Holger Spamann L.L.M. ’01 S.J.D. ’09, an expert in corporate governance and finance, has been appointed as a tenured professor of law at Harvard Law School.
Spamann joined the HLS faculty in 2009 as a Lecturer on Law and he was named an assistant professor of law in 2011. He also served as co-executive director of HLS’s Program on Corporate Governance.
“Holger is a polymath; his knowledge spans the psychology of judges, the diffusion of legal systems across borders, comparative corporate governance, corporate law theory, law and economics, experimental design, and the impact of regulation on accounting and finance practices,” said Martha Minow, Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Harvard Law School. “He honed his legal knowledge –and knowledge of five languages– in France, Germany, England, and the United States, and his deep learning across many disciplines is matched by his contagious intellectual curiosity and scrupulous scholarly integrity. Accomplished scholar, imaginative and devoted teacher, and fantastic interlocutor and colleague, Holger is a treasure!”
Spamann’s research focuses on the law and economics of corporate governance and financial markets, judicial behavior, and comparative law. His work combines traditional legal tools with theoretical and empirical approaches from the social sciences, including mathematical models, statistics, and experiments.
This spring, he taught “Corporations” and “Hedge Fund Law and Policy” at HLS. Last fall, he was a visiting assistant professor of law at the University of Chicago.
“I am so thrilled and honored to join this faculty permanently,” Spamann said. “Harvard is unrivaled in my fields of corporate law and law & economics. My colleagues and my students are amazing. I could not be happier.”
Before embarking on his academic career, Spamann was a trainee lawyer (“Referendar”) under the direction of the Court of Appeals for the State of Hamburg in Germany. Prior to this, he worked in private equity M&A as an associate with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York.
Spamann has produced influential research in corporate law and governance in a number of journals and his work has been featured prominently on Social Science Research Network’s (SSRN) list of the 100 most-cited law professors. His articles include “The U.S. Crime Puzzle: A Comparative Perspective on U.S. Crime & Punishment,” 18 American Law and Economics Review 33-87 (2016); “Empirical Comparative Law,” Annual Review of Law & Social Science 11 131-153 (2015); “Fixing Public Sector Finances: The Accounting and Reporting Lever” (with James Naughton), 62 UCLA Law Review 572-620 (2015); “The ‘Antidirector Rights Index’ Revisited,” 23 Review of Financial Studies 467 (2010), and “Regulating Bankers’ Pay” (with Lucian Bebchuk), 98 Georgetown Law Journal 247 (2010). One of his current working papers, “Monetary Liability for Breach of the Duty of Care?,” recently won the 2016 prize for the best working paper in the law series of the European Corporate Governance Institute.
He is also the author of “Corporations: Virtual Casebook,” an online substitute for a traditional hardbound casebook, and the creator of the “Simplified Codes” website, which provides students with a more accessible version of the Delaware General Corporation Law and a guide to the Federal Proxy Rules.
In addition to an LL.M. and an S.J.D. from Harvard Law School, Spamann holds a Ph.D. and an A.M. in economics from Harvard University, a B.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics, as well as a German law degree from the University of Hamburg and a French law degree from the Sorbonne. He has fluency and/or proficiency in five languages: German, French, English, Russian and Spanish.