Commercial Law

Jessica Wood-Waikari (Ngāti Porou), Assistant Manager, KPMG; Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce (Commercial Law, International Business, Māori Studies and Philosophy)


Lawyers and business professionals regularly deal with commercial law issues, which can be complex and demanding, but also exciting and rewarding, emotionally and financially.

Commercial law encompasses the strong set of rules and regulations around business agreements between individuals and organisations. When agreements are breached or misinterpreted, which they often are, your knowledge of commercial law will help you to provide practical and strategic advice, settle disputes and provide resolutions.

Commercial law graduates may work in specialist areas such as contracts, commercial elements of property law, insolvency and business reconstruction, consumer law, privacy, intellectual property (IP), corporate governance, procurement, employment, health and safety, tax, retail, dispute resolution, negligence and ACC.

Current trends in commercial law

  • Increasing merger and acquisition (M&A) activity
  • Accelerated investment in AI, service platforms and data analytics
  • Adoption of more rigorous cyber-security measures
  • Higher client expectations
  • Greater emphasis on health and safety regulations and organisational accountability

Source: LexisNexis

What does the future hold?

The Covid-19 crisis of 2020 has highlighted that the only future certainty is uncertainty. However, graduates equipped with commercial law skills, including the ability to read and understand legislation and how government policy is formulated and implemented, will be in a strong position to work in business and advisory roles. They will also be better positioned to influence change by being well-grounded in New Zealand’s framework of commercial law and how it relates to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The knowledge of fundamental law concepts and the strong set of ethical standards gained by studying commercial law will be vital to organisations in an increasingly complex global business context.

From 2021, the Department of Commercial Law is offering two postgraduate qualifications in information governance. This represents the Department’s investment in training students for the future of work. These courses will offer you insights in the legal and compliance environment of information governance including the legal implications of AI, data analytics, block chain and cyber security measures. Knowledge in this area will help you stand out to employers and will equip you to manage your career in future.

What skills and attributes can I gain from my Commercial Law major?

  • An in-depth understanding of fundamental commercial law concepts and theories
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • A strong sense of justice and professional ethics
  • Problem solving and sound decision-making skills
  • An understanding of Aotearoa New Zealand law principles
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Relationship building and collaboration skills
  • A commitment to ongoing learning
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Commercial law career options

A Bachelor of Commerce graduate who has majored in Commercial Law (depending on the other business subjects studied) could become a financial accountant, financial adviser, investment consultant, receiver, tax professional, regulator or business policy adviser. Some graduates with Commercial Law and Accounting majors find that their depth of knowledge is valuable when embarking on roles as professional accountants. Other exciting career paths include:

  • Client relationship manager
  • Recruitment specialist
  • Brand manager
  • Innovation manager
  • Business development/sales person
  • HR people and culture managers/consultants
  • Project manager/contract administrator/consultant

An academic career specialising in commercial law is also a possibility. To become a commercial lawyer you need a Bachelor of Laws degree.

Where do Commercial Law graduates work?

Commercial law graduates find employment in a wide variety of commercial organisations such as banks, insurance companies, accounting firms, consultancies and property firms, as well as a wide variety of local and central government departments. Examples of government departments include Inland Revenue, Treasury, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Health, MBIE, the Reserve Bank and ACC.

Commercial Law graduate profiles

University of Auckland clubs and societies for Commercial Law students

The Auckland University Law Students’ Society

The society hosts social and sporting events, competitions and educational workshops.
Learn more

Auckland University Commerce Students' Association

Auckland University Commerce Students Association (AUCSA) is the student hub of social and well-being activities within the Business School. ​
Learn more

Mooting Society

The Mooting Society hosts a variety of prestigious competitions and provides guidance for law students
Learn more

More clubs and societies at the Business School

Professional associations for Commercial Law students and Bachelor of Laws graduates

As well as professional registration, industry bodies can provide regular communications and offer the chance to network with other professionals.

Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can also help you to keep up-to-date with industry knowledge, events and job vacancies.

Useful resources

Careers New Zealand

The Careers New Zealand website provides useful salary information for a range of business and industry roles, as well as information on the difference a qualification makes to what you are paid, and advice on negotiating your salary. You can also search for salary information by job.
Careers New Zealand

Accounts and Tax Agents Institute of New Zealand (ATAINZ)

ATAINZ promotes the welfare and professional development of its members and represents their interests in New Zealand.
Accounts and Tax Agents Institute of New Zealand (ATAINZ)


CA ANZ’s vision is to empower members to become leaders and shapers of finance and business in Australia and New Zealand. Its key strategic objectives are to support its members and the profession to maintain their relevance and skills at a global level.
Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ)

CPA Australia

Information about the benefits of becoming a CPA.
CPA Australia

Human Resources Institute of New Zealand (HRINZ)

HRINZ are committed to helping shape the future of the HR profession, which means HR students are really important to them. Here you will find all the information about student relevant services and offerings.

Inside Careers

Inside Careers are specialists in business careers in the UK. Information on career sectors such as Actuaries and Intellectual Property.
Inside Careers