Peter Watts QC, FRSNZ is a New Zealand barrister.
He currently practises full-time at Bankside Chambers, Auckland, one of New Zealand’s leading commercial sets. He provides opinions, and acts in arbitrations, in England through Fountain Court but is not admitted to the English bar.
He is a world expert, both as barrister and academic, on the law of agency. Since 2008 he has been the General Editor of Bowstead and Reynolds on Agency (22nd ed, 2021). His practice otherwise is principally in the areas of company law, insolvency law, restitution, commercial trusts and equity.
Peter taught law at the University of Auckland for over 30 years, and currently holds a visiting professorship at the University of Oxford. He is a Senior Research Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford. His other books include Directors’ Powers and Duties (3rd ed, 2022), and P Watts, N Campbell and C Hare, Company Law in New Zealand (2nd ed, 2016). He is also one of the contributing editors for Chitty on Contracts. Peter’s influential articles have been referred to many times in UK appellate courts.
Re Cryptopia Ltd  NZHC 728
Acting as lead counsel in the Commonwealth’s first fully contested case as to whether cryptocurrencies are property. Successfully argued that cryptocurrency exchange held currency on trust for investors.
Singularis Holdings Ltd v Daiwa Capital Markets Europe Ltd  UKSC 50
Advising on issues of attribution of acts and knowledge in company law.
Eze v Conway  EWCA Civ 88
Advising on whether introducing agent owed fiduciary duties.
UBS AG (London Branch) v Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig GmbH  EWCA Civ 1567
Advising on a range of agency law issues.
Dunhill v Burgin  UKSC 18
Advising on apparent authority of barrister acting for incapax client to enter into settlement of litigation.
“We have been greatly helped by the analysis provided by Professor Watts in a characteristically lucid article, ‘Illegality and Agency Law: Authorising Illegal Action’  JBL 213”
Lord Toulson and Lord Hodge in Bilta (UK) Ltd v Nazir (No 2)  UKSC 23 at 
“The reasoning in the Akai case has been the subject of strong criticism, however: Bowstead & Reynolds on Agency (21st edn, 2017) paras 8–49 to 8–50; P Watts, ‘Some Wear and Tear on Armagas v Mundogas—The Tension between Having and Wanting in the Law of Agency’ (2015) 1 LMCLQ 36, 48–56. In the Board’s respectful view, much of that criticism has considerable force”:
Lord Kitchin in East Asia Co Ltd v PT Satria  UKPC 30 at 
“The facts of the case are somewhat complex and the reasoning of the opinions of Lord Westbury LC, Lord Cranworth and Lord Chelmsford is not always entirely easy to follow. The decision has been carefully and interestingly analysed by Professor Watts, ‘Tyrrell v Bank of London – an Inside Look at an Inside Job’ (2013) 129 LQR 527”:
Lord Neuberger in FHR European Ventures LLP v Cedar Capital  UKSC 45 at