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?

    • The University of Auckland consistently ranks in the top 100 globally and is New Zealand’s No. 1 university. (QS World University Rankings)
      • The Business School at The University of Auckland is part of the 1% of Business Schools worldwide with Triple Crown accreditation. (AACSB International, EFMD-EQUIS, and AMBA)
        • The University hosts more researchers in business and economics than any other New Zealand university. This expertise provides opportunities for original and significant contributions to knowledge in various disciplines.
          • Students have opportunities to connect with professionals from their discipline through networking event, fostering collaboration and industry connections.
            • The Business School offers state-of-the-art facilities, including dedicated workspaces for full-time PhD students.
              • Doctoral candidates receive annual Postgraduate Research Student Support (PReSS) funding to cover research expenses.
                • The Business School Careers Centre assists students with career planning through skills workshops, employer interactions and individual support.

                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

                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
                • ‘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