Doctoral study in Commercial Law

The MCom, BCom(Hons) in Commercial Law, the MTaxS, MLS and LLM are all pathways to a PhD in Commercial Law.

Why study with us?

  • We are a leading education provider in our subject in the Asia-Pacific region
  • We are the most innovative university in Australia and New Zealand, ranked 27th in the Reuters Top 75: Asia’s Most Innovative Universities ranking
  • Postgraduate Research Student Support (PReSS) funding is available for research expenses

Research opportunities

When you undertake your doctorate in Commercial Law at the University of Auckland, you’ll join a high calibre community of internationally-recognised researchers. You’ll have opportunities to publish your research and present it at international conferences. You may also be actively involved in supporting industry and government initiatives.

We welcome research proposals in topics relating to our key research specialisations:

  • Governance and financing of business enterprises
  • Taxation and regulation
  • Intellectual property, innovation and information
  • Data privacy law
  • Law and artificial intelligence
  • Employment law

Our people

Our staff focus on producing excellent research that is current, relevant and has an impact on business and the professions.

Auckland Law School supervisors

Craig Elliffe: International taxation, corporate taxation, taxation of trusts and non-corporate entities, tax avoidance,tax reform including capital gains tax.

Rohan Havelock: Equity, unjust enrichment, restitution, contract, insurance.

An Hertogen: International law, international economic law.

Michael Littlewood : Tax law and tax policy including international tax (for example, tax treaties), tax avoidance, tax history, political and constitutional aspects of taxation (for example, fiscal responsibility), tax competition, doctrinal analysis.

Chris Noonan: Company law, competition law, economic regulation, international trade and the WTO.

Marcus Roberts: Contract law, company law and tort law.

Warren Swain: English legal history, especially the history of contract law, tort law and unjust enrichment, the history of legal literature, legal biography, English, New Zealand or Australian contract law, and the history of contract law in New Zealand.

Peter Watts: Company law, equity, restitution, agency law, trusts, securities.

Business School supervisors

Julie Cassidy: Company law, particularly directors’ duties; taxation, particularly capital gains tax and anti-tax avoidance; and human rights, particularly indigenous land rights and ‘stolen generations’.

Gehan Gunasekara: Franchising law, data privacy law, whistle-blowing/protected disclosures law.

Michael Josling: Insolvency law, company law and legal history.

Benjamin Liu: Law and artificial intelligence, financial markets law, international finance and derivatives.

Chris Nicoll: Marine law, carriage of goods by sea, international sale of goods, insurance, contract law.

John Ren: Commercial law, including construction contracts and credit law.

Alex Sims: Intellectual property law, including copyright and trademarks, consumer law including unfair contract terms law, information technology law including smart contracts and the block chain, cryptocurrencies, partnership law and incorporated societies law.

Alan Toy: Employment law, online contracts and data privacy law.

Past research topics

  • ‘Strengthening the Settings for Inland Revenue’s Statutory Role as Tax Collector’, supervised by Professor Craig Elliffe and Dr Mark Bowler-Smith
  • ‘Reducing Workplace Injuries: The Efficacy of New Zealand’s Occupational Health and Safety Legal Regime’, supervised by Professor Julie Cassidy
  • ‘Corporate Political Spending Information Disclosure Regime: Economic Consequences and Future Development’, supervised by Professor Susan Watson and Professor David Mayes
  • ‘A Legal Perspective On Incorporated Family Businesses Through The Lens of Corporate Governance and Company Law’, supervised by Professor Susan Watson and Professor John Farra
  • ‘Online Shopping: Pearls and Pitfalls for New Zealand Consumers – How to Increase Consumer Protection and Confidence’, supervised by Associate Professor Alexandra Sims and John Ren
  • ‘Tax Response to Global Matchmakers’, supervised by Professor Craig Elliffe and Dr Chris Noonan

Scholarships and awards

There are several scholarships you may be eligible for when you decide to pursue your doctoral studies in Commercial Law.

University of Auckland Doctoral Scholarships

Barry Spicer and Owen G Glenn PhD Scholarship

Doctoral Scholarships in Law

Contact us

Phone the University

  •  923 7186 (within Auckland)
  • 0800 61 62 63 (outside Auckland)
  • +64 9 373 7513 (overseas)

Email the Business School Postgraduate Adviser
Paul Gutierrez Quiroga:

Email the Auckland Law School student adviser
Angela Vaai:

Apply for doctoral study