Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Prof. Dr. Dr. Stefan Grundmann

Prof. Dr. iur. Dr. phil. Stefan Grundmann, LL.M. (Berkeley)

Spiegelungen im Alten Palais

Stefan Grundmann ist Ordinarius an der Humboldt-Universität für Privat- und Wirtschaftsrecht und beschäftigt sich besonders mit dessen Internationalen und Europäischen Bezügen.


Current Publications

Curriculum Vitae

Stefan Grundmann (* 1958) is married, with three children, one boy and two girls (16, 13 and 9) and is Professor of Private and Business Law at Humboldt University, Berlin. For his school leaving exam at Maximilians-Gymnasium Munich, he won the Max-Planck-Medal as top-seated of his school. He studied in Munich, Aix-en-Provence, Lausanne (1977-1982), Lisbon and Berkeley (Cal.), Law, Art History and Philosophy. In his first (academic) exam, he was ranked n. 1 out of 1370 candidates in Bavaria, in his second (bar) exam in the top 1 % of his year. In his year in Lisbon (1982/1983), he wrote his comparative law thesis in the area of private international law (PhD awarded on 7 February 1985, summa cum laude), in Berkeley (1987/88) he studied in the Masters Programme, finishing it with A's in all classes and a master thesis on fiduciary duties in trust and in company law relationships (LL.M.). Between 1983 and 1987, he served as an articled clerk at the Court of Appeals of Bavaria (Munich), spent one year at the research centre of IBM on law & informatics and wrote his second dissertation - on Titian and history of mind in his paintings (PhD awarded on 10 February 1988, magna cum laude).

Stefan Grundmann was university research assistant with Klaus Hopt (later the director of the Max-Planck-Institute in Hamburg) from 1988-1995 when he wrote his habilitation thesis on trust relationships, their 'contractual' basis in contract arrangements and in companies (1.3.). He received the venia legendi for Private Law, Business Law, EU Law, Theory of Law, Comparative and Private International Law, 16 February 1995).

He then has held chairs at the universities of Halle-Wittenberg (1995-2001) and Erlangen-Nürnberg (2001-2004) before he went to Humboldt-University in 2004. Both chairs were chairs of German and International Business Law. In Halle, at the Martin-Luther-University, he created the curriculum Law & Economics in 1997 (LL.M. oec.), still producing ten graduates per year. He got offers for chairs as well from Francfort/O. University, a chair of Private International and Transnational Law, and from Regensburg University, a chair of Private Law and Market Regulation, and in 2009, he was also top seated at the University of Vienna for a chair of Austrian and European Company Law. As of 2013, he will be professor for transnational law at the European University Institute (Florence), retaining, however, also the chair at Humboldt University.

Awards and other positions

For his dissertation and for his habilitation, Stefan Grundmann was awarded the faculty prize of Munich University. He held scholarships from the Bayerische Hochbegabtenförderung, from the Studienstifung des deutschen Volkes (also for the dissertation in Lisbon), and from the German Academic Exchange Service (several times). From 1985 through 1994, he served as external adviser of the EU Commission in the GRAFIC project (then DG XV) on the transposition of EC Directives in the area of Financial Services and Company Law (assessing the transposition into German Law of virtually all capital market ad company law directives enacted until then), and from 1996 through 2001 in the ELPA project with Prof. Verny (Prague/Berlin) as an advisor on transposition in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and also Croatia.

From 1999 through 2003, Stefan Grundmann served as external adviser of the Chinese Peoples' Congress ('Parliament') for the legislation in Investment Funds and for the Trust Law (for the latter full draft proposed by him). The contacts are still continuing on various levels, with Chinese graduates now in professorial positions and the upcoming publication of the European Company Law also in Chinese.

He has been visiting professor at King's College London, 1999 until today, at the Rome I University, 'La Sapienza' and LUISS (Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali) summer term 2000 and winter term 2003/04. Later, he was visiting professor at Oxford University (hillary term 2008), at Herzlya University (Tel-Aviv) in the spring term 2009, Fernand-Braudel-Fellow at the EUI in spring 2010 and visiting professor at N.Y.U. and Harvard University in the summer term 2011.

He is founding president and current president of the Society of European Contract Law (SECOLA, 1999-), with annual large scale conferences on important developments of European Contract Law (good part of which is named in the list of publications, sub E4 through E23, see also He also is president of the Luso-German Lawyers Association (2005-, all jurisdictions in Portuguese worldwide). He is co-founder and president (of the steering committee) of the European Law School (Berlin/London/Paris, now also Rome) and director of several institutes in the universities where he holds or held chairs.

He is member of the board of the German Society of Comparative Law, head of the section 'Fundamental Theory', and as such also member of the International Academy of Comparative Law (Académie Internationale de Droit Comparé). Moreover, he is member of the European Law Institute and also member of its council.

Research Profile and Editorships

His research interests include contract law, company and banking law, legal theory, always including comparative and European Private Law. His publications include: The Law of Fiduciary Relationships (1997), European Contract Law (1999), European Company Law (2004, 2007, 2011/12); and several commentaries on banking and German contract law - all books and commentaries in German, European Company Law also in English (2007) and Chinese (forthcoming). European Contract Law in its new shape would be published in German and in English. For further details see his list of publications.

He is editor of the following journals: European Review of Contract Law (editor-in-chief), European Review of Business Law; Bankrecht und Kapitalmarktrecht; Revue de Droit International; International and Comparative Company Law:

  • European Review of Contract Law (managing editor)
  • European Business Law Journal (Kluwer) (editors' board)
  • International and Comparative Corporate Law Journal (Kluwer) (editors' board)
  • Revue de Droit International (Bruylant) (foreign member of the board)
  • BKR – Bank- und Kapitalmarktrecht (Beck) (consulting board)
  • Moreover, he edits the Ius Communiatis textbook series on European Law:
  • Ius Communitatis (C.F.Müller, Heidelberg) (first full textbook series on the different areas of European Law in Germany, textbooks of 500-700 pages, so far: European Legal History, European Company Law [my own contribution, now in its 2nd edition], European Banking and Insurance Law, European Labour Law, European Law on Civil Procedure, upcoming: European Contract Law, European Competition Law, European Constitutional Law, European Criminal Law, European Administrative Law, European Environmental Law, European Tax Law, European Law of Intellectual Property)
  • Ius Communitatis (Intersentia, Antwerp/Oxford): English version of the series, in part with a slightly diverging composition, so far: European Company Law, European Labour Law, European Migration Law, European Criminal Law.

Institute for Banking Law and Capital Market Law

The Institute for Banking Law and Capital Market Law was founded in 1994. It organises various Seminars, where practice meets academia and where often international and interdisciplinary aspects play an important role. It produces a series of publications together with de Gruyter. It has a large, international library.

European Law School

The European Law School has been established since 2007 in collaboration with King's college London, University Paris II - Pantheon/Assas and Humboldt-University Berlin, the first graduation will be in 2010. It will lead to a triple degree, based on traditional national legal education which then is supplemented by modern European, Comparative and interdisciplinary aspects in the core area which each student may choose.

Society of European Contract Law (SECOLA)

In 2000/2001 a society for European contract law was founded which looks at the entire law from the integrated markets in Europe. The Society was intended to be international, interprofessional and interdisciplinary. The Society provides a discussion platform for the concept and regulation requirements of the core area of the central market process, i.e. contract law. One or two conferences per year on core developments are held and published. The Society is financially supported by a group of main sponsors from law firms and banks. The three founding members are Massimo Bianca (Rome, University della Sapienza), Hugh Collins (London School of Economics) and Grundmann.
For more information see

Editorships and Publications

a. Magazines

  • European Review of Contract Law (ERCL), de Gruyter (editor-in-chief)
  • European Business Law Journal (Kluwer) (co-editor)
  • International and Comparative Corporate Law Journal (Kluwer) (co-editor)
  • Bank- und Kapitalmarktrecht (BKR) (Beck) (co-editor)

b. Text book series on Common Market Law Ius Communitatis (C.F.Müller)

Text book series on European Law with 10 volumes each approx. 300 - 500 pages:

  • contract law, corporate law [own contribution], competition law, bank and insurance law (2006)
  • labour law (2009)
  • civil procedure (2009)
  • administrative law, environment law, external trade law, intellectual property law; Corporate law appeared 2004 together with a book on European Legal History
  • three more until now, the remaining volumes follow until 2010

c. Publications on European Contract and Business Law

European Private Law - section: European Contract Law (Secola), Kluwer Law International

d. List of Publications

A list of publications is attached. The monographs/commentaries written by Grundmann include: Banking Supervision in Europe, The Law of Fiduciary Relationships, European Contract Law, European Sales Law, European Company Law, German Banking Law, Law of Currency and Interests, Duty of Care, General Assembly and Shareholder Voting. Moreover, Prof. Grundmann has written a host of contributions in German, European and International Contract Law, Banking Law and Company Law and some research on questions of method and system-building in the law.