26 Sep 2019

An academic life in law and finance

In memory of Brigitte Haar, scholars met for a symposium at the House of Finance

In March of this year, Brigitte Haar has passed away at the age of 54. At the House of Finance, scholars came together on 24 September for the symposium “An academic life in Law and Finance – commemorating Brigitte Haar” to honor their colleague and friend by discussing topical issues in her research field.

From 2004 on, Ms. Haar had been a Professor at Goethe University for Private Law, German, European, and International Business Law, Law and Finance, and Comparative Law. Since the founding of the House of Finance at Goethe University, Brigitte Haar had represented the “Corporate and Financial Law” group of researchers in the boards of the House. She had brought in her research as a Principal Investigator and represented the Department of Law in the Center’s Scientific Board since the establishment of the LOEWE Center SAFE in 2013.

The symposium was organized by the Center for Advanced Studies on the Foundations of Law and Finance (LawFin), the Research Center SAFE, and the European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI). Topics of the symposium were, among others, “The Overstated Stewardship Potential of Index Funds”, “Stewardship and Shareholder Engagement in German Corporate Governance” or “ESG Disclosure and Performance: A Cross-Country Analysis”.

“The best way to honor Brigitte Haar and her memory is to vividly discuss the topics she has dedicated her academic oeuvre to,” Albrecht Cordes said, Vice Dean of the Law Faculty of Goethe University, opening the symposium. Uwe Walz, SAFE Director, recalled that Haar set the starting point of Law and Finance in Frankfurt, for example through setting up the Ph.D. program Law and Economics of Money and Finance (LEMF).

Among the speakers was also Katharina Pistor, Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia Law School. She accompanied Haar as a scholar and friend for over 20 years. In her speech, she talked about Haar personally and her contributions to research on the intersection of law and finance. “Following Brigitte as an academic and as a friend, I am sure she never stopped striving for the impossible,” she concluded.

Klaus J. Hopt, former Director and Emeritus Professor at Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law and ECGI, described Haar as “a great scholar, an enthusiastic academic teacher and a wonderful person”. To discuss important, yet controversial topics in law and finance was one of the things that Brigitte Haar liked best, he said.

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