Commercial Contracts

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Paul Macmahon (Michaelmas Term) and Dr Joseph Spooner (Lent and Summer Terms)

Additional Teachers: 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.



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

  • Agreed Remedies
  • Precontractual negotiations
  • The interpretation of contracts
  • Mistakes in contracts
  • Frustration of contracts
  • Relational contracts and implied duties of good faith performance
  • Multi-party projects (privity of contract)

Part 2 – Fundamentals of Commercial Law

  • Agency
  • Assignment
  • Sale of goods contracts
  • Credit and security
  • Banking contracts
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • International commercial contracting


Two hours of lectures and one hour of class per week in Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This course includes reading weeks in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term and Week 6 of Lent Term.

Formative coursework

Two formative (unassessed) essays in Michaelmas Term.

Indicative reading

For the advanced contract law portion of the course, students may choose as the main text either Chen-Wishart, Contract Law, (6th edn, OUP 2018) or McKendrick, Contract Law (14th edn, Red Globe Press 2021). 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, there is no main textbook but McKendrick (ed.), Goode and McKendrick on Commercial Law (6th edn, Penguin 2021) is used frfor some topics. 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.


Essay (25%, 1500 words) in the LT.
Online assessment (75%) in the ST.


Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2021/22: 117

Average class size 2021/22: 15

Capped 2021/22: Yes (120)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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.

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills