Life after UniNE

“I advise companies thinking of setting up offices in Shanghai”

Lise Tissot, Lawyer in Shanghai

Lise Tissot completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Law at the University of Neuchâtel, in 2005 and 2006 respectively. She now lives in Shanghai, where she works as a lawyer for the firm Eiger Law. Since 2012, Lise Tissot she has also been a member of the administrative board of SwissCham, the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai.


What does your work entail?

The firm has two offices: one in Shanghai, and one in Taipei (Taiwan). The cases we take on mainly relate to business law — so, corporate law, commercial law, intellectual property, fiscal law and labour law. Eiger Law’s clientèle ranges from big multinationals to SMEs, working in a variety of professional sectors.

In my work, I advise and assist overseas companies thinking of setting up offices in Shanghai, or across the so-called Greater China region, as well as those who want to expand their business. Sometimes I also advise clients on Swiss law, when it’s relevant.

Aside from that, I’ve recently been elected member of the administrative board of the Swiss Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai. The Swisscham’s aim is to promote and support the global success of the Swiss business community operating in China.

Were you able to get this position right after your university studies?

I think that becoming a qualified lawyer in Switzerland after my Master’s degree played a big part in getting me this job, as it allows me to work on specific cases and exchange ideas with clients.

Before I went to Shanghai, I worked for two years in legal protection insurance in Lausanne, which was important as it taught me about the range of legal cases I’d deal with in Shanghai.

As for your studies, why did you choose this path?

When I was fifteen, just before starting high school, I did a week-long internship at a law practice. I took to it straight away, especially the variety of legal problems and the diversity of clients I met. After that, I never saw myself doing anything other than a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in law at the University.

And why the University of Neuchâtel?

I went to different open day events organised by the universities in French-speaking Switzerland. I also took some courses. I soon realized that a lecture room with 350 students, some sitting on the staircases, wasn’t for me. The contrast with Neuchâtel, where I could appreciate the smaller auditoria straight away, was striking. I was living in Corcelles (Canton of Neuchâtel) at the time, and the short distance from the city played a part in my choice.

And the strong points of your programme?

The range of classes, the mixture of Master’s specializations, the quality of the teaching, not to mention the friendships I built with my fellow students. A lot of this is down to the University’s size!

Another strength of Neuchâtel’s Faculty of Law is the accessibility of the professors. In other universities, the professors have to teach with a microphone, and don’t have the time to answer questions; at Neuchâtel, it’s easier to talk to them.

What have you taken from your studies?

My studies gave me a solid legal grounding, but not just that. I also learned how to put theory into practice, thanks to the various Master’s seminars I took.

What would you advise a future student?

Make the most of the opportunity to study different types of law, of how accessible the professors and assistants are, of the chance to speak in class, to take part in seminars, and to benefit from the University’s exchange programmes.

I have great memories of my years at the University of Neuchâtel. All the more so because the setting is magnificent — at lunchtime, you really appreciate how close you are to the lake!

Interview UniNE 2012