Where to find legal help in Geneva, Lausanne, Vaud

Geneva, Switzerland – Legal problems can crop up unexpectedly, related to disputes with service suppliers, or the company that’s just delivered your new kitchen appliances, or even with health insurers.

The question is who to go to when we need quick legal help – of any kind – in Geneva and surrounding areas.

There are several permanences juridiques that offer quick, low-cost legal guidance to your rights under cantonal and Swiss law. These permanences offer legal advise on everything from health insurance to work permits and renter’s rights.

Residents in Lausanne and towns in Vaud should look up the Vaud State Bar if looking for information on lawyers in their canton. Walk-ins are welcome at the bar association’s offices in Lausanne, and they are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 16:00 to 19:00. Places are limited. A 15-minute meeting costs CHF40.

Similar options are available throughout French-speaking Switzerland: just look for the Permanence Juridique in your area.

Additional resources

GenevaLunch’s editor-in-chief, Ellen Wallace, tells us of another source of quick, affordable, legal help: consumers unions. Of these, the Fédération Romande des Consommateurs is key in the Lake Geneva region. Check out their rates page: membership is CHF50 a year and legal fees are lower if you are a member. They also offer a wealth of online information and advice about what your options are and what steps to take before you see a lawyer.

They provide a useful list of ombudsmen and mediators in Switzerland, some of which are federal offices while others are run by associations. The information is in French, but their telephone receptionists often speak English.

The travel ombudsman office, for example, helped a number of British travelers whose luggage went missing in early January 2010 due to a baggage handlers’ sudden strike at Geneva airport.


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  1. […] If you can’t attend but would like to benefit from free, or low-cost, legal advise read my earlier post: Where to find legal help in Geneva, Lausanne and canton Vaud. […]

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the overview above. I am in need of legal advise in relation to my current employment in Geneva. Could you recommend a legal office which specialises in employees’ rights etc?

    Many thanks,