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Deals (LAWS50051)

Graduate coursework level 5Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework Level 5
Subject codeLAWS50051
Availability(Quotas apply)
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

The purpose of this subject is to give students an advanced and integrated understanding of (1) the ways in which commercial deals are structured; (2) the ways in which core legal principles from a range of law subjects are relevant to commercial deals; and (3) the role that lawyers perform when advising on and executing commercial deals and the skills that they require for this purpose. The issues are considered within the context of a business acquisition in Australia. Students will critically analyse the ways in which a business acquisition is structured and the applicable legal issues that arise in areas such as contract, property, torts and company law. Drawing on the theories of scholar such as Ronald Gilson, students will consider the role of business lawyers as transaction cost engineers and the technical and professional challenges that they face in performing this role.

This subject is of particular interest to students seeking to practise commercial law.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should have an advanced understanding of, and be able to critically analyse:

  • The structure of a business acquisition and the associated commercial drivers;
  • The applicable legal issues and how those issues are treated under the laws of Australia;
  • The role that lawyers perform when advising on and executing commercial deals and the skills they require in order to perform that role effectively (including advisory, drafting and negotiation skills); and
  • The importance of developing a commercial awareness so that lawyers can function effectively as legal advisors in a commercial context.

Generic skills

On completion of the subject, students will have developed high level skills in the following areas:

  • Cognitive skills to demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge and to apply that knowledge (including core legal principles and concepts studied in compulsory JD subjects) in the context of a commercial deal;
  • Specialist understanding, interpretation, critical reflection and synthesis of legislation and cases relating to business acquisitions in Australia;
  • Technical skills in relation to designing and analysing complex legal structures and issues, as well as communication skills in relation to advising legal and non-legal audiences on such structures and issues, as demonstrated in the interim assessment task;
  • Technical skills in relation to negotiating transactions and drafting legal documentation in the context of a business acquisition in Australia, as demonstrated in the deal simulation exercise and the examination; and
  • Communication skills effective for the delivery of complex concepts to a diversity of specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Eligibility and requirements


Successful completion of all the below subjects:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
LAWS50023 Legal Method and Reasoning
Summer Term
LAWS50026 Obligations
Semester 1
LAWS50029 Contracts
Semester 2
LAWS50030 Property
Semester 1



Non-allowed subjects


Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Hurdle Requirement: Class participation, including participating in simulated drafting and negotiation exercises that are designed to highlight the relevance and application of core skills at an advanced level. Students will be expected to participate actively in class and to draw on their collective experience in identifying, analysing and advising on the legal issues that are relevant to commercial transactions;
  • A 1,500-word piece of written advice (30%);
  • A 3-hour open-book examination (70%).

The due date of the above assessment will be available to students via the Assessment Schedule on the LMS Community.

Quotas apply to this subject

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorAndrew Godwin
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours36 hours
    Total time commitment144 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

    Email: law-aso@unimelb.edu.au
    Phone: +61 3 8344 4475
    Website: law.unimelb.edu.au

Additional delivery details

This subject has an enrolment quota of 60 students. Your subject enrolment will not be confirmed until the selection process has been run. Selection is conducted on a random basis with outcomes communicated to students shortly after re-enrolment closes. Please refer to the Melbourne Law School website for more information on the JD Quota Elective selection process.

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    • Specialist printed materials will also be made available from the Melbourne Law School.
  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 11 September 2019