Walter van Gerven - Biographical Data#

Academic career

Walter van Gerven (Born 1935, St. Niklaas, Belgium) was appointed associate professor in law at the K.U. Leuven (Belgium) in 1962 and a full professor in 1967. In 1982, he became extraordinary professor until 2000, teaching primarily European Community law, commercial law and private law. He was Vice-Rector Human Sciences of his University (1970-76). He has been a teaching fellow at the University of Chicago (1959-60) and visiting professor at the University of Chicago (1968), the University of Amsterdam (1981-86), Université Paris II (1995), University of Maastricht (1994-2000), King’s College London (1998 - ), Stanford University (2003-04), Michigan University (2006) and Tilburg University (2005-2008).

Walter van Gerven is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences of Belgium, and the Academy’s past president, a member of the Academia Europaea and of the Dutch Academy of Sciences. He is a doctor h.c. of the University of Gent and honorary bencher of Gray’s Inn, London.

Walter van Gerven is on the board of several scientific committees and international journals. He is the founder and General editor of the series of Casebooks on the Common law of Europe (Hart Publishing Oxford) and the author of several books amongst which the leading textbook in Dutch on European competition law, and an essay on The European Union: a Polity of States and Peoples (Stanford University Press and Hart Publishing Oxford (2005). He has written numerous articles in Dutch, English and French on mainly European and comparative law.

Legal practice

Walter van Gerven started his legal career in the Brussels office of Cleary Gottlieb (1960-66). He was a member of the Brussels bar (until 1980) and a founding partner of De Bandt & Van Gerven (now Linklaters) in Brussels). He pleaded several competition cases before the European Court of Justice, including the Dyestuff case, on behalf of the European Commission, and the Hugin case, on behalf of the company.

From 1982 until 1988, Walter van Gerven was President of the Belgian Banking Commission, the supervisor of commercial banks and public issues, and was a member of the European Banking committee. From 1989 until 1994, he was, as Advocate General, a member of the European Court of Justice, taking approximately 180 Opinions before the Court in all areas of European Community law.

After his departure from the Court, Walter van Gerven served on several European committees, including the committee charged by the European Parliament to investigate mismanagement in the European Commission (Feb. 1999) and to give recommendations on the reform of the Commission (Sept. 1999). Until September 2004, he was a member and chair of the Inter-institutional monitoring committee on European financial markets (the Lamfalussy process). Thereafter, he was a member and chair of the think tank instituted by the European Commission in 2005 on the issue of private enforcement of European antitrust law. In 2007 he was a member of the Independent Panel, chaired by Paul A. Volcker, reviewing the World Bank Group Department of Institutional Integrity, and was co-chairing the panel instituted by the Brussels Court of Appeal to investigate the Fortis holding debacle, and a member of the Belgian Parliament’s special experts committee investigating the banking crisis. He has been a member of the board of directors of BASF Belgium, Bank Brussels Lambert (now ING), Janssen Pharmaceutica, VUM and KBC Group.
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