Peter Watts QC has started full-time practice at Bankside Chambers in Auckland.
Sought after for his encyclopaedic knowledge of commercial law, Watts is recognised as one of the world’s leading authorities on the law of agency and as one of New Zealand’s top experts in company and commercial law.
A go-to expert for NZ’s most complex matters in fraud, corruption, and agency law, he expects to practice more widely in commercial disputes in court and in arbitrations now that he has commenced full-time practice in Auckland.
The move comes after his recent appointment as a visiting professor of the University of Oxford’s Faculty of Law. He will teach at Oxford in October of each year along with a group that includes retired judge Lord Hoffman, Columbia University professor Jeffrey Gordon, Gabriel Moss QC, Philip Baker QC, and Richard Salter QC.
In the UK, he is a door tenant at Fountain Court Chambers, one of the UK’s five Magic Circle chambers. As a member of Fountain Court Chambers’ 12-strong door tenants group, who are selected for their status as international experts, Watts has acted in major matters before the England and Wales Court of Appeal, the UK Supreme Court, and in the state courts of New York.
In New Zealand, Watts is also known for his more than 30 years as professor of law at the University of Auckland
, during which he also practiced as a barrister. He is also a renowned author, with his writing cited in the highest courts of the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. He edits ”Bowstead and Reynolds on Agency,” the seminal agency law work, which is cited in legal cases every year in the Commonwealth. He is also the co-author of “Company Law in New Zealand.”
“There are few commercial fraud or corruption cases that wouldn’t involve a question of agency law. The effect of using agents to make contracts is heartland commercial law. It doesn’t matter if the ‘agent’ is an employee, real estate agent, solicitor or broker: they are all within the compass of the subject,” he said.
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