After studies in law and in economics at the Ghent University, Christoph Van der Elst became a research fellow at the Financial Law Institute of the Ghent University in 1995. He wrote a doctoral thesis on shareholder structures and the determinants of ownership concentration of shareholders in stock exchange listed companies - a comparative legal and economic analysis.
Since October 2001 he is professor of commercial law and corporate governance at the Law School of the Ghent University. He is also professor of law and management at the Law School of Tilburg University (Netherlands). Before he was lecturer at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), scientific advisor of the Belgian "High Council for the Economic Professions" and registered at the bar. His research focuses primarily on different issues of corporate governance and company law, in particular the influence of shareholders on stock exchange listed companies.