Emeritus Professor Peter George Watts

QC, LLB(Hons) (Cantuar), LLM (Cantab), FRSNZ

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Emeritus Professor


Peter Watts' teaching and research interests include agency law, company/corporations law, the law of restitution, the law of personal property, and equity. He has taught courses in the law of obligations, agency law, company law, restitution, company finance law, and securities market regulation.

Peter is the general editor of the prestigious English text Bowstead & Reynolds on Agency (21st ed, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2018). His other books include Directors' Powers and Duties (2nd ed, LexisNexis, Wellington, 2015), and P Watts, N Campbell, and C Hare, Company Law in New Zealand (2nd ed, LexisNexis, Wellington, 2016). He is also one of the authors of Morison's Company and Securities Law and of Heath & Whale on Insolvency. He is the New Zealand regional editor of the Restitution Law Review, an editor of the Company and Securities Law Bulletin, joint editor of the New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, and Agency law editor of the Journal of Business Law (UK).

Peter has advised the New Zealand Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales on a number of private law and commercial law projects. He has served as Acting Dean of the Faculty and as a representative of the Professors on the Council of the University.

Peter is a barrister at Bankside Chambers in Auckland, and a door tenant at Fountain Court Chambers, the Temple, London.

Peter was made Queen's Counsel in May 2013. In October 2014, Peter was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

In the first half of 2016, Peter was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor to the United Kingdom, based at the University of Oxford. From July 2017, Peter is on leave without pay from the Faculty.


Research | Current

Teaching | Current

  • Currrently on leave

Postgraduate supervision


The Americas Cup Deeds of Gift (PhD)

Bonds and Bond Trusts (PhD)

Regulation by Exemption: The Securities Act Regime as a Case Study in the Propensity for Regulatory Distortion, and Some Solutions (PhD)

Auditor Liability (LLM)

So v HSBC: An Examination of the State of the Law of Vicarious Liability for Employees' Negligent Statements (LLM)

A History of the Action of Deceit on the Case and Related Developments in Contract Law (PhD)

Interlocutory Injunctions and Third Parties: Exposing the Sub-text (PhD)

Executive Remuneration: What Controls, if Any, Should be Placed on Executive Remuneration in New Zealand?

The Shareholder's Right to Fair Value and Reform of the Minority Buy-Out Provisions of the Companies Act 1993

The Freedom of Establishment for Corporations in the European Union

Ascertaining the Criminal Liability of a Corporation

Insider Trading and Tipping under the Securities Markets Act 1988

Amalgamations and Takeover Regulation

Break Fees in Mergers and Takeovers


Queen's Counsel (2013)

Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (2014)

Leverhulme Visiting Professor to the United Kingdom (2016)

Research Excellence Award (2016)

Senior Research Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford (2017 ongoing)


Areas of expertise

  • Agency Law
  • Company Law
  • Law of Restitution

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (admitted 1981)

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.


Contact details

Primary office location

9 EDEN CRESCENT - Bldg 801
Level 1, Room 102
New Zealand

Web links