Professor Peter Watts

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

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Professor » Law

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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 currently the general editor of the prestigious English text Bowstead & Reynolds on Agency (20th ed, Sweet & Maxwell, London, 2014). His other books includeDirectors' Powers and Duties (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2009), and P Watts, N Campbell, and C Hare, Company Law in New Zealand (LexisNexis, Wellington, 2011). 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 also 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.

Research | Current

Teaching | Current

  • LAWCOMM 402 Company Law
  • LAWCOMM 405 Law of Restitution
  • LAWCOMM 717 Agency Law

Postgraduate supervision

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)

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)

  • Reynolds, F. M. B., & Watts, P. G. (2014). Bowstead and Reynolds on Agency (20th edition). London: Sweet & Maxwell. Pages: 944.
  • Watts, P. G. (2013). Tyrrell v Bank of London—An Inside Look at an Inside Job. Law Quarterly Review, 129 (4), 527-558.
  • Watts, P. G. (2013). Getting Lost in the Borderland of Theft: R v Gao and R v Hurring. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 19 (1), 31-43.
  • Watts, P. G. (2013). Yet More Expansion of the Role of Courts in Private Lives. New Zealand Lawyer, (200), 18-20.
  • Watts, P. G. (2012). Principals' Tortious Liability for Agents' Negligent Statements–Is "Authority" Necessary?. Law Quarterly Review, 128 (2), 260-282.
  • Watts, P. G., Campbell, N., & Hare, C. (2011). Company Law in New Zealand. Wellington: LexisNexis.

Contact details

  • Media Contact

Primary location

Level 3, Room 803-301
Auckland 1010
New Zealand