Generous legacy to support legal study
31 May 2020
The Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland has received the largest ever gift from a former staff member to advance legal research.
The $5 million legacy was established by the late Emeritus Professor Brian Coote CBE, a renowned private law expert who died last year.
Professor Coote, who taught at the Law School for 33 years, was both Acting Dean and then Dean between 1983 and 1987. An expert in contract law, his legal scholarship influenced a number of decisions of the House of Lords and other senior courts in the Commonwealth.
The income from his gift will be used to assist graduates of the University’s Faculty of Law to study at a PhD level overseas, and to support graduates from overseas to study at Auckland. In line with Professor Coote’s own priorities it will also be used to improve research collections and facilities in the Law School, fund postdoctoral fellowships and assist academic staff to undertake advanced research overseas.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said that she understood that the Emeritus Professor had been a very respected member of the University’s academic staff with a sterling reputation in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally.
“It is particularly apt that his generous legacy will be used to support our PhDs studying abroad, and international students doing the same here at the University of Auckland. We will be furthering Professor Coote’s own work in enhancing the international networks of knowledge; this is central to the contribution of universities around the world."
Professor Coote’s former students may be interested in learning more about the planned Chair in Private Law and possibly even supporting it so that we could name and endow a chair in his honour in perpetuity
"This extraordinarily generous bequest will result in scholarships for PhD students who might otherwise struggle to support the years of intense study that a doctorate requires," says Professor Pene Mathew, Dean of Law.
"It will open up opportunities for visiting scholar arrangements which are important for Aotearoa/New Zealand to remain at the forefront of legal developments, as well as support for the Davis Law Library. Professor Coote’s former students may be interested in learning more about the planned Chair in Private Law and possibly even supporting it so that we could name and endow a chair in his honour in perpetuity.”
Following his retirement in 1994, Professor Coote received a CBE in 1995, was made a Fellow of the Academy of the Humanities in 2007, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand (Te Apārangi) in 2009, and earned a LLD degree from Auckland in 2017.
Read the full story at the NZ Herald, University of Auckland Law School professor Brian Coote bequeaths $5 million to university, 30 May 2020.
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