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Giacomo Rojas Elgueta

Giacomo Rojas Elgueta

Current work:
I am an Associate Professor of Private Law at the University of Roma Tre Law School, where I teach Private Law and Economic Analysis of Law. I am also licensed as Full Professor of Comparative Law. In addition to several articles in Italian and international law reviews, I am the author of three books on “The Economic Foundation of Debtor-Creditor Relations” (2017), “Contract Freedom and the Limitations on Debtor Liability” (2012) and “Regulation of Insurance Proceeds and Marital Property Law” (2007). I have further co-edited four volumes on a variety of topics.

I am a Founding Partner at D|R Arbitration & Litigation and I am actively involved in commercial and investment arbitration as counsel, expert witness and arbitrator. I have acted as sole arbitrator and co-arbitrator in various arbitration proceedings, both ad hoc and under the rules of the ICC, Swiss Arbitration Centre and CAM with seat in different countries. I have been appointed by the Italian Republic as expert witness in three investment arbitration proceedings under the rules of ICSID and SCC. I am Co-Chair of the Focus Group on Construction Arbitration of the Italian Association for Arbitration and past Co-Chair of ArbIt (the Italian Forum for Arbitration and ADR).

In June 2022, the European Commission appointed me to the roster of individuals who may serve as Arbitrators in bilateral disputes under the European Union’s trade agreements with third countries (including the post-Brexit EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement).

I am admitted to the Rome, Italy (2004) and New York Bar (2010).

I am originally from Italy (Rome). Before joining the SJD program in 2009, I mostly focused on my academic career.

In particular, in 2001 I earned my law degree (summa cum laude) from Roma Tre University, where in 2005 I also earned my first doctoral degree in Italian and European Civil Law. In the academic year 2003/2004 and for the fall semester of 2006, I was a Visiting Scholar at Yale Law School. In 2008 I received an LLM with distinction from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, where in 2014 I also earned the SJD degree.

SJD program:
My dissertation topic was “Global Trends in Debtor-Creditor Relations”, and my advisor was Prof. David A. Skeel. I completed my SJD in May 2014.My dissertation was divided in three articles:

  1. Divergences and Convergences of Common Law and Civil Law Traditions on Asset Partitioning: A Functional Analysis

  2. The Essential Role of Secured Transactions Law and the Economic Efficiency of Later-in-Time Financing: A Comparative and Normative Analysis

  3. The Paradoxical Bankruptcy Discharge: Rereading the Common Law – Civil Law Relationship

My SJD dissertation, with some changes, was later published as my third monography with the title: The Economic Foundation of Debtor-Creditor Relations (

Impact of SJD program in your career:
The SJD program has had a very positive impact on my academic career. Earning a Doctor of Juridical Science degree from an Ivy League University greatly helped me becoming a comparative law professor in Italy. Not only it elevated my standing as an academic (being one of a handful Italian professors holding such a title), but it helped me publishing numerous articles in U.S. law reviews that were critical in achieving my academic goals.

Holding an SJD from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School certainly helped me creating an international network of outstanding colleagues and being invited as a visiting professor by prominent law schools around the world (such as the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law).

What makes the SJD program at Penn unique:
After earning an LLM at Penn, I had no doubts that there was no better place for pursuing an SJD than Penn itself. Penn Carey Law School is a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive place.

As an SJD candidate, I was encouraged to attend multiple conferences held at Penn and I was welcomed to participate to faculty seminars and workshops that are held on a regular basis in the faculty lounge. In a nutshell, I was part of an extraordinary community of scholars of which I still feel to belong.

Advice to SJD candidates:
What is key in an SJD program is the relationship you establish with your advisor. For me it was very important to create a strong relationship with Prof. David A. Skeel during my LLM.