Professor Benoît Chappuis earned a Law Degree (1979) and a Diploma of Superior Legal Studies (1982) at the University of Geneva. He also received a PhD (with the highest honors) from the University of Fribourg.
After passing the bar exam in Geneva in 1984, he worked from 1984 to 2014 at Lenz & Staehelin, the largest Swiss law firm, in which he was a trainee from 1982 to 1984. He became a partner in 1988 and was the managing partner from 2006 to 2011. He was the senior partner of the litigation department where he conducted criminal, civil and administrative proceedings, particularly in the financial, banking, medical and building fields. He also handled family law matters, particularly in international inheritance disputes.
Besides his activity as a lawyer, he has held several functions within the judicial system. He was a member of the Board of the Geneva Bar Association, where he became Vice-President (1996-1998), and then President (1998-2000). He was a deputy judge before the Court of appeal of Geneva for 15 years. And he also was a member of the Superior Counsel of Surveillance of Magistrates of Geneva, from 2000 to 2006.
In regard to academic activities, he began his career as an assistant in contract law and banking law at the University of Geneva. He was then appointed as a lecturer for a number of years in general private law. Today, he is a professor at the University of Fribourg (contract law) and at the University of Geneva (law and regulations on lawyer’s profession; oral expression).
He frequently publishes articles, textbooks, and other commentary, mainly in the fields of torts, contract law, law and regulations on lawyer’s professional conduct, banking liability and international inheritance. He is regularly invited to give lectures on these subjects, both in academia and for scientific or research societies.
Today, he dedicates his time particularly to scientific and academic activities, as well as legal consultancy, as an independent counsel, in his capacity a lawyer registered with the Geneva Bar Association.
Awards and distinctions:
- Huet de Pavillon Award (1979, Université de Genève)
- 1st Prize Award for Oral Advocacy, (la Commission pénale de l’Ordre des avocats de Genève (1983))
- Peter Jäggi Foundation Award (2006, Université de Fribourg)
- Walther Hug Foundation Award (2006/2007)
- Gottlob 2007 Award (2006/2007, Université de Fribourg)
- Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Haftpflicht- und Versicherungsrecht Award (2008)