In order to meet the complex requirements of the mandate as a member of the supervisory board, it is essential for me to have an in-depth understanding of the markets relevant to the company, including all challenges, dangers and economic opportunities. This is the only way for me as a member of the supervisory board to correctly assess opportunities and risks in difficult situations and, together with management, to find an adequate way to achieve the companies’ goals.
For me, personal integrity means not only reconciling and maintaining professional ethics and actual actions, but also showing a sense of responsibility towards the company and its stakeholders. For me, this also includes collegial co-operation with the other board members on the supervisory board and management board.
For me, commitment means the willingness to provide efficient and effective advice and control at all times, to be uncomplicated in my dealings, down-to-earth and approachable. The familiarization with complex issues - even under time pressure - and the provision of clear assessments is an essential part of my service orientation.
Studies in Freiburg, Lausanne and Frankfurt am Main
I was born and raised in Westphalia/Germany. After high school graduation, I began double degree studies in law and political science at the University of Freiburg. This was followed by a semester abroad in Lausanne/Switzerland and a move to the University of Frankfurt am Main. I also took my first state law exam in Hesse. I then began the legal clerkship in Hamburg, where I also completed my political studies with a masters’ degree in political science.
Legal clerkship in Hamburg, Washington D.C. and Speyer
During the legal clerkship I worked at the Hamburg Regional Court, the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Further positions took me to the Federation of German Industries (BDI) in Washington D.C./USA and to the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer. In 2009 I passed the second state examination in Hamburg. In the same year I was admitted to the bar.
PhD in Cologne and Master of Laws in Japan
Subsequently, I received my doctorate in corporate law from Professor Barbara Dauner-Lieb at the University of Cologne on a corporate governance topic. Already during my doctoral studies I worked for an established regional law firm and represented numerous companies throughout Germany in labor court proceedings and in the field of international commercial law. Subsequently, I completed an LL.M. course with a focus on Japanese law as a scholarship holder of the Robert Bosch Foundation with a research stay in Kyōto/Japan.
Attorney in Hamburg, London and Munich
After completing my doctoral thesis, I joined White & Case, a leading major American law firm, where I worked for several years as an attorney in the corporate and capital markets law department in Hamburg, London and Munich. At the same time, I successfully completed the specialist lawyer course in tax law. This was followed by several years working in the Hamburg office of CMS Hasche Sigle, an equally renowned international law firm, in the area of corporate law and private clients.
Professor, director of the WIRE institute and member of supervisory boards
After many years of university teaching in German and English in the fields of commercial and corporate law, venture capital and business law, I accepted a professorship in business law at the private Nordakademie University of Applied Sciences in 2016. There I am also Director of the Institute for Applied Business Law. From 2017 to 2021 I was parallel working as an Of Counsel at Eversheds Sutherland. I have been appointed Faculty Member of the Institute of Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances in Vienna in 2018 and Senior Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley (Grantee of the Fulbright Commission) in 2019. In the year 2021 I founded my law firm and work parallel as advisory board member.
Since 2019, I have also been hosting the successful TV formats "North German Business Talks" and "Science in Dialogue" on TV-channel Hamburg 1.
Social commitment and family
In my spare time, I am involved in church and social institutions. I am a mentor of the Deutschlandstiftung Integration, an honorary knight of the Order of St John, a member of the board of trustees of the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Society and an honorary board member of the Nordakademie Foundation. In 2012 I received the White & Case Pro Bono Award and in 2019 the Fulbright Certificate of Excellence.
I live with my wife and our daughters in Hamburg.
I have published several law books and textbooks as well as numerous professional articles in renowned journals. In addition, I am active as editor, among others of the German professional journal "SanierungsBerater". I am quoted by many standard legal works and by courts in the fields of private law, corporate law and insolvency law. Furthermore, I regularly hold lectures on legal topics and am the nationwide head of the specialist lawyers' course in commercial and corporate law at Fuerstenberg seminars. I am also a lecturer at the German Lawyers' Institute and at the specialist seminars of the BetriebsBerater. A detailed list of my scientific publications and lectures can be found here.
In addition to many other professional memberships, I am active in the Working Group of German Supervisory Boards and the Scientific Association for Corporate and Company Law.
In accordance with the German Corporate Governance Code (DCGK), the supervisory board should also consist of independent members. Such members may not have any personal or business relationship with the company, its executive bodies, a controlling shareholder or any company affiliated with it.
Of course, I can never rule out the possibility that during a supervisory board mandate the company will be advised by me as a lawyer on specific individual points; however, I always strive to be an independent supervisory board member.