After studying law at the University of Basle, Thomas Leimgruber completed a number of traineeships with various bodies and courts, as well as a legal firm, and was admitted to the Bar in 1973. He was later appointed Chair of the rental arbitration board for the City of Basle and, in 1977, published a thesis on Swiss private law.
Married with three children, he succeeded in striking a balance between family and professional life.
His career in the railway sector began in 1977 with a position in the legal service of the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), where he quickly specialised in contract law and liability. He was appointed Transport Law Section Head in 1990, and Head of SBB’s Legal Unit in 1994.
Mr Leimgruber was Secretary General of the International Railway Transport Committee (CIT) from 1999 until the end of 2011 and, with his knowledge and experience, made a large contribution to the organisation, particularly with the introduction of the “Berner Tage”. The impact of his achievements over his 12 years at CIT is still evident today. His logical and systematic approach is reflected in the current organisation of CIT, as well as in its products. Thanks to his efforts, CIT has become a legal centre of excellence.
Mr Leimgruber introduced numerous reforms at CIT during the liberalisation of the railway sector. These included the separation of CIT from SBB, the revision of all CIT products with respect to the COTIF 1999, the implementation of passenger rights at European level and legal interoperability of CIM/SMGS.
CIT is greatly saddened to hear of his passing and extends its condolences and sympathies to Mr Leimgruber’s family. He will be remembered as a warm, cheerful man who took great pleasure in spending time with his grandchildren upon his retirement in 2011.
CIT - Laurence Nicolet, Secretary, 30 May 2018