Dr. Antonia Sommerfeld

Senior Research Fellow under Prof. Dr. Ralf Michaels

Main Fields of Research

Civil law; Commercial Law; Private International Law; European Private Law; International and European Civil Procedure; International Arbitration, Comparative Law


Antonia Sommerfeld studied law at the University of Hamburg and the Université Aix-Marseille, Aix-en-Provence (France) with support from a Deutschlandstipendium scholarship. During her studies she worked as a student research assistant at the University of Hamburg under Professor Dr Bettina Heiderhoff (Chair for Civil Law with emphasis on Succession Law, Family Law and European Private Law) and under Professor Dr Peter Mankowski (Chair for Civil Law, Comparative Law, Private International Law and International Civil Procedure). She graduated from law school with the First State Exam in law at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court in 2016.

From 2016, she was a doctoral candidate under Prof. Dr. Peter Mankowski at the University of Hamburg. Her thesis was supported with a scholarship from the FAZIT Foundation and accompanied by a membership in the Albrecht Mendelssohn Bartholdy Graduate School of Law (AMBSL), University of Hamburg. From 2017–2020, she worked as a research assistant at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law. In the Lent Term 2019 she was a visiting researcher at the University of Cambridge. She has taught courses at the University of Hamburg and at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing. Her dissertation, entitled AGB-Reform und Rechtsflucht. Bedeutung der Rechtsflucht für die AGB-Reformdebatte im unternehmerischen Rechtsverkehr (Reform of the law on standard form contracts and legal flight. The significance of legal flight for the German reform debate in commercial contracts), was awarded with the 2021 Werner von Melle Prize from the Hamburgische Wissenschaftliche Stiftung and an award from the Esche Schümann Commichau Foundation.

From 2020–2022, she was a legal trainee (Rechtsreferendarin) at the Hamburg Higher Regional Court, passing the Second State Exam in 2022. During this legal traineeship, she worked i.a. at the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations in New York and the offices of the Research Services of the German Bundestag.

Antonia Sommerfeld has been a senior research fellow at the Institute since 2023.

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