He went to school in the Rhineland in Germany. Following National Service, he studied Law, Philosophy, and Latin at the universities of Cologne, Hamburg, and Edinburgh. He is a fully qualified German lawyer, and practiced mostly in private law. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Bonn with a thesis on European competition law, and his habilitation from the University of Munich with a thesis on comparative Anglo-German personal property law. He also graduated LLM from the University of Edinburgh, and was conferred an MA by the University of Oxford. He held posts in Oxford (1997-2003) ; Max-Planck-Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich (2003-2008) ; and York (2008-2013). He returned to Oxford in 2013.