LL4F2      Half Unit
The Law and Practice of International Finance

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joanne Braithwaite NAB 7.28


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 90 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

LL4F2 examines the legal issues which arise in international financial markets based in London. This course looks at various types of financial transactions and structures which are widely used in the financial markets, such as derivatives and syndicated loans. We make reference to certain sets of trade association drafted terms throughout the course, subject to obtaining the necessary licences from the trade associations in question. With an emphasis on private law, the course considers the relevant legal, commercial and regulatory background, and the risks and protections available to participants in the global financial markets. The course is based upon an analysis of the relevant issues under English law with some reference to other systems for comparative purposes. The subject matter ties in well with the LLM evening seminars in financial and corporate law. The course will be underpinned by discussion of the legal principles involved in international finance, but the case studies referenced will be topical. In this sense, the content of the course will be adapted to the fast-moving developments affecting international markets in capital and in risk (for example, in recent sessions the course has examined mis-selling litigation in the international derivatives markets, the legal basis of prime brokerage relationships, the related Lehman Brothers litigation and the ongoing regulatory reform of the OTC derivatives markets, including the new requirement of mandatory CCP clearing triggered by the G20 statement in 2009).


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Lent Term. Students will usually have two additional hours in the Summer Term. This year 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 Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be asked to submit one essay, which may be completed in exam conditions. The course also involves group presentations and other classwork.

Indicative reading

Examples of texts which will be referenced on the course: J Braithwaite, 'Law after Lehmans' (LSE Law Working Paper 11/2014); J Braithwaite 'Standard form contracts as transnational law' (2012) 75(5) MLR 779;  L Gullifer and J Payne, Corporate Finance Law: Principles and Policy (Hart, 3rd edition, 2020). A full reading list will be distributed via Moodle.


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

Assessment is by closed book written examination. 

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: 38

Average class size 2019/20: 10

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills