The 2016 New Zealand Power Lawyer List . .

17. Peter Watts QC

Professor Peter Watts QC is highly regarded and one of the few academic lawyers to have

Peter Watts QC
Peter Watts QC

become a silk.  Appointed in the ‘catch up’ round in 2013, Professor Watts is recognised internationally as an expert on commercial law matters, particularly agency and company law, equity, restitution and insolvency.

However his role as a consultant and adviser upon a range of legal issues has seen his hand behind many complex commercial matters that is not necessarily evident to many outside of the immediate legal teams.  Residing at Bankside Chambers he is also door tenant at London’s Fountain Court Chambers.

His academic writing is extensive, extending from his editing of the leading text in the Commonwealth on Agency (Boxstead & Reynolds on Agency being a major and prestigious work) as well as his texts on company law and directors powers and duties.

His influence also extends beyond these shores with his academic writing in numerous law journals cited by judges in the House of Lords, the Australian High Court and many Commonwealth courts, including our own Supreme Court.

More recently he has been embroiled in a disagreement within the Auckland University Law School regarding the increase in the student intake in a move that could also harm the University’s rankings.

“The main problem with it is the difficulties of recruiting top quality teachers in law means that there’s a concern that the quality of the teaching of the basic compulsory course in the law degree will be adversely affected.”

Acknowledging how the new move could affect the university’s world rankings, Watts said: “Some people think an increase in the size of the law school is likely to improve the ranking. But a lot of people – including myself – think that that’s unlikely and in fact will harm the ranking,” he told the NZ Herald.

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