Professor Mike Gedye retires

26 April 2018
Professor Mike Gedye, Department of Commercial Law

When Commercial Law Professor Mike Gedye went to say goodbye to colleagues down the hill at the Law School, Professor Francis Dawson remarked, “There’s something topsy turvy here – I’m still working but one of my students is retiring!”

Mike is retiring relatively early, at 61, so he can enjoy his other passion – the outdoors, starting with a lengthy holiday in Europe. He will be missed. In his 27 years in the Department of Commercial Law at the Business School, Mike published and consulted widely in the fields of finance law and insolvency law. He established himself as a leading international scholar in the field of personal property securities law. A consultant to New Zealand law firms, government and business organisations, he has also advised on law reform in other countries, including England, Scotland, China, Malaysia and Australia. He counts this opportunity to help shape new laws as a career highlight, alongside student contact and his close association with the insolvency profession and the judiciary.

In  1994, he co-authored with Justice Sir Peter Blanchard a seminal text book on company receivership in New Zealand and Australia, which won the Northey Award for best legal text in New Zealand.  Another career highlight was the international collaborations he established, which generated the leading New Zealand text on secured transactions law that he co-authored with Canadian colleagues.  This work has been widely cited by other academics, the Courts and international law reform agencies.

Colleague Associate Professor Gehan Gunasekara, who joined the department the same year that Mike did – 1991 – says Mike has “epitomised collegiality through maintaining and building links with the professions, the judiciary and industry, and maintaining close connections with the Law School. He’s also forged new connections within the Business School, thereby cementing the position of the Department of Commercial law as an indispensable part of the University.”

He served a term as Head of Department. Says Gehan: “If Mike’s contribution can be distilled into one or two characteristics these would be flexibility and passion. He has shown the ability to be flexible throughout, transitioning from practice to teaching and using innovative approaches to teaching suited to the needs of business students - he recognises that those in business, not lawyers, are the first responders to legal problems. His passion is evident in his approach to teaching, which inspired students through his enthusiasm and concern for their needs and welfare.”