LL4AL      Half Unit
International Business Transactions: Commercial Litigation

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jacco Bomhoff


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.

Knowledge of conflict of laws (private international law) would be useful but is not essential. A general understanding of contract, tort, and commercial law is essential.

This course has a limited number of places and demand is typically high. This may mean that you’re not able to get a place on this course.

Course content

This course deals with jurisdictional problems arising in litigation resulting from international business transactions. We consider relevant rules in English law and European Union law, and take a comparative look at developments in the United States. The following issues are included in the syllabus: (a) General jurisdiction over companies and individuals; (b) Specific jurisdiction in relation to contract and tort claims; (c) Jurisdiction over branches and agents; (d) Parallel litigation (‘lis pendens’, ‘forum non conveniens’, anti-suit injunctions); and (e) Constitutional limitations on jurisdiction in the United States.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Autumn Term and an additional two hours of teaching in the Spring Term. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Autumn Term.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to produce one 1,500 word formative essay during the course.

Indicative reading

Core textbook: Trevor C Hartley, International Commercial Litigation (Cambridge University Press, 3rd edn, 2020, (selected chapters). Further reading: Born (Gary B) and Rutledge (Peter B), International Civil Litigation in United States Courts: Commentary and Materials (Wolters Kluwer, Austin, Boston, Chicago, New York, the Netherlands, 6th edn, 2018); Fentiman (Richard), International Commercial Litigation (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2nd edn, 2015).


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

Key facts

Department: Law School

Total students 2022/23: 29

Average class size 2022/23: 29

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Value: Half Unit

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