Prof. Dr. Ralf Michaels, LL.M. (Cambridge)


Main Fields of Research

Private International Law, Comparative Law, Private Law Theory, Law and Globalization


Ralf Michaels has been a Director at the Institute since 2019.
He is additionally Global Law Professor at the Queen Mary University of London and Professor of Law at the University of Hamburg.

After studying law in Passau and Cambridge, which concluded with his sitting for the first state exam in law in 1994, Ralf Michaels was a senior research assistant under Prof. Klaus Schurig (Chair for Private Law, Private International Law and Comparative Law) at the University of Passau. In 1995 he was awarded a Master of Laws (LL.M.) at Cambridge University (King’s College).

Ralf Michaels first came to the Institute in 1997, where he served as an academic staff member until 1999 under Prof. Jan Kropholler. Conferral of his doctoral degree and completion of the second state exam in law followed in 2000. In 2001 he returned to the Institute as a research fellow before then relocating  to Duke University School of Law for the next 17 years: he served until 2007 as Assistant Professor, subsequently as Professor and from 2012 until 2019 as Arthur Larson Professor of Law.

Ralf Michaels was Guest Professor at the Universities of Panthéon/Assas (Paris II), Princeton, Pennsylvania, Toronto, Tel Aviv and the London School of Economics; he was also Senior Fellow at Harvard Law School, Princeton University (Program in Law and Public Affairs) and the American Academy in Berlin. He is a titular member of the Académie internationale de droit comparé and a member of, among other entities, the American Law Institute, the Gesellschaft für Rechtsvergleichung (German Society for Comparative Law), the Deutschen Gesellschaft für Internationales Recht (German Society for International Law) and the Zivilrechtslehrervereinigung (Association of Professors in Private Law).

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