This year Baker McKenzie awards the Baker McKenzie Prize to two lawyers: Dr. Orhan Bayrak LL.M. and Dr. Pascal Brandt for their dissertations in commercial law, each honored "summa cum laude". Since 1988, the law firm has awarded the Prize for outstanding dissertations and for professorial theses written at the Faculty of Law at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. The prize is endowed with a total of 6,000 euros.
Dr. Orhan Bayrak LL.M. receives the prize for his doctoral thesis "Foreign Investment Rules and Business Foundation. A study on the possibilities and limits of elimination of business foundation under foreign investment rules" (Investitionsschutz und Geschäftsgrundlage. Eine Untersuchung zu den Möglichkeiten und Grenzen eines Wegfalls der investitionsschutzrechtlichen Geschäftsgrundlage). The starting point of his work is that foreign investment rules on Investor-State-Disputes (ISD) have met with increasing resistance in recent years. The current system makes it impossible for states to adequately implement fundamental changes in policy through changes in the law because of the threat of compensation claims by affected companies. "Orhan Bayrak's work pursues a truly innovative approach," comments the supervising professor, Prof. Dr. Dr. Rainer Hofmann, Professor of Public Law, International and European Law at Goethe University, in his evaluation of the dissertation. Orhan Bayrak's proposal "to bring an originally private-law institute into the ISD system, which is predominantly shaped by international law, can contribute to enabling 'fairer', more balanced, and more precise solutions than the tools of foreign investment rules which have been used so far," the professor explains. 

Dr. Pascal Brandt's dissertation is titled "Crossing Reporting Thresholds through the Use of Derivative Financial Instruments – Economic and Comparative Legal Analysis of the Transparency of Shareholdings and its Role in Takeover Regulation" (Überschreiten von Meldeschwellen durch den Einsatz derivativer Finanzinstrumente – Ökonomische und rechtsvergleichende Analyse der Beteiligungstransparenz und ihrer Rolle in der Übernahmeregulierung). In his work, Pascal Brandt examines the legal framework of the use of derivative financial instruments to build up shareholdings in target companies – for the first time from a comparative and legal-economic perspective. "Pascal Brandt presents a fundamental work that combines a profound legal-economic analysis of the current participation transparency regime with a successful comparative legal analysis, thereby laying the foundation for a legal policy critique that is convincing in its basic features as well as in individual questions. The work will considerably enrich the debate on the foundations and limits of the participation regime", says Prof. Dr. Theodor Baums (Professor of Civil, Commercial and Business Law at Goethe University) in his evaluation of Dr. Brandt's dissertation. "For more than 30 years, the Baker McKenzie Prize has been an important tool to promote young legal talent," says Baker McKenzie partner Prof. Dr. Joachim Scherer, an alumnus and law professor at Goethe University. Usually, the prize is presented at a festive awards ceremony, which unfortunately had to be cancelled this year due to the current situation. 
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