Emeritus Professor Peter George Watts
QC, LLB(Hons) (Cantuar), LLM (Cantab), FRSNZ
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
- Agency Law
- Company Law
- Law of Restitution
A Tort of Refusing to Contract? (557 KB PDF)
directors-powers-and-duties.pdf (923 KB PDF)
Teaching | Current
- Currrently on leave
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
- Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (admitted 1981)
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Watts, P. (2019). The travails of vicarious liability. Law Quarterly Review, 135, 7-11. Related URL.
- Watts, P. G. (2018). Does Apparent Authority Wane? A Problematic Question in English Agency Law. Journal of Business Law, 663-678. Related URL.
- Watts, P. G. (2018). Attribution and Limitation. Law Quarterly Review, 134 (3), 350-354.
- Watts, P. G. (2017). The Insolvency of Agents. Law Quarterly Review, 133, 11-14.
- Watts, P. G. (2017). Actual Authority: the Requirement for an Agent Honestly to Believe that an Exercise of Power is in the Principal's Interests. Journal of Business Law, 2017 (4), 269-281.
- Watts, P. G. (2016). 'Unjust enrichment'—The potion that induces well-meaning sloppiness of thought. Current Legal Problems, 69, 289-325. 10.1093/clp/cuw010
- Watts, P. G. (2016). Directors as Agents–Some Aspects of Disputed Territory. In D. Busch, L. Macgregor, P. Watts (Eds.) Agency Law in Commercial Practice (pp. 97-118). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. Related URL.
- Watts, P. G. (2016). Agents' Disbursal of Funds in Breach of Instructions. Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly, 2016, 118-134. Related URL.
- Media Contact
Primary office location
9 EDEN CRESCENT - Bldg 801
Level 1, Room 102
9 EDEN CRES