Commercial Contracts

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joseph Spooner and Dr Paul Macmahon

Additional Teachers: Dr Jo Braithwaite, 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 is a study of the general principles of English law governing commercial contracts. It approaches the topic in two parts. Part 1, ‘Fundamentals of Commercial Contracting’ is effectively a study of advanced contract law, and 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. This part explores essential aspects of contract law such as contractual interpretation and the doctrines of mistake and frustration. Other topics include pre-contractual negotiations, multi-party transactions, and agreed remedies. Part 2, ‘Fundamentals of Commercial Law’ examines core topics in commercial law, offering students an overview of the most significant areas in this field. It focuses on sales contracts; money, banking and payment methods; credit and secured transactions; agency; assignment; commercial dispute resolution; and international commercial contracts.


Topics are likely to include:


Part 1 – Fundamentals of Commercial Contracting

  • The interpretation of contracts.
  • Pre-contractual duties and the obligation to negotiate contracts in good faith.
  • Mistakes in contracts and 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.
  • Banking contracts, money, and (international) payment methods.
  • Commercial dispute resolution and international commercial contracting.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 40 hours across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This year some or all of this teaching will be delivered through recorded online lectures and a mix of both in-person and online classes to accommodate students who are unable to physically be on campus.  This course includes a reading week in Weeks 6 of Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Two formative (unassessed) essays in Michaelmas Term.

Indicative reading

For the advanced contract law portion of the course, you have the same choice of main text that you had for LL104: Chen-Wishart, Contract Law, (5th edn, OUP 2015) or McKendrick, Contract Law (12th edn, Palgrave 2017). Up-to-date casebooks include Burrows, A Casebook on Contract, (5th edn, Hart Publishing 2016) and McKendrick, Contract Law: Text, Cases and Materials (8th edn, OUP 2018).

For the commercial law topics, the main textbook is McKendrick (ed.), Goode on Commercial Law (5th edn, Penguin 2017). For cases and materials, you might find useful Clarke, Hooley, Munday, Sealy, Tettenborn, and Turner, Commercial Law: Text, Cases, and Materials, (5th edn, OUP 2017). For topic overviews, you may also wish to try Burrows (ed.), English Private Law (3rd edn, OUP 2013), available online through the LSE Library website.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.


Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2019/20: 88

Average class size 2019/20: 15

Capped 2019/20: Yes (89)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills