module specification

LC7029 - Business Law and Practice (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Business Law and Practice
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 24
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 240
 
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
192 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Unseen Examination 100%   Examination
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester City Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Monday Morning
Autumn semester City Thursday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Wednesday Evening
Autumn semester City Tuesday Afternoon
Autumn semester City Monday Evening

Module summary

 This module focuses on the law and practice of starting, running and winding-up businesses, including sole traders, partnerships and private limited companies.  A proportion of the module is devoted to the study of the construction and interpretation of business accounts.

The module aims to equip students with the knowledge and confidence required to work on transactions on the first day of their training contract as a solicitor.

Prior learning requirements

Qualifying Law Degree

Syllabus

1. Taking instructions; client care and professional conduct and regulation
2. Regulatory and practical considerations of setting-up businesses
3. Key aspects of sole traders
4. Key aspects of partnerships:; Partnership Act 1890 and Limited
Liability Partnerships; authority, decision making, profit-sharing;
dissolution
5. Key aspects of companies: limited liability companies;  formation,
constitution; governance; pre-incorporation contracts; holding
companies and subsidiaries; roles, liabilities and responsibilities of
shareholders, members, creditors and directors; loans to directors
6. Shares: issued share capital; issuing allotting and transferring; company transactions
7. Income tax for sole traders, partners, directors, debenture holders and shareholders
8. Corporation tax (income and capital)
9. Key aspects of business accounts, double-entry book-keeping and the role of accountants
10. Construction of trial balances, profit and loss accounts and trial balances
11. Interpretation of business accounts and common accounting ratios
12. Key aspects of personal and corporate insolvency; bankruptcy; Individual Voluntary Agreements; company voluntary arrangements; administrative receiverships; administrations and liquidations

Covers all Learning Outcomes

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

16 one-hour tutor led sessions and 16 two-hour student led sessions. The tutor led sessions are one week ahead of the small group sessions to allow students time for reflection. Students are required to test their preparation for each small group session by completing short answer/ multiple-choice questions on WebLearn in advance of the session.

Learning outcomes

 At the end of the Business Law and Practice course, successful students should be able, under appropriate supervision, to:

1. understand the nature and structure of the different business media and be able to
select an appropriate medium and structure to meet the client's commercial
requirements and to advise on the legal and taxation implications
2. progress basic business transactions arising during the life and
development of a business
3. understand the interests of different parties involved in the business including
directors, shareholders and creditors of a business.
4. interpret and apply primary source materials, constitutional documents and other
relevant agreements
5. identify conduct and regulation issues, such as conflicts of interest and FSMA, as
they arise in the context of relevant transactions
6. draft the relevant documentation and prepare the appropriate forms and filings.

Element 1: Business Media

Students should:

1. be able to advise the client as to the advantages and disadvantages of different
business media including sole traders, partnership and companies
2. be able to advise on form and legal structure and on the cost, procedures, formalities and taxation implications of setting up and running the business
3. be familiar with the procedures required to incorporate a company and/or form a
partnership and understand the approvals, filings and procedures to enable the
business to commence operating
4. be familiar with the roles, rights, responsibilities and liabilities of the participants
5. understand the procedures to alter the constitution of a company and to appoint and remove the officers of a company
6. understand how to allot, issue and transfer shares.

Element 2: On-going Operations and Common Transactions

Students should be able to:

1. progress common business transactions and advise and take steps relating to the
business’s on-going operations
2. advise on entering into contracts on behalf of the business (including issues arising from contracts in which directors have an interest)
3. advise on steps to protect the assets of the business
4. advise on issues arising from basic finance and lending
5. draft notices, agendas and minutes of meetings and complete and file routine
statutory forms and maintain and up-date statutory books
6. advise on taxation of profits (income and capital) generated and distributed by the
business
7. demonstrate an appreciation of the continuing duties, obligations and liabilities of the business and of its partners, directors and shareholders
8. advise on the options for and claims arising on insolvency, e.g. bankruptcy, winding up and administration
9. draft and review documentation to give effect to transactions.

Element 3: Stakeholders

Students should:

1. understand the different interests of parties involved in the business including the
company, directors, shareholders and creditors of the business
2. be aware of potential conflicts between the different parties
3. understand the importance of knowing the client.

Element 4: Business Accounts

Students should understand the basic principles of business accounting and should be aware of the need to interpret business accounts to ensure clients are appropriately advised. In particular, students should:

1. understand the terms used and basic accounting concepts
2. be familiar with how accounting data is used to prepare a profit and loss account and a balance sheet

Assessment strategy

 The assessment is an open book exam with advance disclosure of documents and is of a transactional nature. This form of assessment is designed to replicate practice and enable students to demonstrate the application of legal principles in a realistic, practical context. Students are given a formative assessment and receive examiners' guidance.

Students are given two formative assessments.  One is self-marked and returned with tutor feedback and for the other students receive examiners' guidance.

Bibliography

Basic Text
Business Law and Practice Manual, University of Law Publishing

Online Materials
Supporting WebLearn materials and student study materials