НАША КОМАНДА / Senior Expert Counsel / Wolf-Dietrich Freiherr von Fircks-Burgstaller

Wolf-Dietrich Freiherr von Fircks-Burgstaller

Rechtsanwalt (RAK Oldenburg [D]), Senior Expert Counsel bei LANSKY, GANZGER, GOETH, FRANKL + partner

Wolf-Dietrich Freiherr von Fircks-Burgstaller

Function: Senior Expert Counsel at LANSKY, GANZGER, GOETH, FRANKL + partner
E-Mail: Wolf-Dietrich.Fircks@lansky.at
V-Card: download
Correspondence: German, English

Wolf-Dietrich Freiherr von Fircks-Burgstaller prefers his long name to be abbreviated to Wolf-D. v. Fircks. He has been an Of Counsel at LANSKY, GANZGER, GOETH, FRANKL + partner since the beginning of September 2017. The German lawyer, who was formerly Head of the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna, advises the firm and its clients on issues of university law, the integration and spinning-off of university research institutes and the development of business concepts for spin-offs. In Wolf-Dietrich Fircks, LGP has gained an experienced university manager who has successfully handled a series of restructuring projects during his more than 30 years spent working in the education sector. Wolf-D. v. Fircks played a part in the creation of comprehensive universities in North-Rhine Westphalia (Comprehensive University of Wuppertal, 1976 – 1985). He was also involved in the State Chancellery of North-Rhine Westphalia as an advisor to MP Johannes Rau. He held the post of Chancellor at the University of Hildesheim (1985–1991) and the University of Oldenburg (1991–1997), as well as at the Free University of Berlin (1997–2001). He primarily dealt with issues relating to the establishment, organisation and financing of universities, and the creation of universities’ profiles, with the aim of giving them full legal capacity. In the field of public-private partnerships, he turned a research institute into a joint-stock company (Mologen), which he successfully listed on the stock market. He also founded 10 limited liability companies in which the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna (VetmetUni) invested via its holding company, VetWiDi. The restructuring of universities with the aim of giving them autonomy (Universities Act 2002) ultimately took him to Vienna, where he was Head of the University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna and enlisted the support of the Messerli Private Foundation for Animal Protection (Zurich), which is endowed with approx. 30 million euros. Wolf-Dietrich Freiherr von Fircks-Burgstaller is a trained lawyer (Göttingen, Freiburg and Kiel), and holds additional qualifications in psychology, medicine and business administration. Languages: German, English, French. Hobbies: archaeology, circus, surfing.

Practice areas

  • Administration law, particularly university law
  • Law regarding private universities and technical colleges (Fachhochschulen)
  • Legal advice on spin-off projects, PPP and company establishment relating to biotechnology, life sciences and medicine

Professional experience

  • 2013 to present          Attorney-at-law (RAK Oldenburg [D])
  • 2011-2013      University of Mekelle in Ethiopia, Managing Director
  • 2001-2011      University of Veterinary Medicine of Vienna and Messerli Foundation, Head
  • 1997-2001      Free University of Berlin, Chancellor (and from 1999, spokesperson for the Chancellor of Berlin and Brandenburg)
  • 1992–1996      Commission of the Government of the Republic of Latvia on the structure of higher education, advised on reforms of the organisation of the academic sector
  • 1991–1997      Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Chancellor (an additional two years as spokesperson for the Chancellors of the Universities of Lower Saxony)
  • 1985–1991      University of Hildesheim, Chancellor of the university
  • 1976–1985      Comprehensive University of Wuppertal, legal adviser, head of the planning department and representative of the construction department of the Comprehensive University of Wuppertal
  • 1981                Representative of the State Chancellery of North-Rhine Westphalia, assistant advisor within the coordination department for employment, social issues, young people and health
  • 1972–1976      Christian Albrecht University of Kiel, lecturer at the Christian Albrecht University of Kiel


  • 1968–1972      Universities of Göttingen, Freiburg and Kiel, law degree
  • 1972–1976      Clerkship at the Upper Regional Court of Hamburg, fully qualified lawyer (Second State Examination)

Secondary activities

  • 2001–2010      Principals’ Conference and Umbrella Association of Austrian Universities, WWTF board of trustees, shareholder/advisory board at Mologen, AustriaNova, VetWiDi, ViruSure, MarinoMed etc., advisory board of the research platform for the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (Lebensministerium),
  • 2005–2010      Deputy Chair of the Austrian Board for Animal Protection
  • 1999–2001      Spokesperson for the Chancellors of Berlin and Brandenburg
  • 1993–1996      Advisory Commission of the city of Oldenburg, member of the advisory commission of the city of Oldenburg for the development of the city’s image and regional marketing concept, along with the EXPO 2000 commission
  • 1993–1995      Universities of Lower Saxony, spokesperson of the Chancellors of the Universities of Lower Saxony
  • 1992–1996      Member of the commission of the Government of the Republic of Latvia on the structure of higher education, advised on reforms of the organisation of the academic sector
  • 1991–1997      Member of the commission for the reform of university administration in Lower Saxony
  • 1987–1997      Member of the Lower Saxonian State Law Examinations Board for the fields of public law, employment law and social law


Publications on topics including employment law for professors, the full legal capacity and commercial accounting of universities, the liability of technical colleges (Fachhochschulen) and the Austrian Act for Animal Protection.


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