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Lawyer Bas van Zelst appointed Endowed Professor at Maastricht University
13 July 2017

Maastricht University appointed lawyer Bas van Zelst as Endowed Professor of Dispute Resolution and Arbitration. Van Zelst is employed in the law firm of Van Doorne in Amsterdam. Both the university and the law firm want to collaborate in order to bridge the gap between theory and actual practice.

Van Zelst will take up his post at Maastricht University in November 2017. Prior to that, he will be working as a guest researcher at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, from August up to and including October 2017.


Van Zelst’s research focuses on fundamental and practical aspects of dispute resolution from a comparative perspective. Van Zelst: “Rules relating to resolving disputes are often considered to be technicalities. However, the manner in which disputes are resolved can have a significant  effect on the actual result. Examples are how the costs of dispute resolution can affect access to justice or how the use of technical devices can influence the outcome of a dispute. With my research I am to contribute to a better understanding of these aspects of the law.”

Further development

Van Zelst combines his research and his teaching position at the university with his job at Van Doorne. Johan Boeren, Managing Partner at Van Doorne N.V.: “We find it important to contribute to the development of the legal profession and to issues in society. We aim to do that by providing our people the opportunity to hold positions which are socially relevant, such as dean or in an academic role. The professorship of Bas is a case in point. We are exceptionally proud of him.”

Jan Smits, head of the capacity group Private Law and academic director of Maastricht European Private Law Institute (M-EPLI): “We are exceptionally pleased that Bas will be joining us in Maastricht. His entry will enhance our Faculty’s profile in the field of dispute resolution. Furthermore, our students will benefit a great deal from his extensive practical experience, which he always manages to link to the theory. We look forward to a very productive collaboration.”


Bas van Zelst (1981) is an expert in the field of resolving cross-border disputes. He has a broad civil-law practice at Van Doorne, with a particular focus on international arbitration. In addition, Bas is an experienced researcher and teacher. He was a visiting researcher at Harvard Law School in 2006/2007. He taught and coordinated the subject International Arbitration at respectively the University of Amsterdam, the Radboud University Nijmegen and the University of Law and Policy in Lahore, Pakistan from 2009 to 2016. Van Zelst will teach the subject Dispute Resolution at Maastricht University from November 2017.