I was born in Zurich on 24th August 1958, the second son of Pierre and Hélène (née Rachmaninoff). I attended school here and studied at the Faculty of Law & Political Science at the University of Zurich. In 1986, I acquired the title of Attorney at Law. After writing two scientific theses, I graduated in 1989 as Doctor of Law from the University of Zurich with a thesis on animal welfare and fundamental rights.
Law offices of Dr. Hans H. Schmid, subsequently Drs. Schmid & Goetschel
Law firm Drs. Goetschel & Raess at Zurich Römerhof
Independent lawyer in Zurich in cooperation with the "Foundation for Animals in Law"
Partner in the law firm Krepper, Knecht & Partner in Zurich
Lawyer, executor of wills and consultant for international animal law and ethics at Hoeschgasse Consultants
I practice across a wide spectrum of legal areas but deal mainly with civil law (inheritance, association and foundation law, personal protection, family law, claims, and business law).
In addition to this, I have dedicated my career to animal issues in national/international law and ethical practice, and work as a lecturer at the Law Department of the University of Zurich. For almost thirty years, I have worked for the better legal protection of humans, animals and the environment, and have expressed my opinions in various publications.
In 1994, I founded the "Foundation for Animals in Law" (www.tierimrecht.org) and headed the organization until 1st November 2007. On the recommendation of a number of animal welfare organizations, I was appointed by the government to the post of "Lawyer for animal protection in criminal matters in the Canton of Zurich, Switzerland". The only position of its kind in the world, I represented the interests of animals in administrative criminal proceedings against animal cruelty and animal welfare adversity. The Zurich Parliament abolished this role in 2010 as part of the changes to the newly introduced Federal Code of Criminal Procedure.
I also acted as a legal adviser to the Association of Swiss Veterinarians (GST), the Federal Association of Practical Veterinarians (BPT) and the German Veterinary Medical Society DVG, and was consulted by them at numerous conferences, home and abroad.
Between 2003 and 2007, I was a member of the Executive Board and Vice President of the Association for Family Support Facilities (FEE) in the Swiss municipality of Meilen. During my military career in Switzerland, I obtained the rank of officer. I am a father of three children and live in Hombrechtikon, Switzerland.
I am a member of the Zurich and Swiss Bar Association and registered in the Zurich Bar Registry. I have been actively involved in numerous cantonal, national and international bodies during the last thirty years.