Prof. Dr. Kay Windthorst

Visiting Professor at the research and teaching area "Law for Family Businesses"


Alfred-Herrhausen-Str. 48
58448 Witten

Prof. Dr Kay Windthorst has been supporting the WIFU since 2013 as a permanent visiting professor. He holds the chair of public law, legal doctrine and legal didactics at Bayreuth University’s Law and Economics Faculty. As well as working in research and teaching, he is the dean of studies at the Law and Economics Faculty, managing director of the Law and Economics Research Centre for Family Businesses and director of the additional economics course for jurists.

Dr Windthorst trained in law and business at an international company, Quimica Sumex/Südchemie, in Mexico City, after which he studied economics at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, followed by military service. He then decided to switch to the jurisprudence course at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. He completed his doctorate in 1997 and his habilitation in 2008.

Areas of academic work

  • National and European business law: His academic studies centre mainly on researching the legal framework for (family) companies at the national and European levels and examining the interdependencies between legal, economic, technical, ecological and social conditions. His main focus is on the regulation of the financial, health and infrastructure sectors, which serve as reference fields to reveal the influence of European law on national law and the consequences thereof.
  • Inheritance tax law, in particular the significance of the new Inheritance Tax Reform Act for family businesses.
  • State liability: Aside from conventional liability claims against the state (on account of things like the delayed approval of products), the subject of this academic research is the financial responsibility of the state in the event that improper warnings are issued about products and when the state fails to fulfil its duties to guarantee a certain level of supply.
  • Legal theoretical and methodological research on how legal and extralegal factors influence decision making, with the aim of improving the rationality, objectivity, transparency and stability of decisions.

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