Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Claus-Dieter Ehlermann


Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Claus-Dieter Ehlermann

Senior Counsel

Professor Dr. Claus-Dieter Ehlermann is one of the leading authorities on international trade, European competition and EU administrative law. He has represented governments before the WTO dispute settlement body, and he has been retained as advisor to certain governments, industry federations and undertakings involved in WTO disputes. Professor Ehlermann has been engaged to submit an expert opinion in the context of NAFTA litigation. Professor Dr. Ehlermann has also acted as an Arbitrator under Article 21.3(c) of the Dispute Settlement Understanding of the WTO.

With regard to EC law, Professor Dr. Ehlermann represents companies in EC competition law matters, most recently assisting companies in merger control procedures, State aid and international arbitration proceedings. On the regulatory side, Professor Ehlermann has advised major companies in Europe and the United States on the impact of current and pending EU legislation.

Professor Dr. Ehlermann was a member of the Appellate Body of the World Trade Organization in Geneva from December 1995 through 2001, serving as chairman during the last year of his mandate.

Prior to his service on the WTO Appellate Body, Professor Dr. Ehlermann held several senior positions with the European Commission. He was Director-General of the Directorate-General for Competition (1990-1995), Spokesman and Special Adviser for Institutional Questions of President Jacques Delors (1987-1990) and Director-General of the Legal Service of the European Commission (1977-1987).

Professor Dr. Ehlermann is considered to be one of the leading academic thinkers on EC law and has published widely. He was chair of EC Law at the European University Institute (Florence).

View Professor Dr. Ehlermann's biography in French or in German.

Professional Activities

Professor Dr. Ehlermann is a member of advisory boards of academic institutions and law reviews. He has published over 200 articles on European and international trade law and was co-editor of one of the foremost commentaries on the EC Treaty.


  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann has been listed in the 2014 edition of Expert Guides as a leading attorney in Brussels in the area of Competition/Antitrust Law
  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann is the winner of the Global Competition Review's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, an honor given to only 10 of the world's top antitrust lawyers 
  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann has been recognized as a leader in his field in the 2007-2009 and 2011-2018 editions of Chambers Europe, and in the 2006-2018 editions of Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers
  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann is listed in the 2006, 2007 and 2011 editions of Who's Who Legal, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, the 2009-2014 editions of Who's Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists, and the 2012 edition of The International Who's Who of Trade & Customs Lawyers
  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann is listed in the 2009-2014 editions of Best Lawyers in Belgium, in the areas of Competition/Antitrust Law and Trade Law - WTO
  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann has also been recognized by JUVE Handbook as a "Leading Personality in WTO legislation" in the 2009/2010 edition, and as "Leading Expert in Foreign Trade/WTO-Law" in the 2011/2012 edition
  • Professor Dr. Ehlermann is recommended in the field of customs, trade, WTO and anti-dumping by The Legal 500 EMEA 2013 

Insights & News


  • Education

    • Dr hc, Neuchatel, 1999

    • Hon. Prof., Hamburg, 1982

    • Second State Exam, Baden-Württemberg, 1959

    • PhD, University of Heidelberg, 1955

    • First State Exam, University of Heidelberg, 1953

  • Admissions

    • Berlin

    • Brussels (associate member)

  • Government Experience

    • World Trade Organization: Chairman and Member of the Appellate Body
    • European Commission: Director-General
    • Directorate-General for Competition
    • Director-General, Legal Service
    • Director and Deputy Financial Controller Directorate-General for Financial Control
    • Directorate-General for Financial Control