5 minutes with: Prof. Christopher Bisping

The British lawyer is looking forward to working in the Master of Law and Business Program - and also to being in the "most British of all German cities".

Forschung & Fakultät |

Prof. Christopher Bisping has taken up his post as Dean of the Bucerius Master of Law and Business (MLB) Program in September 2021. He succeeds Prof. Clifford Larsen, who led the program for the past fifteen years. The Master's program complements the traditional legal education at Bucerius Law School, which leads to the state examination, with an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented program for students who aspire to international careers in law and business.

Prof. Bisping holds both the First and Second State Law Examinations in Germany, but subsequently worked primarily in the United Kingdom, including at the University of Leicester and the University of Warwick. His research there focused on international contract and consumer law.

Cultural and educational differences

Due to his background, Bisping knows both Germany and the United Kingdom very well: this experience allows him to observe both countries like an outsider, without being too dogmatic.

In Germany, for example, he observed that teaching is often quite lecture style oriented. In the United Kingdom, this is different: Basic content is also taught in large groups - but otherwise these events are supplemented by learning in small groups. At Bucerius Law School, he appreciates the fact that the teaching style is more "British" in this respect.

Asked about cultural differences between Germany and Bisping's previous place of work, he says: To him, Germans often seem rather direct, while Brits tend to be more reserved. In Great Britain, people often complain behind each other's backs. In Germany, on the other hand, he has the impression that people prefer to tell each other directly what the other person has done wrong.

However he is also able to identify many similarities: In particular, British and Germans like beer and bratwurst in equal measure - in contrast to the French, Bisping jokes.


Advantages of an international perspective on law

Bisping is certainly also very familiar with the legal systems of the two countries: There are of course differences here as well, as the United Kingdom belongs to the "common law" legal system, while Germany has a "civil law" legal system. What is interesting, however, is that despite all the differences in legal figures and structures, the answers to legal questions often do not differ that much - on the contrary, they are usually very similar or even identical.

What is really exciting, however, is when legal systems give different answers to the same questions. The reasons for this are also useful for understanding one's own legal system, says Bisping. In general, it is useful to realize that the answers given by one's own system are not the only possible ones: Therein also lies the value of an international perspective on law, as taught in the master's program at Bucerius Law School.


Hamburg: a fantastic place to live, work - and study

Bisping is not only looking forward to his job as dean, which will allow him to take a step back and gain a different perspective on teaching. He also finds the city of Hamburg beautiful: It is the most British of all German cities. Moreover, it is surrounded by water and nature, truly a green city.  Overall, Hamburg is a fantastic place to live, work and study, adds Bisping, smiling.


Arne Lemke, translated by David Patrician