Willem Jans Zwalve was born in Groningen in the Netherlands in 1949. He studied law in the University of Groningen, writing his doctoral thesis on a subject of Roman civil procedure. Since then, he has written extensively on Roman law, comparative legal history, and Anglo-American and Dutch private law. His most recent book, Publiciteit van Jurisprudentie (2013), co-authored with his friend and colleague Corjo Jansen, is a comprehensive history of European law reporting. Willem Zwalve was Professor of Jurisprudence in Groningen University since 1987; Professor of Legal History in Leiden University since 1993; Professor of Anglo-American Private Law in Groningen University since 1994 and in the Nij megen Radboud University since 2009, retiring in 2014. He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and lives in Leiden with his wife Titia, also a lawyer. They have two children and three grandchildren.