To those of us concerned with transnational law, and especially the role of German law on the global stage, it does not need saying that Professor Detlev Vagts is highly deserving of that Germanic and traditional scholarly honour, a Festchrift. (In this context, ‘does not need saying’ of course means ‘should be said repeatedly’.) We all owe Detlev Vagts, and as a Germanic traditionalist, I would be delighted to contribute to this volume on general principle, even if I did not know the man. But I also have personal reasons for wanting to honour Professor Vagts: he taught the basic course in corporations to generations of students at Harvard Law School. In addition, Vagts was one of the advisors to the Ford Fellows Program, which was designed to foster international law teachers. After being one such student and one such fellow, in due course I became a teacher of international and corporation law, so I owe Vagts a double debt of professional gratitude. And, as with so many other young (or once young) scholars, Vagts has been cordially supportive of my efforts to find my way in the academy, for which I am most grateful.
Such things said, however, there is another reason I am happy to have the chance to contribute to this Festschrift. A certain delicacy is called for here, especially since writing for Vagts carries me halfway back to Harvard, where such things are taken so seriously.