Peter Gottwald was born 1944 in Breslau. Having studied law in Munich and Berlin, he passed both state exams with distinction. He went on to become Dr. jur. utr. (1974) and Dr. jur. habil. (1977), with Karl Heinz Schwab as academic supervisor. In the same year, he became full professor of law at the University of Bayreuth. From 1983 to 2012 he held the Chair for Civil Law, Procedural Law and Conflicts of Law at the University of Regensburg. From 1985 to 1987 he was dean of the Faculty of Law. He declined positions at the Free University of Berlin and the Universities of Erlangen, of Tubingen and of Zurich/Switzerland. Between 1981 and 1989 he also served as associate judge at the Regional Courts of Appeal of Bamberg and Munich.
Since 1987, he is joint editor-in-chief of the German Journal of Family Law (FamRZ) and since 2011 of the International Journal of Procedural Law. He has revised the leading German textbook “Rosenberg” on civil procedure (17th ed. 2010; 18th ed. forthcoming) and the textbook on “International Civil Procedure” by Nagel (7th ed. 2013). He publishes a handbook on “Insolvency Law” (5th ed. 2015) as well as a practitioners’ handbook on “Family Procedure” (4th ed. 2012; 5th ed. forthcoming) and is a commentator of Munich Commentaries of Civil Code (7th ed. 2016) and of Civil Procedure (5th ed. 2016/17).
Peter Gottwald was visiting professor at Tulane Law School (1989), at Kansai University Osaka (1992), Ritsumeikan University Kyoto (1999 and 2004), Bilkent University Ankara (2012 and 2013), International Hellenic University Thessaloniki (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017), University of Haifa (2014) and Chuo University Tokyo (2014). He is laureate of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (1999) and became Doctor honoris causa of Thessaloniki University Law School in 2005.
He was vice president of the (German) Association of International Procedural Law from 1989 to 1997 and president from 1997 to 2009. At the International Association of Procedural Law he was secretary general from 1995 to 2009 and then president till 2011. He is now honorary president of both associations.