Geoff McLay

Prof Geoff McLay profile picture

Professor Faculty of Law


BA, LLB(Hons) Well, LLM, SJD Mich


Geoff McLay has taught at the Faculty of Law since 1995. He served a Law Commissioner between 2010 and 2015. He currently serves as the chair of the Legislation Design Advisory Committee’s external subcommittee. He is also the editor of the New Zealand Law Reports. In 2006 he was the New Zealand Law Foundation International Research Fellow.

Geoff has a BA and LLB (Hons) (First Class) from Victoria University of Wellington. In 2006 he was a visiting Professor at the University of Iowa College of Law teaching torts and advanced torts and product liability. He has also taught advanced torts at the University of Western Ontario (Winter 2002).

At Victoria University of Wellington Geoff has taught a wide range of undergraduate and graduate courses including torts, advanced torts, intellectual property, competition (antitrust) law, comparative constitutional law, and ethics. He has published a wide range of articles in these areas.

At the Law Commission Geoff led projects on Credit Repossession, Trusts, Incorporated Societies, Credit Repossession, Crown Proceedings, Extradition and Mutual Assistance, and Classified and Security Information, He also led the project to rewrite the LDAC’s Guidelines to which all New Zealand legislation must comply.

Geoff’s current research interests can be divided into three fields: Accident Compensation and tort law, and the history of New Zealand, and wider British Empire, constitutional law, and aspects of contemporary Commonwealth public law as they relate to legislative design.

Geoff is currently pursuing a project looking at the constitutional and jurisprudential contribution of Sir Robert Stout and Sir John Salmond. He hopes to publish, in the next few years an annotation edition of New Zealand solicitor-generals’ and attorney-generals’ opinion. He is slowly working towards a biography of Sir Robert Stout, Premier and Chief Justice of New Zealand (and founder of Victoria University of Wellington).

Research interests

Geoff is currently part of a research team “Recovering New Zealand’s Lost Cases”.

Geoff’s publications can be can be found on his SSRN page.

Areas of supervision

  • Torts
  • Trusts and Equity
  • Law Reform
  • Legislation