Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult.
Born 1952 in Hamburg. Study of law and state examinations 1976/1979, Dr. jur. Hamburg (1978). Professor of Roman Law and Comp. Law, Univ. Cape Town (1981-1988); Chair of Private Law, Roman Law and Comp. Legal History, Univ. Regensburg (1988-2018); Affiliate Professor, Bucerius Law School (from 2008). Director and Scientific Member of the MPI for Comparative and International Private Law (from 2002); Honorary Professor Edinburgh (from 2014). Law Faculty Dean in Cape Town and Regensburg; Chairman, Human Sciences Section of the MPS (2006-2010); Senator of the Max Planck Society (2006-2023); Chairman, German Assoc. of Professors in Private Law (2011-2015); Chairman of the Association of Comparative Law (2014-2022); President of the German National Academic Foundation (2011-2023); Speaker of the Senate, European Law Institute (from 2017). Guest Professorships in Chicago (Max Rheinstein Professor), New Orleans, Edinburgh, Stellenbosch, Berkeley, Yale, Cornell, Auckland, Santiago de Chile, Cambridge (A.L. Goodhart Professor and Fellow at St. John’s College) and Oxford (Visiting Fellow, All Souls College). Leibniz Prize of the German Research Assoc. (1996); Medal of Honour of the University of Cologne (2018); Antonio Feltrinelli Prize of the Accademia dei Lincei (2023); Hon. Doctorates from Universities of Chicago, Aberdeen, Maastricht, Lund, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Lleida, Stellenbosch, McGill, Catholic University of Lublin, Universidad de Chile. Scientific Academy Memberships: Göttingen, Bavaria, Netherlands, Austria, Turin, Royal Society of Edinburgh, British Academy. Emeritus since 1 November 2022.