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Legal Academic Leaves Largest Bequest Left to Auckland Law School

The Auckland Law School has received a $5 million bequest from one of its former academics, the late Professor Brian Coote, a private law expert who died last year.

The author of the influencial “Exception Clauses”, Professor Coote taught at the school for over 30 years and was Dean for four years until 1987.

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His renowned scholarship and expertise in contract law influenced decisions in the House of Lords and other senior courts throughout 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.

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