November 13, 2012

Venable's Jim Hanks Receives Bucerius Law School Medal of Honor

3 min

First American to receive prestigious German Law School Award

Hamburg, Germany (November 13, 2012) – Venable LLP corporate partner James J. Hanks, Jr. received the Medal of Honor of Bucerius Law School last night in ceremonies in Hamburg, Germany, led by former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, a member of the Board of the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the founder of the School.

In addition to his fulltime practice in Baltimore, Mr. Hanks has taught at the School for many years and is the Chair of the American Friends of Bucerius.  He is the fifth winner of the Medal and the first American.  The most recent prior winner, in 2010, is Klaus J. Hopt, a pioneer in the areas of German and international capital market law, and a thought leader and author of numerous academic publications who has held professorships at  Tübingen, Florence, Bern and Munich, at several universities in the United States.

Bucerius Law School in Hamburg is Germany’s first private law school with the right to award bachelor's, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees.  The School consistently ranks first in bar passage in Germany and ranked first in the most recent CHE-Hochschulranking, the counterpart to the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings.  Awarded once every two years, the Bucerius award recognizes outstanding personalities for contributions made to the field of law in Germany.

Mr. Hanks has been Commerzbank Visiting Professor of Law at the School and has taught in its International Program and its Master of Law and Business Program. 

In his practice at Venable, Mr. Hanks represents publicly- and privately-held corporations and other entities in a wide variety of general corporate law and governance matters, securities offerings and other capital markets transactions.  He has advised buyers or sellers in over 200 mergers or acquisitions, including many valued at more than one billion dollars.  He has also represented parties in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other transactions and advises several dozen real estate investment trusts and their boards on matters of Maryland law.

In addition to his teaching at Bucerius, Mr. Hanks is Senior Lecturer at Northwestern Law School and Visiting Senior Lecturer at Cornell Business School, where he has taught courses in securities regulation, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance.  He has also taught classes in corporation law at various law schools in the United States, the Republic of South Africa and Guatemala and at the Institute of Law in Beijing.

Mr. Hanks is widely recognized as the author of the authoritative 650-page treatise, Maryland Corporation Law, cited by lawyers and judges for over 20 years.  He is also the co-author, with former Stanford Law School Dean Bayless Manning, of Legal Capital, a text on law and accounting.

For many years, Mr. Hanks has appeared in The Best Lawyers in America and is consistently rated in the first tier by Chambers and other directories as one of Maryland’s top corporate lawyers.

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