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Law 216: Introduction to Business Law and Practice

(Full unit taught in 1st and 2nd terms)


Professor Geraint Howells, Professor David Milman and Angus MacCulloch

Outline syllabus

Evolution of Business Law in the UK :

From custom to common law

Codification mania in 19 th century

The incoming European Tide

Fundamental/concepts themes:

Laissez faire and freedom of contract

Caveat emptor

Good faith

The rise of consumerism

Free competition

Regulation/self regulation

Nemo dat quod ille non habet

Limited liability

Impact of insolvency

Key institutions:

The Stock Exchange

The Department of Trade and Industry

Office of Fair Trading

Competition Commission

Financial Services Authority


The Takeover Panel

The World Trade Organisation



Agency: the great facilitator :

Nature and importance of agency - internal and external aspects

Commercial agents

Commercial Contracts: Commercial Contracts II:

Sale of goods Insurance

Unfair contract terms

Product liability


Methods of payment and means of securing obligations:

Bills of exchange

Security and guarantees

Business Organisations :

A brief introduction to the types of organisation on offer under English law - partnerships, limited liability partnerships, companies , franchises, etc.

Commercial disputes and the law :

The commercial courts



There will be one formative non-assessed coursework assessment (to be submitted at the end of Term 1) and one piece of assessed coursework of 2500 words in length which would contribute 25% of the final mark. A single 3 hour exam in the summer would then contribute 75% of the final mark.

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