Ralph De Wit

Ralph De Wit

Prof Dr Ralph De Wit obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1993 with a doctoral thesis on Multimodal Transport. Carrier Liability and Documentation, which was commercially published with Lloyd’s of London Press in 1995. 

He was called at the Antwerp Bar Association in 1994 and has since combined his private practice with academic positions.

He was member of a major maritime law firm and focussed on international contracts (including government contracts), international transport, maritime cases,  competition law, and construction. Ralph is active in both dispute settlement (litigation, international arbitration) and opinions in complex cases in the field of transport, international contracts, competition (anti-trust), distribution, import.    

Ralph has also been active in law and treaty making consultations in the transport sector, for the government, for the European Commission and for the interested industry.  In the latter capacity he developed a unique network and lobbying expertise. 

Among others he

  • was a member of the Group of experts and subsequently Royal Commission for the reform of the Belgian maritime law;
  • was an external expert in the Advisory Body on Legal Matters of FIATA;
  • he assisted FIATA at the  preparatory meetings and negotiations at the United Nations regarding the new UNCITRAL Convention on the Carriage of Goods Wholly or Partly by Sea, now known as “Rotterdam Rules”;
  • has been consulted at several occasions as an expert in contracts for the carriage of goods by the European Commission;
  • was a member of the board of CEPANI (the Belgian Centre for Arbitration and Mediation);

He is professor at the

  • University of Brussels;
  • University of Antwerp;
  • Antwerp Maritime Academy;
  • Portilog and Logos (the professional training institutes of the Port of Antwerp)

and lecture or lectured, maritime and transport law, contracts and torts, international private law.

He is

  • honorary member of FIATA (worldwide freight forwarders’ organisation);
  • member of the Board of Editors of several law journals: Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Handelsrecht (NTHR, Dutch Commercial Law, published in The Netherlands), European Journal of Commercial Contract Law (EJCCL, published in The Netherlands), Tijdschrift voor Aannemingsrecht (Belgian Construction Law), and Tijdschrift voor Internationale Handel en Transport (IHT, International Trade and Transport);
  • member of the Belgian Maritime Law Association;
  • director of the Foundation Albert Lilar;

+32 (0) 496 23 40 69


ralph.dewit@gdsadvocaten.be