Born on May 4, 1965 in Erlangen.
Studied law and economics in Cologne. First State Examination in Law 1990. Dr. iur. with a thesis on company law ("Subordination of Shareholder Loans in Company Law" [translation]) at the University of Cologne in 1992. Master of Laws (LL.M.), University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, 1993. Diplom-Kaufmann (business degree) at the University of Cologne in 1994. Second State Examination in Law 1995.
Research assistant at the Institute for Labour and Commercial Law in Cologne for Prof. Dr. Herbert Wiedemann 1995-1999, research visits during this time to Brussels, Milan, Paris and London. Dr. iur. habil. in 1999 on a private law topic ("Informational Asymmetry in Contract Law. A Comparative and Interdisciplinary Examination of the Scope and Limits of Pre-Contractual Duties of Disclosure"[translation]) at the University of Cologne.
Winter Semester 1999/2000 Interim Professor at the University of Bayreuth. Declined the appointment to a C4-professorship for Civil Law in Bayreuth and accepted an appointment to a C4-professorship at the University of Göttingen. From 2000-2003 full professor at the University of Göttingen, Chair for Civil Law, Commercial and Business Law, and Comparative Law. From 2003-2009 full professor at the University of Bonn, initially as Director of the Institute for Tax Law and from 2005 onward Director of the Institute for Commercial and Business Law. Director at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law since April 1, 2009.