LL4AK      Half Unit
Principles of Corporate Insolvency Law

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Sarah Paterson


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 will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Corporate and/or Commercial Law.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.


It is recommended that students have completed Corporate Rescue and Reorganisation (LL4AJ), although this is not essential.

Course content

This course is concerned with the principles and policies underlying the realisation and distribution of a company’s assets in an insolvency. The impact of these principles on third parties such as corporate groups, secured and unsecured creditors, directors and employees, is also considered. Topics include: secured credit;  the distributional order of priority in insolvency; setting aside transactions; protecting unsecured creditors and consumers; the problem of corporate groups; company directors in troubled times; employees in distress; and European and international recognition of insolvency proceedings.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Lent Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

One 1,500 word essay.

Indicative reading

A full Reading List will be distributed during the course. For introductory purposes students are directed to V. Finch and D. Milman, Corporate Insolvency Law: Perspectives and Principles (Cambridge University Press, 2017) (3rd edition).


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

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: 14

Average class size 2020/21: 7

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills