ELI Council Elects Next ELI President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer


On 11 February 2021, during their remote meeting, Members of the ELI Council elected with an overwhelming majority the next ELI President, Vice-Presidents and Treasurer, who will take up office in September 2021 for a two-year term.

The elections brought forth professor Pascal Pichonnaz (University of Fribourg, Switzerland) as the next ELI President, Lord John Thomas (House of Lords, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales) as the First Vice-President, Anne Birgitte Gammeljord (attorney-at-law, Denmark) as the Second Vice-President, and professor Pietro Sirena (Dean of Bocconi Law School, Italy) as Treasurer.

All elected officers are currently serving on the ELI Executive Committee and have vast experience with managing the Institute.

Current ELI President, professor Christiane Wendehorst, continues to serve her second consecutive term as the President of the ELI until September 2021 and was not able to stand another time under the ELI Statute. President Wendehorst wishes her successor the best of success. 

The newly elected members of the Executive Committee will take up office in September 2021 and serve for a term of two years in their new function, ending in 2023. In September 2021, the ELI Council will complete the newly composed Executive Committee by electing three further members.

The elections were overseen by the Returning Officer and Speaker of the ELI Senate, professor Reinhard Zimmermann, in accordance with the ELI Statute and the Election Byelaw.

More information about the forthcoming leadership of the ELI is available below.

Pascal Pichonnaz is currently professor (since 2000) for Swiss and comparative contract law, Roman law, as well as European consumer law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Fribourg. Pichonnaz was Dean of the Faculty of Law from 2014–2017 and published several books on various aspects of contract law (Swiss and comparative law), Roman law, as well as unfair competition and family law. Pichonnaz is also a member of several boards of Swiss and international legal periodicals. He is a standing member of the Jury of the Premio internazionale di diritto romano Gérard Boulvert and is active as an international commercial arbitrator as well as arbitrator at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). He has been member of the board and then president in 2008–2009 of the European Law Faculties Association (ELFA). He is also currently Chair of the Swiss Federal Commission for Consumers.

Lord John Thomas was a practicing barrister in England and Wales until 1996, a Judge of the High Court and Court of Appeal of England and Wales (1996–2013) and then Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales (2013–2017). He was President of the European Network of Councils of the Judiciary (ENCJ) (2008–2010). He is President of the Qatar International Court, an active member of the Upper House of the UK Parliament, a practicing commercial arbitrator, chairman of a number of legal committees in London, Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, an Honorary Fellow of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Universities of Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea. He is one of ELI’s Founding Members.

Anne Birgitte Gammeljord is a practising Danish Supreme Court lawyer. She is assistant lawyer in insolvency matters at the Maritime and Commercial Court in Denmark. She previously served on the Disciplinary Committee of the Danish Bar and Law Society and as a member of the Council of the Danish Bar and Law Society. She was President of the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) in 2009 and has been a Member of the ELI Council and its Membership Committee since 2012.

Pietro Sirena is professor of civil law, European private law, and comparative private law at Bocconi University, where he has served since 2018 as Dean of the Law School. He also serves on the Board of the Society of European Contract Law (SECOLA) and as Director of the Società Italiana per la Ricerca nel Diritto Comparato (SIRD). In 2018, he was elected membre associé of the Académie International de Droit Comparé (AIDC). He is co-editor of the series of books European Contract Law and Theory (Intersentia) and Cultura giuridica e rapporti giuridici (Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane), as well as member of several scientific societies and boards of legal journals.