Institute for Law and Finance

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Institute for Law and Finance
Institute for Law and Finance logo.png
Established 2002
Type Graduate School
Dean Prof. Dr. Andreas Cahn
Students around 50 LL.M. Finance students per year
Location Frankfurt, Hesse, Germany
Campus Campus Westend, Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Institute for Law and Finance (ILF) is a graduate school which was established as a non-profit foundation in 2002 by Goethe University Frankfurt am Main with the support of many prominent institutions. Leading commercial banks and international law firms, the Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the City of Frankfurt and the State of Hesse, as well as the European Central Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank are actively involved in the ILF right from the planning stages until today. The ILF provides interdisciplinary training to lawyers, senior management and executives in Germany and worldwide and serves as a policy center in the legislative process by offering forums for discussions and exchanges between academia and practitioners.

The ILF offers the LL.M Finance Degree Program, Spring School on "Corporate Law in Practice" and Summer School on "Law of Banking and Capital Markets.

The Executive Director of the ILF is Andreas Cahn, Dresdner Bank Foundation Professorship, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main. Theodor Baums, DekaBank/Helaba Foundation Professorship, Professor of Civil, Business & Banking Law, ILF, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main and Manfred Wandt, Dean of the Law Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main are directors of the ILF.

Martin Blessing, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors of the Commerzbank chairs the ILF Board of Trustees.

LL.M. Finance Program[edit]

The ILF at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main offers a unique one-year postgraduate program leading to a LL.M. in Finance (LL.M. Finance) for graduate students with a Bachelor's degree in law, business, or economics. German is not a requirement for admission since all courses are conducted in English. Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main is one of Germany’s most prominent higher education institutions.

About 50 highly qualified graduates will be admitted for study. The program is aimed at students with a prior degree in law or business/economics and who have an interest in combining theoretical knowledge with practical training in law and international finance. Previous professional experience is not a requirement, but would be an advantage. The emphasis is on international diversity, with over 20 different countries represented among the students. The program builds on the role of Frankfurt am Main as a leading banking, central banking and financial center of the European Union.

The curriculum is interdisciplinary covering all aspects of international financial law with emphasis on the EU and the US, along with parallel developments in the field of international finance. Among the courses from which the students can choose are Law of Corporate Finance, Capital Markets and Securities Law, Financial Intermediation and Risk Management, Financial Markets and Institutions, Corporate Taxation as well as Effective Negotiations. Additionally, the program features a comprehensive variety of courses in Insurance Law and Risk Management as well as Law of Investment Banking and Project Finance.

Since 2008, together with the Universities of Deusto, Tilburg, and Strasbourg, the ILF also offers the Erasmus Mundus „Master in Transnational Trade Law and Finance“, a Master’s program which has received the approval of the European Union.

ILF students are fully enrolled members of Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, which confers the LL.M. Finance degree.


The LL.M. Finance program incorporates a special two-month internship with public and private institutions which support the ILF. These institutions typically include leading international law firms, banks, international accounting firms, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, BaFin and others. The ILF internship program offers a valuable opportunity to acquire relevant working experience and to create a network of professional contacts.

International Student Exchange Programs[edit]

The ILF maintains student exchange programs with Columbia Law School,[1] Aarhus School of Business,[2] and Amsterdam Business School.[3]

Spring and Summer Schools[edit]

Every year, the ILF also offers 2-week summer and spring schools. Experts from law firms and banks from the list of ILF’s sponsors provide an intensive insight into the practical issues involved in corporate law as well as the law of banking and capital markets to about 40 pre-selected legal trainees. The spring and summer schools are held in the German language.


The ILF faculty consists of both leading academics as well as experienced practitioners from Europe’s financial world, leading international law firms and the European Central Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank(German Central Bank) and BaFin (German Financial Supervisory Authority).

Governing Boards[edit]

The governing boards of the ILF are the Executive Board, Board of Trustees, Academic Advisory Board and the Donors´Committee.

Executive Board[edit]

  • Prof. Dr. Dres. h.c. Theodor Baums, DekaBank/Helaba Foundation Professorship, Professor of Civil, Business & Banking Law, ILF, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Cahn, Dresdner Bank Foundation Professorship, Executive Director of the ILF, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Wandt, Dean of the Law Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

Board of Trustees[edit]

  • Mr. Martin Blessing, Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, Commerzbank (Chairman of the ILF Board of Trustees)
  • Mr. Hans Eichel, Member of the Federal Parliament of Germany, former Federal Minister of Finance
  • Prof. Dr. Bernd Fahrholz, Ehrensenator, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main (Honorary Senator of Goethe University)
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Gasteyer, Partner, Clifford Chance
  • Dr. Hendrik Haag, Partner, Hengeler Mueller
  • Mr. Dieter Haferkamp, former Member of the Governing Board, Deutsche Bundesbank
  • Dr. Roger Kiem, Partner, Shearman & Sterling
  • Prof. Dr. Jan-P. Krahnen, Professor at the Department of Business & Economics, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  • Dr. Berthold Kusserow, Partner, Linklaters
  • Mr. Hermann-Josef Lamberti, Member of the Board of Managing Directors, Deutsche Bank
  • Dr. Gunther Merl, former Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, State Bank of Hesse-Thuringia
  • Prof. Dr. Werner Müller-Esterl, President, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  • Dr. Dietrich Rethorn, General Counsel, State Bank of Hesse-Thuringia
  • Mr. Antonio Sainz de Vicuna, General Counsel, European Central Bank
  • Mr. Jochen Sanio, President, Bundesanstalt für Finanz- dienstleistungsaufsicht
  • Dr. Thomas Schäfer, Minister of Finance, State of Hesse
  • Prof. Dr. Rudolf Steinberg, former President, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
  • Franz S. Waas, PhD., Chairman of the Board of Managing Directors, DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale
  • Prof. Dr. Manfred Wandt, Dean of the Law Faculty, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main

Academic Advisory Board[edit]

  • Mr. Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European central bank (ECB) (Chairman)
  • Professor Guido Ferrarini, Professor of Law, University of Genoa
  • Professor Julian Franks, Professor of Finance, London Business School, Academic Director of London Business School’s Centre for Corporate Governance
  • Professor Ronald Gilson, Professor of Law and Business, Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School
  • Professor Karel van Hulle, Head of Unit Insurance and Pensions Financial Institutions, Internal Market Directorate-General, European Commission

Donors´ Committee[edit]

  • Mr. Klaus-Albert Bauer, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Chairman)
  • Mr. Okko Hendrik Behrends, Partner, Allen & Overy
  • Dr. Michael Bernhardt, Partner, Willkie Farr & Gallagher
  • Dr. Günther Bräunig, Member of the Board of Managing Directors, KfW Bankengruppe
  • Prof. Dr. Wulf Döser, Senior Counsel, Baker & McKenzie
  • Ms. Sabine Felix, Partner, Jones Day
  • Dr. Torsten Fett, Partner, Noerr
  • Mr. Alexander Foerster, Partner, Mannheimer Swartling
  • Mr. Stephan Gittermann, Partner, Mayer Brown
  • Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Haarmann, Partner, Haarmann Partnerschaftsgesellschaft
  • Mr. Thomas Heymann, Partner, Heymann & Partner
  • Mr. Thorsten Höche, General Counsel, Bundesverband Deutscher Banken (The Association of German Banks)
  • Mr. Matthias Kasch, Partner, White & Case
  • Dr. Helge Kortz, Partner, Gleiss Lutz
  • Dr. Tobias Krug, Partner, Ashurst
  • Ms. Claudia Leyendecker, Partner, Luther
  • Mrs. Marcia L. MacHarg, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton
  • Dr. Roger Müller, General Counsel, Head of Legal Affairs and Market Policy, Deutsche Börse Group
  • Mr. Panagiotis Paschalis, General Counsel, IKB Deutsche Industriebank
  • Mr. Florian Roeckl, General Counsel, J.P. Morgan AG
  • Dr. Karl-Peter Schackmann-Fallis, Executive Director, Deutscher Sparkassen-und Giroverband
  • Mr. Stefan Seip, Chief Executive Officer, BVI Bundesverband Investment und Asset Management e.V
  • Mr. Thomas Schrell, Partner, SJ Berwin
  • Dr. Jürgen van Kann, Partner, Fried Frank
  • Dr. Philipp von Randow, Partner, Latham & Watkins
  • Dr. Benedikt von Schorlemer, Partner, Dewey & LeBoeuf
  • Dr. Matthias Wehling, Member of the Board of Managing Directors, Ernst & Young
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfram Wrabetz, CEO Helvetia Versicherungen and Vice- President, Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce and Industry
  • Dr. Jürgen Ziebe, General Counsel, BHF-Bank


The ILF is located in the House of Finance at Campus Westend of the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, which offers the most modern equipment and facilities and state of the art technology for the use of its students during their studies at the ILF. About 150 researchers with special interests in various aspects of finance coming from several academic research and training units are working together. As a result, our students have increased contact and network opportunities available due to the presence of researchers and experts working in the field of law and finance at the House of Finance.

The House of Finance combines the university's interdisciplinary research on finance, monetary economics, and corporate and financial law under one roof. The institutions housed in the House of Finance pursue the common goal of strengthening research and teaching in the realm of finance.

The Departments of Finance and Money and Macroeconomics of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, and the Unit Law and Finance of the Faculty of Law contribute to the academic reputation of the House of Finance as do the other well-established institutions of the university – the Center for Financial Studies (CFS), the Institute for Law and Finance (ILF), the E-Finance Lab (EFL), the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS) and the Goethe Business School (GBS). The Frankfurt MathFinance Institute (FMFI) is attached to the Faculty of Computer Sciences and Mathematics and associated to the House of Finance through an outlet.


External links[edit]