New Zealand Law Society - $5m legacy to support legal study

$5m legacy to support legal study

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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, a renowned private law expert who died in 2019.

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 university says the income from the legacy will be used to assist graduates of the Faculty of Law to study at a PhD level overseas, and to support graduates from overseas to study at Auckland. 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.

“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,” says Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater.

“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."  

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.

Find out how to support Professor Coote's vision