In conversation with Willi Künzli, Konrad Zweigert Scholarship Recipient 2021

April 29, 2021

Willi Künzli is an international legal scholar and attorney from Brazil. In connection with his doctoral project at the University of São Paulo, he conducted research in March and April 2021 as a Konrad Zweigert scholarship recipient at the Institute.

After completing his Masters program in international law at the University of São Paulo, Willi Künzli earned an LL.M. at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. He then completed a post-graduate program in commercial law at the Getulio Vargas ­– São Paulo School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in Brazil (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro) and the United States (New York). At present he is a doctoral candidate at the International Law and Comparative Law Department at the Law Faculty of the University of São Paulo. He has authored various publications, appearing both in Brazil and internationally, on the topics of international law, compensatory damages for competition law violations, and securities litigation.

What research questions brought you to our Institute? 

I am interested in ascertaining and analysing how the private enforcement of competition law has developed in the European Union over the last two decades and why it has made such large strides. Further, I would like to know what the current state of discourse is in this field. In relation to the legal situation in Brazil, this is of particular importance as we are now at an early stage of implementing a private enforcement regime. I would like to compare Brazil’s legal framework with that of Europe, and here Germany falls under special focus.

Why did you decide in favour of a research stay at the Hamburg MPI?

I conduct research at the Department for International Law and Comparative Law at the Law Faculty of the University of São Paulo, and in my work I attach special importance to a correct application of comparative methodology. Additionally, I am an admirer of Jürgen Basedow and his work in the fields of both comparative law and the private enforcement of competition law. I was also drawn to the Hamburg Institute by the comprehensive literature holdings found in its library as well as by the research being done here on civil law liability and its interplay with competition law.

How would you describe your impressions of the Institute to someone who has never been here?

I would describe the Institute as an inviting refuge for scholars from throughout the world whose legal research has them seeking a library with a collection spanning the globe. I would describe it as a calm and relaxing atmosphere populated by top flight scholars and guest researchers with whom you can exchange ideas and experiences.

Is there a spot at the Institute that you are especially fond of?

My workspace in the library with a view of garden in the Institute courtyard. The scenery of the garden and the sound of running water is relaxing and invigorating – a perfect spot to read, concentrate, and find inspiration.



Image: © Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law

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