Melanie Schärer


Membership profile

Position: Attorney-at-law

Type of Occupation: Private Practice Lawyer

Area of expertise: Anti-Doping, Contractual / Commercial matters, Disciplinary Matters, Dispute Resolution, Governance / Regulatory work, Players’ Unions / Clubs’ Unions

Member of the month: March, 2024

We are delighted to announce our Member of the Month, Melanie Schärer.

Melanie is a Founder and Attorney-at-Law MS International Law 

Where are you currently based?
I am based in Pfäffikon SZ, on the shores of lake Zurich, about 30km from Zurich, Switzerland.

What is your current position?
In 2010, I set up my own law firm, MS International Law, which I have been running ever since and which specialises in sports law.

How did you get involved in sports law?
I took a job at FIFA because at the time I was looking for a job the market for lawyers was difficult. So, it was purely by coincidence. Compared to many of my sports-loving colleagues, I never planned to go into sports law. But don’t get me wrong. I fell in love with sports law area working in this field.

Any advice for someone trying to break into the sector?
Network, for example by joining WISLaw. Attend sports law events, e.g., of WISLaw, LawInSport, ASDS, AIAF or Orell Füssli. Study the statutes and regulations of national and international federations and read as many CAS awards as possible to gain knowledge.

What is your most memorable achievement as a lawyer?
Being self-employed for more than 14 years and having satisfied clients who value me and my services; being free.

What is one of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career?
Switching off and taking time off. And giving up coffee!

What has been your favourite part of serving as WISLaw President?
The year as president was the icing on the cake of my WISLaw story. As one of the three founders of WISLaw, it means so much more to me that we have all managed to bring this association into existence and helped many members to obtain visibility and make business contacts. Women can learn to network better. WISLaw has become an established community with a voice in the industry, and I am very proud of that. I look back on many wonderful experiences and joyful moments.

What are some of your favourite hobbies?
Travelling, reading books, going for walks by the lake or in the forest, philosophising about life and being with my family.

If you weren’t a lawyer, what career do you think you would have chosen?
Philosopher, interior designer of flats and houses, piano player at a hotel bar or spiritual medium with tarot cards.