Law is an important part of the environment in which business operates. Time, money and opportunity can be lost through failure to identify the legal factor earlier enough or, indeed, at all. For this reason, any manager should gain familiarity with the basic principles of those major areas of law which impinge upon business activity. When such activity transcends national borders and becomes international, the potential problems involved can escalate. Having an appreciation of the kind of problem that can arise will better equip the manager to avoid or, at least, minimize the potential consequences.
It would be neither realistic nor sensible to expect business practitioners to gain legal knowledge approximating to that of the professional lawyer. The expertise of the professional is built upon more than mere knowledge of the law but includes skills of analysis and argument developed through long experience of the law in practice. The aim, therefore, should be to encourage business professionals to acquire an understanding of the law sufficient to enable potential problems to be identified earlier rather than later – the “Red Light” approach. Problems which can be spotted while still embryonic can be more effectively dealt with than if they are allowed to grow. In the latter case, damage limitation may be the only option.
This module focuses on the main issues in commercial law, i.e. employment law, business law, intangible rights and tax law.
- Employment law: analysis of work contracts of common law and characteristics of contracts without any job security – temporary contracts such as the French “CDD”
- Corporate contractual relations (supply side)
- Intangible rights: corporate protection and incentives to create
- European tax systems and mechanisms.
- In a twofold approach students will analyse European law and then national laws and regulations.
- the main characteristics of common law and civil law legal systems;
- European treaties, regulations and directives as sources of law; the direct effect of European law; the role of the European Court of Justice;
- Contract law: formation, contractual terms, frustration and breach, liquidated and unliquidated damages; comparisons between the laws of different countries;
- Standard terms of business and their role in the allocation of commercial risks;
- Law of business organisations: principal distinctions between general partnerships, limited liability partnerships and companies limited by shares; directors’ duties; disqualification and personal liability of directors;
- Contract and tort based product liability
- The single market and the four freedoms
- Competition law: prohibited agreements and abuse of a dominant position;
- Distinction between an agent and an exclusive distributor;
- Incoterms; collection arrangements and documentary credits;
- Methods of international dispute resolution: adr, commercial arbitration, litigation;
- International contracts: problems, jurisdiction, applicable law and enforcement of judgements.