Commercial Contracts

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Paul Macmahon (Michaelmas Term) NAB6.02A and Dr Joseph Spooner (Lent and Summer Terms) NAB6.29

Additional Teachers: Dr Jo Braithwaite, Professor Ross Cranston, Professor Michael Lobban, Dr Nick Sage.


This course is available on the BA in Anthropology and Law and LLB in Laws. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is not available to General Course students.

This optional LLB course is normally available to students who have completed Law of Obligations LL104.



Completion of LL104 - Law of Obligations is normally a prerequisite.

Course content


LL202 Commercial Contracts comprises a study of the general principles of English law governing commercial contracts. Its examination of this subject-matter divides into two parts. Part 1, ‘Fundamentals of Commercial Contracting’ examines several important aspects of, or themes in, the law’s regulation of commercial contracting. The topics are chosen because of their intrinsic interest, and because of the opportunity offered for an advanced contextualised examination of contract law fundamentals. Part 1 therefore explores topics including the process of commercial contracting; multi-party transactions and agreed remedies. Part 2, ‘Fundamentals of Commercial Law’ examines core topics in commercial law. It focuses on an examination of the sale of goods contract, while also considering several important allied topics: money, payment and payment methods; credit, security and reservation of title; agency; and assignment. The course concludes with a discussion of dispute resolution in commercial contracts, particularly those of an international nature.

Topics are likely to include:

Part 1 – Fundamentals of Commercial Contracting

  • Freedom of contract.
  • The formation of commercial contracts and their interpretation.
  • Pre-contractual duties.
  • Mistakes in contracts.
  • Frustration of contracts.
  • Multi-party projects (privity of contract).
  • Agreed remedies.


Part 2 – Fundamentals of Commercial Law

  • Agency.
  • Assignment.
  • Contracts for the sale of goods.
  • Credit and security.
  • Money, payment and payment methods.
  • Commercial dispute resolution.
  • International contracting.


20 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 2 hours of lectures and 1 hour of classes in the ST.

Formative coursework

Two formative essays per term.

Indicative reading

The principal textbooks for the course are:

  • Chen-Wishart, Contract Law, 5th edn (OUP 2015)
  • McKendrick, Goode on Commercial Law, 5th edn (Penguin 2017)

Students may also wish to consult:

  • Beale, Bishop and Furmston, Contract: Cases and Materials, 5th edn (OUP 2007)
  • Sealy and Hooley, Commercial Law: Text, Cases and Materials, 4th edn (OUP 2008)
  • Andrew Burrows (ed.), English Private Law (3rd Edition, OUP, 2013).


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

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2016/17: 68

Average class size 2016/17: 11

Capped 2016/17: Yes (75)

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills