Priv.-Doz. Dr. Jan Peter Schmidt

Senior Research Fellow
Head of the Centre for the Application of Foreign Law

Main Fields of Research

International and comparative succession law, European contract law, Latin American Private Law


Jan Peter Schmidt studied law from 1996-2002 at the University of Konstanz and at the Universidad Complutense in Madrid. He completed his legal traineeship (Referendariat) at the Kammergericht Berlin, with stations at, inter alia, the German Embassy in Costa Rica and the German Parliament (Deutscher Bundestag). He has been a research fellow at the Institute since 2004. Until 2011, he headed the Latin America desk, during which time he was on several occasions a guest researcher and lecturer in South America. His dissertation, completed under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Reinhard Zimmermann, was titled “Zivilrechtskodifikation in Brasilien: Strukturfragen und Regelungsprobleme in historisch-vergleichender Perspektive” [The Codification of Private Law in Brazil. Structural Issues and Regulatory Problems from a Historical and Comparative Perspective.] and was honoured with the 2009 Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society. In 2012-2013 he was the Max-Planck-Fellow at the University of Oxford and a research assistant at the Institute of European and Comparative Private Law, then led by Prof. Dr. Stefan Vogenauer. In 2020 he was awarded his post-doctoral degree by the University of Regensburg in connection with a historical and comparative study on the winding up of decedents’ estates.

At present he is heading the Centre for the Application of Foreign Law, which in particular coordinates the preparation of expert reports commissioned by German courts.

Jan Peter Schmidt is chair of the German-Brazilian Lawyers’ Association and member of a number of legal associations.

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