LL4BL      Half Unit
Financial 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 financial crime committed within the commercial and business environment and explores current perspectives in the detection, investigation and prosecution of these cases in the wake of the global financial crisis. The introductory session explores the taxonomy of financial crime, examining the nature and extent of financial crime, its social and economic impact and the perceived ambivalence to the prosecution of financial crime offenders. The course explores a definition of fraud through a consideration of notions of dishonesty and deception, examining the role of consent and the interaction between the criminal law and civil law notions of property and trust. Cybercrime is the most prevalent way in which fraud is committed today. In addition to exploring its nature and scale, the course considers how the criminal law is deployed to combat cybercrime. The engagement between financial crime and the global financial crisis is a critically important topic and the course examines offences such as insider dealing and misleading the financial markets. In addition, the course explores the potential criminality of other practices such as manipulating the financial markets, short selling and reckless risk taking. International initiatives to promote asset confiscation and penalise money laundering have featured heavily in the fight against financial crime. The course examines the tensions which arise when these initiatives are implemented into domestic law. Finally, the course explores the difficulties encountered by the enforcement authorities when investigating financial crime cases and the potential incompatibility between the exercise of compulsory interrogation powers and privacy issues. The course concludes with a session on the principles of sentencing in financial crime cases. There is no overlap between this course and the course on Corporate Crime in the Michaelmas (first) Term. Corporate Crime is not a pre-requisite for this course.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 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 Green: Lying, Cheating and Stealing: A Moral Theory of White Collar Crime, 2005, Oxford University Press; Ryder: Financial Crime in the 21st Century, Law and Policy, 2011, Edward Elgar; Edelbacher, Kratcoski, Theil: Financial Crimes, A Threat to Global Security, 2012, CRC Press Taylor & Francis Group.


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: 28

Controlled access 2015/16: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills