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This subject examines the various roles played by commercial lawyers in a cross-border context – including structuring and negotiating deals and resolving disputes – and the legal issues and practical challenges that arise in that context. Students will develop an advanced and integrated understanding of the nature of cross-border transactions (involving parties and assets in different jurisdictions) and also the relevant legal issues. These issues include the following:
- The different legal and regulatory systems in the selected jurisdictions;
- The impact of applicable law (in a contractual context and otherwise), including the impact of different areas of law such as contract, property, company, finance, and insolvency law;
- Dispute resolution and the different options in cross-border transactions;
- The role of lawyers and the skills they require in cross-border transactions (these include advisory skills, drafting skills, cross-cultural communication skills, negotiation skills and transaction management skills);
- The regulation of the legal profession, particularly in a global context (the international market for the provision of legal services) and the regulation of foreign lawyers in various Asian jurisdictions;
- The role and regulation of in-house counsel, particularly in a cross-border context;
- The role of international commercial courts such as the Singapore International Commercial Court and other such courts;
- Cross-border transactions structures;
- Cross-border finance and insolvency;
- The impact of technology in corporate and financial transactions;
- Private international law (conflict of laws) issues, including choice of law and jurisdiction;
- Cross-border private dispute resolution, including court litigation, mediation and commercial arbitration;
- Recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments;
- Conventions (e.g. the various Hague Conventions) and model laws; and
- The impact of technology on dispute resolution (virtual trials and online arbitration) and regional developments in this regard.
If permitted, this subject will involve travel to Singapore during July. In the absence of travel permission, the subject will feature guest lectures by representatives of various Singapore International organisations.
Intended learning outcomes
A candidate who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Fundamental aspects of the practice of commercial law in cross-border transactions and the importance of understanding the different models and approaches;
- The structure and operation of legal systems in the Asia Pacific region;
- The interaction and different dynamics between policy, legal systems and commercial law;
- Practical commercial dispute resolution, including litigation and international commercial arbitration;
- The role of commercial lawyers and the importance of developing a commercial awareness so that lawyers can function effectively as legal advisors in a cross-border context; and
- The utility and limitations of comparative analyses of laws.
On completion of the subject, students should have developed and demonstrated expert skills, including:
- 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 a cross-border context;
- Cognitive, technical and creative skills to investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems and concepts in a cross-jurisdictional context and from a comparative law perspective;
- Cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts in relation to cross-border transactions at an abstract level, and the ability to translate those abstract ideas and concepts to practical problems, demonstrated in classroom discussion and in the interim assessment task;
- Technical skills to design, evaluate and analyse complex legal structures and issues, as well as communication skills to advise legal and non-legal audiences on such structures and issues; and
- Technical skills in relation to advising clients, negotiating transactions and drafting legal documentation in the context of cross-border transactions in the Asia Pacific.
Last updated: 4 September 2021