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Willem H. van Boom


Willem van Boom (1969) is a professor of law.  He acquired his law degree at the University of Amsterdam (1992) and his doctorate at Tilburg University (1999). Since 2002, he has held full professorships at Tilburg University (2002-2005), Erasmus University Rotterdam (2005-2014) and Durham University (2012-2014). Since August 2014, Van Boom holds tenure at Leiden Law School.

Van Boom's research interests include contracts, torts and insurance, consumer law and civil procedure.  In recent years, he has been rediscovering  property and insolvency law as well as extending his research into the philosophical foundations of private law.

Though a traditional lawyer by education, Van Boom has a keen interest in private law ‘in the real world’. In many of his publications, he attempts to gain a better understanding of how private law rules and dogmas impact on behaviour. He does so by combining insights from both comparative law, law & economics and social sciences. However, he also feels that in order to avoid dilettantism, lawyers need to join forces with other social sciences scholars if they are to fully appreciate the challenges and limitations of the empirical study of law & behaviour.
Van Boom is currently on the editorial board of Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Burgerlijk Recht (NTBR; the Dutch Journal of Civil Law). Van Boom is an independent academic, which is clearly valued in practice: he regularly does consultancy work, court work and sits in several boards and advisory panels.


Projects in progress:

  • 'Herijking Handelspraktijken' - preadvies Vereniging voor Burgerlijk Recht 2021
  • Handboek Goederen- en Zekerhedenrecht (2022)
  • Derdenbetrokkenheid en procescommodificatie (2024)
  • Handbook of Comparative Insurance Law
  • Comparative Commercial Law

 Past projects include:


  • Wetenschappelijk Directeur Instituut voor Privaatrecht, Universiteit Leiden; Academic Director of the Institute of Private Law, Leiden University (2019-present)
  • Bestuurslid Stichting Onderzoek Collectieve Actie (OCA), Den Haag; Board member of the Foundation Collective Redress Research (2016-present)
  • Bestuurslid Stichting Ars Aequi, Nijmegen; Board member of the Foundation Ars Aequi (a foundation which runs a Dutch student-run legal journal) (2015-present)
  • Bestuurslid Stichting Toetsing Verzekeraars; Board member of the Foundation for Quality Assessment of the Dutch Insurance Industry (2010-2017)
  • Voorzitter SER Coördinatiegroep Zelfreguleringsoverleg (SER CZ); Chairman of the Coordinating Committee Self-Regulation of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (2011-present)
  • Voorzitter Onafhankelijke Bezwaarschriftenadviescommissie Consumentenautoriteit;  Chairman Administrative Appeals Advisory Board of the Dutch Consumer Authority (2008-2013)       
  • Onafhankelijk lid van de Commissie Consumentenaangelegenheden (CCA) van de Sociaal-Economische Raad (SER); independent member of the Consumer Affairs Committee of the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands (2011-present)
  • Raadsheer-plaatsvervanger Gerechtshof Den Haag; Deputy Justice in the Court of Appeal The Hague (2005-present)