduced its most recent initiative to around 200 guests.

Accompanied by the "Baywatch" theme song, Managing Partner Alexander Petsche presented "Digital Wave", Baker & McKenzie's online magazine on digitalization. A movie clip evoked nostalgia in many guests and made them think of times long past: When you had to search for your music on the shelves of "Virgin Megastore", when your telephone was wired or when you had to put film in your camera.

"A few years ago, you could still believe that this was a niche problem. But whoever claims not to be interested in digitalization today will soon be overtaken by reality", Alexander Petsche explains the motive for the new online magazine. "We want to help Austrian enterprises to ride that wave." Currently, the country was on the verge of sleeping through the fourth industrial revolution.

Baker & McKenzie as digitalization pioneer

Thanks to its law firm network being the largest in the world, Baker & McKenzie is able to recognize sooner than any other law firm which sectors will be affected by digitalization next. "That is why we are pioneers in Austria and we are the first law firm that has set up its own team for the digital transformation", says Alexander Petsche. With the words "These are our surfers", the Managing Partner introduced the three attorneys who form the heart of Baker's digitalization team in Vienna.

Marc Lager, Antitrust and Corporate Partner, sees the team's main task in monitoring and analyzing the constantly changing legal framework conditions:

New business models mean new risks. Our online magazine is intended to provide guidance and orientation for the enterprises.

One of the greatest challenges is the labor market becoming more and more flexible as a result of the digital transformation. "There is considerable uncertainty with regard to crowdworking & co. and expensive mistakes are being made", says Philipp Maier, Partner and head of the Vienna employment law team. Lukas Feiler, head of the IT and IP team in Vienna, explains: "Most enterprises have realized by now that data protection is an issue. Monetization of data, however, is still in its infancy in Austria."

On, the team will from now answer questions relating to digitalization asked by companies' decision-makers and legal departments.


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