Professor Susan Mary Watson
MJur, LLB (Hons)
Professor Susan Watson researches and teaches corporate law and corporate governance. She has a particular interest in the corporate form and in her research seeks to understand how the form developed, why it is so successful, and the economic and societal impact of corporations. Her research has been published widely in New Zealand and internationally; she has edited treatises and textbooks, five collections and numerous articles. Her work has been cited and discussed by other scholars in the field and by courts at all levels including the UK Supreme Court. Until recently Susan was joint editor of the New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, and is currently the New Zealand editor for the Journal of Business Law. In 2016 she won the 2015 Legal Research Foundation Sir Ian Barker Published Article Award for How the Company Became an Entity - A New Understanding of Corporate Law. This award was given for the best article, essay or discrete book chapter published by a New Zealand-based author in 2015.
Before joining the University, Susan worked as a staff solicitor and associate in two city law firms, and taught part of the Institute of Professional Legal Studies law professionals course. Before joining the Law School she was Professor of Commercial Law in the Business School where she was Head of Department from 2008 to 2011 and Associate Dean Academic Faculty in 2011. She is currently Deputy Dean of the Law School.
Research | Current
Within her areas of specialisation, Susan is particularly interested in the corporation as an entity and legal person and the legal ramifications of this conceptualisation of the corporate form.She is currently writing a series of articles about the modern company or corporation, how it evolved to their current form, and how states can best regulate the world’s dominant legal structure.Susan is part of a research project looking at the relationship between leadership and governance and is also working on a project about corporate governance in Quaker companies.
Teaching | Current
- 2015 Company Law
- 2010 Honours course on issues in company and contract law
- 2015 LAWCOMM 709 Corporate Governance
Heida Donegan - Legal transplants in Chinese Corporate Governance- PhD
Wei Feng - Political Deteminants of Corporate Governance- PhD
Past- Rebecca Hirsch- Governance of Family Businesses -PhD
Wenge Wang- Independent Directors in China- PhD
- 2015 Legal Research Foundation Sir Ian Barker Published Article Award for How the Company Became an Entity - A New Understanding of Corporate Law. This award is given for the best article, essay or discrete book chapter published by a New Zealand-based author in 2015.
- 2004 Teaching Excellence Award
Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law
Areas of expertise
- Company law
- Corporate governance
- Deputy Dean Auckland Law School
- Legal Research Foundation Council
- Corporate law teachers Association Council
- Faculty of Business and Economic Equal Opportunities Officer 2002- 2010
- Head of Department of Commercial Law - 2008- 2010
- Member University Staffing Committee- 2010 -
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Watson, S. M. (2015). Corporate law and Governance. New Zealand Law Review, 2015 (2), 239-258.
- Watson, S. M. (2015). How the Company Became an Entity: A New Understanding of Corporate Law. Journal of Business Law (1), 120-141. Related URL.
- Thomas, R. S., & Watson, S. M. (2013). Should New Zealand Adopt Say on Pay?. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 19 (2), 111-137.
- Farrar, J., & Watson, S. (Eds.) (2013). Company and Securities Law in New Zealand (2nd Edition). Thomson Reuters. Pages: 1399. Related URL.
- Huang, C. C., Watson, S. M., & Chen, J. (2012). Putting “Why” Before “How”: Evaluating the Rationales for Partial Privatisation of State-Owned Enterprises in New Zealand. New Zealand Business Law Quarterly, 18 (3), 219-250. Related URL.
- Vasudev, P. M., & Watson, S. (Eds.) (2012). Corporate Governance After the Financial Crisis. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Pages: 320. 10.4337/9780857931535
- Watson, S. M. (2011). The Significance of the Source of the Powers of Boards of Directors in UK Company Law. Journal of Business Law (6), 597-613.
- Watson, S. M. (2011). Conceptual Confusion: Organs, Agents and Identity in the English Courts. Singapore Academy of Law Journal, 23 (Special), 762-794.