Baker McKenzie Award 2018 for two outstanding dissertations on commerical law at Goethe University

Dr. Greg Lourie received the Baker McKenzie Award for his work on investment protection law; Dr. Stefanie Merenyi for her work on substance law.

On the occasion of the doctoral awards ceremony of the Faculty of Law at Goethe University, Frankfurt, Baker McKenzie presented the prize for two outstanding dissertations in the field of commercial law on 10th May 2019. Donated by the international law firm and endowed with 6,000 euros, the Baker McKenzie Award went to the legal scholars Dr. Greg Lourie and Dr. Stefanie Merenyi, whose doctoral theses were honoured with ‘summa cum laude’. Dr. Joachim Scherer, partner at Baker McKenzie, presented the award.

The award-winning thesis of Dr. Greg Lourie is entitled “Interpretation of Investment Agreements. A new Concept for the Interpretation of Investment Agreements through Amicable Means and State-to-State Arbitration”. The starting point of his paper is that international investment protection law (IIL) is currently facing a crisis. “Greg’s work contributes to overcoming the legitimacy crisis of IIL, or at least its dispute resolution system. It shows a creative and feasible way and proposes to rely on state-to-state dispute settlement (SSDS) and to (re)include the states as ‘masters of the treaties’,” comments mentoring professor Dr. Rainer Hofmann, professor for Public Law, International Law and European Law at Goethe University, in his evaluation of the dissertation. 

Dr. Stefanie Merenyi received the award for her dissertation “The Concept of Substance in Law. An Interdisciplinary Study on Substance Law in Consideration of Patent-Related Matters” (Der Stoffbegriff im Recht. Eine interdisziplinäre Studie zum Stoffrecht unter Berücksichtigung des auf Stoffe gerichteten Patentwesens). “Stefanie Merenyi concludes that, despite the significance of the concept of substance in modern law, no adequate reflection on its foundations takes place,” says Professor Eckard Rehbinder, Institute for International and European Private Law and Comparative Law at Goethe University, who supervised the dissertation. He describes the dissertation as “an interdisciplinary thesis in the best sense of the word”, bridging the gap between human sciences and natural sciences. In his opinion, Stefanie Merenyi masters the keyboard of numerous scientific disciplines perfectly.

Since 1988, Baker McKenzie has awarded the Prize for outstanding dissertations or professorial theses written at the Faculty of Law at Goethe University. “The Baker McKenzie Award is a traditional, integral part of our promotion of young legal talent,” says Dr. Joachim Scherer of Baker McKenzie, who himself studied law, earned his doctorate and was appointed extraordinary professor of public law in 1995 at Goethe University. The career paths of the previous winners of the Baker McKenzie Award are manifold. Many award winners are university professors today, as well as corporate lawyers, investment bankers, judges and lawyers.

Baker McKenzie advises clients on managing the challenges of globalisation, in particular with regard to legal issues that cross national borders and areas of law. The firm, which was founded more than 65 years ago, employs 13,000 individuals worldwide. In Germany, approximately 200 lawyers work at offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main and Munich. A leading German law firm, Baker McKenzie advises national and international companies and institutions in all areas of commercial law.

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