Commercial Contracts

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joseph Spooner and Dr Paul Macmahon

Additional Teachers: Dr Jo Braithwaite, Professor Michael Lobban, Dr Nick Sage, Professor Hugh Collins.


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 significant 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, and applying contract law in commercial contexts. It focuses on sales contracts; banking contracts; 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).
  • Relational contracts and implied duties of good faith performance.
  • Agreed remedies.

Part 2 – Fundamentals of Commercial Law

  • Agency.
  • Assignment.
  • Contracts for the sale of goods.
  • Credit and security.
  • Banking contracts.
  • Commercial dispute resolution and international commercial contracting.


This course will have a minimum of two hours of teaching content each week in Michaelmas Term and Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. 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, (6th edn, OUP 2018) or McKendrick, Contract Law (13th edn, Palgrave 2019). Up-to-date casebooks include Burrows, A Casebook on Contract, (7th edn, Hart Publishing 2020) and McKendrick, Contract Law: Text, Cases and Materials (9th edn, OUP 2020).

For the commercial law topics, the main textbook is McKendrick (ed.), Goode and McKendrick on Commercial Law (6th edn, Penguin 2021). 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.


Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 89

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Capped 2020/21: Yes (89)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills