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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.
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.
Last updated: 16 March 2020