Thomas Cottier, Managing Director of the World Trade Institute and the Institute of European and International Economic Law, is Professor of European and International Economic Law at the University of Bern. He was educated at the University of Bern and was a research fellow with Professor Jörg Paul Müller in constitutional and public international law.
Cottier holds a doctorate from the University of Bern and a Master of Laws from the University of Michigan Law School where he met Professor John H. Jackson and was exposed to the law of GATT. He subsequently was a post-doc researcher at the University of Cambridge, U.K working with Sir Derek W. Bowett in the field of the law of the sea. He directed the national research programme on trade law and policy (NCCR Trade Regulation: From Fragmentation to Coherence) located at the WTI. He is an associate editor of several journals. He was a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute, Geneva and also currently teaches at the Europa Institut Saarbrücken, Germany, the University of Torino and at Wuhan University, China. He was a member of the Swiss National Research Council from 1997 to 2004. He served the Baker & McKenzie law firm as Of Counsel from 1998 to 2005.
Cottier has a long-standing involvement in GATT/WTO activities. He served on the Swiss negotiating team of the Uruguay Round from 1986 to 1993, first as Chief negotiator on dispute settlement and subsidies for Switzerland and subsequently as Chief negotiator on TRIPs. He held several positions in the Swiss External Economic Affairs Department and was the Deputy-Director General of the Swiss Intellectual Property Office. In addition to his conceptual work in the fields of services and intellectual property and legal counselling, he has also served as a member or chair of several GATT and WTO panels. Cottier has written and publishes on a wide range of trade and international law issues. He received an honorary professorship from Amity University in New Delhi in 2014.