Posted on February 22, 2020

A number of issues shaping and surrounding the platform economy provided the basis for a colloquium held on February 19 at the College of Law at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).

Titled Contracting in the Platform Economy: Transparency, Terms and the Hidden Plight of Third-Party Traders, the colloquium featured Dr. Vanessa Mak, Professor of Private Law and Vice Dean for Research at Tilburg Law School. She discussed how lawmakers across the European Union (EU) have attempted to regulate private law relationships in the platform economy. In doing so, the colloquium also considered whether regulation has resulted in rules that safeguard the core values of the EU law. Proceedings concluded with a question-and-answer session that further engaged the audience.

Dr. Mak’s research focuses on the role of private law in the economic regulation of the European (consumer) market, with a particular focus on consumer contract law, credit and investment law, data protection and the platform economy. Before her current appointment, Dr. Mak held positions at Oriel College, Oxford and Hamburg’s Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law.

After the colloquium, Dr. Susan Karamanian, dean of HBKU’s College of Law, remarked: “The timing of this colloquium was perfect. The relevance of contracting and self-regulation in consumer markets has increased rapidly in recent years, most notably in the platform economy. Thanks to her academic background and research interests, few people are better placed to comment on these issues than Dr. Vanessa Mak. Her presence at HBKU also underlines the College of Law’s growing international reputation for quality and innovation in teaching and research.”

The College of Law regularly holds events that highlight its research interests and activities. For more information, please visit