Raphael Lanz is the Mayor of the City of Thun in Switzerland. He studied law at the University of Bern and was admitted to the bar of the Canton of Bern in 1995. From 1998 to 1999 with the support of the Swiss National Science Foundation he studied at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law. In 1999 he obtained an LL.M with the thesis “Efficient Breach of Contract and Switzerland’s Contract Law”. Lanz obtained his doctoral degree in 2000 with his dissertation “Die wirtschaftliche Betrachtungsweise im schweizerischen Zivilrecht”.
From 1996 to 1998 he worked as a research and teaching assistant at the Department of Private Law at the University of Bern and served as a clerk at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court and at the Supreme Court of the Canton of Bern from 1999 to 2001. In 2002, he was elected as a judge at the district court of Thun. From 2002 to 2010 Lanz was the presiding judge of this court. Since 2010 Lanz has been the Mayor of Thun.
In his early academic career and during his time as a judge Lanz has regularly published in scientific legal journals and commentaries on the Swiss Civil Code.