Родился в 1902 г. в Санкт-Петербурге в дворянской семье.
Окончил гимназию в Киеве.
В 1920 г. эмигрировал в Прагу (Чехословакия), где продолжил занятия на юридическом факультете.
В 1929 г. получил степень кандидата, а в 1932 г.— степень магистра юриспруденции.
Юрист, историк, публицист.
Изучал русскую и византийскую историю и каноническое право в Праге.
Затем переехал в Берлин, где работал сотрудником Кайзер-Вильгельм-Института по международному частному праву и преподавал теорию и историю советского права.
В 1949 г. получил должность приват-доцента по восточноевропейской истории в университете Франкфурта-на-Майне, а в 1954 г.— должность профессора.
Скончался в 1959 г.
Биографические материалы, предоставленные Марией Манли:
Victor Vladimirovich Leontovitsch was born in St. Petersburg in 1902. He attended school in Kiev until the outbreak of revolution and civil war and experienced all the turmoil of that period in the Ukraine until escaping in 1921 to rejoin his parents in Prague where he resumed his education. He studied law from 1924 to 1932 at the Russian Free University in Prague going on to complete postgraduate studies in constitutional law. He also researched canon law at the St. Sergius Russian Orthodox Theological Seminary in Paris.
Settling in Berlin from 1934 until 1945 he was able to find a number of lecturing posts including Soviet Law at the Institute for International Law, a part of the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, and International Civic Law at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute. He also taught Russian language courses at the Higher Institute for Economics. During this time he published a series of articles in respected journals on the philosophy of law and constitutional law on, amongst others, the French Institutionalist Maurice Hauriou and the Soviet Constitution.
Following the defeat of the Nazi regime and the end of the war, Victor Leontovitsch developed his academic career with an increasing focus on historical subjects, firstly in Munster in 1945-46 and then in Frankfurt. In the autumn of 1946 he was appointed to a post at Frankfurt University, where he received a doctorate in history in 1947. He was a lecturer and then professor of Byzantine and East European history from 1946 to 1959. In 1947 he published the well-regarded Die Rechtsumwalzung unter Iwan dem Schrecklichen und die Ideologie der russischen Selbstherrschaft (The Legal Revolution under Ivan the Terrible and the Ideology of Russian Autocracy).
Leaving Frankfurt University in 1953, he settled in London with his family to research his magnum opus “Geschichte des Liberalismus in Russland”, which was published in Frankfurt in 1957 by Vittorio Klostermann supported by the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research under Max Horkheimer. After a short spell as broadcaster at the BBC World Service (Russian Section) he returned to Frankfurt to resume his academic career. Sadly his health declined with the onset of cancer and he died in London in 1959 at the age of 57.
‘Geschichte des Liberalismus in Russland’ went into a second edition in Germany in 1974, and was subsequently published by Alexander Solzhenitsyn in a Russian language translation in Paris in 1980. A second Russian edition appeared in Moscow in 1995. A French translation was published in 1986 by Fayard.