Harald Herrmann

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Harald M. Herrmann (* 1944 in Görlitz , Lower Silesia Province ) is a German legal scholar and international comparator of law. His work is primarily characterized by the emphasis on ethical elements in economic legal analysis.


Herrmann studied law from 1966 to 1969 in Göttingen, Kiel and Paris, and obtained his doctorate in 1972. jur. and completed his habilitation in 1981 with the license to teach civil law, commercial law and comparative law. This was followed by professorships / full professorships at the universities of Hamburg, Lüneburg, Potsdam and Erlangen-Nuremberg, where he retired in autumn 2009. Herrmann was admitted to the bar in March 2011 and has since worked in a law firm of lawyers, auditors and tax consultants in Nuremberg.

During his activity as a university lecturer, Herrmann's research focus was on insurance and corporate law, the law of liberal professions and Anglo-American comparative law. He has edited and written monographs and articles in these areas of law and in the area of ​​antitrust law in particular. The legal-ethical dimension of his work in publications after and during the financial crises from 2001 to 2008 was particularly effective.

Research areas

Although no proper schooling has emerged so far, Herrmann's approach to ethical requirements of commercial law seems to be constantly expanding and is becoming increasingly important in the areas of financial market law and the law of liberal professions.

Herrmann emphasizes that it is not about a return to the era of professional guidelines is old law and the commercial registry habits, but a transformation of traditional principles in an ethics philosophically sound codification needful, as exemplified in the Governance Code of Corporate Governance Commission present.

It is characteristic that ethical standards in this sense are understood as scientific discoveries in the interplay of development processes and revolutionary paradigm shifts. The main difference to the traditional doctrine of professional morality is that it is based on the at best random views of the professional or the relevant public. The doctrine of paradigms that Herrmann adheres to, above all wants to allow the expert opinions from practice and science to have their say, because ethics is not only about majority convictions in a more or less domination-free discourse, but at the same time scientific structural change with new knowledge in mind of Kuhn 'rule epistemology must remain possible.

With this point of view, Herrmann is one of the pioneers of the modern teachings of a new social market economy and participatory economic order, which have developed into a separate research direction, especially since the financial crises of 2001/2008, and tie in with Ludwig Erhard's teachings on the foundation of the market economy in Germany. As early as the mid-1970s, Herrmann made a name for himself in the discussion about corporate co-determination by working out the functional position of executive employees between the interest groups of capital and work in the company and making it legally fruitful for the demarcation of executive employees (H. Herrmann, Betriebsberater 1974, 203 ff.). Herrmann's work on the intermediate position of the quasi-equity capital between the company's equity and debt capital , as well as the accounting law investigations into the publicity of the accounting, which include the public interests in the business target systems of entrepreneurial decisions and finally to the demand for an expansion of corporate governance, are equally fundamental - Principles within the meaning of Section 161 AktG for the GmbH and GmbH & Co. KG active on the capital market (Ders./St.Roth, company and corporate law, 2008, pp. 39 ff., 190).

Herrmann also contributed to the discussion about general commercial law and civil law governance functions by demonstrating the relevant standard purposes of the publicity of the commercial register and the regulations for the public posting of general terms and conditions (Ders., Grundlehren BGB / HGB I, 2006, p. 26 ff., 85 ff., 153 ff.). This also includes his writings on the transparency requirement of Section 307 (1) BGB in life insurance and on the pre-contractual notification obligations and other obligations before and after the reform of Section 19 of the Insurance Contract Act 2008.

Herrmann's generalization of commercial governance control in the field of professional law has become particularly influential . Because the Federal Constitutional Court of 1987 initially established a kind of vacuum that was unconstitutional in the lawyer's professional code of conduct, which for the time being could only be closed by the legislature, the newly created constitutional assembly of the BRAK and the case law. The result was changes to permitted information advertising, the approval of companies with limited liability and the prohibition of controlling influence by non-professional investors (e.g. §§ 59c-m of the Federal Lawyers' Act ). But even for this one had to rely on preparatory work by specialist science and representative interest representation; and for the revision of the ethical principles of independence, conscientiousness, personal responsibility, secrecy, etc., regulations followed in the chamber statutes. In Herrmann's view, any remaining need for regulation should preferably be dealt with based on the method of governance recommendations, provided that no mandatory prohibition regulation is required. As far as can be seen, the chambers have not tackled this, but in some cases they have set up their own expert commissions for professional law. Herrmann headed such a commission at the Federal Chamber of Tax Advisors until 2012. Some of the IHK have also taken the initiative to develop ethical rules for the merchants in their district. As far as is known, they work closely with specialized research centers at universities. However, it still seems unclear to what extent governance concepts will be used here or whether there is a prospect of a relapse into the habitual morality of “honorable merchants”.

voluntary work

Until his retirement, Herrmann was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Insurance Science at the University of Erlangen and was Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at this university. He is a member of the board of directors of the Institute for Freelance Research at the University of Lüneburg and editor-in-chief of the magazine for new business law NWiR. His work on the board of the German Scientific Institute of Tax Advisors in the Federal Chamber of Tax Advisors ended at the end of 2013.

Works (selection)

  • Interest groups and competition law 1984 (habilitation)
  • Quasi-equity in capital market and corporate law 1996
  • Law of the Chambers and Associations of Liberal Professions . 1996
  • Together with Voigt (Ed.): Globalization and Ethics .
  • Grundlehren BGB / HGB I, . 2006
  • Together with Roth: Company and corporate law for commercial lawyers 2008.
  • Commission Regulation on ... concerted practices in the insurance sector In: in Hirsch u. a. (Ed.), Competition Law, 2008
  • Private law for bachelor's degree programs in business administration / economics . Vol. 2, 2009
  • European Insurance Law , in: Bruck / Möller, 9th edition, 2010, introduction;
  • Financial Market Stabilization Law . In: Herrmann / Emmerich-Fritsche (eds.), European Law of Finance, 2010
  • Credit and surety insurance . In: Matusche-Beckmann u. a. (Ed.), Herrmann, Insurance Law Handbook, 3rd Edition, 2014, p. 2543;

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Prof. Dr. iur. Harald Herrmann. (No longer available online.) Chair of Private Business Law. Faculty of Law and Economics at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg , archived from the original on February 14, 2013 ; accessed on July 31, 2014 . and lawyer in the Thorwart law firm, [1]
  2. See the articles in H. Herrmann / K.-I.Voigt (eds.), Globalisierung und Ethik, 2005; Herrmann, Rechtsanwaltsethik, Anwaltsblatt 2009, 812; on the ethics of corporate participation see but already Herrmann, executive employee in the sense of a new constitution of the company, operations consultant 1974, 934.
  3. S. but - on the Erlangen degree course, which was founded and led by Herrmann, and its further developments in the bachelor's and master's degree - the follow-up at www.wirtschaftsrecht-studieren.com/wirtschaftsrecht-studium/ and the e -book studying business law.
  4. Cf. only K. Hopt, in the latter u. a. (Ed.), Hdb. Corporate Governance Banken, 2012, pp. 9, 23; ders., AJCL 1 (2011), 15; E. Wymeersch, ECFR 2010, 240; P. Mülbert, JZ 2010, 834, 836 ff .; on the expansion of governance regulation, see chap. J. Köndgen, AcP 206 (2006), p. 477 ff .; P. Buck-Heeb / A. Diekmann, Self-Regulation in Private Law, 2010; on self-regulation by commercial associations under private law already H. Herrmann, Interest Associations and Competition Law, 1984, p. 221 ff., passim.
  5. On the criticism of this cf. only the decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court v. July 14, 1987, 1 BvR 537/81 (" Bastille Decisions "); on the dispute over similarities in governance ethics, cf. H.-J. Hellwig, Anwaltsblatt 2008, 644 ff .; ders., ibid. 2009, 465.
  6. ↑ A trend- setting move away from accounting practices according to § 38 HGB old version and new version in §§ 238 ff. HGB, closer Bundestag legal committee for the Accounting Law Modernization Act 2009, printed matter BT 16/12407.
  7. IdF of May 13, 2013 at www.dcgk.de/de (2014 unchanged).
  8. ^ S. - philosophically fundamental - Th. Kuhn, The structure of scientific revolutions, 1967; on this Herrmann, Anwaltsblatt 2009, 812 ff. with further references; for paradigm research in modern philosophy, theology and ethics see p. - fundamentally - H. Küng, Das Christentum, 5th ed. 2006, p. 88 and ongoing.
  9. See J. Habermas, Knowledge and Interest, 1968.
  10. M. Sandel is particularly well-known, What one cannot buy for money, 2012; largely a. A., but fundamentally similar, R. Shiller, Markets for People, 2012; similarly influential A. Sen, Ökonomie für den Menschen, 2002, 5th edition 2011;
  11. On the “Mission Statement… Participation of All People” s. the most recent cross-denominational church paper at www.sozialinitiative-kirchen.de (download of March 5, 2014); For approaches to participation thinking, see already Oswald v. Nell-Breuning, Capitalism viewed critically, 1974/86, p. 29.
  12. ↑ See also the commentary on §§ 264 ff., 316 ff. HGB, in Heymann / Horn (Hrsg.), HGB commentary, 2nd edition 1999.
  13. Ders., VersR 2009, 7 ff .; German journal for commercial and insolvency law, 2004, p. 45 ff.
  14. ^ Ders., Insurance Law 2003, 1333; ders., European Insurance Law, Bruck / Möller u. a. (Ed.), VVG Commentary, Vol. 1, Introduction B, 2009, pp. 87 ff.
  15. ^ Forum: New Economic and Financial Market Law NWiR - Imprint. Retrieved July 31, 2014 .