Commercial Law

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Ewan McGaughey


This course is available on the BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Business Mathematics and Statistics, BSc in Economics, BSc in Human Resource Management and Employment Relations, BSc in Management, BSc in Management Sciences and BSc in Statistics with Finance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

Commercial law is an introduction to the basic institutions of the market economy and corporate governance in a post-financial crisis world: the law of contract, companies and insolvency.

In contract, we cover how agreements become legally binding, basic consumer protection laws and the regulation of unfair terms, cancelling a contract for misrepresentation or coercion, and claiming damages when a contract is breached.

In company and insolvency law, we examine how company directors are held accountable to shareholders and stakeholders through corporate governance mechanisms, and litigation in court. We also look at the place of companies within private law, how banks create security interests through lending, the consequences of corporate insolvency, the processes of administration and liquidation, and holding wrongdoing directors accountable.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the MT and LT.

Indicative reading

Core texts: E McKendrick, Contract Law; Dignam and Lowry, Company Law; Keay and Walton, Insolvency Law: Corporate and Personal. Supplementary texts: Collins, The Law of Contract; Davies, Gower and Davies' Principles of Modern Company Law. Further reading will be recommended at the start of each segment of the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 30

Average class size 2012/13: 11

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills