Nils is a biotechnology and health lawyer, professor of ethics and law in the life sciences, director of the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences and a dean of research at the University of Hannover.
He was educated at St Dunstan’s College and went on to read laws in Nottingham, Erlangen-Nürnberg and Göttingen, with a specialisation in medical law and human rights law. Nils was admitted to Gray’s Inn in 2001 whilst working as a legal executive in litigation at Browne Jacobson LLP and subsequently trained as a barrister (but was not called to the Bar). He became in-house counsel at Göttingen University Hospital, and later took up a position as research fellow in the Department for Ethics and History of Medicine at the University of Göttingen. In 2004, he accepted a position as lecturer at the University of Hannover. In 2007 he became a senior research fellow both at the Institute for Legal Informatics and at the Center for Philosophy and Ethics of Science at Hannover. From 2008, he coordinated the university’s medical law and bioethics research group before founding the Centre for Ethics and Law in the Life Sciences (CELLS). Nils was a junior professor from 2011 to 2013 and is now a full professor at CELLS.
Nils was a member of the University’s Ethics Committee until 2017 and has been an external ethics expert for the European Commission since 2008. He is also a member of the UK Biobank Ethics and Governance Council and an associate tenant of Coram Chambers in London. From 2009 to 2014 he was an executive board member of the European Association of Health Law and from 2010 a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Health Law. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. Between 2010 and 2014, he was a regular visiting fellow to the Centre for Health, Law and Emerging Technologies at the University of Oxford. Nils was an Associate at the Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law at the University of Edinburgh and a visiting professor at the European School of Molecular Medicine, Milan and in the Faculty of Law at the University of Vienna.