LL4BK      Half Unit
Corporate Crime

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Mr Jonathan Fisher


This course is available on the MSc in Accounting and Finance, MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Law and Accounting, MSc in Regulation, MSc in Risk and Finance, Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Banking Law and Financial Regulation Corporate and/or Commercial Law Corporate and Securities Law Criminology and Criminal Justice International Business Law.

This course is capped at 60 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

This course focuses on crime committed within the commercial and business environment. The law is responding to the challenges presented by corporate crime; as the primary vehicle for commercial activity, unacceptable corporate practices are increasingly made the object of criminal sanction and causes of action in civil law. The course considers the principles of corporate criminal liability and the consequences of conviction for a corporation. The exercise of prosecutorial discretion in corporate crime cases, with a consideration of options such as deferred prosecution agreements, is examined in the context of multi-agency and cross-border investigations. The course procedes to address the enormous challenges in the international fight against corruption. As well as exploring the nature, extent and consequences of corruption, the course examines international responses and their implementation into domestic law. In addition, the course considers other significant areas of potential corporate criminality involving accounting misstatements, cartels and tax offences. The multiple tensions triggered by internal investigations into corporate criminality are also explored in the context of a director’s duties to preserve the company’s assets in a manner consistent with disclosure obligations owed to its stakeholders and the financial markets. The increasing emphasis placed by the law on a company’s obligation to prevent the occurrence of corporate crime is also examined. The course concludes with an exploration of the various ways in which a corporation can be abused by fraudulent trading and trading whilst insolvent, and as well as by organised criminals to conceal the proceeds of their criminal activity. There is no overlap between this course and the course on Financial Crime in the Lent (second) Term.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

The first half of the session is lecture format, the second half seminar format. Students have an opportunity to work with other students in the presentation of seminars. Week 6 is a reading week.There is one revision session in the summer term.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Reading is prescribed for each lecture and seminar. There are no core textbooks available for the course; however, all the reading material is available from resources easily accessible through LSE Moodle, LSE Electronic Library and the internet. Preliminary reading is not required but for an understanding of the areas covered in the course students may read Wells: Corporations and Criminal Responsibility, 2nd edition, 2001, Oxford University Press; Gobert & Punch: Rethinking Corporate Crime, 2003, Butterworths LexisNexis; Green: Lying, Cheating and Stealing: A Moral Theory of White Collar Crime, 2005, Oxford University Press.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2015/16: 58

Average class size 2015/16: 29

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills